We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Jessica & Joe Dougherty a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Jessica & Joe, appreciate you joining us today. So, folks often look at a successful business and think it became a success overnight – but that often obscures all the nitty, gritty details of everything that went into the growth phase of your business. We’d love to hear about your scaling story and how you scaled up?
In 2009, Jessica and Joe took a leap of faith and organized their 1st Annual Funky Finds Spring Fling, an all handmade shopping event. It was a great event featuring approximately 50 vendors. Funky Finds hosted their second Spring show in 2010 and added a holiday event that November at the urging of makers and friends. Each event grew steadily in the amount of vendors, as well as shoppers. As the number of applicants increased, they realized that more space was needed & in November of 2019 rented two adjacent buildings at Will Rogers Memorial Center. Just when Funky Finds was expanding, the Spring 2020 event was among the first of the shut downs due to the pandemic. This made it hard to host public events for a while, but the event was back to normal in November 2021. With any venture, there’s been some setbacks and challenges, but the duo is so thankful to continue the journey with their upcoming event in March – the 14th Annual Funky Finds Spring Fling, an all handmade + vintage shopping market!
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your back background and context?
Jessica created the Funky Finds blog in 2006, showcasing makers around the globe. Blogs were very popular at the time & the audience grew quickly resulting in advertising revenue. Jessica and Joe began attending craft shows in Dallas and Austin and blogging about the featured makers. With the encouragement from many area artisans, Funky Finds hosted their first handmade market in 2009. Jessica is a graphic designer and Joe is a web designer, so their skills help in promoting the event, allowing makers to apply online, and helping those they’ve met through events with branding, promotional materials, and online selling.
What do you think helped you build your reputation within your market?
Jessica and Joe have always worked hard to run an honest operation built on hard work. We love getting to know the vendors at our events – many have been return vendors for the past decade & we’ve formed personal relationships with them over the years.
What do you think is the goal or mission that drives your creative journey?
While we greatly enjoy working for ourselves and hope to continue that for years to come, our primary mission is to put good out into the world. We hear so much negativity & we know first-hand that the world is full of good people doing good things and we want to contribute to that as much as possible. Every Funky Finds event has featured pet adoptions, as well as fundraising for non-profit organizations. We have partnered with the Humane Society of North Texas, CASA of Tarrant County, DFW Toys for Tots, and Saving Hope Animal Rescue to name a few. Each event features a charitable raffle with every dollar raised going to the benefiting organizations. We have other fundraising avenues, such as photos with Santa in November.