This past weekend in my home town of North Canton, Ohio I was part of a group of volunteers who helped set up for a brand new local creative event. A downtown parking lot was transformed into a fun filled market featuring artists, musicians, food trucks and lots of happy locals walking dogs, pushing strollers and enjoying a sunny Saturday. The whole market concept was the brain child of my good friend and her husband, Lynn & Dave Shimko. They are not event planners by trade but are talented in noticing what is needed in an area and they know how to have fun. The name 720- refers the last 3 digits of our 44720 zip code. The Shimkos are passionate about their local town, which is very football oriented (the NFL Hall of Fame is here) and their enthusiasm was catching on.
They started spreading the word at our local tennis club (where we first met) and the interest just grew and grew. People were talking about it at many different gatherings, but not really understanding the whole concept. They had a few restrictions for the vendors- and wanted handmade local artists and musicians. Well, they booked 50 vendors, had 6 food trucks, 1 local craft beer truck (donating a percentage to the local Jaycee club) 3 rotating musicians and all in all 2,000 people showed up! Food trucks sold out of their food and many vendors cleared their booths of product. Everyone was inquiring about the next market and how they can sign up to be a vendor.
About 4 months ago Lynn approached me to see if knew other local artists who might be interested. I decided to tell my daughter Lindsey who sews coil baskets out of rope. This was going to be her first public market although she has an Etsy shop and sells her products online. Lindsey arrived home one week before the market from college and sewed her heart out in my studio all week. I prayed for nice weather while she focused on the product.The day arrived, the sun was shining and the market was a busy. She sold almost all of her baskets, trivets and coaster sets. It was a proud moment for me as a mom and as a business owner to watch her interact with the customers explaining how she creates her coil products.Did I mention she is only 18 years old? She created her logo and purchased an ink stamp with the logo which led to the digitized logo that I embroidered on simple black hats the day before the market.
Her successful first attempt at this market really has us excited for the rest of the summer. I think my sewing room is going to be very crowded the next few months!
Through my business I handle screen printing and therefore created the t-shirts for the 30 or so volunteers. They selected a great bright teal color for the shirts which makes it easy for vendors to spot us if they needed help or a bathroom break throughout the day. Friends and family of Lynn and Dave arrived at 7am to help set up tents, position picnic tables and place trash cans as needed. Coffee and donuts always put volunteers in a good mood I might add.
Is your home town in need of fun and creativity? My advice to my fellow embroiderers is to take a chance this summer and maybe create a market or other type of show yourself and include other artistic vendors. If that is too big an undertaking, participate in a local market or art show to feature your embroidery. You never know until you try.
Enjoy a coupon to use for my Craftsy class “How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business”.