Andrea McCaughey took her love for sewing and opened a shop in Fortville in 2015. McCaughey has always bought and sold items, and now she’s using the property to bring something else to Fortville: a market different from central Indiana’s typical farmers markets. She wants to bring different artists and feature vintage goods, antiques, costume sewing and eventually produce to a recurring day-long flea market where her sewing shop is located, 10 Noel Ave., Fortville.
“My ideal Saturday would be a marketplace full of eclectic vendors, makers, artisans, music and a kiddie zone,” she said.
McCaughey has an average of 10 vendors taking part in the Old Mill Flea Market. She wants to conduct the market every Saturday in June and July from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. She said she can accomodate up to 175 vendors.
“Our location being so close to I-69 and close to Noblesville and Hamilton County, the population is really booming,” McCaughey said. “It’s a society that wants to go back to grassroots and stroll a little country town on a Saturday morning.”
McCaughey said her market differs from others in local areas because she keeps prices low and increases the amount of a time a vendor has to sell to the public.
“It’s all about my vendors,” she said. “I keep my pricing low because I’m a vendor, too, so if you go out and spend $148 a day (on a booth), you have to make that back, plus more.”
Many nearby Saturday farmers markets end at noon or 1 p.m., but McCaughey knows another crowd of people visit Fortville later in the day.
“Fortville populates again around dinner time,” she said. “The restaurants are on a wait, so why not stroll? There’s more to Fortville than Main Street. This is my favorite, the Mill. The spirit in here is magical. This is historic.”
This is the inaugural year for the Old Mill Flea Market, which launched April 13.
“I just want an eclectic, fun outdoor marketplace,” she said.
McCaughey has lived in Fortville for 11 years. She is originally from Speedway. When she’s not organizing her flea market, she operates Kewpie’s Kloset out of the old scale room for the town’s grain mill, which operated in the 1800s and 1900s. Kewpie’s Kloset offers clothing alterations, home decor and sewing classes.
McCaughey said the art of sewing is still an important skill in the modern world.
“It teaches you patience,” she said. “We live in a society where if something is broken, you throw it away when you could repurpose it, reuse it, make it your own and customize an individual style,” she said. “There’s math, vocabulary and self-esteem. It’s instant gratification. You’re making it, you see what you’ve produced and it lifts your spirit. You see it’s not that intimidating and then you go on to the next project.”
McCaughey said by teaching kids how to sew, it gets them off their phones for several hours.
“It’s growing,” she said. “At first, everybody thought it was cool I’m teaching a trade. It’s a dying trade, it’s an art. Parents love to send their kids (to classes). It’s two hours they’re not on their phone. It’s purely creative, their imagination, their hands. They’re able to create.”
How to become an Old Mill Flea Market vendor
The Old Mill Flea Market is primarily for antique items. Owner Andrea McCaughey is seeking vendors with antique, vintage, retro or kitsch items. She also is searching for local artists and local farmers.
Antique items are typically more than 100 years old. Old Mill Flea Market requires all vintage items to be 25 years or older.
Vendor booths begin at $45 and go up to $80, depending on booth size.
To reserve a booth space, contact Andrea McCaughey at email@example.com.
Upcoming Old Mill Flea Market dates
Each market runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
June 15, June 29, July 6, July 13, July 20, July 22, Aug. 3, Aug. 17, Aug. 31, Sept. 14, Sept. 28, Oct. 12 and Oct. 19.