Local vendors are out hundreds of dollars after a company booking a holiday expo in Madison canceled last-minute.
Rosy Hawbaker owns Rosymade Designs, a clothing shop run out of her garage.
She depends on local craft fairs, art expos and farmers markets to sell her creations, and news that company Street Repeats was holding a Holiday Expo at the Alliant Energy Center in December promised a perfect locale ahead of Christmas.
"This time of year, we try to fill up our calendars with lucrative events, and this was hopefully going to be one of those," Hawbaker said.
Weeks ahead of the expo, planned for the weekend of Dec. 10, Hawbaker received an email from Street Repeats that it would be canceling the event and filing for bankruptcy. The company also said it would not be able to reimburse vendors the $250 they had paid up front to reserve tables.
“My stomach kind of sank, and my mind started to spin a little bit,” Hawbaker said. “This is our livelihood.”
The Alliant Energy Center is now stepping in to help affected vendors.
Executive Director Mark Clarke said the venue has canceled its contract with Street Repeats but will still allow vendors to take over the Exhibition Hall Dec. 10 and 11 at no extra charge.
“It was the right thing to do,” Clarke said. “These are smaller organizations. There's no big money or big corporations. [We’re doing] anything to do to help them out and help them salvage the weekend they booked already.”
Hawbaker was excited to hear that news.
“That makes me feel hopeful that there are good people out there, especially in the face of something like this,” she said.
Anyone interested in attending can still go to the Holiday Expo at the Alliant Energy Center’s Exhibition Hall Dec. 10 and 11.