Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Back from the wild wild west...

I'm back home from my working holiday, and it was great. Got to see my two brothers and their families in British Columbia; my sister who lives in Alberta (the province just east of BC) totally shocked me by showing up with her gang! So nice to be with my family.

Embarassingly enough with my family as witness, this was the most badly organized I have ever been for any craft sales event, and I realize now it was my own fear that made me procrastinate so ridiculously. And although it was shameful to be so ill-prepared with them all watching, thank goodness I had so many helpers at my disposal! I had people gluing and glazing and cutting and punching holes and making knots. I wouldn't blame them if they combined forces to be my main competitor at a future craft show.

Surprisingly, my poor organization was rewarded with surpassed expectations in sales, contacts and positive feedback. Vancouver's Powell Street Festival is the largest Japanese Canadian festival in Canada, and I was absoultely amazed at the number of people who attended. And the food - the food was soooo good! I think it's the super-fresh salmon that really did it for me; I ate sockeye every chance I had! No salmon photos, but here's one of the takoyaki stand; takoyaki is a popular snack at Japanese festivals, or matsuri: little dough balls with chunks of octopus inside - delish! This was particularly impressive for numbers of takoyaki they were churning out!

Here is the omikoshi - a portable shrine that is hoisted above the shoulders of gutsy festival goers, who are encouraged and yelled at to keep going by the crowd and by the people standing on the shrine, making it even heavier...
We were kept pretty busy at my table, in a high-traffic area with lots of shoppers. Can you see me back there at my table ?
Here I am! I think I went to washroom once on the first day. My display was a little flat with everything laid out on one level on the table. I couldn't bring my display stands with me in my luggage, so I had to make do. Turned out alright though, and sales were great ☺
And here I am with my ichiban and most patient craft assistant, Jean-Fran├žois.

I'll stop here and pick up again where I left off. From Vancouver, we went onto Nanaimo and then to Seattle....