Just poured myself a fresh cup of coffee; hope you have a few minutes to join me.
The month of November brings one thing to mind for me and that is Craft Sales. I proudly state that I am a vendor although as you read my lament today you may have some doubts. Every year I moan and groan and then go back for more. It is a love/hate situation. I hate loading and unloading the car and I love the sale itself and all of the people. The best part of all is when I come out with money in my pocket to put to a worthy, cause then I am happy.
For those of you who have never worked a craft sale then please bear with me as I share with you lovely people the joys of being a vendor at one of these amazing events. It is truly an experience beyond compare; it falls somewhere between childbirth and having your teeth pulled.
First I must find amazing items to offer to these wonderful, generous folks and then buy the supplies to create them. After one year of knitting and crocheting until my eyes are crossed and my fingers have become the strongest part of my body it is almost time for the magic day!
Actually it is the day before the much anticipated morning as it takes two days for the experience of a lifetime to run its course. On Friday I must go to the bank to make sure I have enough change to give to my eager buyers. I must remember loonies and toonies and prior to that I must remember to price my items reasonably or the budget minded folks won’t buy. Aah, one step now completed I will shop for healthy snacks to take with me so I won’t pass out from hunger. This is a no brainer for me as I head to the candy and cookie aisle. I need sugar for energy; anything else is immaterial although I do take a sandwich, water, thermos of coffee, baby wipes for sticky fingers from eating so much junk, my own knitting in case the day is slow and most importantly tranquilizers and Tylenol.
It is now late Friday and any crafter in their right mind knows to pack their car the night before so as to save time and cut down on the exhaustion factor so you will be able to look rested and fresh as a daisy for the much anticipated Saturday morning sale.
I will now fall into bed very early as the easy part is now behind me. Waking up at six I jump out of bed with excitement shower and dress quickly and properly so I make a good impression. Hop into the car head to the hall but first I must stop for, what else, a skim milk latte, perhaps extra-large on this particular red letter day. Arriving early, I struggle to get a parking place somewhere near the hall and then begins the unloading and hauling everything into the building to begin setup. My car is packed to the ceiling with a clothes rack, three hockey bags full of supplies and things to sell, my three drawer plastic stand with plastic bags, money, scissors, safety pins (you always need these in case of a clothing failure), and my lunch which is now almost as big as one of the hockey bags. Finally everything is inside and having taken the time to move my car or the bad man with the tickets will get me, I am now ready to face an hour or two of setting up, arranging and rearranging until I am satisfied that my booth screams “Come buy from me!” Now last but not least, a quick trip to the bathroom, take the first Tylenol of the day and I am ready for the doors to open.
It is important to check out your nearest neighbours to try to find out if they are going to be friendly and of course, one must check out the competition. Oh by the way, it is not nice to spill drinks on other vendor’s products or wrinkle up your nose as you walk by their booth.
Now the fun begins, the doors open, people flock in and rush to your table (you hope). You get a variety of shoppers; those who stop by touch everything, pick stuff up and then throw it down and walk away looking disgusted. Now you get the “oh, I could make that myself folks”, and the “you do lovely work folks” which means in laymen’s terms; I’m not going to buy a thing but I’ll compliment you because if you’re doing a craft sale, you’re probably not smart enough to know that you aren’t going to make a cent off of me” and lastly the actual shoppers.
All the while this is going on I have started on my lunch even though it is now ten o’clock because there is nothing else to do while awaiting the making of my first million. Now, at some point I will need a potty trip which means walking past the homemade fudge, peanuts and someone’s remarkable cupcakes which out of politeness, one must not only buy, but share with other vendors and of course sample everything the other vendors offer you. By now having eaten until I feel sick I need to call a family member for an emergency supply of Tums.
Craft sale etiquette means you should really purchase something from other vendors and they in turn will do the same for you, maybe. It does give you a chance to pick up the odd Christmas gift while giving you a break from the throngs of buyers lined up at your own booth. And just when you think it is impossible for you to have any more fun, four o’clock arrives and the day you have been living for is winding down. Everything must now be dismantled and the whole process reversed.
My first act, once I fall in the front door at home will be to sit down with my money box and happily count my millions.
Now, drum roll please, it is over; I have a sore back, a headache, and I am so tired I will go to bed right after supper but I have made a profit. Money in the bank for The Get Well Gang, I am happy!
Rhyme for the day
They shop a little or they shop a lot
The stuff I have is really red hot
Please buy from my table
Please buy from me
I’ll give you a bargain because you see
At the end of the day it must all be packed
Please save me from a heart attack!
Thanks for having coffee with me!