Over the last week, serious allegations came out against Jeff Mach and Jeff Mach Events, organizers of Wicked, Steampunk World’s Fair, and several other events in New Jersey. We have taken a few days to consider our response and see how the event company would handle the situation. Last night we received the official response from the new event CEO that Jeff will no longer be involved with any of their events or allowed to be at them.
We’ve been talking about it seriously here, so here is our response for you, our fans and fellow convention goers.
We will still be vending at this year’s Wicked Faire and Steampunk World’s Fair. These events are paid for well in advance and we can not afford as a small business to let that money be a wash or scramble to find another show at this point in time.
While we personally have never had any problems with Jeff or JME, we do not dismiss or disbelieve those who have. You have our support and we wish you had felt more comfortable to speak out sooner.
We will be watching to see how the new management handles this year and evaluating whether we will do these shows in the future.
Conventions, events, and faires are supposed to be places of fun and escape. We all try to watch out for each other, and we hate to see when something like this poisons any part of our greater community.
This is our promise to you:
If you are at any event where we are vending, and feel harassed, followed, or otherwise unsafe, we will happily give you shelter. If you feel ill, we will give you a seat. We will stand by you until you find a friend or a member of event staff who can help you.
If for any reason our behavior ever makes you uncomfortable, please let us know. We want events we attend to be enjoyable and safe for all.
Our sympathies are with all effected, and we hope that we will all be able to move forward to a good year of events.
Those of you who follow us on our social media know that since November things have been super special for our business. So here’s what happened:
In October, Nathaniel found out that the building he had his workshop in had been sold, and that the new owners were not keeping the current tenants. So, we put aside a couple of days to find him a new building, preferably in his home town of Eden, NC. A couple of conversations with amazing locals later, and we were shown a vacant older storefront with amazing front display windows, a built in office, and a huge main room. It needs some love, but it is perfect for what we have wanted.
So, a couple of days later we had an agreement with a new landlord and I was planning a major move to North Carolina to join Nathaniel with the amazing shop.
It’s been a bit of a slow start, getting all of the legal business stuff taken care of and getting the funding together in our slower sales part of the year. But we are on the way to making something awesome! When we’re done, the front will have a sales gallery, the back and office will be made into our studio space. We’ll be able to create more efficiently, have space to teach, and bring our creations to an old downtown.
We need your help fulfilling this dream! We are currently raising money for our build out and building repairs. Visit our IndieGoGo campaign and we’ll give you awesome things for your help. Or, help us spread the word, or buy something awesome from our online store! Everything or anything will help.
We’re really looking forward to fostering a local creative community, and we’d love to have you with us for the adventure!
We love participating in VARF, and were happy to return for five weeks this May to June! Of course, with an outdoor fair and the growing Virginia heat, there are always some hiccups.
First weekend, I was madly trying to track down our new tent with absolutely no info coming from the company as to an ETA. So, week of we went ahead and bought a car port from Harbor Freight and some canvas for side walls so we would have something.
So when did our new tent arrive? The day before show opened, so too late to get it set up for first weekend.
We did get it all set up for second weekend, thought we were hot and tired and did not realize it was inside out until it was all up. We left it that way for the show. Last hiccup? We were in our usual spot, but with a larger space it was clear just what an odd hill it was. The tent stayed well, but we were constantly having to accommodate for the lean. Next year, we’re adding a platform and an in-tent fan!
This was our second year doing Steampunk World’s Fair, and we were happy to move to an inside hotel room space. This set up is unique as far as shows we have done – the first floor hotel rooms become vending space, small boutique shops that have creative set ups. Fortunately a vendor friend pointed out we would need to bring more lights, because hotel rooms are not meant to be bright. We also thought to buy a lot more vertical displays, because this was not a good space to try and bring multiple tables in and have multiple customers at a time.
Only things we’d change for next year? Confirm all details with the hotel so we don’t have any check-in issues like we did this year, get something eyecatching to put outside our room, and make some advertising posters including that we do costume repair.
Fall and Spring are always chancy times of year for weather. We’ve been fortunate this year in having better luck than last thus far. But this small faire in April got interesting.
First, creativity with set up. We had not yet received our new tent, so we made something up quickly with two 10 x 10 canopies and a quickly sewn cover. The set up this year was odd. Flow did not make obvious sense. One of the reenactor groups was so far away they seemed like a private encampment. But the crowds on Saturday were decent and people had fun as usual.
Just in time for the evening feat it started to pour down rain. Fortunately the feast is in the big garage building of the fairgrounds. We had a good meal with friends, then decided to pay for a night in a hotel.
Good thing we did. We came back Sunday to find our tent was standing in a lake. The organizers allowed people to move into the large building and use table space for Sunday. So I started opening us up for sales while Nathaniel took down our tent and helped out neighbors.
So for all that the event ended up unusual for a renaissance faire, the move indoors ended up being a good thing. Maybe it was that the vendors were now moved together and easier to find. Maybe it was the small remaining group of people staying closer together and making the building festive. Either way, Sunday went even better than Saturday. So, pouring rain but a good show. Thanks everyone!
Here’s a little change from our usual shows. Artomatic is one of my favorite recurring art events in the DC area. Every couple of years, they take over a vacant office building. The space is first come first serve to artists for whatever they want to create and share. It is a great opportunity to meet other artists and jump start your creativity.
This year Artomatic came back to Crystal City, and we managed to get a three person room. We split it between the two of us and another gamer artist friend, Kat, who does lovely comic style art. Doing a room together made us seem like a small, curated gallery. People loved stopping by and seeing our work over the month the show was running. So here’s what we displayed in our awesome room.