Maybe it was pre-FestiFools roaming, or maybe it was spillover from the NCAA tournament in Detroit – whatever the reason, crowds were bigger than on any previous opening day at Ann Arbor’s Sunday Artisan Market, according to the group’s vice president, Joan Hutchinson. It wasn’t clear whether those people were actually buying, though – vendors we talked to had mixed experiences.
Kate Kehoe, whose notebooks made from old video box covers are the reporter notebooks of choice for The Chronicle, said she was having a pretty good day. Some of the people who’d passed through included a group decked out in Tar Heels regalia, she said. (The University of North Carolina team beat Villanova on Saturday and faces Michigan State University in Monday’s championship game.)
Mike Grady, who makes wood-turned objects, said he’d sold exactly one corkscrew all day. The cold weather, the economy – who knows what makes people spend their money, or not? He hopes next Sunday will be better.
Hutchinson said more than 60 vendors have signed up to have a weekly spot at the market, which runs from Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., April through December.
They pay $200 annually for their booth. In addition, the market includes “dailies” – artisans who show up on an ad hoc basis week-to-week. They pay $15 a week to get a space on a first come, first served basis.
With more than 200 spots in the covered area – which is also home to the Ann Arbor Farmers Market on Saturdays – there’s room to grow, Hutchinson says.
In terms of raising awareness about the market, she says, “I think of it as a destination market, and we haven’t made it there yet.”