I have been setting up at events and festivals for about a year and a half now with my clothing, so I have a little experience with dealing with certain elements (wind, rain, and heat). Chris got his first full-fledged experience. It was also our first time setting up with our soap and lotion products, and I also put out some of my “Art of Circumstance” abstract textile canvas work. That was the first challenge!
This event was at the Chateau St. Croix Winery in St. Croix Falls, WI. It was about a 45 minute drive for us to get there, we left about 6:30AM, leaving ourselves plenty of time to play with the booth set up to be ready at 10AM.
Our original set-up took about 2 ½ hours to complete, and about 2 hours into the festival, with no sales to speak of, we decided we needed to change it up. We had used some ITSO cubes, found at Target, to house the soaps and lotions, as well as a 4 ft. table towards the back of the tent. After observing another soap vendor getting much better traffic and sales with their stuff all on the perimeter of the tent where passers-by could easily see, touch, and smell the product, we took a slow-down in traffic to move things around. We moved our table to the entrance of the tent, filled it with samples of all our bath and body products and immediately made our first sale! Our first lesson learned! We had a great sales day, the weather was perfect, and we left at the end of the day tired, hungry, and happy!
Obviously under these circumstances the event coordinator understood that we could not set up. The wind was
still whipping, as I held the tent up while Chris loaded our displays into the van. It was depressing. Of course, there was a part of me that was somewhat relieved that we wouldn’t have to endure the cold, with little hope of good attendance at the festival anyways, and we could spend the day instead sipping soup and cuddling with the kids.
But the larger part of me couldn’t help being reminded that I woul rather sit in the rain and wind amongst the other vendors, sharing the experience, relishing in the wonderful feedback of the visitors, and spending the day with my soul mate then sitting behind a desk dreaming of the exact experience that I was actually having. For that reason, when we were offered a small space in one of the event tents, we took it. As it turns out, the attendance was low, but the sales were better than the day before! We met so many amazing people, had great conversations, and earned the respect of the event staff by sticking it out, even though we had the perfect out of the dreary day. Chris even took it upon himself to invite several complete strangers to spend the night at our house…I have a feeling these strangers will soon be called friends.