We've officially survived our first PJP On The Road experience this weekend. The King's Daughters Holiday Extravaganza was our official foray into the festival experience. Here are my thoughts from 18 hours of talking about PJP to 3,000 to 5,000 shoppers...
- I'm putting ten thoughts here, but honestly, the main thought I had was "I would like to sit down for 3,204,125 hours when this festival is over." Frame everything else I say here with the reminder that there exists no cute shoe in this world that is comfortable for nine hours IN A ROW.
- Festivals are actually sort of fun. You know what isn't fun? Hauling all the stuff in to create a cute booth and then hauling all of your cute booth stuff out to the car when it is over. And then unpacking your car and taking it all back into your store and figuring out what to do with it all. You know what someone should sell at a booth at the festival? That service.
- People who come to these events to sell their product are hardcore. For the most part, the venue was crowded and hot, bathroom breaks were sparse, and the food for purchase from the Holiday Inn bordered on sketchy. The snack bar offered a "vegeterian" option. It took everything in my soul not to whip out a Sharpie and correct the spelling error.
- If you can staff your booth just right, you can take turns shopping and spend 1/3 of your booth revenue on Jamberry nails, Pink Zebra candles, and Origami Owl necklaces. Working while taking breaks to shop is my niche market.
- Because the store was open and busy with a lot of orders and because she is a natural introvert, Jeanne stayed at PJP Buttonwood while I stayed at PJP King's Daughters. I had delightful help from Lindsey and Kayla, the girlfriends of our two male bakers, Mitch and Mac. So basically, we have sucked them into the PJP vortex and while we sold pie, we drank some white wine and discussed the Kardashians. These girls get me, I'm telling you.
- It is great that I had extra help at the booth because I had the opportunity to chat with tons of people I hadn't seen in ages. I took Latin from 8th grade through 12th grade from the same teacher and I saw her yesterday after many years and just like always, she is a TRUE DELIGHT. I also saw the doctor that delivered both my babies. And a lot of people who remembered Peg and stopped by to chat. It was basically like an odd version of "This Is Your Life", minus host Ralph Edwards.
- Because I am a control freak, I spent every minute that I wasn't talking to customers or shopping for myself (ahem), calling Jeanne to check on PJP Buttonwood. You know what isn't reassuring? Her answering her phone "OMG, so busy, can't talk, gotta go" and hanging up on me. And then not calling me back for three hours.
- People tend to think Jelly Jar pies are jelly. Or jam. Or candles. Or potpourri. Or if they accept they are pie, they think they must be unbaked pies. Once they accept that they are fully baked pies in 4 ounce canning jars, they buy one or two or six and promptly pop open the lid and eat it in our booth while talking to us.
- We teamed up with Lizzie and Rocco's to do a Puppy Pie. We provided the dough and Jessica at Lizzie and Rocco's made the turkey and sweet potato filling so that when you are picking up your pies, your dog can have a Thanksgiving treat as well. We took 49 and sold 49, so clearly people don't want their pets to feel left out on Thursday. And Puppy Pies aside, I'm fairly certain that Jessica is my sister-from-another-mister. If I've said it once, I'll say it a hundred times...making new friends is the most unanticipated and most fun parts of the PJP story.
- In total, we sold about 600 Jelly Jar pies, 50 baby pies, 49 puppy pies, 8 tea towels, and a partridge in a pear tree.
We will be back next year. 12 months should be ample time for my tired feet and legs to recover, right?