I make soap. I make quite a lot of soap. After awhile it starts taking over the house and the humans no longer have room to do ordinary activities like cook, eat, and possibly even sleep. I collect pens, not soap, so at some point, I have to find an outlet for all those boxes of wrapped soap.
This season I’ve been doing craft shows, festivals, and bazaars every weekend since late September. I keep my car packed with soap, ready at a moments notice, for whatever new selling opportunity I find. And I’ve found some good ones.
Yesterday’s Bazaar however, was not a good one. It wasn’t hard to keep track of sales at all. I had exactly three sales for a total of $31 for the whole day. And nope, that didn’t even quite cover the $35 booth fee.
Luckily, after the Bazaar, I had a horse to trim. Her owner is a great client who also likes my soap and bought more soap from me than I had sold the whole day 🙂 So, the day didn’t end so bad.
It was an exciting day though, despite sales being slow. The reason? I’ve got the wool bug. Anyone ever have that? It’s probably a disease similar to the soap bug I’ve had for years. But anyway, what has happened is that I’ve been doing all these wonderful craft shows and I’ve got to see some beautiful things being made by very talented artists. The items that have really attracted my attention are the beautiful felted wool santas, sweaters, dolls, figures, wall hangings, etc. A few weeks ago I attended a fairly slow craft fair in the little town of Bedford, Virginia and my booth was right next to a lady who had been to a school for her wool craft and a lady on the other side of me who was buying Goodwill sweaters made from wool and shrinking them down and cutting them up to make colorful little kid sweaters and beautiful Santa Clause’s with pointy hats. (that looked more like Merlin than Santa, but oh boy were they cute!) Since business was slow, (it was the Saturday before the election and the veteran vendors were telling me that election years are always slow selling years) I got the opportunity to talk to my neighboring wool artists and I went home with names of sheep breeders, wool festivals and shows, the best wools to use for various crafts, etc.!
So, I’ve been researching wool art online and have ordered a couple of books. A friend even gave me a FLEECE! How exciting is that!? I did my first felted soap (and you can see that disastrous soap in another blog post.) I’ve ordered some nice roving from a lady who actually owns the sheep it came off of, and the most exciting thing is I’M GETTING A SHEEP! She is a Blue Faced Leicester which is one of the breeds I wanted and the lovely folks I’m buying her from are going to deliver her after Thanksgiving! They sent me pictures on my phone yesterday which is why I was so excited! One of the ladies I met at the Bedford craft show told me that the Blue Faced Leicester had one of the best wools for certain crafts, so I was even more excited to find the actual breed I was looking for and be able to get her at this time of the year. I figured I’d be waiting until spring for lambs. Which I am, but it will be nice to have a pretty wool to look at this winter….and dream of what I’m going to make with it once I get it off the sheep in the spring. I already have a set of clippers that are huge and will run a shear head that I’ve been using to body clip goats and the Pyrenees.
So, slow business at a couple of craft shows really wasn’t a bad thing, though it seemed like it at the time. It opened the doors for me to another opportunity, one that I had been mulling over for years anyway. And in the meantime, this spring I will be looking for a couple of Icelandic lambs, and would love to reserve them now, so if you are a breeder, or know a breeder, let me know. I have come to the conclusion that sheep people do not check their email, because I have contacted several breeders through their email or facebook pages and only got a reply from the farm with the Blue Faced Leicesters. Goat people, on the other hand, ALWAYS check their email every single day. LOLOLOLO…