Saturday, November 15, 2008

bazaar tales

I'm sitting here recuperating from my first-ever bazaar. It was exhausting, but I had a blast!

I was blown away by the overall reaction to my journals (in case you don't know, I make one-of-a-kind journals from old books and recycled paper. Check out my SparrowTracks link). Most of the shoppers had never seen such a thing before, and even if they didn't buy one, they stopped to tell me what a great idea it was. Several ladies spent long stretches of time at my booth, inspecting every journal I had on display (I started with about 100).

A few gals purchased so many, that I started throwing in a free journal for every 5 they bought. One lady came back four times and bought more journals each visit. She sent quite a few of her friends my way to check out my wares. It was really fantastic to see how excited they got!

The best sale of the day was to a little old lady who spent a half hour looking through the journals. She finally chose one created from an old children's book titled, "Old Granny Fox." She told me that was what her grand kids called her and she loved the name.

"It's perfect!" she exclaimed as she handed me $15 dollars.
"I think that one has an inscription--did you see it?" I asked.
She shook her head, then peeked inside the cover. "To Jean, with love," she read, her eyes widening.
"That's my name--I'm Jean!" she told me, clutching the journal to her chest. "This journal was meant for me!"

Beside the cool customers, I had fun getting acquainted with the other vendors. Judy, the gal behind me who sold the unique wind chimes her husband made (he welded them from old scuba diving tanks!), gave me lots of useful tips, such as how to get my own free business cards and website! She even swapped me a beautiful orange windchime for several of my journals. I'm excited to meet up with Judy again at the Scrooge Lives craft fair in December.

Judy had lots of helpers at her booth, which is nice because you can run to the bathroom or the coffee place without neglecting your customers. Her husband and brother both helped all weekend and I got to chat a bit with Clyde, her brother, this morning.

"I got laid off from Les Schwab a few months ago," he told me, "so I have lots of free time right now. People just aren't buying tires now, because of the economy being so bad. I've looked everywhere, but nobody's hiring."

Before I could continue the conversation, Greg arrived to help me pack up. On an impulse, I grabbed a journal and handed it to him. The title? "Think and Grow Rich!"

OK, that sounds really cheesy, but it cracked Clyde up. And it helped me remember to pray for him on my walk with Scout this afternoon. I'm praying he won't be helping Judy at the next craft show because he found a really great job . . . even in this lousy economy.

So, I'm excited about the relationships that will develop and the doors for ministry that will open through this little hobby of mine.

But the sale wiped out my inventory! Does anyone reading this have any old books or paper they'd to recycle?


Erran Gilchrist said...

Wow, your creativity is inspiring. Praise God for your successful Bazaar. Apparently He was right there with you.

Kathryn said...

Well done! I've got a couple of books for you, plus a lead on some more. I'll go searching.

Pate Family said...

I'm so glad it went well- I intended to tell you at church on Sunday that My sister-in-law that I bought a journal from you months ago for loved it! I bought it for her birthday, which was just last week - thanks!

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