The Craft Fair – Is It worth It
Craft fairs for artisans are a way of life. You pay the booth fees, mail your best pictures, and then anxiously wait for the passing score. Okay, you pass. Then you e mail one hundred friends and fans (!- well they really don’t care you come to know that gradually, yet this is the rule of the game. You shrug off and do that again any way).
Then for a week or so you worry if you have enough inventory and stay up until 2 pm until your eyes burn and neck falls off. Then in the morning you panic – do you have enough white space! So, you keep on practicing the display on your kitchen table disrupting your family life annoying everyone, and then you make several trips to Jo Ann and Michael’s craft stores brushing your credit card over and over and then get upset with your own self…
Then the final day comes. At the dawn break you haul your tent, tables and all that and get ready for the elbow grease. You put up the tent successfully. Yeh! (By the way, my crafty friends, I bought a new tent after extensive research and it has made us quite happy so far)
|Before it all starts|
My friend, Kathy (another jewelry artist) and I usually do the shows together. I don’t know what I would have done without Kathy! No, we are not at all threatened by each other; our styles are rather complimentary, not competitive. That makes our neighbor, Ann (another jewelry artist from the next booth) and the others from close proximity pause to think and then they nod in approval. True, we all have unique styles, and people do need lots of jewelry. So now we all feel confident and comfortable and wish each other.
|Our Booth is done|
It’s warming up. The music is in full blast now. I don’t know if I can take this rap until 6 pm. But I see Kathy is swaying with the beats. A bunch of teenagers enter with ice cream cones in their hands. One of them humming “baby baby…” Is it part of this same song? I can’t tell.
All these happy humming, swaying, people laughing and having good time kind of bring a positive mood in me too, they wash away my doubts and I am kind of liking this punk rock or whatever...
Kathy says, “I am glad that they are not playing country”
They are frying fish or something. It’s delicious and my stomach is growling. Besides, Nina told me I should not miss Bake Sale Betty. But people are coming like crazy. And you know what is sweeter than honey!
|Visitors are coming|
You need to take a potty break. But there is a long line even in front of the port-a-potty. So you have to decide to stop sipping water.
I crane my neck out the tent when it is a bit less busy. There are so many vendors with so many cool things. But there is no way I can go check them out. We are all busy with our own booths. So many of them are in wheel chairs selling hand made products. We out source jobs from this country. Now, this is another America I see. I would not have known it had I not involve me like this.
An elderly lady approaches. She is looking for earrings. I think she spotted one. A young girl exclaims “ Nona, this one!”
The lady asks for a mirror and then with a happy smile brings the earring to me.
“I had been looking for something like this for a long time. This is the best one. I want to buy this.”
I was touched. “Is it going to be a gift?” I ask.
“A gift to mysel"' she replies " to celebrate my first anniversary from Breast cancer. One year cancer free today”
“In that case I give you a 10% off”
“God bless you” she said.
“You be healed completely soon” I say.
She nods with a smile. Kathy and I exchange glances as she walks out. We feel our eyes misty.
“She made your day” Kathy remarks.
After the show, this morning with the morning cup of tea in hand my husband comments – “Boy, you slept like a log “ True, I did. I was sooo tired.
The way your adrenaline flows …before, during these craft fairs …it’s something. It takes a lot of energy, physically...”
“Physical, emotional spiritual…” I add.
Is it worth it? I wonder.
Absolutely yes. One hundred times, for sure.