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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lyz said...

I am extremely impressed Jay! You have been doing some cool stuff. Nice blog too.

Jay Neale III said...

Thank you very much, Lyz! You know you have a place to stay anytime you head up this way.
Love you,


Aah, now you have spoken directly to my heart. I have been making deliveries for the Meals on Wheels (West) foundation since 1991.

A simple plan and an easy follow through. I wish more folks good see how simple it is to volunteer. One hour, once a week. If you bring a co-pilot it goes by fast.

Nice work for a nice cause. Thanks!

Jay Neale III said...

You're very welcome! We enjoyed every minute of it.