Traditionally the circus has been a limited engagement. It rolled into obscure towns, dazzled the populous with a few tricks and some freaky behavior and quickly moved on.
So it was to be with The Flea Circus in Collinsville. Born out of the tragedy of their mother Rachel Veleas’ death, the Arrasate siblings planned to operate the business for just a few months, mostly to pass on some of what she had collected over the years.
But they weren’t afraid to have some fun too and continued the art and music traditions of 101 Main St., participated in town events and paraded in costumes no matter what the month.
However, the venture has been fun and has worked from a business standpoint, said April Arrasate, who runs it with her brother Chuck Arrasate and sister Samantha Arrasate Boland.
“We never intended to stay here but it’s fun and it’s viable,” April Arrasate said. “It’s worth it to stay here. We love this space.”
April Arrasate also plans to make the space work from another standpoint.
A licensed attorney, she plans to convert a small area for that work as well. Currently, she most freelances, writing briefs for other attorneys and firms but is keeping her options open.
As far as the Flea Circus, she said the plan is to continue the Friday night art showings in the vault, which are usually accompanied by live music. Shows start Friday at 6 p.m. and go until “it’s not fun anymore.”
The store will also continue to sell used items, many practical. April Arrasate said she feels there are so many quality items that reselling works, not just to make a few dollars but to keep them in circulation and create less waste and need for newer items.
The business will also sell on consignment and people can drop by with smaller items or call first with larger collections to see if its something the business could use. She hopes it will also help keep things fresh
“I want things to cycle through quickly,” April Arrasate said.
The family has strong ties to the area. They grew up in Farmington, now own a rental home in town. Chuck has lived in Collinsville since the late 1990s.
And while one chapter of their lives has closed, they made the best of it.
April Arrasate said. “We said we could go though stuff crying in our own home or we could go through stuff and have fun and be in the middle of a cool town.”
The Flea Circus
- 101 Main St., Collinsville
- (860) 693-6375
- Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday — 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Friday —11 a.m. until it’s ‘not fun anymore,
- Saturday and Sunday — 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.