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Thursday, July 21, 2016

First-Ever KalamazooKitty Marketplace!

KalamazooKitty Marketplace May Day
So you may or may not know that KalamazooKitty hosted the biggest & greatest shopping event of all time on May 1, 2016...and it was fabulous!!  But if you missed it, don't fret, we are having another one on Sunday, October 16, 2016! 
It is hard to know where to begin to recap the day because so many wonderful things happened, so let's start with the facts:
KalamazooKitty Marketplace:
*Over 100 awesome, hand-picked booths filled with vintage items, painted furniture, signs & art, boho clothing, salvage and so on and so on!
*9 local food trucks/vendors set up before the gates opened with everything from hot coffee to made-to-order omelettes!  Did you get one of those omelettes?  They were the talk of the day!
*Vintage campers....glampers!  Wow were those cute...

*Kalamazoo Speedway on Ravine Rd.

*Sunday, May 1, 2016, 10-3
*UPCOMING: Sunday, October 16, 2016

*To bring local shops & food trucks to one place in Kalamazoo for an incredible day of shopping!
*To showcase local vendors and beyond...
*To give Kalamazoo a shopping experience that cannot be found anywhere else.

*Almost 6000 shoppers attended this event, with the majority of them being Pre-Sale ticketholders!
*Mothers, sisters, friends.  Husbands, wives, coworkers.  Neighbors, cousins, daughters.  Pickers, collectors, makers.  Me, you and everyone else!

So in preparation of the upcoming KalamazooKitty Marketplace, I would like to reflect back on some great memories that were captured by Butterfly Girl Photography on May 1st.
The Marketplace Team
We may look like professionals (heehee), but this was our first rodeo!  The KalamazooKitty Marketplace Team was small, but mighty.  On the left is Stacey, social media extraordinaire!  She was the one posting pics and announcements on Facebook & Instagram.  If you asked a question...she answered!  On the right is Gena, master of all booths & vendors!  Once the jury selected the booths for the Marketplace, Gena roped them all in, kept them up-to-date & informed, and helped them along the way to the finish line...their incredible booth on May Day!  That's me in the middle.  It isn't everyday you see a picture of me, but the photographer insisted, so there I am.  I was mostly working behind the scenes on advertising, event organization, venue details, name it!  But on event day, I was easy to spot in my cowboy boots, cute apron (made by Mia & Mot) and "KalamazooKitty green" STAFF shirt.
My Crew
My booth.  Really?!  I really thought I could pull off a first-time huge event AND have a booth?  Not just a booth, by the way!  When I do something...anything, it is all-in.  I don't "make do" or just throw something together, I PLAN, PLAN, PLAN!  So I planned.  I drew.  I painted.  I created.  I built.  Did I mentioned that I planned?!  So let's just say that it didn't come out as planned.  Let's just say that 80% of it never made it to the Marketplace.  And let's just say that I didn't have a spare 5 minutes, let alone 5 hours, to put it all together on Marketplace Day.  So a HUGE thank you goes out to everyone in that photo (my mom & dad, my daughter, 3 nieces, future nephew-in-law, 2 sisters) in addition to my brother-in-law and the hardest working person of husband, not pictured.  They did a great job with what they had, and no one actually knew that anything was wrong...except me!
Let's talk treasures!  Stuff!  The kinds of things that make my mouth water when I see them from across a field with a price tag attached.  (That happens to everyone, right?!)  Check out the fabulous stuff in this picture.  Pewter, corbels, posts, platters, milk glass, mirrors, an industrial sorting bin, a painted spool, and so on! It's lucky for the person who bought those corbels that I was too busy to shop that day!  I install a set of cool, old corbels in just about every house I decorate.  They are necessary, like toilets and sinks.  You know what I'm saying...admit it!  I also use those old platters in kitchens to add interest to a boring backsplash.  Just lean it up there, stand back and enjoy!  Then it is at your fingertips when you are ready to serve up veggies for your next 4:59 party.
2 Travelin' Sisters
What a fabulous booth!  These awesome girls are no strangers to booths at KalamazooKitty, and the shoppers love it!  From vintage maps to furniture to flowers, they did not disappoint.  And as if their wares weren't fabulous enough...check out their check-out counter!   Hand made from recycled wood and metal, it provided the perfect spot to wrap up your purchase, or to stop and listen to the many stories that come with the items they have found on their travels. With a smile and a thank you, they send you on your way with a treasure you will treasure for life.  But wait...there were over a hundred more booths, all fabulous in their own way.....

Best of Show Award!
Congratulations to Michigan Stamped!  With a collection of painted, created, found & rescued, they pulled together a variety of items that won them the first-ever KalamazooKitty Marketplace Best of Show Award!  Something old, something new, something local, something blue.  They displayed everything beautifully and caught the eyes of the judges and shoppers alike.  Watch for them at the Fall Marketplace on Oct. 16th....they won a free booth space!

Coffee Rescue Warms the Crowd
Don't panic!  There was not an emergency...unless a shopper needed some caffeine!  The Coffee Rescue, in addition to 8 other food vendors & trucks, saved the day!  I think we can all agree that May 1st could have been a touch warmer, but lucky for us, we had hot coffee!  The food trucks did not disappoint!  You could find toasted almonds, pulled pork, caramel corn, chicken salad croissants, muffins, and oh yeah...the omelettes!  And as if that wasn't enough, the Girl Scouts were there with everyone's favorite...Tagalongs....and Samoas, Thin Mints, Trefoils....okay, okay, you can't pick just one to be the favorite!  The upcoming Fall Marketplace is shaping up nicely with the same food vendors from May, and a few new ones jumping on board, so come hungry!
Local Michigan
 Michigan, Michigan, Michigan!  I bet if someone went searching the Marketplace for everything Michigan, they would have found dozens and dozens of items!  In addition to these wood key chains, I saw Michigan marquees of upper & lower peninsulas, shirts, shirts and more shirts, jewelry & hand-made signs.  That famous mitten was up for grabs in metal, wood, canvas, fabric, plastic and paper.  If you couldn't find a way to show your love of our Great State, then you were too distracted by the awesome music!  Local musician, David Greeley, entertained shoppers with a variety of music that pleased the ears of young and old.
Vintage Campers

Have you ever seen anything so cute?!  This camper was adorable inside and out!  A growing trend in America right now is the remodeling of vintage campers into something fabulous...a glamper!  Don't need a camper, but you need vintage camping gear?... Look here!  Coolers, chairs, cookware, etc.  Look for more vintage campers at the Fall Marketplace and make sure you ask to peek inside or you will miss the best part!

Please and Thank you!
I couldn't resist one last photo.  Buckets, bins, watering cans and all kinds of awesomeness!  I actually have many more great pics from Butterfly Girl Photography, but you have to click here to see the rest.  Need more info on the Fall Marketplace??:

When: Sunday, October 16, 2016 from 10-3
(Pre-sale ticketholders get in at 9:45 for early-bird shopping!)

Where: Kalamazoo Speedway at 7656 Ravine Rd., Kalamazoo, MI  49009

Who: 100+ hand-picked booths, local food trucks, local shops, vintage campers & a musician.

Pre-Sale Tickets are available at both KalamazooKitty locations starting on August 2, 2016.

Tickets are also available at the gates on Marketplace Day!

UPDATE: The Marketplace has changed!  Now called the KalamaozooKitty Mini Market, it is held at the KalamazooKitty West Main location @ 6883 West Main, Kalamazoo, MI 49009.
2017 Dates: Apr. 29, July 29 & Oct.7

This is from Kalamazoo... to you!