Over the past four days, I've vended at three separate shows. All three shows are very different from each other, so I thought I'd give you a glimpse into a crafter's life. So next time you walk by a craft booth at a festival, maybe you'll stop by to say hi for a personal connection.
My first show was the International Refugee Committee’s Artvocacy show. I've
done this show for the past four years, but this year I wasn't going to do it,
since I'm no longer a refugee. Now that Libya is a free country, and I can
travel back and forth safely for the first time in over 40 years, I originally
told them no. But they talked me into coming and it really is a fun show. Plus,
I'm a big supporter of celebrating World Refugee Day. This year it was held in Pioneer Square in Seattle and the event included a naturalization ceremony. It really is so uplifting to see people that have struggled so hard to come to America and sacrificed so much for their life and families to become citizens. Although I didn't sell very much, it was still a great show to be a part of and I hope to do it again! Next time, I'm going to leave Redmond earlier though, since traffic was so horrible on I-90, that it took me one hour and twenty minutes to go there in rush hour traffic.
Two days later, I was vending at the Punk Rock Flea Market. I've blogged
about this show before and how much I love it. After five years, there had
to be a bad year and this was it. The show itself was great, and the organizers
did a fantastic job, as always, but what wasn't cooperating was the surroundings.
First it was the same weekend as the Rock and Roll Marathon.
So what would have been an easy 20 minute drive into Seattle, took an hour and a half because of all the road detours and other cars trying to get around the police blockages. What I don't understand about marathons is why don't they run them in the
country? Why do the have to shut down entire cities for runners? Isn't the
concrete and asphalt and smog bad for the lungs anyway? Why not find a nice
country road? I mean the Tour de France isn't biked around downtown Paris. Why should bikers get to enjoy the countryside? Okay, I'm done ranting. Back to the PRFM.
First the parking lot where we were going to be placed had some cars from overnight. So we had to deal with cars trying to drive around booths the rest of the rest of the day as they were trying to get out. Then, I had gone to Costco to buy a canopy tent, but unfortunately, one of the
corners wouldn't latch. I only had my 10 year old daughter's help, so we got a
neighbor vendor's husband to help and he was still having problems. After much
struggles, the tent went up.
Lastely, we got hit with a torrential downpour two hours into the show, that not only got my entire inventory
that had been sitting on the ground soaked, it keep all the shoppers away.
The vey next day, I headed out to the Shoreline Arts & Crafts Festival,
which was a great ending to the weekend. We were inside (no having to deal with
the tent again!), there was a breakfast provided by the senior center next door
(nothing better then a grandma bringing you French toast with a "here you
go hon" in the morning) and it was a full day catching up with friends in
the Arab Cultural room. We were represented by Libya, Syria, Egypt, and Palestine and the organizers did an amazing job of displaying so many cultural items. My daughter
was with me again, and she sold more dog toys, so she was excited to now have
money to be able to donate to the King County Humane Society. I took a lot of
pictures that I'll post in my Facebook page, so I hope you enjoy looking at them.
I'm done with vending at craft shows for a little while. I'm going to be spending
the next few weeks returning the broken tent to Costco, unpacking everything and
listing what didn’t sell to my Zibbet shop.
So next time you walk by a craft booth at a festival, stop and say hi. You
never know the story it took them to get there and what a smile and hi would
mean to their day.