Anne Arundel County Flea Market (April 2012)

Location: Crownsville, MD

Day of the Week: Saturday

Weather: Clear, but cool.  Warm in the sun, but chilly under the pavilion.

Organization: Good.  No confirmation beforehand, but available through email.  Very well organized during the event.

Crowd Size: Great.  Lots of foot traffic.

Crowd Make-up: Some families.  Lots of dog owners.  Plenty of bargain hunters.

Booth Fee: $20 for 10′ x 10′ in the Pavilion

Last night was rough.  I could barely sleep for nerves, but I made myself lay there until 4:45 am.  To put that into perspective: I normally like to sleep approximately 10 hours a night.  Surprisingly though, I was wide awake once I got on the road.  I’m sure I’ll be a zombie tomorrow, but right now I am high on success!

I arrived at the fairgrounds 20 minutes before the gates opened, and I was still way at the back of the line. Still, that felt better than if I’d arrived at my traditional time–unfashionably early.

For all of the many wonderful things about the market and its sponsors, I have to confess to being really freaked out by the statue at the entrance to the Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds.  It is a statue of a lumberjack (not in and of itself creepy) holding out his hands, seeming to gesture you towards him like “Hey! You wanna piece of me?”  I don’t know if my picture does him justice.

Set-up was really quite easy.  I was worried because I was on my own today, but luckily I was in the pavilion so I didn’t need to set up the pop-up tent (not an EZ-Up and not easy).  It probably took me 45 minutes to set up, but I’m a perfectionist.  Check out the booth:

As always, I had a lot of fun chatting with shoppers and watching the people (and dogs) stroll by.  The lotion bars were a big hit and everyone loved my new scent creations.

Only one couple bought the Trousseau soap, but they were really into it. Literally everyone who smelled the Calisson Oatmeal Soap talked about delicious the smell was.  Making the Worker Bee section was also a great idea since a lot of people compulsively added an extra soap nugget to their purchase.  Samples and trial sizes are genius!

On top of all that, my hands have never been so well-hydrated!  After showing everyone how the lotion bars work, my hands are ridiculously soft and smooth.  Even I’m amazed at how well they work and I make them!

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Getting Ready

I’ve come a long way in the last few months.  My products lines have expanded and I’ve got a lot more equipment.  When I think back to how easy getting ready for the last show was (and how nervous I was anyway), I have to laugh.  One table, one tablecloth, and a bunch of soap … embarrassingly easy set-up.

Today, I’m getting ready for the Anne Arundel County Flea Market and I cannot believe how much more stuff I have this time around!  I’ve added three more types of soap and five new lotion recipes, and I’ve got lots of new banners, signs, business cards, samples, etc.  I’ve also switched to organic ingredients so I have a whole bunch of discontinued conventional oil soaps to sell at a discount.  Hopefully they’ll fly off the shelves at $1 a chunk!

Tonight, I’ll have to pack up the truck and get things set because tomorrow morning I’m getting up at 5am to drive to Crownsville, MD for the show.  Wish me luck!