Have you ever interacted with a person who made you feel overwhelmingly proud to be part of something? After I had the chance to ask a few questions of Marcy Davy, that’s how I felt about being an Ypsi community member and an entrepreneur. Marcy is a co-founder and co-organizer of the five-year-strong DIYpsi Indie Art Fair and owner of a flourishing printmaking and design business called All Things Grow. I had the chance to ask her about DIYpsi, entrepreneurship, and dedication.
Annually, I look forward to attending DIYpsi and supporting the community of artists and entrepreneurs represented there. This year, I hope you’ll join me and Marcy at Ypsi’s Riverside Arts Center on December 12 and 13. Bring your holiday shopping list—there’ll be great finds!
Rather than describing DIYpsi from an attendee’s point of view, I found Marcy’s words so perfectly descriptive and inspirational that I thought I’d share some excerpts with you. Plus, it’s often helpful to understand the perspective of the people behind events and organizations. Here’s what Marcy shared:
Me: Planning DIYpsi must be a huge investment of time and resources. What compels you to invest the resources necessary to coordinate this growing, beloved event?
Marcy: DIYpsi requires an incredible investment of time and energy from three artists/founders who don’t have much to spare around the holidays as our own careers have grown. Sherri [Green, of The Library Lab], Cre [Fuller of Tin Angry Men], and myself all have independent streaks, and learning to ask for help has made our jobs easier. We have created a close team through finding a fourth co-organizer, a show runner, and a web master who help us keep the pieces together when it comes to our most stressful tasks. We are also lucky to have partners in Riverside Arts Center and Corner Brewery who care deeply about doing justice to our event not only for themselves but for the sake of our community.
I am compelled to invest the time again and again for a few reasons. It is extremely important to us that the fair be a success for the artists involved. We want to help be part of the reason that people can wake up and do what they love each day, and we know from personal experience that means not just making back your booth fee but also making your mortgage payment. We are also the types of people who would have found a way to give some part of ourselves to the help build Ypsilanti’s creative community in one way or another– when the opportunity came up to take the reins and continue Ypsi’s tradition of indie art fairs (Shadow Art Fair was one of the first in the entire US) it seemed like the right step. It has been a tiny gift we can give to the town we all love so much, and hopefully an example of what Ypsilanti is all about. It is also amazing to sell your own goods at an event you brought to fruition in a way that I can’t explain. It has helped us express who we are as creative individuals in a new way.
Me: How has Ypsi’s entrepreneurial community changed over the past few years? How has DIYpsi impacted that change?
Marcy: Ypsi’s entrepreneurial community has grown exponentially in the years since we started. [DIYpsi] helped by launching a handful of careers and by being a lighthouse that has attracted residents who share our values, but I really think all of it would have happened anyway. It’s a special place where all of the right ingredients have been brewing for a long time.
It all comes down to money, and Ypsilanti is the kind of place where you can start something without venture capital or a bank loan. I started my own business in the basement of a foreclosed home that I couldn’t have afforded virtually anywhere else. That, and a community that continues to put their money where their mouth is has formed an atmosphere where anything is possible and so many unique entrepreneurs have taken advantage of that atmosphere to bring their dreams to light. I am lucky that I get to know many of them in this line of work and they are really lovely people who are fun to have a beer with, and who are not afraid to roll up their sleeves. I hope it never changes. I think our next step is to do what we can to make sure that entrepreneurial community is inclusive and represents our entire town.
I hope that you’ll come to Ypsi on December 12 or 13 to check out DIYpsi, talk to artisans, and check out the town. Want to explore before or after the fair? Check out our recent #MittenTrip guide to a weekend in Ypsi, along with an overview of one of my favorite new places in town, Cultivate Coffee and Taphouse.
What do you love about Ypsi?