Saturday, May 20, 2017

Today Wasn't A Total Waste Of Time. It's All About Balance.

Today was the big day.  The Annual Spring Festival and Craft Show. The event we've spent a month preparing for. To say I'm completely happy with the outcome would be a lie. To say I'm completely disappointed with the outcome would be a lie as well. I sit somewhere in the middle.

It's all about balance, right?

We headed out around 8:30 this morning and made a little pit stop for coffee. As we back tracked towards the event venue, I noticed a single sign located on the corner of where the event was held. It was one of those signs that always leaves me thinking, "Why bother?" The sign was too small. Too much writing on the sign. Penmanship too thin and barely legible. Easy to miss if you're driving by.

It's the same type of sign that irritates the shit out of me when Lisa and I check out yard sales.

I've been in the marketing field for a decade now. If you're going to make a sign to capture the attention of people driving by, make it count. Make it big. Use brightly colored poster board. Embrace block and bold lettering in a contrasting color like black or dark blue. Sure, it takes a little more time than a sign scribbled on a piece of white paper, but it's worth it.

The event was at the Episcopal Church. It's on the corner of a busy main road. We've driven by this place dozens of times, but I've never paid attention to the location. There's no parking lot. You have to park on the side of the road or the nearby school. Traffic sucks if you're trying to turn.

Festivities and vendors took place in the grassy area around 2 sides of the church. We scored a nice location by the sidewalk. The canopy fit nice between the 2 markers. A tiny passing drizzle put a few in a panic, but once that was done, the sun came out.

Miss A, our volunteer for the day, pulled her weight and assisted with set up. It took less than an hour. We had everything done well before the event started. Most of that time was spent walking around and meeting some of the other vendors.

The duration of the event was 5 hours. Within the first hour, I knew this wasn't going to be a high traffic event. In fact, it was one of the slowest events we've ever participated in.

Several dozen people stopped at our table. We received a few compliments. Out of those people, most of them didn't have dogs. A few even said they hated dogs.


A lot of people walked by our table without stopping. It's obvious, even from a distance, that our display is geared towards dog parents.

We sold 3 dog bone pillows, a single doggy themed wall decor, a bandanna, and about 10 bags of biscuits.

Yep, that's it. 

We made about $80. Minus the $15 we spent for vendor space, that took it down to $65.

At the end of the day, that was a hard pill for me to swallow.

I 'bout near choked on it.

A mere $65 didn't even cover the time spent setting up, the duration of the event, take down, and having to haul everything back inside the biscuit room.

I won't even touch on the amount of hours it took to prepare for this event.

Sadly, some of the vendors didn't even make what we made.

I allowed myself to wallow in disappointment only for a short time. I'm human. It's okay to feel disappointment, but I didn't want to unpack in that dark room.

After a bit, I got up, brushed myself off, and started reaching for all the good stuff.

The 3 of us had a wonderful time.  It had been months since I spent that amount of time outside, away from the kids. It was a much needed break for me.

We had the opportunity to chat with quite a few talented artisans. The musicians who played were fantastic. The line dancers intrigued us. A few people brought their dogs. They visited our table and gobbled up a few complimentary biscuits.

At around 12:30, Lisa went home to take care of our kids and venture to the Plainfield Veterinary Hospital to restock our display and get Lobo's nails trimmed.

Instead of bringing him home, she brought him back to the event. This went against the vendor rules, but we witnessed quite a few people breaking the rules.

At that point our attitude was, "Go ahead. Say something. I dare you."

The day ended on a rather incredible note. Last night, while chatting with our sweet friend, she mentioned the 4 of us having dinner together. We discussed the ingredients we had on hand, the stuff needed, and went from there.

By the time we got home, I was exhausted and my entire body hurt. Chronic pain and a full day event are kind of like oil and water.

Our friend provided most of the dinner stuff. I had one simple thing to make. She also provided all of the Sangria. Much needed.

I can't even begin to express how grateful I was for such a wonderful spread of food. Most of the time, when we have people over for dinner, I make a ton of food and I spend most of the day making it. This time, the table was turned.

The food was scrumptious. The Sangria was marvelous. The pit fire we had afterward was relaxing. We all exhaled.

Was today a total waste of time? Nope. Not in the least bit.

Will we do this event again next year? Nope. Absolutely not.

Are there more events planned for the summer? Nope.

Am I okay with that? Yep.




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