Geekcraft Expo is like a craft fair but for the geeky, nerdy and all around marvelous. It’s been going for several years now, popping up in various locations around the United States. I’ve vended at three previous expos, with various degrees of success. The show is well run. The showrunners go out of their way to take care of vendors, from helping to load and unload, to offering to man booths when solo vendors need a pee break. When I was deciding what events to attend I took that attitude into consideration.
I’m still not used to traveling so light to shows. My prep for this one only involved cutting out circles of fabric. I woke up at noon that Friday and was packed up and ready to go by two. I didn’t even have to lay down the back seats to fit everything. All in all it was one of the easiest starts to an event I’ve ever had.
I don’t know what alchemy was at work over the last eighteen months, but I feel like I leveled up in many ways. There was never a moment during the weekend when I felt anxious or panicked. At one point I realized that I needed more baskets for pins and tablecloths. I just located a nearby dollar store and picked up what I needed. I would have spent time berating myself in the past for not being prepared. Now, it was all NBD.
That confidence in my abilities to meet and overcome obstacles, and the self-assuredness in my skills is new. I first noticed it a month or so ago, and I’ve been marveling at it ever since. For someone who has spent her entire life an anxious mess, the feeling is liberating.
I stayed at a Motel 6 this time. It fit all my room requirements: clean and with a door that locks. This time around I learned a new room requirement: that it has a bathroom. The first hotel I booked informed me (after I had completed the reservation) that the room didn’t have a bathroom. I quickly cancelled that booking and went with a chain. Maybe one day I’ll be so successful that I can stay in fancy, four star digs. Right now, though, cheap is the name of the game.
As for the event itself: sales were solid, people all wore masks and were friendly. Moira came the first day to hang out and help, and I returned home happy. I made booth and then some. People really liked the buttons. I was especially pleased that people liked the buttons I had made myself. I spend a lot of time not thinking of myself as clever. It was encouraging to see someone giggle over my cryptid button or choose the dice goblin one.
People were also fascinated by the sight of the button presses in action. I feel like a lot of people are far removed from the process of crafting. So that actually seeing something made is like witnessing magic. Several times I ended up making a button just to demonstrate how the presses worked. One day I would like to offer paper blanks for kids to decorate. Then I could make their custom pins right there in front of them.
All in all I left Madison feeling like I have my vending legs back. I stopped on the way home to treat myself to some Taco John’s. I opted to sit in the parking lot to eat, rather than trying to wolf down my food as I drove. It may seem silly to say being able to take the time was a luxury that I have not often afforded myself. I’m usually in a rush to get home as quickly as possible after an event. Again, I find that a part of me has changed. I don’t feel rushed or pressured. I can take the time to enjoy the journey.
This Saturday I’ll be helping Moira out at her event (Oddities & Curiosities in Chicago), and then I’m off until the end of September when I’ll be heading to Milwaukee for the Paranormal Conference and Witches Faire. I’ll be leading a workshop there, so I’ll be spending my downtime polishing my presentation. If the workshop does well, I will pitch it to some other pagan/witchcraft events.
Between all the events, and getting back to work on the next book, I’ve got plenty to keep me busy over the next few months.