So yesterday was the big day. Presence on the Patio Winter 2010. And it...was...COLD. I lost count of how many people gave us pitying looks and comments about how we were out in the cold. An outside craft show in western New York...are we crazy? Yes...yes, we are.
One old gentleman (who was a priest, and said he was ordained in '57) came up to us and dryly joked "I think I should let you know...it's WINTER." He was fun to talk to. Have I mentioned lately how much I love that I get along so well with old people?
The day seemed like a blur. I actually had forgotten to take pictures until we were just starting to pack up. That's why the fire pit in the above pic has snow in it (so we could cool it off to transport it home). We did have a nice fire to keep warm at earlier in the day.
We didn't seem to have as many people come as last year. I'm not sure what the reason was. But there are a few possibilities since there were a few changes from last year...
- The weather. It was just COLD. And no one wants to be out shopping at an outdoor craft sale when it's so bitter cold.
- The time. Last year the show was in the evening...from 6PM-9PM. This year I decided to have the show earlier in the day. This decision was mostly because the cafe has changed its hours since last year and closes at 7PM. I didn't want to ask them to stay open later for us. Plus, I didn't want to cause confusion if someone came that had never been to the cafe before, and they came back again...at say, 8PM...and the cafe was closed. I also though having the show at the more typical 11AM-4PM peak Saturday shopping time would bring more people.
- The music. Last year, we brought my dad's portable sound system to play Christmas music (like Mannheim Steamroller!). And I think that drew people in. They heard the music and wondered what was going on. This year, Medina had installed speakers throughout the whole town to pipe in Christmas music during the month of December. There was a speaker right by us, so I decided not to bring the sound system so the music wouldn't clash (plus it was one less thing to worry about hauling there). But since the music is all over the town, no one was drawn to the show.
- Lights. Last year, since we had it in the evening, we needed lights, and I had festive, green and red paper lanterns up. And plus there was the fire pit. And I think all those lights were a visual draw, being a light place in the dark. We didn't have that kind of draw in the daytime.
It's a challenge for me not to get discouraged and down on myself and say the reason the show wasn't as successful because of me. That it was because I was the one in charge of organizing it that things didn't go as well. (as opposed to last year, where it was someone else organizing it and I was just helping them). I keep thinking "I could have planned better, I could have done better advertising". But I try hard not to dwell on it and focus on the positive. "Live and learn" right? "Hindsight is 20/20". Okay...enough of the fortune cookie encouragements.
I don't like being in charge of things. I like being highly involved in organizing things, but I don't like being the head honcho responsible. I think Kim and Rachel did a much better job at doing this last year, but I understand now why they didn't want to organize it this year...it's STRESSFUL! I actually started crying a few times during set-up. I'm pretty relieved to get back to real life now. I'm looking forward to Christmas being a nice, relaxing time.
Of course, once we were all set up and I was able to stop freaking out, I did have fun and I did make a decent amount of sales. If I make at least $100 at a show (which I did), I'm usually happy. And at least one of the other 3 vendors told me she made a decent amount of sales as well.
This is my last show of the season...of 2010 for that matter. My next show is the Hearts + Crafts show in February in Rochester.
I think the day would have been nicer if it weren't for the wind. That wind is what really made it cold. The sun was actually out for awhile, but that wind was what chilled us. My mom kindly lent me her wool Czechoslovakian Army cape to keep warm. The wool is so dense that the wind doesn't get through it. She bought it years ago from an army surplus store on a sweltering August day...for only $35. My mom is great at finding deals.
It was nice having my mom there. She was in charge of the kids' craft table...making little clothespin reindeer pins and handmade greeting cards for $1 each. She only did crafts with my friends' kids, but she seemed to have fun.
Even though the show wasn't as successful as I would have liked, we all had fun. We ended up packing up an hour early though. It was cold and we had't had any customers in quite some time. I know a lot of craft shows have rules that say "Don't pack up until 4:00" (or whenever the official end-time is), but whatever....I organized this thing and I was in charge. And the other vendors seemed fine with it.
Next year, if I decide to organize this show again in the winter, we're definitely doing it INSIDE the cafe`.