Well, no flattening tires this time or any near misses at all, really. In fact, for a show 200 miles away from home everything went much more smoothly than the one 8 miles away. Thanks to my friend Bob and his couch, I didn't even have to lay out any cash for a place to stay on Friday. All told after booth expenses I spent about $25 for gas and $1.74 for coffee on Saturday morning. I never eat during shows. For some reason, I have absolutely no appetite. I wish this was the case the other 360 days of the year!
It was great that the venue was open on Friday night. I rolled into town around 9 and had my rack (nice rack!) and tables set up, covered and 'decorated' by 9:40. Got to Bob's house just 10 minutes later and actually got a chance to get a little bit of rest before my 6:45 am cat wakeup call.
Got going on Saturday morning and almost drove right by the fancy new 7 Eleven that I was looking for. It is housed in the ground floor of a new mixed-use development so there was no gigantic parking lot or gargantuan sign beckoning for blocks and blocks. It was really refreshing, though highly missable (don't tell them that though!). They had more choices in coffee than a Starbucks, but their fruit selection left much to be desired. The apple with the rotten, mushy brown top half wasn't a-peel-ing even at (no lie) half off! It reinforces a long held belief that one should never buy fruit at a convenience store. Anyway, the coffee was fresh and that was really what I was after, so I got me a cup and headed back to the sheep barn.
I guess technically we weren't in the sheep barn. We were in some nether-barn between the sheep barn and the cattle barn #1. During the show we were between the empty sheep barn and the cattle-barn-turned-flea-market. I just got a glimpse into their market while setting up the rest of my booth in the morning. I so wanted to stroll through. I know there were fab tins just on the other side of the wall and I was never going to get a chance to see any of them. People kept walking up to my booth carrying various vintage treasures--I think just to taunt me.
Traffic at the show was pretty steady. I managed to collect lots of names and have just gotten them all into the database. Next I need one of my kids to pull a name out for the free pair of earrings. It's kind of funny how exciting this name-pulling gig is. They have started to argue over who gets to pick. Possibly, they are wired to argue over just about everything.
Like I said, lots of people at the show. Lots of "oohs" and "aahhs." Even some "beautiful"s and "clever"s, but not a lot of cash being pulled out. Overall I did okay, but definitely sensed that people were not in a buying mood. As the day progressed the barn got hotter and hotter and as my booth was equidistant from both doors, it got pretty steamy. People were looking wilty for sure.
The upside to shows is that it's definitely important to get out of the garage for a while, to meet people and hear their thoughts about things. It particularly intrigued me that styles which were very interesting to people at the Shop Austin event seemed to hold little or no appeal to the crowd at the Spring Fling. Stuff like that is fascinating to me. There really does seem to be some psychological component to place. I'm starting to think that you really can stereotype the tastes and inclinations of people in Austin or Fort Worth or Dallas and come up with pretty accurate accountings of similarities and differences. Of course, how I managed to get to psychology and the wisdom of crowds via jewelry is a mystery.
Back to the show. I was between Demode Fashions and f is for frank, and since I was alone in my booth, those were the only vendors I got to chat with. That is another down side to working these shows. I always want to see what others are making and talk to them about their work, but I never get the chance. I did get to meet a few other fellow Etsians (they are everywhere these days!) and got to see a few returning customers and friends, so that's always nice.
It's hard to say if I would make the trip up again for the show, but it does seem good to get out to let people see the work in real life. Pictures are great, and I'm still holding out great expectations for Etsy, but there does seem to be something really important about picking up a piece and trying it on. You just can't do that over the internet.
Other links about the show:
Funky Finds Blog