MADISON, AL (WAFF) - A Madison flea market is closing its doors after years of service, according to longtime vendors. Though, they tell 48 News the handling of the closure has resulted in bad checks and left them out of thousands of dollars.
For shoppers, it appears the shop is closed already. The door was locked and lights were off when our crew went by the shop Monday. Front door signage states the shop should’ve been open until 6 p.m.
“As of last week, there were no paychecks for some us and we don’t know...we don’t know," explained Karen Baldwin. Baldwin rented space for her business, Karen’s Krafty Korner, for more than 5 years at the building. "We just received a notice that there would be no checks and that there is no money.”
Baldwin says she received a $3,000 check from the owner but was not able to cash it. Other vendors share similar stories with 48 News.
Each vendor rents space inside the ‘Funky Monkey’ for a fee. Each item is tagged with a vendor-specific label. Customers generally pay at the front desk where a portion of the revenue is given back to the vendor. Many of them have yet to receive earnings for April.
Friday, vendors received a social media message letting them know the shop would be closing at the end of May. With mounting concern over “bad checks” and now the shops closing, many vendors left immediately.
“This is my job. This is my income," said Baldwin. "This is how I do things...how I pay my bills and how my family has fun. It’s a business.”
WAFF 48 News reached out to the shop’s owner. He told us he had “no comment” before quickly hanging up the phone. He did call back later Monday night, saying it will reopen under new ownership, and a new name.
There is another “Funky Monkey” location in Muscle Shoals. Owners say there is no affiliation.
Worry is settling in for vendors trying to make ends meet. Despite their current ‘misfortune,' vendors say they will find a way to push through.
“Don’t give up on us! We are not going anywhere. We want to be here for everybody, and I value my customers and appreciate everybody," said Baldwin.
Many vendors say to continue reaching out via social media. That’s where they plan to continue making announcements.