Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sutler Fun at the Kalamazoo Living History Show

I had the pleasure of setting up The Victorian Needle alongside my friend Liz's shop Jewels Victoriana at the Kalamazoo Living History Show this past weekend. I've spent the past few months preparing for this weekend...and at least an hour packing our stuff correctly in the car.
Tetris Level: Expert
Photo by Ken Giorlando

A bit of a confession...I've never attended this show. Every year I've had some odd thing come up during that weekend; final exams, family events, and illnesses all seem to find their way to that particular time. I cleared my calendar and booked a hotel so far in advance that no one could touch this weekend. We set out with high spirits!
Or did I become a spirit?
Photo by Ken Giorlando

And yet the night before the first day, I was nervous. We had already set up, costumes ready, and I couldn't sleep. I woke up just before 5am without an alarm. I needed a curling iron (helllooo Regency hair) so I set out to the Kalamazoo Meijer. There was enough time when I returned to eat breakfast, do my hair, and get dressed. Then we were off!

Since I now offer Regency and 18th century jewelry, I decided to wear that lovely dress I wore to the 2013 JASNA birthday party for Jane Austen. The train was a hindrance in tight spaces, so I pinned it up to the dress (apparently a period accurate solution that I now understand in practice). Liz wore her *new* Civil War dress sans hoop for the same reason. We bustled back and forth around our tables, stopping now and again for a bite of food. Pretzel rolls, cran-chicken salad...I shoveled them into my mouth whenever I wasn't talking!
This picture looks like I have a big booty...
Photo by Ken Giorlando

And I did so much of that-talking that is. I loved hearing the experiences of the other vendors, their advice and compliments. I met so many new people, and all were hopeful that we would return next year. The customers were amazing too; I gave out my card to at least a few people interested in joining the 21st Michigan!

The second day wasn't as stressful since I knew what to expect. I did get to walk around just a little, taking in all of the 18th century sights. I know I have the fabric for the bodice/skirt ready to go on my ensemble, but I soooo wanted to buy one there. Also, possibly a throwing knife.
Those knives will look perfect next to my coral necklaces!
Photo by Ken Giorlando

Perhaps the best part of the show was meeting people who read my blog. Complete strangers who complimented my research and jewelry. A special shout-out goes here for Katherine, her mother Ingrid, and so many more. Also, that lady who brought food at the advice of one of my blog posts (I was totally right, wasn't I?). I can't even remember everyone! It made the show so amazing!

By the time we tore down on Sunday, I was completely exhausted. The concrete floors were tough on my feet (next year we'll bring more mats) even with orthopedic dress shoes (that somehow look period still?). Even with the back pain, this event was a success!

So here's a big THANK YOU to everyone who supported Liz and I at Kalamazoo this year. Including but not limited to: Sarah, Felicia, Jeremy, Andy, Sue, The Morgan Clan, Ken and Rosalia, Pam, Sandy, Mike, Becky, Jennifer, Taralynn, Brigitte, Beth...my heart is grateful that I have so many people who believe in what I do.

And again, a special thanks to you my reader!

~Kristen

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations, my dear sometimes daughter, on your success at the Kalamazoo Living History Show!
    Bigger and better...one step at a time...

    ReplyDelete

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