Posts filed under ‘Downtown’
The last couple of months have been pretty difficult for Global Fayre (meaning for David and Cheri).
We had realized towards the end of last year that we were struggling to cope with the store itself and all of the other activities that Global Fayre required of us, PLUS raising our two daughters PLUS Cheri being a Doula PLUS David doing his own stuff (what is that exactly?!)
We brought someone in to help at the store (Sophie was a great help and a real asset to the team) but by the time we got to the Spring of 2011 the message had firmly sunk in. We didn’t have the resources (financial, physical and emotional) to make the store work as well as it should or as well as we wanted it to.
So in May we took the decision to close the store itself, but to leave the door open to continue with fair trade talks, outside events at local churches and the online store.
Announcing the closure, and dealing with the customer/friend reaction was truly bitter/sweet. People had some very kind words to say, and we really felt appreciated, but then to feel the process take its own momentum; after all, stores open and close all the time, and we are just one of many. An inventory sale seamlessly turned in to a closing sale, with some very loyal customers getting the “one thing” that they had been wanting for a very long time but could never afford or justify. That was very satisfying to see.
We weren’t prepared for how emotionally draining the last two weeks would be; we lost count of the number of times we had “that” conversation about why we were closing, how we would be missed etc etc. Of course, person #200 means it just as much as the person #1 – so you try hard to have the conversation, yet again.
So the store is closed, and we were preparing for life after downtown Global Fayre…..and then David had a very interesting telephone conversation……..
Kim Peterson stays busy creating art and chasing her two young daughters with her husband. She likes to think of herself as an eclectic being, so she also spends her time obsessing over music, reading, being passionate about politics, and writing freelance articles for the Ozarks Moms Like Me Magazine. Kim grew up in Tacoma, Wa but has lived in Upstate New York, Wyoming and eventually landed in in the Ozarks three years ago. She now calls Springfield home.
Kim says she “likes the idea of playing with the things that people do, what they think and dream. The unmentionable acts hidden by the subconscious or a spy like quickness. People are afraid to let others know who they really are. Hiding in plain sight is what we, as people, do everyday.” The pieces being viewed will be her interpretation of this concept.
This is Kim’s debut showing at Global Fayre and First Friday Art Walk. To see more of her work, you can visit “Kim’s Eclectic” on facebook.
Find out what else is happening on First Friday here.
Check out the latest with Global Fayre here.
If you are on our email e-blast list, you will already know that you can get 25% discount on any single item on Saturday and Monday (YES – you can come back again and get the discounts on both days!). If you are NOT on our e-blast list, you should be….sign up by clicking here!
One of the unexpected delights of working in the world of Fair Trade has been the opportunity to work on customized products with our producer groups. Unexpected, because as a retailer we source our products primarily through importer/wholesalers who have the direct relationship with the producers.
However, in several cases now we’ve been able to work through the importer to request custom products (we talked about this before when we launched the vegan market baskets from Ghana).
Our latest adventure in product design has been in the world of finger puppets, working with our friends at Inca Kids.
Since we are based in Springfield, natural habitat of the Red Cardinal (and home of the Springfield Cardinals!) it seemed obvious to have some Red Cardinals made…..this is how they turned out:
The next major event coming to downtown Springfield is the 30th Annual Saint Patricks Day Parade, so now we’re scratching our heads thinking about what finger puppets we should have made……ideas anyone?!
Saturday was a crazy day at Global Fayre – way busier than any day we have had before.
Being a ‘for-profit’ store, sales revenues are obviously important for us. But the real thrill factor on Saturday was the number of people that had clearly made the decision to be concious consumers for a significant part of their holiday shopping. In coming to Global Fayre they were showing their commitment to a number of things:
1 – Fair Trade. Awareness of Fair Trade in the Springfield area is definately growing. Hopefully we’ve played a part in this, but there are plenty of other people out there making great efforts to promote the concept too. Just the fact that we participated in 8 Fair Trade events this fall, compared to just one last year, is a good indication of our progress.
2 – Downtown Springfield. It hasn’t been an easy year for downtown Springfield. Seems like we’ve lost more stores than we have gained. BUT – it’s been great to see much more foot traffic and a growing number of downtown regulars. Feels like the growth of retail is lagging way behind the level of demand from customers.
3 – Buying Local. As a Fair Trade store selling products from all over the world, the ‘buy local’ concept is an interestting one for us. We started at a Farmers Market on C-Street, and we are passionate supporters of local production. What comes through from our customers is that they recognise us as a local store, plus they value our knowledge of the artisans that produce the products we carry; it really is a wonderful aspect of Fair Trade that you can feel closely connected to a group of weavers that live half way around the world.
All this to say that two years after opening Global Fayre it feels like we have started to make our home here in the downtown district of Springfield Missouri. We’re grateful to the community here for opening their hearts and minds to Global Fayre and Fair Trade. We’re also looking forward to playing our part in the continued development of downtown Springfield in the years to come.
We are often asked what the store looks like, so we posted some images on Facebook earlier today.
Here’s just a few of them:
Tue 10:00am to 6:00pm
Wed 10:00am to 6:00pm
Thu 10:00am to 7:00pm
Fri 10:00am to 7:00pm
Sat 10:00am to 7:00pm
Sun 1:00pm to 5:00pm
We’ll be closed on Thanksgiving Day (November 27th)
We’ll be open on Black Friday (November 28th) and will have lots of goodies for you to sample, as well as the sale table (some things are marked down by 50%). Our friends and neighbors on South Campbell are open for Black Friday as well, so head downtown for some bargains and fun!
As you can see, we’re also opening on Sunday’s for the first time. We plan to keep these opening times for the rest of the year, and will let you know if and when we change them again.