I heart Indie Mart!
Yesterday was my first foray into the craft fair world as I dipped my toe into the waters of one of San Francisco’s coolest crafty events, Indie Mart! Usually set up in the Potrero Hill district, this time around Indie Mart was situated on one side of the Alamo Square Flea Market along Scott Street. My husband Chuck and I shared a booth under our Doomed to Live Studio moniker, with me on the right selling my Croshame goods and him on the left selling his chainmail and some of his other creations. We’re not exactly bazillionaires, so our setup was modest. We got everything to and from the event by Chuck’s bike cart and my Radio Flyer (visible in the background of the above photo), which I pulled the whole way. I felt like something out of a Beverly Cleary book, tugging my little red wagon loaded with Steri-lite boxes down the Panhandle at 6:45 in the morning!
The weather alternated between gorgeously sunny and typical overcast foggy, which was a lot better than we were expecting (i.e. rain). The crowd started picking up around 12 or so, and people began wandering over to our table to poke and prod and ooh and ahh over our stuff.
The really big draws were Chuck’s brightly colored puppets, which people went absolutely ape-poopy over; my Hogtied sliced pig platter, which someone renamed “Pork Chop”; and my Very Rare Indeed hamburger, which countless people pretended to fit into their mouth (trust me, you can’t). There was also a strange phenomenon of people actually hitting each other with my Ouch Cream Cones, proving that yarn can indeed provoke violence.
Then people started to BUY stuff, which was something we definitely didn’t think was going to happen. One of the most shocking developments was that almost all of my customers were CHILDREN! I’m usually a grumpy, old-maid-ish curmudgeon with a “Get off of my lawn / I had to walk to school in the ice without shoes” attitude, but that icy childfree-by-choice veneer quickly dissolved when I saw how damn happy my work made the 13-and-under set. I hesitate to use the term “heart-warming”, since mine would need a microwave oven to even get it tepid, but that’s damn near the level it got to. My favorite customer of the day was an awesome little girl whose equally-awesome dad bought her one of my monster purses.
Her dad jokingly said something like, “You two should be ashamed of all the artistic talent you guys have,” and I responded with, “We are ashamed! Every day! It’s even in my name!” — an answer which I think he appreciated.
All in all, it was a fantastic experience. Even though our usually dour faces were exhausted at the end of the day from all the smiling we did, we also made some money, met some neat people, and got to see folks actually reacting to and interacting with our work. Some of my favorite comments of the day ranged from “Everything here makes me so sad!” to “They’re all made out of sweaters,” and “This is just great,” to “That’s just wrong,” a phrase heard several times throughout the course of the day. My least favorite phrase of the day was probably the incredibly unimaginative “What are you supposed to do with this?” to which I generally responded “What AREN’T you supposed to do with it?” I also found it amusing how many people assumed I was a vegetarian or trying to “make a statement” with my food pieces… but I’m glad most people just laughed and got the joke.
A big thanks to all the organizers who put the awesome event together, the customers who purchased stuff from us, and all the great peeps who stopped by our booth to check us out! We had a blast!