A Match Maker’ed in Heaven
As most of you may already be aware due to my multiple recent “reminders,” I spent last weekend selling Croshame products at the Bazaar Bizarre tent at the Bay Area Maker Faire.
Now that the Faire is over and I’ve (somewhat) recovered from the excitement, it’s time to blog all about it!From the first moment the Faire opened, I had a lot of passers-by who were interested in my stuff…so that was encouraging. I would often see people far out on the fairgrounds crack an “OMG” face in my general direction and make a beeline for my booth. Some folks even recognized the Krampus and Exorcist displays, which were set out above the other shelves of stock.
Being at Indie Mart last year had prepared me for the likelihood of an onslaught of small children coming to the booth, so I “cleaned up” some of my more saucy pieces a little bit: “Goatse Cheese” was turned into the innocuous “Goat Cheese” (“-se” no evil!), Cairo Sheraton‘s peek-a-boo skirt was only lifted in front of two curious (adult) ladies by request after learning she was “anatomically correct,” and I placed my more PG-rated pieces towards the bottom of the displays and the naughtier ones higher up and out of the reach of small hands.
My prior “kid-friendly” assumptions were proven correct — my booth was a big draw for the wee ones. While a few parents steered their young’uns away once they realized most of my crochet was on the darker side, the majority of parents got the general humor and feel of I was going for and were genuinely supportive.
One Rad Dad even gave me a hug after his little daughter fell in love with her pink She-Wolfy purchase; she had to be one of my favorite pint-sized patrons from the weekend!
I had some new products for sale, like “The Anton Crochet” devil caps I made, which were sold out by the end of the faire.
This guy looked perfectly dapper in his devil cap, like a little brainy Beelzebub.
A lot of people snapped photos of me as I “happily” crocheted away behind my booth. Good thing I kept that lipstick-covered archaic smile plastered on my face.
I was even interviewed a couple of times for various video projects, which only seemed to prove that I turn into a blathering, incomprehensible cross between Corey Haim on painkillers and Sarah Palin when I’m asked to speak in front of a camera.
There were lots of talented people selling their wares alongside me in the Bazaar Bizarre tent. Our booth was stationed next to the gifted ceramicist Linda Fahey, and over the course of the Faire I got to meet and talk shop with fellow crocheters Narumi Ogawa from Mr. Funky and Steph from Nerd Jerk, who was also a guest juror for the Bazaar Bizarre panel.
I also met the fantastic artist Bill Robinson from Flimflammery, who bought one of my Wolfy pieces. I made sure to get myself one of his fabulous prints as well!
The two days seemed to draw pretty different crowds. Saturday was filled with happy attendees, curious children, and lots of sexy steampunks in leather-tooled top hats, while earlier on Sunday there seemed to be a lot more looky-loos, lollygaggers, and a couple of “I’m too-cool for this” teenagers – although the turnout definitely got a bit more lively towards afternoon time with lots of Utilikilts, more sexy steampunks and Rad Dads. Marvelous Makers were everywhere on both days, of course!
Things got especially exciting near the end of Sunday, when I was presented with an “Editors’ Choice” ribbon from MAKE magazine photo editor Gregory Hayes. SWOON!
I’m so very proud of my ribbon. You like me! You REALLY like me!
The whole shebang concluded with the solar eclipse at the end of the day. (Chuck and I almost resisted singing Klaus Nomi‘s ”Total Eclipse” in high pitched voices, but failed miserably.) Besides an actual observatory, what better place to see an eclipse than Maker Faire, surrounded by robotics geeks, crafty bastards, and real-life science enthusiasts?
One important business lesson was definitely learned, though… next time I’ll probably get (or preferably borrow) some kind of newfangled electronic device to help me accept credit card payments, because — just as the great prophet Huey Lewis predicted — in the 21st century it’s apparently hip to be Square.
All in all, it was great fun and a big success. I got to share my work with a whole new audience, ran into some old friends, and met many fascinating people. And even if I did only get a chance to walk around Maker Faire a little bit (and most of that “little bit” was angrily spent trying to find the frizz-a-frackin’ bathrooms), I also got to see a lot of crazily fantastic projects and displays. I mean, really… where else are you going to see motorized muffins, Super Awesome Sylvia, and needle felted handguns all in the same venue?