Well, it is Sunday evening and my first show of 2009 is now behind me. It was the Sheep in the City Getaway in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. It was a 3-day event, with classes and knitting and shopping and spinning and cake walks and fashion shows, a sheep to scarf challenge, and more. I'm not going to lie - I really wasn't expecting much sales-wise. Even at fiber/yarn-specific events, I don't always do well. And, given what state the economy is in, and that Milwaukee is one of the more "frugal" places, I just didn't go into the weekend with high expectations. I also taught two classes and was very nervous and worried about them. Add to that the fact I hadn't done a show in 3 months, and i'd say i was less-than-looking-forward to it. Wouldn't sleeping in and spinning at home have been a better way to spend 3 days?
Well, I was wrong to be reluctant - it was a WONDERFUL event! The time seemed to fly by for most of the weekend! My sales were decent and the classes went well enough that I'd consider teaching again. I was also next to two wonderful women, both named Pam, who sold candles, lotions, soaps, etc., - their business being called "Pam's Essentials". (Click on the name to check out their site!) I told them all about etsy and they gave me the name of their tax person! They were also kind enough to watch my booth while I taught my classes, which was very much appreciated. By the end of the weekend, another vendor had them knitting! Not only that, but for a first-time event, I thought the crowd was pretty good - lots of knitters and spinners and crazy fiber people, which you just know if you put them in a conference room together, wackiness will ensue! The organizer, Jan of JustForEwe, kept things rolling and lots of fun, capping off Saturday night with a fashion show and pajama party (okay, i didn't stay for all of the fashion show or the pajama party since i wasn't staying at the hotel, but i can't imagine the night not being a total blast!)
I also had fun teaching, despite being nervous. For the art yarn spinning class, I showed how to core-spin which was something none of them had done before, so I was happy I could share something new. Then, they each spun an art yarn and one of the students (who was taking the beginning spinning class later that afternoon (aside - next time we'll make sure to have the beginning spinning FIRST)) who had NEVER SPUN BEFORE made a fantastic skein of black and purple art yarn!! It was truly amazing, especially since she used MY wheel which was definitely having issues (later that day i actually went to get a screw that had apparently fallen out of my woolee winder!).
The next day (today), I taught the art yarn knitting and one of the students from the spinning class knit up her yarn into the *cutest* baby hat ever!! Another of the knitting students took my final skein of "Sabrina's Vintage Garden" and knit a wonderful cowl! I know my patterns were written a bit oddly, but I was so happy that they were able to complete items within the class time. Another student actually started two projects so she could see how the patterns went.
And, can I just say that having internet access (since it was at a hotel, in their conference room) was FABULOUS!! I could update my site as things sold, and removed items from my table if they sold on etsy. I didn't have much "down time", but I was able to type up my patterns on Saturday night while there, and also checked in on email a little bit during lulls. I wish ALL shows could provide this type of access!
But, now the work really begins. I am down to only 38 items in my etsy shop and 4 of them are gift certificates, one is sold, and a couple are the "spin to order" bamboo listings. I've got custom orders to work on this week, but I also hope to still list at *least* one new yarn daily this week (starting tomorrow! I've got a gorgeous Squish-tastic! done!), and then back to normal next week which means I hope to list 4-8 new yarns each day. Then, March 14 is the Madison Knitter's Guild Knit-In!
I also need to send out my emailed newsletter. I may try and get that out tonight, but it may have to wait until Monday morning as I'm already starting to feel the "crash" that comes after a show. There's a good chance I'll be asleep very soon!
Anyways, thank you to all who stopped by my booth this weekend and I look forward to next year!