Middleton Fair – preperations

It’s taken me a week to write this. Which in one sense is a good thing, it means I’ve been busy. On the other, I’ve used the bits of spare time to do other things. Which does not include reading emails, except those that are vital. Blogs, I’m sorry, have had to fall by the wayside.
This week I’ve been getting ready for the Annual Middleton Fair. Those that follow me everywhere will know this, I’m like a stuck record on this one. But it’s a good thing. And it’s just down the road from me, doesn’t make the day much shorter, just easier to get to.

Last year was my first fair here since we returned to Tassie, and I looked back on my notes for last year. Well organised for sure, but something wasn’t quite right. I remembered what I was doing when it was set up and pack up time. A little disorganised and awkward.
I had boxes of jewellery. And I had boxes of props.
This year I took a different track. I was going to pack each table into it’s own box, or boxes. So I could do the set up/pack/up in a different, but hopefully more organised way.

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A box of mini busts and other props.

First up was to make my lists.
Design the layout of the gazebo to make sure there was room to move.
Figure out what goes where, and what I will be taking.
It comes down to this.
There will be a table of bracelets and other accessories, earrings, brooches etc. These, along with most of the props are all in one box.
My bags, which I’ve hardly taken anywhere this last year – are all in one box and will have the rack I use to stand at the front of the gazebo and wave in the wind…
Two tables with necklaces – one end will be shared with my canvases and a bag or two.
So there is one box with all the necklaces, and then three boxes with the props required. Busts, mirror, boxes for height…
I have a small table I’ll be using for the sale items I have. There are lots of little things I just want to get rid of, and there are always people who want to buy bits and bobs.
I bought myself a little table, smaller than the half size one, for my point of sale. I’ve not found the perfect set up yet for this, as each market has different space and layout options. I usually stack some of y boxes and use that. but its awkward and feels wrong. Looking at what others do also hasn’t helped as their stall displays are different so it’s easier for them.  I’ll have the important items on the table and then spares in a basket on the box next to me, out of sight. Fingers crossed that works.

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3 of 5 tables. There will be 2 more of the big one.

This job also took me so long as I wanted to do a full inventory of my stock as I packed it, categorising each item (eg: each style of necklace and bags), then packing it in such a way that it was quick to get out and pack up. And making sure every item had a price tag.
As I was nearing the end I grabbed a sheet of butchers paper (thanks to a friend who did a hall clean up and asked me to pass it on, or keep it) and drew my gazebo layout. I added each section and what was needed, then ticked them off.

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Awesome sketch of gazebo layout

I was also writing a rather long list of prices to have near items or hanging on the table itself. It wouldn’t matter how many price tags/notices there are people will still ask.

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List of prices I have to get printed

There is a note for all the accessories table – listing each item, one for the necklaces – again, listing each style, one for my bracelet/earring special and the items as a single purchase…. I think you get the idea.
These were wrote, checked, printed, laminated, stuck to pink card and ready to roll.

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Pricetag notes

I took a break to get some photos of scarecrows while it was daylight then back into it.
After dinner saw me get tablecloths ironed and folded, my point of sale (POS) box re packed – making sure I had everything. Business cards, box of tape, scissors etc, tissue paper, carry bags, all those lovely sales things.

Lastly I made sure my repair basket was stocked with enough basics should anyone want something done, and some more bookmarks to make up if I get time. (These are quick and easy and don’t have to be perfect like earrings have to match..)

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Box of busts, sale basket and repair basket

Finally finished, ready for an easy day tomorrow, going to the school to organise misters 14 & 9, baking and having friends come and visit for lunch.

That is it for me now,I’m already knackered and I still have the day to happen yet. We’ll be arriving about 8.30 to get gazebos set up, and cars emptied so they be be removed by 9. The fair starts around 10 so an hour or so is fine for set up.

The finished result is 5 tables (3 large ones and the two smaller ones in the picture), 6 boxes and 3 misc baskets. A full car load with all the seats down.

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And more boxes of stock with hat rack.

Lucky it’s only a 500 metre drive to get there. My dad will be picking up the tables and gazebo on his ute as he takes mum’s as well.
Just thinking, for two market stalls there will be 3 full to the brim vehicles. A lot of stuff, yes.

See you on the other side. Hopefully over the weekend for a re cap and pictures.

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