Gift and Thrift Crowdfunder
The truth is we started this entire thing with nothing. No startup money, no loan, no savings, nothing. Every night I go to sleep worried about the next day, the next bills, the next show or event. Some of you may have heard about the Den closing in Flagstaff and the video he put out a few weeks ago. His announcement of closing his venue and all the details of what led up to the closure, was so familiar that it made me physically ill.
Since starting Gift and Thrift in October of 2021, we’ve had 48 events, always with local artists, music, and neighborhood food vendors. In 2023, we’ve already had 7 events in just January and we have 25 confirmed through August 2023 alone. We love what we do and we’re proud to have built a business in a community that allows us to be more present in the lives of our children that a 9-5 job would not allow for. Being part of a creative community, the relationships we’ve built with the artists, vendors and musicians have brought us further than we ever expected. It’s very hard for us to ask for help.
We like to be the ones that help.
We started with a small little shop, then we wanted to do markets to bring more income opportunities for the artists. Following the pandemic, we wanted to book bands at the markets and venues to reintroduce musicians to the world. To do so, we found a venue to hold our own events. Shortly after opening that second location, we found out Jarrod's Coffee, a local staple in the Downtown Mesa community, was getting a rent increase of double his current rate. We sprung into action to help bring income to keep the place going. Everything good in our business originated at Jarrod’s, whether it was people we’ve met, conversations or meetings that we’ve had. Jarrod, his staff and his brother Jamin, are always a positive light in our lives. Jarrod has been open for 10 years and is the epitome of any great local, artsy, downtown coffee shop.
When we heard about the rent increase, I didn’t even think. I just promised that I would help because Main Street would not be the same without Jarrod’s Coffee Tea and Art Gallery.
During this plan to partner with Jarrod on his space, we weren't able to have any markets. The city had Macdonald St. closed off most of November through January for the Christmas tree and Santa which didn’t allow for three months of Market on Main. Don’t get us wrong, we love Santa and the tree, we are just explaining the situation. We tried to adjust our store hours to accommodate traffic, but we would sit for hours and no one would come. With our schedule and kids, juggling the perfect store hours was very difficult. Now that we have partners working with us to have the store open again, people will be able to shop at the store.
If we aren’t transparent now and ask you for help, I would say we’ve got less than two weeks before we have to make a goodbye post. The hardest part about writing this or asking for help, is that we know so many people are struggling and need help. We want to get back to a position where we can keep helping anyone that comes to us for help. We started this crowdfunding project to keep us operational and the events going. The money raised goes right back into the community, putting on the Pride market, paying the performers, helping with expenses at Jarrods with a remodel as a venue, opening back up the small shop with regular hours, paying the rent and keeping the utilities on at the Mesa Dr, location, updating the outdoor venue to avoid the mud pit it turns into after the rain.
We’re asking for your help to raise $18,000 to execute our plan. Below are our main objectives in 2023:
Funding and remodel at Jarrod’s Coffee to update it as a venue for extra income for the coffee shop.
Update our outdoor all ages venue in Mesa
Create a coffee and snack bar for the all ages venue
Pay music performers/artists
Provides us with one month of operational cushion
Decrease fees at markets
Run ads for upcoming markets to get more people out to downtown Mesa
Fund security and logistics for the pride market
Pay back small personal loans to others that have helped us along the way
Staff for markets
Signage for markets
Fees and logistics for more upcoming markets
We would love to give someone in the art community a full-time job with us