…..From the outset it was not going to be easy. The public market category had been eliminated the year before. I was not a farmers market so I had to be a flea market for licensing, not quite the feel I was going for. Our weather limits how much time you can run things outdoors. Trying to convince vendors or ‘night market traders’ as I called them back then was a challenge… being the new kid on the block, with no track record and no backers. I will never forget the popcorn man telling me I would never make it, he would never pay my fee and I would NEVER get the city to change the hefty business license fees for “flea” market vendors and that would be on top of my night market fee. Through my work with the city the fee was reduced, and eventually eliminated as the public market category was re-instated and brought into closer alignment with farmers markets. Making my voice be heard with the city and with city council were more small steps.
THE FIRST FIFTEEN DAYS – YEAR ONE
The first season and fifteen days of business was horrendous. It was a summer of rain, not much different than the one we have been experienced this year. The first Friday, armed with one loving family member and a total of 6 vendors, we were set to launch. Promptly on cue for our opening day the sky opened up and the rain began to fall. I think a total of 10 people showed up. It continued to rain each and every Friday, just in time for night market, for another 5 Friday nights in a row. The last Friday of rain was a torrential rain sent from mother nature herself, it made the vendors tent canopies so heavy with rain they fell inwards. Some vendors were more vocal than others, some demanded their money back. Quitting was not an option, I needed to try to up attendance and vendors to meet the obligations that I had already signed up for. I was near tears, I wondered what I was thinking by adding more stress to my already chaotic life. …. TO BE CONTINUED