14 hours ago
I've mostly recovered from this weekend. I would have to say that this was my favorite Strange Folk Festival yet. I had a perfect spot in the covered pavilion right next to the stage so I could spread out more than those in the center aisles. I had the best booth neighbors, which I will talk about more tomorrow. Saturday was an absolutely gorgeous day in the upper 70's with huge crowds most of the day. I had a perfectly acceptable number of sales but nothing spectacular. Sunday was a rainy, cold, and somewhat miserable day and guess what. I had my best day ever at Strange Folk!
On day one I didn't sell a single hat. I sold mostly lower priced scarves and a whole lot of wristcuffs which I had marked down. On day 2 I sold over half of my hats, most of my higher priced scarves, and several of my higher priced scarf/hat sets. What a difference 15 degrees makes. I felt terrible for the vendors in the tents on Sunday as many people just weren't venturing out into the park with the rain and cold. People were taking their time in the covered pavilion and those who hadn't worn a scarf that day were buying them off the rack and wearing them around. A couple of nice folks said they were leaving the tags on them for free advertising for me.
I really had some of the sweetest customers this year. My absolute favorite was the girl in this shot (posted with her mother's permission.) She bought one of my favorite hats and she had her own quirky style which I loved. I actually made 3 in this style with the tufts of Ozark Mountain Handspun sticking out every 5 rows. I will probably end up keeping the one that I didn't sell for myself. This girl fell in love with the hat as soon as she tried it on and her face just lit up. . But her Mom told her she wanted to look around to make sure there wasn't one she liked more. An hour later the girl comes running up to the table and says "I tried every hat in this entire place on and this is the perfect one." I couldn't resist taking a picture since the hat really was made for her with her little curls poking out.
My second favorite customer was a little girl around 7 or 8 who came up with her sister. They tried on every one of my wrist cuffs. She picked out a wire wrist cuff, which is the most grown up item I sell, with Eiffel tower charms, probably the most grown up of my wire wrist cuffs. It fit her barely but she had made up her mind. She got her wallet out and handed me her $7 so grown up like. I was a little worried about what her mother would think. Around 15 minutes later the whole family comes up and the mom says I just wanted to tell you that she had been shopping all weekend long and your bracelet was what she chose to spend her money on. I told her how special that made me feel and we chatted for while. The mom had bought a scarf from me the year before and I think she was a vendor.
My last customer of the day was my biggest sale of the weekend, just like the first year I did Strange Folk. It was about 15 minutes before closing time and a family came up in a flurry. Her daughter picked out one of my most expensive scarf/hat sets and the mom chose one of my $30 scarves for herself. If I had started to pack up like many of the other vendors, she probably would have passed me on by. Mike had come to help me pack up and he was sitting on the steps next to my booth. The sister sat down next to him and he was sharing his popcorn with her and they shared a moment. When the family was leaving the girl gave Mike a big hug which everyone thought was so cute.
I was pretty happy with the booth display. I sold way more items off the table this year than last year. The display items I talked about here were much more effective than the shelves I spent so much money on last year. I didn't change much from day 1 to day 2 except putting out only one head since I got tired of taking things on & off of the heads all day long Saturday. I also arranged the quilt racks by color on Sunday and not price. I ended up pricing things as $15, $20, and a few $30 scarves.
I'll share more about the weekend tomorrow, including the great trades and friends I made.