Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Gaspee Days Craft Fair Experience

This past long weekend I participated in the Gaspee Days Arts and Crafts Festival in Warwick, RI. Overall, it was a rather mediocre end to a rather confusing process. Let's go back in time, shall we? At the beginning of April, I came across the listing for vendors. I went to the festival's web site, printed out the application, and sent it in along with payment. The web site said "confirmation of your acceptance will be made by May 1st or shortly thereafter". May began, and I checked the mail everyday for my confirmation letter. When May 15th rolled in, and I didn't hear anything, I got a bit worried. I sent an email to the coordinator, asking if I had been accepted. The reply I got said that because of last minute applications, there was a delay in sending out confirmation letters. And I thought to myself, "because someone(s) sent their paperwork in too late, I have to wait to even see if I am doing a major craft fair"? The email didn't even state if my work was accepted. But, I decided to wait some more. A week went by, and again, nothing. There was now less than a week until the event, and I still hadn't heard anything. Again, I emailed the coordinator, and asked if I could get some information - if I was accepted, directions, set up times, etc. Again, I didn't get any of that information, just an email telling me that notification had been sent out. Two days passed, and my letter finally arrived. It had most of the information I needed, except for what would be provided to the vendors (tables, chairs, water, electricity) Luckily, I did get an answer when I emailed this time. The weekend rolled around, and Girlfriend and I packed up my parent's SUV (thanks Dad for letting me commandeer your car for an entire long weekend). We pulled out the letter, which had directions to the event printed at the bottom. These directions were rather general, referring to major streets as "that road", and intersections as "down the hill". With Girlfriend's help, we got to the event safe and sound. We unpacked the car, we realized that we had left chairs at home. Our neighbor-vendors, "Stepping Out Custom Toe Rings", let us borrow a folding chair for the day. After setting up, we were ready for the day. The weekend was hot and sunny. Both Girlfriend and I got sunburns, even sitting under our top. We were situated almost at the end of the three-block setup. We were surrounded by silversmiths, a lady selling princess head-pieces, and a family selling hermit crabs. Girlfriend and I bought a pair of crabs, naming them Bert and Betty. Our sales were very slow all weekend - only 8 items sold over the three day weekend. We didn't make our money back from the vendor fee. At the very least, I got to spend some time with Girlfriend before she leaves to spend the summer with her family, back in the UK.
Comments:
I'm sorry it didn't go so well for you. I used to sell non-craft items at some fairs and it was always hit or miss. Once you factor in time and travel expenses, it's often not worth it, except maybe to get your name out there.
 
Oh man, that's awful! Sorry it went so badly.
 
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