Wow, it was a busy weekend at the Fall Fiber Festival. I came as a vendor for my 2nd year after helping a friend for 3 years. The Fall Fiber Festival (hereafter called FFF) is held at Montpelier, James Madison’s home near Orange, Virginia, every year on the first weekend of October. In addition to fiber-ish activities and vendors FFF hosts an amazing 2 day sheep dog trial. Most attendees come looking for craft supplies, yarn and equipment rather than finished items. My work tends to be at the high end of what folks want to spend.
When I set up on Saturday morning I looked around at the other vendors with plenty of merchandise displayed on tables. They had cute props and lots of inventory at a variety of price points. I had a standing vertical rack on which I hung a couple of dozen scarves. I also had a card table (covered with a tablecloth) where I laid out my towels, business cards, a mirror for customers to use when trying on scarves, and a receipt book. When I looked around, my booth seemed pretty sparse and I figured I’d be lucky to sell a couple of scarves during the weekend. That would be okay, I always enjoy the crowd and have fun.
What I had forgotten is that last year I thought the same thing, yet managed to sell most of my scarves. This year was no different. Folks began to arrive. Many stopped in to admire my scarves. I got to talk about what inspires me, what my design process is, how I learned to weave, where I learned to weave, where my studio is, how long I’ve been weaving and answer countless other questions. I had the privilege of sharing my passion by describing how I liken weaving to painting, how I decide to match design and materials to function, how my trip to Maine inspired a series of scarves. I left without most of the scarves and towels I brought, but with a sense of satisfaction and pride in what I do.
What fun I had and what work I now have ahead of me as I prepare for the next show, The Artisans Studio Tour in November. I have some inventory to replace.