9/29/2009

Strange Folk Wrapup: The Good

I'm going to break the wrap up from Strange Folk into 2 parts. The good and the not-so good. Today will just be my observations about the weekend so I will probably ramble on a bit. There were definitely some things that I learned from this experience and that's what I'll talk about tomorrow. I'm certainly no expert on shows as I've only been doing them part time for a few years. I do like to share what I learn here so that I don't forget it and so that others can learn from what I do both right and wrong.

I really never got a good shot of the whole booth display. I took pictures both mornings after I set up but the sun was always either too bright or not bright enough. This is from the first morning. When I got there I was in a total tizzy because I couldn't figure out how I was going to configure my booth to fit both quilt racks. About 30 minutes into set up I looked up and saw the other vendors setting up facing outwards not inwards into the tent. Oops. No wonder they were all looking at me like I was overreacting.

This is why I always get there well over an hour before it starts, with plenty of time to get things set up right. So I turned my table around and placed the racks outside of the tent in such a way to draw people in with the bamboo rug as a nice balance. I liked this overall configuration. I sat my stool next to the table not behind it, so that I could come out and talk to people and hold the mirror for them. I was never really happy with my table displays but I will talk about that tomorrow.


I had the sweetest booth neighbors I've ever had in every sense of the word. Sarah and her mom from The Hot Cookie were such a treat to hang out with for the weekend. When I needed a pick me up a great trade was made, cookies for a headband, you can't beat that. Her cookies really are amazing and she sells them on Etsy here. Mike's favorite was the Lemon Tarragon Sables and mine was the chocolate with oats. They each bought a scarf from me and wore them proudly sending customers my way.

Kai was such a great helper this weekend. This was my first show that I had any help since my first one that I did with friends. It made such a huge difference. If you have an agreeable friend, spouse, or teenager I highly recommend it. He took his responsibilities very seriously. His main job was to make sure that no scarves were touching the ground since we were outside and there was a great deal of mud after all the rain. He restocked after things sold and made sure the display was in place. He was also a great help during what he called the Cabbage Patch Kid moments when 4 or more women were in the booth in a frenzy. These were the good times that customers were trying everything on, throwing things to each other, and "fighting" over scarves.

It was so nice to be able to walk away occasionally and not worry about things walking away from the booth. He gave me this update when I came back from one bathroom break. "I explained about the scarflettes to the lady and she liked that one but she didn't think it would match her coat." For some reason I found this exchange cute. He took lots of pictures with his new camera and we traded for some art with one of the vendors nearby.

Staying at the hotel on Saturday night was a good decision even if their wi-fi wasn't working and Mike spent most of the evening complaining. Mike hung out with his brother and Brian most of the time that he was there. He did give me one good suggestion. I was complaining that things weren't moving on Sunday morning and he told me to get more things on the racks. I had decided to just put out $15 scarves on Sunday and a few $30 ones on the table since the lower end was what was moving on Saturday. I had kept it nice and neat but they were beginning to look bare which was not drawing people in as much. Once I put more out I got lots more interest as they was more selection to choose from.

He also entertained some people with his commentary. At one point before he left on Sunday he cracked up a woman who overheard him say that part of his soul had just died from boredom. Luckily she was a fellow vendor and he didn't offend a customer with his sarcasm.

I don't know if I will ever be able to get Mike to come back but I do think that Kai would help again with the proper amount of incentive, i.e. bribery. By the time he is too old/cool to spend the weekend hanging out with his aunt, Ani should be old enough to make a good helper. She and her Dad, Gandolf the Grateful Dead, came out on Saturday and had a good time despite the rain.

Overall it was a successful and fun event. Strange Folk really is my target audience in every sense of the word. The free spirits get me and my aesthetic and I love being a part of it all. The other vendors are such amazing artists and with the music and other activities I always come away so inspired. I also came away with a box of yarn from the Upcycle Exchange and nothing beats free yarn.

8 comments:

Theresa said...

Sounds like it was a success in many ways. It's great to be able to meet others like you did. Unfortunately we don't have many craft fairs here in Las Vegas...not much of a community.

elan said...

Sounds like my kind of festival.

Lynne said...

Sounds like a successful weekend overall and I'm sure it was nice having a helper. It always helps to have nice neighbors too!
I haven't been brave enough to try a craft fair yet, I would really like to, just don't know where to begin.

Hollyrocks said...

I love reading about craft show experiences, so thanks for sharing yours. And just to let you know, this part:
"Gandolf the Grateful Dead"
TOTALLY cracked me up. Love it!

Lin said...

I LOVE your helpers! And the conversations/comments made were great.

The Hot Cookie said...

Yay! I had so much fun this weekend! It was great boothing next to you. We couldn't have asked for better neighbors, too! I really hope to see you again next year. Thanks for blogging about us.

Kristin at My Art and the Mom in Me said...

Well, in my opinion, the light didn't affect the pictures negatively, because your booth looks great!!! It sounds like it was very successful!! :)

Karen said...

I enjoy hearing all about your experience at the festival. Sometimes, it is all about getting the right festival for your things, isn't it? We tried a flea market. That didn't work for our $30 purses. They wanted $2 things.

 

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