Hi! Welcome to my Blog. Right now this is being used as a online discussion room for vendors of the Vancouver Farmers Market. I am the owner of the blog so only I can start a discussion. This can be changed.

For now, if you want me to post a discussion for the community to consider (a blog post), email me at niahaystack@hotmail.com with your blog, and I will post it for all of the community to comment on.

To use this blog, click on the Category to the left called “Vancouver Farmers Market”; here you can see past discussions and the related comments. Feel free to share your comments by clicking the “Comments” link located under the title of each blog.

In order to keep these instructions at the top of the page, this post has a future date, so scroll down now to start reading other peoples ideas and start contributing your own!

i think i am too exhausted to fully comment on the events of the evening. But I feel compelled to start a post related to this, just in case others are ready to share their thoughts, by leaving a comment to this post.

I am grateful for the current board for their dedication to doing the hard work of uncovering the issues we are all now faced with fixing. I am hopeful that with the last two annual board votes, that we have successfully removed those individuals who allowed mismanagement of our precious market to bring us where we all sit today.

I guess the only bright spot on all this stuff is that the outdoor market has always been successful. This gives me comfort that we will be able to get out of this mess eventually.

I am however concerned with any changes that involve rash, quick, unplanned, major changes in the structure and make up of the Board of Directors.

We know the Indoor Market is the “thing” that we can all hold up and blame for this; however, this is a simple answer. Really the indoor market failed because of poor planning, poor management and bad bookkeeping. it might have had a chance if these three elements where better cared for.

So let’s start planning, discussing and managing our market before it is just too late!

Ok, so i knew that the idea of direct competition would not make sense to everyone (in fact, i expect most vendors in the artisan category to cringe at the idea of being next to or across from their direct competition), but the idea is really not that insane, especially in a regular market environment.  At Nordstrom’s, designers are set right next to each other and the only opportunity they have for competing is in the product, presentation and price.

The wave of online marketing is spreading fast and these are great examples of artisans competing right next to each other (check out poppytalkhandmade).  To me the idea is to be different and serve your market.  If you worry about your booth not getting enough traffic and other booths are visibly seeing more people, it’s not because there are competitors, it’s because of presentation and pricing and product.

(although I must add at this point that having too much of one type of artisan fractures the balance of presentation of the entire market and is a whole different blog discussion)

In waiting for the masses to respond from the market I have come up with several thoughts about change and how it could bring a renaissance back to the life of the market.  What if the artisan area of the market was completely “movable” (a term some from back in the day might recognize).  The idea here is that seniority and placement go out the door and everyone gets moved around every weekend.

There are two very distinct reasons I like this thought.  When I started at the market, for the longest time I was never in the same spot, and through the process of being moved around I noticed two things.  First, I met lots of people that have now become dear friends and it all started with being set up next to each other.  After 5 years at the market, it is still amazing to me how many vendors I still don’t know because I have never been set up near them.

Second, and most important to my business, I always was exposed to new customers.

This idea seems worth exploring in some direction and shaped right could breathe the fresh air into our market that we need.  The energy we put into the environment breeds it’s own life of movement.  Good or bad movement?  It’s up to us.

If you care one way or the other, share your thoughts!

Before I became a vendor of the Vancouver Farmers Market, I was a customer. One of the things that used bother me, as I would walk through the market on the weekends, was how difficult it was to shop the agriculture vendors. I was there weekend after weekend to get my vegetables and flowers and maybe shop the the Art/Craft vendors and food occasionally. But my dedicated weekend trips were for the veggies and flowers. It didn’t occur to me at the time to give it much attention, as my desire to have the veggies and flowers outweighed my desire give any time to the frustration.

Sometimes my mission at the market was to do some gardening, getting new plants and cute garden accents. Sometimes I would bring guests visiting from out of town, as the weekend market offers so much more than just farmers!

So it occurred to me now as a vendor at this same market, that we have lost our focus. We have become so self indulged in our placement at the market that we have forgotten the customer’s experience!

So here is my idea, it will sound radical to some and so simple to others.

When you go to the grocery store to buy produce, do you find your lettuce in the soap aisle and your tomatoes in the floral department, of course not; it would be to difficult for people to find what they are looking for. So why do we put our customers through this every weekend at our market?

We should be putting agriculture, nursery and florist on the main line, then prepared food as these are truly farmers market vendor’s and shopping this area of the market should be easy for our clients who come down every weekend.

After this area is taken care of, then you have the Art and Craft Vendors, with music and food court vendors bridging the two areas together.

I believe it should be taken even one step further and similar Art and Craft vendors should be placed relatively close to each other. This will breed competition and differentiation amongst the vendors and there products. Vendors will be forced to step up their game to stay competitive, they will care about how there booth looks compared to the competition and product pricing, packaging, process and display will all have to be addressed to keep up with the competitors in your segment. Your product will have to reflect you as an artist to stay competitive in your craft.

Love my idea or hate it, i only care to share and inspire conversation about this topic. If you have an idea that you want to share please comment to this posting and share your radical thoughts on change. Bookmark or subscribe to this page for updates and to learn what others have to say on this topic!






first posting coming soon! see my about page in the meantime…