As a renaissance and craft show vendor, I often find myself subject to the whims of fate and mother nature. No matter how well prepared you think you are, the weather will find some way to throw you a curveball. I’ve certainly had my fair share of challenges this season, from 104 degree days, to sudden unexpected hurricane-like storms. Unseasonably cold mornings, and unreasonably hot afternoons. Setting up in a snowstorm. Tearing down in a thunderstorm.
Unfortunately you can’t control the weather, but each new challenge I’ve faced this year has led to me improving my displays, products, packaging, and practices to better handle its whims and winds. I’ve included a list with links to some of the products I’ve found to be most helpful at the end of this post.
I won’t lie - some days it is hard to handle the setbacks. There are days when it feels like the universe just keeps kicking you when you are already down. There are days when its very hard to look at these challenges in a positive light, and when it is easy to get discouraged - especially when you have to take a financial loss in addition to the emotional loss.
July has been one of those tough months for me. The first of the month I lost my beloved pupper. He ran away from the dog sitter while I was on vacation, and he has not been seen at all since. You can probably imagine how devastated I am over it. Add to that the Annapolis Irish Festival getting rained out, and losing stock to water damage. Then my 10x10 tent was broken beyond repair under very mysterious circumstances (likely either vandals or deer).
I’ve found the only way to get through it is just to get through it. Put your head down and walk through the rain until the sun shines again. And it will shine again.
So here are some things I’ve found that have improved my ability to stand through the storms. Hopefully if you end up in my (very soggy) shoes, these will be helpful for you too.
- Great friends - I couldn’t do any of this without my wonderful support network. Between helping me setup, assisting in the booth so I can have breaks, hauling materials to and from site when my car just isn’t big enough to fit everything, and to helping hold down the fort (literally) - I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. (unfortunately you can’t find these on amazon. Maybe check Etsy)
- Battery Fans - These babies have been lifesavers in the summer heat. I installed one of these into each corner of my booth, and they have made a big difference by providing air-flow. https://a.co/d/1oSxFDX
- Peg Stoppers - These are a new addition, the keep my lightweight stickers from flying off their pegs anytime the wind blows. https://a.co/d/940WFVC
- Magnetic Hooks - There are about 1000 uses for these hooks, from hanging signs and emergency tarps, to holding bags and packaging. I’ll be bringing these out for the first time at PARF. https://a.co/d/7F8kmet
- Clear Marine Vinyl Tarps - These can quickly be hung from the magnetic hooks in the event of a sudden rainstorm. Quick to put up, quick to take down, and effective at keeping my merchandise both dry and visible. https://a.co/d/9tD2r9L
- Desiccant packs - I keep one of these in each of my totes to remove any moisture that may be on the products while they are in storage between shows. https://a.co/d/8BCeg1n
Portable Battery - This sucker has been a game changer. I can run fairy lights in my booth for lighting at night, re-charge any of my devices and my battery fans, https://a.co/d/eGZOjCh