This past weekend I had a show in Loveland, Colorado. And it ended up being a comedy of errors. It started off with me breaking something during set up (nothing new there though). My vendor neighbors laughed with me and counted the times I dropped, knocked over or broke something. (We eventually stopped counting, I'm kind of a hot mess in general but especially at shows and working in limited time frames). We had to be out of the building by 4pm, so unloaded all I could, set up my furniture and walls and left a pile of goods to put out and style the next day.
So I set off back to Denver for the night. Normally it's a one hour drive, but the a winter storm cluster decided to follow me down the 25. Everyone was driving super cautiously due to icy roads and blinding snow. But at one point it got ridiculous. I wasn't even registering zero on the odometer, and we stayed that way for over an hour. And on top of everything else I REALLY had to pee! I started a live video on instagram to show people how slow I was going, then realized how boring a movie of stopped cars in a snowstorm was, and when people started viewing I was like, ABORT MISSION!!! (I'll stick to my pre-filmed videos thank you very much). I'm terrified of live video. You might say something stupid and never be able to take it back! Where's the delete button!
Anyway, that was my thursday adventure. I eventually made it to a restroom and got a slice of the world's best Pizza (Marco's at Northfield mall. They serve it with honey and it is out of this world!) I'd rather go there on a date night than any fancy restaurant. Plus it's right next to a movie theater. Dinner and a movie? Yes please.
So my 1 hour trip home turned into 3 hours! Like this blog post... better start a new one.
So after getting stuck in a blizzard the night before, the next day I decided I'd better just get a hotel in Loveland. I drove up (only 1 hour this time!) And went back to work setting up my booth. I got there around noon and had to be fully set up by 4pm. The show, Rebel Junk Market, would begin at 5:30. So I managed to get everything unpacked and thrown onto shelves and table tops, and all my empty boxes and bubble wrap back in my car. I knew I needed to run get change for my money box, and grab some supplies at the store, and get checked into my hotel, so I was moving at turbo speed. Plus one of my friends was a little stumped on her booth so I scheduled in a little time to go help her rearrange a little. I finally got it all done and rushed out the door at 3:30.
When I got to my hotel I had about 15 minutes to check in, dump my gear, change, and do my hair and makeup. And of COURSE they gave me the wrong key. AND the wrong room. And it took the whole 15 minutes to get it sorted out. FINALLY I got in, and managed to do everything in 5 minutes and was back out the door! (I've had plenty of practice since I usually hit my alarm until 5 min before I have to leave in the morning).
Then it was time for the show! I'm a huge introvert, so spending several hours surrounded by and chatting with people really drains me. But the night went well, everyone was nice, I met some awesome people and we had a pretty good crowd for a friday night despite the raging snowstorm outside! These lovelandians are tough!
The show was done for the night so it was time to get out as they locked up the building. So as I walked through the bitter temperature, I was super glad I had booked a hotel which I would soon be getting warm in. But when I got to my car I realized I had left a door slightly ajar. And it had drained the battery. And it wouldn't start. Not one bit! So I started freaking out and reaching for my phone to call AAA, and just then my phone died. OF COURSE IT DID! So I run back toward the building to see if I can get inside long enough to charge my phone, to call AAA, to come start my dead car out in the snow.
LUCKILY my vendor friend Erin, The Farmhouse Merchant, (pictures above) was coming by as I was rushing back and she said, just come charge your phone in my car! (She is such a sweetheart). So she sat with me while I called AAA and even stayed when they said it would be an HOUR wait! She is my guardian angel. I would have been frozen sitting in my car without heat. We ran and got a bite while we waited. And waited. And waited. Finally after an hour and a half, I called AAA again to make sure they were coming. Oh what? Nope. Our driver had been re-routed to a priority call. So we waited some more. Finally after TWO HOURS of waiting with this extremely patient friend, a policeman drove up and I waved him down.
I explained the situation and he asked if I had jumper cables, yes, but I don't know how to use them I said embarrassed. I asked if he had time to help us (I'm sure he had more important things to do, but this nice man said sure. Showed me how to hook things up and in what order (red, red, black, ground), and my car purred to life! I literally raised my arms in victory and shouted. Then this amazingly nice person went to his car, got a scraper and cleaned the snow off all my windows! I was ready to cry! I wanted to hug him but I figured it was against protocol since he was wearing a gun and a million other gadgets. He even gave me his card and said if I had anymore trouble to give him a call.
So I want to publicly thank my heroes, Erin, and mystery cop!
And wouldn't you know 3 minutes later… AAA shows up. Derrr. AND the guy says AAA didn't even CALL him until 15 minutes earlier! AAAUUGHHHH!!!!! I would've frozen to death without my heroes! The buildings were all locked and it was too far and too cold to walk anywhere. I would've been completely stranded!
Anyway, the experience really made me appreciate and value the kindness of friends and strangers and humbled me. (P.S. I finally made it to my hotel after 11pm and enjoyed a blissful night of no mishaps). Until the next day...
Market day! Rebel junk started off with a flood of people! The sun was shining, it was going to be a good day! (Unlike the night before...) Usually the first two hours are the busiest sales-wise, but I had only made 3 sales the first hour… I was started to worry! I had at least $1000 invested in the goods I brought, $100 for hotel $50+ for gas, $170 for booth fee… I was praying it wasn't going to be a bust! It picked up a little and I at least broke even… but there had been another similar market in the same building the month before and I think it took the wind out of the customer's sales a bit.
As I talked to other vendors, everyone said sales were really soft. I felt really bad for the people who had paid for 3 booth spaces, and spent hours unloading and re-loading all their furniture at the end of the show. So, it didn't really pay off this time. But this type of business is always a bit of a gamble.
By the end of the day we were all pretty exhausted from all the people-ing, and from all the furniture carrying the day before. So when 4 o-clock came we were ready for it. Although it meant load out. Another burst of energy would be needed. The loading bays were immediately flooded with trailers and u-hauls as everyone packed up and started carting things out on dolly's. (THAT's what i forgot to bring! Duh!).
When I got out to hook up my trailer my tire was almost totally flat. PERFECT. Just gets better and better! BUT I did have small moment of grace. The other day when I backed up to hitch my car to my trailer it took AT LEAST 30 tries WITH someone directing me! I groaned thinking how many times it was going to take, by myself. In the dark. With my back window blocked full of junk. Yee-haw this was going to be fun. So I backed up on a first try, getting out to look and see how far off I was and prepared myself to do this a million more times. But SOMEHOW by God's grace, I backed up, heard a bump, jumped out to see if I'd put another dent in my car (which I did last time I tried this). And surprisingly, it was sitting there. Lined up PERFECTLY! What!!?! How did that happen! This never happens. Silver lining.
So then I prayed I would make it to a gas station before ALL of the air had seeped out. I drove slowly with my emergency lights on. Finally made it, pulled the ice covered hose out of the snow and tried to air up my tire and hoped it wasn't a leak.
Turns out it was a leak. Hahahaha! At this point I'm just laughing. Can't get any worse.
I go back to tear down my walls, and pack up my furniture. And my friend Jackie from Studio Shambora, (pictures featured above) had finished early because some friends had helped her, so she generously offered to help me, which cut the load out time in half. (I was still one of the last few people in the building).
So to celebrate our survival, we went to get crack. (Cracker Barrel). As an attitude adjuster. It was a lovely dinner of meatloaf, fried okra, mashed potatoes, beans and cornbread. Just like meals from my roots back in Tennessee. Comfort food. We left with full bellies, a little bit of candy and happy hearts.
My tire had gone flat again, but I didn't even stress. Just drove to the nearest gas station and filled it up. Jackie followed me back to denver just in case. I made it home without incident! Finally the string of bad luck was over!
And then the next morning, Jackie got a flat.