The Brag Basket is open! This one is for May 12-14, 2017. Bring your good news, big or small, to share with everyone.
What can you share in the Brag Basket?
- introduce yourself
- share some great news from this week
- celebrate progress, even baby steps
- congratulate a friend
- applaud for each other
- confess your undying love for rural places
Want to see some past Brag Baskets and read some past contributions? Here’s the archive.
How do you join in?
Below this post is the comment section. Add your good news there.
Reading this in your email? Hit reply.
Don’t like to brag? Just share some good news for someone you’re happy for. It’s a conversation with friends. So jump in. And remember to cheer for each other.
Public domain photo
Becky McCray says
Karen Owens sent this story via email:
I work for the Town of Chapin. We have a population of about 1600 in the two-square mile footprint of the town limits, but within five miles of our town center, we have more than 16,000 people in the community. Many people have moved here to enjoy living near Lake Murray and our top performing public schools. One of the complaints we hear from the old-timers is that they don’t want to lose the small town charm of Chapin with all this growth. We host an annual Labor Day Festival and Parade which brings out more than 22,000 people.
I have been reading your blog for over four years now and knew one thing I wanted to try was a Farmer’s Market in our downtown area. I started sharing that idea with some of the local business people who could potentially serve as vendors, and they got excited and said “let’s do it!” I knew a market could help keep that small town feel everyone wants to maintain. From an economic development standpoint, I knew that it would encourage people to stay in town and spend their money locally, rather than heading down the interstate to the major shopping areas of Harbison Boulevard or downtown Columbia. It would create some new foot traffic for our local merchants, and hopefully they would get some sales as well.
I am active in a consortium that promote Active Community Environments and was able to get some seed money to help promote the market. I also got the mayor to include money in our 2017 budget. I joined the SC Farmers Markets Association and tried to learn all I could about setting up a successful market. We got a local designer to help us with branding. We reached out to local growers and artisans and told them about the market, which we are holding the first Saturday of the month May through October. We started promoting the market with fliers and posters throughout town and through our Facebook pages and website. We had 14 people sign up, including a featured non-profit of the month. And on Tuesday before our first market, the local insurance agents at the Farmer Bureau Insurance said they wanted to be a $500 sponsor for the market!
We closed down one block of Clark Street, which is part of our Labor Day festival area, and had a 20’ x 20’ tent where we had local musician playing his guitar and singing mellow tunes that everyone enjoyed. The vendors paid a nominal amount to participate and were responsible for bring their own tents, tables, displays, and chairs. We had set up between 7:15 – 8:30 am, and the market last until 11:00 am. We had a steady of stream of people who came through to see what was happening. And they shopped, too! Lever Farms sold out of strawberries and had to send back for reinforcements three times. The Coffee Shelf owner had hot coffee, baked goods and books. Sweet Pea Farms sold goat milk soaps and tomato plants. Cross Creek Acres had collards, kale, green onions among other things. We had folks with homemade jewelry, toffee, paintings, handcrafted furniture, fresh herbs, olive oils, candles and religious themed décor items. And we had a 30-minute wellness demonstration by a local massage therapist who talked about ways to alleviate back pain.
While I didn’t have an official counter, I would easily say we had several hundred people come through the two-and-a-half hours of the market. People were saying “Chapin has long needed something like this,” “This is awesome,” and “Can you do it more than once month?”
I have attached some photos as well. Thanks for you inspiration, Becky! It works!
Director of Communications & Economic Development
Town of Chapin, SC
Becky McCray says
Sharon Kurland sent this via email:
Our beautiful small town of Jamaica VT hosted an Arts and Crafts Fair on Saturday May 6th at our historic Town Hall, on the porches of the houses along the road and in tents.
There were almost 50 artisans participating. There are so many talented and unique artisans In lower Vermont. Everyone had a great time seeing what our neighbors can do.
Thanks for the opportunity to brag
Becky McCray says
Lee sent this by email:
After renting a backspace from a CrossFit group for two years, our spin studio has recently just purchased an underdeveloped and underutilized building near our downtown area. This will afford us the space to continue to grow as a cycling Studio, add a retail bicycle shop and also lease out some space to a local dance and gymnastics studio that has outgrown their space they’ve been in for a number of years. This move will not only give us room to grow and expand it will also afford space for the dance studio to do the same. It’s exciting that, in the way the CrossFit group help us, we get to pay that forward and help out another local small business.
Cycle1 Cycling Studio
1 Community, 1 Mission, 1 Life
This is a terrific example of business inside a business (one of the Innovative Rural Business Models), and how it helps grow businesses in your community.
Thank you for sharing!!