Tony Ianelli admits that until he opened the Amelia Flea market, located on the corner of Mt. Holly Road and state Route 125 in Amelia, his experience was lacking in this type of retailing.
“I knew nothing about flea markets but it seemed like a great idea,” he said.
Ianelli, who owns Gutter Topper and Gutter Covers International, owned several empty buildings that had not been in use for a while. An idea came to him in the middle of the night on how he would utilize these buildings.
According to Ianelli, opening the flea market benefits the whole community. One of the obvious benefits is giving people a way to sell their variety of items, make money and socialize.
The Amelia Flea Market houses many different booths and rooms with unique items for sale. Ianelli says he has learned that a flea marked is a very social venue.
"In the malls you have the food court and the shop till you drop atmosphere. The stores have inventory which is all basically the same each week. To me, that atmosphere is cold, impersonal. The flea market is a place of enjoyment and entertainment. It's a meeting place with a more casual, friendly atmosphere," he said.
There is also food available at the flea market's cafe. The menu includes hamburgers and hot dogs, popcorn and soft drinks.
"Sometimes we make meatballs and sell them either as a sub sandwich or some people order them by themselves. When we have the meatballs they don't last very long," he said.
As far as the merchandise goes, Ianelli describes it as a place where a person can find something different each week.
Ianelli explains his flea market as being a place where a person can buy something new, something used or something old, with each week holding the possibility of finding a completely new collection of merchandise than what may have seen the week before.
Booths and shops are set up in various rooms of the five building facility. The booths and rooms include wares that vary from antiques to homemade baked goods, and candy to candles, clothing and furniture. The vendors come from many different backgrounds and various parts of the county.
Diana Snider and her business partner Doreen Preston DP Jewelry Designs, where all of the jewelry is handmade. This shop has a dedicated room. However, addition to that shop Snider has business outside of the shop, called DP Designs. Her craft is replicating a photograph and painting it onto jewelry, canvas and other media, Snider said.
"I can take a photograph and paint a replica of it on a large canvas or a any other media."
If a patron has a sweet tooth Byrd's Bakery, owned by Margaret Byrd, has a variety of cookies, jumbo muffins, chocolate covered pretzels and cookie bouquets and a variety of other confections.
Customers can order wedding cakes, birthday cakes and cookie cakes from the bakery as well. Byrd says she still works out of her home but on weekends comes to her bakery at the flea market.
"I have been here for two and a half months and have sold 15-20 cakes. I usually sell out of my muffins by early afternoon. The cookies go pretty fast as well. I do pretty good here. Baking is a stress reliever for me but I am all about people and making them happy."
The Amelia Flea Market provides a place for collectors to find that must have item or a place to purchase sunglasses at below market bargain prices. Some vendors sell unique items such the shredded candle.
Husband and wife team Bill and Stacey Shepherd sell a smokeless candle wax to be used in plug in melting pots or burners.
"The wax has a secret ingredient that makes our product one of a kind. The scents we make are homemade and we have 60 of them," Stacey said.
The Shepherds set up at the Pumpkin Run Clermont County Fair and Brown County Fair.
"We found out about the Amelia Flea Market by word of mouth. We're very pleased with our booth here and we are doing very well."
Among all of the other items to be found at Amelia Flea market a patron can find hardware items, handmade birdhouses, gift bags or as little as fifty cents, vintages glassware, milk glass and wood crafts. There is even an Avon booth and the Why Not Shop which sells clothes and variety store items. There are also outdoor vendors.
The Amelia Flea Market is open every Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. A website is also available for more information at ameliafleamarket.com.