Menlo Park Youth Advisory Committee Hosts Flea Market for Small Businesses

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On Sunday, March 24, the Menlo Park Library and Menlo Park Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) hosted a spring flea market that highlighted small businesses in the community. Around ten small businesses participated, selling goods like handmade jewelry, colorful cards, and crocheted garments. 

Junior Ayla Karadogan, president of the YAC, said, “We have a lot of people of different backgrounds, and what’s bringing us together is that we are all sharing our own talents and skills.”

“Part of the idea originated from M-A’s Flea Market because most of us are M-A students,” said junior Abbie Macleod, who is the YAC treasurer. “We wanted to branch out and incorporate not only high school students but a wide range of people from our community.” 

Most of the vendors were M-A students, alongside some adults and Hillview students. The library was abuzz as people of all ages excitedly browsed the booths.

“It’s my first time selling my cards, and I’m doing it in support of those with substance addiction as a part of the Jewish Teen Foundation,” said senior Sophie Ultan, who sold handmade cards splashed with vibrant watercolor and smooth calligraphy.

Ultan started her business in 2021 during the pandemic, where she picked up calligraphy and was inspired to improve her watercolor skills. “Events like these help people get the confidence to sell what they’ve been working hard on, especially for people like me who may not always feel comfortable sharing what they do,” she added.

Ofphry and Lucienne, Hillview students and creators of Earrings for Every Occasion, a day-old jewelry business, sold a variety of earrings of different colors and sizes. Ofrphy said, “I created this small business so people can express themselves in different ways. Earrings typically come in a few colors, shapes, or sizes.”

“I used to have four boutiques in the Bay Area. When my son went to school, I closed them and started teaching art. Getting back into art prompted me to start my own business again,” said Tricia Mutobi, owner of the business TSIM Designs. Her booth displayed her self-designed cloth prints, stickers, pins, and cards. “I love talking to people and introducing art into the community,” she added.

Freshman Balthazar Sauquet, owner of Balthyzart, sold hoodies, beanies, and T-shirts with his signature mascot design. He explained, “I started my business when I was in seventh grade because of my interest in art and design. Events like these are really cool because they help promote my brand.” 

“Being around other small businesses gives inspiration and brings people together. Having events like the Spring Flea Market helps small businesses make a profit off of what they make,” sophomore Brea Trujillo and owner of Rose Jewelry Company said. Her booth was decorated with an assortment of bracelets, earrings, and necklaces.

“I got to bond with a lot of people that I don’t usually hang out with,” said junior Claire Chang, who sold her crocheted goods. “This event was a great opportunity to try new things, and I think it’s really cool seeing other people my age be creative.” 

Ella Hadrovic, a librarian and advisor for the YAC concluded, “So many people came to this event, and it gives publicity to small vendors, brings people into the library, and brings our community together.” 

Jenna is a sophomore and this is her first year of journalism. She is excited to write about activities and news surrounding M-A and the local community. In her free time, Jenna likes to create art and hang out with friends and family.

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