This lazy susan is part of a glaze kiln I just unloaded this week filled with some custom order creations and last minute inventory additions for a weekend craft show. And the phrasing “one good turn deserves another” couldn’t be more apropos to sum up the experience of a craft show vendor.
I’ve visited many a festival as an attendee. Participation as a seller gives you a whole different perspective and peek behind the curtain. There are several constants that occur in every sales event I’ve worked.
It begins with unloading and unpacking in a new ‘store front’ location. Sometimes you bring all the tables and props along with inventory, other times you work within the show’s designated display arrangement. It’s a busy, frenetic time of creating a community. Each vendor is focused on setting up, unpacking, arranging and re-arranging their temporary quarters. Introductions occur with immediate neighbors. Some have worked shows together before, others are new to the neighborhood.
Once the vendors are set, there may be time to venture beyond your own block of neighbors and get a broader picture of the other show participants. Once the show begins, there is often little time to get this overview perspective.
The sense of immediate community with other creators happens quickly. Show neighbors are helpful to each other, share past show experience advice, swap some personal insights and become new friends.
This past weekend’s festival was an outdoor event so weather played a determining factor on attendance. We were clipped by a torrent of rain on day-one which cancelled some of the planned music and libations, deterred attendance and soaked some of the vendor’s art. We had better weather-luck on day two, so the music played and the food trucks could serve.
As a vendor, the range of emotions you experience during a show vary wildly. Excitement, trepidation, delight, satisfaction, disappointment, elation – they are all part of the journey. But the constant I’ve found throughout these shows is the generosity and like-minded spirit of my artistic neighbors. Their helpful and encouraging attitude make me a better artist and person and truly embody the motto “one good turn deserves another.”