This whole blog is the first time i’ve ever done something like this and I feel like i’ve learned a lot. Aside from learning how to build a site, I found piecing together analytics and what works to be the most interesting part. I was pretty surprised with the results. The first week I started this site in February had the most traffic. The only other week that came remotely close was exactly a month later in March.
My introductory post was also my most visited post of all time and I found that pretty shocking. It goes even further though. The tweet promoting that first post had the most impressions and engagement of all my promotional tweets. That could explain why the views were so strong early on. I’m also assuming because I’ve never made a blog before, people were more interested to see what it was all about. The following post I made was also pretty strong so that’s what pushed that first week so high.
Another interesting thing to note was the amount of people from other countries that found my blog. Again, the first week was the most diverse and as time went on it slowly decreased.
Originally I wanted to include a lot of video content in my posts, but never actually did it. That’s an aspect that I feel would really improve my site as a whole. Social media on the other hand, I feel really helped get the word out and bring people in. Most of my traffic came from my Twitter. A larger follower count would further help, but generally your followers are already interested in what you do if they follow you so they are more likely to check out what you link.
Overall, I feel the experience taught me a lot about up-keeping and using experiences to tell a story or inform people. If I were to do this professionally I would definitely try to push boundaries more and do my best to keep people interested.
This weekend I visited the Kyle flea market. After checking out the 4th flea here in San Marcos, I thought I’d also see what Kyle had to offer. The small town is only around 15 minutes away from where I live so it was no hassle at all. I had heard from some friends that it was not huge and very dense. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was excited nonetheless.
When I first arrived I was surprised by how big the area actually was. It was fairly contained, but I was expecting something a lot more quaint. The majority of the market is inside a big warehouse-like building. Outside there is a big lawn area where more vendors were able to set up shop. I began by looking around the outside booths and working my way inside.
Nothing outside really caught my attention so I went inside where over 80 vendors were. The whole inside was like something out of a movie. All the shops were constructed out of various things like wood, tarp, doors and who knows what else. It reminded me of a post apocalyptic civilization and it was actually really cool. There was even a few small makeshift restaurants. The whole look and feel of the place won me over almost immediately. I found a vendor that specialized in retro technology and antiques like typewriters and old video cameras. If I had the money I would have bought everything.
I ended up leaving empty-handed, but only because my funds could not allow for the things I wanted. However, I really enjoyed the market and I’d like to go back soon. Hopefully next time, I’ll be able to buy something.
This past weekend I visited my hometown of Laredo, Texas. While I was there I figured I’d make a trip to one of my local flea markets. There are multiple in Laredo, including one that just opened (I’ll be going there for a future post), but I went for the tried and true route. I went to the Guadalupe Flea Market, also known as, “La Pulga”.
Now this particular market is pretty contained compared to some other ones I’ve been too, but it could still hold some gems. The layout is a bit erratic because it’s situated in a large lot area close to downtown and there is also a section that is inside a small building. The vendors are nice and quick to answer any questions. Overall, the feeling I get from this market is a very homey one, but that could also stem from me growing up around these people.
There was plenty to see, but nothing was really jumping out at me. I then spotted a funny-looking cap. It was a baseball cap with a plush fish popping out of the front, a signature on the bill and the word “Angels” on the back. I was amused, but I decided I’d keep looking and maybe go back for it later. I continued on for a few more hours with nothing to show for it. I ended up going back and buying the hat for $2, which was totally fine by me.
The hat itself grew on me the more I inspected it. The main draw is definitely the oddly colored 3D fish. I could only come to the conclusion that it was for some sort of sports team, judging by the Angels logo on the back. Either way, the hat makes me laugh and that’s all I could really ask for. “La Pulga” may not have had anything grand this time around, but that won’t keep me from coming back in search for more.
Last weekend my cousin and I went to the Trader’s Village Flea Market in San Antonio. It’s one of many in Texas and even sports a few amusement park rides. With over 1,000 vendors each weekend, I knew this was a great way to start my journey.
There was so much to see and do it was almost overwhelming. However, we planned a route that would traverse the aisles while covering the most ground. From toys to toasters, it seemed like there was a vendor for anything you can think of.
It wasn’t until late in our visit that we spotted it: a denim jacket hanging off the side of a clothing booth. Upon closer inspection I noticed the front pocket had writing on it: “Fat Albert.” I knew I was on to something and turned the jacket around and there was a big patch of Fat Albert and the Junkyard Gang. Elated, I bought the jacket on the spot for $15.
The jacket surprised me by it’s quality alone. The stitching and patches weren’t just added by some exuberant Fat Albert fan, the jacket was made this way. It was also a bit large, but the novelty of it alone is enough for me to wear it around.
Overall, I only made one purchase, but it was one I wholeheartedly stand by. Trader’s Village had a vast spectrum of different vendors, food, and even live music. It felt almost like a theme park. The scale and variety that Trader’s Village offers is enough to warrant multiple visits and I recommend checking it out if you’re in the area.
My name is Aaron Manrique and I am a sophomore at Texas State University. I’m an advertising major with a minor in art and in my off-time I spend my time making digital art or playing music. Creation is something I am passionate about, so I also dabble in video making, photography and anything else I see potential in. However, I do have one other notable hobby: flea market hunting.
Now this isn’t just a bargain hunt, but rather a hunt for the unknown. What I mean is that flea markets have the potential to hold some of the strangest, most interesting things. Not knowing what these types of stores sell is what really draws me to them. It is because of this I felt it would be a fun idea to use this blog to record my travels and findings.
This blog is dedicated to the oddities and rarities I find at these markets. I want to show what these places have to offer and the fun that can be had on the hunt. I also plan to record vlog styled videos to further illustrate the experience and the atmosphere around it. Hopefully, I can peak people’s intrerest and inspire them to check out their own local markets. If you want to see my travels as they happen follow me on Twitter.