The main reason for our cutting back comes from the travel time required to get to the market (almost two hours) and the slow traffic at the venue on Sundays. However, we only see this as temporary and completely related to the post-Christmas drop in activity that should pick up soon. We also have booked vending dates into May already which is a lot earlier than normal for us.
In the four years we have been vending JamBusters! we have never vended during January. In fact, it was partly due to our interest in vending early in the year that we got involved in helping organize indoor markets in our hometown last February. This year we got itchy to get back at it in January and fortunately for us we have had a ‘home’ in the Oliver Indoor Flea Market.
Our plan this year – so far – is to stay based out of the Oliver Indoor Flea Market for the year. We will eventually add Saturday and Sunday vending back to that venue. But, we have also identified a few other venues we intend to add to our schedule. Whatever weekend date those fall on will be dates we will skip in Oliver. We did this for part of last year as well and it worked.
The only difference for us this year will be that we are likely going to reduce the number of outdoor events we participate in opting for as many indoor venues as possible. There will be a few outdoor ones we won’t drop, but for the most part, we will be in Oliver more in 2018 than we were in 2017 with additional events added as we go. It makes sense to us at this point.
Plus, in addition to Watkins Products that we can only vend in a few selected areas, I have added a brand new offering to our vending program. I have started to tie silk strands into hair. I call the sideline ‘Sparkle By Bee’ and have only just launched it. Essentially long, colourful tinsel-like strands of silk are attached to a single hair close to the scalp with a special tool and knotting.
There has been quite a lot of interest in the product and George was a willing victim or guinea pig – his words – allowing me to test my skills by adding some of the silks in his hair. He has not removed them and I think that’s pretty cool, actually. I have a few customers and expect it to grow as we get deeper into the season. George was supportive of new product right away.
Otherwise, both of us are excited about what 2018 can bring us as part of our vending business. We still enjoy the social part of the activities and have made some very nice connections in Oliver. In fact, we are building new friendships with fellow vendors and spending more time with them socially than we ever have done before. Maybe that will be the theme for us in 2018.