in the weeds: show prep & recovery

by Valerie

in balancing act,events,tired

I am well into my fall show schedule, and I’m happy to report that I am getting much more sleep than I did during the spring shows. Unfortunately, that also means that my apartment is more of a mess than usual, and frankly, I do not predict that changing any time soon! I have nearly given up on making my apartment look like a place where someone normal lives, and not like a gigantic work room/storage room/sweatshop. I swear that for a few weeks during the summer, everything is neat enough to actually invite people over…but I digress.

Although I have complained in this space many times about how tense the 2-week interval between shows can be, the reality is that I really enjoy the frantic schedule. I’m one of those people who gets more done when I have a lot/too much to do. It helps (a lot!) that by now, I have gotten much better at predicting what my inventory should look like for any particular show, and that makes getting ready so much easier…I don’t waste time making things that I don’t need, or making too many of one thing at the expense of something else. Also, I’ve gotten better at preparing for shows in general (there is a TON of non-sewing preparation, believe me), so that makes the last few days less hair-raising as well! The best part, however, is that I am finally happy with my booth set up/display. It only took five years!

This is from Art on the Avenue a few weeks ago. Something just clicked, and everything came together for the Art on Belmont show in September, and since then I’ve been feeling very happy and confident about my booth set up. Of course, this weekend’s show in Philadelphia (Squidfire Art Mart) will test how well the outdoor, 10×10 booth look translates to an indoor show, where I’ll only have a 6 or 8 foot table.

This is a shot of the obi belts at the Art on Belmont show. I am on the lookout for a nicer dress form, but beyond that I’m happy with how this looks. The good thing about this form is that the stand is removable, so it can sit on a table, which is how I will use it at the Squidfire show this weekend. It’s nice to be able to see the belt “in action,” although maybe for some future shows, I’ll put an apron on the dress form instead, we’ll see!

The best thing about the upcoming Squidfire show and the Handmade Market is that I’ll be inside! The indoor show is such a cakewalk compared to the drama of the outdoor show. I’m really looking forward to putting away the tent for the season…

Anyway, it’s nice to see tangible evidence of learning from experience. There was a time when I was still frantically sewing, bleary-eyed, at midnight the night before the show, and packing up the car at 2 am. No more! These days I finish days in advance, and go to bed early the night before. Not that I don’t need a gallon of coffee in the morning, but that’s par for the course, regardless. 🙂 This time around, I managed take a few “recovery” days off, fill in inventory, plan for future shows, beef up the Etsy shop, AND plan for my novel writing adventure, all since Art on the Avenue on October 3! Good times.

For now, I am not quite finished with my sewing for the Philly show, so I will stop writing about preparing and actually go do it! Coffee in hand, of course.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Dawn Anderson October 14, 2009 at 2:01 pm

Such an inspiration! I hope to get to that point pre- show soon.

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Valerie October 14, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Oh Dawn, I know you will soon! I don't want it to sound like I'm not still crazy busy and slightly frantic before a show, but it is SO much better than it used to be! I feel like progress is all I can ask for. 🙂

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Christine October 14, 2009 at 9:46 pm

LOVE everything, Val! The hardest part is deciding what to keep and what to give as gifts. I'm impressed with all you've done!

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Valerie October 15, 2009 at 1:56 pm

Thanks so much, Christine! You have a long time before you have to decide about the gifts. 🙂 Just so you know, you inspired me to make more matching sets. In fact, I have plans for a set of organizational things that I hope to introduce just in time for the holidays…we'll see if that happens!

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Katy October 16, 2009 at 10:50 am

Organizational things?! But I LOVE organizational things! Yay! Can't wait 🙂

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Valerie October 18, 2009 at 8:05 pm

Katy, you will definitely be the first to know if the plans work out, promise!

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