Never say never again!
Okay lesson learned!
I made a decision many years ago that I would never take my jewellery to an outdoor event with my gazebo again. This decision was made after two very windy events; one where a fellow stall holders gazebo flew up and over my gazebo just missing the cars parked behind us, and the other when the winds were so strong it blew one of my heavy earring displays off my stall, even though they had been clamped onto the table, onto the the head of my then young son who was at the time on the ground trying to secure the gazebo side down.
Needless to say I made a hasty retreat from that event so I could get my son home.
Yes, both of these days had exceptionally strong winds and maybe in hindsight I just shouldn't have turned up but I really do not like to let organisers down.
So what made me change my mind?
To be honest, since Christmas my online sales have not been great and I was beginning to wonder if I had lost the plot! I needed to sell more of my jewellery and there doesn't seem to be many indoor fairs at the moment. So when Justine from Tranquility Stafford suggested I bring my jewellery along to their Vegan Market in less than two weeks, I decided I should risk it, looking at the long range forecast the weather was set to be dry and my daughter offered to come along and help so I accepted her offer.
First off I needed to decide if I would take a gazebo or just have tables, I opted for a gazebo as I thought a gazebo gives a defined space to set up your stall and would at least give some protection from any rain or sun even. We then had to check that our old Gazebo was still okay. Good job we checked!!!! one pole was missing, we had lent it out for an event about five years ago and for some reason we didn't check it when it was returned. So another gazebo was bought, just a cheap one with no sides but it would do. We had a trial run at home setting it up and yes - true to form you get what you pay for! out came the pliers and with a bit of tweaking we managed to get the poles to slot together and the gazebo up. We even realised that we could use one of the old gazebos sides too - so a bonus! The next couple of days was spent organising my stock.
Come the day!
The day of the market arrived and the mist over our common was lifting fast. I arrived at Tranquility with just over one and a half hours to set up. Justine was great, introducing me to a lovely ceramicist Anneliese Delauney (check out her mushrooms on instagram ) and we agreed it would be good to set up next to her.
Once set up, time to take a few photos and have a quick look around before the customers arrived. Some fabulous stalls with a good balance between crafts and foods and the sun was shining!
I enjoyed the day immensely! Lots of fabulous comments about my jewellery, great company, I don't spend enough time with my daughter so it was great catching up with all her news! The other stall holders were lovely - and that lunch!!!!! ......... and I made sales even though I hadn't sorted out a card reader in time, on my to do list for next time, I even had a couple of customer go away to get cash and then returning to make their purchases.
Would I risk it again?
Yes I would providing the organisers would be okay if I was a no show because of the weather. Jewellery boxes and drizzle/rain do not mix and gazebos with strong winds would be a problem too!