As an interior designer who was growing frustrated with the lack of interesting accessories and furniture for her clients, she decided to create an outdoor market that would feature such items. Inspired by other outdoor markets that she'd visited, she started the long and arduous process of finding a suitable location and ultimately receiving approval from the Township to hold the Market in a parking lot, downtown. All together, the approval process took approximately three years of meetings, petitions, outreach, letters to the editor, appearances before the local Board of Commissioners, and meetings with the local Civic Associations. Tenacity.
Clover Market was finally approved and began operations in the spring of 2010, with a very small handful of vendors, twice a month.
2010 was challenging. The East Coast weather was not always cooperative, procuring vendors proved difficult, and attendance wasn't always the best. At one point, exhausted from the rigors of the market, being a mom, running the design business, and dealing with the side effects of medullary thyroid cancer, she was tempted to throw in the towel.
Instead, she dove in, deeper than ever before, changed the market to run once a month instead of two, and spent every spare moment networking, searching for more vendors, pitching stories, and reaching out to friends - all to generate buzz and excitement for her event.
And, it worked! 2011 opened with a bang, with three completely sold out shows at about 60 vendors each, tremendous public support and attendance, and a waiting list of interested vendors. And the weather cooperated as well.
Clover Market has helped to revitalize the downtown area which has suffered in these harsh economic times, and Janet is proud to say that it has played a small part in incubating and providing a venue for many small business owners who otherwise wouldn't have a venue to market themselves and sell their work and their products.
Congratulations, Janet! You're hard work is an inspiration.
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All images by Carla Zambelli.