30 October 2011

Confessions of a Crafter

If this whole wild ass plan continues to be a mild success, I will instead write a book about all of the funny and strange things people have said to me.  In a mere 32 hours of crafting, I have encountered some strange stuff. 
It's interesting just to watch people.  Most, it seems are afraid to commit to getting in the tent, as if that will oblige them to buy something or worse, interact with me.  I have two boxes of pictures on the end of the tables facing out.  I've seen people stand three feet away from the box, and lean far over to flip through the pictures.  I laugh and fret over their non commitment.  I would rather have someone look legitimately and not buy something then miss something they might want by trying to avoid comitting to the tent.
And many people do what I have serially done in the past.  They give a careful, almost excruciatingly thorough look through all of the pictures.  They pull some out and point and show it to their companions.  They have a genial and hopeful interaction with me, and then leave without buying anything.  I shouldn't be disappointed by this, but I am. 
Mostly people ask me if I've taken all of the pictures.  I think I will start to answer with 'Nope, googled it.' instead of the boring 'yes.'
I am learning a lot through the patrons as well.  Many ask for local interest, though I'm not sure exactly what they mean.  Nor am I sure they know what they mean.  I do have some stuff from the general area, but mostly they are of England.  I can understand the want of local interest, but it's not like the pictures I do have are completely uninteresting. 
Some are even mistaken for local places
Them:  'Is this (this local place)?'
Me:  'It's whereever you want it to be.'
At least two people, whom I don't know, insisted that I make Christmas cards,  I mean how could I not have Christmas cards?!  The other photographer here does.  Don't I think that people want Christmas cards?  All of this is kind of true.  But making cards is expensive and I am just starting out.  One lady did not intend to give me a beginners break.

I loved it when people would come into the tent who had cameras around their necks that are far fancier and more expensive than mine.  But no one has challenged me in technical photo things.  One woman who was entitled to criticize because she had taken a class once, told me one picture was not crisp enough for her.  I informed her that she didn't have to buy it. 

One person asked me if I had pictures of chocolate.  Another, pictures of Peru.  I don't of coures, and I still didn't have a picture of the town I was in.  I just can't win. 

My favorite interaction has been when a woman pointed out to her husband that a particular picture was taken in Italy. 
Me:  'You should go there if you can, it's beautiful.'
Lady:  'Oh, you've been there?'
Me:  'Um...Yes.'
Lady:  'Do you....take pictures?'
Me:  'Yes.'  (looks around) 'Um, these pictures, actually.'
Lady:  'Oh!'

I should get a name tag, I guess. 

17 October 2011

Wind Contingency

Show two was a windy one.  Windy may be an understatement.  At one point, my neighbors tent blew over, my other neightbors crafts all blew off the table, and I was constantly re-velcroing my sides down.  It was driving me literally insane.  Every gust filled me (and all of the other crafters) with major anxiety. 
My wise advisers for the day took down the sides for me, which was a major improvement.  I resisted the urge to grab the tent everytime the wind blew and the rest of the day passed without major incident.  That, plus all of my neighboring crafters left by early afternoon.  This was sad and potentially helpful, as the good people were forced to stop in on the way to the kids stuff.  Or, they were forced to walk by without looking. 
Either way.  The weather was much improved on Sunday, and though sales were low, I had a good laugh with my returning neighbors and met some interesting people.  Made a couple of sales, and a couple of contacts that may bring some future opportunities.  Time will always tell. 

I have no other events scheduled for the rest of the year, but I am open to something small and short if anyone has a suggestion.  I am not up to those Christmas craft show extravaganzas.  Yet. 

03 October 2011

2nd Day

I can safely say that I learned a lot during my first show.  My tent isn't 100% waterproof, cardboard boxes absorb water, four 40lb cinderblocks will hold down the tent, and people seem to want local interest pictures.  No lesson was more important than this wild ass plan can be executed.  It will take practice, experience, and luck to be a success, but it is possible.  And although for a while yesterday I sat in my corner, freezing to death, wishing I had been anywhere else, it was fun.  I sold a few things, mostly to one person and a relative, but it still counts.  Someone I didn't know before not only special ordered a picture, but will hang it in their home and enjoy it.  What an honor!  That's really the whole point.

Deciding on the lay out almost drove me crazy, and I imagine that it will look different (hopefully better) with every show.  It was really handy to buy some potted mums from a nearby vendor and use them to decorate the tent.
Sadly, I don't have many local interest pictures, and not many that envoke the feelings of fall.  Though, this weekend was beyond that.  I should have just put out pictures of snow covered mountains and icicles.  The cold weather made for a poor turn out for the whole festival.  Which is a shame, but I at least made back my rental fees.

I was really thrilled that it didn't blow away.  Our dry run nearly ended in disaster when I learned that I could tie myself to the tent, jump off a cliff and ride it safely down.  This made us extremely nervous, of course, but I found some more robust weights that seemed to work pretty well.  I didn't take flight and nothing broke.  Oh, except for the two frameless frames I dropped.  It's interesting to hear a little crash and see all of the crafters do a spin in their tent to see if it was their stuff. 

If you missed out this weekend, don't dismay.  In two weeks I'll be at the Myersville Trolley Festival.  Learn more at http://www.myersvilletrolleyfestival.com/.

Many, many thanks to my peeps who stopped by to offer moral support.  I truly appreciate it!

01 October 2011

New Sign

Here's a close up of the fancy new sign.  I am undecided on it, but after months of thinking on it, I didn't come up with anything better. 
The guy that made it looks like Aragorn, and that makes me want to buy a lot of signs.  Though, this will be the only one. 

1st Day!

Although there is nothing more sad than a street full of wet and closed up crafters tents, today was fun. It started way too early, but with the help of Mom, we set things up and they came together quite nicely. I think. Within the first hour I had my first and only sale, and it was exciting! Shortly after that it clouded over went to less than 50 degrees and rained off and on for the rest of the day. So, altogether, not a great success, but it was still good times.  Mostly because nothing blew away, broke, or got terribly wet.  I met some cool people who do other normal crafting stuff like making soap and sewing and gluing things together.  I'm not sure that anyone had a succesful day, mostly because very few people came.  Tomorrow is supposed to be dry but cold, so...fingers crossed!