Renegade Craft Fair SF Wrap-Up
Posted on July 22 2015
For the third day in 35 days, I missed a blog entry Sunday, Monday, and yesterday.
It’s ok. I earned it.
Friday morning, we showed up at the Fort Mason Center and did a whirlwind bang-up job of getting our booth together. We arrived at 9 and Russ had to leave for a handyman gig at 10:30, so we had to HUSTLE.
Once the skeleton of the booth was set up, I made the soap displays and set everything up for the...
Friday event: Wholesale.
It’s where shop owners come and peruse possible products without having to wade through the throngs of browsers and have real meaningful one-on-one conversations with the makers. The event is very relaxed, and now that I’ve decided it’s ok to not sell wholesale, these kind of things are even fun. The stakes are low. If I spend twenty minutes talking with people just because they’re interesting, it doesn’t mean I am snubbing regular customers. As a very shy person, it’s nice to have something to talk with strangers about without trying to find stuff to say or having the anxiety of feeling like I have to be cool or interesting.
So I just hung out and chatted, and between people I could chat with, I read a book about Buffalo Bill Cody’s youth. Very interesting stuff.
It was kind of like enforced relaxation, because I can’t text or email or write – I mean, being on the phone or computer at those things is the WORST thing a person can do, short of literally killing living things in the booth – and yet I have to be there and available.
So I was reading in the middle of what looked like an expansive desert, sitting on a very comfortable director’s chair, chatting with the occasional person who stopped by. One thing I really love about our product is that the kind of people who stop by to see handmade soaps that smell like campfire, whiskey, and leather are really the kind of people you could easily spend an afternoon chatting with.
I went to a promotional networking open bar for a couple hours while I waited for traffic to go from two hours to one hour (the difference between 5pm and 7pm) and hung out with some amazing chocolatiers from LA and another SF soapmaker (I’m not gonna fight you… this time).
I ended up getting home around 9:30 after well-meaningly stopping to get pizza at our local pizza place and having them lose and then mess up the order. [sad face]
The next day was brutal, as usual.
We started the day with a photoshoot for Kiva Zip, who came to interview us and take our photo for their blog (more on that later). Here's us at the photo shoot:
Don’t get me wrong – I LOOOOOVE chatting with customers and friends who come by. But then I have to also do this sales thing, which is awkward.
Granted, whenever they buy something, I’m hella excited for them. Especially if it’s Dusty Trails. Because I know that next shower is going to be the fucking best shower. I’m not just writing that in my blog because I want to sell you my soap. I truly believe that going back to whatever amazing adventure our soap reminds you of can change the way your day goes.
But again, the kind of people who like our products are the kind of people I’d like to spend a lot of time with. It’s a good thing.
After a full day of chatting with anyone, I’m fucking exhausted emotionally and vocally. Plus – and I didn’t even think of this until the end of the day – I spend the whole day standing up and sitting down. It’s a hell of a workout.
Russ, on the other hand, doesn’t even like chatting with people on the best of days. He’s an introvert, so, though he enjoys meeting certain people, he’d rather be home or out driving or at the beach.
For spending the day with me at these fairs, I would like to nominate Russ for sainthood.
As we were leaving, traffic was at a standstill for 20 minutes. We decided to park and go grab some Indian food a few blocks away instead of wasting our lives in traffic. It was a good choice.
Dinner was great, but we ended up getting home at around 10pm.
And of course, I was dreaming of dancing or something, so Russ couldn’t sleep. Instead of waking me up and telling me to sleep on the couch, he went to the guest bedroom and spent the rest of the night on the futon.
Again, I believe Russ should be nominated for sainthood.
“Let’s just remember that every Sunday, you’re exhausted.” – Russ
Yeah? You don't say.
I spent until about 2pm seriously considering shutting down the soap business altogether just so we could pack up and go home early.
But again, my customers and friends (sometimes those two blend) kept me going. I met a couple really amazing individuals and my friend from Austin, Tx even stopped by with his daughter and her friend.
I can’t emphasize enough how much I love our customers. In fact, I need to write a whole entry about that fact alone. The kind of people who are drawn in by a desert mural and a few wooden signs are the kind of people I want in my life.
And thank God, we’ve got ‘em. They make the entire challenge of running a business worthwhile.