Spring is in the air, the outside temperature is warming up, the days or getting longer and the outside vintage markets are too. Soon you will have a multitude of weekend markets, pop-up markets and shows to choose from. As a consumer, that means a few things....First, you are looking for a particular item you saw on the internet and hope to find something similar at a market. Perhaps you are looking for handcrafted ideas to do yourself (if that is you, I like you already.) Second, you may be like many others who just want to stroll and look at the booths and all the pretty things. Whichever category you are, go and have fun.
We love the pop up events that local venues provide. There you can meet local artisans and home based business owners who have a true passion for what they do. Many of them have full time jobs and family. They use these sources to present their crafts to the general public, a platform if you will, to generate income for past and future projects and hopefully put some coin in the piggy bank.
The larger franchise type markets is whole different animal. There you will find local artisans as well. You will also encounter the traveling vendor who sell a multitude of items, from vintage finds to market items that have taken the slow boat from across the pond (vintage inspired Items). Unfortunately, for the consumer the franchise markets rely on the traveling vendor to fill the booths for their shows. Herein lies the problem, sponsorships. A traveling vendor will purchase a sponsorship that will in turn lockout any local artisan or craftsman from entering a show, or, prohibit a local vendor from selling anything that competes with a sponsor or other traveling vendors that have committed to several shows through out the year. There is a tight control on duplication of vendors, however, in our experience it seems to be more political than anything else. Backstage things do get really ugly!
Wrap Up! Large franchise shows and markets are choking the industry with an over saturation in any one area and they seem to be leaning toward a Flea Market type atmosphere, i.e., selling gutters..."C'Mon on Man"! If you like the bigger shows, may I suggest the "Southern Living Shows" presented by Stella Shows. Southern Living shows have a great venue with a multitude of activities.
Soooo, in closing, go and explore the the smaller shows, pop ups and local shops in your area and meet your neighbors and the talented crafts people who live among you.