Prairie Art Road Trip 2021 A Success
Written by: Cindy Hoppe, SCC juried artist and SCC Board Chair
In May 2020, Michaela Hoppe, Diane LaRouche Ellard and I had a COVID friendly outdoor show and sale between their two back yards in the town of Biggar. It resulted in sales and contacts with little advertising or effort, so we thought we would do it again but move it to my yard, twenty miles from town, adding a new business, Boondock Flower Farm 10 miles down the road, to change it up. As May this year was a COVID nightmare, we postponed our plans.
In June, we chose Saturday, July 24 as our date with a Plan B of Sunday if the weather was wet. We reached out to Arelee Art and Prairie Fire Alpacas to see if they were interested in joining our event. They said yes so now we had a four stop tour. We reached out to other artisans we knew that were within an hour’s drive and now we had several people to show at our host farms.
Diane is a marketer in her day job and her skills provided the base of our digital presence. She designed a map and beautiful posts for each marketer to use to promote in their circles. Karen Pashovitz of Prairie Fire Alpacas connected to Saskatoon Tourism. Boondock Flower Farm has a subscription bouquet service this year and reaches into many communities around us. Being old school, I took out coming events ads in 3 local weekly papers. Posters were printed and distributed. Last minute details were creating more signage in our area with guerrilla tape and foam core to help make finding us easier.
The day arrived with an 11 am start time which turned into 10:30 when the first cars started arriving. A baby alpaca decided to be born that morning and created its own event for 30 lucky patrons to watch. Not having any idea what kind of response we would get, we were busy meeting, greeting, selling, and enjoying connections with new and old friends until closing time at 5 pm. After 15 months with no social contact or feedback on our work, it was a celebration.
The marketers declared it a success. The patrons have been giving us great feedback and encouragement and are already talking about next year. Many thanks to the SCC who helped promote us. We have been talking to people who want to expand the Road trip with off shoots, so who knows where this will go. If anyone wants to contact me for more details, or would be interested in a 1 day Saturday in July next year setting up in a farm yard for an intense but enjoyable experience, please let me know. Here’s hoping everyone will enjoy some sales and encouragement as we head into the new normal.
Cindy Hoppe – Home phone: (306) 948-2947; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.