Friday, December 10, 2010


First things first, the December giveaway!  I loved the stories, thanks to everyone for sharing them.  My favorite thing about this question was how it made me think.  A good friend of mine came up with it and I thought it was easy at first, but then had to really dig to decide what makes a gift I've given special.

I've plugged the numbers into and the winner of December's giveaway is cols journey! Your mystery box will be winging its way to you as soon as I get an address. And I will eventually post a picture of the contents here, but not until later. I want it be a surprise!

Meanwhile, I think I should probably do a recap of the Boston Bazaar Bizarre since it and visiting up in Boston ate my brain for weeks.

Firstly, I have to say that the BBB is well organized, and I was very pleased with pretty much everything about the venue except the lighting after the sun went down. There were people who helped move things in from the curb, the space was clearly marked and pretty self explanatory, and the venue itself was well spaced out.  The music from the nearby speaker was extremely eclectic and there weren't too many repeats, and it was for the most part at a manageable volume.  The giant oculus in the ceiling gave us fantastic natural sunlight, but the early sundown meant we were stuck with subpar lighting for the last 2.5hrs of the show. 

Unfortunately, I don't have a good picture of the booth. I had dragooned a friend to help out (the one who generously hosted me in Boston and incidentally came up with December's giveaway question) and we set up my half of the table with a 4 cube tall yarn tower. It was 4 cubes tall, 2 cubes wide, and 2 cubes deep. The cubes in back faced the back of the booth and held overstock. The tower plus my banner was the tallest display in the entire room and was essentially visible from everywhere. It was like a yarny monolith from 2001. Meanwhile, KnittinK had a truly epic quantity of fiber braids and handspun on her half of the booth. I'm still astonished we managed to fit everything.   That and the fact that my helper found on the street parking for the day (!!!) were two great ways to start the show.

KnittinK and her helper were fun and funny. Sharing incredibly cramped quarters for so many hours could have been a real headache but I think we managed remarkably well.  Our neighbor on the left (right? stage left) was the lovely Made in Lowell who has delightful needle felted items and gorgeous polymer clay eggs amongst other things.  At one point there was a whole row of us knitting, which seemed very appropriate. 

Since the organizers were guarding the door and regulating influx, it would get very crowded at times but always loosen up after a little while.  It moved in waves, mostly. There was solid foot traffic until about sundown, when it mostly petered out.  There were still people wandering around, but the crowds were definitely gone. 

While there was good traffic, it wasn't really my crowd.  There were a few notable exceptions including getting to meet a Ravelry BSG FPB buddy (and ogle her socks and handwarmers), and some other really enthusiastic yarny people (like the gentleman with the fantastic entrelac hat who put together the most perfect green and purple combo).  But most people were content to browse a bit, take a business card, and walk on.  I did moderate business at the show, but since it was a fact finding mission I still count it as an excellent day's work.

The last couple hours were almost painful, to tell the truth.  I'm always wired at shows but a 9am load in period and then the show lasting until 7pm made for a very long day.  My helper and I were there at 9am and got everything broken down and packed into the car and out of there at 8pm.  I'm getting a little old for 12 hour days standing for almost the entire thing. It's not so much the day itself but trying to actually move the next day!  We walked to get lunch and I felt like all my muscles were stale licorice. :P

One of the really valuable things I learned from this show is that mixed craft festivals are not where I do my best business.  I really should stick to fiber festivals when at all possible.  While I certainly didn't lose money over this show and it wasn't dismal, it wasn't enough return to make it worth doing again with that drive and extensive pre-prep, and especially not at the full booth price of $200.  This has decided me regarding applying for the Princeton show as well, another mixed craft fair that's even less of a fit.  BBB at least has several yarny booths. Princeton doesn't have any supply sellers at all. 

Another thing I've realized is that I need to figure out some sort of portable lighting.  Once the sun went down it was like a curtain was pulled over my yarn.  Since I tend to do dark and muted colorways or ones that blend tone on tone, it's quite literally the light going out when things get dim.  The 2001 monolith analogy became really appropriate after sundown.  So next year's "furniture" goal for festival season is a pipe and drape setup and some sort of lighting.

I'm still glad I went.  It was very informative and I wanted an excuse to go visit friends.  And now I know that I should just go visit friends as my singular objective in the future, and I'm good with that. Now it's on to figuring out how I'm going to take pictures of everything I need to list in the shop when the available light has such a narrow window every day.  I'll figure it out eventually. I did it last year, after all!

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