Wow. Over the last several days, we’ve realized how lucky we are to have so many good friends and supporters in Nashville. Everything was coming together last week for our tenth and biggest market ever, when we had to make an unexpected but necessary change of venue to OZ Arts Nashville and we had only two days to reengineer all of the essential logistics for Porter Flea Holiday X 2015 (PFX). This was a make-it-work moment for Porter Flea, and although PFX did not turn out exactly they way we had been working so hard to produce --- we had everything planned for 142 vendors under one massive roof with minimal lines, which was simply not possible given the layout of the alternative event space --- this year’s holiday market probably would not have happened at all without the help of some generous and committed people.
First and foremost, we owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the exceptional people at OZ Arts Nashville. The OZ team stepped up heroically to help us orchestrate PFX and proved once again what a vital role they play in Nashville’s contemporary art and design community. We cannot thank them enough for taking care of us in such a difficult predicament -- they quite literally saved the day.
We also want to extend a huge THANK YOU to the thousands of people who came out to OZ to support the area’s best artisans on Saturday, who helped us spread the word about the urgent venue change, and who parked up to a mile away (!) to come to the market. Although the entrance line was never more than about 90 minutes long, that is far longer than we want for our markets, and we’re grateful for everyone’s patience and understanding that we were doing our very best all day to keep the line moving without overcrowding the aisles. We’re happy to report that PFX was a major success for the incredibly talented designers and makers that participated in the market, and we appreciate all the encouraging words we received from vendors who rallied with us to make the most of the situation.
There are many, many other people to thank for helping us achieve a positive outcome under such challenging circumstances. We’re grateful to The Skillery for hosting our “situation room” last week when we were racing against the clock to secure and to develop a new plan for an alternative venue. We also leaned heavily upon and received crucial guidance from our good friends at the Metro Arts Commission, the Arts and Business Council, and the Nashville Fashion Alliance who helped us relocate our event as quickly as possible to OZ Arts Nashville. And we want to acknowledge several senior officials at Metro Codes and the Beer Board who helped answer so many questions and who helped us secure the proper permitting for our intended venue, even if those permits turned out not to be necessary. So many other key event logistics also had to be reconsidered by changing the event venue, and even though the PF team had very little time to do it, we are lucky to have great relationships with professional event vendors, particularly Bright Event Productions, Rock Solid Security, and Music City Tents and Events, who skillfully worked through these new challenges.
Finally, we want to salute our generous sponsors, particularly Avenue Bank, NATIVE, Brand Imaging Group, Nashville Arts Magazine, the Nashville Scene, and Watkins University for helping us grow and enrich Nashville’s modern handmade marketplace. Thank you.
We are so grateful to all of these people and organizations for helping us work through a difficult situation, and we are humbled by the amazing turnout, the encouraging words, and the constructive feedback we’ve received over the last week. We’re fortunate to be a part of such an engaged and supportive community, and we will continue to do everything we can to keep building a more satisfying market experience for makers and buyers alike.
Thank you all for giving us the opportunity to celebrate 10 markets. We look forward to many more milestones ahead.
- Katie, Brent, and Abi