Tuesday, November 12, 2013

My Last Outdoor Craft Fair

I've been doing the outdoor "Fair Circuit" in Florida for about 6 years.  I've done shows in glorious Florida weather and miserable Florida weather.  Last weekend was mix of both.  Set up was on Friday and the weather cooperated, at least until we finished set up.  It rained on the way home. It never rains in November in Florida.
Saturday morning brought a cloudy sky. Checking the NOAA website revealed a 50% chance of rain for the day.  I was hoping I was in the part of the county where the 50% was "sunny."  No such luck.  During the night the wind had played havoc with the tent and the canopy frame had come apart. Thank goodness Ron was home and able to come over and fix it for me. Between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. I zipped the "elements" out of my tent 11 times. It was one of those days where we had bands or rain. Rain for 3-5 minutes, sun, clouds. Repeat the cycle. Finally around 1:30 the sun came out for good. I had an OK day, at least I made expenses.
Both Friday and Saturday nights I slept poorly. What if the wind took the tent. What if the tent leaks and I have ruined product. What if, What if, What if.....  So when Sunday came, I was less than my chipper self.
Thankfully, the day was glorious.  The 60% chance of showers (in the afternoon, just in time for tent break-down) never materialized and all the people who didn't come to the show on Saturday because of the rain showed up along with all the people who had planned to come on Sunday all along.
It was packed.  I had several feeding frenzies. That's what I call it when you have one person in your shop making a purchase who attracts others who want to see what they're buying and they get to talking, and buying, and they attract even more people . . . you get the picture. I couldn't swipe their credit cards fast enough. So it did turn out to be a good show.
But the whole weekend I kept thinking: Why am I gambling on the weather, making myself sick, and working non-stop for 12 hours?
 So I'm not any more.
 I've done my last outdoor craft show.
My ETSY site is doing quite well and I did an amazing indoor show in early October with a local chapter of the Southern Handcraft Society.  There are several in my area in the Fall and I'm going to take advantage of as many as I can.  How could I not? You deliver your handcrafts to them the morning before the show starts all labeled and priced.  They set up your work along with other artists in vignettes that scream "you need to buy this!"  Seriously, so cute! They sell for you, they figure out the tax for you, they pay the State the tax you owe. I get to visit, or not. You pick up all your unsold items after the show. Mine were all neatly arranged on a table just for my merchandise. What could be easier? They take a percentage of the sale and mail you a check with a copy of all your sales for the weekend.  My husband I figured that the percentage they take is far less than the price I pay for a spot on the Fair Circuit. So I can't loose.  And I'm excited about the prospect for next Fall. And I'm anxious for this season to be over.  I have one more show (thankfully indoor) to do the weekend before Thanksgiving, and then I'm done!

No comments:

Post a Comment