Monday, May 25, 2009

Mother Nature Weighs In

I know I've been gone a really long time!

But guess what! We have a "for sale" sign in our yard! We did it! We've had a couple of showings, but no one is interested, yet. I am trying to be patient, as we've only been listed for two weeks... but I am excited to get out of limbo!!!

With that said, I'll move on to my next story......

My buddy, Tronsgirl, and I had a two-day craft fair this past weekend. It was our first outdoor craft fair, and she found us a canopy, extra tables, etc. Also, it was a juried show, so we felt pretty good about getting in...

Next scene... We are set up. Hello! We are set up. Anyone out there????? There were only about 60 vendors (taking away a little of the thrill of being accepted). It was at the entry of a very popular festival--and everyone seemed pretty excited to get into the festival. They didn't really have time to look at crafts. It was very slow--the only thing that made us feel slightly better is that it was slow for EVERYONE. Not that we don't wish everyone else success--just that we knew not to take it personally. Or tried not to.

By 4:00 pm (after we had been sitting there for six hours) we had each made a whopping $22 (at least it was exactly equal so we didn't glare at each other in envy in our boredom and disappointment). The sky was looking a little cloudy. Our husbands, who had spent the day with the kids in the festival part of the event came back for a rest. Tronsgirl and I went out for a little walk to stretch our atrophied muscles. There were a couple of sprinkles, so we went back to our little canopy. Then, so suddenly, the sky broke open! It was like buckets of rain were being tossed on us, the sideways-super-windy-rain! Did I mention it was so so so cold? We were shocked! Tronsgirl and I were laughing in hysterics while our husbands tried to get the sides of the canopy down (it was too windy to do so, by the way)--so we just tried to hold the flaps that were already down, well, down. All of our jewelry flew off the tables. I remember the sight of my husband chasing my (0f course ruined) business cards out the back of our canopy. Tronsgirl's husband snapped me out of my shock--"hold down your stuff!!" I quickly threw the table cloth over what remained on the table, to keep it down (the tablecloth was very heavy with water at this point--certainly could keep everything down!).

My son, at a drier spot where we herded the three children, asked, "Is this a monsoon?" I don't know, I think monsoons are warmer.

The wind died down a bit and the flaps were finally able to come down. We stood there as the rain fell, in shock. Then, slowly, the sun came out.

All in all, it probably lasted less than 10 minutes. We were SOAKED through. Our shoes squished. We were shivering. My jeans felt like they weighed 50 lbs. Dejectedly, we started packing up into soggy boxes, with no rhyme or reason. Everything was tangled and soaking. Earrings all over the grass. I was pouring water out of my pendant displays. Oh my.

When we unzipped the sides of our tent, everyone looked shocked. Slowly packing up. There was a small "flood" in front of the booths across from us. They looked like they didn't know where to go, on their squishy little islands of wet crafts they had worked hours and hours upon. The poor woman next to us lost thousands of dollars worth of her merchandise. For her, it was a business, not a hobby.

We went back to Tronsgirl's house, which was near--got into THEIR clothes, put our clothes in the dryer and had a cocktail.

Obviously we could not participate in the fair the next day, so we decided to come back, hit the rides-part of the fest and have a cook out. Lemonade from lemons?? We stopped at the craft fair to check on it, and only about half of the crafters returned.

Thankfully all of my jewelry is OK!! BUT sadly, many of my displays are ruined--hurt to have paid for that when we didn't even recoup our entry fee! And of course I'll have to order more business cards. Lots of time and money spent on our set-ups, wasted and ruined. Tronsgirl did lose some merchandise, which is heartbreaking, indeed.

So... no craft fairs for a while, we have decided. And personally--I don't think I will ever do an outdoor one again. Now I will think about selling this house and getting a new one, summer vacation with my kids (only three weeks away!). I have things to list on etsy, so I will probably slowly add more to the shop. I have suspended my ArtFire shop.

But for now, I am taking a step back. Not defeated, but definitely soggy. I need some time to wring out.


chinamommy said...

i've never had good luck at those "art/craft" fairs myself. i was once in a metal shed on the hottest day of the entire summer & made $2.50... just found your blog through your etsy store (i have a store too: chinamommy and a goofy blog).
Have a nice week!

Ginny said...

Oh goodness, what a catastrophe! Glad you didn't lose any of your work, but bummer to lose all the "extras." Etsy seems like the best way to go! Hope you're all dried out (and, as always, good luck with the house!).

Janine said...

Hi Mary! So sorry to hear that the craft fair went so poorly!! I had been thinking about you... we have wanted to go to ChocolateFest since moving to Waterford... haven't made it there yet!! But I was wondering how things would go for you... geez... what a nightmare! Glad that you seem to have a sense of humor about it now, but the disappointment will linger for a bit, I'm sure.

Good luck with the housing market. I don't think it is as bad as it seems... hopefully you will be one of the lucky ones with a quick sell!

Keep us updated!!!