Living DoYo

I love living in DoYo, which is short for right smack downtown Youngstown, Ohio. There is always something new or interesting going on, even when it is not festival season. Saturday, I went to a comedy show at the M Gallery. That was fun. This Tuesday (tonight) is a poetry reading at the Pig Iron Press and then next Tuesday is the first Open Mic night at the M.

My only complaint about living in DoYo is the lack of retail stores. It is pretty bad when you have to hop a bus to go buy common things like paper and ink pens.

We need a grocery store. The Circle store sells basic groceries and household goods (milk, eggs, bread, dish soap, &c.) but you’re paying convenience store prices. I would love to see a bakery, maybe a meat market or deli, something with fresh fruits and product, if not a fully stocked store.

Gift shops would be nice, perhaps a Maker’s Market of some kind, like little mini shops sharing a storefront space, where you could buy candles, soaps, and a variety of other handmade items.

They are opening “Youngstown Flea” this summer downtown here, but the name is a bit misleading as it will be an outdoor art and maker’s market each month, not a “flea” market. They are vetting vendors through an application process. I understand the need to control the vibe, to limit what is allowed to be sold, so you have to list what you plan to sell (and only sell what you list) and submit photos and links so they can check you out and decide if you will be a good fit, limit types of items to ensure good variety, &c.

I have issues with excessive control, but thought about applying. Then I remembered how often I got rained on (or rained out) last year when I tried doing outdoor events. And straight up, I think the fees are too high for my low end items… I never count on selling art as art sales are unpredictable. That’s why I make buttons and little trinkets; sometimes dollar items are the only things that sell.

Why is it that anything to do with selling art or handmade things comes with high fees?

For $15 or less, I can set up at a real flea market with thousands of people wandering by… if it is an art or craft show, fees start at 25, the Youngstown Flea wants 50 for a one day outdoor spot (rain or shine), and some places want way up in the hundreds.

I would like to see an “itinerant row” in DoYo… street vendors set up in the same locale, same days, same times. An itinerant retailer’s permit is only 50 a month, or 150 for an entire year.

Words to the wind:  I want my own little store, an indoor place to sell whatever I want (art, buttons, handmade things, whatever) with no application or vetting process required so the only “permission” I need is from my own self  and whatever applicable laws may apply.

Thanks for reading.