Getting ready for Autumn and Winter

Fall is sort of in the air and I’m making product for upcoming festivals and Christmas sales and Courtyard gardens.  This is the first year in many that Christmas has been on my radar before November, but with a 6 week minimum cure time, I’ve got to be finishing up production by the end of the month.

I will be at Immanuel Lutheran Church for their Fall Festival on October 5th.  Proceeds support local charities.  I’m told organizations that have benefited in the past include Habitat for Humanity and similar.

I will be at the Winter Festival and the Everson Senior Center on December 6th.

I’ll post updates of other markets, festivals and bazaars as I hear about them.

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Summer Festival

Summer Fest Booth

Well, the weekend came and went and the Summer Festival I spent so much time preparing for is now over.

I had planed to take the week off from work before the event in order to mix up some final product, organize and get everything ready.  Well, we know what happens to plans.  There was a snag with one of my engineering jobs that had to be taken care of without delay.  It took some time to get it all settled.  It’s really inconvenient when my real life gets in the way of my fun time.  Anyway, as a result of that fiasco, I wasn’t able to finish everything I wanted and ended up unorganized with product unlabeled.

This was my first event as a vender and I was a bit obsessive about how everything should look.  I futzed around with my display for a large part of the first day until I got nearly everything labeled and looking just how I wanted it.  My cousin, Kathy, who came up with her spinning, knitting, jewelry and other assorted crafty stuff, silently laughed and shook her head.  Though, after a while, the laughter wasn’t so silent.  No doubt the story will amuse her family, too, in the telling.

Once I felt the table was looking how I wanted it, I got out the unscented cream soap samples I had set aside for kids to scent and color for themselves.  It was a success and a disaster at the same time.  I had a gaggle of girls in no time, all wanting to do it all at the same time in the same tiny space I had set aside for the activity.  Fragrance oils were spilled and color scattered all over.  I found that monitoring the kids, cleaning up the mess and trying to sell soap at the same time was just not going to happen.  I cleaned up the final mess, with more than a little help from Kathy, and put the whole thing away.  Lesson Learned:  Do not try to sell your product and have a kid’s activity at the same time.  It. Does. Not. Work.

I did have a hand washing station for people to try out my creme soaps.  I was very popular with little girls and parents of young children.  That I will do again.  It wasn’t a big deal and I earned a lot of good will.

Saturday went much better and the table was set up and arranged to my satisfaction fairly quickly.  A few people came by before the parade and I was anxiously awaiting the post parade rush.  We waited, and waited and waited.  It got a little busy for a short stretch, but the day really started to drag on.

The crowds I expected never materialized.  I was heartened somewhat to hear others say it was a slow show – I least I knew it wasn’t me.   Another lesson learned:  The corner booth was great, but being next to the Merry-Go-Round was torture.  Everything was caked in dust by the end of the show, including us.  Despite the slow sales and perpetual dust storm from the Merry-Go-round, Kathy and I had fun.  I plan to set up again next summer and hope for both a better spot and better turn out.  I hope Kathy decides to join me again.

Addendum:  Many thanks to my husband, Andy for being our pack mule both days, and to Samantha, too, for running various errands and occasional help.

AND a big Thank You to all who stopped by and purchased my hand made soaps.  It was greatly appreciated.

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