Thursday, July 23, 2015

First day of sales

I must be getting old. For the first time, standing on concrete for ten hours resulted in a sore back.

I finished my first day of sales here in Portland The first thing I did yesterday morning was meet my booth assistant, Mike. Well, he was terrific -- a classic nerd (and I mean that in the nicest sense of the word -- remember, I grew up with nerds), so we got along splendidly. He was a trooper through a long day of standing, he picked up the sales spiel in no time, he was attentive to customers and watchful for potential shoplifting. In short, wonderful.

It wasn't too busy a day for attendance at the event (not unexpected for a Wednesday), but I sold 16 pieces, so I had no complaints. Here's what my booth looked like before the event opened.

Mike is new to Portland and still getting a feel for the city. While I wasn't able to fill him in on much detail regarding Portland in general, I was able to tell him that attendees of this particular function are almost uniformly good-natured and just having fun. He contrasted this with some large celebrations in his home state that routinely saw riots and out-of-control behavior, so he was pleased to attend something much better controlled.

Before the event opened, I noticed these lines of preschoolers walking through, clutching a rope and attended by teachers.

The event received its share of news coverage.

I dread the thought of being the focus of a news team, but I had to do it last year and may be asked to do it again this year. (I'm far more comfortable behind a camera than in front.)

There were two fellows operating a drone, taking overhead footage of the event.

As I note afresh every year, Portland is the most tattooed city I have ever ever seen. I estimate 75% of the people I see have a tattoo.

Therefore it's ironic that the booth next to me sells "Temporary Tattoos," and it's popular with children and adults alike. Nonetheless the really neat lady (Linda) who runs the booth gets occasional, um, odd requests. Yesterday afternoon she had three fellows who had no problem dropping their drawers for a little decoration.

I got photos of all three men, but upon review I decided not to post two of them. (This is a family-friendly blog, after all.) Linda, who has received any number of interesting requests through the years, told me the gentlemen wanted to drop their drawers even further to accommodate the fake tattoos, but she refused.

Portland's unofficial motto is "Keep Portland Weird." I'm always gratified when I see people doing their best to keep the spirit alive.

I guess this lady was feeling exceptionally royal.

Creative hairdo.

I didn't see too many funny T-shirts, but here are a couple:

Here's the appropriate comment on the short of a five-year-old boy:

That's all the shots I had from yesterday. I'm off to visit a huge Goodwill store (a yearly indulgence) then onward for another day of sales. Wish me luck!


  1. Ha! Congratulations on the sales. This reminds me of my time at the Gainesville Farmer's Market... though it's probably even weirder in Portland.

  2. Go get 'em, kiddo!

    A. McSp.

  3. Hope your trip results in sales that cause you to bring ZERO steins home!
    God's Blessings to You and Yours

  4. Looking at those city folks leave me speechless. Please hold the applause until I can tell Patrice that I can't wait until she escapes gets back home!
    Montana Guy

  5. I am so glad that your helper worked out. I was worried about you being left high and dry. Good luck with the sales of your wonderful product!!!

  6. Your blog is just so darn fun and interesting.

    That is all.

  7. Funny stuff right there! Have a great sales day tomorrow....

  8. Concrete. Youch.

    I probably won't be the only one who makes this suggestion for your poor aching back....

    When I have a show, I always use a foot fatigue mat, even if my booth is on grass. (I bring a chair, but I stand most of the day, too.)

    I got my mats at one of those big box home-improvement stores. They work like a charm and prevent sore backs, legs and feet.

    They're inexpensive, so even though this is your only retail show now, and wouldn't need them very often, they'd be an easy addition.

    Sixteen! Woo-hoo! Off to a good start!

    Just me

  9. I look forward to these posts every year. Thanks!