Worst Case Scenario

Well, the unthinkable happened, and I had to cancel the Marketplace for today, June 20th.  It was a heart breaking decision, one that had to be made early on the information available. I awoke at 5:00 am, almost afraid to check the weather.  We had lost 6 vendors in the past week, 3 in the last 24 hours.  While we still had a great group of outstanding vendors ready to brave the elements, I had to make an early decision.  Several people were driving long distances, and needed to leave home by 7:30 am.  At that time, we were getting heavy downpours in Marietta, and my hired crew of tent setter-uppers were sitting in their cars.  The radar was showing several periods of severe weather, including lightning and heavy downpours, starting at 11:00 am.  Now I’m sitting at my computer, and the forecast has been changed for the hundredth time, with the severe storms starting later today.  But hindsight is 20/20, and at 7:30 this morning I had to choose.rain_drops_over_umbrella-t2

I had 2 choices— 1) Carry on, set up in the rain, and hope that the customers would come.   Many vendors have sensitive products–paper goods, glass, original paintings, clocks, etc.  Not only would the inventory be at risk, but in the case of lightning even our safety.  Should a sudden thunderstorm blow in, we would have a hard time breaking down safely and without damage.  In addition, people using the forecast to guide their decision to visit the Marketplace would see a forecast that has been changing by the 1/2 hour.  Not too many are willing to shop at an outdoor market in bad weather.

2) Cancel, and risk losing credibility and disappointing many people.  I decided that it would be better to shoulder the responsibility, take the fall and save the vendors from an unpleasant experience.  Although some were excitedly preparing for their first event and were understandably disappointed, others were relieved that they wouldn’t have to risk inventory and drive long distances to set up in the rain.

I apologize if you are a vendor who hoped to have a profitable day and were excited to show your products to a new audience.  I apologize if you are a potential visitor who was looking forward to a unique experience and cool items.  This is the most difficult part of the business, trying to read the crystal ball, make assumptions, and make decisions that impact others.

Thank you for your understanding and support—we will be back in July, bigger and better!  Stay tuned!

Why You Make a Difference

If you’ve attended a Marketplace and purchased something from one or more vendors, a huge Thank You! Your attendance and support mean more than you might realize. For starters, you “walked the walk” by adding your presence to the downtown and helped prove that Marietta is a pretty cool place to spend a Saturday. The larger the number of people frequenting the events and businesses, the more attractive the city is to residents and would-be residents. When may marketplacebusinesses realize that Marietta has a thriving, vibrant downtown, they are more likely to see the potential of locating to the area. And that can only be a good thing for everyone!

Not only did you express your support for the city, but you also validated the vendor(s) with your purchase. These talented, creative and passionate people pour their time, money, heart and hard work into their products. Some create full time; others have to steal hours in addition to their “day jobs”. When they display their products, they are putting a piece of themselves out there for the world to critique. Your purchase reinforces the fact that their product has merit, their art has beauty to someone else, and that you place a value on their work. Some of these home-based business people may be contemplating the idea of opening a brick and mortar shop. Finding a supportive, enthusiastic market in Marietta may be just the thing they need to make that leap.

Sissy Chick's Necklaces

Sissy Chick’s Necklaces

Ojala's hometown pride necklaces

Ojala’s hometown pride necklaces

Larger cities, such as Cincinnati and Cleveland, have their pop-up fleas that draw large crowds on a regular basis. My hope is that the Marietta Marketplace will be the same type of attraction for the Mid-Ohio Valley. We’d love to see people marking their calendars for Marketplace day, planning to spend a Saturday in Marietta and the surrounding area. Don’t forget, there are many unique shops, eateries and small businesses all within walking distance. Cross the street to the shopping district and walk the historic foot bridge to Harmar Village with more great attractions. Chances are, there are new shops and restaurants since your last visit. If you like to get physical, there are Segway Tours, bike and kayak rentals, or you can walk the beautiful river trail.

Your visit to the Marietta Marketplace is more than just a quick shopping trip at an outdoor market—it’s one of many ways to enjoy a very cool city! Thank you again for your past and future support.
See you at the Armory!