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Roosevelt Row’s Newest Oddball Market, Fifth St. Flea, takes Downtown Phoenix by Storm 

Updated: Oct 31, 2023

By Alexia Hill

Behold the whirlwind of Downtown Phoenix: local art murals on every corner, crevice and surface that can allow for it, streets littered with people filtering in and out of office buildings and cafes. And at night, the city opens its eyes to play – speakeasies, bars and a constant flow of local business pop-ups, most famously First Fridays at the Roosevelt Row Arts District.

It is also home to local bar and restaurant, Tap That, which hosts the latest (and hottest) Fifth St. Flea market every first Saturday of the month. You wouldn’t expect a place like Tap That to host this kind of event, or maybe you would because after all, it’s Downtown and the name sounds like something you’d find on a vintage baby tee anyway.

The duo behind this community-sparking phenomenon, Tyler Stone and Tatum Graham, started this event series back in May as a, “closet clean out” but bloomed to an intentional creative community.


“Between the two of us we had a surplus of second hand and vintage clothing that we wanted to give another breath-of-life to by sharing it with the community,” Stone and Graham said. “We began selling our inventory at First Fridays as a small vintage pop up with one janky rack and a dream! Over the course of a full year selling at First Fridays, the overwhelming growth and support inspired us to curate our own unique platform for other creatives to share their passions.”

Their inaugural event in May had about 15 vendors and a live DJ set by Celica, hosted by Tap That Downtown, a local bar with self-serve beer and wine on tap. The result? The start of nothing short of a major grassroots event sparked in the vintage community.

“Coupled with our passion for sustainability and community, we wanted to reach a specific locally owned and family operated community. Through a network of family friends and recommendations, Tap That Downtown on 5th St. and Roosevelt, was the perfect place to land,” Stone said.

Since then, each month has seen the fruits of the duo’s labor, with anywhere from 100-250 people attending and the event series steadily growing. In August, Fifth St. Flea expanded to host over 25+ vendors, and include Bud’s Glass Joint, a neighboring tobacco and accessories store.

“Our hope for Fifth St Flea is to reach other small businesses located on Fifth St. to assist in bringing more traffic to the area while increasing room for a variety of vendors. We most recently partnered with Buds Glass Joint which doubled our amount of booths and brought tons of new customers,” Graham said. “We see this contributing positively towards our goal to occupy Fifth St as a whole and shut down the block every first Saturday of the month!”

When someone walks into the Fifth St. Flea environment, you’re transported to the heart and soul of the Valley’s artistic community. People from all walks of life come together to not just sell clothes or items, but to share their stories, make friends, and naturally, show off their killer outfits. Each vendor and customer alike almost give the air of someone too cool to talk to you, but end up being some of the most genuine people you’ve ever met.

Take a look at Caroline Davies, owner of Cherry Bomb Vintage. Davies’ table set-up was scattered with antiques both my grandma and I would love. As a person, she had a kind aura flittered with extroverted tendencies, talking with Stone and Graham when I stumbled across her table.


“I had been to a few Fifth St. Flea markets as a shopper and always left with a treasure,” Davies said. “Tyler and Tatum are the sweetest hosts ever making everyone feel so welcome. Fifth St Flea has been a great place to network and have some really meaningful conversations with complete strangers. I also loved being able to bring something totally unique to the market, my style might not be for everyone, but I still felt the warmth and welcome of Fifth St. Flea nonetheless.”

The actual garments and services being sold were just as diverse as the people. Maxi skirts, witty and ironic graphic tees, distressed DIY pieces, jerseys, Y2K purses, and Doc Martens platforms all had customers starry-eyed for more. More than just clothing, there were vendors with handmade jewelry, repurposed pieces, and handmade keychains such as Noelle Hamilton of Starchild Jewels who started her work in high school, but got to experience her first pop-up at Tap That.

“I actually have been friends with the owner of Tap That’s daughter since kindergarten and Tatum is her cousin! So I’ve followed their Instagram and saw the posts about it,” Hamilton said. “I thought it went super well for my first time ever. I was nervous I wasn’t even going to sell one thing and it was a huge compliment when I sold more than one item & people kept telling me how much they liked my stuff.”

Aside from clothing pieces and accessories, Fifth St. Flea is open to full-on experiential shopping, much like Joseph Leed’s fusion of businesses, Inversion Studios and The Great Divine. Leeds is close friends with Graham and Stone, and creates an entire environment with his vendor space.

“It consists of a whole living room full of furniture as well as racks full of curated vintage pieces to create a groovy yet modern lounge for guests to chill in and enjoy Oracle card readings,” Leeds said. “My experience at Fifth is always incredible. From the hosts’ help and support, to meeting so many amazing attendees and shoppers, you can guarantee that every first Saturday of the month everybody is at Fifth St. Flea!”

My time in knowing Graham, Stone and attending Fifth St. Flea has been something I’m proud to be a tiny part of. Their event series will only continue to grow from 5th St. and beyond, cultivating the creative community through their intentional emphasis on fashion, sustainability and authentic open-mindedness.

“Fifth street flea expands on the notion that shopping locally isn’t a novelty or special occasion, but a real way for real people to sustain themselves financially. Fifth street is providing opportunities for the creative collective to expand and grow and in turn helping put Phoenix on the map as an arts and cultural hub,” Leeds said.

Graham and Stone emphasize the intersection and importance of fashion in our culture, but also how their various vendors of all mediums and passions are what truly sets Fifth St. Flea apart.

“Fashion has always been a way to communicate your own unique story to the outside world without saying a word. A strong fashion presence in our community has the power to inspire others and continue pushing the evolution of fashion as we build and grow off each other,” Stone said.

They hope to be a part of the city’s plans every First Saturday of the month, and have been doing a damn good job at making that happen.

“Clothes have a massive influence on how we are viewed by the world. I like to make a statement and be very outward about who I am, what I value, and my beliefs. I think fashion also goes beyond just the clothes and accessories we wear, it includes mannerisms, etiquette, and our attitude towards life,” Graham said.

Fifth St. Flea’s next market will be on Saturday, Sept. 2 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Tap That Downtown and Bud’s Glass Joint, located at 909 N. 5th St. Visit their Instagram/Tik Tok accounts: @FifthStreetFlea @TylerStcne @Taytuhm for updates, and visit the venues’ Instagram accounts @TapThatDowntown and @BudsGlassJointAZ for more information. 

 

Will you be attending the next Fifth St. Flea market? Let us know on Instagram and Twitter or leave a comment!

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