Re: OMG- My first Festival Gig- Need your best tips.

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Posted by kenzi on May 31, 2002 at 17:06:25:

In reply to: Re: OMG- My first Festival Gig- Need your best tips. posted by Lauren on May 31, 2002 at 14:39:28:

I agree with Lauren's suggestions and will use her message to
add my suggestions based on my personal experiences.

: You definitely need a sunshade. Not only will it somewhat
: you from rain and sun, it gives you a "storefront" without which
: seem much less professional. Also it gives you a place to put
: signs, which is crucial. Make good signs with high contrast that
: be easily read from a hundred feet away or more. If people
don't kow
: what you do, they won't come by.

You can get a gazebo for about $40 at a store like KMart,
Woolworths, Rite-Aid, camping or sporting goods stores. These
are a little flimsy and a little time-consuming to put up compared
to a professional Craft Canopy or EZ Up but also cheaper. The
EZ Up is about $250 and goes up in about 10 minutes. make
sure you have some kind of weights to tie or tape to the feet of
whatever sunshade you use. I use 10 lb weights (from a weight
bench set) and tape one to each leg of the gazebo. Create an
inviting and beautiful space and make sure your sign shows and
tells what you are doing...just having books on a table doesn't
say much.
: You will also need a table for your working stuff and a table for
: pattern books. This can be the ends of the same table but you
: access to the working stuff without bothering the people

I suggest getting a TV tray table for your working stuff (or just a
plastic bin w/ cover which can be concealed with a piece of
fabric) and a folding table for your books. I have a 6 ft. long
folding table which cost me about $ has a handle so I can
carry it easily Get some nice fabric to cover your tables but not
so nice that you would be upset if someone spilled their food or
drink on it or if you spill lemon-sugar on it.

: Bring a friend who can talk and watch your stuff. I get so
: when hennaing that I sound like a total moron when I try to
: even simple questions. I also wouldn't notice if someone came
by and
: walked off with my books. Your friend will need to be able to tell
: people what henna is made of, how it works, where it goes
best, and
: how long it will last. Any unusual questions can wait for you to
: finish a line or whatever.

I am in total and vociferous agreement with this suggestion.
make sure the friend knows the whole rant about henna and
maybe even prep them on giving clients an idea of the prices.
When things are slow have your friend sit down for some
henna...nothing draws a crowd of clients like henna being done
before their eyes. Trust me on this, it works like magic.
: Some people mark prices in their books. I don't, as it lets me
: them depending on what else is going on. Also, it brings me
: better contact with customers as I find out what designs they
: like, even if it's not what they end up getting.

I agree with this also. Also, my prices have changed as I get
more experience. I now know that certain designs can be done
more quickly than before, or that other designs take longer or are
more like to be difficult if the person is a fidgeter. Sometimes
someone will pick out a design I love and I will lower price to
encourage them to do it! I am not one for sizing up the client to
see how much I get get them to pay; I find that it is a very hard
thing to judge so I just stick by my prices.

I also set a minimum price at $10. This weeds out the littlest
kids (tho I make exceptions for kids who really want it and
promise to keep stil and not to smudge..and I have some $5
designs for them; usually it's not worth doing these because you
end up fixing smudges and spend much longer on these $5

: Get books! Go to CCJ's bookstore and order one of everything!
: especially need Henna The Joyous Body Art and Spellstone. I
: recommend getting the download instead of the printed books
for two
: reasons. First, you can remove anything you don't want to do, or
: that takes too long or is too complex. People at a fair will wait in
: line for maybe 15 minutes a person but if you start to take
: they'll wander. Second, if and when somwthing is spilled on it,
: can go to your files and reprint the page instead of ordering a
: new book. Still, put the pages in a pocket protector. I also
: recommend a book of pictures of your work. Have at least one
set of
: pics with the same design with paste on, then paste off, then a
: later, then a week later. This will answer many questions if
: can see what the progression is like.

yes, and also be sure to have henna on yourself. Ideally it is
good to have examples of everything: fresh design on the palm
and on the arm to show the difference between henna on
different body parts and maybe some other henna elsewhere
that is a week old so they can see how it fades. You can also
henna your assistant to give even more examples. This helps a
lot and also is an advertisement for your skill.

: Make aftercare sheets with info on how to care for and keep the
: design. You can put your contact info on them and essentially
give a
: business card to everyone that gets a design. Also have
: cards so you look like more of a pro.

You may get people who don't want anything done that day but
want to hire you for a party in the future.

Another little tip: if you are doing lemon-sugar on people after you
finish their design ask them to come back in 10-15 minutes to
get dabbed; I find that most people are willing to come back for
lemon-sugar but if they are in a hurry have some teeny ziploc
bags and put a LS-soaked cotton ball in there for them to take
away. For the lemon-sugar I find the best receptacle is a
Chinese condiment disk. This is a little flat dish about 2.5
inches long by 1.5 inches wide with two equal sized wells. You
will see these in Chinese restaurants and they usually fill one
side with duck sauce and the other with mustard. I put the
lemon-sugar in one side and the cotton ball on the other side so
it doesn't get completely swamped and soggy sitting in the
lemon-sugar. You can get these dishes in most Chinese
groceries, or if you see them in a restaurant ask if you can buy
one or two from them!

Good luck with your fair and let us know how it goes!

p.s. photos below of our can see the gazebo in action
and also our sign. We have a bunch of Indian saris to decorate
the booth and the tables. At our last festival we had frames
photos of our work hanging inside the booth.


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