Manic Pixie Dream Market: Highlighting LGBTQ+ Businesses in Los Angeles

Manic Pixie Dream Market: Highlighting LGBTQ+ Businesses in Los Angeles

With the rise in popularity of vintage clothing and local small businesses, flea markets in Los Angeles have become a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. However, due to the increasing popularity of these markets, they have become bigger, increasingly expensive, and difficult to navigate through. Because of this, many niche, community-based flea markets have emerged in Los Angeles. One of them is the Manic Pixie Dream Market.

Founded in 2022, Manic Pixie Dream Market is a flea market focused on promoting and uplifting queer artists in multiple cities. Their Instagram biography states that they are for, “the girls, gays & they,” and they host events in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Ohio. Each vendor must apply to sell at the market to ensure that the message of their brand uplifts those in the LGBTQ+ community. There are 80 or more vendors at each market, selling a variety of products either made by or for those who identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Manic Pixie Dream Market is a place of self-expression for both the vendors and customers alike. 

On Sunday, March 31, 2024, Manic Pixie Dream Market held an event in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles. 89 small businesses ranging from clothing brands, artists, and food vendors gathered in a small lot, selling their products and services. Though Manic Pixie Dream Market is smaller than the mainstream flea markets in Los Angeles, such as the Rose Bowl Flea and Melrose Trading Post, the market offers a wide variety of things to do. At Manic Pixie, a customer is able to get themselves new clothes, room decor, piercings, tattoos, tarot card readings, and the richest lavender oat milk latte all in one small place. 

Last Sunday, I was a vendor at Manic Pixie, helping promote the clothing brand Assk First, a non-profit business that donates all proceeds to sexual assault prevention education. This market was especially touching, with customers sharing their own stories of being survivors of sexual violence and others being supportive of the message of the brand. Due to all of the overwhelming support, my co-vendors and I would take turns walking around the market to look at and buy from other businesses. As an Asian American, many people in our culture have grown up with a stigma around the LGBTQ+ community, especially around women who are a part of this community. Seeing so many queer Asian American women thriving in this market gave me hope for the future. Hopefully, the stigma can be erased and LGBTQ+ people will become widely accepted in our racial community. 

I had the opportunity to learn the stories of the businesses surrounding our booth, all while telling our own. Manic Pixie Dream Market is definitely one of the hidden flea market gems of Los Angeles and the place to find an amazing community. 

If you want to know more, follow Manic Pixie Dream Market on Instagram at @manicpixiedreammarket to see if you can make it to an event soon!

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Miwako Miki
Miwako Miki, Arts & Entertainment Editor

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