Sunday, June 23, 2013

Inside the Tent View

Fremont Fair.  Wow.  Ever wonder what it's like to be a tent seller at a show?  I think it would be a great big missed opportunity for me not to share a bit of my experiences at these shows all summer.  So we'll start here. . .

Bike saloon - the whole thing was built on a bike that some guy drove!
Being a vendor at these big street party festivals is a lot different than the shows I usually do.  I guess I wasn't really thinking about it too much, but it's certainly obvious.

People are there to paar-taay.  And hard.  And why not?  It was absolutely gorgeous on Saturday, the parade was a huge scene, and so was the people watching.  Fancy body painting.  G-strings.  Or just rubber duckies tied around your hot dog (ahem).  Not sure how to word that.  Barely squeezing-in room to the main stage and beer garden.  And big clouds of dope smoking all over.

But also, people are not there to shop.  I mean really, who brought a tote bag?  And you can only fit so many dollars in your tiny bikini top - and certainly not change.

And when they did shop, they did not expect to pay sales tax.  And they did expect a bargain, like when they bought just two items.  Like they should get a deal and not even shell out ten dollars.  The place is full of vendors who are just there to do a cash business  for the weekend with little trinkets and such, so that would be expected.  But I'm not that kind of business and wasn't prepared for that.

I do charge sales tax.  And I do have discounts, like when you buy four bars of soap, or maybe are buying 8 of something, or spending more than $50.  But not just because you are buying more than one $3 item.  Lots of 'splainin' and basically I gave up and just went with it.  Even though I didn't even expect to make my booth fee on the first day, it was that slow.

There was some sort of little hidie hole behind my booth that drew groups of pot smokers all day.  It would drift in for a while, then those folks would totter off and a new group would arrive, more smoke blowing through.  I should have been really mellow, right?  Instead, I just got a headache.  Between that and the super duper overwhelming smell of hot chocolate from the Theo chocolate factory just a few yards away.  I thought it would make me hungry for chocolate at first, but just the opposite happened.  Go figure.

Lots of fun people.  Lots of interesting conversations.  Saw some people I don't get to see much.  Frankly, not much money.  And then I was over it.  So ready to go home.

I was thinking as I was walking to my car through the debris of a whole day of partying and festivity that it would be a lot more fun to join the celebrations next year rather than work.  I didn't even get to see the parade - boo.  That's the best part!