Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Ventura Swap Meet - Part Two

I'm better now. Isn't it odd how sometimes memories walk right up and knock you on your ass? Back to the swap meet...

So we decided to gather up all the cutsie pinterest crap we'd made and get a booth at the swap meet. A premium spot is only fifty bucks. Split three ways it was actually doable, even for me. I hadn't realized just how many finished items we'd made. It was a mashup, true, but when we grouped it all together it made a pretty impressive display. Kurt suggested that we make everything functional somehow so all the flowers got pin-backs or were hotglued onto cheap headbands and barretts from the dollar store. The tiny wire-and-fake pearl bird's nests became pendants or earrings. Rolled magazine-page beads were fashioned into bracelets. You get the drift. After three days of polishing our product we were ready to attack the marketplace.

We got to the fairgrounds early and got set up under a popup canopy that we borrowed from Kurt's mother. Our theme was 'eclectic funky elegance' which was accomplished with yards of cheap tulle and glittery fabric bought for a dollar a yard at Home Fabrics, lots of mardi gras beads, fake pearl strands, and great bunches of peacock feathers one of Kurt's ex-lovers had left behind. We even set up a fabulous Venetian style mirror and set out a leopard-print fake Louis Quatorze chair.

And then...we waited. And we talked to tons of people, all of whom loved our stuff, but few of whom actually bought anything. The event was over at 2pm and by 1:30 we'd only sold $73 worth of junk. Other vendors were closing up shop, some had already left, and we were all sharing a nasty bad mood. The boys were beginning to snap at each other and I was getting ready to knock their well-coiffed heads together when this girl runs up dragging an older woman behind her. "Oh, thank god you're still here!" She cries,  "Mom, just look at this stuff! Isn't it perfect?" Then to us, "Do you wholesale?"

Our answer, natch, was "Why yes, little lady, we do!" We made a deal for nearly one-third of the stuff we'd brought for nearly $350. After paying for the space, giving Kurt a cut for gas, and buying ourselves celebratory macchiatos at Starbucks, we each walked with exactly $101.00. Needless to say, we were in another round of crafting frenzy by the following weekend.

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