The Lil Flea - A Crafty Affair!

A little girl wolfs down her candy, as her indulgent dad waits patiently, so he can wipe her face. Two elderly women chat enthusiastically, digging into their shopping bags to show each other their pretty finds. A group of youngsters cheers an upcoming singer crooning away in the lounge area. Groups of shoppers are admiring some of the most creative finds I have managed to lay my hands on, all in one space. My husband is missing in action. He was last seen checking out the display shelf at the stall of an uber talented local home chef. My Mom-In-Law is comfortably perched on a colorful bench, next to a large fan, sipping the last of her refreshing "Lady Guava". Like me, she too is a Social Shoppers. For us retail therapy is about hanging out with friends, enjoying some great food, listening to music, making friends and acquiring new experiences. This is why I naturally gravitate towards Pop-Ups and Flea Markets, always seeking new company, new things to acquire, and new friends to make. And that's what had brought us to The Lil Flea on 5th& 6th April, 2014 at Reclamation ground, Bandra. 

It wasn’t your run of the mill retail therapy. This was the kind of place you always knew our city was missing. A happy, joyous energy, and easy bonhomie had been brought together, with thoughtfully curated stalls, two music zones, a pop-up café with a lounge area where one could enjoy some award winning short films or participate in a smattering of cool and fun workshops and quirky games. Such joy! The market area had such a carnival like feel to it, with colourful tents with fun drapes all over the area showcasing over more than 150 + pop up shops showcasing a variety of items such as clothes, footwear, bags, accessories, furniture, handicraft, artifacts, arts & craft, antiques, pottery, home décor and old books along with street & experimental food zones. The Lil Pop-Up Cafe, curated by Insia Lacewalla, had some truly amazing food and drinks. There was omething for everyone, and both vegetarians and non-vegetarians seemed to love the place. 

This wasn't just a cluster of stalls with immensely creative folks selling their adorable creations. This was a place that gives rise to pure joy! The Lil Flea's decor included some fun art installations, like Umbrellas hanging upside down, paper lamps, shiny disco bar, and Ladder installations, giving the entire market space a cool, bohemian vibe. Even the heat of April stood no chance, when faced with beautiful plants, pretty flowers, and huge fans across the market. 

So far, I had experienced something like this only at the Goa Night Market, which I strongly maintain is one of the coolest, hippest places in the world. If you haven’t been there, it should be on your bucket list.  The Lil Flea managed to get a similar vibe, right here in Mumbai, and therein lies the primary success of this effort. I came back, understandably, with many shopping bags filled with some of the grooviest finds in recent times. You will see them in the upcoming posts. They plan to do this once every couple of months. I am right here, cheering the Lil Flea team, for a great job done. Did you manage to go to the market? What was your experience? Did you love any particular stall? Do share. 

All photos courtesy : The Lil Flea

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