Day One of Week One of my first year as a farmers’ market vendor has come and gone. Here’s what I’ve learned so far:
- We are most definitely NOT all created equal. When it’s 45 degrees outside for everyone else, it’s 35 degrees for market vendors who have to stand in one place all day
- If it seems no one has come by your booth in a while, just take a big mouthful of the lunch you’ve been dying to eat for hours, and a customer will instantly appear with lots of questions
- A cute little chocolate-coated, heart-shaped cherry truffle will melt into a grotesque anatomically correct version if the sun so much as brushes against a single ventricle, even when it’s 45 degrees out
- Just when you’ve finished loading the truck the night before with the contents of your entire stand, the spring on the automatic garage door WILL snap and leave you with no way of getting your vehicle out (BIG thank you to my friends Snow, Stan, and Terri for saving the day with their generosity and to Snow and Stan for their Subaru)
- If you’re short, like me, it’s best to tie your business sign to the top of the canopy frame BEFORE raising the canopy up to its highest height
- In a pinch, an orange, upside-down Home Depot bucket works great as a step stool
- When setting up and extending the legs of the canopy frame notch by notch, don’t get distracted and leave one leg lower than the other three. For an hour.
But then I’ve also learned this:
- A customer who comes up to your stand and says, “You’re one of the new ones here, aren’t you? I checked out your website and had to come check out your stand…” will bring the biggest smile to your frozen face
- A customer who leaves with a coffee caramel and then comes back 10 minutes later to get two more will also bring the biggest smile to your frozen face
- A frozen face and frozen fingers will melt in an instant when a customer comes up to your stand and says, “I heard I gotta try your banana caramel…”
- The camaraderie of vendors supporting other vendors is also a truly great feeling.
What frozen face? What frozen fingers? What cockeyed canopy?