Re:Craft and Relic: Highlights, Lowdowns and WTFs

First show of the season! Yaaaaaay! (((Kermit flaily arms)))

And what a lovely show it was, too. Big thank you to the RC&R powers that be for coming through on all their fancy talk about the spring show. You know how sometimes organizers be all, “We’re working even harder for you! We have a new Thing! And this other awesome Thing to make people come and love you!!!! WE DO!!!!” and it’s like, cricket chirp? Yeah, this wasn’t that.

Highlights!

Advertising, advertising, advertising. Someone heard a radio spot on a local station, someone else heard them on NPR, and so on and so forth. No doubt, these guys spent my money wisely. I’ll never bitch about a show fee if I hear about the show everywhere before it happens. Not that there’s anything to bitch about, as the table fee is super reasonable at under $200 smackeroos for a huge indoor venue with tons of parking. Which is good, because travel costs actually make this a more spendy one for me. But they secured us a vendor discount at a local hotel that got us SWANK rooms, so that didn’t suck. And since we learned last time that Franklin is a food desert (unless beef and cheese is the only food you like to eat) we came prepared for in room meals with lamb stew and sundry nibblies from home, thus saving further ducats.

The few complaints I had about communication, both with the organizers and with customers (bad sound system equaled difficulty talking to customers) in November were totally sorted out this time around. What? An organization that listens to vendor feedback??? I die.

The crowd was larger than it was in November, due I’m sure in part to advertising and some fantastic discounts and incentives offered for attendees on Sunday, but also probably the lack of Packers games. Lots of the same vendors I saw in the fall, too, which is always nice. Lots of new ones as well. Sales weren’t huge, but the average price point went from $35 in November to about $50 for this one, with a couple of larger sales. I covered costs, made a profit and was definitely up from the November event, so I was happy. The crowd was lovely. Like, super nice people, everyone smiley, chatty and very pleasant.

Lowdowns!

Along with the expanded roster of vendors, some manufactured stuff managed to sneak in. It happens. Mostly because someone lied on their application, or brought it to supplement stuff they were actually making. I mentioned it when the organizer asked what I thought of how things were looking, because I am a stool pigeon when it comes to that sort of crap. I watched too many of my rennie brethren go under when ren faires started allowing people with mass produced products into the shows on a large scale. He was both genuinely surprised and wanting me to finger the offending parties. Which I will totally do. I have zero patience for people claiming imports are their work, or undercutting people who are making a thing by hand with a mass produced thing. That is shady and shitty and art peeps work too hard for too little for those kinds of shenanigans to be tolerated.

But other than that, yeah, I got nothing. This was a well planned and executed event with zero hassle or agita for me.

WFTs!

Bristol peeps I haven’t seen in, I kid you not, twenny years! Which was awesome. Had my favorite pickers as neighbors again, which was both awesome and somewhat expensive. I have a problem. I own this. But, art!

Also met two of my classmates from that wonderful pair of online art classes I took last year. One of them bought art, the other was one of the vendors. I love when stuff like that happens. Also in the cool stuff happening area are the random surprise gifts other vendors, not to mention people, will give you when you do assemblage. The “can you use this” gifts. At a show where a good proportion of the vendors are pickers, it’s more common than you’d think. This show is proving itself to be not only a place where I sell stuff, but a place for new stuff to find me. The junk chi is mighty at Re:Craft and Relic. Totally going back in November.

Next up, Glenwood! Yes that’s right, I have diddly til August. Thanks Spring Green, for not giving me any time to replace you. C’est la vie. But! That does mean I have all summer to recon other shows (secret mission to Indianapolis coming soon), and make more stuff (back to leather work maybe, oooooOoOOOo…) so that come August there will be All of the Things for you to see!

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