The Fanciful Flea – Madison Has HEArT Helping Neighbors in Need in Madison County


When the Artic Vortex descended upon western North Carolina, most of us found comfort in the heat of our homes. But, a couple of women in Madison County had already been hatching a heat-related idea that extended beyond the heat of their own homes. They wanted to not only tell a story but to find a way to help those who did not have that refuge.


Just one example of the fabulous things you will find at the Fanciful Flea:  Landscape by local artist Mary Maupin.

Just one example of the fabulous things you will find at the Fanciful Flea: Landscape by local artist Mary Maupin.

Their mission is to help folks in crisis: those down on their luck with not enough to go around. This year those people need heat. On Oct 20, 2013 the heating assistance lines opened up. People spent the night, hoping to be first in line the next day. The $85,000 dollars allotted was gone in four hours and a third of those in line were turned away. The government can’t help everybody and these women created a way the community can step up and support their neighbors. Being extremely worried about the balance of the winter, they decided there was a way we all can do more good on our own using plain folks with the potential to get more done, for more people, on less money, and create more good will, than politics ever will.


Everyone reads about the disenfranchised people, but these women saw it at the gas pump, and the grocery. They have a face. They are not invisible to us. They are our friends and neighbors. Some of these very people are the stewards of these mountains, holding by the skin of their teeth to land owned for generations by their families. They held close what was dear to them, instead of selling out. And, so these organizers decided to say thank you and give them something so simple… HEAT.


But don’t think Madison County is just the marginalized; it is full of artisans, small business owners, teachers, service workers, Award-winning musicians such as two National Heritage Award winners, Sheila Kay Adams and Doug Wallin, both born and raised in Revere (Sodom); Alex Matisse, founder of East Fork Pottery, who just happens to be the great grandson of painter Henri, just to name a few. We are a mixed bag; a colorful community and we are in this together.


And the result of their heat-related idea grew into …


Pot by East Fork Pottery’s Alex Matisse (great grandson of Henri Matisse; yes, that one!)

Pot by East Fork Pottery’s Alex Matisse (great grandson of Henri Matisse; yes, that one!)

Madison Has Heart, and their FANCIFUL FLEA. This newly formed volunteer group in Madison County is presenting their first major fundraiser to benefit the Neighbors In Need’s fuel assistance program. Neighbors in Need is a 501 (c)(3) organization. The FANCIFUL FLEA is billed as “not yo mama’s flea market,” a combination fancy flea market, arts and crafts show and just plain ole party from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, February 15 at Marshall High Studio on the Island just across the river from downtown Marshall.


They guarantee this will be the most fun you ever had spending money. Come join the music of The Smoking Hots, Low Down Sires, Scott Bianci, Aaron Price, and DJ Jr. James spinning tasty discs on his smokin’ mobile sound grill.


Get your foodie mojo going in our Creole Café and taste the contemporary Cajun cuisine, and try out some sweets from Pork & Pie’s Chef Jaime Hernandez and Zuma’s Joel Friedman. Grab some fancy flea items, cruise our very impressive silent auction and don’t miss a shopping opportunity with our best craftsman in the county.


For FUN, BARGAINS, ART, FOOD, an opportunity to get your JIVE on and CONTRIBUTE to a good cause, come on down and see the best Madison County has to offer… a party all day long. So, please support the event. MADISON HAS HEArT and FANCIFUL FLEA. February 15, 2014


If you would like to donate to the Fanciful Flea, click here.

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