This week I had the chance to sit down with Suzanne Teulker, a well-loved Shipshewana Flea Market vendor, and get to know her story! Suzanne owns Teulker's Treasures, a crafts and gifts business with unique handmade items.
Where are you from?
I live in Wabash, Indiana. I drive an hour and a half each Tuesday and Wednesday to sell here at the market!
What do you sell?
I make and paint signs, wooden blocks and letters. I also try to figure out things to paint on and re-purpose. For example, I like painting on old suitcases, saws or windows that people can use for decor. I also make jewelry. I've always said, 'Painting is my job; Jewelry is my hobby.'
What makes your booth unique?
People seem to like my creativity. Also, every item is original because it's handmade. Each painted sign is free-handed, so you'll never see another like it! Truly one-of-a-kind.
How did you get started selling your crafts?
I've always liked to paint and make things. I used to be in 4-H, and took all the art classes I could in high school.
I started selling my crafts full-time 27 years ago after I had my second child because I wanted to work at a job where I could have my children come with me. It's nice because you can set your own hours and schedule. Back then, we lived in Brownstown, Indiana, and my husband and father were also involved. They used to help do all the woodworking. I would do weekend craft shows, and we opened up a shop at our home.
This will be my fourth year (I think) selling at the Shipshewana Flea Market. I also do the fall and winter craft shows in the auction building. Having a booth at Shipshewana was a bucket list thing for me. I wanted to try it, and it worked! I can do weekend craft shows elsewhere and come here every Tuesday and Wednesday for the market.
Now, we live in Wabash and have a store there too. That's where I make most of my products. My daughter is fourteen years old and she helps me sand, paint and base coat the signs. It's great.
What is your favorite thing to make?
I love painting on windows. It's a blank slate.
The most popular items this year are my letters. I've got a couple of different sizes. People also love the saws and the wooden candle blocks.
What do you like most about being a vendor at Shipshewana Flea Market?
I love the amount of people that come through here from all around the world.
Why, in your opinion, should people shop the flea market?
There are so many unique things here.
Do you have any advice for new vendors?
Be patient. I'm in my fourth year and I've started noticing that people are coming back just for my booth. It takes a little bit to build that audience. Also, make sure you are selling a variety of items,and not just one thing.
You can find out more about Suzanne and Teulker's Treasures on facebook. Or, visit her booth at space number 413! Look for the cute red trailer with lots of signs and wooden items out front.
Have you ever thought about selling at the Shipshewana Flea Market? We accept new vendors all of the time! Try it for a week or a month and see what you think! You can also read some more vendor spotlight stories, or download a PDF of vendor testimonials.