After spending the past 6 weeks packaging teas, ordering supplies, designing banners and business cards, planning and preparing, I really wasn't sure what to expect as a vendor at the Baker Creek Spring Planting Festival. My family had gone as shoppers the past 3 years, and loved it. I knew there would be a lot of people there, and I absolutely believe in my product.
But with all of that said, there is a bit of artistry when it comes to getting people to actually step in to your booth, and decide that you and your product are worth their hard-earned money. Would I make booth rent? Would the two days drag by? Would I completely run out of product and kick myself for not preparing better?
I was up late on Saturday night, and up early Sunday morning steeping 4 kinds of tea so that in addition to the loose teas, my husband and I could sell iced tea at the festival.
That in itself was a bit of a gamble, because up until just a few days before the event, we had two weeks of rain, rain and more rain. And did I mention, it rained? We had something like 15 inches in our area before it was all over with, and I know many vendors and shoppers were wondering if the festival would even take place.
Nobody is thinking about how great a glass of iced tea would be when they're cold, wet and knee-deep in mud!
I'm happy to report that the ground dried out, and we had blue skies, sunshine and perfect temperatures for both days of the festival. Just warm enough to make people thirsty for iced tea, but not so hot that they couldn't take it and had to leave before they were done shopping.
Set-up was a bit stressful, because it's just not quite the same as setting up for a weekly farmers' market. For one thing, we couldn't keep our vehicle parked behind our tent. We had to unload quickly, get the van out of there so other vendors could unload, and then set everything up.
Once we were all set up, and the shoppers started coming through the gates, all of my doubts and worries flew out the window. I got to sit down long enough to inhale a sandwich, and I saw my children briefly a few times, but for the most part, I had a steady stream of customers through the tent for most of Sunday.
We even had a celebrity appearance:
Monday was a little slower, in that I actually got to look at some of the other vendor booths. But I still didn't get to see about 2/3 of the booths, and I did run out of one flavor of iced tea. That's a good problem to have!
I think it's safe to say that I'll definitely be back next year. In fact, I'm giving serious consideration to Baker Creek's June Heritage Days Festival. Stay tuned on that!