Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cloudy With a Chance of Silver Linings

For those of you who don't do shows...especially outdoor venues...I'd like to offer the following comparison.
 
(Getting things just where I want 'em!)
 Preparing and doing an outdoor show...especially a long one...is much like having a 10 lb. baby.
The body doesn't snap back as fast as one would like it to.
There's a lot of pain...not to mention yelling...involved before it's over...especially in the lower back.
And it takes at least 6 weeks to fully recover.
And like child birth, one is not ready to do another until the memory of the labor pains fades.
 
(If it's a blurry photo, y'all know I took it!)
 
This show was no exception and I came home feeling as if I had just delivered quadruplets!
 
(I look like one hot mess straight out of the delivery room!)
 
To say it was hot would be an understatement. Y'all, it was hotter than Egypt and respite only came after a torrential thunderstorm the last Thursday of the show.  Hey...at least it was cool the last three days of the show and just in time for load out.
 
The crowd was there, but honestly I have no idea who these people were. I have never in all my born days spent so much time wiping rings off the furniture where people had set their beer bottles or glasses of ice tea. I got to wishing I had packed coasters to hand out! Not that they would have probably used them mind you. Fact is, they'd probably have asked for salt and tried to eat 'em!
 
(Photo courtesy of Give Me Props)
 
To add insult to injury, they also felt like load testing every chair in the joint. At one point I considered charging a quarter per butt. I think I could have doubled our money, but Cat Daddy nixed my idea. His brain fart was to go to the Dollar General and buy up all the packages of tube socks which I nixed. I figured they'd only want to buy one pair at a time...or worse...one sock!
 
(Photo courtesy of Give Me Props)
 
Then there were the secret shoppers and by secret I mean they had no intention of buying anything. They were looky-loos, there to secretly photograph ideas for copying with nary a never mind to think to ask permission. Just pull that ol' phone out and start snapping. I even caught a certain "no photographs please" celebrity (whose name I won't mention) blatantly taking photos of a license plate display we had worked our tail ends off putting together. It got so bad, I finally started taking photos of them taking photos of our handiwork. You should of seen the looks that got!
 
(Oh yes I did)

 If it sounds like I'm on a tear, heaven help me, but yes I am.
 
Y'all know me...right? I'm the original Pollyanna, but this show tested even my patience. I'm proud to announce no one went home missing the tops of their heads or half their behinds. How was I able to keep my temper in check you ask?
 
Because as hard as this show is to do and in spite of the trials and tribulations,
(Did I mention I'm thinking of changing my name to Job?)
it was a success.
 
(Photo courtesy of Give Me Props)
 
Success can be measured in many different ways. For me, a successful show is measured by the people who have touched me and I them. Success is having perfect (and I mean perfect in every way) come up and introduce themselves with the feeling as if they've known you forever. There isn't enough money in the world to buy that feeling. In fact, it can't be bought or sold...it's too priceless.

For every four "tire kickers"  who came by, there was that one who knew what they wanted and were a delight to work and visit with.
 
For every water ring I wiped off, there was twice as many tears of joy wiped off at seeing my birds of a feather I only get to see twice a year.
 
For that one guy who thought our needlepoint chair was there just for him to sit on while checking football scores, there was that one happy shopper who bought the whole set to take home to her family.
 
 
Yes it was hot, but when in Texas isn't it? Heck, everyone who's ever been to Texas knows we only have three seasons...summer, football and Christmas! As far as rain goes, it's either a drought or a flood...no in between. And goodness only knows, that part of Texas will take any moisture from the sky...be it buckets or dribbles...down to the last drop God sends.
 
(Photo courtesy of Give Me Props)
 
As far as sales go, I have to admit we're kinda spoilt. I always set two money goals in anticipation of what we can reasonably expect to do...a minimum and because I'm a glass half full type of gal...the maximum. We're used to doing about half our sales opening weekend and that didn't happen this show. It took the full length---9 days---to reach our minimum goal, but reach it we did. (It may not be polite to discuss money, but actually we were about halfway between the two...which ain't half bad!) I'm sharing this with y'all because it's one of the main reasons we go. No where else can we move that much merchandise at a fair price quickly. Forget what Country Living said. Zapp Hall is not the field for bargains, but that's a whole 'nother post (along with the copycats with their surreptitious photo bombing) and I'll be addressing both in the near future...grrr!
 
The second reason we put up with the heat, rude people, fire ants, scorpions, snakes, and anything else thrown at us, is the glorious sideshow of people who inhabit that field with us for nine days.
 
(Photo courtesy of Give Me Props)
 
This motley crew I share dirt all up and down Hwy. 237 with are like no others on the planet. They're vagabonds thirsting for adventures, bold, brazen, more than a little throwed off and good...good hearted, good natured, good for a laugh, and most importantly, good friends.
 
They make me laugh, cry and remind me constantly of how blessed I am to be able to do what we do surrounded by love and laughter.
 
(My pot o'gold filled to the brim with wonderful memories and friends found at the end of the rainbow!)
 
In six months, when the aches have become distant memories, you better believe I'll be ready to go again. For again, just as in childbirth, what I bring home...and not just in my pockets...makes every pain in the butt well worth it.
 
 

11 comments:

Sue said...

Love, love, love this post my friend! It sounds like Country Roads except thankfully we are inside! The sweaty guy reminded me of one of our male customers. It was hot, and their was a whit upholstered chair waiting to be picked up. He was sitting there, and when he got up to leave, he left sweaty ball imprints! It was SO gross! I don't know how you survive doing these shows! I hope you did well my friend!!

~Sheri~ said...

You must have sold about everything before we showed up on Thursday night! It was such a thrill just to lay eyes on you and Cat Daddy in the flesh!

Cheryl said...

Great post Deb! I know that feeling about an outside show, did one 3 weeks ago and have one this weekend but only for two days......going to be rainy and cold! But, they will come and they will have those darn cell phones trying to be sneaky taking pictures. I may have to do what you did, take their picture taking a picture.....love the idea!
Glad you did good at your show. Have fun!

Mary @ Framed and Tagged said...

Glad you had a great show(meaning profitable). As to the folks snapping away at your displays...very rude!
I had a photo shoot this summer and guess what they were doing? Yep!
Taking pictures with their phones.
I mean really! What were they paying me for, the props?
Just don't understand folks sometimes.
Loved your post!!!!

red.neck chic said...

I love you.

*wipes eyes*

Kelley said...

I just wish I could GO to one of these shows!

And I can only imagine the details of set-up and take-down... A lot of work!!!

Thank you for sharing the good AND the bad and etiquette. It's necessary to see both sides.

And I LOVE your pigtails!

Hugs and happy resting,
Kelley~

Elaine said...

Love and Hugs to you and Cat Daddy! Betsy and I are blessed to call you our fellow junkin' friends.

Jamy Parworth said...

It was so nice of you to share about your recent show being a "success!" I recently did a show in Sept. (a twice annual for me) that went about the same. I'm still recuperating physically,mentally, and financially. I've always had a great show and found myself wondering what the heck did I do wrong? Although I will definitely keep the notes of what I can do better in tact, your story has restored my childbearing years! Lol!

Uncle R. said...

Lord we think alike, as I have always said, I have to forget the pain before I can ever commit to doing it again! Thanks for letting me be an Actor in your Sideshow!

holli said...

Holy cow!! Glad you had fun but too bad it kinda drug on that way. People are so quirky with their ways. I plan on seeing you at the Spring show.

Bohemian said...

What a heartfelt post. I'm a pathological picture taker... but I always ask permission and then for online links that I can give linkback credit to. I Love free advertising myself and it's a great way to introduce newly discovered vendors to my Friends, especially here in the Land of Blog. But, if someone is not comfortable with having their hard work photographed I totally respect that too and would think it as rude to just snap an Image of their stuff as it would be to secretly snap an Image of them without prior permission. I am glad you keep it Real about doing Shows and such... becoz my Fantasies sometimes have me Imagining doing one... *Winks* And a Reality Check is quite necessary so that I don't get in over my head with my delusions. *smiles* And even in my Indoor Showrooms, insensitive Shoppers can be a pet peeve of mine as well... manhandling of the Treasures or horseplay in the rooms or disrespecting it belongs to someone else until you BUY it is something that makes me cringe as well! Hugs from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian