Today is Friday and I have a lot to get done before this afternoon.
Today is First Friday, and my friend says it’s more like a street festival than just an art walk. It happens in a trendy little part of town, and I guess a lot of people show up to pop into art galleries and look at whatever else might be going on. I don’t know yet, since I’ve never been to a First Friday here.
A woman owns a lot (vacant lot? parking lot? I’m unsure) near the festivities. She rents out space 6 feet at a time to vendors who want to sell their wares during First Friday. My friend, bless her, did the legwork for me, tracked down the name and number of the woman who rents out the space. My space is reserved. I sent the woman her $30 via PayPal. I need to arrive around 4pm to set up, and vendors commit to stay until 10 at night.
My jewelry and rocks are all in the van, and I loaded in two tables last night. I’m required to bring my own lights, and the Lady of the House has rounded up three for me. They’ve been in the garage, so they are quite dusty. Cleaning them up is high priority on my list of things to do. I have my extension cord already in the van, so I just have to round up a power strip. Also, I’m supposed to use LED or energy efficient light bulbs, so I have to borrow some from The Boy’s room. Thank goodness my host family is willing to help so I don’t have to go out and buy what I don’t have and won’t need later.
Unfortunately, I have a cold. It snuck in yesterday. Actually, the pathogens probably snuck in days ago. The Boy had a cold of his own last weekend, and he likely infected us all.
The symptoms of my cold started showing themselves yesterday. There was an itch at the back of my throat, sniffles, sneezing, runny nose. Sign. I’m more congested today and my throat hurts a little more, but it’s not terrible. However, I really need to be on and upbeat tonight, sell that jewelry, sell that jewelry, move those rocks.
I have my outfit for tonight all planned out. I’m going to wear the puffy black square dancer’s crinoline I picked up at The Bins last weekend. Over that I’ll put the smaller, slip-like petticoat with the red sequins sewn around the hem. My feet will sport the red boots, and on top I’ll wear a pink t-shirt. Since my hair is horrible (no curls in the desert), I’ll wear one of the floral headbands I made with thrift store flowers and a hot glue gun. That look should get me some attention.
I was feeling rather discouraged about selling jewelry and rocks. There’s a groove I get into when I sell most days in a week. Even though setting up and breaking down gets tedious, even though the elements (wind, heat, dust, sun, rain, hail OR wind, cold, and snow) are rough, even though the hours are long and the customers often annoying, I get into a flow when I’m selling five or six or seven days a week. Having a vacation from selling has been wonderful, but I’ve definitely lost the flow.
I contacted several farmers’ and craft markets, and finally got into one that is held at a big shopping center housing both a Trader Joe’s and a Whole Foods, as well as a variety of smaller stores and restaurants. I’ve sold there twice.
The first week, the charge for the space for the four hour market was $20. I sold one necklace and seven bracelets, and after paying my table fee, had made a little money. I also found out that this market’s primary farmer was moving to a different market, and a majority of the other vendors were going with him.
This past week, I did a lot better. I had a new space, with more room around my table so it was easier for folks to stop and look. I sold two necklaces, a couple of small stones, an ammonite pendant, and at least five bracelets. Also, the fee for the space dropped from $20 to $10.
I was glad I did well, not just for the money, but also for my self-esteem. I know I do nice work, but I really get a boost when people want to buy my nice work. I know self-worth is supposed to come from inside, that we should feel good about ourselves no matter what others think of us (or our hemp jewelry), blah blah blah, but the reality is that I feel better about myself when people like and want to buy items that I’ve made with my own pudgy little hands. Selling hemp jewelry is not the silliest thing I’ve ever done to boost my self-esteem.
I’d better get on with my day. If I get my to-do list all done early enough, I’ll get to take a nap.