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New Flea Market Draws Collectors, Artisans and Lookie-loos

The new weekly event is partially a fundraiser to benefit a local high school.

Father and son Karl Bender and Karl Bender make and sell electric cigar box guitars. (Photo Credit: Arin Mikailian)
Father and son Karl Bender and Karl Bender make and sell electric cigar box guitars. (Photo Credit: Arin Mikailian)
About 50 vendors braved a scorching Saturday morning to be the first to sell their wares at the debut of the Vineland Market.

Located at East Valley High, the flea market is the brainchild of Martin Karamanyan, a former manager at the Melrose Trading Post and North Hollywood resident who wanted to benefit the community by sharing some proceeds with the school.

A longtime fan of flea markets, Karamanyan is also a big believer in the old saying that "one man's junk is another man's treasure."

"You're going to see things [at the Vineland Market] that are not in stores, you're going to have to come out to places like this to find them," he said.

This weekend's selection of vendors was a blend of collectors, ranging from army knives to Star Wars action figures, and handmade craft artisans.

A father and son pair, both named Karl Bender, was selling their homemade electric cigar box guitars.

The elder Bender says it takes him about two weeks to forge an old cigar box with a handmade neck that'll eventually become a working instrument inspired by 20th century music history.

"Back in the 1930s and 40s, during the depression, you got artists like Robert Johnson and Son House," he said. "They didn't have money to buy real instruments so they made guitars out of cigar boxes, a picket fence stick and strings."

Each of the Benders' cigar box guitars go for $425, while the price for a homemade ukulele is $150.

Despite no shortage of eager vendors, the debut of the Vineland Market was a little slow early on, but that didn't seem to spread much discouragement.

Artist Jo Alice Braswell, an artist who was looking to part with some of her landscape works, says setting up the flea market in NoHo is a good strategy that will catch on quickly.

"I think this flea market is going to flourish, but like everything else, it starts out slow," she said. "There's a lot of artists and musicians in the area and once they get the buzz, it'll flourish like the Melrose Trading Post."

The Vineland Market will take place every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at East Valley High School, 5525 Vineland Ave. near Burbank Boulevard. Admission is free and the event also features live music and food vendors.

Did you check out the debut of the Vineland Market this weekend? What did you think? If not, do you plan on checking it out?
Do not take a Lane out on Lankershim for bikes September 08, 2013 at 12:22 AM
this is a great flea market with many great vendors. Gland to see that it made the patch. I told the people at the flea market to send a email to the patch. This market will denfently grow big.
Martin Karamanyan September 08, 2013 at 11:31 PM
This Martin Karamanyan here just wanted to extend my thanks to The Patch and all the people who came out and supported me and all our volunteers. Also a reminder, this is a once a week occasion and its for a good cause, dont be shy and come say hi next week saturday Sept. 14th from 9am-5pm. And please check out our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VinelandMarket?ref=hl . We also have a twitter page you could follow us on. https://twitter.com/VinelandMarket Thanks Again! Hope to see you all there!
Jean Merritt September 09, 2013 at 12:24 PM
I did not know about it but now that I do I will definitely be there next weekend

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