Sunday, 9 December 2007

Fair Play ...

Having waited weeks of childlike anticipation to reach the large X on the calendar for the local Craft Fair in Bath.. the day finally arrived. I set off at silly time of morning to get to the fair to unpack everything before the traffic wardens started their head hunt for the day.
Arrived at 7.15 a.m.. only five minute trip in car from house... and found that my requested table was not were I had asked for it to be.. was then shown by organiser to little pokey room with little table on verge of collapse and told that I had requested the previous week and obviously I was in the wrong! I meekly argued that this was not so as I had sent an email to confirm dates and table but it was futile and so my beloved went off to fetch boxes from the car whilst I quietly fumed and felt on the verge of tears..
You have to remember that this is only my second craft fair and in my naivety and optimism I felt so much rested on this fair and it was my last chance to introduce my products and work to the public for 2007.
Suddenly, flustered organiser appeared with my beloved behind her grinning at me, and told me I had another table so to dismantle all that I had just set out on wonky table.. Oh to cut a long short.. I ended up more or less where I had wanted to be originally and could hear mutterings in the background about unreliable stallholders etc etc...
Not to be thwarted I set up my table and then sat for an hour and a half waiting for the event to open to public and thinking to myself.. why did I get up so early?????
A steady stream of very soggy very miserable punters streamed passed my table of Cowboys & Custard wares and I surmised (gosh Holmes!) that it was raining heavily outside and that the craft fair was just a temporary refuge and not an intended shopping event for this motley crew.
Well for anyone who has done a craft fair and I know that there are many of you who have... especially dear Fiona @ Nonnie..
who did the same fair last weekend... they are rather soul destroying.. if they are not well organised, located, advertised as this one fell into all of those catogories! Oh and then there are the customers to deal with.. or lack of them!
I sat with a fixed grin trying to engage the steady flow of people but found it hard to feel kindly towards some of them when all they did was stare vacantly and would not acknowledge my greeting or invitation to take a business card..
I did however.. have some delightful customers who really saved the day and who 'understood' my work and appreciated it.. that made it all worthwhile and of course the takings at the end of the day more than compensated for the mind numbing experience of sitting there for 10 hours.
One dear lass bought two frames from me ... and I was almost in a state of shock as I offered to gift wrap them for her and my hands were shaking with sheer joy and disbelief ...oh and eternal gratitude!

All in all it was a funny old day but I am not deterred.. onwards and upwards.. I intend to march on in 2008 and just be a bit more selective about my venue. I really don't mean to sound like an old sourpuss.. these events are real hit and miss ocassions.. you never know what to expect.. 'Expect the unexpected' is my motto.. I must remember that!

I came home to a very welcome supper cooked by my beloved... he is such a rock! Who needs Nicholas Cage any way...?

P.s I will never know exactly what beloved said to the organiser to secure me a better table .. but it worked .. Thank you my darling!

THANK YOU ALL who have entered the giveaway so far... some sumptuous feasts have been chosen and I am already reaching for the alkazelters ..
I will put all names into a bowl and pick winner this evening on return from a trip to the local Theatre Royal to hear Handel's Messiah .. a favourite of mine.. performed by candlelight...Just hope I can keep cough under control!


this is my patch said...

Hi Michele, I was thinking of you yesterday battling against the elements with your wares. I look forward to reading through your post in great depth a little later on, I really must get off this computer, I had so many plans for today and already it is nearly 11.00am, I was up at 6.30am, J is at work earning some extra cash, always handy at this time of year, he would be having kittens if he knew how long I had been on this thing this morning, although I have stopped for a cup of tea and mince pie, oh and I have done some washing, and very energetically shoved it all in the tumble dryer, no chance of getting anything dry outside these days, we have already had a storm pass over this morning bringing with it a deluge of rain! x

GeorgiaPeachez said...

Well, nothing ventured nothing gained. We always come away from these experiences full of "what ifs". At least you stepped up to the plate and you DID IT. Good job and next time will be even better! xo, suzy


Michele, you are a card, many laughs were heard coming from my computer room today, not that anyone would have heard, I have been on my own. I had hoped that your cough would have calmed down before the sale of the century yesterday. Don't talk to me about table sales, I have done many, and antique and collector fairs, if your pitch is not in the right place, it can be a disaster, and yes I know what it is like to have to grin like a cheshire cat for up to 8 hours or more, and yes I know what it is like running backwards and forwards from the car to struggle in with umpteen boxes. What influence must your husband have had on the organiser to get a change of pitch, do you think he told her your best buddy was Mr Cage no less, I hope he wasn't pulling faces behind his/her back? I am glad you managed to dispense of that wonky table, I have seen and heard many a trestle collapse under the sheer strain. At least alls well that ends well, and at least you know moths are still alive and well in Bath! I do hope you enjoy your evening out, don't forget to turn your mobile off! x

Two Crofters said...

it is heartbreaking.
these fairs are what made me invest in a bricks and mortar shop, and now i am thinking of going back to fairs again.....
the life of a craft worker is a complicated one x
keep your chin up girl - your items are stunning x
tracy x

Ragged Roses said...

Hi Michele. Glad it all turned out okay in the end. Craft fairs can be so soul destroying. I use to do them with a friend of mine and would vow at the end of each one that I would never do them again, until the next time!!!! We would spend hours sitting at our stall making up a TV sitcom about people who visit craft fairs and the strange things you see them (very Victoria Wood!). Hope you enjoyed the concert

Katherines Dream said...

Hi Michele,
I am pleased that you got out of the house !!
Well I am sure that you will have a super evening at the Theatre making your weekend extra special.
Hugs, big hugs and more hugs....

Vintage to Victorian said...

Hi Michele

Glad you did OK in the end. What a nightmare, although it seems as if one shouldn't be surprised by this particular organiser from all accounts.

Don't be put off. Do they still have the craft marquee at the Bath Flower Show in Victoria Park? I used to to that one when I crafted rather than 'antiqued'!

Sue x

Nicky said...

Hi Michele, Oh my heart goes out to you... craft fairs such a taskmaster! Its the public that I find hard to take.. and I find myself wondering how much it would really hurt most of them to just offer a kindly word or bit of encouragement instead of the deadpan face and silence that a majority great you with! Don't let it get to you, soldier on with your wonderful work. I suppose not everyone can understand genius when they come across it!

Vintage Sue said...

I do a Big Flea/antique market 5 times a year here in the US/VA, and every time I get my hopes up. While sitting there it does seem soul-sucking, but there's always the few customers that do make it worthwhile—that "get" your work/style or at least stop by to tell you they like your stuff.

It can be heartbreaking, but keep looking for the right venue! XOX

Ben said...

Sorry I didn't make it along on Saturday. Bath didn't seem like a good option on the wettest day for five million years. Hope you are feeling better now?

Lucy Bloom said...

Hi Michele, well done on your craft fair, your stall looked really lovely! I used to do craft fairs until I took my stall at the craft centre. I find this much easier as all I have to do is drop off stock and tidy up my shelves now and again. I do miss certain aspects of the craft fairs, such as making my stall look pretty and contact with the customers (the nice ones, that is) and other crafters, but overall they are hard work and not always worth it, as you know. Do you sell in any shops, or have you thought about it? Depending on the commission they would charge it might be worthwhile, and also a good way of making yourself known to a wider audience. I have made additional sales and been invited to fairs and displays by people who have seen my things in the centre.
Wishing you a good week,

Country Cottage Chic said...

I was wondering how it went - I'm so pleased you found the select few who "got" your lovely creations! Your stall looked lovely.

bj said...

You are such a precious girl and your attitude is priceless!

Anonymous said...

Two frames - I think I would have hugged her. So pleased that this fair worked out for you in the end
your beloved did a good job getting you moved.

Nostalgia at the Stone House said...

Hi Michele,Sorry to hear things started a little stressful, but I am so pleased that you sold two of your lovely frames. I know how craft fairs can be and it's like you say - you need to find those people who 'get it'.
Sorry I didn't make it in to see you, but I must admit to avoiding the High Streets on Saturdays - especially just before Christmas!! (And in horrendous rain!)
Niki x