Author: nightmarketedmonton

I look forward to each market night never knowing what compelling strangers I will meet, what I will learn and what tales I will tell. Dawn and dusk, in the light of the moon, are the times mermaids are seen. It’s ok to be captured by odd, otherworldly music…… who knows maybe you will be the lucky one see my mermaid tail. Trina Shipanoff Head Mermaid & CEO

Just A Little Time… every day.

Every day, everyday, you are the habits of what you do ever day.  It is what sings through my head as I go through my day, everyday. It is tough to stay focused on your side hustle, when there are so many distractions that turn my head at any given time. “shiny things, shiny things” …its like a bird being distracted by things that glimmer in the sun.  Summer in YEG is just one big long distraction, despite the rain.  It is truly when the city comes alive and the sun who rises and falls so early and late reminds us of what we have been waiting for all winter long.  Add to this a little vintage hunting for night market, vacation, friends and well I have not been practicing my mantra of “everyday, everyday”.

boss lady

It is 8 weeks until the next night market… which means I have no choice but to focus.  Being boss lady sounds “all that…” at least the title is cool,  although I do like Head Mermaid so much more, but lets be real.  If I do not do the work, nothing will happen.  Creating great events out of the ether is not a simple task, especially when you are bootstrapping it.  The marketing machine does not happen on its own and the skill set it takes to do this well is far from easy.  I bow to all you social media mavens out there… tough work in a landscape that changes moment to moment.

For every boss lady out there remember you are crushing it, every day one step at a time.  Hold your head up, do the superman pose, smile at your fellow boss ladies because we should all be in this together, holding each other up instead of pushing each other down.

Be bold, write your own adventures, your life right now, at this moment is the result of what you do most, what you are doing every day…. good or bad its all down to you.

What is a Night Market Anyways?

As dusk turns into night, Just A Little Night Market opens for a little summer solstice fun… all ages are welcome.

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What is a night market anyways? Ask the Head Mermaid, Trina Shipanoff and she will tell you tongue in cheek “well…it’s a market at night…and no… it is not a farmer’s market”. Everything is handpicked by the Head Mermaid.  Stroll through the  fabulous marketplace in the historic Aviation Hangar and what you will find is  one of a kind, the new, the novel, 80+ vendors who embody the spirit of what is uniquely YEG.  A little something for the babies, men & their hair…clothing, vintage… old records, chocolate, pizza, psychics, ice cream, donuts… just to name a few.

Just a Little Night Market is special, it was the first of its kind in Edmonton and their passion for bringing together people is obvious.  Uniquely Edmonton, it is not your traditional Asian market, it has the spirit of Europe… where people come to gather and enjoy the moment’s in-between, to laugh with others and get a break from the everyday.

The Head Mermaid is a certified sommelier and she often will be seen in the wine garden greeting guests new and old, sharing her laughter and wine knowledge. Yellowhead Brewery is their sole beer supplier, they are the pioneers of prairie beers. Add the local live talent of YEG, rootbeer for the kids and what comes together is a great, good place where everyone is welcome.  You might even see a mermaid…if you are pure of heart.

Why Just A Little Night Market?  We are a non-profit company whose objective is to master the art of making people happy while doing good, one market at a time.  How do we do that?  We partner with local community groups offering spaces to bring awareness to their causes, we provide opportunities for the underemployed to gain much needed paid work experiences, we work with new entrepreneurs and local talent for what is often their first experience in the private sector.  A portion of proceeds goes to Rotary and Random Acts of Kindness.

This year you will not want to miss the Hoop dancing on summer solstice or the amazing line-up of local YEG talent.

Just A Little Night market because some of the best things in #yeg are the ones you discover.

What is a Night Market Anyways?

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This is always the first question I get asked.  What is a night market anyways? I have to admit I always laugh in my head before I say ” It is a market… at night” . It seems simple.  When I think about it, I know I have been creating this space in my head for years.   I can’t expect that you have been in my head all this time.

As the day turns to night, and the drab days of routine and obligation fade away, we begin to look for something to entertain us.  For as long as I remember I have loved to entertain people, make them happy, find their joy… bringing people together is my jam, where the laughter fills the room and happiness becomes palpable.  I do not need you to bring anything … just yourself, you have been invited because you are part of my tribe. You understand that life is made in the small moments…

Just a Little Night Market is my happy place.  It is the recreation of the places that made me happy all around the world. Sure… it is hard work, takes determination and thick skin.  People like to shit on my dream and tell me how I haven’t done it well enough or good enough.  That’s ok… they were never part of my tribe in the first place.

Just A Little Night Market is a marketplace with food, drinks, music and a lot of laughter.  Without the context it seems rather mundane.

 

Living the dream …

Well, it has been about a week since my lovely virtual assistant started from way overseas… there has been some learning on both sides of the sea.  She works from 2am – 6am our time.. I thought I would not like this or not like having to rise early enough to communicate with her.  Quite the opposite, I enjoy waking up each day with a log of what was completed and seeing I have actually found a way to work in my sleep….

For all you small biz who are boot strappin’ it… Canva is your friend, Recur post works great and spend a 30 – 60 min a day on accounting, replying on IG, keeping up with the tweets … living the dream ..download

Best Virtual Assistant Services….

This week I hired my first virtual assistant from overseas.  What I am hoping for is the “best virtual assistant services”… we will have to wait and see.   When I started to write down a list of places a VA could help me (with a focus on social media as that is what I never have enough time for) the list got pretty long, pretty fast… no wonder I feel like I never have time to do anything! This coupled with 4 shiny MBA students working on my next business plan has me liking this idea of paying others to do work to free myself up.  Don’t get me wrong I do not have any more time than I did before… just less of the feeling of being overwhelmed with what I have to complete this week.

Good thing I like organizing… the project plan is my friend.  How else will I track my 10th phone call to my debit machine company to get them to finish the task ? How else will I know that a sea of pink means I have been negligent? Now if I can just find someone who wants to photograph me all over town in a mermaid costume and I am set.

Livin’ the dream… livin’ the dream … LOL

When work doesn’t seem like work….

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I have the good fortune of working with a group of MBA students who are helping me hone my business and the next steps.  Today, they made me think about my business values, my fundamental purpose, my mission… it has been awhile since I did this exercise.  The last time was when I wrote my business plan over  years ago.

There are things I do because  I have to.  There are things I do because I get lost in them for hours.  In business you should focus on what you are good at, the value you add to your business and try as much as possible to fan out the rest.  Today I got lost… in what I do best creating, inventing, planning… organizing.  It reminded me of what I should be working on and accept the painful truth that I need to hire some assistance for social media and bookkeeping.

While being lost I found this great picture of these beautiful Spanish ladies… I will find one of those dresses and I will strut around market pouring wine for others and spreading joy… another thing I am good at.

Under construction… designing for happiness

“When I was a little girl I didn’t dream of princesses and castles, I didn’t dream of my wedding, the dress and shoes..  my earliest memory with the answer to “what I would do when I grew up” was to be a business woman.  That was the moment I became responsible for my own happiness.  My parents job to guide me to think for myself, understand what would make me happy was completed.  Happiness is a feeling… and not in things.

This was the moment I began designing what happy would look like for me …the notion of wearing a power suit and driving a fast car was my idea of what a successful business person looked like. (It was the 80’s after all… so that meant a leather blue, power suit, with big shoulders)

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It wasn’t typical for women to be in business, I never seemed to notice. One of my favorite things to do growing up was discovering markets around the world, and slowly exploring all the amazing things they had to offer.  Flea markets in Greece, night markets in BC and Italy, farmers markets in Montreal, street vendors in Belize, garage sales at home…. I could spend hours doing it.  I was always trying to find a night market here at home that gave me the same feel.

That was my “a-ha” moment…. if I couldn’t find a night market,  I had to build it myself and if I built it they would come :).  It has not been an easy journey with many hills on the way.  I have some great vendors who continue to be part of my journey and for that I am thankful…”

Another day… another day

Risk-Management

Every day feels like … well to be honest the last one.  Typy Typy all day long.  The only difference between me and someone who works with job security is well just that… at any time I could make a fatal move that will end my business FOREVER… not quite the same thing for someone who has a job with an established company who will likely never go anywhere.

Some people think being an entrepreneur is sexy… “must be nice” , “how much do you make”… are standard questions. I work for less than minimum wage, I work 12-14 hour days usually 6 days a week.  I have to define my own tasks and follow through.  There is no one breathing over my shoulder to get things done…. if it isn’t done then well it just isn’t done.

What is important for us crazy folks who want to create and be in charge of our destiny is to track the little things.  It is amazing how all those little steps add up to one big step, one right opportunity at the right moment.  You do not have any boss to pat you on the shoulder and say good job.  No one will take you out for lunch or coffee because they appreciate you … and more often than not you will only hear from the clients who want to complain.  We do not live in a world where we as a standard tell people they did a good job.

It would be great if the next time you are pleased with something a business founder, owner, operator did… please tell them.  They do not get to hear it very often.

Why do we do it? working on my happiness project… what’s yours?

#happinessproject #happy #entrepreneur #bizness

If the only thing getting you through the week is Friday….

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If you start out each week counting the seconds until Friday rolls around again ….. you might want to look at what you are doing that is sucking out the joy.  Sometimes it is simple stuff, people trying to suck your joy, tasks that suck joy all day long or simply because  you stayed up too late and making it through the day let alone the week seems like an impossible task.

I stayed up too late last night…. it sucked the joy right out of me.  I may not make it… if you find my corpse sleeping under my desk.  Just leave me… it is better for everyone that way.

When its this cold all we talk about is the weather….

a23a438f1ce116b2d6d630350a1e2463--cold-weather-funny-so-funnyWell… when you starting saying it’s warming up out there because it is now “only -26 o/c” you know you live somewhere too cold for humans.  It makes it pretty easy to work and stay indoors.  That means I really have no excuse… even though I can give you a million right off the top of my head for not doing more… it never seems to be enough somehow.

Today I heard some good advice on @garyvee … if you do not want to work on it all day… you haven’t picked the right thing.  It is so true.  There were so many times in my life growing up that I tried to fit a square peg in a triangle hole… it almost fit, but I knew it did not feel right.  I kept plugging away only to leave whatever I thought “i should be doing” for something I actually wanted to do.

At the finish line the only thing that matters is “were you happy and did you make others happy?” If you think about that you might realize you do not have to change anything just because “should” told you to. Your happy is not the same as anyone else… that’s kinda the point.

What are the things you must do everyday to be happy? Figure that out and you win.

#justsayin #nightmarketyeg