Kent Flea Makers Market gives back to community in more ways than one

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Kennedy Gotham

An overview of the Kent Flea from the Kent Masonic Center.

Kennedy Gotham, Reporter

The Kent Flea and Makers Market creates a space for local vendors to share their products, including books, candles, artwork, upcycled clothing and more.

On Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the flea market returned to Kent for the second time this year.

Gavin Van Houten, the owner of Odd Bird Design, creates and sells handmade stickers and artwork. He said this was his first time participating in the Kent Flea.

“They were kind enough to let me join, so I like them already,” he said.

Business owners and Kent State alumni Jessica Russell and Nakoa Anderson are a married duo who offer homemade 100 percent soy wax candles and wax melts. Along with being a business owner, Russell works as an advisor at Kent State’s School of Business Administration.

As a local business, Anderson said, “We think things differently. It seems like we care a little bit more about our product.”

Russell also said they listen to consumer feedback and suggestions.

Vendors displaying their work at the Kent Flea. (Kennedy Gotham)

“If we support the small business, then they are going to support other small businesses around them,” said Brad McNamee, one of the founders of Planting Seeds Natural Health and Wellness.

McNamee and his wife Amy make handmade products that are all-natural and chemical-free. They offer home cleaning products, essential oils, lotions and linen sprays.

Crystal Weaver is the author of the book “The Adventures of Rufus and Rita.” The story is based on her two dogs and the many stories she has about them.

“I was visiting my teammate and her family, and I was always bringing my dogs or telling stories about my dogs, and she said, ‘Crystal, with all these stories, you should write a children’s book,’” Weaver said.

Weaver wrote two books about her dogs. She came to the Kent Flea to share the stories with locals.

The proceeds from the flea market go toward the upkeep of the historic Masonic Center in Kent, which was built in 1884. The building is a registered historic landmark.

The Kent Masonic Center. (Kennedy Gotham)

Fred and Barbara Moore have been working at the Masonic Center for more than 40 years. Fred has been helping with the maintenance of the building ever since; he has painted the house, fixed anything that was broken and repaired the outside and inside of the home.

“I love the place,” he said.

Fred and his wife have worked as custodians for the home, and despite his age of 81 and a half, he comes to the home five days a week to do yard work.

The couple met at the Masonic Center and have been married for 36 years.

“He was painting what we call the preparation rooms, and that was one of our first dates, and I remember that,” Barbara said.

The Kent Flea hosts events year-round to help raise money to keep this historic monument of Kent up and running.

Kennedy Gotham is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]