Sunday, October 6, 2013

Just a Girl and a Card Table

This weekend was a brand new experience for me. 

Normally at vendor fairs or festivals, I'm the one meandering around looking at things, saying how cute things are but not buying too much. It's all about the experience, right? The leisurely walk through the park or building, getting some vendor food and a lemonade shake up, finding that one great buy that you can't get anywhere else. 

Well this weekend, I was on the other side of that experience for the first time. 

A few months back I taught myself to crochet. And once I learned, I just couldn't stop. And now I'm attempting to turn this obsession into a business. Other than making things for myself and my Facebook friends I didn't know what to do with all the things I was making. Seriously, I had hats coming out of my ears.

And then came Jody.

My wonderful friend Jody kept asking me to have a booth at the Spoon River Drive. It's a scenic drive that goes throughout an entire county in multiple towns over the course of two weekends. It's a big a deal around here. It's a don't-plan-to-drive-anywhere-quickly-that-weekend kind of a big deal. But I kept saying no, I didn't have enough stuff, I didn't want to spend too much money on a booth, I have too much on my plate with trying to sell a house and move, etc.

Then she found me a golden deal. A friend that had a double size tent and was willing to share for a small price. So I finally gave in.

If it weren't for the help of multiple friends, especially my awesome friend Heather over at Moreygirl, I seriously would have been a girl with a card table.  But since my awesome friends helped me, I had not only a card table, but a sign with my logo, racks to hang my things from, a tent, stickers with my logo, an order book, shopping bags....the list goes on. And gosh darn it, I almost looked like I knew what I was doing!

Hats, Fingerless Gloves, and Ear Warmers

I'm pretty sure I had everyone fooled. 

Baby hats, Ruffle Purse, and Ear Warmers

So for two days, I was the one sitting in the chair sweating...then wet...then freezing my butt off (Welcome to the Midwest) while smiling politely and hoping someone would buy something and verify that I did know what I was doing.

Chicago Bears and Elmwood Trojan Fingerless Gloves
And they did!

Chevron Scarf, Chevron Cross-body Purse, and Ruffle Purse
Saturday started out incredibly humid. The kind of humid that just makes everything miserable. As the day wore on the humidity broke and along came the downpour of rain. And I mean Down. Pour. Finally the rain went away and the sun peaked out towards the end of the day. On Sunday, it was a brisk 45 degrees at 7:00am and we were freezing. Very different start to the day. Most of the day was ridiculously cold (which turned out to be great for business!) and then in the afternoon the wind picked up and started blowing people's tents over and merchandise off of tables. 

Loving my warm coffee at 7:00am.
Let me say, Thank you Jesus, Jody and Robert Jones (whoever you are). Jesus just gets my thanks for everything, Jody placed us in a spot that had the back of our tent to the wind and rain, and Robert Jones is the one who provided the super fancy/sturdy tent we were using. Because of all this, we somehow stayed dry and all in one piece. Still freezing....but I'll take it.

Football Earflap Hat
I would say over all it was a great first experience being a vendor. Aside from the crazy weather, I sold some cute stuff, took some more orders and got my name out there a little. The part that I enjoyed the most was seeing the reactions of people when they found something they really liked. It makes you feel validated when other people like what you created. It was so fun to see the little kids that loved the Ruffle Purses and the teenagers that liked the school colored gloves. Whether they bought it or not, it was a neat experience. Definitely different than posting a picture and waiting to see if anyone "likes" it, which is all I have been able to do until now. I really enjoy the face-to-face interaction.

 And to top it off, I was able to spend two whole days with a pretty fun family that shared their tent with me (Hi Winberry's!).

One thing I learned, I did not ever stop to think about all the work that goes into these vendor fairs. These people work hard doing their craft, and then have to pack up and drive to the location, unload and set up their tables and tents, and then pray that they will be successful. It's a lot of work and you never know what will happen....but even as I sit here huddled in a blanket still trying to warm back up...I think it's safe to say it's totally worth it.

For more pics of my crochet stuff go to My Facebook Page.

Thank you again to everyone that helped me this weekend. I definitely could NOT have done it without you!

1 comment:

  1. love it all :) I'm so proud of you for doing it! Too bad I didn't get to come see you!!