Flea Market Vendor Spotlight: Teaberry Wood Products
Teaberry Wood Products offers a variety of wood products including Napkin baskets, Christmas items, puzzles, and a variety of other handcrafted wood baskets inside the Midwest's Largest Flea Market located in Shipshewana.
Teaberry Wood Products has quite a unique name derived from their property’s subdivision (when they subdivided the land off of the farm they own the county called it Teaberry subdivision so they decided hey it'll be Teaberry).
Lavern, Rachel and Isaiah are the popular faces you’ll see at the weekly market every Tuesday and Wednesday but there are actually two more sons and a daughter-in-law involved in this locally owned and unique Shipshewana Flea Market Booth.
A lot of really unique wood baskets and products are sold and their most popular items include:
- Napkin Baskets
- Christmas Nativity Sets
- Empty Tomb & Easter
Ideas & Inspiration
Their inspiration, according to Rachel, mostly comes from God. Sometimes customers mention something and when an idea is presented, she usually draws something, then Lavern works on the details to see if it is feasible. After that, the work begins making it all happen. They also have a knack for keeping up with trends and you’ll see that in some of the unbelievably cute items they have like llamas, antique trucks, and so many more creative designs.
How They Are Made
These unique creations are not your typical woven wicker basket. It is so cool to see a flat piece of wood that can be turned into such a beautiful statement piece (and customizable in many cases).
Their baskets are actually cut from flat stock and then they cut it lengthwise with a scroll saw. The pieces are assembled after they are stacked while turning them end to end every other piece and then hand-glued by the weavers in the shop, glued together and topped with a rim to make a beautiful basket.
A Touch of Love
Each basket is hand numbered, signed, and dated by the artist assembling them. Teaberry also has a special tradition of creating a really amazing design for every 1000th basket. This year it was the blanket basket (Rachel’s personal favorite so far)!
Longboards… New to their Product Lineup
Lavern’s second son asked if he would make one and pretty soon, he found himself making one for each one of his children. They decided, hey, why not market longboards and so they’re in the process of doing that. They can be custom engraved on the bottom for the perfect gift, (of which I plan on buying for my eleven-year-old son this Christmas) shhhhhh, don’t let him in on the secret!
They have had buses come in over the years and an idea Vickie at Great Life Tours was presented and became very popular with these groups. This unique assembly project is provided as a kit and they get all the parts, can assemble it themselves and take home their very own self-designed quilt block
Advice for New Vendors
Lavern says (tough questions), but the best things you can do are:
- Try new ideas out, then stick with it!
- Don't go in and think you know the first day everything's going to fly off the shelf.
- Listen to your customers because they're going to give you advice and the longer you listen to them, the better you're able to serve them.