Jan 16, 2014: Winter Wonders at The Flea Market

Exhibitors from The Flea Market at Eastern Market, many who also successfully participated in local holiday markets in December, are returning Sundays for the winter season at the popular Capitol Hill market at 7th and C Streets,SE.

"Last Sunday we had a mid-winter weather break and as always we've discounted our January and February rates," said Michael Berman, president of  Diverse Markets Management (DMM), market manager; "so we had our first nearly full house of the year and expect to continue that trend on the good weather days.          

"And we want to thank the dozens of exhibitors who sold at DMM's other holiday markets: the ninth  Downtown Holiday Market and the first Tysons Corner Center Christmas Market. We certainly appreciate how exhausting working in outdoor markets can be during December," Berman continued. "Their participation has helped in obtaining some spectacular recent publicity."

The Downtown Holiday Market was listed second in "America's best Christmas markets," an article at the NBC Today show travel + leisure section of its web site. "From ice cream made with liquid nitrogen to piping-hot donuts, this annual market goes beyond European food traditions, taking the kind of worldly approach you'd expect in D.C.," raved reporter Lola Akinmade Akerstrom.      

"This festive market counts more than 150 artists and crafters selling handmade goods like pottery, paintings, photo prints, and textiles," reported Akerstrom. "Of course many of those 150 sellers are often at The Flea Market at Eastern Market 10-5 Sundays throughout the rest of the year," Berman said.   

Many of these flea market exhibitors themselves were featured in media coverage. Work by Designer Jon Wye and Potters Nevan and Doug Wise was photographed for a Washington Post Magazine story. Berman himself along with the musical group Lloyd Dobbler Effect were featured in a live WTTG Fox 5 broadcast and Glass Blower Ryan Eicher and Coffee Entrepreneur Chris Vigilante on another live segment with Reporter Holly Morris 

Other highlights of the media blitz of the downtown market were tracked by media firm Vocus and included "a print and television audience of 2,348,139" and online unique page views of more than 72 million reported to Downtown DC Business Improvement District, co-producers of the event.

Not to be left out of the media hype was the DMM-managed Tysons Corner Center Christmas Market which debuted during a mid-December weekend.

"We barely made a media ripple in our first year downtown," Berman recalled, "but here we got a nice photo essay in Timeline Media and other coverage generated by both the German embassy and, of course Tysons Corner Center itself. It was a real privilege to work with mall management, which promoted the event extensively."

Also contributing to the media blitz was DMM establishment of a  YouTube channel featuring "exhibitor shorts." Sixty-four exhibitors were profiled generating more than 4,100 views of the videos.

"We loved the work of film maker Mellisa Lesh, who shot, edited and produced the spots," commented Berman. "We hope to have her back later in the year to do some longer segments featuring visits to exhibitor studios and brick and mortar stores."

Lesh is currently shooting a movie in India.