Thinking Outside the Easy Up Tent

I am an artist, what you might also call an artisan. I make jewelry, searching for new ideas and materials with great passion. I have yet to find a woman who doesn’t like some type of adornment. Some go for glitz which is not my taste. You won’t find rhinestones in my necklaces. Others like hand-made perfection, the kind you get at a craft fair. This is the way I sell to the public. Every town has one, perhaps on Sunday in the local fair or adjacent to the farmer’s market. I think my name, Opal, is most fitting, the gemstone of October and one of the most beautiful with its translucent glow.

Most of the time, everything goes well with no hassle. Occasionally it rains or there is construction in the street preventing clients from parking within walking distance. People expect convenience or they won’t come. It varies on holidays although around Christmas, things really pick up. Such are the trials and tribulations of a jewelry vendor. I don’t have much to complain about as business is good. Everyone is looking for a gift or a personal treat. It is never a hard sell if your work is attractive. I bring a nice assortment to meet a variety of tastes.

I did have a major hitch last week. I noticed that my fold up tent, the one I use to shade myself on sunny days, had been damaged in transit. There was no way to prepare it properly on the spot. I would need professional help. I put it away in my van and began to search for a solution. As I was loading it, I noticed my beach umbrella rolled up neatly at one end. It was one that I’d bought from Perfect, I thought. This will do in a pinch. I use a long craft table to display my wares and the next trick was to prop up the umbrella over it so that it wouldn’t fall over. I had some duct tape in my glove compartment and found that to work perfectly to attach one item to the other. I prayed that it would hold for the duration of the fair, and it did.

The next time in the park, the tent was back in action and all was well with the world. I am glad I had the smarts to act quickly or I would have lost some good sales for the day. People were amused, however, by the umbrella and made comments. It drew customers and perhaps I should bring it back. Or since it isn’t the most attractive looking item, I could get a new one, even larger in size. No one else has this as a signature statement or form of branding, so it could be part of my new image. I could even put a drawing of a colorful beach umbrella on my business cards with necklaces hanging from it.