Saturday, July 23, 2016

Not Rich and Famous

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.


Mary Jo said...

You're livin' the life. Glad to hear about it. Your booth looks so inviting. Lately I have been using one of my TV tea towels as a placemat outside on the picnic table. It adds gaiety to the setting and I get to study the painting up close. It is the red-bordered one of the market. It makes me happy.

P.e, said...

What fun! Many years ago, I helped a friend sell popcorn from an antique machine at arts' festivals; and while my mother wasn't pleased, it was absolutely one of the most fun things I have done. Continue having fun, and good luck with ever increasing sales.

Nadia said...

Which markets are you at?