Blake Adams is trying to make fetch happen.
The founder of Denver Flea, a seasonal market featuring a variety of vendors under one roof, is changing the name of the business to Fetch Markets — and preparing to open a permanent location in LoDo’s Dairy Block this May.
Adams, who started Denver Flea in 2014, said the original name was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but has caused confusion over the years.
“We were never really a flea market, but I never expected it to get to the size that it is today,” Adams said.
“The idea behind ‘Fetch’ is that we’re collecting — or fetching — what we believe to be incredible brands for people to shop at, and we also want people to come and fetch things for themselves as well,” he added.
As for the new brick-and-mortar location, dubbed Fetch Shop, the 3,000-square-foot store at 1855 Blake St. will sell goods from a rotating selection of about 20 vendors, Adams said. Vendors sign short-term leases of three, six or 12 months, and pay Fetch Shop a monthly fee that Adams said is “far lower than any other rate you can find in LoDo.”
“The goal with the retail store is to give brands the opportunity to move into a semi-permanent brick-and-mortar location and sell their consumer products,” Adams said. “We have a great opportunity at Dairy Block, because they focus on small businesses and businesses with great stories.”
Fetch will staff the store itself, and handle marketing. Instead of dividing the store by vendor, Fetch Shop will be arranged by category, such as home goods, outdoor gear or clothing.
“The space will be designed in a way that will pull people through,” Adams said. “There will be zones in the store designed to create an immersive experience — it will feel like a small-scale, highly-designed department store.”
Adams said ten vendors have committed to the space, and he’s negotiating with a handful more. The committed vendors are:
+ VERT Beauty is a “green” cosmetics store that carries natural and organic makeup, cosmetics, skincare, hair and body products. It currently operates at 3442 W. 32nd Ave in West Highland.
+ Bjorn’s Colorado Honey sells local Colorado honey and “bee-based” skincare products featuring beeswax, honey, and propolis, according to its website. Its honey farm is in Boulder.
+ LVTD Design is a high-end custom furniture design and build company that focuses on brand-specific design. The company is based at 2111 Curtis St. in Five Points.
+ Bridget Dorr Ceramics sells pottery made by Colorado-based artist Bridget Dorr. Dorr makes ceramic houseware out of a studio in east Boulder.
+ Old Pine Candle Co. is a small-batch, handmade candle company based in Evergreen. All Old Pine candles are made from soy wax, which is biodegradable, has a slower burn time and releases no petrol-carbon soot, according to its website.
+ Union Stitch & Design sells hand-sewn aprons and linens for professional and at-home chefs. Founder Melissa Gallic designs and sews each item from her home in Denver.
+ Rocky Mountain Posters sells four-color, 11- by 17-inch posters designed in the style of the Great Depression-era Federal Arts Project. The posters all feature aspects of the Rocky Mountains, including mountain towns, ski resorts, national parks and 14ers.
+ Parks Project sells national park-themed apparel and gear that “directly funds backlogged projects” in national parks, according to its website. The California-based brand partners with over 30 different conservancies across the country.
+ Oil/Lumber is a Nashville, Tennessee-based design firm focused on apparel, furniture and home goods. The brand creates 99 percent of its product line in its Nashville studio on industrial sewing machines, its website says.
+ Shigouri Woodworking is a Kansas City-based woodworking and furniture design company. The company’s website says it sells handmade, original furniture for residential, corporate and institutional clients.
Before starting Denver Flea in 2014, Adams worked in outdoor advertising, where he started a sponsored mural program that would connect artists with sponsors who would fund the installation of the artist’s mural on the sides of buildings.
He was inspired by New York’s Brooklyn Flea, which he said was creating a more experience-based atmosphere than the typical flea market.
“I realized there was no market in Denver that fit someone other than hobbyists,” Adams said. “I saw a need for a fun, entertaining environment that focuses on vendors that are outside of the typical craft world.”
The first Denver Flea was a one-day event in City Park that featured 30 vendors and was attended by about 5,000 people. Denver Flea has been hosting markets quarterly, and said its most recent one held over four weekends in December featured 350 vendors and 50,000 attendees.
The new brick-and-mortar doesn’t mean the end for the company’s pop-up markets. Its next event, Fetch Spring Market, is slated for April 12-14 at the Coors Field parking garage at 27th and Blake in RiNo, and will feature about 150 vendors.
Dairy Block, the new home of Fetch Shop, is a block-long development in LoDo developed by McWhinney, Grand American, and Sage Hospitality. Other tenants include Warby Parker, clothing boutique Blue Ruby, menswear shop and food-and-drink venues Seven Grand and Blanchard Family Wines. The Denver Post reported this week that a bazaar called Free Market will open in the former Celtic Tavern space in April.