Sunday, October 05, 2008

Three Down

Show three in the series. Everything ran rather smoothly, as we had the car packed early, and left with a proper amount of time for check in yesterday. No rain. I wasn't sick. We thought we were pretty darn cool.

When we got there we found a bunch of vendors standing around looking at each other, and no direction. When we got our confirmations last week, they just put a street address of where our booth would be located. And the famous line, "Volunteers will be available to help." IF you could find them, that is.

After some hemming and hawing, we found the volunteer. And she confirmed our space was where we thought it was. Which is good, since Obbie had unloaded the car in the time it took to get the information.

When asked, the staff told me to put the booth 'wherever', and yes, it could go out in the street 'a little'. What they hell? They CLOSED the street for the festival. So after much grumbling, we put the whole thing in the street. It was too difficult to put it on the sidewalk between the trash can and street signs. I feel they should have just said put it in the street. I felt like a rookie.

So we set up, la, la, la. And sat down to wait for the first customer. I did the mental inventory, and said, "Hey, where's the bank?" Obbie said he didn't see the cashbox when he unloaded the car. Oh shit. I hiked back to the car, and looked. Nope. No cashbox. DAMMIT.

Luckily, I had a whole bunch of singles, and some other folding money in my bag, and he had some folding money in his pocket. We were able to have a makeshift bank, with the help of a cool cigar box I bought from the tobacco store up the way. I can't believe I made such a rookie mistake though! And the cash box was sitting where I left it, after I made sure all the change, pens, and pads were there. Duh.

Again, another day of three buck kids necklaces and rocks. It seems that in this economy, people still want to have a good day, and buy the kids a little something, without breaking the bank. The Jewelry Artists I know will take great issue to the fact that I'm selling kid necklaces alongside chain maille, and sterling & semi-precious gemstone earrings and bracelets. But honestly, and I hate to say this, the kid stuff is what is selling. We've made our expenses PLUS at all three shows because of that. It is what it is. I'm just happy I'm selling. The people next to us (electric candles and the famous wax dipped teddy bears) hardly sold anything. They spent the afternoon giving us the piss eye.

Mind you, the kid stuff isn't the only thing selling. Bracelets, earrings, and some of my special necklaces left yesterday too. People are buying for Christmas already.
Obbie has a theory that folks are fed up with mass produced crap from China, and are shopping handcrafted. Plus the whole 'street fair/harvest festival' thing is not just shopping, but visiting friends, hearing music, eating food, and having the whole experience, not just another trip to the maul. I like that thought, and am fully going with it.

Next weekend is a two day event, just up the road. We did that one last year, and did pretty okay. Our booth is in a shitty location this year (in my opinion) but we're going to make the best of it. The booth fee was reasonable for two days, and when it's 9 miles from home, it's hard to beat. I just have to amp up the restock and put a BUNCH of stuff out there for the peeps to choose from. More choices = more sales.

Oh did I mention the great big show at the end of November? The promoter met us at Mercersburg last week and gave me an application. It seemed like a lot of money at the time, however, the show is 10 miles from Mom's house, and that will certainly cut down on the expenses. Last year, according to the promoter, they had 10,000 people thru the doors. We'll see. We'll need to do a pretty big number daily to clear the booth fee, but this is is billed as a Christmas Gift Show. Therefore, people will be coming out for Christmas shopping. The blog for the one will be interesting.


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