Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Well, Fredericksburg was really interesting.  I never intended to keep doing Fredericksburg more than just this one time.  I don't have one weekend a month to commit nor is that enough time to come up with enough inventory.  My end goal is Roundtop Warrenton. It's twice a year for 10 days.  I think I need to wait til my kids are a bit older to do that, but that's the dream.  For the locations I'm dreaming of being in (Zapp, Sommerfeld, Marberger or something similar), I need to have pics of my space to submit with my application.  That was my absolute main goal here, and I got it!!  My friend Stefanie does beautiful work.  Unfortunately, I only sold one thing.  One.  Not gonna lie.  It was hard.  I made pity brownies and ate them.  In the tub.  But I'm moving forward now!

Here's what all I learned:

- I want to be at a show where people come with trucks, prepared to buy furniture.
- There were not many people in my intended market at FTD.  There were people who bought walking sticks.  They bought burled wood back scratchers.  They bought painted gourds, leather chaps, pillow pets, and older 70's oak furniture.  These are not my people.  Even the higher end shoppers were there just to get candles and clothes.
- My prices were not the problem, as I marked them down a ton just to see what would happen.  Nada. Wrong people.
- I know if I have help I can easily set up and take down in one day.
- All my stuff for a vendor space is now made and I can use it whenever.
- Several vendors there also do Warrenton and told me to bring a bike to get everywhere quickly.  Good to know.
- Thanks to my friend Crystal and her mom, I now know how to build a shop counter.  Or a table.  Or a bench.  Awesome.
- If I want to be super obnoxious, I can repeatedly and loudly ask people if I can "Earn their business today!" like the guy across the way did all. day. long.
- I also learned which local auctions are the best.  Nice info to have.
- I have friends who love me.  A lot.  Crystal and her mom came down and built stuff and put everything up.  Kelly and Stefanie stayed with me all weekend to help and encourage me.  I couldn't have done it without them!!

Crystal also said to be prepared to hear criticism or constructive feedback as people were browsing.  They talk to each other like you're not sitting right there.  And they did.  But I did not hear one single negative thing.  That was soooo encouraging!  I have confidence in my pieces, now to just find the right venue.   Lots of people took cards, so hopefully I'll get some custom work out of it.   For now, I'll be listing the furniture on facebook and craigslist until I have enough cashflow to consider Warrenton.

Here's the pics from the weekend:

 That is the piece that sold, btw!

 Kelly, me, and Stefanie

My wonderful set up crew: Stefanie, Crystal, Candie, and Cullen!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

China Hutch of Much Toil

Here she is!  Excuse the less-than-ideal lighting, it was the best I could do while perched on a step ladder 10 feet in front of my workshop.  I need a wide angle lens.  News flash:  I am spoiled to Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  In gearing up for Fredericksurg Trade Days, I have spent all my money.  Well, I have about $4 left.  So, everything else I am painting will have to be with what I've got.  So this is Behr Pot of Cream left over from my kitchen cabinets, and a blue chalk paint custom mix.  Usually with chalk paint I can just start painting.  No sanding.  No priming.  For this, I sanded a little, used 2 coats of Bin Zinzer Primer, then 3 coats of Behr.  Then I glazed and waxed.  That's a lot of man hours, folks.  The most chalk paint I've ever had to use was 3 coats, without primer, and I was painting white over dark wood.  Never again will I gripe about the price!
Here is what she used to look like:
 LOVE this hardware!  And brass is back.

 This is a great neutral piece.  I tend to like chunky, masculine pieces with a hint of femininity and this fits the bill perfectly.  Hope somebody snaps it up!