Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Show on the Road

This past weekend I packed up my wares and took my inventory of handmade goods exactly one block from my home to introduce them to the neighbourhood at the 16th annual St. Cecilia's Christmas Bazaar. I reserved my table for $30, set up my table the evening before, slept 2 hours (a continuing habit of not sleeping at night unrelated to the Christmas Bazaar), and opened shop along with the rest of the folks at 9:30 a.m.
As you may or may not know church bazaars are like flea market/garage sales, where everyone is looking for a bargain. I was quite aware of this fact. I kept my prices the same in spite of knowing this. I have no regrets because my philosophy is: if it is a well made, handmade item, fair prices should be paid for those items. Someone's time, effort, thought, personality, talent, and expression went into that item. I knew that I would be a little bit of a missionary in terms of teaching people about respecting someone's art. 
It irked me that there was a massive table across from mine that had dozens of necklaces, all with identical hoop-like collars with a dangling piece of glass or metal. The barker at the booth was relentless with his proclimation "FIVE DOLLARS!! ALL HANDMADE BY ANNA". Five bucks??? What the hell? I was a little sceptical that they were handmade, but I overheard the man say they have a friend that has a kiln and they use that kiln once per year to produce all the necklaces. I don't know. I was a little pissed. I thought "that shit better not be imported from China" and "five dollars-have you no respect for your art!"
Anyway, I reminded myself that their way was not necessarily my personal style, so I focused on having meaningful chats with people as they passed by. Folks really liked my photographs, hats and wristwarmers and of course the baby sweaters. I gave everyone my card as they passed and of course I talked up Etsy. Not one person I spoke with heard of Etsy-so I was especially glad to be there so that I could represent. 
All in all it was a good day and one of the bonuses was the $200 I counted in my wallet when all was said and done. Not bad...this is just the beginning.

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