Power Suit: Nikki Portman
By Erika DellatorrePublished August 1, 2012
Just three years ago, an open air flea market was but a vision for Nikki Portman, who dreamt (during a Brooklyn snowstorm) of thousands of people flocking to a hip, urban vintage market.
Now, the founder of Columbus Flea has seen her event become a reality, a community staple held each fall, spring, and summer.
Portman, who is the granddaughter of former Columbus City Councilman M.D. Portman, has always aimed to put her own stamp on supporting local.
“People can enjoy themselves at Flea and not only feel good about supporting local through their purchases but also extending beyond that in other ways,” said Portman, who pays special attention to vendors that support charities. “This year food vendor Freedom a la Cart will be joining us and their proceeds go toward supporting and empowering victims of human trafficking here in Columbus.”
Summer Flea commences on August 5th at its new location outside the recently opened Seventh Son Brewing Company (1101 N Fourth St.). Flea-goers can navigate through the rows of handmade jewelry, artwork, antiques and crafts and hunt for treasures among 50 merchants. Freedom a la Cart and Blue Olive will be on hand to serve up eats for famished treasure hunters and summer sips will also be available to keep savvy shoppers cool.
How would you describe your personal style? My style is a mix of modern and vintage that makes my personal look unique. I enjoy shopping thrift and secondhand stores for vintage pieces, both locally and beyond, to incorporate into my everyday look.
What is your best Flea find to date? I purchased a great handmade leather bag from designer Mia Stone at SoleBird. Also, I adore art prints by artists Meagan Alwood and Aaron Troyer so when I spotted them at Flea, I stocked up on prints for my home.
What are some of your favorite Columbus pastimes? I like to have dinner dates with my friends. Some of my favorite places include The Rossi, Giuseppe’s Ritrovo and The Top. I also love a good backyard barbeque.
What is your idea of a dream vacation? My dream vacation is the perfect balance of relaxation and adventure – and if there is water close by, that’s a bonus.
Do you have any tips for a first time Flea-goer? Arrive early and be prepared to spend quite a bit of time; there are many booths to navigate and other attractions to see. Also, it’s a good idea to purchase a signature Flea Bag to tote all of your fabulous finds; profits for the bags benefit the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. Just have fun and keep your eyes open for treasures as well as prime people watching.
Portman is pictured wearing a Stones dress from Ladybird and Matt Bernson sandals.
Shot on location:
716 N High St.