Behind the Scenes with Flea Market Flip
My bestie Jill and I were on HGTVs Flea Market Flip. (Episode 301: “Rocker Dudes vs. Designing Moms”). The premise of Flea Market Flip is that two teams are given $500, three projects and an hour to shop; after a day transforming their purchases, the teams bring their items to a local flea market to sell. Whoever makes the most profit wins! (Did I mention we WON?!) In an attempt to COMPLETELY wring every last drop out of this experience, I wrote about our three filming days on the blog: shopping, the workshop and then our selling day. It was the MOST fun so keep reading to get the scoop on what it’s like to film a hit TV show like Flea Market Flip!
Shopping at Brimfield Antique Show
Let’s start at the beginning, though… shall we?! This was the first season that Flea Market Flip sent teams to the massively awesome Brimfield Antique Show in Brimfield, MA. This flea market goes on forever and only happens three weeks of the summer. I was a little nervous to be headed to unfamiliar turf, but also excited to see a flea market other than my usual one (Elephant’s Trunk in New Milford, CT).
Jill and I drove up the night before (with a requisite stop at Target en route), and spent the night about 30 minutes from Brimfield. An EARLY morning wake up call had us pulling into our HGTV home-base around 6:30 a.m. There were three episodes filming on our day so there were five other teams meandering around with similar wide-eyed looks. We immediately met our awesome producer, Demetrius. His job is to make us look less deer-in-the-headlights than we felt and he was immediately friendly and fun and casual. (And handsome… did I say that?!)
Jill could win an award for her social skills so she immediately introduced herself to all of the other teams. I’m no slouch, but Jill’s like a different league. Our competition, Ryan and Dave were by far the most aloof so we were a little put off by their lack of team spirit, but we forced ourselves onto them and ultimately had a blast with their hipster too-cool-for-school demeanor. I hope that came across on the episode!
The Flip List
Okay, back to behind the scenes stuff. We were immediately grabbed for our first round of interviews where we were given our ‘assignments’: Unexpected Seating, Funk-tional, and Repurposed Item. Next they took us for our “Hero Shots” as they call them…the beginning part of the show where we’re standing all ‘lets-get-our-flea-on-b*tches.’ We were nervous and cold and clueless, so I’m amazed that the editing room could find some semblance of usable footage. We were also staring directly into the rising sun for most of these shots so I was expecting my squinty eyes to make me look even more like a rookie. And it was freezing so were were nervous and trembly and wired.
Ours was the last episode to shoot so we actually had the whole morning to kill. We were allowed to wander around but we could absolutely not engage with any of the vendors to put things aside, ask prices, etc. And as we quickly learned, this time to peruse did nothing more than elevate our pulse as each time we had an idea, ten minutes later our hypothetical item would be gone… but we still got to brainstorm which was helpful.
Lara Spencer has a day job filming a little show called Good Morning, America that you might have heard of so she didn’t arrive until right after lunch. It meant we all had to jump into high gear when she showed up to get our intro interviews on film along with the footage where we we eagerly race away with a stack of cash in hand to take the flea market by storm.
We were thrilled that some of the items we’d spotted were still available when it was our turn to actually film. There is definitely a sense of urgency as the one hour we are given is the real deal. Demetrius stopped us from time to time to film us coming or going from a booth and to ask questions about some of the items we had commented on.We quickly realized that we weren’t in the best position to negotiate given the posse following us with boom mics and a camera. That said, all three of our vendors were super nice and Jill quickly decided to use my unborn baby to our advantage. A pregnant girl’s gotta do what a pregnant girl’s gotta do.
Our Purchased Items
We found this dilapidated old settee, these very cool mason jars (I mean… who doesn’t love a mason jar?!) and some old lockers that had been pulled out of a local high school. (We were hoping for a few issues of Tiger Beat or at least a headshot of Ralph Macchio.)
After our items were carried back to the crew’s home base, we met with the amazing carpenters/ worker elves to make sure the right supplies would be on hand in the workshop. Jill and I were feeling pretty good about our vision for things until we got back and started talking through the ideas with the art department. What seemed so clear and articulate when we had our flea market flop sweat going earlier in the day, all of a sudden felt a little more ambitious/ lofty. Eek!
Regardless, Jill and I hopped into the car for the drive home hyped up on adrenaline, confident that our purchases were victory-worthy (at least they were crazy cheap), and SO excited for our workshop day just 4 days away.
Read more about our adventures on Day 2 and Day 3 (the finale).