Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Learning Experiences Can Be Uncomfortably Sweaty

"Holy Cow" by inspiredpetportraits
HOLY COW.  Those are the first words that come to mind when I think about my first OUTDOOR craft fair last Thursday.  It was the downtown Bangor Outdoor Market in Pickering Square that happens every Thursday from 5-8pm. Let's just say I was incredibly unprepared!  The whole day getting ready for the fair, I was totally CHILL.  I casually organized the jewelry, made a few new things, helped my mom complete a project for a family member, and slowly got everything together necessary to take to the fair.  My mom helped me get ready, and she was more nervous about the set up than I was, frantically asking me questions all morning long.  Meanwhile, I was secure in the knowledge that I had a plan in place that had worked out wonderfully at THE BIG THAW craft fair in April.  Boy, was I in for a surprise when I went to set up my booth downtown.  There were so many other factors involved in setting up a booth OUTSIDE, like the BEATING SUN, WIND, DIRT, and customers enthusiastically rummaging through the jewelry before I even had it out of the storage container! My whole set up blew over about 5 times, scattering (and breaking) jewelry everywhere!  I was so hot and sticky that MY SWEAT WAS SWEATING while I had to redo my whole display OVER AND OVER AND OVER until the wind finally stopped blowing!!!!  It was totally NUTS!

Imagine this...only sunny, 95 degrees, and REALLY WINDY!
picture taken from
http://www.downtownbangor.com/index.php?id=2&sub_id=122
 I was all but ready to pack up and go home when my friendly market neighbors from BLUE CEDAR and CARROT TOP FARM took pity on my hopeless situation and tried to help.  They offering up coolers, bungee cords, twist ties, and their PURE MUSCLE to help me set up my tent and have it actually STAY standing!  May God bless them with pretty babies and an unending supply of cookies...or whatever their happiness equivalent would be.  Seriously, I don't know what I would've done without them.  Oh wait, yes I do-I would've gone straight back home and never gone back!  My husband and my father also arrived on the scene to help, bringing weights and ties and other wonderfully MANLY things that were SOOO  helpful in saving my craft fair career.

This collage pretty much sums up how I looked that day.
"Black Gloves" by matouenpeluche
"Bad Hair Day" by VeryMaryMary3 
So picture this. At the beginning of the evening I am in A SKIRT (I don't know what I am thinking when I get dressed for these things), with a BLACK (bad choice) short sleeved sweater shirt, a cute black pair of crocodile flats, with my big, sparkly Turquoise Gala jewelry set on, my hair down and straight (which was a miracle in itself), looking put together. By the end of the night, I was covered in SWEAT, DIRT, and unidentified SMUDGES on my legs and arms!  My ridiculously too hot shirt was soaked with sweat and covered, in what I can only imagine to be lint and various other debris from having to move around the display and everything at least 4 times!  My DUCK FLAT feet are aching from my "practical"  flat shoes (that have zero arch support), and I have CRAZY LADY HAIR!  With practically no make-up left and a very clear "I need a seriously need a shower and a nap"  look on my face, I was a sight to be seen.  I took pictures of all this ridiculousness, as I always do, documenting my most humiliating moments for others enjoyment. However, to add INSULT to INJURY, my computer was acting up when I went to download these horrible shots of hideousness and utter chaos and they were COMPLETELY erased.  But then again...that's may be for the best.  :)

"Audience" fine art photograph by Susiegrafie
Toward the end of the night, I was walking though the other vendors' booths, both to see what they had for sale and to see how in the world they were managing to keep all of their lovely stuff firmly attached to the ground.  More than one of them recognized me by saying, "Oh yeah, you were the girl who had such a hard time setting up!"  AHHHHHH!  yeah...  that's me.  Gotta love knowing during some of your most embarrassing moments, you have an audience! I'm blushing just thinking about it!
what I want next... ;)
Re-Purposed Appliqued Clutch by cosmossewing
 I'm going to stop whining now (I bet you're glad) and talk about something LOVELY.  One extremely bright spot in my day was bartering with a fellow vendor at the fair, COSMOSSEWING.  I traded her one of my sterling silver dichroic glass rings for a gorgeous upcycled bag made from second hand clothing. It's nice to make new friends by giving them presents right away!  Be sure to check out her Etsy shop, as well as her Facebook page!


So now, I have to RESTRUCTURE my entire display to make it as HEAVY, and as CUSTOMER FRIENDLY as possible.  As so many other experienced vendors told me, "Don't worry, it's a learning experience." Oh so true.  I learned I want an INDOOR BOUTIQUE now more than ever!  Just kidding.

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