One of the reasons I love to do craft shows is meeting new people. At a craft show in Altoona last month, I met the nicest man. His name is Steve. He stopped by my booth and commented on how nice my vases were (yay!) and that they were the perfect vessel for holding air plants. Now others have mentioned air plants to me before, but I have never taken the time to research them. I have seen other craft vendors selling them with their work, so I never intended on using them in my display. Steve said that he would stop back later with a plant to see how it would look in one of my vases.
They arrived several days after my order in perfect condition. I have created homes for the three largest plants but I have over 20 more small plants that I need to do something with. You can say a went a little crazy with my order and I will agree with you. Sometimes inspiration can get a little out of control. I have some ideas for the remaining plants and I hope to have them off my dining table in the next few weeks.
I'm thankful to have met Steve in Altoona. Craft shows are not just a source of income for me, they are also a source of inspiration.
Plants from Air Plant Supply Co.
In the fall of 2017 I decided to resurrect my 'bottle business' and again hit the craft show scene. I gave up the business 9 years prior due to the demand a two-year old can have on one's time and attention. In giving up the business, I also parted with the tent and display that I used to show off my hanging vases. Rule number one: NEVER throw anything away! I loved my old display. . .it packed nice, I always received compliments about it, it was easy to set up & take down. Now I needed to build a new one.
The first big purchase was the tent. In the old days, I would pick up EZ Up tents from Sam's Club for around $100 and replace them every two to three years as they broke or got too dingy. This time I decided to spend a little more money to get a tent that was a bit more durable. I like quick and easy. At shows I would see vendors assembling poles and stretching tops over frames - not for me. I wanted a tent like the EZ Up: EASY to put UP. After some research and reading reviews, I selected the EuroMax tent from Amazon (free shipping, yay!) for $250. Love it!
Black matched the trellises. BLAH!!! The black had to go. And I needed to figure out a better way to display the little tabletop vases. They were lost on the small table. My second attempt at a display was a little better. I switched out the black for a floral print and moved the trellises around a bit.
I had been trying to get into the Covered Bridge festival for several years. Thousands upon thousands of people attend the event and several of my vendor friends told me that it would be a good show. In the spring, I received my acceptance. I was so excited! Throughout the summer I worked on building my stock levels in anticipation of selling lots and lots of vases.
When I received my booth number I was a little concerned about my location because it was marked 'New' on the map. The festival had been growing over the years and several new areas had been added to accommodate more vendors. My location was a bit out of the way with no other vendors across from my row (just a parking lot of vendor trailers).
My daughter came to help out for the first three days. In fact, I took her out of school for two days so that she could work with me. At just 12 years old, she is the best helper! She has worked several shows with me - setting up, tearing down, selling items, wrapping them - she does it all without complaint.
Sunday was the shortest day, but felt like the longest. I think everyone around me shared the same sentiment. As I started to pack up I wished my helper was with me. I never had to tell her where to put something or how to pack it - she knew what to do. I am so thankful to have a wonderful and caring daughter who loves to help me.