Glasgow Independent, Vintage & Flea Market in Barras, Kelly Conway

Kelly Conway moved from London to Glasgow in early 2017 after falling in love with the city after a short visit. She first lived in the Barras Market area and has since moved to the West End of the city, as well as organising the markets, she undertakes freelance event planning. 


[Published Feb 2018]

‘My idea behind the creation of the Glasgow Vintage & Flea Market was really a formation of 2 ideas, the first being creating an event which helps younger people to get into Antiques, Vintage & Second Hand items. I myself have been involved in Antiques since I was a child, 4 generations of my family having been involved in the trade and I found myself to be one of the very few young people involved in the trade and I really wanted to change this and also the attitude to the industry as a whole. It is a somewhat dying trade with a lack of young people involved and traditionally thought of as an elitist industry to get involved in but one that be hugely rewarding for creative individuals and for sole traders extremely easy to get into and set up a small business.


The second reason behind the formation of the Glasgow Vintage & Flea Market was my passion for social history, and more specifically the history of The Barras Markets and markets as a whole. The Barras market has such a rich history and many people in Glasgow remember it as the place to be on the weekends for shopping, with the emergence of high street shops and shopping online and the general disrepair in the area meant that this rich history began to dwindle and sole traders suffered as a result. The Glasgow Vintage & Flea Market celebrates the pleasure of buying from a passionate stallholder, someone who loves their craft, finding a unique item and learning about its history. A whole new audience to the Calton & Barras area has emerged from the Glasgow Vintage & Flea Market with nearly 2000 people through the doors on the first day. The community in Calton have been such a source of help and support for my market and myself.


Not only is the market giving outlets for income for sole traders in the area, becoming one of the most successful small business incubators in the city it is also encouraging people to become involved in and explore the community. The market creates income, attracts visitors to a previously thought of ‘no go zone’ for some, it is becoming a tourist attraction and many will travel from far and wide just for the market and a new chapter in the Barras and Glasgow History.’