Over the years we have gone to many Main Street America conferences. The most exciting part of the conference is mobile workshops. This year we learned from other cities virtually thanks to Zoom platforms and Youtube. The first conference I went to was hosted in Detroit in 2014. The opening Plenary or kickoff session was in Ferndale, Michigan at the rustbeltmarket.com
It was the first time I had ever seen a collective market with start-up businesses! These merchant stalls were no bigger than a 8×8 space. There was a sea of creativity like bottled apple cider vinegar drinks, soaps, maps, quirky homemade upcycled bird houses and much more.
There was one physical ceiling over the stalls and it seemed there was no limit to the ambition these merchants had created. It was a permanent farmers market that could be locked up and protected from the physical elements. I just checked out rustbeltmarket.com and it looks like they are still thriving. It is smart that this collective market generates income from hosting big events as well as offering locally merchandise.
We couldn’t go on mobile workshops at this year’s 2021 Main Street America Conference, but here is another example of a incubator market called Mercado del Pueblo.
If you want to see what happens when creativity comes together; get your favorite beverage and watch this video!