Saturday, June 18, 2005

Just A Little Overwhelmed...

Summerfest is sucking bigtime. The wind picked up yesterday and nearly destroyed my canopy. I hate this cheap eBay thing. I wish I hadn't been so cheap and had bought that used EZ-UP someone offered me for $100 plus shipping. It had sidewalls, too. I'd been hoping to make enough money to pay booth rent and supplies for my next show and put what's left toward the down payment on the house, but now I'm just praying I make enough to replace this cheap piece of crap so that I can sell stuff at the Gardeners' Market to make enough for a booth fee at another show.

The PVC rack I had so cleverly designed kept coming apart and falling over. I bought a jar of PVC glue to prevent this, but I couldn't get it open and neither could any of the men I asked. Finally some kind soul went and found me a pair of channel locks and we got it open. I started gluing it back together, but there was a piece missing. FH kept trying to prop the uprights of the rack against the canopy, and because the canopy was blowing in the wind, they kept getting knocked over. I asked him to quit standing them up because they would only fall down, but he didn't listen to me (does he ever??) and one knocked over the jar of PVC glue as it fell. When I wasn't fixing PVC racks or holding my canopy against the wind, I was resetting my display. The hats kept on blowing away. I gave up entirely on keeping the styrofoam head models out.

In addition to necessitating repairs and improvisations, the wind blew pollen up my nose. By evening I was completely disabled with allergies. I could hardly keep my eyes open to read my kids a bedtime story. I was so miserable when I got home that I just wanted to crawl into a corner. I couldn't even properly take care of my kids, so I just put them to bed.

There are some good things, though. For one, the scarf displays kept the scarves from blowing away even in the high winds. That was a plus as I was over on the other side of the canopy trying to hold it up, and would not have been able to chase down any scarves that blew away. Another good thing is that I checked out the competition-- there's another tie-dyer at Summerfest this year-- and her merchandise is scary (not to mention priced higher than mine). Most of her tie-dyes are very, very dark, and the colors seem to have been selected by throwing darts at the Procion color chart. She's got turquoise right next to fuchsia and green, and the effect is, ahem, less than stunning. Much less, in fact. No wonder people were commenting on how nice my colors were! I'd thought my palette was amateurish, too pastel, and way too dependent on cobalt blue, but looking at this lady's merchandise changed my mind. Also, the cobalt blue is very popular and is selling well.

Most of what has sold are hats for kids, and baby onesies. People like the soybean technique that produces the little rings; I do pink things with a yoke of the soybean rings, and they sell. I sold a couple of ponchos after I put out a sign that said "It's cold and windy! You need a poncho!" but I had to sell them at a discount to move them at all. I don't think I'll be doing ponchos in the future. I marked up the onesies because they were selling so fast and I was afraid I'd sell out before Saturday, the big sales day. I've had a lot of requests for cobalt blue spiral tees in larger sizes, so I'm making some of those this morning. I might get a special order to do matching tees for a family portrait.