A bit raw about RAW

When every day is an adventure, it is hard to get your bearings.

Day0_SetupPrep

After much anticipation, repricing and retagging, the Ravenswood Art Walk wasn’t quite what I had hoped it would be.

 Day0Pricing

I brought in the borrowed table and old shelving unit the night before to keep nerves and muscle strength preserved.

Day0_Hauling

Day0_dropoff BigTent

The next morning the true setup began.

Day2_loading

Day1Boothsetupbegins

Day1_settingup

I was in awe of the pros with their amazing displays.

succulents

professionalsetup

The big tent had a lot of traffic and I received many positive compliments, but I made no sales on day one.

day1boothme

Predicted thunderstorms held off for some time, and when they came we initially thought the additional traffic was a boon to business as everyone sought shelter. Our glee quickly turned to concern however, when the water didn’t drain away and more kept coming in.

day1rain

It turns out that Chicago shuts down drains to control how much water enters the Chicago River, which is fine when the parking lot is filled with cars during a rainstorm. However, as the runoff from outside started pooling around the drain in the center of the big tent, we realized we had to move things off the ground and away from the center.

day1rainnodrain

Soon we were ankle deep and had to evacuate our wares, a rough way to learn one’s new boots aren’t waterproof.

day1closed

The RAW volunteers profusely apologized at this unanticipated, never-before-seen incident, and ordered a water-vac to drain the mini-pond for the next day.

day1wetfeet

It was quite the adventure, especially since the point of renting space in the big tent was the assurance that professionals would deal with all the weather hazards.

Day1_ankle deep

This was just an unprecedented occurrence no one had anticipated.

puddle

Even the outside tents were affected.

Day1outsidetents

Painter Jason McPhillips was able to greet anyone coming after the flood (but his feet got soaked too).

Day1Jasondry

The sound guys had a rain-playlist ready, playing “Singing in the Rain”, “It’s raining Men”, “Blame it on the Rain” and other wet standards.

day1rainmen

The next day I put on the covenant pendant in which God placed a rainbow in the sky to pledge that he would never destroy all life again after Noah’s flood (Genesis 9:12-17). Gotta have a little humor, right?

Day2floodpendant1

The puddle had been vacuumed up.

Day2_1dryer

Temperatures had dropped significantly, changing the dynamics of tent flow and likely keeping many people inside.

day2tentbrowsers

Fewer people were touchy-feely about my wares, though I still got a lot of nice compliments and encouragement (along with unsolicited advice, as is always the case at these things).

Day2Booth

Those who had promised to come back never did (unsurprisingly).

day2boothdetail

I only made a few sales in the late afternoon, but analyzing the situation doesn’t give me much to go on.

Day1 ChiLonghorn

glassware

It wasn’t my location, since I basically acted as a greeter all day long, being across the main entrance. Some veterans also did worse than prior years, and others were happy with their results.

day2frontentrance

My pricing was similar to that of the other jewelry vendors, but having 7 of us in the same tent might have been a drawback, even though we each had different types of work.

gayleWeiss

Like the armchair advisors I have numerous display ideas, but practically and funds preclude me from going all out before I know for sure what venues work best for me. At the end of the day, all you can do is pack everything up and let the fair go.

day2TentEmpty

Fortunately Jason did better than me in his tent.

Day2Jason

It helps to have supportive friends take you out for comfort food after the fair.

food

Energetically I do feel buoyed by the support and compliments I received, and by the fact that many people picked up my business cards for their holiday shopping list.

friends

I can check off another ‘what if’ from my bucket list, and I got to practice being extroverted and making random small talk in spite of my introverted nature.

moijason

My outfits were a hit too, which proves that dressing the part and feeling good in what you’re wearing goes a long way. The fashion was fun to watch throughout the weekend.

A booth neighbor fell in love with Faith with Deeds and took it home with her. It has parts of James 1 and 2 peek on the front and  the back quotes James 2:15 to 21, including “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

Day2FaithDeeds

Encaustic artist friend Kathleen Roman picked up Green Honor and an oval with the hymn of Christ the Lord is Risen Today.

Greensold

My tiny coils matched the pendant another customer was wearing, rounding out my weekend sales.

day2soldearrings

Art fairs, especially outdoors, are not for the faint of heart, and I deeply admire those who choose this gypsy-like lifestyle on a weekend-by-weekend basis.

Day2collages

I will be testing out some indoor shows over the holiday season and am pleased to have the support of select boutiques as I learn the ropes of what sales venues will be most effective for me. My Etsy store is open (please heart your heart out!), and Aurora Rose in Lemont and Stella Boutique in Evanston both have select jewelry in their storefronts.

Day2brightskies

Hope springs eternal!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.