Saturday, May 07, 2005

Gardeners' Market Opening

The Gardeners' Market opened for the season today. We had a rather good first day, especially considering that it was raining. We grossed $138, $45 of which was Mim's, so we've already made back our $84 booth fee for the entire 5-month season. Mim had a bunch of felted bags, but could not put out her books because I didn't get a chance to waterproof the canopy. (By the time I'd thought of waterproofing the canopy, we were at the beginning of a week of rain.) Fortunately I had thought to leave a roll of plastic in the van for emergencies, so we put the plastic around the outside of the canopy like sidewalls, using shower curtain hooks to hang it from the frame. It kept the rain from blowing in, and made our booth warmer and more hospitable than many of the surrounding booths, so people would come in for shelter from the rain. It worked out so well that I think I will make a roll of plastic part of our permanent kit. Note to self: get a 30 foot roll for a 10x10 canopy, not a 25 foot roll.

I still do need to waterproof the canopy. Most of the water rolled off it, but we did get a fine mist settling down on us through the tiny holes in the fabric. First, though, I need to dry it out. Water was pouring out of it when we put it in the van, so that we had to put a plastic sack on the end of it to keep it from pouring onto the rest of the stuff. I will also want to laminate my signs; we couldn't put any out because of the mist.

I was able to get a new table, so we had the new table and the old, warped card table. Next week we will have another new table instead of the card table, which is nice because the new tables fit perfectly flat in the van, so I can stack boxes of merchandise on top of them. The new tables also have adjustable height.

All in all, it worked out well. I sold some of everything, even a poncho! I didn't sell many scarves, though, but that was probably due to the fact that they were "displayed" folded in their plastic sleeves and stacked on top of one another in a basket in the far corner of the booth, next to my fighting kids. Next week should be better for scarves. I'll be able to put out my chain-and-dowel hanging scarf display and my paper signs.

Half a dozen teenage girls came in and fought over who would get to buy Mim's bags, because there weren't enough of the ones they liked to go around. We will make some more for next week, in hopes that their friends and imitators will be looking for a bag in that same style. The poncho I put out on the inflatable mannequin also got a lot of eye traffic. I'm glad I got the inflatable one, even though it meant I had to put up with a couple of weeks of blow-up doll jokes from Favorite Husband. I may get the plus size mannequin for Summerfest, because I've had a lot of plus-sized women staring longingly at my ponchos. There aren't many ponchos out there that are made to fit them, so I figured out a way to add short rows to the pattern for the asymmetrical poncho to make it fit larger women.

I also made some good trades. I traded two scarves for some xeriscaping perennials to replace the ones I'd traded for last year (but couldn't get in the ground before winter because of the wet autumn). I finally had something I could trade for something of Bonny's, so I got a nice pair of earrings. I want to get more earrings for myself; until today's trade, I hadn't bought myself a new pair of earrings in a couple of years. Mim traded a felted bag for a beautiful pottery bowl.