When Good Shows Go Bad: Dealing with Inclement Weather

Handmade and Bound Con Recap

I ended up catching a really nasty cold after doing Handmade and Bound.  I think most of the damage was done Friday. It's not that I didn't prepare for the cold at all, it's that the cold didn't adhere to that day's weather forecast, and I'd forgotten that sitting all day in the cold, in the shade (even on a beautifully bright day) is much different from being in the sun, in partial sun, or being able to walk around.  By Saturday, I knew not to trust the weather forecast, and brought a blanket and an compression glove, but no hat or scarf.  By Sunday, I had a scarf, but the weather warmed up enough that it wasn't quiiite necessary.  It would've been almost pleasant, if it hadn't rained the entire day.

Heat.  Cold.  Damp.  Even lighting conditions can play a huge role in not only how your sales weekend goes, but in how you feel emotionally and physically.

With outdoor shows, keep in mind that you're going to be out in the elements all day- an hour stretch, moving, is one thing, but sitting beneath a tent on a cold day can really be taxing.  A one day show, like the Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival, can be bad enough when the weather turns ugly, but it really becomes a slog when you have multiple days of inclement or harsh weather.  Also remember that weather forecasts aren't perfect by far- you try to prep, but you may still be caught unprepared.  Keeping some of these items in your car, just in case, can prove quite beneficial.

Any Weather
Drink plenty of water
Bring snacks
Dress in layers- often the day starts off cool and dewy and heats up fast
Consider investing in a tent- owning rather than renting can help save money in the long run

These are a great place to start:

Rest ice, or ice cold bottled water, against your wrists, back of neck, or hold it in your palms
Dress in layers, so as the day heats up, you can remove layers to adjust your comfort
Make sure your table is in a shady spot, or bring umbrellas to create your own shade
Wear a brimmed hat and sunglasses
Take breaks to cool down
Take breaks to eat
Bring disposable ice packs to keep your food and drinks cold
Stay hydrated!

Invest in either disposable hand/body warmers, rechargeable, or both
Dress in layers- wear fleece lined leggings or UnderArmor, warm, fluffy socks, bring hat, scarf, and gloves
Bring a small lap blanket
Drink hot beverages
Take breaks to eat- you'll need your energy!

Lay Visqueen (plastic lining) or a tarp beneath your table if you store stock under the table.
Carry all goods in plastic containers with lids on when not accessing goods- Dollartree has a decent, inexpensive selection, and Sterilite is an inexpensive option available in a variety of sizes
Invest in a wheeled, locking, plastic storage trunk to store merchandise safely

  • Stanley 50 Gallon Mobile Chest: https://amzn.to/2R8QSYG
  • J Terence Thompson Large Wheeled Storage Trunk: https://amzn.to/2Sd1s2n
  • Contico Storage Locker, 23 Gallon Storage Locker: https://amzn.to/2RfKvmP
  • Sterilite Footlocker: https://amzn.to/2CYtWbX (pack of 2)
  • Remington Heavy Duty Weathertight Storage Trunk: https://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/remington-sia-760d-heavy-duty-weathertight-storage-trunk#?repChildCatid=1186787
  • Plano Storage Locker: https://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/plano%C2%AE-storage-locker#?repChildCatid=3516443
Invest in side walls for your tent, or stretch tarps across the open walls
Consider an abbreviated setup

Purchase inexpensive, battery powered LED lights either from DollarTree or Amazon.
I happen to really like these:

  • Stick On Tap Light: https://amzn.to/2D609y0
  • Touch Activated Stick On Lights: https://amzn.to/2CFZUIM
  • White LED Party Lights for Paper Lanterns: https://amzn.to/2CD4vLX
  • String Lights, Indoor/Outdoor, Battery Operated: https://amzn.to/2D4OJu9

Other Experiences with Wild Weather:

Torrential Rain
Cherry Blossom Festival Recap (2018)

Cherry Blossom Festival Recap (2017)

Firefly Artisan Fair

Don't let weather completely deter you from outside events- many of my best shows are outside.  Outdoor events attract families, and if the weather's cooperating, people are often in a laid back, congenial mood.


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