Ok, bear with me, I have an idea and I'd like to get some feedback. I feel like Charlotte is in need of an Ecofestival. One that would bring vendors in from all over who make or sell organic and/or ecofriendly products. The main push would be to provide a venue for mompreneurs, local craftspeople who are trying to make a living and educating people about our environment at the same time. There have been a few expos and there is Earth Day, but most of these are set up for big businesses and the cost to participate is astronomical.
So...I guess what I'm asking is, are there people who would be into helping me organize something like this and are there people out there who would participate???
Missy, I'm always excited about events for like-minded folks. Are you thinking of a conference venue or an outdoor venue? And did you want things like, home knitted wool soakers, handmade cloth diapers, organic garden plants, crafts like pottery, jewelry, art? Or are you focused more on the ecological aspect? Educational displays, how to live green, eco-home products? The Earth Day seemed to focus on green housing, sorta. Are you interested in more household and lifestyle products, services???
Not meaning to Ask 20 Questions. LOL Just want to hear more about your Vision!~
I know you attended/participated in an event in Asheville for Organic suppliers, last year sometime. What venue and participants did they have; and are you wanting similar or different; or just local or larger/regional? Or invite all the MDCers from the East coast? :-D (I like this idea!!)
I thought that Earth Day was pretty approachable cost-wise. Cady Asch had a booth with HMN for several years. I think it was under $50, maybe.
Pam Genant is working on some type of holistic/natural gathering down in Georgia, last I heard. Think it might be in the summer or fall. Do you know Pam? Anna might have more details.
But, venue contracts generally requires $$$ commitments up front. The park venue is another option. Like at Freedom Park. Of course they have the Festival in the Park also. Have you seen the list of fesvials in the region? http://xploringholisticalternatives.ning.com/forum/topics/fun-stuff... Maybe we could promote some eco-involvement on the skirt tails of something already in existence?
I'm drawn to the outdoor venue AND products mostly. A one stop "green" shop. There are just not enough stores in our area that offer organic clothing/cloth diapers/crafts. The Organicfest in Asheville offered vendors of food, services, and products and the cost to participate there was 100/booth. The Earth Day here is mostly educational. They aren't into offering booth space for those wanting to sell their products. The Clean and Green event and Green Expo were very expensive and mostly for bigger, well established businesses to promote their products/services.
I'm thinking a park like setting would be ideal and the festival would be for individuals and small businesses wishing to participate. I'd be up for extending this idea to regional craftsmen, not just Charlotte area, but I think our area is ripe with eco-friendly businesses. They just aren't as "visable" since most are online retailers.
I recognize the upfront costs, but wasn't going to get into that part yet until I knew if there was an interest. There is a lot to consider and nail down to make this viable. I have people I would contact for support, i.e. the organizers of other similar events, but I'm just getting my thoughts together and putting the idea out there!
I looked at the NC/SC festival list prior to posting this topic and nothing is specifically "green" but certainly I'd think vendors could participate in some of them.
What about the Festival In the Park? Perhaps, a joint display by multiple vendors could be sponsored? That probably draws the largest crowd in the area, yearly. I saw that they said no 'shared' booths. But, if there were a "parent" group like "Eco-mamas" who were the applicant, perhaps like a cooperative group. But, it is kinda pricey just to display. Although, it is four days and over 125,000 visitors are estimated to have attended the 2008 Festival in the Park.
Another thought is if the major Farmer's Markets have any big events. You'd be drawing from the same eco-conscious crowd.
Another possible segue is the environmental groups which are protecting animal habitats, like HAWK. Not sure what big events they have to draw crowds. But, I guess most non-profits don't have huge conferences. And I'm not sure how many mom and pop eco-producers are trying to make a living in Charlotte. Charlotte, never has struck me as very eco-conscious. :-/
The Center City Market is actually a farmers market right across the street from Reids. I have been there, but late in the season last year and it was quiet, but what a great place to try again!
Is Nude Food near commonwealth? I'll look into that place as well. Thanks for your guidance...you are always so dang helpful!!!
I just got an invitation to participate in LLL's Georgia area awareness event. I'm still hammering out the details to see if it would make sense for the family to pack up and head there for the weekend, but it just may be the perfect target audience.
Yes! I forgot about LLL. What national gatherings do they have on the East coast? Any big metro area ones could be terrific. Also, do they have a national message board with mama made items? Or the HMN national conference, in NJ?
Have you done a listing at MDC? I'm not sure how that works cost-wise though.
Hey Garrett...it appears an eco festival is a 'brewin afterall. The Charlotte Clean and Green event is teaming up with the Earth Day organizers and are hosting a festival in April. Vendors can apply. Check it out... http://www.charlottecleanandgreen.com/
So, I'll put my idea on hold for now and watch how this one does. I own a small organic tee shirt business and am thinking about applying as a vendor, but I need to figure a few other things out first.
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