There I was looking at the box store building that was a Zellers, then a Target, and now stands empty, lonely and waiting for the next store that wants to sell us cheap goods, at a mid range price. The Greater Forest Lawn area is filled with people who leave the area to find better prices elsewhere, and we know where to look.
Now it doesn’t have to be that building. A market space that we can be proud of is a better goal. Experiences on the front end, of having a table at a couple of different events, and markets, and visiting plenty more, have filled me with ideas. I have seen the strengths of these different places, and the community it creates.
Being a restless spirit, I am driven by building, and creating. When I went to the BRZ GREAT in Greater Forest Lawn Lunch(June 23 2015), I didn’t expect much. My friend told me about it, the Friday before the event, only a week after I started looking into the market concept. The Great in Greater Forest Lawn, is an ideas lunch and you sign up for five minutes to pitch your idea for a citizen-led funding project and can be awarded up to $2500 to fund your idea. It is sponsored by The International Avenue Business Revitalization Zone, The United Way of Calgary & Area, and International Avenue Arts and Culture Centre.
Late, with two small kids, in tow, and without the index cards I had prepared, I ended up being the last entry in the hat (entered after the first speaker had been pulled), and the second person to speak.
At this point I have to inform you that I’m a weirdo, and actually enjoy public speaking… When I know what I’m talking about, which I didn’t really. So I went with honesty instead of facts. Only asking for $300 to set up a nice website, and get some expert advice on it (I have a talented social media pro for a friend, but want to be able to at least entertain her while I pick her brain). This will lead into my crowd funding the project hopefully. The whole experience keyed me right up. While there were many great ideas, I was mostly focused on trying to contain my kids, and replaying what I did right and wrong compared to the other pitchers.
The pitchers were asked to leave the building while our ideas were being judged and then invited back in. Four ideas were funded, and mine was one of them. FTW! (For the win, for all you not yet gamers) That night I eagerly emailed all my new contacts, and stirred myself up into a tizzy, trying to become as ready as possible, to sound more prepared then I ever feel.
This adventure has been more like rush hour traffic so far; Sudden openings, spurts of speed and sudden stops, then slow moving, with that vehicle just ahead of you belching black exhaust into your window on a hot day when you don’t have air conditioning, and all you can do is think of your destination.
So I finally met with my social media guru, at Pie Cloud (so very yummy), and she told me to start up a blog at wordpress.com, and cleaned up my project name, International Ave Market. While I’m computer literate, I’m not social media savvy. Any great things I do here are her work, while the blunders are all on me, lol.
My plan is to do an honest blog (the blood sweat and tears, without the foul language) about my attempt to make all this really happen, whether it is a cautionary tale, or my story of victory! After all, you may be the one who decides how it ends.