This photo is from the show I did the weekend before last, and not from the Harvest Arts Festival ~ but the soaps displayed are the same, and so was the display layout. Jumbled country style?
This year's Harvest Arts was a blast! This is the first year I've done the show where the time flew by so quickly, I was surprised when they rang the end bell! I sold TONS of soap, got two hook-ups for teaching both soap and perfume-making classes, and was invited to contribute to a 6-week long indoor holiday craft show. It's up in Shaver Lake, my old childhood stomping grounds. So it was a fun, successful weekend.
On a down note ~ you could feel this coming, couldn't you? ~ I agreed to barter some soap with the now infamous 'goat soap lady' of Harvest Arts, and when I took three of my premium olive/shea/org. cocoa butter artisan style soaps to her booth to complete the trade, she tells me, "Y'know, I love to barter, but I don't want to use your soap. I've used only my soap for the past ten years and I just don't want to use your soap." Pause. "But you can take one of mine as a sign of good will." I could have slapped her. I did take one as a sign of MY good will, then I got bitchy as I walked away and threw her stinky feta rank soap into the trash can. I was so mortified while she was going on about not wanting to use my soap, I couldn't even speak. I just stood there thinking that now I know the reason why her soaps haven't evolved from what they were 7 years ago, when I first started doing this show.
She had come to my booth earlier in the day and we spoke a bit about soapmaking and the problems (hers, not mine) associated with soapmaking, and that's when the barter agreement came into play, and I was actually giving her advice. She bragged about her ten years of soapmaking experience, yet didn't know what a stick blender was, and was under the impression that NO metals could be used in the soapmaking process (she was speaking on the metal blade of the stick blender). I had to wonder as she was standing there if she used a steel pot to blend her soaps, or was she so paranoid about the metal issue that she was blending in plastic -- or wood? And she still stirred her soap with a wooden spoon, taking an hour to do what a stick blender does in four minutes. As I stated earlier, now I understand why her soaps haven't evolved from the curdled feta stage.
This was the second time I tried to befriend this woman, the first time we did complete a trade, but she was very unpleasant and touched the soaps I gave her like they were contaminated with ebola. I ended up throwing out the soaps she gave me because they smelled like milk-fed baby vomit scented with lavender.
On an up note (ha!) when I asked how she did this year she said, "Well, I still have to pay my booth fee," $110, "but, uh, I guess I did ok. I think I did." I did do well, though she didn't ask. Made my booth fee and nearly four times more than that.
So maybe all of this means I'm no better than she is as a person. But I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have blurted out to her face how I really feel about goat milk soap, and that she's the primary reason why I feel the way I do about them. No. I just kept my mouth shut. Until now :)