The Metal Flea Market is a second-hand metal store based in Finland and America. Whilst we were last in Finland, we caught up with the Finnish side of the store to find out more.
Can you introduce yourself and tell me about the business?
My name is Lia and I own a business that sells second-hand metal merchandise, music, shirts and all kinds of stuff – and it’s called The Metal Flea Market.
Where did the idea for The Metal Flea Market come from?
It came from a very basic idea…I have so much metal stuff that I don’t listen to any more, and I’m kind of broke! We started thinking that maybe we could sell what we have on eBay and see if there’s some kind of demand for this kind of thing and to see if we want to make this a thing, or if we just want to get rid of some stuff.
How did it all come together into something more than an eBay store?
Well, me and my partner had done the eBay thing for a few months, and came to see that it does work and people are looking for cheap old stuff, and it’s a niche that wasn’t really filled by anything. So we were like sure, let’s make a proper business and become business partners – and it’s relatively cheap to become an entrepreneur in Finland. We’re still not sure if it’s going to work out, and if it doesn’t then it’s not a big deal.
Hopefully it will though!
Yeah, me too because I really enjoy it!
Obviously the business has only just gotten going, but in the future would you want to expand the business to sell anything else?
Well, my wish is to stock everything because the more you stock, the more you sell! But I would like to have more black metal stuff in general – being in Finland and having friends who are more into their melodic metal means I tend to have a lot more of that kind of stuff and don’t have a good selection of darker or more niche stuff. So in the future I’d like to have a bit more variety with my offerings.
Who would be your dream client, if you could work with anyone?
To be honest, to me my dream client is simply someone that lets me know everything is alright – it’s important to me because I’m kind of anxious about things not going well and people not being satisfied with the service so to me, a dream client to me is someone who simply tells me “I got my order and it was great!” and shares our business with their friends.
What are you most proud of achieving so far?
Honestly, the fact that there’s people around the world that are telling me “I got my stuff and I took a selfie of myself wearing my shirt that I couldn’t find anywhere else!” makes me feel proud. We haven’t achieved anything really big right now but the little things make me really happy. It’s very satisfying from my point of view to know that there are people we’ve made a little bit more happy with our little business.
So what’s the furthest place away that you’ve sent something to?
I’ve sent stuff to pretty much the whole world! I sent one thing to this dude in Korea who was really happy about this Helloween CD that I’d never opened and he was like “oh my god, I’ve finally found it and everything was perfect!”
We’re also friends and are affiliated with Halsa Dress, who makes band t shirt modifications, so we’ve sent stuff to her in America – and it’s always really cool to see her make pretty things from things she gets from me.
Where do you hope to see the business in five years from now?
Still going, hopefully! (laughs) A dream of mine is to actually have a physical store…I don’t know if that’s ever going to come to fruition because to be honest, the online setup is much easier and cheaper to handle – but if it does work out I would like to have a little store for local people, and I could also use it for my stock so that I don’t have to store everything in my house and keep it from the cats! I also really like working with people, so I’d like to be able to do that.
I’m also thinking that if it does work out, I would like to be able to organise a small festival or maybe even a physical flea market somewhere, with people coming from all over Finland to sell their stuff. It would be really nice to create something like that.
And finally, what are your plans for 2016?
Just to keep going, keep growing, keep making friends and try to do our best…we’re just seeing where this adventure will take us! We’re still a really young business as we’ve only just started out, so we’ll see what 2016 has to offer!