Sunday, July 24, 2016
Thank you all for the kind words for the blog this week.
Here is a little update and the answers to some questions.
I have narrowed my outings to 3 village markets.
Monday - St Alvere - small, intimate village know for it's truffle market. Right now is the season for white truffles.
Thursday - Monpazier - best preserved bastide town in the region- a true jewel box
Friday - Brantome - just about 'home sweet home' and so lovely in it's setting along the Dronne River and under the Abbey. Tom has painted this scene hundreds of times. Wonder if he ever thought he'd be painting me into the scene!
If you are around at all until the end of August please stop by and introduce yourself. I love love love meeting ya'll!
I will have to abandon the markets in late September to join Tom for our gypsy life of selling paintings.
I would like to offer free shipping to my stateside readers. The Code is stateside and is good until July 31st. You can place orders at www.lilyos.com
Since I am in the commerce mode - I will be posting new paintings by Tom later this week. His works and the schedule for painting shows can be found at www.thomasvieth.com.
Thank you all for being there!
all my best,
Saturday, July 23, 2016
Well, I am not on my way to fame and fortune selling tea towels at the farmers markets, but I sure am having a grand time trying.
The word in between the market stands is that this is the worst year for sales in any one’s memory - it would be the year that I arrive on the scene. (I am beginning to worry about my karma as I was there for the demise of the Philadelphia and the Chicago trade shows. It’s one thing to take down a city, but quite another thing to take down an entire country.)
My tea towels are not selling to every tourist that passes by as I was so convinced they would, but everyone that does step into my colorful world buys at least one - and absolutely gushes over the concept and the execution. (Thank you Tom!)
In spite of the lack of great, cash-toting crowds of tourists, it’s still worth the early morning departure to encounter the exciting energy of the coming morning bustle. And as my brother reminded me the other day, “Heck, your making more than you would if you were substitute teaching…..”.
These markets are so much more fun than being locked in a classroom pretending to be a mature, intelligent adult. Here we are all grown ups that forgot to grow up. We are gypsy spirits and con-men, we’re artistic souls that may or may not have a good idea for a product to sell, we are folks that thrive with other folks around.
It turns out that being with people is what this is all about. My fellow vendors have taken me under their wings.They have given me suggestions about markets where they think the tea towels will sell, they have invited me to set up next to them, they have shared snacks and drinks (so far I have resisted the way-before-noon offers of alcohol), they give me great prices on whatever I buy (especially the olive stand), and they tell me amazing stories. Because of this camaraderie I already have permanent placements for all 4 of my markets. I had been forewarned that it would take years to get a good place. It helps that I have chosen the sweetest, most intimate markets and thus the other vendors are cool. I would forever be a nobody at the mind numbing market of Sarlat.
So even with sales that are just barley acceptable for all the driving and schlepping that I do I am having an experience like none other. Cold mornings, hot afternoons, coffees with new “friends”, too quiet moments waiting for customers, free french lessons-ha!, and crazy crazy serendipitous encounters.
Every vendor says that the market life gets into your blood. I understand this as I have already fallen under the spell of these “gypsy” outings.