Being a small and independent business we know the reality out there. As much we would like to have our own shop, with the current sky high rent prices and rates it becomes virtually impossible and even long standing and traditional businesses are struggling to stay afloat. Contributing further to the 'decline of the high-street' online businesses are taking over and its never been easier to set up your own website, hence the fact you are reading my words on our own website and very own blog post.
However easy it is to make a purchase online, though, we firmly believe that to grow a business you need face to face contact with your customers and that a good reputation can't be built only from behind a screen and an efficient postal service.
That's when Markets come in to the equation...
With some of them dating back as far as the 11th Century, markets are a tradition that has managed to survive and in some places are having a very welcome revival. I say managing to survive because there's no denial that some markets are under pressure and there are situations where a whole section of a market could suddenly disappear because the space is being sold to developers looking to 'improve' the area.
So in order to survive some markets are just doing that, surviving. And then, you can see imports taking over and a market in London could be easily be in Spain or Turkey because the very essence of being a local place for local people gets lost. Everything becomes the same.
That's why we love The Frome Independent Market. We've been part of it for the past year and it's hard to put in to words why. You have to be here on a sunny Sunday afternoon, kids dressed up, dancing on the sand pit, adults having a pint of cider, everyone having a good time. Of course there's the commercial side to it, there are the Traders, of food, books, antiques, art, etc. But you can see that everyone wants to put on their best show, like a Sunday outing should be.
Facing some problems in terms of the logistics of the market and the number of people coming to visit it every month some changes were needed to The Frome Independent and, continuing to have the traders amongst their best interest the organization came up with the Market Makers campaign. It's great to see the images of both traders contributing with prizes and people joining the scheme, both supporting something I believe touches the core of what we call community values and celebrating the occasion when we all meet on the streets of Frome town. In my opinion it portrays a win-win situation and we can only gain from it. If only the whole world out there was so engaged and behaving so nicely.