Shows are great. Love ’em. I enjoy the anticipation of each event, wondering what the customers will buy, what they’ll “ooh” and “ahh” over, what new contacts and friends I may make in the process, and what may inspire new creations.
I also love interacting with the other vendors. It’s amazing what new bits of wisdom and fresh ideas you can gain from your peers, especially from those who are new to the show circuit and can see things through fresh eyes.
But there is a downside to the show circuit.
Actually, there are lots of downsides, beginning with the schlepping. I don’t mind packing up prior to a show because I can take my time and organize things just so. But it’s the unpacking and the setting up, sometimes in the dark. And it’s really bad when you’ve finally created a fabulous little venue in your 10′ x 10′ allotted space only to discover you’ve set up in the wrong location. I’ve done it more than once, and believe me, it’s not a good thing.
Sometimes the weather isn’t cooperative, either. I’ve set-up in the rain, faced gale-force winds that have left me hanging onto my canopy for dear life!
I’ve frozen until I thought I was getting frost-bite and had to pack up and leave the show early.
I’ve also roasted like a chicken and wound up with heat stroke.
And then – when the uber long, exhausting day finally ends, you have to pack it all up and load it back into your vehicle while looking forward to a drive home that feels like it’ll never, ever end.
But then once you do get home, you get to unload it all again.
Something I haven’t figured out yet is why there seems to be more merchandise at the end of the day than what you had to begin with. Must be the rush to shove it all in as fast as you can so you can be done with it, all the while telling yourself that starting tomorrow, you’re going to start looking for a real job, even if it means frying french fries. Seriously. I can’t count the times I’ve resolved to cash it all in and be done with the show circuit altogether.
But I won’t because I love, love, love what I do.
So here’s what I’ve been thinking about for the past few years, only to discover that my idea isn’t so original. In fact, men and women have been doing it successfully for quite awhile, and that is to take their fashion boutique pop-up-shop on the road.
They term them fashion boutiques on wheels – just like food trucks but with clothing, jewelry and accessories instead of food. I have seen mobile bookstores, which is a really wonderful thing.
So now I’m reading, learning, looking at possible vehicles while I’m driving or online and trying to guage the practicality of actually “doing it”.
I must admit – the idea of simply driving to a location, parking in my space and opening the doors sounds quite wonderful. But can I, will I actually do it? We’ll see…