Kane County Flea Market, a post-mortem

Oh LORDY what a weekend! Tanya from Gracie Mack and her very sweet friend Gwen showed up not long after I pulled up early Saturday morning. I thought 3 hours was plenty of time to get set up, but I was still pricing things and massaging the layout after the gates opened at noon. We did pretty well. I covered my expenses and had some dough left over, but it was a LOT of work for the payoff. There are a few things I could do to much better optimize my experience for next time. I sold 3 of the 5 pieces of furniture I brought, but the profit margin was pretty narrow after you consider paint and labor. I think you’d have to have a lot of higher-end furniture to make it worthwhile.

The best sales were in the linens. People loved the dish towels, tablecloths, buntings, and aprons. The pressed glass did pretty well, as did the charms. Next time I’ll focus on those and leave the rest at home or in my antique store booth. Tanya and I had a really hard time not shopping each other’s inventory. I came home with 2 really pretty necklaces made of vintage beads and antiqued chains, added to the one of hers that I purchased a couple weeks ago. I love her jewelry. She has a really defined style that feels finely curated. -Just like her home. I’ll have to show pics of her decor at some point.

The vendors near us were really sweet. Very kind, outgoing, supportive, and friendly. There was one booth with some folks who were pushing scammy-sounding time shares that provided us with plenty of shared knowing looks and eye rolls. Ugh. Otherwise, it was a fabulous group.

I bought a stack of antiqued wire market baskets from one of the gals and used them in my booth to keep the stacks of table linens upright so people could flip through them, record store style. If I did that with all the linens, it would make set up and break down a breeze. So next time I’m thinking a couple of cute styled clothes lines across the back of the booth with baskets of the packaged ones on a tabletop. I definitely over complicated my setup this time, so it took way too long to set up and break down. Packing up was especially complicated due to the insane storms that rolled in around noon. EVERYthing was drenched. Buckets of rain came in sideways. My Converse and clothes were soaked through and I felt like a wet cat looks. Boo rain. Then I had to figure out what to do with these stacks of linens so they wouldn’t mildew.

Dave and Will came out Saturday afternoon. Will ran around like the crazy little monkey man he is, then we went to dinner with friends and came back to the fairgrounds to have a campout in the Shasta since I had to be back at the booth at 7am. (best husband EVER)

So…overall a fun experience, lots of lessons learned. Next time I will pack tarps and zip ties just in case. I’ll have a display that serves double duty as a packing/shipping system. According to Tanya, I should have had chalk which was obviously a supremely egregious error on my part that I can only hope to make right in my lifetime.