The last time I was vending was in the mid 70’s. At that time I was more interested in introducing people to rug hooking and getting classes than I was selling patterns and wool. Vending has certainly changed in the last 40 plus years!
At the end of February, I went with Stephanie and Lindsay to Punta Gorda, Fl to the Harbor Hook-in held by Searsport. The hook in was held at the convention center downtown Punta Gorda. It was the perfect place for a hooking event. The center of the large airy room was filled with rug hookers from all around who came for the two-day event. All the vendors set up displaying their products around the perimeter of the conference center. There was an exhibit of hooked pieces along one wall of the center. What a haven of supplies of every kind for the rug hooker and fiber artist! Display racks and systems of all kinds filled booths of varying sizes and overflowed with colors, textures, designs and equipment. Very different from 40 years ago when the vending events I attended consisted of a folding table or two and if you could figure out a way to hang a couple rug samples, you considered yourself lucky!
For me, this first time vending with Green Mountain Hooked Rugs was fun and exciting. I made several trips to each of the vendors delighting in what they had to offer. Our Green Mountain Hooked Rug booth had a steady stream of rug hookers and friends admiring and purchasing the dyed wools, the Green Mountain Design patterns as well as the getting time with Stephanie and Lindsay. I sat outside the booth and hooked on a primitive design oriental and enjoyed chatting with those who stopped to ask about the pattern or the “how to” of the art of hooking.
The Convention Center
A small sample of some of the pieces on exhibit
On Thursday morning Stephanie was scheduled to teach a class on “color planning your pattern”. When she found she had 25 students enrolled in a class she had only expected 8 or 10, she adjusted her topic to be more interactive and participatory for all the class members. Everyone was eager to learn the points about color, chroma, value and how to apply them to the pattern for the ‘feel’ the rug hooker was after that Stephanie offered. Stephanie shared “questions” that one should ask of oneself when starting to plan a rug to aid in the planning and development as well as being able to move beyond that sticking point of “what do I do now because this just doesn’t look right.” Several had brought in their pieces and Stephanie used them as examples to explain her points and engaged the class members in the discussion and possible solutions available. Many from the class shared that it was the best class they had ever been to on color planning and dealing with the ‘trouble spots’.
Stephanie's class on Color Planning and Problem Solving