What it’s like to be the vendor

Ever wonder what it’s like to be a vendor? For starters, we get a lot less sleep than you do leading up to The Vintage Bazaar.

dish sisters sign

Our sign before it’s loaded on the truck. Yes, this photo is dark and grainy. It was dark outside!

Set up starts on Thursday. That gives us two days to get everything in place. This year we needed every minute because our new canopy was less than easy to assemble. We discovered colorful vocabulary. ‘Nuff said!

unassembled canopy

A 10-by-20-foot puzzle that took four people four hours to assemble with a metal file, WD40, and a broken rubber hammer. That’s all you need to know.

Once the truck and all the cars are unloaded we have piles of furniture and plastic totes set out in rows we can walk between. That way we’re not moving things over and over again while we work on an arrangement.

setting up the booth

Now the fun begins! What to DO WITH ALL THIS STUFF?!

Our set up is complicated because we live 350+ miles apart. We don’t know exactly what we have to work with until we get together. So many decisions! Where will the tables go? Which tablecloths? What furniture goes out front? Which colors look exciting together? We usually have a rough idea of where we’re headed, but mostly we make it all up as we go along.

finished setup

Hours and hours of decisions and we’re ready for you!

This time we weren’t completely happy with the way one side of the booth came together, but there’s no time for do-overs. Oh well! We’ve already planned how to do better next time.

one side of the booth

Meh. The color combos over here weren’t singing in harmony.

All day long we reshuffle the stuff out front. Just a little rearranging can suddenly make a sale. There seems to be a “magic spot” for things. It’s kinda surprising and wonderful to see it happen time after time.

front view of the booth

The cedar chest and chairs sold. The big pink and red tables sold. The typewriter and typing stand sold. Lots of waitress uniforms sold. Most of the small things sold, too. We had lots of happy customers.

Our views of the booth are different than yours.

view from behind the display

The view from the back

“Back stage” can be delightful.

trying on a wedding gown

A future bride behind our neighbor’s booth. It was a gorgeous dress.

The weather was great all weekend! We had a steady crowd of shoppers and lots of extra family members on hand to help wrap, bag, make change, bring lunch, and carry furniture away.

After all the shoppers and window-shoppers have gone home, we get to work again. Taking everything down goes pretty quickly with all the extra hands. This time we had everything in the truck in two hours.

loading the truck

You know you’re done when the canopy gets squeezed into the truck!

After we get it all home it’s time to crash. There’s dinner. A hot tub. Tylenol. Lots of “what can we do better next time” discussion. And a truck to unload in the morning.

And Luray even found a new piece of furniture to refurbish on the way home!

4 Comments on “What it’s like to be the vendor”

  1. luray says:

    Yes! We sold lots of stuff! Now we have to go find more awesome stuff!

  2. After a sale it certainly is time to crash. I am usually on a bit of a high from the sale and take awhile to wind down…exhausted and happy to have another show behind me. Your canopy would have driven me over the edge with the difficulty putting it together..that throws off your whole mojo. Glad the day was successful!