A week has flown by since we attended our first Kid-N-Ewe event as a vendor. We definitely learned quite a bit from our experience, but most of all we really enjoyed our weekend at the Kerrville Festival. The location was inside a wonderful event center which we were very grateful for this since Central Texas had just received a cold blast of winter weather. Had this been an outdoor festival I am certain our experience would not have been so pleasant.
Outside the festival, we chose as our accommodations, the Kerr-Schreiner Park. It is a beautiful park located along the Guadalupe River, just across from the festival site. We had originally planned for a tent site, but the week before the event the weather took a sudden turn for the worse. Thankfully the park still had a couple of their small cabins available for rent. The price was a little higher than we had planned for and it did end up cutting into our profits, but we could not have been able to make it through the weekend in a tent. The cabin was cozy and came equipped with bunk beds and a heater which was much needed. We were able to enjoy the beautiful Fall colors just outside our cabin during the cool, sunny mornings. Once we ate our breakfast it was a quick ten minute drive to the festival.
We arrived at the event late Friday morning, a few hours later than we had planned. Most of the vendors were already set up so it was pretty easy for us to find our spot. We made quick work of getting everything set up and were putting the finishing touches on it just as customers began to arrive at the show. The display shelves we built turned out beautiful and really helped set the mood we were shooting for.
Not only did we spend the weekend meeting and talking to a great number of wonderful customers and fellow vendors, but we also took a couple of classes to improve our own skills. Our 7 year old took a soap felting class and learned how to felt wool around a bar of soap. I think he really enjoyed that and he may very well begin adding a new product to our selection. I took a Navajo Tapestry weaving class and learned the basic fundamentals of weaving. Weaving has been something I’ve been interested in for quite some time and I was thankful to be able to learn the basics in this class. There’s not a lot of time in my busy schedule, but I had so much fun with the process that I hope to make it a regular evening activity. For some reason I didn’t take a picture of either of these items, but I will try to do so and update this article with them soon.
The Kid-N-Ewe Festival put on a competitive event for the vendors to enter clothing and accessory items they have made this year. My wonderfully talented wife entered the gorgeous vest she made. The wool is all from our very own sheep and she meticulously hand-spun every bit of it to crochet this beautiful vest. Apparently the judges agreed with our own assessment and her entry won first place for the crochet category! All of the other entries were wonderful works of love and each one of them received public recognition for their dedication to quality clothing. I am so very proud of my wife, not just for having won the competition, but for her determination to make this vest completely from scratch.
When the festival came to a close, we packed up our goods and headed home. When we did our final accounting, we unfortunately didn’t reach our financial goals and barely broke even from our expenses. Even so, the event was a wonderful experience and the people we met and things we learned were well worth the effort. We were asked if we would return to the event as vendors again next year, and we haven’t quite decided yet. There are some other great events coming up in 2020 and we definitely plan to attend those. We’ll just have to see if we can keep up our production enough to support the number of shows we want to attend.
I do know that all of the vendors at this year’s Kid-N-Ewe were top notch and we definitely have to step up parts of our game to set ourselves apart. We have faith in our wonderful wool and feel it is just a matter of time before we are able to cross the line into profitability at these festivals.
I want also to take a final moment to thank each and every person that stopped by our booth. Not everyone purchased a Whirl’d Works Farm item, but each and every one of them helped to make us feel welcome in the wool marketplace and shared their time and some wonderful stories with us. This is not something that you can put a price tag on and we were very thankful to be a part of the 2019 Kid-N-Ewe Fiber Festival.
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