Saturday, May 23, 2009

Farmers Markets: Beginner Level

Last night, I sat down with my father and mother to discuss my future. They were eating hamburgers with all the fixins, including the bun, and corn on the cob. I was eating a turkey burger by itself, a bowl of lettuce with carrots, and a bowl of strawberries. Don't be jealous though, folks, because i topped it off with the most delicious gluten-free brownie. Yum. ABsolutely.
So, my future. Ideally, I would like to run an empire stocked to the brim with nationwide jewelry lovers, have a marketer (currently my older brother- who is amazing at it!), and quietly sit content in a place where all around there is art: fabric, glue, beads, findings, pendants, glass, wood, paint, glitter, etc. Just waiting for me to use them at my will! YES! an art commune! that's what i need to join. I need to live out in the country on someone's land, tend their gardens, and hole myself up with doing art, art, and more art! and farmer's markets! I'm not saying i have had extremely good luck during my first couple of markets. I sold probably around 10-15 items both times. But it is a little bubble of culture that so entrances me that i end up feeling a little disappointed when the bubble pops. today, that time being around noon.
Let me try to give you a glimpse of this culture (you'll never know if you don't experience it yourself, however!)...

Last Saturday was not the most fortunate of days, as the 6 o clock sky was filled with cold Wichita winds that threatened to toss all of my handmade goods onto the concrete. Apparently i had gotten a prime spot. According to my neighbors (the booths to the left and right of me), there is usually a jeweler in stall #13, but she didn't come and so the new girl got it! How lucky! to my left was Delano Bakery- running it was a man and woman and their 10 year old daughter Jamie. Jamie became my quick friend. She's a cross between skaterpunk and emo. She likes "funny" phrases such as "Revenge is sweet. But only if they don't get you back", or something like that, and "I don't believe in miracles except this one: Purple tomatoes. Now THAT'S a Miracle!" I don't know...she just talked my ear off, needing someone to listen and pay attention to her, and i was there. I heard all about fourth grade drama, how she hated boys, and how all of the girls in her school were scared of her because she mastered the "back-off" look and learned to never show weakness. She also had a list of "revenge phrases" she'd spout out to anyone who dared tease her. Man, dog eat dog world out there. But truly, she is one sweet, smart and spirited girl. She already told me she doesn't believe there is a God. Operation: Save Jamie is underway folks... My special customers included a crabby lady who demanded i re-wire and alter a necklace she desired, wondering aloud why i hadn't done it that way in the first place. and why didn't i fix the ends (i'm sorry, i don't have my glue with me). and why the heck did i need glue. then there were three lovely high school ladies from my very own dear Heartland Community, there for the indoor homeschool book sale. They each bought an item or two from me. It is very heartening to hear the praises of younger women who believe you are a LOT cooler than you are. :) Plus, I tend to have zero confidence in my products, so constant praise is needed or i will feel like a failure (tell me all the things wrong about that sentence. i know, i'm aware of my patheticism:)
So to my left are all sorts of forbidden loaves of goodness and round swirls of cinnamon-ness, and to my right was ANOTHER bakery, run by mennonites, that happened to have some of my most favorite treats. It was heaven. well, it was hell disguised as heaven, really. The first experience of a Wichita farmer's market was all good but for the horrible weather. Then we come to today...
I woke up at five. Got there at six. Set up until 7. And Jamie dropped by around 6:30. and three more times after that (once bearing an offering of mike and ike's) I was moved to a different location this time-stall #72. I guess that's what happens to newbies. I didn't mind. I sat across from radish farmers and a bait n' tackle booth. beside me was a lady who paints little kid furniture, and the other side was Marvin- a sweet older gentleman who sold rocks. You know, those big rocks for landscape, and those increasingly popular long rocks with last names carved into them. I came to enjoy this location more than the last. It could be because of the perfect sunshiny weather that surrounded us. Ahhhh.

The highlight of the day, well actually there were two:
1. an older lady from L.A. came up to me and handed me a necklace and said- i tried to put this on and the clasp fell off. i would give it to you, but it fell down my shirt, and i think it's now in my pants. oh man!
2. a just married couple came by and the woman was having a hard time deciding between three necklaces. She told me that she had never seen anything like what i did (referring to the incorporation of cloth), and that i should send some to celebrities. WHAT? yeah, she had a friend who contacted publicists of celebs she thought would like her product, then sent them one or two free. they started wearing them. and now she's reelin in the dough! You could totally do that! her husband agreed. YES! more confirmation for my sagging ego! and as if to put the cherry on top of the scrumptious confidence sundae she had given me, she added herself to my email newsletter list! THE FIRST ONE! Then she walked away with a beautiful retro cloth necklace with a black and silver round pendant, and i thought to myself,

"Please, please Lord, send some duplicates of that lady my way. That would be nice."

My main issue this time and last were that people wanted a website they could go to. i am working on getting it up, but that's no good to someone who will most likely forget about it in a day or so.
But anyways, in conclusion, I will admit my greatest joy of running this business: I love the process of watching what type of necklace draws what type of customer, then i cannot wait to go to my mac and change the names of the ones sold to "SOLD". To see someone, just ONE person, take one of my creations for their own permanent possession, it seriously thrills me unlike anything else. I know i need to make money off of this, too, but i would be content to see people walking around wichita, smiling, with a crazy piece of jewelry on their necks, ears, or wrists. It makes me giddy!

oh, and did i mention my excitement from the encouragement i recieved today caused me to spend an unholy amount of money on new fabrics and pendants? It doesn't take much to get my mind reeling about how popular my jewelry is gonna be. All it takes is one affirmative compliment! HELP! I need a level-headed businessman and QUICK!

Next up, Green Acres in Bradley Fair! Tuesday 3 to 7.
Thanks to my Lord for giving me a vocation i can find joy in doing.

Until markettime,
Petie

1 comment:

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