Well I made it. Me & C. had it's official launch at the 2016 Forest City Flea. And let me tell you, it was one for the books.
The market was outdoors in a parking lot which I now know is one of the more challenging set ups, should you run into any adverse weather conditions like, say, a rain storm.
Which we did.
My friends had just stopped by my booth with their kids to say hello when the organizer, Paul from Heist, came over and said "You're gonna want to get this booth down as low as it can go. We're about to get slammed." I looked behind me and the skies were as dark as I've ever seen them. I lowered my tent as much as I could but my fancy-dancy garment rack got in the way.
Before I knew it, my husband Jim and I were holding the roof of the tent to keep it from blowing away, my friend Adrian was holding down the tent itself and my other friend Lisa was managing their two children, one sobbing while the other slept soundly through the entire calamity. I asked my mom to start pulling my shirts off the rack. By that time, they were the only dry thing left in the place... we were all soaked to the bone. I was pretty sure we were going to have to flee the Flea.
I laughed through the entire debacle, it was just so ridiculous. I thought I was totally prepared for bad weather with my big strong tent held down by expensive sandbags. When it was all over, you know who came out ok? Cindy from The Cob Shop... who lowered her tent all the way. Well done, Cindy.
The sun did come out again and we squeezed another hour out of the day, but when storm clouds loomed again we bailed. I did manage to sell some shirts, though, and made a few friends while I was at it. All in all, a wonderful day.
The lesson is this: before you start designing your booth display, talk to the people who've done it before. Especially if they've done outdoor markets in parking lots. Those people know what they're talking about.