Lessons Learned

Well, I survived my first fair/sale and while the same results could have been achieved in my grandparent’s kitchen (meaning that my only customers share a blood relation to me) rather than hauling everything to a downtown parking lot, I’ll consider it a good learning experience.  
Here’s some of what I learned.  
1. “EZ Up” canopy really does go up easy.  The difficult part is putting the damn thing back in its special bag.
2. It pays to be nice to your fellow vendors.  The dude selling nuts was nice enough to show us a way to accomplish #1.  Of course, he did stand there and watch us struggle for about 15 minutes.  Still, it was nice of him to show us the EZier way.
3. Bring your own food to snack on because, while your fellow vendors give advice freely, there are no free, (or discounted) nuts to be found.
I wasn’t prepared for some of the odd requests I got…  There was a big Marriage Encounters conference across the street and some of the people there were really into the whole Marriage Encounters thing.  They had backpacks, flags, and face paint to prove their devotion.  When I told one of the ladies browsing that I made my own beads, she said, “do you have any of these?” and pointed to her little Marriage Encounters temporary tattoo on her cheek.  Um, no.  Silly me for not making any glass Marriage Encounters beads.  When I told her I didn’t, she said “Too bad.  You would have made a lot of money.”  Lesson learned? Trademark infringement apparently pays well.
I had another lady and her daughter look at one of my bracelets (Blossoms & Baubles, available in my Etsy store) and ask me how much for just the one center bead.  Huh.  I never thought to price the beads individually and make them removable from my jewelry pieces.  Silly me. Lesson learned? Crack addicts look just like regular people sometimes.
I’m going to take all this new found knowledge and put it to use again this weekend at a different event.  I’ll be at Art Walk in Midtown Sacramento (20th & K) on Sept. 11th with another lovely lampwork artist, Andrea Simeral-Boyer of Dancing Moonshadows Jewelry.  Please stop by and see us if you’re in the area.  We won’t have Marriage Encounters beads, but maybe you’ll find something you like anyway.