Thursday, August 18, 2016

Oregon Country Fair: Real Booth Space

[Here's another post in the "catching up" series. This stuff happened around July 5th and 6th.]

Before I can tell you about what happened and why it's so amazing, I need to talk a bit more about the Oregon Country Fair and how strange and wonderful it is. Well, it's not like a regular show. In a regular show, you submit an application with jury photos and, if you score high enough that year, they let you in and give you booth space. You pay a booth fee and bring everything that you need to set up and sell.

At the Oregon Country Fair, you have to jury in, but then it gets complicated. If you score high enough, they give you a booth space like a regular show, but you are required to share with someone else of your choosing. If you choose another high-scoring vendor for a booth mate (and they accept), spaces open up for others who may have scored a little lower. But you're not required to stick with only high-scoring vendors. You can choose from anyone who has ever juried in. This is the crux of the unique setup at Country Fair. Once you have juried in, someone who has a space to vend can let you share that space with them. If you don't score high enough, you stay in the pool of people looking for a space.

Well, I arrived on Tuesday night certain that I would be working during the day selling my friend's jewelry, but having no booth space of my own. Strange things happened and I was offered space to vend by that same friend who ended up with more space than he had envisioned.

[Cart is handy for load-in from 1/2 mile away]

Since I like to be prepared for any eventuality, I had, of course, packed the van as if I had a real booth of my own, including tools and a stack of lumber to make booth modifications. When I was offered that space to sell in, I whipped out the power tools, made the modifications to the booth to accommodate my panels, and poof! I was in business.

Folks ask me all the time how I'm so successful. That's my secret, y'all! Bring all of the booth parts, all of the tools, all of the materials. If you don't use them, it's not a problem, but be ready to capitalize on any opportunity. "Fortune favors those who are prepared to succeed." (I think I made that up, but who knows anymore.)

[Booth halfway set up]

Well, it worked. We worked together to get the space ready to show. You'll notice in the following photos that half of my panels are a little short and have a strange canvas behind them. That's the portable half of the booth. I'll write in a day or two and show you how that worked out.

 [Side Entrance]

[Front Entrance]

I have to say that we did a great job of dividing up the space and showing all of our work very well. It was a very happy outcome and a good helping of fair magic.

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