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Blown away by hot deals

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Tents flew, glass broke and the wind kicked up dust while more than 2,000 shoppers enjoyed the Vintage Market this past Sunday. Rows of tents and tables were set up by vendors with vintage antiques, accessories and collectibles on Sunday, Sept. 25.

More than 130 vendors and about 2,000 shoppers enjoyed the vintage market despite the heat and dust storm that started around noon. Tents were flying and glasses broke due to the wind and dust storm that caused the market to close earlier than usual.

The vintage market was at Pierce College from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Parking Lot 7. The entry fee is $3; children 12 and under enter for free. Pierce College students and staff get $1 off admission.

Patrice Curedale, one of the co-founders of the Topanga Vintage Market, has organized the flea market since they started in 2012.

“We get here really early, and vendors come at around 5 a.m. to start setting up,” Curedale said. “We try to have everyone ready by 8 a.m.”

According to Curedale, the market was originally located at the Westfield Promenade before they moved to Pierce College in 2014 because there was more space to accommodate them.

The market also host contests on Instagram. Visitors could post a photo and use the hashtag #TopangaVintageMarket for a chance to win vintage bucks and use the coupon on their next visit.

“We call it insta vintage. If someone is on Instagram they could take a picture, post it from the market, and tag Topanga Vintage Market,” Curedale said. “We would pick our winner toward the end of the day. You can win $20 in vintage bucks.”

This contest is how the market tries to engage its customers, reminding them when the next vintage market is going to be.

“We want to have more participation,” Curedale said. “(We want) to build a whole community with Instagram and Twitter. We really do want to create a connection with the seller and buyer.”

There’s an artisan section where people can find local creative people, unknown to most, that create items that cater to specific tastes.

Christina Humphrey, a vendor at the market, lives in Woodland Hills and sells handmade crystal jewelry. Humphrey heard about the Topanga Vintage Market from her friend who also sells at the flea market.

“I’ve been doing this for about 5 months. I also sell on Etsy, called Enchanted Gemporium,” Humphrey said. “This is actually my first time selling anywhere. I haven’t sold anything yet, but it’s really fun talking to people.”

This month’s live entertainment was Roberto Jimenez. Jimenez performed at the restaurant Follow Your Heart in Canoga Park before Curedale asked him to come perform at the vintage market.

“We saw him perform at Follow Your Heart and we were thinking, ‘Wow, I wonder if he would perform at the vintage market,’” Curedale said. “And I think they’re doing pretty well because all the musicians that perform always want to come back.”

There was also a live acapella group, named “Unplugged,” composed of eighth grade students from Topanga, California, that performed original songs and covers at the market.

Shane Liliedahl is the acapela group’s teacher and beatboxer.

“We’re a pretty new group. We’re trying to raise money so we can use for things for our group, like matching uniform t-shirts, traveling and maybe make a CD,” Liliedahl said.

The group also has a social media account they are trying to promote on Instagram named official_unplugged.

Michael Gregory, another vendor at the market, set up at 5 a.m., and has participated with the vintage market since 2012. Gregory calls his collectibles “Mantiques.”

“I call it Mantiques because what really got me started was vintage knives and old watches and pocket watches,” Gregory said. “But then I got into vintage cameras.”

Gregory also sells at the Rose Bowl and Long Beach flea markets.

“I slept from midnight to 2 a.m. That is the real life of a swap meter,” Gregory said. “This is close to my house; it’s convenient. It’s kind of a smaller, homey feel than the other flea markets I go to, like the Rose Bowl one. It’s nice to come to a smaller one once in awhile.”

According to vendors and shoppers, the Topanga Vintage Market is one of the best flea markets in the San Fernando Valley.

Kevin Marchessault, from Agoura Hills came to the vintage market to look for antiques, but to also make sure his wife didn’t spend too much money.

“We’ve been coming for years, since it’s been at the Westfield mall,” Marchessault said. “We come to look for mostly antiques, they have a really good selection here. My wife already bought something, I think she got a great deal.”

Curedale describes the market as unique, rare, inexpensive and reasonable.

“We have our regular vendors, but each month there are new people here too,” Curedale said. “It’s part of the fun and keeps it fresh getting new vendors.”

Vintage antiques, delicious food and live music is what brings the customers and the friendly vendors is what brings them back.

The next Topanga Vintage Market will be on Sunday Oct. 23, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. located at the intersection of Victory Blvd and Mason Ave.

“What else are you going to do on a Sunday morning,” Marchessault said. “We’ll see just about everything before we leave.”