I promised you a followup on the craft shows we did over the previous few weekends, and although I can’t, with firm conviction, say I always keep my promises, I’ll keep this one. I’m at a point where I don’t feel like I have anything to do, other than filling out job applications, and writing something seems like a good use of my time. I’m not sure that will be widely accepted as a good reason.
The fist show was on November 14th and 15th at the Rio Rancho Baptist Church. We were a little apprehensive about doing a craft show at a church, mostly because I can’t speak a complete sentence without using an expletive deleted somewhere, and I had to remind myself several times during the two days not to say “f—,” which is clearly my favorite word. My daughter, who did the show with me, was concerned about the wearing of pants. I’m not sure why, but it seems she did a Google search and determined that Baptists freak out if females are wearing jeans. I don’t know if it’s just jeans, or pants in general, but it turned out to be somewhat of a false alarm, as almost all of the females at the show were in jeans. She wasn’t going to change anyway. She made that clear at the get go. My response was something like, “Where the f— did you hear that?” We were still in the parking lot.
After searching for 15 minutes for our name taped to the floor, we finally found a Luis Olsen and thought maybe they misspelled. But right next to it was my name, so we guessed it was alphabetical. What we saw was an 8′ X 8′ taped off space that was clearly not the 10′ X 10′ we were originally told, and we weren’t all that sure half of our stuff would fit into it. We were across from the kitchen, which wasn’t open on Friday, but was expected to be running the following day. We later found out that Luis Olsen was a jewelry maker that must be a relative of the dudes from Duck Dynasty. I’m going to guess that he bathed once a month, maybe, and he really enjoyed staring at people.
We got it all setup and were ready for business in about an hour. However, about 15 minutes before the doors opened, the booth to our left complained that no one could see them because of the pegboard wall on the left, so we had to move it. Problem was there was no “we” at the time, only a “me.” (Duck Dynasty is the pink tables to the right.) I managed to tear it all down and move it to the back wall of the booth. Everyone was now happy, but it turned out not many went past our booth anyway. We made a killing. We sold so much in the two days, we were worried we wouldn’t have enough left for the Rio Rancho “Holiday Arts and Crafts Festival.” A good thing and a bad thing. We had two 10′ X 10′ booths reserved for that show and we usually did pretty well.
We spent the week in between frantically making more stuff; more sock snowmen, and ribbon angels, ping pong guns, and jewelry trays. Those were big sellers.
But we didn’t do well. The traffic was slow all day, and although we did make some sales, it was not at all like past years. We decided it was a lack of advertising, the fact that State Highway 528 is still under construction from Southern to Sundt Road, and there were several other very big shows on the same day. State Highway 528 is also known as Alameda, Rio Rancho Blvd, and Pat D’Arco Highway. It depends on where you are on the route. I guess it’s just Pat D’Arco Highway now in Rio Rancho.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked who Pat D’Arco was. Pat D’Arco was a past mayor of Rio Rancho, and must have done something significant to have a highway named after him, although I don’t know what that was. Anyway, they have been adding lanes, curbing, drainage, bike paths, landscaping, a wall shielding the residential area and new signals, since early spring. The improvements are almost done, but most people avoid the traffic jam and go around it on side streets. The Pat D’Arco Highway is the main north, south route and pretty much the only way to get to the Sabana Grande Recreation Center. They also couldn’t put the very effective tent signs out on the road during the show because of the construction.
We were going to do another show on the 13th. It’s another Rio Rancho sponsored show that is scheduled for the day of the Christmas Parade. We went back and forth, but finally decided to bag it. Mostly because the show is being held at the Star Center and the city wants a 12% surcharge tax on all sales in that venue. With a 7.428 local sales tax (which I don’t collect) and the 12%, that’s almost a 20% markup on prices no body wants to pay anyway. I clearly do not understand why the State and local municipalities insist on collecting sales tax for craft shows. Most of us are not registered businesses, and sales at once-a-year craft shows should be exempt. Collection of a 12% surcharge should certainly be exempt during a city-sponsored event.
That’s the update. From my perspective, the good news is that we sold all the post critters. We had eight of them left over from last year. I hated hauling them around and I don’t think I’m ever going to make them again. Too much work for too little gain. I’m not in this to make money….what am I saying?…..of course I’m in it to make money.