Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Argyle Experience

The sale this weekend was interesting and fun. It was my inaugural attempt at a craft sale. My sister-in-law Peg invited me to participate in the 27th annual holiday sale at Argyle High School where they average 600-800 attendees. We went down Friday afternoon so were able to nip over to the Argyle HS to set up at 4 PM. Bob was drafted as main supporter/set-up personnel # 1, so accompanied Peg and me there. All kinds of HS kids were there to help carry, which I thought was wonderful. We immediately discovered we really needed another table, so sent Bob to Dave and Peg's farm (5 miles S/W of Argyle) to get that and my mother’s old wooden clothes drying rack. He’d looked around at other booths and also came back with 2 buckets and a board which we set up as a shelf and covered with a tablecloth on the back table of our “U” to give us a little height. We put all the chenille scarves on the drying rack and it really showcased them nicely. I’d found a wrought iron tree with adjustable flat “branches” at a flea market, so we hung the knitted scarves on that, spread the purses and spoons on one table then filled in every other space with Bob’s trivets and my leaf pictures. Bob had made some great signs so we taped those up and zipped off home to go out for a tasty Friday night fish fry in Woodford, WI.

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Peg and I didn’t go to the sale until 8:30 the next morning since it didn’t start until 9 AM, but discovered the snow overnight was drifting badly and the roads were pretty slippery--not a good omen--plus the wind chill was horrendous. We’d only been there 5 minutes when 2 of the other exhibitors came over and one bought 4 knitted scarves (cheap pays!) and the other bought 2 purses, so we felt pretty good about our prospects. We waited for the big opening rush. In past years they’ve had people lined up in the parking lot around the end of the school, panting to get in. At 9 AM the doors opened…and 5 people came in! That was the rush. People trickled in all morning, but, unlike past years, the place never filled and there were lots of observers vs. shoppers. (Usually, I guess, it’s hard to make it down the aisles, but people could have bowled down them this year!). I can’t tell you how many compliments we got on the chenille scarves and how clever people thought the beaded-handled spoons were (a couple people suggested they’d be great for folks with a handicap or arthritis, which I thought was a wonderful idea, so mentioned it to several other shoppers) or how many people told me the purses were so beautifully decorated and just great…and then they’d wander away without buying anything! I think the sucky economy zapped us royally, but we did sell several purses, various scarves, a couple spoons and trivets, and a few leaf pictures (one lady bought one, and said to her husband as she left “What a score!”, which at least made me feel good) so had some sales at least. No booth did a booming business, but most people sold something. After we packed up at 3 PM, we returned to the farm for a pleasant evening with Dave and Peg.

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