We're delighted and overwhelmed with the positive response we’ve had to our first Dumfries Makers Market. Despite the awful weather, visitors flocked to the market in their thousands and spirits were certainly not dampened. We couldn't be more pleased with the market we created in the town on Sunday 2nd December 2018 as part of the Christmas Lights Switch On.
A huge thank you has to be given to our marvellous traders who applied and took a leap of faith, we know how much of a gamble it can be taking part in an event, especially as it was our very first event. Without them we wouldn’t have had a market. Our traders had a great day of sales with at least two selling out of their stock completely! We’ve also had a huge amount of feedback from visitors to the makers maket about the quality of our traders from across the region & beyond.
We set up a notice board in our gazebo, encouraging visitors to pin a comment card with feedback. Many of the messages brought tears of joy, all extremely positive, with hopes that the market will become a regular occurence, with more stalls, growing bigger and better with each event.
We’ve also had fantastic feedback from several shops who traded on the Sunday. One shop in particular had a record day of sales in its 4 years of trading. It was wonderful to see the town bustling with life again. Imagine how it could have been if the weather had been kinder to us. We are determined to work together with retailers and businesses to coordinate other activities, fringe events and marketing to promote the whole of the town centre on market day if the project continues in the future.
So we have a huge list of thank yous…….We would like to thank our amazing team of volunteers, who pitched up and braved the weather to help us erect stalls, gazebos and lighting, it was the best start to the day even if it was 7.30am. Then to have them return to dismantle the stalls at the end of the day in the rain. Our supporters at Moffat Promotions Group for allowing us to use their stalls. Midsteeple Quarter for the loan of the van and also for the use of The Oven to store our equipment and loaning us tables and chairs. The People's Project, Dumfries for their generous donation to help us with Production Costs. Hire and Supplies Ltd Dumfries for a discount towards our generator cost and Stan's invaluable advice, who knew we would learn so much about electrics and generators. The Stove Network for allowing us to use their cafe for our storytelling sessions we organised, Bump, Baby and Beyond - Dumfries and Galloway for lending us their cushions, Joanna and her elves for helping with set up and the wonderful Renita Boyle - Tell Together Tales for hosting them. Thanks also to Frank Hayes and Caro Huijing from Drawing For Enjoymentfor hosting their hugely popular drawing and monoprinting workshops. Jamie Thomson from Photography For Enjoyment for capturing the day on camera.Then lastly, but certainly not least, our families, friends and everyone who has helped us and supported us not just on the day, but throughout our journey this year. This is a superb example of how the community, organisations and businesses working together can do great things for our town.
Here at The Guild Dumfries, we are very proud of what we have been able to organise in eight short weeks. The response to our Christmas Makers Market has made the grey hairs and the long hours worthwhile. We hope that it’s whetted the appetite of the community of Dumfries and across the region. This was just a snippet of what we would love to bring to the whole of the town centre on a monthly basis, if we decide to apply for a market operators licence once the changes are announced to their policies and procedures and if Dumfries and Galloway Council gives us their approval.
Unfortunately there’s a but, as we need to be realistic……..we can’t do this without the support of our community. Unfortunately, it’s just not possible and I’m afraid an event like this can’t just magically happen. Both Kirsten and Leah have dedicated months of volunteered time towards campaigning, organising and marketing this event, we didn’t get paid, yet we did it for the good of Dumfries. We have a vision and we can truly see that our monthly street market festival can make a difference. We also have a huge amount of research that backs this up.
The support from the community either needs to be financial, for instance you become a friend of the makers market for a small donation paid monthly. Or we need a dedicated team of volunteers who donate their time and skills to help with the organisation of this event, whether its admin, marketing, logistics and basically helping with stalls and set up on the day.
It’s a huge undertaking but we hope that the Christmas Makers Market is just a start.
Lets Make it Happen!
Photo credit: Joanna Wright Hall