Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hood River Harvest Fair

Here are some pics from the show I did last weekend. It was three long days of customer interaction bookended by lots of driving so I'm still exhausted.

It was a beautiful show with lots of customers and perfect weather.

I got to the show and saw that everyone else had pretty booths with lighting. More than just "keeping up", I realized that my booth would look cheap and undermine customer confidence if I didn't upgrade. I bought new drapes, lighting and a carpet. The end result is beautiful, if I do say so myself.

And the real end result was sales. I did just as well as I could have. My inventory is so low that I couldn't do another show if I wanted to.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Bend Fall Festival

I arrived for setup at 6:15, before most everyone else. This gave me the luxury of unpacking and setting up before the show site became a traffic jam. Even though it was my first time with this booth and racks, I had the whole thing unpacked and set up in a couple of lazy hours.

Notice the photos on the wall? It's so much easier to help people understand how much work goes into making these garments if they can see the whole process.

This show was a lot of fun. It's so much easier to interact with people in a larger booth! There were lots of kids eager to see how weaving works... and you never know which one of them will be inspired enough to become one of the next generation of weavers.

These three girls wanted me to take their picture in my cloaks, so I made a deal to take one picture to share on my blog. Don't they look like they're having fun?

But, all good things come to an end. This one was a long, protracted end. I worked super hard this weekend so I just couldn't "whip through" the packing. (It takes a lot of cajoling to get all of the stuff into that van and still leave room to sleep.) I was among the last vendors out so I decided to take a four hour nap and begin my drive at 2:00 AM.

This plan had two benefits: the air would be cooler to keep my engine cooler, and there would be fewer cars to be annoyed by my van driving 35 MPH over the mountains. It worked. I got home around 7:30, slept 'til 9:30 and called my mechanic. He'll look at it tomorrow and assures me that it'll be good to drive back to Sisters next weekend and Hood River the weekend after that.

Luckily, I made just enough money this weekend to pay for whatever it'll take to get me to the next couple of shows. That's how it works, I guess!

Traveling To Bend

It's always jarring to leave my rural community and interface with the outside world. Some trips are more jarring than others, and this was one of those. The day before I left, I drank my morning coffee next to fennel ripening beside the porch.

On the way to this show I wanted to see if I could find weights designed to go with my canopy. I brought water bottles, but they're big and ugly, even covered with canvas. I found a Sports Authority on my route, so I dropped in to see if they had them. They didn't, but I couldn't find that out without entering the mall.


That place is completely synthetic. Everything is shiny and pristine. The whole place smells like vinyl, bug spray, and perfume. And there are people there who are not completely creeped out by it. Lots of them. The only thing that prevents me from panicking in that scary environment is the fact that many of those people view me as some kind of space alien. It's obvious that I don't belong there so they just let me zip past them and get out.

Then I was back on the road and off into the beautiful wilderness, at least as much of it as I can see from the road.

The next stop on my trip was the side of the highway near the summit of the Cascades as I waited for my radiator to finish boiling over so I could refill it. It threatened to overheat again for the whole rest of the trip so I got to see every scenic overlook on the way to Bend while I waited over and over for the engine to cool down.

I got there, though, and let the van cool overnight before driving it into an environment where people who know me could watch it blow up again.

To be continued...