Show life is a culture of its own. We have fallen in love with that culture, so much so that we want to share a behind the scenes look at what goes into a show. We travel every 4 – 6 weeks to participate in a show. Some of our shows are in our backyard in Northern Colorado. For other shows we travel across the country. In 2016 we went to Utah, Montana, and Missouri. We had a blast traveling last year! This year we plan to travel again and expand our reach to see more of you in person! And we couldn’t do this without you! We are asked on a regular basis if we like shows, the answer is yes, we love them! We love the chaotic craziness, the culture, the friendships, and of course the success and rewards.
Show Life Cycle
We live in a cycle with our shows. It takes us 2 – 4 weeks to get enough pieces gathered and made for the next show. The first couple weeks, as we prep, feel fairly smooth. Two weeks out we start to feel the pressure (I always stress about whether we have enough to fill our booth!). The week of a show is crazy week. The week after a show is recovery.
Sometimes these treasures don’t make it to the show like this windmill, lol! It ended up in our garden. The hutch in this truck made it though. You actually see it in the background in the photo below.
Crazy week is the week that we put together all of the finishing touches and it can get nutty. Our most recent show was Old House Vintage Market and we had a large 20 x 20 booth space. This meant I was finishing 8 chairs for a farm style table we had built by one of our new carpenters, as well as putting on final topcoats and helping Cody make sure we had enough lazy susans.
You can see that this table is missing two chairs. They were at home with the last topcoat drying. They were brought in right before the show. This is the kind of craziness we encounter right before a show. Isn’t this table gorgeous?! We hired two new carpenters this month to help Cody keep up with orders. One of our carpenters, Jason, had this large pocket door from a custom home which turned out to be the wrong size for the home. He added the legs and I added the chairs. It was our first piece to sell at the last show. The show life scramble is so worth it!
Our Lazy Susans are always a popular seller at our shows and online. I love them as well! We use our lazy susan daily! And this cutie is helping Daddy as he finished putting on the lazy susan wheel. Keeping it real, we do this out of our home and it gets crazy.
Setting up for a show is one of my favorite parts of show life. The first time Cody and I walked into a show we had no idea what we were doing. We had done several farmers markets but not a big craft/home decor show. We were in awe and overwhelmed.
When you drive up, it is a scene of craziness with trailers jockeying for a spot. Many vendors will arrive at least an hour before the doors open to get a spot. Most are standing around talking, drinking coffee, and, many times, shivering. The bay doors open and the trailer doors fly, dollies of all kinds are brought out and everyone starts unloading their items. In between loads, hugs are given to vendors you know, questions are asked by less experienced vendors, and introductions are made with your neighboring vendors. It is very social! And while all of these vendors are our direct competition, there is this culture of camaraderie. It is a time where we bond in a common goal. Show life wouldn’t happen without all of us coming together.
Once all our items are unloaded, walls go up, furniture is set, and small items are displayed. There is a rhythm about us as we work. At our last show, we had our other new carpenter, Sam, help us with set up. Sam did a great job stepping in and flowing with us!
A Little Fun… Or Lots!
This picture shows off the fun and culture that happens at these shows. At our first show, we felt like outsiders in this crazy culture. The more shows we do, the more vendors we get to know. We are now immersed in this culture and we love it! At our last show it was lots of hugs and hellos. We went to a different show last weekend, Simply Vintage Market, as shoppers. While there, we knew at least 6 vendors. We ran into some other vendor friends who were shopping as well as the organizer from Old House Vintage. We stayed after the show was over and chatted with a couple of vendors for about 20 minutes longer while other booths were restocking. This is how immersed in this culture of show life we have become.
Now the real fun begins! Show life happens with all of you showing up! There is a buzz in the air, a frenzy of customers trying to find their one of a kind item. We love the buzz, we love your energy, we love watching your face light up when you find that perfect piece! You are the heart of show life. At our shows you see us mingling, greeting, and laughing with you!
These are some of my favorite photos from recent shows. I love how this bench painted in Bluebird by Sweet Pickins turned out!
We love bringing Ole Blue to shows! He loves taking pictures with all of the shoppers at shows. He made his first show debut at Vintage Market Days in Estes Park and drove all the way up there! Did you know that he also loves to travel to weddings and photo shoots?
This cute primitive hutch was so fun to paint! It, along with the hall tree, were two of my favorites when we went to Vintage Whites Market in Kansas City.
The end of a show is always bittersweet. The sweet is the love you have shown us in your purchases as well as the fun we had at the show. The bitter is packing up what we have left. It isn’t because we are taking items home, we expect that. But instead packing up when we are exhausted after 2 – 3 days of working and standing on our feet. It is sweet because we visit with our vendor friends again. Bitter because we say goodbye until the next show. At the end of every show we celebrate with taking my parents to dinner to say thank you for watching our girls and for their help with the show. At this show, we took Sam to dinner after the show and then took my parents the next day. We look forward to having Sam as a part of our team!
Thank you for supporting The Pink Moose! We look forward to seeing you at our next show!