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Posts Tagged ‘craft show’

There’s some busy excitement at the Auntie B’s Wax World Headquarters these days. I’ve been bustling around restocking inventory after a lucrative show last weekend ~ creating and packaging more product for the upcoming show next weekend. Husby and I are looking forward to this show because we get to make a five-day weekend of it in our beloved Door County.

That’s right, the Olde Ellison Bay Days is nearly upon us and I have lots to do to prepare. Not only do I have to get my wares ready, I also have to get myself ready because we’re expecting a very special guest at the festivities. When I received confirmation of my booth space at the craft show I was informed that the Grand Marshal of the Olde Ellison Bay Days parade will be none other than Mr. Tony Shalhoub!   (Miss Elizabeth Rose, maybe you want to rethink your plans for next weekend as I know you’ve been wanting to get in touch with Tony regarding your book.)

Tony Shalhoub in Big Night

I got a haircut this week and I’m going to do all of my ironing today so I’ll have something cute to wear, just in case Tony Shalhoub looks at me. I wouldn’t want to appear too scary or unkempt.

Tony Shalhoub in Wings

We know he’s going to be the Grand Marshal of the parade, but will he take part in the other festivities too? Like, maybe he’ll want to wander around the park and see what the artists have to offer. OMG, is it possible that Tony Shalhoub might come into my booth and actually sniff one of my candles?!

Tony Shalhoub in Men In Black

I think he’d be more inclined to look at my magnets. He’ll stand in front of the frame and read each one, slowly and deliberately, and genuinely laugh. How should I behave if he spends any amount of time at my booth? Should I gush and tell him how much I love his work, or him personally? Should I insist on taking his picture, or better yet having someone take a picture of me, Husby, and Tony by the booth banner? Should I just act nonchalant and pretend like he’s a regular customer? (If that’s the case he’d certainly get friendly service, but probably not be asked for a picture or autograph.) Then the biggest question is, if he wanted something from my booth should I make him pay for it or just give it to him with my star-struck compliments?

Tony Shalhoub as Adrian Monk in Monk

Then, because my magnets are so charming and funny and because my new haircut is so cute and my clothes are so neatly pressed he’ll strike up a conversation with me and Husby. He’ll find us refreshingly real and amusing, and will invite us to dine with him and his wife that evening.

Tony Shalhoub in Feed The Fish (filmed in Ellison Bay)

We’ll have cocktails on the balcony and watch the sun set over Green Bay and linger over a delightful meal of Lake Michigan white fish. Tony and his wife will be so happy to have met us we’ll all be BFFs.

*Snapping out of it*

OK, I realize none of that will probably happen, except that he might actually see me as I waive and scream at him from the side of the road as he processes down the street with the parade. It’s fun to imagine what could happen, though.

If you’re in the Ellison Bay area be sure to stop by the craft show in Ellison Bay Beach Park. You might just spot a star, even if it’s only me.

The handsome and talented Tony Shalhoub

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After the semi-disasterous first show of 2013 (Hopkins Mainstreet Days) Husby and I set up camp at the Chateau St. Croix Winery and Vineyard.  I’m a little late in keeping  you up to date on the show, but then again I’m a little behind in everything I’m undertaking these days.  The Fete des Fleurs took place on June 8th and 9th and was much more enjoyable than the first show we did in Hopkins.  For one thing it didn’t rain the entire time.  For another thing a lot of people like to visit the Chateau.  Sunny Skies + People + Wine = Respectable Sales for Auntie B.

Prior to the sunny day on Saturday the St. Croix Falls area had been having a lot of rain and the ground was completely saturated.  It was pretty squishy, but the water didn’t penetrate my shoes or threaten any of my wares.

A beautiful patch of grass became pretty muddy after a little traffic. My tennies needed a good hosing down when I got home.

Strolling along with a glass of wine, perusing the offerings by local artisans ~ a lovely way to spend a day.

One of the things that brightened our day was the fact that Dave Ybarra of the North Side Dukes came to our canopy and gave us a complimentary CD for being such an enthusiastic audience.  It’s not hard, as the band is one of the things we like best about the Chateau’s festivals.

Husby and I aren’t the only ones who like the North Side Dukes. Combine some bluesy music with good friends and good wine and you’ve got yourself a good time.

There’s another Dave at the Chateau I’ve come to adore – Dave the wine/beer guy. He teases me with the bottles of Chateau wine and thinks I should start drinking earlier than I do. Hey Dave, I’ve got a business to run! I usually have a glass about an hour before closing time. Dave likes to give me a very generous glass of wine.  He’s nice that way.

Look! Tiny little hipsters! You just never know what you’ll see at the Chateau.

It was a really good Saturday, but Sunday came around with more rain.  Despite that some brave people came out with their umbrellas to visited the artisans and listen to the music.  Good times can happen rain or shine.  Luckily the sun came out by the time we had to pack up for the weekend.  Anyone who sets up a booth at an outdoor event knows it’s a challenge to set up or tear down in the rain. 

All in all it was a good weekend and I was honored to be a part of the Chateau St. Croix’s 2013 Fete des Fleurs.  If you missed the spring festival remember there’s another festival at the Chateau St. Croix in September.  Keep in touch with my Events page for updates.

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Last week I asked you all to send put in a good word for me to the weather gods for my first show of the season.  I trust that you did.  Unfortunately the weather gods must have had their ear plugs in or else couldn’t perform their sun dance because they slept in until noon.

Roads are blocked in anticipation of hundreds and hundreds of festival goers. Vendor canopies are zipped up to protect the valuable products inside.  Except that poor woman on the right side of the picture, who has no sides to zip up.

It started to rain while we were en route to the venue. By the time we got there it was still raining…hard. When you’re in the craft show business you can be prepared all you want, but trust me, setting up a canopy and keeping products dry in the rain is a challenge. A positive note – there was no wind.

The gutter at the rear side of my canopy was a flowing river of about three inches of water.

My hair was drenched, my make-up job was streaming down my face, and my shoes and socks were squish, squish, squishing with every step I took.

The heavy rain didn’t stop for another couple of hours. We were wet and cold. Husby got me a big cup of hot chocolate and himself a big cup of coffee to take the chill off a bit while we waited for the sun.

A view down the street from under my canopy just before the festival was about to begin.

Eventually the sun did come from behind the clouds, the temperature rose and the people came out.  From 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. we watched a lot of people walking up and down the street…empty-handed.  They weren’t shopping and they weren’t buying. 

All of the vendors I talked to were having low sales, and we couldn’t blame the weather anymore.  There’s nothing we can blame.  That’s the nature of craft shows and festivals.  Sometimes sales are good, sometimes they’re not.  We as vendors take our chances with weather, disorganized event organizers, and shoppers.  Applying for a booth at a craft show in a new venue is like playing roulette ~ I’m taking a gamble with both, and with both money can either be won or lost.

All was not lost in my gamble.  I got wet but came home with a little more money than I put into the booth fee.  Husby and I made friends with our vendor neighbors and even saw a couple of vendors we knew from other shows. 

You win some, you lose some, but always put your money on black.  Or red.  Whichever is your lucky color.  No matter what, it’s always fun playing.

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Two weeks ago we had some snow flurries, but at long last the buds on the trees have morphed into actual leaves and any precipitation we’re getting isn’t frozen.  But when it comes to preciptation the kids in Minnesota are going to get soaked between now and next weekend.  As much as I love summertime thunderstorms I’m not so sure I want one this weekend, more specifically this Saturday.

Rain or shine I’ll be at the Hopkins Mainstreet Days Arts and Crafts Show on Saturday from 9:00 to 4:00, along with my trusty roadie, Husby.  Today I’m all about making sure everything is packaged, priced, and ready for sale and even took vacation time from the day job to complete the project.  This is the first show of the season for me, so I want to make sure I have all the bases covered.

You can’t miss the Auntie B’s Wax sign.

The first show of the season always makes me a little nervous, but preparing for it is also invigorating. Coming out of the studio into the outdoor air to mingle with my species as they peruse the works of artisans feels as fresh to me as the new spring air.

The always popular bobber candles.

If you can’t come to the Hopkins Mainstreet Days Arts and Crafts Show, please send a message to the weather gods to hold off on the rain until about 6:00 Saturday evening.  After that I won’t mind all the rain they have to give us.  That is, until the next show.

Have a happy weekend, everyone!

Smiling at Auntie B’s pulp fiction magnets.

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Horrors!

Husby and I were at a craft show where we met a bunch of people right away.  There were two couples working together, two guys working together, and one other guy who was hanging out with one of the couples.  I remember the women’s names, Gwen and Kate.  I can’t remember the guys’ names.

The show was set up on a marina and in the adjacent park.  I was amazed that my assigned space was actually on one of the boats in the marina.  So very cool, and nice that I didn’t have to set up a canopy as everything could be set up under the cover of the boat.  Husby and I set up right away and even though the show didn’t start until the next day lots of people were stopping by to see what I had to offer.

At one point I came to an uncomfortable realization.  I took Gwen aside and said, “I’m so embarrassed, but could you tell me what state we’re in?”  I would have asked Husby but he was off swimming.  Gwen looked at me like I was crazy and didn’t even answer me, as if I didn’t deserve to know.  Such a premiere show and she doesn’t even know what state she’s in?

I decided it didn’t matter, but as Husby and I were sitting around with these seven other people we had met I asked again.  “What state are we in?”  One of the men responded “New Orleans.”  I looked at him and clicked my tongue.  “New Orleans isn’t a state, and besides, if I was in New Orleans I’d know, and this isn’t it”  It was at that point I knew these people weren’t going to be my friends if they couldn’t even help me out in my addle-minded condition.

Husby and I went back to the boat slip where my display was set up.  To my horror the entire boat was gone.  Gone!  Gone with all of my products!

At that point I woke up.  I likened this dream to those where you go to school and realize you have no clothes on, or forgot your locker combination.  I never did find out what state we were in, and when I relayed the dream to Husby he said “I think you were in the state of confusion.”  Ha ha.

Am I having craft show anxiety?  Am I having social interaction anxiety?  Am I having house boat anxiety?  I’m not really sure, but I am sure the dream is anxiety-based.

Funny, I don’t feel anxious in my waking state, but maybe I should pay attention to my subconscious.  First order of business is to be sure to know what state I’m in when at a craft show.  Secondly, don’t trust being set up on someone else’s boat.

Here’s to a week devoted to researching shows to do in the 2013 season.

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The Thanksgiving weekend is over, and I hope it was a happy one for all of you.  Husby and I had a cozy little dinner with just the two of us.  Now that we celebrate the day as a twosome we serve ourselves something other than a giant turkey, because there’s only so much two people can do with a twelve pound turkey before getting sick of it or developing narcolepsy due to excess tryptophan.  This year we had a nice little pork loin with a cranberry barbecue glaze and a bunch of other good stuff to accompany it.  We also had a very nontraditional dessert ~ applesauce cake with a spiced cream cheese frosting.

Black Friday was very leisurely for us as we spent the day at the Taylors Falls Depot selling my wares.  There was a crowd shopping, but there was no screaming, clawing, or trampling.

Joyce and Doug’s booth filled with beautiful original paintings.

A friend of one of the vendors stopped by and it turns out she’s a professional pianist. It was so nice of her to play some music for us for free, although I’m pretty sure the out-of-tune piano was bugging her to no end. Despite that, she played beautifully. One of the shoppers loved the music so much she lingered to sing along to the Christmas songs.

Live music from a real professional. What a treat!

Of course I was thrilled to meet some new customers and see lots of returning customers.  I was especially happy to meet the lady who loves beeswax so much she bought every beeswax candle I had.  Woo Hoo!  I appreciate all who stopped by my booth to pay me a visit or buy a thing or two for themselves or for gifts to give this Christmas.

Some shoppers perusing my booth

With the Thanksgiving weekend behind us I foresee a whirlwind of activity coming our way.  I’m looking forward to the festivites and preparations.  Let the Christmas season begin!

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If you read yesterday’s post you know Husby and I endured a blown-away canopy followed by a beautiful, sunny autumn day of sales at the Sister Bay Fall Festival.  The thing that made me so nervous about applying for this show in the first place was the fact that it was a three-day show.  I’ve never done a show of that length before.  With one minus (blown-away tent) and one plus (lovely and lucrative day) everything about the show was even.  However, periodically throughout the day Husby was checking the weather report for the rest of the weekend.  It didn’t look good.

I spent the entire evening toiling over how I was going to manage the show with 20 mph winds and a 90% chance of rain with temperatures in the mid-40s.  At least I was satisfied with how we closed up shop on Friday evening, lowering the canopy and adding even more weights to keep it from flying away overnight. 

When I woke up Saturday morning I resumed my worrisome behavior, trying to decide if I should weather out the storm or shut down completely.  I weighed the pros and cons of sticking it out.  The cons won.

This is how it looked outside while I was pacing back and forth Saturday morning, trying to make one of the hardest decisions of my business life.

We rushed to the site of the show and packed up everything before the event was scheduled to begin.  (No, the canopy had not blown away this time, thank goodness!)  Before we made it back to the motel it started to rain.  And it rained for forty-eight hours straight with healthy winds coming off the lake.

I’ve always been kind of judgmental when it comes to people packing up and leaving a show before it’s scheduled to end.  I felt like a hypocrite and spent the rest of Saturday second-guessing my decision to leave early.  When it was still raining on Sunday I knew I’d made the right choice.  Not only would that much wind and rain have damaged my product, Husby and I would have been crabby and cold.  Thinking like a shopper I knew I’d never venture out in that kind of weather to wander around at an outdoor event.

While we were out at an antique/junk store on Sunday we happened to see our vendor neighbor.  I looked at my watch and saw the craft show was still, technically, in progress.  I teased her and asked why she wasn’t sitting out in the cold rain.  She said she wished she had done as I did and packed up Saturday morning before the rain started.  There were no shoppers and many of the vendors started tearing down on Saturday afternoon.

Long and short of it all, I worked one day of a three-day show.  I still feel a little guilty for begging out, but I’m also very glad my wares were safe and dry.  I’m very pleased with the money I earned on Friday, but disappointed that the weather didn’t cooperate in making what could have been the most lucrative show of my life.

To my fellow craft show vendors out there, I don’t recommend leaving a show early for reasons like poor attendance or low sales.  That’s the show to avoid next year.  If it’s a one-day show, stick it out to the end.  If it’s more than one day, and your product or your health might be jeopardized, pack up during the off hours of the show to avoid annoying shoppers and fellow vendors.

The decision to leave in the middle of this show was a difficult one indeed.  Now I’ll spend the next six months trying to decide if I’ll take a chance on it again next year.

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