Sunday, May 10, 2009

Hatch Market 2009 Feedback

Good morning friends,

I have decided this morning not to go back to my table at the Hatch Market 09. First, it's Mother's Day and I'd rather spend it with my beautiful little family. Secondly, the Hatch Show was grossly disorganized, at the expense of all the terrific vendors. We all paid our $85.00 booth fee in exchange for two packed-full days of good exposure in an indie craft show "an event like nothing we've ever seen on the southside of Atlanta." 

I had assumed (my fault) that because Yuengling Lager was one of the sponsors, that they'd be selling their delicious product there, too. When I met Melanie Feltman, the organizer of the show, and asked her where my booth was (not labeled) she shrugged her shoulders and told me to walk across the street to the corner gas station and buy myself a "big ol Colt 45" if I wanted beer. Hmmm.

The flow of the show was really awful. There were several of us in the "garden" which really was a lovely spot. But the entrance was blocked by another vendor by the time we all finished setting up. When I pointed this issue out, there was no effort made to remedy it. 

By the time my husband showed up from Atlanta, he asked where all the signs were. There was nothing on 10th, the major intersection that leads you to the show. 

All vendors were supposed to have this "You will be provided with a skirted table and one chair with a designated space of approximately 10’ x 10’. One sign with your business name, web address and home town will be attached to the front of your skirted table. We ask that, if you find it necessary to remove the sign during set up, you incorporate it into your display at its original location."
But we didn't. No signs. No interest in flow. They allowed some vendors to take over, choose their own spots. If there was a problem with flow, no one came by to fix it. The staff said they might be able to fix it on Sunday. But by that time, the damage was done. 

So I talked with Melanie Feltman about some of these issues and her response was to shrug her shoulders and say that this was her first time doing this and that she was learning as she goes. 

I was frustrated. And I learned a big lesson here. The next time I do a craft fair, I'll take more responsibility for myself and ask more questions up front. Many of the vendors were like me - new at this, and did not think to take a more proactive approach. So I think we all learned, which is good. 

The other thing that felt comfortable at first, but then I later regretted, was that our $85 both fee was our only financial obligation. I was thinking how easy that was  - clean cut and uncomplicated. But when it became clear that we vendors were on our own, it felt like the organizers had already gotten their money from us, and had no vested interested in making sure we were in an environment that promoted sales. 

With all this feedback, which I hope was constructive, it really was a fun day. The very best part was meeting all the other vendors. We exchanged ideas, creativity, support of each other, we traded, we sold to each other. I met so many fantastic artists, good people with positive energy, and the few people who did come out to the show were really sweet. It really was a beautiful day. Breezy, comfortably overcast. We got about an hour of really sweet jazz, (I had hoped for more) and hope next year they do more of that. 

But I won't be doing Hatch Market 2010, if there is one. Instead, through the sage advice of other vendors, am going to do Atlanta's Indie Craft Experience next Christmas. Woo hoo! Lots of people have told me it is FULL of energy, people waiting in line to buy your product. It's a bigger financial investment, but I'm willing to make one, because it echos the serious business  commitment made by the ICE organizers.  

The last weekend of May, I'll go to ICE to check out the flow. I think it's going to be really fun and am SO excited. 

And this mother's day, (my boys are still asleep upstairs) I am going to make a fun dinner to celebrate and hang with my boys, put the tomato plants I bought 2 weeks ago in the ground, plant cosmos seeds with Anton out front, get a pedicure and ahhhhhh, enjoy the gift of motherhood. I traded a book for two pairs of beautiful earrings from Jenna Chavalia. Will post those later this week. 

Thank you to all the vendors who participated in the show. I'll list your links once again and  sing your praises and hope to see you again at ICE in Atlanta!

Handmade Charlotte  clothing & accessories   

Four-Footed Art   pop art pet painting  

I Make ARRRT! / Alicia's Colors journals and random / fused glass jewelry and décor  

PHOTOCAT   photobooth  

Grey Area   jewelry and screenprinting  

Adia Bella Quilts/Daisy Cakes Soap quilts & patchwork animals / olive oil soap  

Class Attire   chalkboard t-shirts  

Simon Creative Center  beaded jewelry 

Mamie Ruth   clothing, accessories and jewelry

  Sorella Designs   jewelry and hand-silkscreened bags 

Thirsty Parrot   frozen drinks (non-alcoholic) and food items

Fluffy Flowers   toys  

Richmond Street Designs  mixed media collages 

Heddy Lynn   tutus, doll quilts, crib sets

CitruSmash   fresh orangeade, lemonade  

Safehouse Coffee   coffee  

Brook Earth Farms / Epic Farms soap, cards, magnets, pendants  

Jenn Ell's Revenge   clothing, jewelry, and accessories  

Butterbean Babies / Compulsive Quilter children's clothing/handbags and accessories

Jill Massey Designs   jewelry 

A Noble Egg   emu egg ornaments  

Kimberly Huff   stationery, mixed media  

Lolly Felt Like It   felted wool items  

Mixed Media Art by Laurie  mixed media   

Indie Peace   printed t-shirts 

L & S Ames   hand-knitted hats  

Bede Sisters   jewelry, handbags, crocheted items  

Crafty Bugaloo   hats, pom poms, tams, hair stuff  

Anabelle Glass   stained and hand-etched glass  

Southern Flameworks  fused glass jewelry and décor  

Coon and Cole Designs  bibs, purses  

Jane Hancock Papers / Hartley Soap Co. stationery, soap 

Dragonfly Designs   cards, journals, magnets  

Linwood Avenue / Joya Jewelry lamps and chandeliers/jewelry Muddspirit / Debi Designs stoneware pendants 

Utility Club of Griffin  cookbooks and tomato sandwiches 

Bella Bee    aprons 

The Jelly Lady   gourmet and unique jellies  DecoHime   clothing and accessories 

Custom Adornments  jewelry 

Anne Elser Design   handmade books 

SoSheSews   clothing and accessories  

Moment of Stars   lino block prints  

Clay Shapers   pottery 

Ragamufyn / 75Rabbit  women's clothing  

E! La! La! Soaps & Crafts  soap  

BiddyBrain Workshop  original paintings, mixed media 

Papa Willie's bar-b-que, chicken-on-a-stick, hamburgers, hot dogs, fried pickles, french fries, onion rings  


linwood avenue said...

although the rain held out, today had way less traffic than yesterday, so your decision to stay home with your sweet little boy was probably the right one! i am so happy we got to meet and chat some, you work is incredibly detailed and beautiful.

Anne Elser said...

I have been dreaming about your lampshades! Thinking about giving my chandelier a makeover, too - thanks to your inspiration!

Really glad to have met you and hope to see you at ICE for the holiday market!

I feel a little guilty for missing on Sunday - an empty table doesn't look good at a fair and I hope I did not hurt your sales by not showing up.

Oh! And we did have a lovely day. Just the three of us and the cats and the house and a couple of beers. :)

Alexia said...

Ugh. I'm sorry you had such a bad experience! The second day was good for me - although traffic wasn't all that great, I made quite a few sales. I agree it was very disorganized and the organizers didn't seem like they were too open to suggestion the day of (you're not the only one who had run-ins w/ them)...

Good luck @ ICE - it's definitely more established & in a more populated area ;)

THE PAPER said...

I know this is (extremely) late in responding to this post, but wanted to address your constructive criticism, as we are planning Hatch Market 2010 right now to be held September of this year.

We appreciate all of your feedback and want you to know that we weren't indifferent or unaware of the festival's shortcomings and vendors' problems, we were just overwhelmed and frankly unprepared for how to deal with them. And for that, all we can say is that we're sorry and that we learned from our mistakes. :)

Hatch Market will be a one-day event this year on the main street of Griffin, Taylor Street, so that way people driving through town cannot miss it. We are staking off the area the night before to ensure show flow, and vendors are encouraged to bring their own tables and tents to uncomplicate things and give a sense of comfort, since the vendors will at least know what they'll have at their disposal.

Anywho, not meaning to rattle on, just wanted you to know that we've learned from our mistakes and that this year will be better!

I hope that you do very well at ICE this year, and if you get a wild hair and feel like taking a chance on Griffin and on Hatch Market again, we'd love to see you there. :)
Jessica Gregory

Oh! has more info...