Thursday, April 28, 2016

Fall Market 2016 Location Announced

If you saw the last post, you know that I am going to announce the venue for the next market in this post.  If you missed the last one and would like to catch up, click here.

Drumroll please.......................



Pimperl Place, aka our home  

We had considered this all along, and after the first market, learning what we did, we feel like this is a good option.  We live on 64 acres, a little slice of heaven, with a gated entrance on Highway 31, bordering Dyas Creek. We are fortunate to call this beautiful place home, and we are currently undergoing a facelift (on the house, not ME, although I could use one too!) so that's exciting!  Another thing...if rain is in the forecast, we will simply reschedule for the following weekend.  Most events are rain or shine, so I am happy to be able to offer this option. 

The Fall, 2016 Market will be October 21 & 22, so I hope you'll mark your calendars and plan to participate, either as a vendor or as a visitor.  

What's new for the Fall Market?  I've added some categories!  We will now offer:

  • Antiques, Vintage & Vintage Inspired goods 
  • Art 
  • Fine Crafts
  • Specialty Products "Made in Alabama"
  • Farm Market Produce/Flowers/Potted Plants
  • Food

Other changes....all vendor spaces will be 12' x 12', and $50, with double spaces available for $80.  Tickets for this event will all be General Admission - $5, with kids 12 and under getting in free with paying adult.  The tickets will be good for both days.  

If you are interested in participating as a vendor, just go to the website or click here and follow instructions to apply (deadline-October 7).  Our vendors have lots of fun and I treat my vendors like I want to be treated....

Our property is wooded, with lots of trails.  I envision the event looking something like the picture below, with white tents dotting the landscape and filled with the same kinds of high-quality goods that we had in the Spring Market...and the tents will be arranged so that the market comes right up to the front yard of our home where the food vendors will be located.

Pic from The Essense of Home...this is similar to
what I envision for Fall Market, 2016
at Pimperl Place.





I will begin posting pics of the house once the exterior painting and landscaping jobs are finished, so stay tuned!  For "first looks" follow me on Instagram (downinthedeltavintagemarket)...

To learn more about the market and see pics from Spring, 2016 Market, please visit the website, www.downinthedelta.net.  Now, imagine the Spring Market with twice or three times as many high-quality vendors...it will be magazine worthy.  

Now, I need to go paint a door!  See you next time.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Recap of the First Down in the Delta-Vintage & Antiques Market-Part Two

Hello all...back to the recap of the event.  Part Two is about my experience as an event planner/promoter, what I learned and what changes I will make for the next market which will take place on October 21 & 22.  If you missed Part One, click here to read it.

I feel that it's very important to keep the market in my home county, although there are many venues that would be appropriate in neighboring Mobile County.  It's just a personal thing with me wanting to keep those tax dollars in the county that I call home, so with that said, I needed to find a venue in Baldwin County, Alabama.

Our delta is so unique and interesting, and educating folks about this vast treasure in my local area is also a goal with the business, hence the name Down in the Delta-A Vintage & Antiques Market.  I decided to hold it at a county park, Live Oak Landing, on the banks of the Mobile-Tensaw River where there is this wonderful new pavilion that one can rent. 

The pavilion is large and perfectly situated on the bank of the river providing a beautiful venue for the market.  It would provide some vendor spaces under cover and we could pop-up white tents along the side of the pavilion for outdoor vendors as well.  It is located less than a mile off of I-65, so there would be easy access and it should be easy to find.  The only items listed in the "negative" column were no public restrooms, and no way to keep people out after hours.  No problems there, as I would rent porta-potties and hire off-duty deputies for nighttime security...

While we have lots of non-profits doing events here in the North Baldwin County area, I think I'm the first for-profit business who has ever contacted the county about holding an event such as this at Live Oak Landing.  Some individuals didn't quite know what to do with me...I experienced a few bumps along the way with that part of things, but those were all quickly resolved with the help of my fabulous North Baldwin Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Ashley Davis, who worked on my behalf with the commissioners.  (All businesses should join their local Chamber of Commerce!!) In the end, they were very supportive and took many opportunities to wish us well and tell people about the market.  

What could not be resolved was the difference in fees for county services for non-profits doing events and for-profit businesses.  I made my entire budget and business plan by the information that I was given, and I'll just say that my budget was busted before we even really got started.  For that reason, Live Oak Landing, as beautiful as it is, is not nearly as attractive as a venue as it was in the beginning. If I do choose to hold the market there again in the future, at least I know the real fees and what to expect, and they now do, too.

I did online ticket sales, but tickets were also available at the event.  For this market, the online ticket sales option was a waste of time.  Not very many advance tickets sold at all, and I can't say I blame folks for not wanting to spend their money on a mainly outdoor event near the Gulf Coast where rain has a way of popping up when least expected (which we all know now, it did in a huge way!)...even though the advance tickets would save people a few dollars each.  Almost everyone who came out purchased the tickets at the event...lesson learned-forget wasting the time setting up online ticket sales option.

Early Bird Tickets with Breakfast was another option that wasn't widely appreciated.  I thought it would be so sweet to offer tickets with a great breakfast that could be enjoyed after arriving at the market, just before getting in for that first look at the booths.  That Caramel Soaked French Toast, Bacon, Fresh Fruit and Orange Juice breakfast from The Sugar Kettle Cafe was delicious, and was served at a nice table set with yellow checked tablecloth, centerpiece, and real silverware. I think there were many who wished that they had ordered the breakfast once they saw it, and it did make the ladies who enjoyed the breakfast feel special.  They let me know that they did enjoy it very much, but from my perspective, it simply wasn't worth the trouble with just a handful of people partaking in that part of the event.  

Early Bird Tickets without Breakfast was another option that I offered.  I sold a few early bird tickets, but again, I'm not so sure it was worth it.  It left vendors waiting for shoppers to come in a couple of hours later, and I don't want my vendors wishing for shoppers....so lesson learned.  All shoppers will be admitted at the same time from now on, and all at the same price.

Ticket Price was another thing that caused some issues....tickets were $8. Our poor daughter who was selling tickets on Saturday was constantly asking for more one dollar bills, as everyone handed her a ten or twenty dollar bill to purchase their tickets.  I thought I had enough change, but I never even considered that nobody would use ones.  Next event, tickets will be $5.  It will make life easier for the person at the ticket booth, and it's a little more affordable.  

I partnered with Wild Native Delta Safaris who brought their fifty-passenger boat down to the event to take people out for delta tours.  We purchased a block of tickets and treated some family members, helpers and a friend or two to a tour.  I heard it was a lot of fun and very informative.  Our granddaughter, Leah, became part of the program when the operator suggested they put her on the front of the boat with her feet dangling in the water to see if they could call up some alligators...Leah informed him that he needed to pick someone else for that because she still had lots of ice cream flavors that she wanted to try and didn't want to die just then--that child.  The boat tour was a big success, with two tours sold out, as I understand it.  A lot of people came out just for the tour...no interest in the market, so it was disappointing to see a bus full of people get off the boat and leave...I guess not everyone in the world is interested in antiques and vintage goodies.  They don't know what they're missing!

Most of the event went as planned, with the biggest problem of all being the rain, well, which caused many other problems.  Basically, Friday was a bust.  Saturday was better, but still not with the attendance expected.  I've heard from many who had intended to come, but the rain on Friday messed with their entire weekend, so they had to cancel, and some already had Saturday plans.  Anyway, while I do understand that rain is just part of life on the Gulf Coast, I will be looking for venues from now on with a little more flexibility, so that I can have a rain date built in to the plan, or an indoor venue.

Those who did come out shopped.  To our shoppers, THANK YOU!  The comments from the shoppers were all positive, except for the few who couldn't find us or those who thought it was a very long drive from Mobile.  (I had to laugh at that, because apparently some people don't venture out very far from home.  It was about a 30-40 minute drive to anywhere in Mobile from the market venue.) They were blown away by the quality of vendors and the wares offered...and I saw lots of packages leaving.  They thought it was a beautiful market.....

...which brings me to my vendors.  THANK YOU all as well, for without you, none of it would have happened at all.  You all contributed to the beauty of the event and that part of it was exactly what I had envisioned-simply perfect.  I believe I have spoken to you all, either on the phone or in a text message, but I think every vendor (except one-there's always that one...) enjoyed the experience and they were all so gracious and understanding about the problems presented by the rain. I feel like I have a whole bunch of new friends, and I'm planning lunch dates with lots of you within the next few weeks.  I simply had the best vendors in the world, and I hope they will stay with me for the next market...and the next...

I don't want my announcement about the next market to get lost at the end of this post, so I will make that announcement on my next post at the first of next week.  

Wherever you are, I hope you have a fabulous weekend!  I'll see you next time.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Recap of the First Ever Down in the Delta-Vintage & Antiques Market-Part One

Wow, what a weekend it was!  We had lots of fun (I'm throwing this in first so that it doesn't seem like I'm starting off on a negative note!) and rain...yes, lots and lots of rain, and wind....thunder and lightning, flood warnings, blue tarps everywhere....having to walk through the rain to the potty....no food, because our food vendor was working her restaurant that was having flooding and sewer issues and couldn't get away. Venue lights that worked on a motion sensor and timer that kept going off after a couple of minutes because the sensor couldn't see any motion once the vendor assigned to that area had set up in front of it...every couple of minutes, someone had to go shake their foot in front of the sensor!  The first couple of days were indeed eventful, and I'll have to end this part by saying we did actually have a few die-hard shoppers who braved the crazy weather to come out and shop! They deserve medals, I'm telling you.  And the best vendors in the world were so pleasant and optimistic about the situation, right through it all--well, for the most part--99% of them were.  I'll not talk about that one...

The Live Oak Landing "residents" came to check out the market...
Oh, and we had drama!  I'm so glad I hired off-duty county deputies to keep our merchandise secure, because on the first night, they actually arrested someone!!! Okay, the arrest part was not actually as dramatic as I'm making it sound...as it turns out, the person who wandered into our venue had an outstanding arrest warrant, so it was just his unlucky night to run up on a place where a deputy was hanging out. But still, he could have stolen something if I hadn't had the deputy there.  I didn't ask what kind of crime he had supposedly committed-I decided it was best that I didn't know.  

It would be an understatement to say that for an event organizer, the weekend got off to a rocky start. This was my first Down in the Delta Vintage & Antiques Market, and I wanted it to be perfect!   Of course, I didn't let it get me down.  I just kept praying for a good weather on Saturday and attempted to accommodate the vendors as much as possible.  It was a rain or shine event, so it was going to go forward one way or another-just part of life on the Gulf Coast.

My sweet husband took a couple of days off work to help me and I will say that I couldn't have made it without him.  He is such a trooper...he did make a trip home though at one point to change into dry socks.  His feet were soaked.  And when he returned, it was with my big coffee urn, coffee, creamer and sugar.  He hijacked one of my booth tables and set up a coffee stand.  I think that's one of the reasons some of the men were able to hang around in the rain helping their wives--that coffee.  Good move on hubby's part.

It was also special for me to have many family members come to town to visit and support me during this first market.  My 84-year-old dad came down from Birmingham in his vintage Mustang convertible to attend and show his car in the car show.  My brother also came down from Birmingham, and our daughter flew in from Virginia to help.  Our two boys did their parts too, and my granddaughter, Leah, helped by selling drinks.  It was a real family affair.  I have the best family in the world...

My dad and his Mustang
Our daughter, Autumn in the black
jacket and granddaughter, Leah (sitting)
helped me in a huge way.  Thank you girls!

Once Saturday rolled around, the sun came out and we were blessed with a gorgeous day. My vendors made me proud...they took down the blue tarps, let the sunshine in and fluffed everything from the wet day before.

Linda from Coastal Charm helped me get the entry area situated with the plants and some outdoors things as we moved in a hurry to re-situate things after the great flood.  

Photo-Coastal Charm Interiors blog- Link here.
She had some picket fence sections that made perfect additions to my flower cart and flowers.

This was the location of my flower cart during
the flood.  It was moved to the entry area
outside on Saturday, but unfortunately,
I didn't get a pic of it there...it was so cute outside!
It was a beautiful market!  I will share some random pics now...
























To see more pics, please visit Linda's blog where she shares the market from her perspective.  Link here: http://linda-coastalcharm.blogspot.com/2016/04/down-in-delta-vintage-marketpart-two.html#more 

Tomorrow I plan to share a little more about lessons learned from the first market, and plans for the next one.  I hope you'll come back then.

If you would like to follow and get the first looks at what's happening down in the delta, join me on Instagram where I am downinthedeltavintagemarket.