Let’s all take a deep breath and move on. But let’s not forget what a little caring and love can do for everyone.
Back to the New Orleans story.
I continued to knit and fill orders – many of my products wet with my tears. I kept my secret from the other men in my life that I love with all my heart – my brother and also my nephew. Never did I reveal to them that my desire to give up was so close to the surface. No. I kept smiling and soldiering on. Minute by minute.
How were the huge craft shows we were involved in? For me – great. For my brother – terrible. Never in a million years did we think the economy would tank so terribly just as the Christmas season was upon us. Especially in April when we had to fork over the $2000 it cost for the 2 booths. Yes folks. That’s $1,000 each we paid for our booths. Add stock – the cost of the booth – time. Right. Insanity in itself.
Add to that the fact that each show was 4 days long – the first two days of each show were 10 hour days and you have one day to set up on top of that. We had two days in between the shows to – ‘rest’.
I did well. I went in with 62 bears, 50 thrummed slippers, 50 thrummed mittens, and 50 pairs of socks. I came home with a quarter of what I went in with. So for me it could be considered a success. Unfortunately for my brother and every other potter and glass blower as well – nothing. Oh he sold a few things – but by the second show I was putting out only a little of my stock so that his pottery would be front and center. I don’t know if it was too late, but it didn’t help.
A lot of people walked away with his brochure and his card – but pottery isn’t something that everyone needs or wants. It’s also something that is far more expensive – and harder to do – than knitting.
The result? Exhaustion.
When the show was finally over, my brother and I drove the 3 hours to my home through a snowstorm. I kept falling asleep at the wheel as I followed his taillights through the swirling white. He would pull over and hurry back and drag me out of my car and make me walk around. I wanted to lie down and let the snow cover me and they could shovel me out in the spring. Somehow we made it and my brother stayed overnight – unwilling to make the hour long drive to his home in the storm.
Will we do it again? No. I can’t. It’s too much. Perhaps little shows – or one show – but never two back to back again. And in this economy? I’m not forking out another $1000 to line someone else’s pocket while I do all the work. Nope. Nada. It’s not going to happen.
I'll be posting my bears and woollen goods on Etsy and Big Blue Barn Knits again in a little while. And whatever other small little one day shows I might decide to do come the fall are all that I’m going to devote my time and my damaged hands and wrists to.