BONNERS FERRY — Many of the basements under the businesses of downtown are spooky places full of cobwebs and dust, but not at Under the Sun. Bright and stocked full of ‘finds’, the flea market might be reminiscent of the basement under Taft’s Variety Store.
Ever since Jack and Shelly Yount opened Under the Sun in 2006, two of their daughters and co-owners, Kendall Yount and Kynsie Pauls, have been thinking about utilizing the basement as retail space. A flea market was the answer.“It’s fun to share our finds with people,” says Pauls. “A love of junk and good things.”
“We’re always picking up weird stuff,” says Kendall Yount. “This is an outlet to get it to people.”The flea market is where they sell extra items from the store, broken items, antiques, their personal finds and items they have worked on and redone.
“The clothes have been a great market,” said Pauls. Some of the items don’t fit upstairs or are single items left. Many of the items are marked down, but it is not a garage sale, said Pauls. All the items are really nice and they price as the item deserves.
The flea market is also an outlet for the furniture they redo. Since new furniture is not in the budget for many people, they are reworking antiques by painting with chalk paint. Chalk paint by Annie Sloan is a mineral based paint that creates a cool texture and a distressed, old look explained Kynsie.
Under the Sun is the only retailer in the area to carry chalk paint by Annie Sloan, with the next nearest in Spokane. Kendall said they are honored to have been chosen to carry the paint. Their excitement with the paint carries over into the paint classes they teach. Some of the previous classes have covered chalk painting in general, painting lamps and cupboards. All the classes are taught in the basement.
“They’ve been a really big hit,” says Kendall. “All the classes are different.”They are able to paint the furniture in the basement because their dad, Jack, fixed the elevator so they can move the furniture easier, explained Kendall.
The elevator is one of the features remaining from Lindsay Helmer’s Hardware Store, which previously occupied the building. Kendall explained there are still measurements on the basement floor where rope was measured and cut. They have kept many of the hardware bins, including the labels, but have filled them with their own unique finds.
Even though their basement is one of the few finished basements downtown, including a concrete floor, Kendall explained it needed a deep cleaning and lights before the flea market could open. The underground flea market’s grand opening was Thanksgiving weekend. Kynsie said they have seen new people every weekend and they continuously stock the basement with new items.
“A flea market is fun in the middle of winter,” said Kynsie. “We really appreciate all the support from the community…branching out to do something out of the ordinary.”The flea market is open the first and third Friday and Saturday of each month from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.