Something Different This Month

The Marketplace will be a bit different this month!  Because a number of vendors had to withdraw from the lineup, the event was in danger of being cancelled.  I had already refunded fees and notified the registered vendors.  But there were enough committed that we decided to move forward, especially since Marietta College was coordinating Family Weekend from the Armory and the day was going to be full of energy downtown.  Currently over a dozen vendors are registered, with more being added.reclaimed-in-jesus-name

So the event is not a true Marietta Marketplace, but we are calling it the Fall Marketplace.  The event will run from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm and you will find some of your favorite vendors, along with some new ones.  You will also see the trolley making stops at the Armory as students and families discover the charm of downtown Marietta.  There will be activities and promotions encouraging participants to engage with the shops and businesses while also enjoying the points of interest in the area.

It’s a perfect way to kick off the autumn season–a lovely day outdoors shopping and connecting with the friendly people of Marietta.  Hope to see you at the Armory!

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Live Music This Saturday!

We have an extra treat for visitors Saturday–not one, but two talented local musicians performing live!  Corey Shields will begin around 10:30, and Traci Goode will play after lunch.

Corey is a self-described simple folk musician from West Virginia, who writes and sings “simple songs from the heart”.  He recently released “Only Questions” and he’ll have copies of his CDs on hand Corey shieldsto purchase.

traci goode

Traci is another popular performer in the Mid-Ohio Valley, singing “simple versions of songs that matter to me”.   She describes her style as a blend of eclectic alternative pop/rock/blues/folk.

You can enjoy the sounds of both Corey and Traci right on the Armory lawn, bring a chair or find a seat on the stairs.  It’s free, just one more reason to be downtown Saturday!

Won’t You Join Us?

Finally, the wait is over and the first Marketplace of 2016 is upon us!  This is going to be the best market so far—more artisans, live music, food vendors–the Armory will be rockin’!

If you’ve clicked on the VENDOR tab at the top of the page, you’ve likely clicked on the links to check out the goodies you’ll be seeing.  Pretty impressive, huh?  There are so many talented, passionate, creative people living in the Mid-Ohio Valley and beyond–this is a great way for you to meet them in person and see their products first hand.

A few FAQs for you:

The Market will be open 10-5, rain or shine.  Only the threat of severe weather will shut us down.

It’s free to the public, even the music of Corey Shields and Traci Goode!  In addition, the Washington County Bookmobile will be on site, along with Nacho Average Taco cart and Cissy’s Kitchen food truck.  You can even purchase tickets to the Broughton Ice Cream Social–plenty of reasons to visit the Armory this Saturday!

Each vendor is a separate small business–some take credit/debit cards, others prefer cash.

If you are visiting for the first time, you can enter “155 Front Street” into your GPS.  Or, simply take I-77 from the north or south to Exit 1.  Turn right from the exit ramp, and drive through the business section (that’s Pike Street).  Stay on Pike Street, it will become Greene Street, and if you take it to the end you’ll come to a stop sign in front of the Lafayette Hotel.  Turn right, go down a block and you’ll see the Armory on your left, filled with tents.

*PLEASE NOTE – city parking, unless otherwise noted, is limited to 2 hours.  So if you do plan to stay (and we hope you do), you may have to move your vehicle before 2 hours has passed. Just to be safe. 🙂

We certainly hope you’ll join us Saturday for a unique shopping experience and a great way to interact with artists, creators, makers and bakers.  It’s also a great reason to spend some time in Marietta, you’ll find it to be a friendly city with lots of shopping and places to eat.  Stroll the river trail, enjoy the view from a shady bench, and meet some friendly people.

See you at the Armory!

New Year, New Marketplace!

Thank you for your patience, as I plan for the 2016 Marketplace events!

So what’s new for 2016?  For one thing, lower fees!   (I’ll explain why in a moment)  All artists and vendors will pay the same $50 fee for a 10 x 10 space.   And I’m sure many will be happy to know that the Armory now has indoor public restrooms!

On the down side, I will no longer be able to provide city tents and tables.  The city has re-structured their rental process, making it very cost prohibitive for me to rent and pay a set-up crew.  So like most other events of this type, you will need to provide your own tent and table.

On the plus side, Marietta Marketplace will be partnering with various events and organizations, such as Marietta Main Street, so we will have more visibility, more support and more fun!  I am working on plans to be part of the downtown Garden Party on May 14th—as soon as those pmarketplace photo (2)lans are confirmed the date will be added to the “APPLY” page.

As in the previous 2 years, we expect the same quality of artists and artisans bringing you outstanding products that are hand made, original, home grown and unique.  I’m  excited to work with so many amazing people in 2016—please join us on this journey!

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year…in Marietta

It’s Sternwheel Festival weekend, and any person living within 50 miles of Marietta knows what that means–throngs of people, festival food, live music on the floating stage, dozens of unique sternwheel boats lining the riverbank and of course the fireworks.  The best fireworks many of us have ever seen, and promising to be even more jaw dropping for this year’s 40th anniversary.  As if those features weren’t enough, there will also be sternwheel races, a classic car show, Friday night’s Merchants & Artists Walk, and numerous other activities scheduled to provide a fantastic weekend.

Photo courtesy of Holden the Moment

Photo courtesy of Holden the Moment

So when you saw a Marketplace scheduled on “Sternwheel Saturday” you may have shaken your head and wondered why.  Well, after the positive reception of earlier Marketplaces, we thought “why not?”.  Being careful not to detract from the excellent calendar of events coordinated by a hard working group of people, I thought we could offer an additional event to give people one more reason to spend the day downtown.  Scheduled from 10-4, the Marketplace will provide a unique shopping venue and a way for residents and visitors alike to experience a bustling outdoor ‘pop-up’ market.

If you are hosting out of town guests for the weekend, you probably want them to see the best that Marietta has to offer.  There is plenty of time during the day to visit the shops, browse the antique malls, and walk through the Armory lawn among the vendor’s tents.  Artists, artisans, armory lawnbakers and creators—it’s such a pleasure to meet and talk with these talented people.  I guarantee you will find something unexpected for yourself or for a gift.  Just down the street you’ll find concessions with indulgent treats, non-profits and vendors, and you’ll want to enjoy the music as you await the light show.  But from 10-4, we hope you will spend a little extra time treating yourself to the tents and booths of the Marietta Marketplace.  It’s our last outdoor event this year, and a long wait until next season!

An important part of the Marketplace this Saturday is The Great Food Fight, a food drive with Marietta College student groups collecting for local food pantries.  indexSix groups will compete to collect the most food items, and any person donating  will receive a raffle ticket for several prizes.  So please, stop by the Armory, enjoy the Marketplace, and help the less fortunate at the same time.

See you at the Armory!

Those Five Dreaded Words

I was working on a few items for Saturday’s Marketplace, humming to myself as I created some bunting with vintage linens and lace.  I had spent a good chunk of time sorting, cleaning and ironing before actually creating the bunting in different color combinations.  As I worked, I wondered if I would be hearing those dreaded words, usually whispered between friends or family members –“I can make that myself”.  A discussion thread on Etsy once asked sellers what they thought were the worsts things to hear at a show, and that phrase was right up there.

Let’s face it, most of us are guilty of it.  We’ll admire an item (and it seems more common with upcycled items) and mentally take a snapshot or deconstruct it so we can replicate it at home.  These days, it isn’t uncommon for someone to actually take a photo with their phone.  There’s a reason Pinterest is so popular!

Stephanie Orr Art

Stephanie Orr Art

But honestly, how many of us will actually follow through?  Are you going to scour flea markets and auctions for vintage supplies?  Buy the tools necessary to create? Spend the time cleaning, prepping, painting/collaging/sewing/nailing and end up with the same result?  The hours that artists, creators, bakers, and all those other small businesses and hand crafters put into creating a product usually result in a woefully small hourly wage.  Not to mention the travel, set up, fees and hard work that go into showing their products at an event such as the Marketplace.  The hourly “wage” isn’t what drives them, it’s their passion to express themselves and create wonderful things.  And I can personally testify that it takes a lot more talent than I have, which is why their work is so precious.

If you are visiting the Marketplace, you have already validated these amazing vendors and their work, and for that we thank you.  The support from people like you is important and greatly appreciated.  If you admire an item, let the artist or vendor tell you about it—their inspiration, their process, the story behind the product.  Even if you don’t walk away with the item, you’ll have a new appreciation of how it came to be.

Vendors, do you have a phrase you really dread hearing?  Please share!

See you at the Armory!

Worth the Wait!

After our June Marketplace had to be cancelled, we are more than ready to take over the Armory lawn Saturday!  With the Sweet Corn Festival just down the street in Muskingum Park, we hope you’ll spend the day in Marietta and enjoy all it has to offer.

If you’re wondering—we WILL be open, rain or shine!  The only exception is the definite threat of severe weather, such that we experienced last month with high winds and lightning.  The forecast is looking okay for this weekend, a typical hot July day.map

If you are a first time visitor, here are directions to the Armory —  If you are approaching Marietta from I-77 in either direction, you will take the exit ramp and go right toward town.  You’ll drive through the business district and stay on Pike street.  You will drive past the football stadium and soccer fields and keep driving until the street ends and you can only turn right or go to the Lafayette Hotel.  You will turn right, and now you are on Front Street.  Just a couple blocks and you will see the Marketplace on your left, on the lawn.  There is a public parking lot next to the Armory, along with street parking.  If you can’t find parking nearby, there is another public lot across Putnam Street along the bridge, where the Sweet Corn Festival will be set up. You can walk from there to the Marketplace and check out the great shops and eateries you pass.

Be sure to leave yourself enough time to explore Marietta, it’s a great little city!  From the parking lot next to the Armory, you can even cross the walking bridge to Harmar Village, another quaint neighborhood with more unique shops.

See you at the Armory!

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!

I’m Listening!

listening

If you were at the Armory yesterday for our first Marketplace of the season, THANK YOU!  Whether you were there as a vendor, buyer, visitor, volunteer or moral support—you had a part in our success!

The rain held itself to a light shower every once in a while, a blessing for which I’m very grateful.  We saw a mix of return vendors and new ones, and all seemed to agree they had a very good day.  The cello and guitar music of siblings Scott and Ella added a pleasant ambiance, and I witnessed lots of foot traffic back and forth across Front Street.

In the next few days I’ll post some photos of the event, but for now I’d like to hear from YOU.  Please feel free to comment with your honest opinion, and I want to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly!  Did you have a favorite booth?  Something you wish you had seen there?  How do you feel about the times, the location, the organization?  If you were selling, is there something I can do better?  If you were shopping, how can I make it a better experience for you?  And if you are a merchant or city official—did you see any benefit from the event?  Did your shop see more traffic?  Or did you see any negative effects I should address?

Just leave your comments, and I promise to consider each one as I move forward with the next event(s).

Junkin' Journey and Michelle Waters filled a tent with their amazing art.

Junkin’ Journey and Michelle Waters filled a tent with their amazing art.

Thanks again, see you at the Marketplace!