“It’s frustrating to live in this situation””; Marketers speak out about the end of the Servitude Fair in Blumenau

About to complete nine years bringing together local brands and artists in downtown Blumenau, the Servitude Fair will close. Due to works and the difficulty of articulating with the City Hall of Blumenau, which did not inform about the possibility of holding events in its surroundings, the event prepares for its last edition.

Organized by Microponto Produções, the Feirinha da Servidão played a very important role in helping, creation and evolution of several brands of Blumenau residents, in addition to providing many public spaces for leisure during the weekends.

“The fair started by occupying the street, generating entertainment for the city and free public leisure space where anyone had access, in addition to generating opportunities for other fairs. There were no age restrictions, there was no prejudice towards any type of public, it was a very plural and very democratic space”, comments Ana Letícia Knuth, architect and creator of the clothing brand BeCult.

Brand evolution

A-N-A Knuth, 30, started participating in the Feirinha da Servidão in August 2015, when he created a clothing brand that reused leftover fabrics and knits to create clothes, together with his parents. At that time, Blumenau did not have other fairs, and for having a sustainable and different proposal, the family saw in Feirinha, a space to sell products directly to the public and present the brand to consumers.

In addition, the brand’s proposal was to sell different and exclusive products, and because of that, the brand’s objective ended up fitting very well with the Feirinha space, as well as the public that attended. “Our brand grew with the fair, we grew together and in parallel. We ended up creating a very loyal audience, who always went to the fair and bought with us or even people who made friends and came there just to talk,” he says.

Ana reports that her master’s degree was about urban interventions, and that she used the Feirinha da Servidão as a study material, in which she told how the event occupied spaces in the city, its history and what benefits it brought to the city.

Ana and her mother in front of the sales tent / Credits: Personal Archive

Because of this close relationship and many years, Ana reports that witnessing the end of the event leaves a feeling of frustration. In addition to affecting her business and reducing her points of sale and contact with customers, as an architect, she understands this end as a very big loss for the city, as it was one of the only events that made it possible to have a public space with several leisure options. and free entertainment.

“The fair opened doors for so many other fairs that exist today in Blumenau, so I am very upset. I followed the growth of the fair and grew up together, I saw it occupy spaces, I was with them as a citizen and architect. The city gained from that event, it was not just the fairgrounds who benefited from the fair, but the whole city”.

Arlete Maria Hermes, 59, is a micro-entrepreneur and clothing technologist who shares the same feelings as Ana. Having worked in several textile companies and having difficulty entering the job market again, she created the SoulFlor brand, a clothing line that she produces in a conscious and artisanal way, resignifying textile waste and producing less waste.

From there, she started participating in the Feirinha in December 2018 because she thought that the ideas of her work and the purpose of the event were similar. “I was in a great depression and ended up finding myself in the middle of sewing and entrepreneurship, I found in this branch the strength to get back up and keep walking. SoulFlor was born at Feirinha da Servidão and it is frustrating to live in this situation”.

With a work focused on producing women’s clothing that valued women, Arlete comments that she gained a lot of visibility after starting to participate in the Feirinha da Servidão, so she had not been able to participate in other fairs. In addition, over the years, she made many friends, learned about many stories, saw difficulties in the municipality and managed to contribute to improvements.

Arlete in front of your sales tent/Credits: Personal Archive

Because of this, he feels a deep sadness for being living the end of the Feirinha, since it was there that he conquered many things, found himself, managed to evolve the SoulFlor brand and, the main thing, had an income to support his house.

“Feirinha gave you the freedom to be yourself, even if it was for a few hours. I feel a hole in my heart for seeing this end, even more that now I have to go to other cities to be able to sell and with that I have many more expenses ”, she reports.

So many other fairs

Because they live off their own brands and sell their products, Ana and Arlete need to attend several other fairs, not only in Blumenau, but in cities in the region. Both comment that when attending other cities, they realize that the government has a much greater interest in these types of free events for the public, and that other marketers, when they learn about the end of the Feirinha da Servidão, find it difficult to believe.

“We got to have more than 100 vendors participating. People from Florianópolis, Curitiba, cities in the region, came to exhibit in Blumenau, at Feirinha da Servidão, and we can’t even explain to these people how the event came to be. We noticed that there is greater interest in other cities, where they understand the need for these types of events to take place and to give the community this opportunity to have fun”, explains Arlete.

Ana comments that the city has always had several private or paid events, but that the Feirinha da Servidão opened many doors for free events in the city, occupying the street and public spaces. For her, the fair played a very important role in creating a different space and counterculture to the stereotype of a “German city”, in addition to being a space for other small entrepreneurs to sell their products.

The marketer also reports that, having participated in several fairs, she perceives a very large difference in the public, when the events take place in public places when they happen in a public space. According to her, people end up feeling intimidated, but the way the Feirinha da Servidão took place, people had freedom and more spaces to attend.

“I can’t think of positive points with the end of the Feirinha da Servidão. This will not bring any advantage to the city, the government or the citizens. It makes me discouraged to see how our government does not encourage these public forms of leisure”, she concludes.

The end

Rafaela Duarte, 29, is a publicist and saw the Feirinha grow. Having followed and worked on the event since the first edition by Microponto Produções and other communication vehicles, she felt very shaken when, along with Diego Lottin, executive producer of Microponto Produções and the rest of the team, they had to make the decision to close the Feirinha of Serfdom.

However, for her, there is a feeling of accomplishment and positive results, since for almost nine years, Feirinha helped many entrepreneurs to start projects, brought music and visual and theater artists to the street. In addition to feeding the public with local culture and opening doors for new fairs to take place in the city, offering even more space for entrepreneurs to live from creative production.

Despite all these achievements, Rafaela comments that it is necessary to understand the signs, and that the last ones received showed that the Feirinha cycle has come to an end. ”We are happy to fulfill our purpose of encouraging the consumption of local creative production. We always had positive feedback about the entire event, especially about the care in pre-production, during the fair and after the event. We know, through the vendors, that participating in the Feirinha da Servidão is different from participating in other fairs”, she says.

With the end, the impression that was left is that the City Hall of Blumenau had ended the Feirinha da Servdão, however, Rafaela clarifies that there were several factors for this to happen. According to her, the Feirinha da Servidão is the production company’s main product and the instability of the public space that the event occupies, put the producer in a complicated position, and directly impacted the monthly revenue.

“The end of the event is a decision of the producer, after all, we could migrate the Feirinha da Servidão to another space, whether public or private. However, Microponto Produções, as the event organizer, understands that there are many logistical, communication issues, among other demands inherent to the fair that are not simple to solve, even more so in a time of post-pandemic return”, he points out.

To close in a special way, a last event will be held on October 8th and 9th, at Vale Auto Shopping in Blumenau. Rafaela says that, as it has been two years and five months without holding the Feirinha da Servidão, the producer is preparing a return full of news, and says that all fairgrounds and producers are very excited.

“We feel comfortable saying that the best thing to do now is to stop. We all made this beautiful story happen and last for all these years. We know that this last edition will be very special”, he concludes.

The Feirinha da Servidão lasted almost nine years, and in 2019 alone, with 10 editions, just over R$990 thousand in sales were produced through the 220 different brands in the region that participated in the event.

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The article is in Portuguese

Tags: frustrating live situation Marketers speak Servitude Fair Blumenau

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