Friday, 13 July 2007

13th July 2007 A.G. (After Gazastock)

Its now Friday and I finally feel sufficiently back to normal to tell you all about the wonderful time I had at Gazastock.
(and if you've found your way here after meeting me in the stall, Welcome!)

It was the first time that I had set up a stall and was interested in seeing
a) what people, other than friends and family, thought of my stuff
b) if anyone would buy anything and
c) if there was a pattern in what was selling; what did people prefer.

Despite knowing that Gazastock was imminent, I still had stuff to finish that I kept putting off: I'm not the most organised of people as the effort required is quite frankly exhausting. For example, the monkeys that I had finished troubled me (not literally: they weren't putting mousetraps in my bed or laughing at my shoes or anything).

So I unpicked their crotches, and like a sensitive gynaecologist, entered with care and re-sewed the seams from the inside (that last bit doesn't refer to my own gynaecological experience...).

I didn't like seeing all the knots that I hadn't known how to hide and the button eyes were just wrong; the monkeys looked lobotomized when they were supposed to look cheeky, like they'd nick your car keys and go for a jolly at the coast.
I think it was worth the effort:

check out their velvet tails!

monkey family photo

And, me being me, (that is: someone who has no concept of time and space and my place within) uttered the immortal words that spell the imminence of panic and lateness -

I'll just do this.

So when I should have been finishing and tweaking, I was making:

small pieces of hair clip joy, to bring a touch of life to even the most dowdy hair.

I also started to make some button bracelets, but stopped as they needed not to be rushed:

in descending order of finishedness: finished at the top, still on sellotape at the bottom

I also made these simple necklaces using beads I've treasured for years and some rather luscious velvet ribbon:

When I laid out all I had, I thought it was enough and it was good:

So on a rainy Thursday evening, kids in tow, we descended to a beautiful boggy field to set up Laura's gazebo and turn it into our own little groovy parlour. (Laura was selling hats: an inspired piece of buying as the sun came out and people wanted the funky, portable shade that her hats brought). We put up our tents and set off home, satisfied that there wouldn't be much to do the next day...
But life is not like that, so that instead of getting to the site by midday on the Friday, I got there at 3pm, laughing at the instruction that 'all traders should be ready for trading by 3pm'. Only the burger vans were ready for trading as heavy winds overnight had caused chaos: people, including Laura, had arrived to find that the wind had been practicing juggling in the field. Tents had been blown into the trees, our gazebo (fortunately stock-less) had enjoyed a ride across the field and apparently one of the marquees, devoid of its canvas casing, had been turned into a metal sculpture. By the time I strolled in, buzzing my face off thanks to enthusiastic quaffing of Rescue Remedy, I was greeted with tired relieved faces, still slightly shell-shocked and a festival held together with gaffa tape (Gaffastock?)
We set up shop and within minutes I had made my first sale: a small monkey, named 'Sock' went to live with a lovely young girl whose name escapes me. She carried Sock everywhere, keeping him warm in a white sock sleeping bag. That was lush: seeing the look of joy and love that kiddy had for something I had made.
In the words of Spandau Ballet, 'to cut a long story short' the monkeys sold out by early Saturday evening. The grey one went home with Stuart and the red one went with this guy.
Unfortunately, I missed the purchase and subsequent Chafford baptism of one of the big monkeys that they named Monomo. If that was you, get in touch!
The purses went well: I sold 5 of those! The remaining 3 are back on Etsy. And then a smattering of sales throughout, but almost more importantly, I had a great deal of positive feedback. People don't go to Gazastock for the shopping: they go to listen to some great music, chill out, have a damn good laugh and party hard. The fact I sold anything was a bonus!
So what have I learned: people love monkeys (and if you were one of those who expressed the wish for a monkey at a later date, please get in touch), people like to have a browse and people like options. They like choice, they like tangibility, they like to have a chat and a laugh. And we did!

I've had a week off and shall get back to business next week: 2 aprons for Nicky, a brooch for Kate, the hunt for tartan socks for Helen, a new skirt for me, some long, single-strapped bags etc.

PS Please visit the Gazastock website here and here, where you can listen to some choice tunes from the bands at whose feet we worshipped (Origami Dinosaur, The Mighty Peas: 2 faves of mine).


Anonymous said...

sounds like a great festival..congratulations on selling all those sweet little monkeys....keep up the wonderful creations.

maggie said...

monkeys and buttons - two of my favorite things. looks like i came to the right blog. i'll be back:)

yumptatious said...

Thanks fliss! There's more monkeys on the horizon: I'll post them up when they're done.

takinanap: welcome! Sorry I've taken so long to post again! Thanks for your comment.