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Outlandish Co., a local small business selling a range of clothing and home decor, sets up its stand Sunday, May 2021 at the San Marcos Farmers Market.

As the Texas summer begins to heat up and the community takes in the dazzling sun, Mr. Green’s Garden Center will open its new San Marcos Flea Market on June 13, hoping to shed light on local small businesses and rejuvenate the neighborly San Marcos environment.

Inspired by the fun-loving nature of old-school small towns, Victor Figueroa, owner of Mr. Green’s Garden Center, created the new flea market where locals can enjoy drinks, listen to live music and support businesses around town. He hopes the market allows locals to meet their neighbors and small business owners in a fun, nostalgic setting.

“We’re kind of trying to start an event that can create the retro 70s vibe,” Figueroa says. “Where people just walk out of their houses to an event every Sunday — just watching all your neighbors walk out and head to the event where there’s live music every week. We’re trying to reach out to the neighborhood and connect the community, more than anything.”

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The owner of Mr. Green's Garden Center, Victor Figueroa, poses with plants he has grown Thursday, April 2021 at his greenhouse.

Mr. Green’s Garden Center operates every Sunday inside Wonder World Adventure Park as a fun educational center, offering free propagation and agricultural lessons to visiting plant lovers. Across town, Figueroa sells the plants he grows in his greenhouse at the San Marcos Farmers' Market, where he has become a well-known vendor.

As a small business owner himself, Figueroa recognizes the challenge of promoting his business while still offering genuine customer service. By implementing his flea market, Figueroa hopes local businesses can thrive within the community.

“Being able to generate $500-600 every week is very beneficial for the community,” Figueroa says. “The money is staying local; we’re buying local art, local jewelry and kind of funding these individuals as artists in our community. That’s kind of what a lot of communities lack, the funding for artists to thrive here; that’s what we’re trying to provide.”

For Audrey Robison, owner of Outlandish Co., an online shop selling an assortment of hand-made art, Figueroa's flea market will be a great way to expose her business, sell some pieces and share the face behind her brand.

“It’s such a great way, like connecting with your community, networking and just kind of being more personal,” Robison says. “You meet people face-to-face, and you're able to show your personality more, connect with them and talk to them about other things, rather than just what you’re selling, and just connect in that way. So, definitely, the personal aspect of being face-to-face helps a lot.”

Robison encourages local vendors to take part in the market, believing it will be a fun place to share their craft, establish their name in the community and get out of their comfort zone.

“It’s a really fun way to be personable and put yourself out there,” Robison says. “It always seems kind of scary to have your own stand out there, but everyone is so welcoming and willing to help you set up. So, just making those connections, building those friendships and getting plugged in is super fun and something I think everybody should try if they have the stuff to sell.”

For local shoppers looking for a walk around the block along with unique, vintage and handmade items, Robison says the flea market will be a great place to spend Sundays.

“It’s a great way to find unique [items], whether it be decorations, candles or anything,” Robison says. “It’s just fun to see that people in your community are making those things, and it’s just a fun way to support and get plugged in. Honestly, it’s just a good way to spend your Sunday too, if the weather's nice, walking around seeing all these fun crafts and hanging out.”

After a year of social distancing, Creighton Coyne, co-owner of Mr. Green's Garden Center, says a market lined up with a myriad of vendors, food trucks, music and drinks will be a great way to reignite community fellowship.

“It will overall benefit the community, being able to know their neighbors and the people that they’re living with,” Coyne says. “Especially coming out of times when everybody’s been very isolated and separated.”

Like Coyne, Figueroa hopes the market will serve as a social hotspot and aims for it to brew the nostalgia of small-town neighborly encounters. He also intends for the flea market to fill the past year's social distance with community connection.

“We’re trying to promote a place where you can just walk on in and sit down with people you don’t even know and just start a conversation,” Figueroa says. “We’re kind of trying to promote people to come on out and meet their neighbor.”

After the San Marcos Flea Market's grand opening on June 13, it will be open every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Wonder World Adventure Park. The market is free to attend and will feature live music, local vendors and food trucks.

For more information on Mr. Green’s Garden Center follow its Instagram.

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