Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Military History Fest 10 Report

Short form: Wake me up in a week and I might have a coherent report. Tired out. Good event. Did better than last year, will do again next year.

Long form:

We got all the letterpress blocks into a document with the type samples, labelled, and into a binder. We also got all the paper samples labelled, punched, and into binders. 

Didn't get any business card coasters made.  Oops.

Got up Friday, straightened out the edges on two new sides of leather (decided it was wiser to pack tools Thursday night after finishing up with paper, which I can do almost in my sleep, and save cutting until I was more awake Friday morning). Finished packing odds and ends, and off we went once Xap arrived.

Dave was waiting for us, and helped unload and set up. I'd requested 5 tables (had 4 last year), and so they gave us 5/6 of an island. Yay, I was worried we'd somehow get a 5-table long row or something. I think we had our neighbor of the last table in the island worried at first, as we make a heck of a mess during setup, but by 11:30 (setup was from 9-noon) we were done and waiting for customers.

Friday sales were, as expected, slow. Xap and I inventoried belts. Although looking at the numbers on Saturday, they weren't as dire as it felt at the time. Closed up at 7:00, at dinner on the way home, got home, went to bed.

Up early again, to be down to Pheasant Run by 9:00 again, after gathering up forgotten things - like the small press, and other things that we decided we needed/wanted, like foods. As expected, we got most of the sales on Saturday. Closed at 6:00, went home, shovelled the driveway, picked up Robin, ate dinner, came home, went to bed.  

Sunday we were open 10-2, so we actually got to sleep in. Yay. Xap did inventory, of pouches and a bunch of other stuff with some help from me and Ron. Sales were slow-ish. About 1-ish there was an announcement on the PA that we were going to be open until 3:00. Oh, I don't think so. Neither did most of the vendors. We were out of the hall and loading up the trailer at 3:35. Many thanks to Dave again for helping with packing and loading!

Go home, flop around, eat dinner, I took a hot bath, and went to bed. 

So, overall thoughts:

Interestingly, the actual replica pouches we'd made were not particularly great sellers. One little one the buyer had been looking for an example of for 15 years, so yay us. The other I think just was the right size/shape/color, and accuracy was a non-issue.  

In general, we sold a little bit of everything.

I think if we'd had more lace-weight yarn we'd have sold more yarn. We didn't sell out, but I definitely need to re-order. Did sell a couple accurate buckles. Had a couple people that may become letterpress customers, but no orders. May get some belt business down the road from the Santa Claus community (keeping fingers crossed). Sold three of the 6 potion bottles.

Definitely need to make more potion bottles. Completely out of hard-front black hanging pouches, and little soft square pouches. Need to make a lot of other pouches, too. Time to get back to work. The map case got a lot of attention and compliments, this version is much better than the first one. 

Didn't dress up at all over the weekend (everyday skirts and polo shirts all weekend). I felt out of place. 

There were some 20-something young ladies wearing Soviet WWII era uniforms I really liked on Saturday. Foolishly, I didn't get pictures, and they weren't there in uniform on Sunday. I decided that I don't need another group to get involved with (yes, there are not only WWII reenactment groups in the area, and one of them is specifically Russian/Soviet), but I am planning a Russian WWII-ish Dieselpunk outfit as a result.  See the last couple entries on my personal blog for more about that, including a request for input.

Made a bunch of purchases. Ron got a spikenhelm pickelhaube (pointy Prussian/German helmet - think end credits of "Hogan's Heroes", I got some books, a little brown hat that will span several time periods, a garrison/side cap for the Dieselpunk outfit, and a sari, which matches the little brown hat, and is probably going to become a Victorian dress. We also got Robin a Confederate (grey) kepi/slouch hat. Confederate, because grey matches what he usually wears better than Union blue.  And this morning I ordered fabric swatches for the dieselpunk outfit.

On the less frivolous purchase side, I bought three pouches to copy - One for BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle) cartridges, another nifty hinged Spanish-American War era pistol cartridge case in really nice shape, and a German WWII mystery bag, kind of satchel-ish. 

And now, I'd like to go home and fall into bed (again), but tonight we need to start baking for the Capricon Cafe . . .

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