We had decided to sell our shaped crayons at craft shows and on-line.  We were familiar with the craft show circuit from creating the Holiday Craft Market fundraiser (www.holidaycraftmarket.com) at our kids’ elementary school.  And there were a few shows in our area with good reputations, so we signed up for two of them. The first one was on August 27th.   This gave us a deadline to have everything finalized and stocked up.

The show was fairly expensive to participate in (at least for us), but it did give a large space; $95 for a 12’x12′ space.  We didn’t have enough product of our own to fill that space so we asked friends who make handsewn headbands (http://melandstacy.com/ and http://www.facebook.com/pages/Handmade-Headbands-by-melandstacy/168617083187464?sk=wall&filter=12) to join in and I decided I’d sell my upcycled accessories (http://www.facebook.com/Sup.cycling) too.

We called ourselves Centerville Crafters Co-op so that we could apply together.  But part of the application process was submitting a photo of our display.  And of course we hadn’t sold together before.  So we faked it.  We went to Stacy (of Mel and Stacy)’s sister’s backyard where she had a tent set up, dragging all 9 of our kids with us.  We set up our display, hung our sign, and snapped a bunch of photos.  Thank goodness one, yes just one, came out ok!  So off it went with the application – and we got in!

What came next we couldn’t have dreamed up – a hurricaine in the forcast.  And this was an outdoor show.  We watched the weather reports like hawks as did the show’s planners.  And they decided the show must go on.  The latest was it would blow in late afternoon on Saturday and get worse overnight into Sunday.  So we went and set up our tent (which we had no idea how to do – thank goodness for the friendly, helpful, more experienced neighbors we had on either side who showed us how).  And up went our display (thank goodness for our practice photo shoot. We had already had to work out how to display our wares – in brightly colored plastic bins on wooden racks.  You know the kind they make to store kids toys in that you can get at Target?  Yup, those).

But what didn’t go up was our sales.  Because of the impending doom of the hurricaine, about half the vendors didn’t show up and more than half of the typical amount of customers were no shows. And then, right on cue, as the show ended at 3pm and crafters were packing up their goods, the skies opened up.  It was like the world was ending – people were running everywhere trying to get their stuff in their cars.  Cars were pulling up on the grass.  I lost Leslie in the mayhem but at least our stuff was packed up.  My car was blocked in its parking space, so I sat and waited unable to see out my windows due to the torrents of water flowing down them.  But when I finally turned my back wiper on, I saw Leslie out there helping another vendor with a tent she couldn’t get closed.  She is a better woman than I!

So how did we do at our first show?  After taking out the cost of the space, we made a total of $7 for the day!!!!!!