15 Minutes With … Mindy Jovanovic and Ana Manzano

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CLAIM TO FAME

They are the high-energy event planners behind River City Marketplace, one of Sacramento’s largest fairs for local artisans, with 100-plus vendors at Fremont Park in midtown. It’s held twice yearly; the next one takes place Oct. 8.

DAY JOBS

Jovanovic: Owner of Peace, Love, and Soy Wax, an artisan candle business

Manzano: Owner of Ana Apple, a children’s apparel company and boutique, and The Greenhouse, a children’s creative studio, both in Old Sacramento

WHY SACRAMENTO NEEDED A LARGE-SCALE MAKERS FAIR

Jovanovic: Our city has such an eclectic mix of people and culture. What we really needed was a platform to show off all of this stuff. Sacramento had a lot of really fun, smaller pop-up shows, but they didn’t have anything on a bigger scale. As vendors, Ana and I had to travel out of town to sell at an event this large.

WHERE THEY’VE SOUGHT INSPIRATION

Jovanovic: I’ve done a lot of traveling and have lived in a few different places. I was really inspired by the French Market in New Orleans, the Brooklyn Flea in New York and another fine-art fair outside Washington, D.C. 

Manzano: I’ve been a vendor for seven years and have done a ton of shows in San Francisco and Los Angeles. I like that we’ve been able to bring a slice of that to Sacramento. 

THE JOY OF SHOPPING FOR HANDMADE GOODS

Jovanovic: It’s so fun getting something that you know wasn’t mass-produced without any personality or passion behind it. 

Manzano: Every December, my deal with myself is to pick one thing that I treat myself to at the end of the season. Probably my favorite of those is the pair of earrings that I got from a Brazilian maker while I was on Maui. They are absolutely stunning. Now I wear them all the time.

THE TRICK TO CURATING A GREAT FAIR

Jovanovic: My main goal is to make it as eclectic as possible. When you can get every type of talent out there, the sum becomes greater than its parts. 

Manzano: It involves a lot of thinking about what this city is rich in in terms of talent. I personally love booths with an interactive element that pulls people in. They make a huge contribution to the fair.

HOW THEY ELEVATE FELLOW MAKERS

Manzano: The really cool thing I’m noticing is how many brands are where I first started, where they have this potential product and all they really need is a platform for getting to the next level. We’re able to help local makers with intangible things, like giving them the confidence to pursue their work full time or to invest more energy into it. For a lot of vendors, this is their first time getting beyond the kitchen table.