BUSINESSWOMAN Diane Chin believes that a community flea market is something that people in Guyana should embrace since so many people are grappling with putting food on the table, more so to buy clothing and other necessary items.
Having organised the first farmers’ market in 2020, she is now doing the first flea market on August 6 and 7 at 229 Lance Gibbs Street, Queenstown. Vendors at this market will have a wide variety of items that were previously owned (second-hand), but that are in good condition enough to be recycled.
“I call it a flea market or a thrift store. It’s myself and a few other people who have come together to put up little booths to sell the things that we have at home that we no longer use,” Chin told Pepperpot Magazine recently.
Persons can get their hands on household items, shoes, clothing, books, toys, and “all the things we have that are good and that we don’t want to dump.” It would also allow for a few persons to make an extra income.
“The money we have is to put towards food, and there are some things we have to cut back on just for food. At a flea market, you can get good stuff that were previously owned, yes, like $1,000 for a good pair of jeans that may have been worn once or not at all,” Chin explained.
“We also have kids selling their lemonade and cookies. I always believe that children should learn about making their own money and how they can do it. I’ve invited them to bring their old toys and books that they no longer want,” she continued.
Even as the prices will start from as low as $100, the venue will also have a charity bin where people can take whatever they want, free of cost.
“After hearing about the flea market, people have been offering to donate their items, and this shows that there is the potential for something like this in Guyana that can help the community,” she observed.
Chin said she has always loved the ideas of a farmers’ market and flea market. “I think these are important things that every community should have. Why don’t we have them? Now I am happy to see that we have so many farmers’ markets after that one that we did in 2020. Hopefully, we’ll have more flea markets that will shoot up.”
The opportunity also exists for people in remote locations across Guyana to collect stuff to take into their communities. This would be something that would be especially beneficial to the folks in faraway villages who are very poor. It’s just a matter of getting in contact with a “middle man” that would take the items in, Chin noted.
“I realised that this is still a relatively new concept to Guyana, and while people sell a lot of barrel clothing, I don’t know how we are embracing the thrift idea. It will be interesting to see how we Guyanese embrace the idea,” she said.
Meanwhile, apart from organising farmers’ markets, Chin and her husband Joseph had teamed with a group of professional teachers to create solutions to help kids navigate the harsh realities of the pandemic.
The kiddies’ day camp at the Armadillo Earth Farm that they hosted last year received overwhelming support. A 10-acre ecological safe space located at Long Creek, on the Soesdyke-Linden Highway, the Armadillo Earth Farm allowed for activities such as kids’ yoga, sewing craft, nature hikes and other fun games.
The mission of Armadillo Earth Farm is to create a space that is aligned with how children learn naturally, and focus is placed on developing children’s creative skills. “The goal is to help each child actualise their unique potential and God-given passion,” Chin had explained.
Another camp is expected to be held in the not too distant future.