Wild & Wanderful

Happy 150th, West Virginia!

Katy McKinleyComment

Dear West Virginia,
When we first met 10 years ago, I had no idea the hold you would have over me.  Every time I’ve tried to leave you, I always come back.  Your beauty, spirit and awesomeness makes me fall in love with you over and over again.  I’m inspired daily by you.  No other state has such an underdog-type story where the people are constantly fighting for the betterment, empowerment and appreciation of their land as much as you do.  It’s impressive and I can’t wait to see where our relationship takes us in the years to come.

Oh – and Happy Birthday, you gorgeous girl!
Forever yours, KatyM.

^^Shameless/shameful selfie and proof that my hair and lack of sweaty demeanor did exist earlier in the day.  Which was obviously before I started carrying all of those big items around to set up my booth in 80+ degree weather.

Yesterday was West ‘By God’ Virginia’s 150th Birthday!  Whoop whoop!  You go, West Virginia!  The city we live in (Wheeling, WV) is actually the birthplace and original capitol of West Virginia back in 1863.  June 20, 1863 to be exact.  So they had a huge celebration and tons of events all week long and into this weekend.  I was invited to vend and sell my items and I took a chance.  Good thing I did…I did really well yesterday and was crazy busy the entire time.

I brought my camera with intent on taking pictures of the people I’d met and the friends that had visited me but I was seriously so {freaking} swamped the entire time I was there that I only had a chance to snap a few.  Luckily I got to sneak this one in with these two gorgeous gals.  Thanks for stopping by and all of your continued support, ladies!  You have nooooo idea how much I appreciate seeing actual in-the-flesh people that have purchased things from me or who are active on my fanpage.  It means the world.

It was a lot of fun to see so many of my designs being worn on the good people of Wheeling yesterday.  My heart was super full.  And my feet were super tired…but that’s beside the point.  Last minute, the City of Wheeling (ahem, Allison McAdorableDimples) contacted me and asked that I make a special 150th Birthday design.  And then they put me on TV to act like the nervous-giggly dork I am during interviews (here).  And I do believe that I even made a special shirt that was gifted to Governor Earl Ray Tomblin.  So basically – I had a lot of late nights, caffeine and super-stress moments leading up to WV Day.  Worth it.

My booth concept this time around was similar to what I did at the regatta last September but obviously there were differences.  I tried to make my window decals a little more visible, so I had that out front with a pegboard that I tied on with twine.  Because twine goes with everything.  I also had a new table covering that I made from a shower curtain I decided I didn’t like for my bathroom and some fabric I had laying around.  That’s how I roll, people.

I also wanted my bows to be noticed, so I taped some ribbons (that kept falling down, gah!) to the side of my shelving unit.  I thought they looked all sweet, lined up like that.  At least they were sweet when they weren’t on the ground.

My mannequin is always quite the topic of conversation.  Either people are freaked out by him, think he’s real until he doesn’t move for a while or they think he’s strange enough to take a picture next to…all the while posing like him.  Maybe at this point I should give him a name?  Suggestions?

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^^Stolen Borrowed photos from my friends’ Facebook pages.  Yes, I know both of these men.  And yes, I’ve greatly considered hiring them to be live models next time around.

Thank goodness our friend Tanya tagged along for the day.  She saved my life at certain points.  I was seriously bombarded from all sides by people, hungry for shirts.  Tanya handled it like a boss and helped ring sales, take custom orders and (most importantly!!) get me a beer from the beer tent because I desperately needed it.

For one day only, I will refer to her as Saint Tanya.  Haha.
She also let me get away with making a horrible joke, followed by me saying “Child, please!” so I say she completely earned her sainthood.

And some more random photos of my booth for your enjoyment. :)

Things I learned for next time?  Get some sort of battery pack/backup for my phone.  I had to rely a little bit on this solar panel to keep my phone juiced but I didn’t have enough time to let it sit.  Holy cow does my battery die quickly when it’s in constant use.  I used Square for every purchase…cash, credit or check.  It gave me a rundown of everything and I had sales tax calculated for me – and it keep track of my sales in their entirety.  So it is a blessing and a battery drainer at the same time. 

See?  I’m learning and growing each time I do one of these.  Right now, I’m waiting to hear back from the Oglebay Institute to see if they’re accepting me for Oglebayfest this October.  It’s a huge event for our area and has a large craft/food vendor section.  I have been too chicken to apply in the past so this was my first juried show that I’ve tried to get into.  Fingers and toes crossed that they like me!