Monday, May 02, 2011

Craft Shows Through the Years (outdoors)

Here's a little peek at how my outdoor displays have evolved over the years. Enjoy!

Spring Bada Bing 2005
This was my first show ever.  I had no idea what to prepare for so I spent quite a bit of time looking through the suggested list of items to bring they sent along.  I based my prep list on a lot of things I first found here.  I didn't need a tent because they had wooden shelters for us to use but they didn't have a roof so tarps were suggested.  It did end up raining so the tarps proved quite useful.  I do remember us being one of the only people that had a tarp on the roof and also behind us so we were quite cozy and had lots of visitors hanging out in our space until the rain subsided.  I had no idea how to display my squid at the time so I used a bulletin board.  I also didn't have much stock so I sold out pretty quickly of most things, which was a nice feeling.  Also note the how we first did our signs. 

Crafty Bastards 2005

This was my second show and I bought a tent.  A beautiful tent.  I found it in the tailgating section of Dick's Sporting Goods in Altoona.  It had wonderful vents, was quick to set up, and had a silver lining so it was always nice and cool under there.  At this point I still had not sewn tablecloths and was using some unfortunate polka dot fabric.  I did make a fabric sign for the outside which served me well.  I have since retired this into a memento box.  You can kind of see some of the signs Scott started to make peeking out. These proved to be quite a hit with folks.  I think my signs get just as many photos taken as my plush.
My set up for outdoor shows didn't change much for the next few years and I don't really have any photos of these times so I'll jump ahead to 2008.
Renegade Brooklyn 2008
I think this is the first time we used any sort of trunk.  We found it to be quite useful and this seeded the idea for the steamer trunks that Scott thought of later that year.  At this time I was still using spinning racks for the squid .  Horrible! These would blow around all of the time and tangle the squid.  Even in an indoor situation they weren't ideal (hindsight) but outside it was just a lost cause.  I also still had some gridwalls.  These also weren't ideal for the type of items I was making.  I still had my outdoor sign plus a new pennant I had made.  We were in the pool again this year and there were thunderstorms and the pool flooded in some spots.  Our tent was a trooper though, at the end of the day when my tent was taken down and folded up the wind was so strong it blew the tent about 15 feet away from our space.  We had been the year before and although it had rained it wasn't terribly bad (this was how I first learned that plastic bins are the way to store your extra stock under tables).  This was our first hint at how early June weather in Brooklyn can be.

Crafty Bastards 2008

 The trunks are in full force, the gridwalls are gone, clothes lines are utilized.  Still have too many extra little baskets and display holders but after this I got even more ideas on how to consolidate (and better display) all of my items.  This also included getting rid of certain products to focus on ones I enjoyed making more.

Brooklyn Renegade 2010
 Probably the saddest show we've ever had.  The wind and rain was already pretty bad when we arrived and the forecast wasn't promising.  I don't know if it was our position but we seemed to be right in the line of the wind.  Our tent (which was ridiculously weighted) was one of the first in our area to be taken out. Even our wooden and metal trunks toppled over a few times.  Also, there was a softball game going on in front of us.  One ball hit a display trunk (thankfully missing a customer). Our dear neighbor Meg almost got a ball to the head at one point as well.  We only made it a few hours before our tent and merchandise was out of commission.  We made the decision to cut our loses since our trunks were in need of repair, our tent had buckled and I had lost a bit of squid to water damage.   I was super sad to leave a show and to know that my faithful tent had finally bit the dust.  Scott made me feel better though by taking me to Coney Island for the first time (because of course, the weather was looking up after we had left the show).  We also missed the second day of the show because I didn't want to rush out buying a new tent without doing research, especially considering the weather for the next day.

Renegade Chicago 2010
 This was our maiden run of a new tent.  I kept the wall from the old tent to use.  I spent so much time researching our new purchase and we realized once we put it up it should just be burned alive.  There were pinhole tears everywhere.  The vents didn't work. Also, it seemed to be low.  This was confirmed when someone came in and said they had the same tent and it should be much higher.  We also had to set it up in the rain and realized it was not as quick to put up as our first one and we were having problems getting the legs to lock and unlock.  We were soaked and worried about having another rerun of our last outdoor event (every single outdoor show we did last year had some sort of severe weather mishap).  After this show we had another outdoor show in St. Louis and ended up having to put a tarp over the roof in order to stop the leaking (which worked quite well).  Given all of the problems we had last year with the rain plus the prospect of moving this summer I'm not doing as many outdoor shows although I am still on the hunt for a tent for when I do.  I wish they still made our lovely purple guy but alas, I have yet to find it.  

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