I’d love to be my own boss!! I’ve worked from home several times and actually end up working more hours, just the hours are of my choice. I’m not really good for much before 9:00 and yet they insist on having me at my desk at 8:00, where I mostly just sit and stare into space, trying to wake up. In the long run, you get more work out of me if you let me set my own hours. But, then, I suppose that’s true for most people.
Two years ago, I tried to start my own business. I make jewelry: www.treasuresbynora.com. I did craft shows that entire year. I still owe money on my credit card from that little venture. And have thousands of beads in a really nice bead case I bought. At least I didn’t pay retail for any of that stuff. Since then, silver prices have gone through the roof!!
Craft shows are a good way to work very hard, be out in the weather all day and not make very much money. People don’t seem to go to shows to actually buy anything. If it’s a festival of some kind, they’re there for the festival, not to acquire things. If it’s a Christmas gift show, chances are that there are 25 other jewelers there, some of whom are flouting the rules and reselling junk they imported from China. Fair competition is one thing but I can’t compete with China! People who put together shows and have 25 jewelers are doing everyone concerned a huge disfavor. No one will sell much, and when they don’t enforce their jury rules, those of us who actually made our own wares will leave angry and never do that show again. There are several shows on my Never Do Again list because of this. Promoters need to have a balance of types of venders and to go by their own rules. If the show is juried and all vendors are supposed to sell stuff hand-made by them, imported junk from China shouldn’t be allowed!!!
Unfortunately, most shows don’t seem to realize that by allowing imported junk, they are undermining their credibility with both their vendors and the buying public. Back when I used to go to craft shows as a buyer, not a seller, I hated it when I’d get there, pay the admission price and discover that, even though the show had been billed as all hand-made, most of the stuff was imported junk. Those shows I never attended again. Even shows I attended again, I avoided those vendors as unreliable. Putting out imported junk out like they made it! Like I couldn’t tell the difference! Liars!!
It was dishonest, which was my real problem with it. What else were they lying about?? Once you break trust with someone, it’s very hard to reestablish it!
Maybe I’ll do some more shows next year. Only problem with that is that I gave my van that I transport my tent and 8’ table in to my daughter. The new SUV cant’ accommodate the 8’ table. My SO offered to buy me a folding 8’ table when he wanted this particular SUV so I may take him up on his offer. He also works very hard when we do a show. He’s in charge of “Logistics”: moving heavy objects, setting up the tent, setting up the table, etc. Due to my poor health, I really can’t help him much. I can grab one side of the tent and pull but I can’t snap the locks into place; I’m simply not strong enough. So, he does most of the physical labor by himself. I arrange jewelry on the displays after everything is set up. He even helps me with that! I really couldn’t do it without him!
I’ve done a few indoor shows where they provided a table and all I had to do was set up my displays by myself, especially in the beginning, but now I wouldn’t dream of doing show without him. He’s also good company, giving me someone to talk to when the crowds are thin. He has the most biting observations on shows and the people who attend them! Really funny!
Our usual after-show drink at dinner is a Pina Colada. Red Lobster makes the best ones! Give it a try sometime! :-)