You know that festival or event you have coming up where you want craftspeople to sell in booths? I’d love for you to have more local vendors there. Here’s one thing you could do:
For a month before the event, make small work and storage spaces available in an empty building.
You have people in your community right now who make things they could sell from an event booth. But they don’t have enough room at home to make and store enough to fill their booth for the whole event. They just need someplace to work and store things until then.
Not everyone has an empty garage to use. Not everyone has their own home, even. Some are in apartments or rentals or they’re staying with someone. Or they can’t trust their roommates not to take their stuff.
By renting or giving crafters space to work, you’re opening up economic opportunity to a lot more people. And you’re going to get more local people renting booths from you.
If the building is one big undivided space, then you can chalk or tape out smaller work spaces on the floor. It doesn’t have to be right downtown or near the event space. Maybe the crafters can help each other organize pickups and trailers to move their stuff the day of the event.
Let’s sketch out some of the extra benefits:
Capture more local sales at events, rather than relying on outside vendors who depart with their profits
Keep more money recirculating locally
Put an empty building to work, at least temporarily
Show public support for local entrepreneurs and encourage entrepreneurship
Introduce entrepreneurs to each other so they can spur innovation and cheer each other on
Find out if starting a crafter makerspace might work in your community
The Idea Friendly principle is to pull down the barriers to entry so entrepreneurs can Take Small Steps. Try it out. Let me know how it goes.
Get a weekly dose of positivity for small communities from Becky McCray and Deb Brown, co-founders of SaveYour.Town. We share practical steps you can put into action right away.
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