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Show Season Kickoff

These last few weeks have been spent getting ready for the start of our spring show season which kicked off Feb. 23-24 in Loveland, CO. The most fun part is the gathering (some call it “picking”) of goods, and we have acquired some really awesome stuff lately. Some of it required significant windshield time, with trips to south central Iowa and northern Kansas in recent weeks. We also wrote our biggest estate sale check EVER but filled the truck with delicious primitives including benches, cabinets and a dry sink.

Some things we buy are ready to price and sell, but others--the majority--need repair and cleaning. Most of the time I do the cleaning and Terry does the fixing; we both have our specialties. I also placed orders for some boho/southwest style blankets, macramé pieces, and a shipment of cowhides. These will complement the vintage goods in our store during the Rural Route Rust Vintage + Handmade Market here on May 5.

When it was finally time to pack the trailer we watched the weather and got it done a few days early when the temperatures were nice and warm. The next day it turned off cold and windy so it was nice to have that completed. More weather-watching helped us decide to leave on Wednesday to avoid the snow predicted for the following morning (turns out it was icy and nasty at home most of the time we were gone and much nicer overall in Colorado – go figure).

We spent the night in Cheyenne, WY and got to make a quick visit to their historic downtown. Loveland, CO, the show location, was just an hour from Cheyenne so we were there and ready to start unloading when the doors opened Thursday morning. We got our trailer unloaded, backdrop assembled, and most of the furniture pieces placed before calling it a day. I was so intently focused that only after we got to the restaurant for lunch/supper (4:30 p.m.) did I realize that I hadn’t gone to the bathroom since leaving the hotel. And for me, that’s really saying something!

We returned Friday morning and finished our set up, getting done around 2 p.m. In total it took us 10 hours of set up time to get our spot (a 10x30 triple space) ready. For us that’s pretty average, especially considering we had a bigger booth this time. It all went smoothly but just takes a lot of unpacking, staging, arranging and rearranging. After lunch and a little rest at the hotel we were back and ready to go for the first shoppers at 5:30 p.m., just as the snow started to fall.

There were less selling hours than set up hours, and by 4 p.m. the next day it was all over. We enjoyed catching up with fellow vendors and meeting so many nice folks. A highlight was seeing my high school friend Jessica and her family--thanks for the Pepperidge Farms swag, Steve! We packed up the trailer (let’s just say it was still pretty full when we left) and by 7:30 p.m. were enjoying some really good barbecue. Only when it’s all done do you start to feel the effects, and by the time the food arrived my eyelids were drooping and I was popping ibuprofen for my tight shoulder muscles.

While we do this for a living and count on it for our income, we do try to enjoy ourselves when we go this far from home and treat it as an adventure. We spent Sunday driving into the mountains to Estes Park, then back to Fort Collins for a little vintage shopping to end the day. Most of the prices at the malls/indoor flea markets were higher than we sell things for, so we didn’t buy a lot but did pick up a few fun items.

We were homeward bound on Monday morning, rehashing the show, what we did well, what we could do better, what went right, what went wrong, what we want to do next…we filled almost the whole 8 hour drive with “shop talk”.

It’s good to be home where we’re shifting our focus to planning and promoting the RRR market and preparing for Junk Bonanza in late April. Thanks for following along – we hope to see you down the road!

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