Olympia Flea Market, once ranked one of the nation’s best, says it’s closing for good

A paper sign taped to the window of the Olympia Flea Market announces its closure.
A paper sign taped to the window of the Olympia Flea Market announces its closure. dderrickson@theolympian.com

In 2012, Karla Davis and her husband became the owners of what was then known as the Olympia Weekend Market on Thurston Avenue Northeast in downtown Olympia.

Davis started out as a vendor in the market in 2011. When the owner announced he was shutting down the market, Davis and her husband decided to take over to keep it open.

Now the market, which was renamed the Olympia Flea Market, is closing its doors for good early next month.

“It’s not worth it,” Davis said Monday.

In 2015, the market was featured in a Yahoo article titled “The Country’s 10 Best Flea Markets for the Coolest Finds.”

“In the predictably rainy Northwest, it makes sense to flea indoors; fortunately, this 8,000-square-foot forum is so chock-full of finds you probably won’t notice the roof over your head,” Yahoo wrote.

Davis said the market has been successful in popularity and foot traffic. But the decision to close came down to issues related to people camping outside the building.

Before opening the market each weekend, Davis said she has to clean up human feces, throw away needles and pick up garbage scattered in front of the building and in the back alley.

She said she is scared to work there alone and gets yelled at by people camping when she tries to move their belongings from the entrance of the market.

“It got so bad that we had to start bringing weapons in and out,” Davis said. “We felt like something really bad was going to happen.”

Davis said she doesn’t plan on relocating the market or opening another store. She and her husband both have full-time jobs, and now they are going to take weekends off.

Olympia Flea Market is having a sale with up to 50 percent off select merchandise now through Labor Day weekend. It’s open Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Danielle Derrickson: 360-754-5445, @dderrickson3