Monday, April 21, 2008

Craft Show Outtage

My first real craft show was Saturday! I spent every evening last week frantically getting things ready, then arrived to find that the situation was not what I'd expected. I'd signed up for a small show in the back room of the local cooperative cafe where you got one small table, but the cafe had been closed for renovations that day, so they'd tacked the craft show into an outdoor musical festival two weeks later.

I'd been thinking that we'd get the same amount of space outside that we'd had inside, but it turned out to be a free-for-all. We were told that we could set up anywhere within a giant amount of space on one side of a plaza. I arrived at 10am to find the area already hot and in full sun, and the fellow jewelry maker I'd met at the previous small, unadvertised back-room show urged me to go get my Tent. I waffled a bit, having received the Tent in the mail only a few weeks before and not even taken it out of the box as I didn't expect it to use it until May 4th. "How long will you last in the sun?" she asked. "I'm ready to pack up and go home now," I replied, having only gotten my table out of the car.

This was deemed an untenable situation, so I scurried home for the Tent. It's an EZ-UP, which -- if you have one and recall your first interaction with it -- is a misnomer. The directions are not altogether helpful, but with much hemming and hawing and the assistance of a bystander, it was erected. This was a great boon, as the day proceeded to be Wretchedly Hot.

There were more Exciting Incidents involving all of my earring racks and then a big bulletin board on an easel loaded with fused glass pendants going over in the wind. I may have uttered certain bad words went the easel went over, but none of the pendants broke when they hit the concrete. Littering the ground around my booth with broken glass would have been a catastrophe! Much masking tape was applied, and plans are afoot for easel outriggers and a windbreak for the earring racks.

I learned a lot. Much of it was regarding wind (are those my business cards blowing away AGAIN?!). I filled a couple of pages in a notebook with notes on what to do differently next time. Fun! I'll have a photo of the booth when the photographer finds his camera.


Anonymous said...

OMG, Karen, what an ordeal!! I feel so bad for you. We just ordered one of those tents in the mail too and my hubby (who's a pretty big guy) needed my help to put it up. Don't know how you did it!

Thank god nothing broke (all those beautiful pendents). You must have been so happy when that day was over.

You're like me though, I always try to learn from experiences and taking notes was a great idea.

We have our first show coming up in May (rain or shine) and I hadn't even thought of business cards blowing away.

I really feel for your experience but you're such a trooper for hanging in there. Looking forward to seeing the photo once the cameras found.

Kudos to you my friend! :)


Karen said...

Oh yes -- EVERYTHING blows! Table clothes fly up, papers fly away, anything flat and vertical acts as a sail and tries to blow over.

I just saw your new turtle bracelet on Etsy -- it's adorable! The turtle looks like a marshmallow!

Good luck with your show! My best advice is to take tape. Lots of it. :D I think your work is heavier and thus fortunately less wind-worthy than mine.

Anonymous said...

Great advice on the tape! I never would have thought of that. I've definitely imagined myself out there in the pouring rain with a leaky tent but wind?! Not a big fan of wind at all!

Thanks for the comment on the bracelet. It's actually an older one that someone bought but then didn't pay for so it was relisted. Oh well. Marshmallow, eh? Hadn't thought of that but now I'm getting hungry. :D ~ Sharon