First – a lot of people now own beautiful handcrafted items due to all of the hard work of our Fiber Fair chairs, Nancy Menzel and Bonnie Buzza, and the host of volunteers. A round of applause is due to all who helped! The staging was inspired. The scarves were in rainbow rows on tables and the walls, ready for buyers to pluck just the right pattern or texture. The demonstration volunteers, ably assembled by Robyn Husebye, were very busy; Melba Granlund put on a long warp for demonstrating, and it was woven to the end!
Sometimes it can seem tiring, filling out your shifts, running to the Guild for tags, checking in, checking out. Cindy Lund Owen posted the perfect perspective-changing essay on the Weavers Guild Yahoo list this weekend.
Fiber Fair is such a wonderful benefit to us as members of WGM. I used to feel that the 26% commission was too much, but now I have a different perspective. Two weeks ago I participated in a sale in Chicago. I paid $115 for booth rental (I rented the smallest size they offered), and for that I was given a 5’x8′ space, a bare table and a chair. I had to bring a table cloth to cover the ugly table, and any props, stands and mannequins required to display my wares. The venue had a system to collect the money for my sales, so at least I didn’t have to deal with that aspect of it. But if my customer chose to use a credit card to pay for their purchase, the 2.75% credit card fee was deducted from my “take”. I also paid a 15% commission to the venue and I am responsible for filing a tax form and submitting sales taxes to the State of IL. On top of that, I had to be present for all 7 hours of the sale on Saturday and all 7 hours on Sunday.
Fiber Fair is so much easier. We drop off our wares on Wednesday and some of our fellow members come and set everything up ( I thought they did an exceptional job this year). We work our 2 short shifts during the sale and when it’s all over we just pick up our unsold goods and go home and wait for a check. Fiber Fair is a great cooperative effort and we are so fortunate that this benefit is available to us. Many thanks to Nancy and Bonnie as organizers, and to Lynne, Madeline, Cathy, and Geri who managed the financial aspects of the sale (I hope I didn’t leave anyone out). And thanks also to all of my fellow members. I am so happy that I didn’t have to set up my display, be there for every hour of every day of the sale, and submit sales tax paperwork.
By all reports, this was a very successful event, and a prod to get everyone back to their looms and wheels – next November is coming up!