It seems like the older we get, and the more holidays we experience, the faster we run out of creative ideas for gifting during the holiday season. Dad is probably over the fact that he has to act surprised every time he opens up the socks you gifted him. Who knows, maybe he really does love the socks, but shopping in the same places every year probably hasn’t added too much variety to your gift giving.
Jacksonville’s local flea markets offer some awesome and slightly unconventional items to help you save money while offering something unique. The Pecan Park Flea Market located near Jacksonville International Airport is the largest flea market in Jacksonville and offers an amazing selection.
Patty Trantham, also known as The Leather Lady, has been in business for 23 years specializing in all leather goods. Her shop is stocked with everything from leather jackets, wallets, purses, belts, vests, and arm cuffs to a $5,000 beaver fur jacket, adorned with hornback alligator skin, a coyote fur hood and elk trim. Most of her merchandise ranges anywhere from a $1 keychain to $300 leather jackets.
Trantham also offers custom leather carving and hand tooling. Charles Crooms, a former tattoo artist, has been leather carving at The Leather Lady for about a year. He can hand draw them or take from design to the finish product for $75 – $600.
A couple shops down you’ll find Wonderful Rugs which sells anything from dream catchers to custom sports team car mats. Prices range from $2 – $300.
If you’re looking for something truly one of a kind, head over to Bitz N’ Pieces where you’ll find Thomas Laidlaw, who has been glass blowing for over 10 years. Not only can you purchase one of Laidlaw’s artworks, you can also watch the process. Bitz N’ Pieces also specializes in African-American artwork and diabetic socks.
At some point in everyone’s life, a bike has been on our list to Santa, however, gone are the days of having to buy the model right off the shelf. Eric Lowe of Retro Racer sells customized motorized cycles and low riders starting at $500 and electric cycles starting at $750.
If you have kids, or need to buy for kids, then A Basket Just 4 You is the perfect one-stop shop. Sheik and Stephanie Nixon create one-of-a-kind, custom-made, character-themed gift baskets filled with all things character related based on who you choose/request. Character baskets run from $20 – $245.
About 15 minutes away from Pecan Park you’ll find Ramona Flea Market. For an admission fee of 50 cents you’ll be able to find natural remedies for skin problems and other health risks by stopping by Angelia Smith’s booth, “Natural Beauty” where she makes homemade scented shea butter and also sells hemp and emu oil.
The people at Earth’s Tonic are also selling a product that comes directly from the Earth, known as Diatomaceous Earth (DE), a fine white powder made from fossilized shells called diatoms. This product not only has amazing health benefits and is also an all-natural pesticide. Check out www.earths-tonic.com for more. Prices start at $15.
If you grew up in the ‘90s, you’ll totally be able to appreciate the business Bob-N-Robins This-N-That is in: flipping houses, not any type of house, Barbie Dreamhouses. They find old Dreamhouses, fix them up, completely furnish them, and sell them. Houses range from $15 – $175.
Flea market shopping allows you to explore a new realm of retail while giving someone a truly original present. It’s like the gift that keeps on giving.