Monday, October 17, 2011

How The Market Went, Or, TDro Vs. The Wind

On Saturday, I had my first solo booth for an outdoor market.  I had been selling some soap in my friend Cathy's booth (see previous post) on a few dates this summer, and so I thought I was ready to fill up my own space and make some serious cash.  Right.

The day started well enough, though it started very early.  I got to beautiful downtown Silver Spring just before 6:30 am, and Cathy was already there.  I think we beat the organizer to the event.  It was dark and cold and our hands turned into popsicles as we both set up our tents.  Luckily, as requested, they were next to each other in the booth order.  Unluckily, we were not RIGHT next to each other, which was a pain as we were hoping to be able to comfortably chat with each other during slow times.

I finally got my booth set up.  And it looked like this:

Soaps and hats and horns, oh my!
You can see here that the wind was picking up.  What you can't see is how the entire tent almost blew away about 15 minutes before this was taken.  It turns out that a canopy is, for all intents and purposes, a big old sail.  Even with gallon jugs strapped to the legs as ballast, it was a constant struggle to keep it from lifting into the air or sliding several feet.  Cathy's tent actually flipped COMPLETELY over at one point, with the gallon jugs still securely attached it it!  (Luckily, just then, a cute boy in nerd glasses appeared, helped us right the tent, and then disappeared just as quickly.  I think he may have been a Time Lord.)  A young man who was working the event appropriated some cinder blocks and that helped a bit.  But a great majority of the time on Saturday, if you had stopped by our booths, you would have seen us each holding on to our canopies for dear life.

As far as sales go, I did unload a decent amount of soap.  I sold 5 pairs of horns, and one broke when the wind knocked the display over (which happened multiple times throughout the day).  I sold zero tiny top hats, although one lady did try one on her daughter (adorable!), and then her dog (weird!).  If I were to factor in all my costs for the event, and divide it by the amount of time I was at the market, I believe it comes out to about .90 an hour.  That's ninety CENTS an hour.  So I'm going to have to chalk this one up as a learning experience.

Here I am, pretending everything is going OK.
One weird thing that happened multiple times throughout the day is that people looked at me, looked at the horn display, and then asked what they were.  Then I pointed to my head, at which point they got it.  So apparently, horns look SO NATURAL on me that people don't consciously notice them right away.  Or, people are just seriously unobservant,  who knows which.

I am very glad that this is my last outdoor market for the year, and possibly ever.  But that's a story for another post.