Less than ideal conditions (long post and a question)

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Posted by Lauren on May 28, 2002 at 17:42:15:

We had a very interesting weekend of henna and coffee.
My husband and the baby and I went to Half Moon Sober Fest, an
alcohol and drug free weekend of music and workshops. So far as we
can tell, it was started by some people who liked Rainbow Gatherings
but wanted the fun, community, and spiritual aspects without the
chemicals. Lots of people in recovery and 12-step programs, lots of
families, lots of teens.
We got there on Friday to find two other coffee vendors and a stick-
on fake tattoo booth. After we got set up, I went over to the tattoo
folks to make friends and see what they were doing. One of the girls
running the shop got ALL excited about my hand design, so I invited
her back to out booth to learn more about henna. She came back
NINETEEN times over the weekend, each time bringing a new person or
two with her. This was especially appreciated as the next booth to
set up was a Temptu handpainted fake tattoo place. Although we did
to some extent take business away from each other, I thought it was
nice to see a spectrum from art (me) to paint-by-numbers art (Temptu)
to not-art-but-cheap. I had been concerned that since I was so much
more expensive than the others, I wouldn't get customers, but this
turned out not to be the case. When I went to make friends with the
Temptu people, one guy said he'd heard that henna was dangerous. I
told him about black versus natural henna and I hope I solved that
I did a lot of nice work from CCJ's book, which I expected, but
Spellstone Tribal was way more popular than I expected, and I was
expecting a lot! If you don't have this book, you HAVE to get it!
It's incredible.
Here's my question- what do you do when things beyond your control
make for less than ideal conditions? It was nice during the day but
got cold quickly once the sun went behind clouds or trees. I was
using tested terped paste, and I asked about sunscreen and lotion use
and I gave everyone an aftercare sheet, so I was doing my best. One
lady came back and said her design didn't take and as an example
showed me the very dark-design hand of her friend, then her own back
of the shoulder design. I had told her that hands are best, and that
it would get darker over time, and that it would work better when it
was warmer out. I think she was expecting her money back, but as she
was told all this, I don't feel particularly responsible. I had
people come by after dark when it was right around 50 degrees wanting
henna. I told them it was too cold and they should come back
tomorrow but they insisted, so I did them. The upper back design was
really pale the next day, so I told her to give it another day to
darken fully and if wasn't better I'd redo it. A couple of people
never came back, so I hope their bellies and armbands tunred out
okay, even though I'm fairly sure they didn't. Do you pack up when
it turns cold, even if people still want designs after being told
they won't come out well?


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