The time had come for Annette and I - those intrepid Vintage Paper Girls to take to the road and do our first Ephemera stand at an Antique and Collectors Fair. Our fledgling business was at last got off the ground after what seemed an interminably long process of dealing with banks, who inevitably lost bits of paper and caused even more delays, and we had got ourselves named & registered, had filled in endless forms and got sorted out for tax. However, we got there, and having been doing a little buying, eventually a few weeks ago started selling on the internet on the ebay site using sellers name Vintagepapergirl12012. Our first item was very successful - a lovely old early twentieth century scrapbook, full of a gorgeous variety of scraps went to one happy purchaser. Since then we have sold some attractive old Christmas cards, including the attractive Hold to Light ones, and some vintage posters including some illustrated by Pauline Baynes. We have more of all of these coming plus loads more stuff that we have been squirreling away. We had also been accumulating items for the fair we were going to do, as we intend to sell by Fairs and ebay. The last couple of weeks have seen a flurry of plastic bags, price tags, sticky labels and tape, as we were due on the Saturday to go and set up in The Greshams School in Holt,North Norfolk on Saturday afternoon before the sale on Sunday. Even though I am obviously used to book fairs, this to me was very different, as we aimed to make the stand as pretty and eye catching as we could - not something Jeff and I aim for when doing our book stands. Also for Annette this was all very new, as she doesn't do book fairs, and she was really enthusiastic.
The weather however wasn't on our side. We had obviously booked an inside stall as water and paper does not mix, and we were inside the marquee - but the rain of late has not been ordinary rain, being considerably heavier than usual, and as we arrived the heavens opened. We had quite a wait before we could even begin to unpack - we couldn't risk getting our precious paper wet. Fortunately though, the rain did eventually cease, and we were able to unpack, and the sun did come out and dry the mud to some degree. However we could anticipate that we would need to wear boots the following day! As it was our first display Annette and I had left ourselves lots of time as we knew we would need it. We're not naturally artistic, but do love what we do - so just need to 'work at it!'
Eventually a couple of hours later, having done lots of fiddling and twiddling, we were happy. You can see the results below.
Having set up, we left on Saturday little nervously, as we were doubtful of the ability of the marquee to withstand some of the amounts of water threatening to leave the sky, but there was little we could do but cross our fingers, and when we returned at 7.30 am the next day (yes 7.30 am) all was well - that is except for the pouring rain. The marquee had held up well, but there was the occasional drip from joins, and we did spend the day trying to stop drips of water getting onto our stock, which wasn't very relaxing.
Despite the fact that it rained for most of the day, and the Wimbledon final was on with Britain's own Andy Murray playing, and the British Grand Prix was taking place, we were pleasantly surprised to see that quite a few brave souls had decided to brave it out and attend the Fair, and we did better than anticipated. We met some very nice customers, and a great deal of interest (and purchases I am pleased to say) ensued. Some people also left their 'wants interests' with us, much as they do with books - I hadn't expected that! It also made a pleasant change for me. Don't get me wrong, I still love my books, and would never want to give up being involved with them, but its always good to develop new interests and to see what else is out there - and really ephemera is a fairly close relation. Despite the rain, and it was it chilly too - British Summertime at its best - Annette and I were both very pleased with how things went - and another benefit. Ephemera is a great deal lighter and easier to pack away than books. We were all packed up in about half an hour, ready for the off and I don't think it will be very long before Words Gone By takes to the road again - we will keep you posted.