Peggy and I started Sky Loom Weavers 12 and a half years ago. Back then we thought we could conquer the world, or at least the fiber world. We started with small booths that first year just to test out the whole fiber festival thing and we loved it. We almost immediately graduated to a double booth. We worked our way from simple wooden shelves set on ladders and applewood baskets to 6’ metal grid walls with all the trimmings – baskets of all sizes, shelves and a thousand hooks.
We have gotten very good, over the years, of packing, loading, unloading, set-up, tear-down, packing and loading for each show. Moving the grid walls was always the most exhausting part of the process. They are heavy and awkward. Some venues are perfectly set up for driving into the building and unloading right into your booth. Most venues are not quite that vendor friendly. There is usually pretty good access, but you still need a wheeled cart of some sort to get all your stuff from the trailer to the booth.
We still love doing the shows but the work of set-up and tear-down is getting harder and harder. This past year we have been pretty consistent about only doing small setups. We can manage a 10’ by 10’ booth without needing a four-day vacation when we get home. And with the small setup, we only need to bring what can fit in Peggy’s Jeep. No need for the trailer.
So, the first big change of direction - the trailer is gone. We sold it to my son-in-law who is thrilled to have it. As of now, if we can’t get it into Peggy’s Jeep, then it doesn’t go to the show. But Peggy has added some supplemental storage space to her already spacious Jeep. The turtle on top carries a huge amount of fiber and the shelf on the back bumper carries our hard cases of Shetland fiber. We are all set!
Except getting rid of all our extra infrastructure – all the stuff you need to set up a large booth. Yesterday morning Peggy came out to pick up the grid walls, shelves, hooks and baskets. They are going to an art center in Oklahoma sponsored by a friend of Peggy’s. Yay! That was quite a pile of stuff. It didn’t seem like so much when it lived in our trailer, but with the trailer on to its new home, all that stuff has been taking up room in my barn. That's the second big change of direction.
We kept a few of the grid walls plus we have all our lights, metal cubbies, metal display tubs, folding tables, empty plastic tubs of various sizes, a rack for shawls, hangers, baskets, etc. It’s a nice collection that we can use as needed for our various shows. It all lives in the tack room in the barn now. Most of the horse related equipment that took up that space previously is gone. Peggy and her husband have their saddles and bridles that always lived in my barn when they had horses out here. My saddles and assorted tack have gone to Peggy’s youngest son who trains both horses and riders up north. My daughter’s saddles and tack are still sitting here but will migrate into my house until she has room for them at her house.
There are a few things left that need to go to a new home. We have 4 mannequins that we won’t be needing, and we have a fairly huge selection of plastic tubs that would like a job at your house. As soon as I can get all this photographed, I’ll get them up on the website.