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The Hard Candy Christmas Show was great.  Surprisingly, the Friday after Thanksgiving - Black Friday - drew in a fairly large crowd.  Saturday slowed down quite a bit, but still a pretty good day for us.  We designed a whole new setup / layout for our booth at this show.  We were very happy with the way it turned out.  We even got several compliments on our display, some from crafters we had never met before, and some from crafters who had seen us at previous shows and were impressed with the improvement.  We also had several new items we introduced at this show.  Our Christmas Ornaments were a big hit, especially the 'Christmas Tree' Ornament which was our top seller of the weekend.  Aubrey made two 'IronWood' Trees to display the ornaments.  Also new were the Painted Daisy Card Holders, Copper End Tables, Maple Table & the 'Harvest Moon' Copper Picture.  Check out pictures of all the new items in our 2009 Photo Gallery.

Doris Hunter from Mountain Artisans did a great job organizing the Hard Candy Show.  We loved that the show was indoors, and the Ramsey Center at WCU was such a good location.  The setup inside was really nice; a large mat covered the gym floor and curtains separated the crafters.  We were in the middle of a center isle so we were happy with our spot.  We liked being able to leave our stuff set up at night and not have to worry about anything happening to it.  We went ahead and reserved our spot in next years SUMMERTIME Show the 4th of July weekend.

Now we are getting ready for our last show of the year with the Transylvania County Handcrafters' Guild.  Come and see us at the American Legion Building in downtown Brevard Friday Dec 4 & Saturday Dec 5 from 9 - 5 each day.  The Twighlight Tour will also be going on Saturday so there will be lots to do... and they are saying there is an 80% chance of snow so come inside and get warm!  Also, you can pick up some great Christmas presents for everyone on your shopping list.  Hope to see you there!
 
 
Well, let me start by saying that for this time of the year, the weather couldn't have been much worse on Saturday.  The temperature was just above freezing but there was also a cold wind blowing making it almost unbearable to be outside.  Once we got the tent up and everything set out, Aubrey went in search of a heater to keep me warm.  Luckily, I had Bella with me to keep me company.  I put her down inside my jacket with me to keep her from shivering and was hoping it would also benefit me, but since she is such a small dog she didn't produce enough body heat to do much for me.  Eventually Aubrey returned with a small propane Mr Heater and the sides of the tent to break some of the wind.  Although these things definately helped, it was still a long and miserable day.  And to top it off, the only sale of the day was in the morning while Aubrey was off looking for a heater and it was only for $16.  I was surprised at how many people did venture out in this weather to browse around, but that is all they were doing: browsing.  Many of the vendors decided to pack up and cut their losses for the weekend and not return on Sunday.  I was all for this idea, but Aubrey was sure Sunday would be a better day.

Reluctantly, we got up Sunday morning and headed up the mountain.  It was still cold outside and I really did not want to have another day like Saturday.  Then, I saw a ray of light... literally, a ray of sunlight... the sun was coming out!  We began to get our hopes up for a more productive day thinking more people would be willing to get out in the cold since it was at least going to be a sunny day.  Boy were we wrong!  I think about half of the vendors didn't return on Sunday which made the show look a little sparse.  And believe it or not, I don't think there was as good of a turn out of shoppers as there was on Saturday.  We didn't sell one single thing Sunday.

I would have been happy to have just broke even on our costs for entering the show, but with a total sales of only $16 for the entire weekend, we definately LOST money on this show.  Needless to say, I don't think we will be doing this show again!  And what is so disappointing is we had high hopes of this being a great time of the year for a craft show in our area with all the tourists visiting to see the beautiful fall colors of our mountains.

I also had other motives for wanting a good show this time, besides the obvious money issue... I just recently set up a merchant services account for us to be able to process credit cards from my blackberry at these craft shows and really wanted to try it out.  Oh well, I guess there is always next month at the Hard Candy Christmas show in Cullowhee the Friday & Saturday after Thanksgiving, which is sure to be better!  Hope to see you there!
 
 
Aubrey and I are leaving tomorrow to attend the 41st Annual 'Yellow Daisy Festival' in Georgia.  Until recently we had never even heard of this festival, but come to find out it has been voted the Nation's #1 Arts & Crafts Show SIX YEARS IN A ROW (Sunshine Artist Magazine).  The festival is held in Stone Mountain Park in Atlanta.  They host more than 500 artists & crafters and average 200,000 visitors over the 4 day period of the festival!  The show runs from Thursday September 10 - Sunday September 13.  We are looking forward to checking it out this year with hopes of applying to become a vendor next year.  I'll let you know how it goes!

Now for the really exciting news...  Aubrey and I got invited to be an exibitor at the 22nd Annual 'Hard Candy Christmas' show!  This famous show features 100 of Western North Carolina's finest artisans.   Each exhibitor is carefully screened to be the best in their field.  We are honored to have been asked to be a part of this event.
The show is held at the Ramsey Center on the Western Carolina University Campus in Cullowhee, NC the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving each year.  It has become 'A Mountain Tradition' and the largest Christmas arts and crafts show in the western part of the state.  To find out more click on the link to the website below:
www.mountainartisans.net

Mark your calendars now to come see us at the 'Hard Candy Christmas' show November 27 & 28 from 10-5 each day.  Admission is only $3 for adults; children under 12 FREE.  Sample delicious apples from Barber's Orchard, have a piece of peppermint candy from Grand Ma's antique candy jar, and find one of a kind gifts and Christmas ornaments.  We look forward to seeing you there!