After some deliberation I've decided not to attend this year's Intermountain Nursery Harvest Arts and Peace Festival. The past few years' sales have been dismal, with our booth making enough to pay booth fees, gas to get to the venue, and food, and not much else. The revenues certainly didn't cover the time and money spent preparing batches of soap and other natural body care products, even though I have been able to recoup some of the costs of preparing for the show through post show sales online.
And last year was particularly strange. I had always, since I began attending the show, thought of myself as somewhat of a permanent fixture there at the Harvest Arts and Peace Festival. Imagine how surprised I was to come to the show, sans canopy because my usual space at the show is in the shade, and found someone else setting up a booth there. I ended up in a fringe aisle in the sun. It was entirely my fault for not confirming my attendance, but like I mentioned, I felt like a permanent fixture there, and it wasn't unusual for me not to confirm. My bad for making that assumption. At any rate, most of my yearly customers had a hard time finding me and when they did they were surprised by where I was in relation to the rest of the show. And the second day I was there, I became very ill, either from being in the sun all day or from something I ate, I ended up lying in the back seat of my car for most of the second day while my mother, heaven bless her, worked our booth.
The decision not to attend a show that I've been sort of a fixture of for the past ten years or so really wasn't so difficult. Given the circumstances of the last show, and the fact that sales there for me have declined steadily for the past three or four years, the decision was really quite easy.
But there is a problem. I am now in full soap making mode! I've conditioned myself, I guess, to start hunting for soap making supplies and whatnot at this time of year. Today I'm making an olive oil and grapeseed oil soap, I have no idea how I will scent it, but I'm certain it will be something nice. Maybe frankincense and myrrh. Or patchouli and ylang. Or red cedar and sage. Or maybe over the next few days all of the above!
There is a show on the horizon. September 3, 2011 is the Renaissance Psychic Faire at Seasons Gifts & Gardens. I will be selling soap and maybe a few perfumes. And I will be conducting an exhibition making hydrosols using the white sage grown on site at the botanical gardens (at Seasons). And, if all goes as planned, signing people up for classes in soap making, distillation and Concepts in Natural Botanical Perfumery to be scheduled throughout the fall of 2011 and again in the Spring of 2012.
One door closes, another opens.
*Update: the soap, the newly made soap, The End of Chaos it's called, is made with olive, grapeseed and coconut oils, and scented with patchouli, olibanum, Turkish sage, ylang-ylang, antique cade (a drop), heli floral wax, champa concrete, frankincense and myrrh resins, antique safranum (spice), Egyptian incense (cinnamon, cardamom, fennel, rose petal, sandalwood, calamus).