Vendor Spotlight: Expressions in Design
We had the chance to talk with Expressions in Design owner, Tammy Appelquist, about what makes her booth so special at the Shipshewana Flea Market.
Tammy may be new to Shipshewana Flea Market, but she's a seasoned veteran in the gift shop industry.
Tammy's mother owned a gift shop when she was growing up, so when her own daughter was three years old, she took up the family trade and began her own business. She began by selling floral accessories at shows near her home town in Hamilton County, Indiana.
Now, Tammy and her daughter have set up a booth at the Shipshewana Flea Market.
She carries not only a variety of floral wreaths and accessories but also so much more including women’s kimonos, jackets and tops.
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Tammy even makes special up-cycled flannel shirts to sell at her booth.
"I use a unique multi-step process that I developed myself to make these distressed one-of-a-kind shirts," said Tammy. "It has become a family backyard project."
The well-designed booth space also sports fun hats, leather earrings, jewelry, custom kitchen towels, mugs, farmhouse décor, signs, car coasters and so much more.
Plus, she plans to keep the booth fresh and looking new with a vision of switching up the products so customers will always have something to look forward to on return visits during the same season.
What made you decide to set up at the Shipshewana Flea Market?
"I actually had never been here myself, but my mother said 'you have to visit!" said Tammy. "Once I heard about the traffic the market generates in this Amish community, I was sold."
What advice would you give a new vendor just getting started?
"One key booth design and sales tip that all vendors can use in their own booths is to keep merchandise fresh," she said. "My shoppers can expect fall items following the 4th of July Flea Market and holiday products after the Labor Day Flea Market."
"Keeping merchandise fresh makes shoppers want to come back again – knowing they will find something new every time!"
What do you like most about Shipshewana Flea Market?
“The food,” she explained while laughing. "I love those Bavarian Cream Fry Pies."
"But seriously, I love the friendliness of everyone. The market is organized and I appreciate the support of the market staff."
Having done a lot of shows for over 17 years, she is thrilled to see the organized trash removal each day at the market which provides a clean environment for shoppers.
"This is not something I experience everywhere."
How is business at Shipshewana Flea Market?
“Sales have been very positive. I've already had return customers, and it's only been open for the season for three weeks!” said Tammy.
"The ability to set up in a building, lock it up and return the following week without having to tear down and set up week after week is a huge benefit for me.”
You’ll find Tammy and her daughter at the Shipshewana Flea Market at space number 566 (near the Finer Swiner Food Court) each Tuesday and Wednesday from May through September. You can also find Expressions in Design on Facebook.
Want to set up a booth at the flea market? We have spaces available each day. Fill out a Vendor Application.