Thursday, 5 pm:
Me: “Hey, Mom, you want to have a booth at Serendipity Haven this weekend?”
My mother and general partner in fairage: “Sure."
Thursday, 5:15 pm:
“Do we have a booth?”
So, sorry to disappear on you good folks, but I had an Emergency Renfair setup. This was my first time vending at a renaissance fair, too, so I my existing preparations consisted of
a. garb- it was my first time vending, but roughly my umpteenth year of being a rennie, so I had the outfit.
b. some product.
Everything else-- period booth dressing, signage, business cards, whatever-- I had to get ready between Wendesday and Friday. Or rather, on Friday, because I work Thursdays. Oh, and I don’t drive, so everything I needed that wasn’t in my house had to be grabbed by my dear indulgent mother. Planning!
So unprepared for anything more than making change, I decided to nonetheless go for it. And I‘m glad I did, because Serendipity was about the finest experience a first time vendor could have hoped for.
Saturday morning was a mad panic of flat tires, car switching, and last minute setup.
Fortunately, Serendipity is a startup fair, so they’re rather more relaxed about things like booth accuracy and vendor authenticity than some fairs. A canopy from the Blue Beast store,a few chairs and cushions, a wee tiny table, some tapestries and scarves, and voila, our booth was ready to go:
I brought my jewelry:
And I set up a little sign to let people know I was painting portraits (pictures, caricatures, whatever you want to call them), and I called myself ready, because while there was plenty more to be done, it couldn’t be done by me in two days.
Having set up, I proceeded to…sit back and relax. I’d been anticipating a small fair; I’d been there on opening weekend, when Saturday had brought in about 100 customers. But that was before Hurricane Ike came and rearranged everyone’s plans for a few weekends. This Saturday saw the arrival of…well, I don’t know, but it wasn’t a hundred visitors.
It also brought in some really gorgeous weather. And hey, I had my art supplies, so I wasn’t losing work time. So I sat back and started making some art cards, and waited...
But I didn't wait to long before the bombastic fantastic Gustav showed up. After essentially performing in character for a while, he decided he'd like a picture of himself:
And after being so pleased with it that even I, in all my egorifficness, was almost embarrassed, he showed it to his lovely wife Giselle. Then she wanted a picture too, which was both complimentary and profitable, so even better!
(no pic of Giselle herself-foop!)
They praised me for a while, which is always cool, then headed off. I barely had time to decide I'd make some art cards when one of the Fair Children- in this case, children of fairgoers, not fae (that I know of) came by and wanted her own picture. If I told you how wonderfully serious she was about the whole thing, you would not believe me. Despite her age, she had the great good sense to claim olive green as her favorite color. Sadly, she took her picture with a squeal and ran off in triumph before I could get a photo. But that's pretty much my favorite compliment of the day--you can't beat delighted shrieking.
The rest of my day was taken up with meeting new people, and mutual gabfests on epic scale. I ogled some handmade soaps, but held myself to my agreement (no more soaps until I use the ones I have! Not even if they smell like gardenia and look like pure butter!), ate some beast-on-a-stick, and enjoyed the free music and the sweet music. I capped off the day by selling some of my jewelry- sorry, everyone who liked the Winter Ivy piece!- and finding that, when it came to paying for my booth, my money was no good. The day could have been better, if I had been granted super powers.
And then I packed up (again, with the dominant assistance of my dear mother) and headed home. Not pictured: Us leaving our canopy and furniture on the fairgrounds, blithely trusting in our fellow humans. Would this come back to haunt us on the morrow? Stay tuned!*
Also: My Oh no! Photos! sale is still going on! Convo me or leave a note to the seller to get 20 percent off one item, or BOGO half off!
*No, it wouldn't. But stay tuned anyway!