Remember craft shows and farmer’s markets?!

Late last year, around late October or early November, I started doing a farmer’s market close-by, in Melrose. It was definitely what you’d think a small-town farmer’s market would be like. Right about the time I was starting to think that it might not be the most cost-effective choice I could make (more on that in a minute), the pandemic started and it shut down for a few weeks. I’ve just never gone back. And it occurred to me this week that usually about this time of year I am scrambling like a madwoman, trying to get ready for the Florida Fiber-In. Not this year. Again, pandemic.

The above photo is from last year’s Florida Fiber-In.

Above is a gallery of pictures I took at the Melrose Farmer’s Market. Maybe. If they all upload. I’ll just keep typing and let it figure it out. I have no idea how well that worked – I’ll find out when I hit publish. Hopefully it uploaded everything I wanted, and nothing twice.

Anyway!

The actual price of a table at the Farmer’s Market was extremely reasonable. So when I said above that it wasn’t cost-effective, I didn’t mean in one of those “it’s costing me more to come here than I’m making” ways. But in addition to the three hours of the market, there was an additional two hours for making sure I had everything, packing the car, unloading at the park, setting up, and then after, packing everything back up. Let’s tack on another half hour to get dressed and get a snack in me. So by “cost” I really mean more “time that I wasn’t working” because the stuff I could bring with me to work on there was limited to knitting or spinning.

Knowing it was going to be unreasonably hot and raining as we headed farther into the year, and also having told myself in November I’d try it for three months… towards early March I was already on the fence about how long to continue. When the pandemic happened, and everything non-essential was shut down for a few weeks, I took that as a sign and began to bow out. Then when I heard a month or two later that they were picking it back up, I thought about going back… until I heard that masks weren’t enforced, and that was a hard pass for me. I am, in case you haven’t guessed, Team Mask.

There was going to be a Spring GLAM, which I was looking forward to, but I definitely understand that being called. That was scheduled for early or mid April, and we were still kind of in the thick of it then. I thought, well, that sucks, but everyone will stay home for two or three weeks and wear masks and then we’ll all be fine and get back to normal, right?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

I’ll be very glad if December GLAM doesn’t get cancelled as well. Would I even feel safe doing it, if it’s on? I think so. I would be outside, because I have a 10×10. I’ve been following along with some of my friends as they get back into doing events, and I’d take their advice as far as how to set up the booth to encourage sales but discourage crowding… get lots of hand sanitizer… that sort of thing.

And I was feeling kind of “what am I forgetting” earlier this week when I realized… in a normal year, Florida Fiber-In would be in about a week or so. So me not freaking out about getting a ton of stuff done is what I’m forgetting. It’s kind of funny, really, that Fiber-In was cancelled because of the pandemic, because I was really thinking that I as going to skip this year anyway. Again, cost – this time, unlike the cost of time, I really do mean the financial cost. There’s a hotel room. There’s food for me and whomever I bring with me to help me. There’s the vendor fee. There’s gas for driving. I have to do a certain $ that weekend to justify me being able to go, and frankly, last year I just barely broke even. Scratch that, I don’t think I did break even. That and a few other reasons …. well, I was just going to bow out this year. And then this year got cancelled.

I am kind of enjoying not being stressed out in September. Although it’s also hard to believe it’s September, and that I should start thinking of holiday shopping soon. And I’m trying to think about what I might do if GLAM is cancelled, because that is a really good weekend for me. I’ve seen other potters who have done individualized open houses — basically, you post a bunch of times that you’d be willing to walk around the shop with someone for an hour, and let people sign up. That way, unlike a regular open house, there aren’t a lot of people around (because pandemic). I would enforce mask wearing, and clean in between each visit, and… well, I don’t know, this is still kind of a baby of an idea, definitely not fleshed out all the way. I mean, would people even want to drive all the way out here for an hour with me and my stuff?

Anyway. Wow. Even the Melrose Market feels like a million years ago, let alone GLAM of last year (which was wonderful by the way, I rode high on all those hugs for weeks!). Remember going to craft shows and farmer’s markets? Are you doing anything like that currently, either to buy or to sell? How do you feel about it? Does it feel safe, or like a petri dish of horror?

One comment

  1. Michelle

    I have been shopping my local farmer’s market. The limit attendance even though it’s open air, ask that only 2 household members come, masks are required, etc. There are fewer vendors, and not everyone grasps “social distancing”, but I love supporting my usuals.

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