Los Angeles Times

'A win for the community'

NEWPORT BEACH — Driving down Tustin Avenue, it's easy to miss the small garden and courtyard hidden behind the Seaside Realty and Financial Services office.

Unless, that is, it's the second Saturday of the month.

Tables spilling over with a brilliant array of fresh cut flowers, shell-encrusted mirrors, hand woven scarves and original oil paintings mark the entrance of the Pelican Courtyard monthly pop-up flea market, where customers overflow into the street.

"It's like a French market — very brocante," said Newport Beach resident and market vendor Ilona Werner Martin of her eclectic wares, which she has been selling at the market since summer.

Martin's table, which sat beneath the entrance to the market on Saturday morning, offered novelty wooden spinning tops, vintage home decor and her original paintings.

"It's been really terrific," said Martin of her experience at the market. "You're adding something to your community. I doubt that anyone who is coming here has a large income — they're here to be a part of the community."

In the heart of the about 20-vendor market, there is the aroma of coffee and fresh scones mingling with the scents of lavender and vanilla from a soap vendor.

Tables offer hand-crafted jewelry, apparel, art and other unique items.

"I think this is really well done," said Newport Beach resident Gay Lynn Clasen, who had come to shop in the morning after seeing a Daily Pilot calendar listing for the market.

"There's a nice mix of vendors and a high quality of products," she continued. "It's fun seeing the artists and being able to talk with everyone."

The Pelican Courtyard flea market, at 124 Tustin Avenue, was started by Newport beach resident Kathy Shaw in June, after seeing how popular the boutique was stemming out of the annual Newport Beach home tour, she said.

"There are so many great vendors," said Shaw. "And so many great, talented, creative women here and we need to support them."

Shaw — who along with her husband Tony own Seaside Realty and the courtyard — said that the market was mutually beneficial for the vendors and for increasing exposure to the courtyard.

The small, tucked-away courtyard with lush vegetation, a fountain and loose stone pathways, also is booked out for private parties and weddings.

"I think it's a win for the courtyard, a win for the vendors and a win for the community," Shaw said. "We need to start bringing business back to Mariner's Mile."

sarah.peters@latimes.com

Twitter: @speters01

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