Oh. My. Lord.
I honest to God don’t know where to begin.
I am tired, sore and bruised from head to toe. In other words……..
I LOVED IT!!!!!
At 8am on Wednesday morning we began the ‘Load In’. It was 26 degrees and God only knows what the windchill was. Sweeten Creek Antiques had rented a 16 foot POD for us about three weeks before VMD’s. So we all toiled away filling that 10 foot tall thing with everything and it’s Mama. The POD was delivered to the venue on Tuesday evening. We had everything in the building by 10:30 am and we immediately started building the ‘walls’ for our 10’x 40′ booth. We used old, chippy 7 foot louvered shutters for the walls. About every 12 feet we screwed in an old chippy vintage green screen door. This gave the back wall support plus some division of the ‘rooms’, so to speak. We were all back at it on Thursday styling and unwrapping the smallest of the smalls. Thats’s the fun part for me, styling everything.
One of the pieces was a HUGE, very heavy antique scale, like you would weigh sacks of gain with. In the midst of whirling around in my ‘Styling Groove’, I tripped over that damn thing!!! I landed directly on my right knee, full force. As I layed on the concrete floor I just knew one of two things was about to happen. I was either gonna pee my pants or cry.
Thank God it was the later.
I really thought I’d broken my leg.
Long story short, my leg is not broken bit it is about four different colors 🙁
On Friday, opening day of the show we all got there early just to make sure everything was prices, pretty and ready to go. At about 9:20 I walked the entire venue and out to the front doors. I am telling you right now, I seriously got light headed. There were two lines of people and the lines went all the way down the parking lot to the 5 lane main highway.
It absolutely scared me to death.
At exactly 10:00 they opened the doors…….. and a MASS of humanity come flooding in. The turn out was absolutely unbelievable. And I mean that literally. The venue became so overcrowded that the VMD people had to close the doors until enough people left to make the venue safe. I am absolutely dead serious. Personally, if you were able to get in our booth, you couldn’t get out. I am not at all phobic about crowds and I was getting freaked out.
It was not at all Good Crowded.
It quickly became Angry Crowded. People could not shop. They could not get in the building and once they got in the building the couldn’t get out. The building’s ATMs ran out of money twice. This continued till about 3pm. The Market closed at 5pm. All of the dealers immediately went in to a meeting with the VMD’s people and everyone brainstormed every idea to rectify the problems.
Saturday was better, still very crowded but way more manageable. People told me they waited any where from an hour to an hour and a half to just get in the door. Lots of our friends came by and my aunts were there. They told us that the VMD people handed out water and there was live music in the parking lot. All of which helped with the wait. We also extended the hours from 5pm to 7 pm.
I took most of Sunday off, I was exhausted. I did go in about 3:15 to help break down to both and load up what few things I did not sell and then take then down to my shop at Sweeten Creek Antiques.
Sales were good. And by good, I mean GREAT. People were so complimentary of our/my work! Lots of people wanted to hang out and talk design or decor. Now that I loved!! Two thing happened that bother me though.
I’ve really never had hardly any criticism of my work. Well, that streak has come to an end. An ugly, mean, hateful profane end. And it really hurt my feelings. I’m not really sure who would come to an event like this and say ugly things loud enough for other people to hear it though.
The second thing was all of the negative comments on Social Media.
That really broke our hearts. People were nasty. And I still don’t really know how to feel about it. It is so hurtful to read that garbage after you’ve worked your butt off and the person posting it doesn’t have the vaguest idea what it takes to get there. As vendors we really don’t have any control over anything except our spaces. And those are pretty heavy regulated. Also, everyone has to learn. This was the first of it’s kind in the Asheville area. I don’t think anyone saw that crowd size coming.
Having said all this, I am still awfully glad and honored to have been able to participate in this amazing event. I met so many great, nice people and learned a lot! The next one foe Asheville is scheduled for August.
We will see what happens:)