I can say now that I am no longer a festival virgin. I was initiated in a big way this past weekend and am still recovering from it. Here is a list of things I wish I had known beforehand.
- Make sure you have a reliable, dependable back up team. I didn’t and was miserable. Be very clear in communicating expectations and needs.
- Getting to your site can be an irritating problem. I had to deal with equipment and trucks blocking the way and roads closed that were said to be open.
- Rethink your footwear. I thought my faithful old hiking sandals would provide enough support. Nope. I was barefoot most of the day as a result. Your feet may swell, especially if you are outdoors in the heat standing up for most of the day.
- If you need electricity be prepared for extra charges and the need to cover up your drop cords due to state law. I am going to look for battery or solar-powered fans for the next outdoor event.
- Don’t post your prices in a proominant place. Even though mine were consistent with those of other vendors for the same thing people would stop, read my sign, and walk away not bothering to look at what I offered.
- Take a mini first aid kit. Include headache and stomach remedies.
- Carabiners work better than zip ties for some things. You will need a hand truck or cart on wheels.
- Other handy items include extra tarps, trash bags, paper towels, hand sanitizer, bug spray, and sunscreen, clothes pins, painter’s tape,and a box cutter. A portable cell phone charger pack is a requirement.
- Sports drinks and electrolyte placement if outdoors in the heat is extremely important. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Don’t skimp on salt. Bring your own cooler full.
- Make sure your online presence is up to date before the festival. I had been sloppy about maintaining my social media sites. People would take my card and go home and look me up.
Overall, my first festival was a positive experience. I didn’t make a lot of money, just enough to cover my entrance fee, but the lessons learned were priceless. I was in tears often over the kindness of strangers and the camaraderie among vendors. I made some great connections, met wonderful people I want to stay in contact with, and have begun to refine my craft techniques as well as what I will be offering in the future.
We have been quiet, but busy. Today was for planning and sorting. We have more dying to do in the next few weeks to get ready for our very first festival.
Here is a sneak peek at what we will have to offer at the Historic Morganton Festival in Morganton, NC on September 7 and 8. Look for us on the courthouse lawn.
Here are a couple of shirts inspired by the astrological sun sign, Aries. The heart is a Fruit of the Loom crewneck size XL, the arch is A FOL crewneck size S. $20 each. Look for them on my my online store. The reds on each shirt are deeper and less orange than appear in the photographs (Reds are a bitch to shoot, just saying). The designs are on both the front and the back of the shirts.
Aries is the first sign of the zodiac, symbolized by the Ram and ruled by the planet Mars. In traditional western astrology people born from March 21-April 19 are generally considered to be Aries people and may exhibit the general characteristics attributed to that Sun sign.
The time for Aries is the beginnings of Spring in the northern hemisphere. It is a cardinal, positive, fire sign symbolized by the Ram and traditionally ruled by the red planet Mars. The Earth is warming up, the days are growing longer, hibernating animals are waking up, plants are starting to sprout and bud. People are recovering from cabin fever brought on by the confines of winter.
Aries can be explosive and sudden, passionate and intense. Think of the mythological god, Mars, who took no shit from anyone. Aries rules the first house of the chart; the beginnings of things, the self, the ego. The Ram will lower his horns and charge ahead at full speed. Look for the people in the room who are goal oriented, outspoken, take-charge types; assertive, loyal, commandos who may seem to be self-centered but do not hesitate to slay any dragon that threatens those they love. Chances are there is a prominant Aries in their natal chart.
If you would like to know more, contact me privately.
I thought ya’ll might like to see one of my shirts on a real person. It’s nice to have friends who are willing to model for me.
JMS v-neck, 4 x, preshrunk and colorfast. Hand dyed, one of a kind. $30 includes tax and shipping. Paypal firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dyed by hand, one of a kind, pre-shrunk, colorfast, colors brighter than monitor suggestions and hues may be slightly different.
Fruit of the Loom, 2x, v-neck, $25 includes tax and shipping.
Pay pal only, email@example.com
Questions? Message me.
Health problems and weather have finally given way and I have been able to get back into the garage and start experimenting again. These are “warm-up” shirts, exercises in color mixing to get back into the groove. Plans, oh, do I have big plans now! The challenge will be to get the images into my head translated into fabric. I have started to name my custom colors mixes after friends who have made particular requests. In the mix up there you will find Zim’s Purple and Tom’s Yellow. Let’s just hope my notebook survives the splattering. I still have Technicolor hands.
These are what is left of the last batch of 6. I am flattered that friends grabbed the others before I could photograph them. The one on the far left with the big red spiral is already spoke for but the other two are available for adoption.
Middle shirt, purple and green, Fruit of the Loom me’s size large crewneck. $25 includes shipping and taxes.
Right shirt, dropped spiral, FOTL men’s V-neck size 2x (I think it would be fun as a woman’s sleep shirt) $30 includes shipping and taxes.
PayPal only. firstname.lastname@example.org
Fly your flag, peeps! Full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes! Much love to all of you.
This is an experiment, not a production piece but I am finally back at it! It is exciting to see if I can make the shirt that is in my head. If it turns out the way I want it to I will write down what I have done and do it again. In the meantime, I have an appointment in a couple of hours and will show up with bright blue hands. *Shrug*. . . . after all, it IS the Equinox today and I often make jokes about painting myself blue on high holy days.
Happy Spring, ya’ll. Stay tuned.
Oh, best beloveds, I need your input concerning marketing, etc. Any and all constructive criticism will be very much appreciated.
The header of this blog is also the front face of my business card. I added the definition of Freak Flag from Urban Dictionary in order to explain my thinking behind the name. It is also a reference to the song from the musical, “Shrek” and a nod to a favorite tune by Southern Culture On The Skids. On the back of the card above my contact information it says “Fly Your Flag.” My intention is to encourage people to not be ashamed of or hide who they are but rather to celebrate and embrace our differences, to boost self-esteem, and add a little fun and joy to the mix.
A much younger friend recently schooled me on some of the darker, kinkier, street meanings of the word “freak” and suggested the phrase, “Recreating Individuality” instead of “Fly Your Flag”.
I kind of like it, but need some input here. I am out of touch with popular culture in a lot of ways largely due to my age (64) and lack of interest. I don’t have the developmental issues the most influential up and coming age group has now. Been there, done that.
But I also need to sell stuff. Already I live in a very conservative rural area and do not sell much locally, thus the push to develop an online presence. I have been on the receiving end of some negative remarks about my company name and motto, but for the most part people around here just don’t seem to understand it.
Speak up, please. Share your thoughts. As long as you are not intentionally being rude I will welcome anything anyone who reads this has to say about marketing and branding. I am already part of an online group concerning this, but I would particularly cherish input from my readers. I feel I have a closer connection with you.
Update: Ice storms, rain, Nasty weather. Cold garage and a stinky kerosene heater. Still moving stuff around and cleaning up. Illness.
But I have shirts and I have dye. Not progressing as fast as I want, but I guess this is a prime opportunity to practice patience. Feels like I am spinning my wheels and getting nowhere, but I know better.