BOSTON | FALL 2017
Another American Field is in the books. This is my second of the year. Two more to go. I go to the American made pop up markets as a fan of markers and of American made and as a friend to the team that runs it all. Ive been surrounded by makers since we started this business, and it is one of the reasons we started the business. We decided early on that we would take the road less travelled and skip corporate sponsorship whenever possible in favor of promoting and advocating for makers and doers. While that road hasn't been easy for us or for any other business that has trudged down it, it has been incredibly rewarding. The team behind American Field shares many of the same views that I have on the important of conscious consumption and the value of handmade and maker made.
Each of the American Field markets brings together dozens of small businesses. The market itself is a way for these makers and brands to remove the digital wall between the brand and the follower and put a tangible face, voice, and hand shake with the brand. While these markets are billed as marketing events rather than money making weekends for the brands involved, it often allows the brands to cover their expenses of traveling and setting up at the market and allows them to establish hundreds or thousands of potential new customers, wholesalers, and fellow industry insiders. Thanks to social media, photography, and sites like Tumblr these connections will continue to grow well into the future.
American Field launched their first market in 2012 in Boston as an extension of American made luxury brand Ball and Buck. This market in the south side of Boston allowed the various brands sold in the Ball and Buck store to come together in one place to celebrate and highlight the dozens of makers. Originally branded as a menswear pop up the event has, over time, rather effortlessly diversified to include womenswear and accessories and a variety of home goods. This diversification has allowed the American Field market to remain relevant as a market while many other markets have shifted towards different business models.
Over the years the connection to Ball and Buck has been diluted in favor of American Field standing alone as a market that straddles the luxury and every day quality goods. The price points at the markets have expanded to ensure the markets offer goods for anyone seeking to promote American made. Brands like Ball and Buck and Rancourt have used this as a way to have extreme sales at the market, in turn generating traffic to their booths.
As American Field continues is 2017 season and pushes into 2018 the hope is they will launch their long awaited ecommerce Marketplace. New market events in Los Angeles, Denver, and Chicago are also being investigated.
American Field will wrap the 2017 season with markets in Washington DC and Brooklyn.