This week has been a total recovery and reflection week for me. I survived the Festival show last weekend. I was and have been the organizer for this show for the past 4 years. The first two years it was in a great smaller venue but with the traffic restrictions in place for our festival weekend, especially the day of the 2 hour parade I had decided that I needed a larger venue that was closer to the festival itself. Well I secured a great venue last year at a community college and everything went as smooth as butter. There was only one glitch.. and that was the blocked off roads during the parade. I fought with myself to have it again this year but my dedication to my vendors side won out. So in February I contacted the college and confirmed that we would be using their campus again. It was basically the same price that I paid for the smaller venue but it was a larger place, better parking, more visibility, etc. Everything went smoothly, vendors were being vetted and the show was filling up to be a great show. Then all heck broke loose. the cost increase, 3 times the cost of last year, the fact that I had to provide my own insurance at a cost of $500 and it went on and on. In hindsight I should have cancelled the show in March when all this hit the fan but I figured it would be worked out, the show would be great! Issues were still being ironed out right up to two weeks before the show!. by then it was a done deal and could not be cancelled. I could not do that to my loyal vendors, period!.
So we got through the show last weekend with double the amount of shoppers coming through our doors. the vendors were happy, the shoppers were happy but next near it is not to be. The college has refused to give us the quoted price for a non profit organization and the price sits at $1700 for the rental and $500 for the insurance. At those prices we cannot manage to do a show there since they also cut back on the allowed tables for the show due to their newly enforced fire regulations. So. .. that’s it in a nutshell. I have tried to find a place other than the college but there are only a couple of considerations. One being back at the original venue of 4 years ago (again.. low shoppers due to traffic regulations) One or two more in the actual downtown core but the only shoppers we would get there are the people that line up hours before the parade and truthfully they are not high end craft show shoppers. Yes we would probably get a ton of people through the door but they would not be actual buyers, just tire kickers as we call them.
so This week I have been reflecting on what to do. I watched CBS Sunday morning while drinking my morning coffee and they were interviewing Carl Reiner, Dick VanDyke and Norman Lear. Listening to those gentleman reflect on life helped me let go of a lot of things , especially my past. Mr Lear stated that he has an outlook of… “It’s done… what’s next?”.. He doesn’t dwell in the past, doesn’t try to prolong something that is basically done. He accepts and moves on to whatever is next. Mr Van Dyke plainly stated (and I have often heard it),,,find what you love doing and do it!… It was like a light bulb moment for me. So this stage of my life is done,, I will move on and go to the what’s next stage.
I am taking some time for me, doing things that what I want to do. I need to stop worrying about other people (such as vendors) and how I shouldn’t worry about letting these vendors down by not doing another show. Honestly, I am sure that they would not give me a second thought, they will move on to other shows, as they should. I have done this for 10 years and honestly this year was the worst experience I have ever had when it came to dealing with ungrateful, berating and inconsiderate vendors. Now don’t get me wrong. 90% of the vendors are wonderful people but the 10% really wore me down this year. I have vendor chats and phone call stories that would curl your hair but I am not about to get into calling people out publicly as I am sure before long they will dig their own graves when it comes to getting into shows. Life will take care of these people and good luck to them I say.
So on that note I am getting back to what I used to do in high school. At that time my life was colourful and hippy like so I am going to try to channel that again as I move into the summer months. Not quite sure how this will play out but honestly I don’t care. I just want to be peaceful and creative. That’s not a bad thing!
so keep an eye out with what I am going to work on. I will post a picture or two here and there. This morning was spent sorting, repacking and putting all that in my cupboards. Signs and big suitcase are back into the crawl space of the basement and I can actually see my studio floor once again.
Off I go to enjoy this brisk Sunday afternoon, quietly purging at times and cleaning my studio ..maybe..(this is garbage week… yay) and watching the Blue Jays play ball. This feels like a good decision. I can take a deep breath and say “You have done well grasshopper” Time for someone else to take over, someone else with big dreams and stars in their eyes because honestly the stars have faded in my eyes this year and I am perfectly fine with that. I did my time, now I am taking a rest.