Over the Easter holiday weekend I peddled my wares at the British Science Fiction Convention, also known as Satellite 4 or Eastercon for short. This is my third year of selling at Eastercon, and it remains my favourite show.
Sometimes when I tell people how great selling at Eastercon is, they are confused. But this is my demographic– imaginative readers, fans who are enthusiastic and full of wonder– my work appeals to these folks, and I am one of them. There is a sense of authenticity being there. The cons are volunteer run, putting paid-for events to shame– the difference? Vendors are not seen as paying customers but as fellow fans in the community. I’ve sold at many other events where stalls were pricey and as a vendor you just weren’t treated with respect or consideration.
I don’t do a lot of events, as the my internet shops keep me very busy. Live selling is a different way of working, especially for an introvert like myself. You bring all your hard work with you, you set it up so it’s enticing and then you sit there for hours, days. You’ve gotta have something in common with the folks coming to your booth, something to chat about. Eastercon is perfect for that. Now people know I’ll be there so they come to talk about what they are reading or writing and the panels they’ve been to. There is a real feeling of community. Folks will come modeling new purchases or ones from years back so I can see them. I love this part of live selling– you get to actually see your creations as they were meant to be worn– by people who love them. What also amazes me about this crowd is they immediately get that mine is a small, fan-run, one-woman handmade business and the people who come by my stall want to support that.
Of all the places I’ve sold, Eastercon is the place where I see people in love picking out things for their beloved. This is a regular occurrence at Eastercon– I kid you not! Romance is alive and well in fandom. It’s become my new benchmark for making– could someone give this to the love of their life? If the answer is yes, then it goes on my stall and in my shop.