For my next trick, I’ll be taking you on a bit of a different kind of adventure. Things have been going pretty well for my costume boutique, Reincarnation Outfitters, and it’s time to consider some permanent (sort of) display space. Up until now we’ve worked mostly out of a 10 x 10 easy up, which happened to blow away and turn itself into a taco/squished spider at our last event (Pennsic War, if you were wondering).
We still used it, don’t worry! But it forced us to consider the image we were sending by working with such a standard piece of equipment. Most of the well traveled professionals use beautiful, sturdy, canvas and wood beam tents. Tents that run upwards of $3,000 and require the strength of several strong men to set up and take down.
You may have noticed, I am not a strong man. Nor are there several of me. So while I knew these beautiful Panther Tents were an option, I just didn’t think they were the option for me.
What I did think was- Gypsy Wagon!!!!
Officially termed “vardo” by the Romani who adopted them, these colorful, sturdy, wagons were used by the traveler cultures in the 1900’s. But even before that, French circus folk used them in the early 1800’s. It is where they lived, set up stages, and sold their wares. Now that is something I think I can get into!
The more I thought about it, the better it sounded. I talked to my Stepfather (Jeff), an extremely skilled carpenter; and he had even more ideas than I did. But between the two of us we agreed: a vardo is just what I need.
We will build one with a living space and storage spaces inside, and a false wall along one side that can open up into a sizeable display space with clothing racks and shelves. I could set it up by myself, it wouldn’t blow away in a storm, and a retractable awning could provide additional coverage on rainy days.
With the winter almost upon us, I have landed at home with almost four months before I hit the road again. A lifetime by traveler standards. So this winter, follow along as we build a colorful home for a fickle fairy artist like myself.
This weekend I was at Camp Ramblewood, representing Reincarnation Outfitters as a vendor at the Maryland Fairy Festival. And, well, it was a learning experience. Let’s say that.
Here are the things that were great about this weekend:
1. The weather was BEAUTIFUL! Couldn’t have asked for three better days: warm, sunny and breezy during the day, and cool at night. Low humidity. I had forgotten how wonderful Maryland could be in the spring.
2. My neighbors were a delight. I was vending next to a kindly kitchen witch with yummy oils, and my good friends at Miscellaneous Oddiments, Shane and Leah Odom. I’ve know them since I was a wee little pixie wanting to be one of their bubble fairies.
3. Darlington, Maryland is a picturesque and unblemished little town with tree shaded roads that wind past green pastures and happy cows.
Here are the things that I have to learn from:
1. Experiencing loss is hard. I don’t mean loss of a pet or family member, which is hard as well, but I do mean loss of income. Sales were slow, to say the least, this weekend. There just didn’t seem to be a whole lot of fairies running around. After expenses I reported negative net income. I mean, not badly, one more skirt and we could have broken even. But the fact remains that one certainly doesn’t pay to attend events and go through all that effort just to break even. But a good friend comforted me with the reminder that the only regret to have is not to have tried. And try we did. And learn we did. And learn we will continue to do.
This was just a solid reminder that the life of an entrepreneur is not all glitter and rainbows, not even for a fairy entrepreneur.
But in more exciting news, we have been accepted into a weekend artist’s market, in Austin, Texas. I see good things coming from this. Very good things indeed. At least I hope so, there are several AWESOME trips in the works, that I need to raise the financing for.
What trips? you may ask.
Well for starters, my friend Morganne might be coming out to do the road trip north with me. A little vacation for her, and a delightful journey for me. Maybe a stop in New Orleans is in our cards?
Then, in the fall, I’ll be crossing the pond once again- this time heading to Russia where I’ll be meeting another friend for an epic Trans-Siberian Railway adventure. St. Petersburg to Ulaanbaatar (in Mongolia) in three weeks. I want to drink vodka, eat caviar, and wear a big furry hat.
Returning from that trip, I’ll have a few weeks rest before returning to Europe; this time to a gentler climate: Italy. A tri-generational excursion, my Grandmother, my Mother, and I will be returning once again to my Grandmother’s childhood home (Sant’Ambrosio, Sicily) to visit with family. While there, my Grandmother will stay with her sister while my mom and I take a week to bike through the Tuscan countryside. I hope my bum is up for it!
So that’s a little peak at the trips in store. IF my finances can keep up of course. I”m sure I’ll find a way. I’m a fairy entrepreneur after all!! Listen closely as I bounce towards my goals. I’m sure there will be some silly tales and even sillier schemes in store. Any suggestions welcome as well!!
Glitter and Gladness!