SOL Puts on Queer/BIPOC Focused Flea Market


Fern Barber

Trinity Farr (she/they) sits at her booth at the SOL flea market on Wednesday, March 1 on the Oregon State Corvallis campus. Trinity was selling her artwork in the form of stickers, as well as pet portraits and she filled her commissions list at the event.

Sophia Williams: Contributing Director & Reporter

Photographer: Fern Barber

Friends, creativity and shopping?! SOL Flea Market has it all.

With around 700 people attending and vendors selling out of merchandise, is the SOL flea market the next big event on campus?

On March 1, in the Student Experience Center Plaza, “people were having the best time,” Vendor CiCi Truong said at the SOL-hosted Flea Market where LGBTQ+ and BIPOC student vendors were highlighted to sell their art. 

Music filled the air, complete with a view of over 30 vendor tables to explore, and a welcoming environment. Each table was distinct in its own way – there were handmade crochet pieces, digital art, vintage booths, all kinds of jewelry, candles, print work, stickers, and some student-owned brands. What a sight! With one general question, many seemed to pose:

“When’s the next one?” questioned Xander, vendor, and creator of Azool.

Kai Warouw, one of the event hosts, said, “a lot of people have reached out to us asking if we’re going to be continuing this. We’ve gotten really good feedback from other student staff who attended it overall seemed like a well-loved event.” 

Students want to see more of these, such as Vendor Makenna Nguyen (@iluvenigma on Instagram).

 “I would love to see events like these more at OSU,” Nguyen said. “It is a great experience not only for creators but for students.” 

This was the first ever SOL-hosted flea market on campus, and because of the high turnout, there is discussion of seeing these types of events in the near future.  

Kira Koehler and Tehani share a table at the SOL flea market on Wednesday, March 1, in the SEC plaza on the Oregon State Corvallis campus. Both artists sold hand-crocheted hats, bags, and tops.

“We are in the works of planning one right now,” Warouw said. “It’s not completely official, but we’re looking at the end of May for the next one. Right now we’re just discussing how we can take the feedback we got from vendors and implement that into our next flea market.”

Not only was creativity flourishing from table to table with lots of different aesthetics to shop from, but people were also enjoying themselves and making new friends at the same time. Vendor Tayah Whitaker (@dripbytay on Instagram) explained how this is the “perfect environment to meet like-minded people” because it gives students a space to explore creativity and support other students at the same time. 

Olive Cartwright, a vendor who makes wire-wrapped jewelry (@raidiantly.wrapped on Instagram), “loved seeing everyone’s creativity”. 

Vendor Carter Trinidad, who sold handmade candles, felt similarly, saying it was “really cool they are highlighting students of color and queer students”.  

This event gave a space for students to connect with and support one another.

Trinity Farr (she/they) sits at her booth at the SOL flea market on Wednesday, March 1 on the Oregon State Corvallis campus. Trinity was selling her artwork in the form of stickers, as well as pet portraits and she filled her commissions list at the event.

As exciting and fun as this event was, it was also very important to its hosts and vendors because this market is specifically centered around queer, trans and BIPOC artists. SOL wanted to create somewhere that was inclusive and aided in uplifting queer and BIPOC student artists and small businesses to thrive. 

People felt heard and seen, such as vendor Stephanie Elias, who feels that this event “made me feel like I impacted the community.” 

Nguyen felt similarly, saying “a key takeaway I had at the event was to always talk people up! Or even go up to people when they’re just looking around. Students come to your stand to learn about you and what you’re selling, and that’s the best way to gain a market.”

Additionally, this event is a “good platform to talk about SOL” as this network hosts many BIPOC and queer events and often “doesn’t get enough recognition” according to vendor Cici Truong. 

The overwhelming support at this event from buyers and vendors alike was incredible. People connecting, making friends with strangers, and supporting student vendors throughout the process.Students want to see this happen again and it is in the works for the future, so keep your eyes peeled for upcoming flea markets on campus next term and “continue to support small business and artists” vendor Abheer Singh, said and make friends while doing so. 

SOL is a student-fee-funded organization focusing on LGBTQ+ and BIPOC people at Oregon State University, providing support through student advocacy, educational training and ally-building among all people at OSU. Their mission is to support people in embracing their complete identity without compromise. 

To find more information about upcoming events and their working hours, check out SOL’s Instagram @sol_qtpoc_osu.


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