Vendors who've been coming to this show for years tell me that this year is unusual. There are very few customers.
They are guessing that it has something to do with the weather. It's HOT! Someone said their booth thermometer read 97 degrees at about 3:00.
Other people say that there must be another, more compelling, event in the area, but there's no guess as to what it might be. Maybe it's the recent stock market turmoil that has (previously) wealthy people hiding under rocks.
Whatever it is, the artists are suffering here in Jacksonville.
I had one sale yesterday that brought us to break-even and reinforced my belief that I know what I'm doing.
Remember how before the show I was working ridiculous hours to have one batch of green cloth for this show? There was no time to weave and sew green ruanas, so I settled for shawls rather than nothing.
Well, someone loved the green so much that they've ordered and prepaid for a green ruana to be shipped out mid-week. Yeah! My stuff is priced high enough that I don't need many sales to make money.
I got some good feeling and useful feedback on my quality and prices, too. A vendor who's been doing the shows for decades came by and was very frank in his critique. As a New Yorker, I find that refreshing. He said, "You're way below your league here. Your booth is beautiful and your stuff is such high quality that you need to be at 'XYZ' shows next year."
Yeah, he's recommending shows in other states, Arizona, New Mexico, etc. But, if that's where the customers for my work are, I'll give them a try.
But I'm not there now. I'm here and I'm gonna do my best to sell what I have to the customers that are here.
People say Sunday is always the best day for this show.