Sunday, May 25, 2008

Decatur Day 2

Coffee in the Montreal mug, growling, grumbling child for music. Day 2 of the Decatur Arts Festival dawned sunny and calm. It's going to be a hot one today. I didn't post yesterday as we left the house at 5;45 to get to the festival and unload. We arrived--after turning around and going back home once for my cell phone and a utility knife--at 6:10 to find the drive blocked by a sheriff and no one allowed to unload behind their booths. Didn't I call the Decatur Arts Alliance Thursday morning to ask if I would be able to unload behind my booth as my dolly/handtruck had been stolen in the burglary? Wasn't I assured that I would be able to? Yes and yes. The volunteers weren't scheduled to show up to help people until 6:30 (i.e., amble in, get registered, start filtering through to help set-up about 6:45)--another major error--even though set-up officially began at 6:00 am. I know there are always last minute snafus that make running a festival... challenging, but have your people there 15 minutes before the artists arrive to have a fall back for them (both the problems and the artists).

I almost turned around and came home--was within 25 seconds of it--but then my booth next door neighbor lent me his dolly and the sheriff found us a close-in unloading spot. Volunteers showed up in another 15 minutes and the unloading process lurched into gear. The next big snafu was all mine--I couldn't remember how to get my tent together. I had Dave and my friend Becky there to help and it took all three of us about 20 minutes to figure out the top pole arrangement (the top bars are crucial as the awning, french wall and backdoor all depend on the right hardware in the right place on the top bars *before* the legs go on. Oy. But we overcame that obstacle too, got up the simplified display (tables and tablecloths), and I had everything up--if not priced--before the festival opened.

I went off to get a bank (fast cash from checking in 20's, buy a diet coke with one of the 20's and voila! Instant change!) and when I got back Becky had been joined by Stacy (I have had a lot of help this time). We finished pricing and schmoozing, and Becky left to wander. Stacy and I then regarded my booth with some misgiving (I only brought two sizes of work priced under $55 and had nothing from $55 to $120--the majority of the work was $380-$420) and I resigned myself to gathering a good mailing list and not selling anything. I sent Stacy home after a couple of hours as it was apparent I was right about sales and wouldn't need really need help selling and wrapping.

However the day was a surprise. I didn't need help, but I had some good sales and some really good sales, and I am getting a great mailing list. It was relaxing and fun--though I am still not all fired up about more outdoor festivals. Dave has insisted I take pictures of all the tent joints and Becky suggested colored tape for all the pieces showing where they go. Whatever. If someone brings me red, yellow, blue and green tape or paint today, I'll do it. Otherwise I might just write on everything with a Sharpie. (What, you didn't think I'd just do nothing, did you?).

Now off for today. J is going to keep me company this morning and early afternoon. Her big news is that I pulled her first natural tooth yesterday at the festival (the first tooth was lost unnaturally a year and a half ago at school and still has not been replaced). I would have pictures of her smile and my booth today, but I left my camera in my sales cabinet at the show. I hope it's still there this morning. *sigh*


Bill said...

Isn't lovely when they lie to you, because they're afraid you won't purchase a space if they tell you the truth?

Dee said...

ahh the joys of outdoor shows AND they only had porta potties even for the artists! was nice quality of work tho' and your pieces attracted attention ;) now i hope more people bought after i left yesterday. of course i started calling sunday the "walker, gawker & toothpick gnawer" day when i was doing art shows ;P

Brenda Griffith said...

Turns out it wasn't the Decatur Arts Alliance people's fault--the police arbitrarily decided not to allow cars into the parking lot where we were setting up resulting in artists not being able to unload and load directly into our booths. It was a safety thing. Snort.

Dee said...

uh huh, safety thing my butt!!! more like less work for the cops! ;P

know you know why i loaned out my tent...