I was a vendor at the Wooster Fiber Festival in Ohio this past weekend. It was a 5 hour drive. Katie (my sister) and I left on Friday afternoon in our very well packed truck. We took 2 wethers, a ewe and her lamb and a yearling ewe with the intent to sell. I also brought raw fleeces, roving, yarn and a some sweaters/hats/mittens. Our theme was "Everything Shetland - from source to finished product". We were armed to educate and hopefully make a little green!
Large dog crates worked fine, but really would like to find a used cap for the pickup for future travels. We were a hit at every stop we made along the way, met 2 spinners from Vermont (Naturally) at the PA state line. They knew that they were Shetlands, which was a shocker. Most everyone else thought they were goats. Man, those goat people are way ahead of us in the marketing arena...
Those of you who have shown Shetlands are v. familiar with the crowds they attract. One refreshing thing about this fiber festival was that most of the attendees were vaguely if not very familiar with the breed, so I wasn't starting at ground zero when it came to educating passersby.
Children are always enchanted with the lambs.
I was spinning with my "recycled materials" drop spindle made from cd's and a dowel, no room for the wheel in the packed truck.
This remarkable young lady was a well spoken young spinner who was showing Tunis at the sheep show. I had contemplated showing here, but when I went through the barn I realized that not showing was a good idea. It was primarily focused on the large dual breeds. There was one pair of Finns there that we could have sat with, they were so sweet and out of place, I loved them and their owner, a little southern belle (originally from NY) in her pretty straw hat.
Cihat's fleece won first and Peony's second out of 7 entrants in the Fine Natural Colored wool class. My first time with entering fleece in a contest, so I was filled with anxiety (my thing, I'm a bundle of nerves when it comes to new stuff) and was amazed to have placed so well. I don't remember the judge's name, but she was really focused on strength, then cleanliness and softness. Fleeces that stood out were really clean and kind of sparkled compared with the rest.
We did sell the wethers for cheap, but they went to a really good home, so I was pleased. I did about $250 in sales, not stellar, but I price pretty high. My philosophy is I want people to really appreciate my stuff, and if they don't want it, I can always use it myself! So we didn't break even, but that wasn't really the goal.