When I do shows, be they conventions or craft shows, I always being a bag of jewelry supplies and tools with me. That way, I can switch out earring wires, adjust necklace lengths, do quick customizations and the occasional jewelry repair. Yes, I have even been known at really slow shows to make additional easy pieces. But when I started doing renaissance festivals last year, I realized my brown craft bag, while useful, looked badly out of place.
Being a vendor at a renaissance festival is a bit different that being a vendor elsewhere. You become part of the period feel of the event, part creator, part entertainer, and part educator. I realized that the shows went particularly well for me when I was able to demonstrate my viking knit jewelry. But I started to be embarassed by my clearly out of place plastic containers and such. So, after my last faire in the fall, Nathaniel and I raided the craft stores for something I could turn into a good looking kit.
The kit started with a wood chest from Michaels. We knew we were going to have to improve it when I bought it, but we didn’t know quite how badly. When we went to replace the hinges with stronger ones and add compartment dividers on the inside, the whole thing started falling apart. So, nails, glue, and putty later, we had more of a box kit. We also added a good latch to the front and rope handles to the sides.
Then, I went nuts with my woodburning to make the whole thing look awesome. On the downside, people have wanted to buy my box from me when they see it behind my table. But on the upside, it is now a wonderful demo box. There are still some plastic pieces I’m replacing, and it’s not exactly period appropriate, but I no longer feel weird having this beauty at my table.