Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace - Place-based Transformation

Region Five Development Commission

Funding Received: 2016
Little Falls, MN
$440,000
Funding Period: 2 years and 11 months
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Vendor Spotlight- Doug LaBorde, DL Smithing

February 6, 2017

I am Doug LaBorde of DLSmithing. I heard about the Sprout market days about the time I was retiring from being a boilermaker and beginning to put my blacksmithing gig together. I didn’t know if I could be ready for their first Growers and Makers market, but ready or not I showed up and have been at every one since. Now, I treat it as a “storefront” where people can find and meet me. I have really enjoyed meeting people and making friends and connections through the Sprout market days. I even set up and demonstrated blacksmithing at a couple of the events. It seems that when people see me doing something it invites them to tell me about what they are doing and leads to some very good conversations about things that are meaningful to both them and myself. It makes for a very pleasant day.

I was then asked if I would be on the Sprout board, to which I said “yes”. I had been impressed with what I had seen with Sprout up to that point, but I didn’t really begin to see the whole picture of what they were up to until I attended the first couple of meetings. To say the least I am very impressed with what they are up to and the work that has already been put into making it all happen. I am not a “board” kind of person but I am excited to see what I can do to help move the Sprout vision along.

Hope to see you at the next Sprout Growers and Makers Market