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  • Kim Van Sandt

What I Learned on My Summer "Vacation" (I - The Equipment)

Okay, actually, it wasn’t my summer vacation, but it was summer. And instead of vacation, it was a little more like work. This summer I took my art business to outdoor art/craft fairs. Craft fairs are a new experience for me. I mean, I’ve been to them before, but not as a “job” nor to work at, especially not all day, or over a couple days on a weekend. In the process of this new venture I have learned some things. Please note, this isn’t one of those “how to” articles to make you suddenly successful with your craft business. I don’t think I’ve learned quite enough for that yet. But maybe what I have learned will give you a bit of a giggle. This summer I learned:

- Being prepared is crucial. Being organized is more than crucial. Like the sunny show where I knew I brought sunscreen, but could I find it? Nope! You can be as prepared as you want, but if the sunscreen remains lost until after the sun goes nearly down, it doesn’t help much.

- I have a whole supply bag, where I found it a great idea to have certain supplies: extra tissues, disinfectant wipes, and napkins. Napkins because sandwiches can get mushy and juicy in your cooler, and tissues and wipes because porta-potties exist and are a necessity.

- As for hardware type of equipment, I am not proud to say that it only took 6 or 7 shows for me to be able to remember where the magic button on my stool was so it could be folded to put away. I did contemplate using the automobile method of folding at one point but was afraid the metal would puncture my tires. I guess I always folded it at the end of long days and was too tired to remember what made it fold up. But I’ve got it now!

- Buying a nicer canopy was SO worth it! When I folded it up the other day, I picked up one leg and walked it diagonally across to the opposite corner and was done. Much less of that running from leg to leg to fold it up.

- The crafty nature of some fairs bring some fun opportunities – like the guy with the bows, arrows and crossbows made of various materials. They were fun. Especially when the one lady picked up a bow, drew it back way too far and (I think he designed it this way) it “popped” apart, scaring her half to death. One of those moments you hope no one is watching and then you see someone (me) who saw the whole thing! No biggie though, he showed her how it went back together easily. But the look on her face was…. Priceless!

- The food at fairs is always good. And corn dogs taste best when purchased from a trailer at an outdoor event. Although I have to say they lose a little of their happy-crunchy-yummy-goodness when your husband texts you about the 2 inch thick cowboy steak his boss slow smoked all afternoon for them at camp.

So these were just a few of my learning experiences this summer in the area of equipment. Watch in a few days and I’ll post another about things like the facilities, the people, and then my favorite part of the summer shows.

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