Vendors for Vendors: The Beginning

“We worked for ten days straight making jewelry.”
“My fibro is going crazy…I’m losing my voice that’s how I know its getting bad.”

Some of the things that I heard from the mouths of vendors at a craft show this weekend in Barrie, On. Reading these you may think that it is because these people were working so hard and selling so much that they were tiring themselves out. Unfortunately this was not the case. The vendors at a Pre-Christmas craft show were given a very rude awakening when they arrived at a poorly decorated curling arena and what is now assumed to be a pretty much un-advertised event.

Some of these people showed up with the hopes of selling products for a company they work for; while others created their own jewelry, artwork, knitwear, and food products to sell to what they thought were going to be a large number of customers. Watching as all the vendors went from excitement to concern to outrage made me wonder why?

Why would someone create an event that by all means seemed to be completely unadvertised? Why bring all these people to spend (and waste) an entire weekend attempting to sell products to an empty arena?

The woman behind the event spent the entire time enthusiastic that more people would show.

“I advertised to the newspaper, and they talked about the show on the radio.”
“All the hotels know about it too.”

She tried desperately to keep the spirits of the vendors high even as most could clearly see the others anger.

These people have worked hard and have given their time, money, and heart to create and promote products that many would have truly enjoyed purchasing or at least learning about. I find it disheartening to watch honest and kind people be “taken for a ride” by another.

Whether the event planner had no intention of planning the event properly, didn’t advertise, didn’t care or did; more should have been done to help the people involved with the show.

For all those reading this post whether you be vendor or event planner; please take the other person in mind when creating an event or show. These people don’t always just do it for the money they do it for the love of the craft. They spend hours perfecting their technique and they believe strongly in what they do. Small businesses are hard enough to start on their own and even harder when the people that are supposed to help vendors and small businesses succeed start to lie, steal and cheat.

A positive came out of the unfortunate mishap in Barrie. The creation of a Facebook group called Vendors for Vendors. My friend Gabby along with many other vendors at the “Pre-Christmas sale” have decided that enough is enough. They work together to help each other succeed. I don’t know how many groups and pages are out there like this but I do truly hope that more and more small businesses rally together to push the scam artists and cheats out of event  planning and keep the US in business.

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