Sunday, March 29, 2009

Meals on Wheels Benefit Show, Mineral Wells, Texas

On the 14th of March, 2009, Debra and I attended the Meals on Wheels benefit show in Mineral Wells, Texas. We took all my candle holders and most of my T-shirts, and we attracted a lot of attention. Very little of that attention was from customers, but we made out just fine anyway.

This craft show was designed to benefit Meals on Wheels of Mineral Wells. Unfortunately it rained for four days leading up to the show, which was held at the local rodeo arena, which has a dirt parking lot, which turns into a lake of fine, silty mud 1 to 3 inches deep in the rain. Not the ideal situation to encourage folks to take time out of their busy weekends for the purpose of buying candle holders and tie dyed t-shirts.

When we arrived, our Honda Element was reasonably clean. Driving the 50 yards from the street to the building was all it took to change that. And it took a pressure hose and lots of elbow grease to get it clean a few days later.

They let us drive right into the arena, set up wherever we wanted, and then we parked the truck outside and got to work arranging our merchandise in the most eye-catching manner possible.

A couple of days before the show we bought a 5 foot long table that folds in the middle. It fits behind the back seat of our truck. It worked out great, so we'll be purchasing another one soon, probably before the next First Monday show in Weatherford, Texas. We need the second table so we don't have to use the two saw horses you can see in this photo. Beautiful, ain't they?

As the day wore on, some of the venders left so we moved our tables. Twice, actually. We ended up right beside a vender we'll probably be dealing with for years to come.

We didn't make one red cent at the show. We actually lost money because we bought three candles from a great vender called Brown Sugar Antiques, and we bought our lunch. But we did get to listen to some truly horrific Karaoke that made me want to run a rusty ice pick through both my eardrums, so it all evened out.

Among the items that were being auctioned that night was a guitar signed by Willy Nelson. Also on hand was a Willy Nelson look-a-like. It was interesting seeing this guy just walk in, unannounced, and begin inspecting everyone's shops. It was funny to see people's reactions.

As I said, we didn't make any money at this show, but we picked up two jobs, possibly a third. I'll be selling three dozen t-shirts to one guy, and Brown Sugar Antiques wants to do some business with me as well. I'll probably be designing a candle holder just for the candles they sell, wholesale that to them, and they will be making a small scented candle as a refill for the ones I sell with my candle holders and I'll send all my clients to them. Their candles smell great even after burning them for two weeks.

Next weekend is the April show in Weatherford. I'll update that event right here after we get back.


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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Interview with Kristin Love

I have
interviewed Kristin Love, a potter from Washington. The interview is posted on the official Design Style Guide blog right now and I would appreciate if you would not only read it, but leave a comment and maybe even link back to it from your blog or in a forum.

Thank you very much.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I have written a piece for the Design Style Guide blog this week in which I talked about four Etsy shops and the beautiful art they produce and sell. And now I've been mentioned by one of those artists, in her blog. Thanks, Liz, of Lizardo Art fame, for the recognition. I appreciate it.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

First Monday, part four

Wow... it was really cold and windy in Weatherford, Texas, last weekend. Seriously cold! Apparently the good people of Weatherford thought so as well. I know they didn't turn out to buy anything.

Friday we got our tables set up in space # K25. Next to us in K24 was a guy known as "Cowboy" who makes furniture and picture frames out of reclaimed wood, mostly from demolished barns and fences. We were the only two people under the pavilion and were all the way on the other end of it from the nearest booth, a metal sculpture guy who was setting up all day against the fence out by the road. And we sat there all day staring at the ground, reading, talking... certainly not selling. A grand total of six people dropped by our booth, and one of those was under five years of age.

The good news is that we figured out the best way to set up and display our wares.

Saturday the wind was high and it was below freezing until almost noon. I'm fairly certain I lost a couple of important body parts to frost bite. We set up on the ground this time so potential customers would have more room to move about and take a look at everything. The only problem was that, other than Cowboy, we were still the only people on our side of the pavilion, and since we were facing away from the rest of the venders, and were partially shielded by the pavilion itself, no one could tell we were there.

I talked to the nice ladies at the office and changed our location to the other end and other side of the pavilion, next to Rachel, a friend of mine who makes handmade tiles. She has a great Etsy shop called TileSmile. With a little tweaking we have arranged to have similar spaces near each other for the next few months. And we want to get the pavilion filled with artists, so come on out if you fit that description. And if you don't fit that description, come on out anyway and buy something from one of us. You'll be glad you did, and you'll probably get a really good deal.

It was still really cold all day Saturday. Most people were just rushing around trying to stay warm, which makes you wonder why they were walking around in the 35 mph wind in the first place. We had 25 or 30 people stop by our booth and we made one sale. But we saw enough to realize it will be much better as the weather gets warmer.

I took a short walk through the rest of the booths around lunch-time. There was the usual mix of crap and art, and people were buying the crap because it was cheap. I think they were just buying something to justify walking around in the bitter north wind.

During the day we found out about another show in Mineral Wells on March 14, this one benefitting Meals on Wheels. It costs us nothing for booth space but they are asking for either a donation at the end of the day or a donation of an item for their auction that evening. I spent part of yesterday and today building two candle holders to donate. They are both one-of-a-kind.

And so our adventures in craft shows have begun. At the end of this week our local school will be on Spring Break and Debra and I will be in Mineral wells, indoors, selling candle holders, bookends, wine rests, and maybe a few T-shirts. And I'll let you know how that goes.


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Not only will you be able to network with us, but also you will have the ability to post your listing on our team website.