A Faire Experience – My First Time Vending

As many of you probably already know, this past weekend was my first time vending- ever! It’s been a whirlwind of an experience, and I thought I would take a moment to write down some of my thoughts of the last few months, and the months ahead!

 

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The setup, and me!

 

The faire in question was Mutton and Mead, a great local fest that has been steadily growing for quite some time now. I went last year as a patron and loved how casual and fun it was, and I thought it would be a great place to start my journey into selling my work! I’ve been going to faires for about a decade now, so it only made sense that I evolved and started being a part of them.

I had started the whole process of getting ready in March, after my application for a table had been approved. Between working full time and trying to prep close to 200 banners and 40 original cameos, it was a lot of work, most week days ended up being 12-16 hour days! I was a nervous wreck half the time, since I didn’t know what was going to sell, if anything, or if it did if I would run out of stock on the first day and be twiddling my thumbs come Sunday. I had nothing to really look at or go by, since my banners aren’t something that are seen very often (if at all!). Luckily for me, it has all been a labor of love.

The weekend itself had me petrified for a few days beforehand, as the closest experience I had was being a cashier; and lets be honest here, I hated every minute of it when I was one. I was nervous about having to handle money, fearing I’d mess up how many zeros on a card transaction, or give people the wrong change. I was also worried my work wouldn’t be received well either, what if no one liked creepy zodiac signs or bugs?

To my (and everyone else’s) surprise, I ended up being a natural saleswoman and not even the slightest bit nervous the whole time. A bit awkward, of course, but who isn’t at a ren faire? My experiences of going to 2-4 faires a year had actually helped me feel at ease and like I belonged there, it was almost just like a normal day at the faire for me! (Except, of course, I was on the other side of it this time.)

 

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The first sale!

 

The weekend ended up being a wild success and I had a lot of fun! I ended up doubling what I expected to take in, as well as had offers for two other events. The majority of people who stopped by my table seemed to have enjoyed my work, even if they didn’t buy anything.

Now, I’m even more excited for my next faire, the Market of the Moons at the end of July! I will be ready and waiting for both weekends of the event! I may also be making appearances at CT Ren Faire and the Jewelry City Steampunk Fest, so stay tuned!

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The Evolution of Tiny Tapestries

I seem to have slacked on my desires to post more art rantings and long winded descriptions of processes, but let’s see if I can’t resurrect it once more!

 

This is a topic I’ve been meaning to breach for a while now, my tiny tapestries!

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They were kind of an accidental idea to begin with, stemming from wanting to make patches of my work to sell as an extra on a booth table or what have you. As most of you probably know, I currently work at a screen printing shop, so it’s kind of a big part of my life working with printmaking. While I don’t really do a lot of creative work during the day, I’ve always wanted to marry my art and my work. It just kind of fit.

While I was brainstorming for this project, I had happened on a picture of a printed pennant with some crazy artwork on it, and I fell in love. So that afternoon I came home and made the first tapestry! It was a crude little thing, and I will forever treasure it in my closet.

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For the process, it’s fairly straightforward. I use 100% cotton fabric, and I start by cutting it into squares of 4 tapestries. I set up my screens to print four at a time to save screen space, as well as time (printing 4>1 at a time). I print the fronts and backs, and then take them home for assembly!

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Once home, I get back to the cutting board and cut everything out, fronts, backs, and the little tabby things (that’s a technical term, right?). I like to have everything cut out before I start sewing them because it’s SO much easier to piece work them together then doing one at a time. It sounds like this all is a lot of work (and when you’re doing 100+ it definitely is), but I’ve learned how to break it all up so it isn’t so bad to do.

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I’ve completed my largest project so far with these tapestries, all of the Zodiac signs! I’m hoping to eventually make larger, taller ones as well, and possibly even custom ones! I have a feeling these little guys are going to evolve a few more times into something more exciting.

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If you’d like to check them out, I have all twenty (yes, 20!) designs up in my etsy shop, and will be happily carrying them with me to the Mutton and Mead Ren Faire in June, and the Massachusetts Ren Faire in July! Huzzah!