My 7th Junk Ranch is done and one for the history books. It was a great show with terrific weather. It wasn't overly cool but not too hot either. The sun beat on your head and made you warm, but not sweaty. So great outdoor shopping weather. The gates open on Friday at noon, so cars start streaming in from early morning until almost 6:00 that night so it is hard to tell how many cars come and go from my vantage point. But on Saturday, the line started forming until the gates open at 9:00. I watched cars come in the gate bumper non-stop until 3:30! It is so much fun to see people come to an event that has had so many people working so hard to prepare, make, create and set-up.
The show seemed to go seamlessly this year with little complaining from customers. In the past, there was a FREE service for a group of strapping young Ranch Hands to come pickup your heavy furniture or oversized items in a gator with a trailer, They would deliver them to the loading zone for FREE and then load those items in your vehicle for FREE. For FREE. But, people complained that it took too long or they had to wait in line too long and on and on and on. Then customers started saying it was too hot or too far to carry things, so the Ranch Hands would go to pick up something at a vendors booth only to discover it was a light metal wall hanging or in one case - a basket of tomatoes. This was completely abusing the system which did make the lines long and the wait lengthy. But still it was a FREE service. The Ranch hands were local high school football players and local young men that were solely working for tips, but the many of the people using the FREE service weren't tipping either.
So, this year you could still get an item picked up and loaded at the loading zone, But, there was one simple change. It cost $5.00 for the service. You should have seen the giant things I saw people schlepping out to their cars. It's funny what you can suddenly do when you have to PAY for it. This freed up the wonderful owners (HI AMY) and Ranch hands to take care of other business and even SHOP a little! Yay!
This year, my booth was moved over a few spots so I was the very first booth inside the gate to the left. Lara was next to me. Since she got a full time job and is so very busy now, she was worried that she couldn't fill up an entire booth by herself, so she asked our mutual friend, Laurie to use half of her booth. Between the three of us, we shared a mutual check out area which allowed shoppers to shop all three areas before they paid. Lara had her sweet prints and her painted signs and a bit of vintage and Laurie had Dictionary prints and a lot of vintage so they paired up well. I had vintage Christmas palooza in my booth. I also had vintage this and that and a mix of my usual handmade jewelry, ephemera and Halloween items. I suppose it's time for some photos, eh?
This year we could start set up on Wednesday. This works well for trailers full of giant things that can be loaded out into big piles and for me with my millions of smalls in an SUV. The Breadman took a load with my tent, tables and staging things and I took a load of Christmas. (I sold all my blowmolds!)
We set up the tables and the tent, unloaded the merchandise, put down the walls and left until Thursday. Yes, Pam, that is a short tent! We discovered the walls cover more area if we drop the sides down.
The tables were uneven, so The Bean crawled under there and worked on it like he was changing the oil on a '65 Mustang. Minus granny's old fruit motif tablecloth, of course. I couldn't do this show without his help. Bless that boy. He knows what to do, when to do it and how to do it. He sets up my tent and tables and then he helps Lara set up hers too. If the sun suddenly appears to be on my arm, he disappears to go around the fence and adjust the umbrella so it won't burn me. He is just the nicest. :)
A fun photo shoot set up in the middle of the Junk Ranch. There were several different spots, but I only saw this one from the car to my booth. I did not walk around at all this time - I just stayed in my booth selling. I LOVE my vintage stuff, but most of the fun FOR ME is finding it in the wild. So, to have it all laid out at my feet takes a bit of the fun away from it. Besides, I am there to sell - not shop! I do love to look around to see what others have found and to wonder where they found it. There are also fabulous displays and friendly vendors, so I do like to look around a bit normally.
My set up is about the same in the manner that I set up my tables and shelves. This time Lara and I flipped spots and the traffic came from a different direction, so I flipped my set up around. Next year I will do the tall side on the side where the traffic comes so they will see ALL THE STUFF when they enter the gate. We also forgot the leave room for us to hang out behind our check out table, so we didn't get to sit close and visit as much we usually do. SAD FACE. I only mention this here so I will read it next Spring to remind myself.
Friday I had Halloween here on the end. People looked at it, but missed a lot of the things on the inside.
So, Saturday I moved it inside under the tent and put the framed flashcards and Scrabble words out on the table outside.
Here is what it looked like inside on Friday. I was possessed with finding bulk frames so I could take a lot of those giant framed flashcards. Last Spring, I sold about 30 of them, I think. Friday I sold ZERO. Ha. Good thing I didn't spend a fortune on frames for a hundred of them! After I moved them, I ended up selling quite a few. I really like this area of handmade and ephemera. It probably cluttered for some, but to me it's kind of simple. I like it.
That sectioned box in the center held individual Scrabble tiles sorted alphabetically. In the past, I had only my packaged words to sell and people would ask for names or words that I didn't have. So, I took the individual tiles and wondered if it was worth the space. HECK YEAH. One lady spent $35.00 on letters and racks. I think I probably sold over $200 just in Scrabble tiles. I had them 2/$1 and no one batted an eye at that. I still think those things are crazy, but who am I to turn down money? Now I need to find more Scrabble games!
I sold a lot of my flashcard sets. I have adapted them and changed cardstock over the last year, so I rounded them all up and sold them for $2.00 a bundle since they were all a bit different.
Last Fall, I made hundreds of bags full of vintage Christmas ornaments and I sold a TON of them. So, this year I mad even more of them. I put them in the old bassinettes so people could dig, but I didn't sell as many as last year. I still sold a lot, don't get me wrong. But they weren't as popular as last time. I think they would display better hanging on gridwire, but I don't have space for that there.
That darn tent leg drives me crazy right in the center, but that's just part of selling outdoors. I bought that painting of the choir boys last week and I love it. It is huge as you can tell. It is a group of choir boys from Washington County School and it was painted by their choir director. I wish I had a spot for it, but I don't. I used this area for all the boxed ornaments. I also had a lot of loose nice old ornaments, so I placed two to four ornaments in a berry basket with shredded sheet music and then put it in a clear produce bad and tied it with baker's twine. That way the price point was better too. I sold a lot of them and was told may packaging was creative. It was purely accidental that I thrifted a stack of berry baskets one day and a case of vintage produce bags the next.
Maybe this explains why I like that simple table. BAM. Lots of stuff. I mixed up vintage Christmas and fun vintage finds on this wall. People loved digging in that big bowl of cookie cutters. Lots of things sold on this wall. Yay!
This was on the back and where I could see all day long. It was a hodge podge of vintage Christmas. I heard the word "Grandma" and "Mom" a lot while people looked around. The santa mug shelf brought out the most memories. They were every popular.
Yes, there's MORE! Inside under the tent. A mish mash, but a fun mish mash. Lots of this sold too.
I sold this wreath which made me VERY happy. The buyer was not who I envisioned buying it. He was a six foot tall black guy wearing head to toe Steeler's clothes. He was also very excited about the wreath. That made me doubly happy!
I set up a vintage toy area back my the fence. I sold a few things, but I think I have finally learned that old toys just do not sell for me. Everyone loves them, everyone looks at them and everyone has memories of them, but no one actually buys them. So, I will save myself the trouble of taking so many next time. (But, I do so love to buy them!) As we were loading in the almost darkness, another dealer stopped by and fell deeply in love with both of the cribs and the red Christmas tree and whisked them all away with her. That last minute sale paid for dinner!
I love my banner. See that basket of pinwheels? I was at Wal-Mart a few weeks ago and they were on sale for 5¢ each, so I bought $4.00 worth. I gave them to the kids that came into the booth. They were all so happy to get them! And the parents were happy that they had something to focus on and not want all the things. Sorry other vendors. I had fun handing them out and I hope that I can find something like that to do each time. I always put soft peppermints out with my business cards and they are always gobbled up.
My accountant says I did okay this year.
The Junk Ranch has such a fun atmosphere. It is fun to be there as a vendor and I can tell the shoppers have fun too. I always tell them I am envious that they get to shop there! I still can't believe I have done this seven times! You'd think it would be the same old, same old. But it's always different and it's always new/old junk so you have to plan ahead and be prepared when you get there. I always manage to take three loads out, but get it back in two. That's the sign of good packing and good sales. When we were all loaded up this time we had one thing left and not one square inch to pack it. Oddly enough, it was an empty Rubbermaid tub that I could have easily put in the car first then filled up. But it got overlooked. I offered it to other vendors, but no one wanted it. So, I jumped on that sucker and broke it to smithereens. Not because I was mad (I threw a thirty pound typewriter across the field at the first JR and stomped a hat box to death at one after that), but because I had to get rid of the darn thing. Those things are pretty tough, but I did it, by golly!
I met a lot of new people, some that follow me on Instagram, some on Facebook and a few that read this blog. (BTW, if you are the nice lady that wanted a coffee cup pendant I found one - drop me a line!). I gained 65 new Instagram followers and found a few new people to follow myself. It's nice to be outstanding in a field with others that are outstanding in the same field. Literally and figuratively!
Thanks again for always coming here for these recaps and for listening to my stories. And for the virtual back slaps and good lucks. You guys ROCK!