April 13, 2011

In rain or snow or sleet or hail, just not wind

Holding down the tent on a gusty day.  Photo by Amy McNabb.
We firmly believe in being there for our customers.  We are part of the Charlottesville City Market nearly every Saturday morning for 9 months of the year.  We're there in rain.  We're happy to go when it's hot- we just bring a big bucket of ice as a swamp cooler.  We're happy to go when it's cold or snowing even- two pairs of socks, a handmade scarf, hand warmers and we're out there with a smile.

The one weather condition we can't stand?  Wind.

Little 8 mile an hour winds: not so bad.  One of the first things we learned about outdoor displays was: make them much heavier than you ever imagined they'd need to be.  We use cast iron wherever possible.  Lots of pins keep our tablecloths in place.  We've got 40 pounds of weight on the feet of our tent.  But you know what? Those random gusts are killers. A 15 mile an hour wind can make our tent balloon up, and make our earring display (10lbs) blow a few inches across the table. 20 miles an hour? We're taking our tent down as fast as possible, and holding our displays.

We've seen unweighted and unstaked 10' x 10' tents go flying at shows before.  Invariably, they land on either the ceramics person or the most expensive car in the vicinity.  (Hence our 40 pounds of weight on the tent legs, and our dual hold on the tent!)

We eventually lost the tent above to a particularly windy day.  It didn't go flying (thankfully!), but one of the cross bars that held the canopy in place just couldn't take it any more, and snapped.

So, if you come to the market on a really windy day, rest assured that we'll be there.  We'll still even be happy to make a custom pair of earrings while you wait.  So long as you offer to hold the tent.

1 comment:

  1. I recently bought your book, and whooo! I love it, it's wonderful, beautiful, and very interesting! I learnt many things (and I've been claying for more than 20 years...)
    Thank you so much for sharing this knowledge!