Just when you thought the Leslieville Flea was over for the year…the Holiday Flea is returning for its sixth year December 8–9 at the Jimmie Simpson Recreation Centre in Leslieville, and we couldn’t be more excited! Get ready to shop vintage + handcrafted goods from 50+ vendors, purchase homemade baked goods, listen to carols performed by UofT’s Glee Club, and take a selfie at the old-time photo booth. (All proceeds go to CAMH!)

In anticipation, we caught up with one of this year’s featured vendors, Natalie Mulick of The Border Vintage.

SDTC: Describe who you are and your biz.

NM: My name is Natalie Mulick. I am the owner and creator of The Border Vintage. This vintage houseware venture is both an online business and a business I take on the road to markets across southern Ontario. I have always had an eye and passionate appreciation for eclectic and everyday pieces from the past and am fascinated by the history and stories attached to each piece. 

Customers often tell me that the pieces I collect remind them of their childhood or of people and places from their past. I always think how cool it is to be bringing back a little history at a time when everything feels like it’s in fast forward. This is ultimately one of my favourite parts of this business: the nostalgia and getting to do a little time travelling.

When and why did you decide you wanted to work independently or begin a new venture?

The desire to be in the entrepreneurial world came to me about five years ago. My husband and I struggled with infertility. For as long as I could remember, I wanted to be a mom; however, when I began to realize that it might not happen, I started to look at my life differently. I had experienced a very serious ectopic pregnancy during one of our IVF procedures. During my recovery, I discovered what really mattered to me. I stepped down from my supervisory role and started to focus on things that fulfilled me on a deeper level. 

Life is full of surprises, and one of those surprises was a pregnancy and, soon after, the birth of our daughter, who is now four years old. I wanted our daughter to see that I am as passionate about doing something I love as much as I love being her mom; hence, the beginning of The Border Vintage. I am lucky to be surrounded by strong and experienced female business owners that have helped guide this passion into a reality.

Where do you work now? Is it a full-time or part-time job?

I am a full-time mother to my daughter, and I work part-time for the town of Newmarket.

What was or will be the tipping point for you to turn your side hustle into a full-time reality?

I would love to make The Border Vintage my full-time career but I have so much yet to learn! Presently I am learning the art of putting myself out there getting into more markets, being more of a presence on the vintage scene, and learning the ins and outs of the social media aspect. Surrounding myself with other female business owners is such a great way to learn and move my business forward in the hopes of it becoming my full-time gig.

Follow The Border Vintage on Instagram.

The Leslieville Flea is a curated flea market in Toronto’s east end. This popular market attracts entrepreneurs who are making their dream job a reality. Whether it’s a side hustle or a full-time gig, the Leslieville Flea applauds the courage of the small biz entrepreneur! The Leslieville Flea Holiday Market is taking place December 8–9 at the Jimmie Simpson Recreation Centre in Leslieville. For all the details, go here.