The credit crunch is getting personal

It’s a year since I began Second Cherry, but the financial situation seems to have changed a great deal.

Utterly exhausted today, after taking a stall at the Euromayenne Fair yesterday.

It was a tough year, this year, and nothing could show up the credit crunch more clearly than the poor attendance and poor sales. 

The DH and I have done the Euromayenne fair the past two years, selling vintage clothes, bric-a-brac and our old CDs and books. It’s hard work getting everything ready, especially the ironing, but each year we’ve made about 300 euros profit – enough to pay for our winter holiday.

But this year, sharing a stall with two friends, I made only 100 euros, from selling just nine vintage items on the big day, and had no interest at all in my artisan jewellery. They’re not sure yet, but they think they made far less than me, which would put square-footage takings down by at least a third. 

We were dismayed, especially my two friends, who were selling beautiful children’s clothes, many of them unworn, for which there seemed to be very few takers, but we weren’t the only ones so affected. A woman I know who sells artisan mirrors came over for a chat and said she had taken just 50 euros. It was 3pm, and by that time she would normally have taken 200 euros. 

Some people blamed the weather for the poor attendance, but a rainy afternoon is normally what you want as a stallholder. The hall is big and warm and well-lit, and this part of Normandy isn’t exactly wick with things to do on a wet October afternoon, so Euromayenne is normally packed. Perhaps we were a little too far away from Christmas, and the idea of presents hadn’t yet entered people’s minds.

I concentrated on winter wear, including wool dresses, fur wraps and a gorgeous 1930s cut-velvet coat that I sold to a beautiful woman with a white pageboy bob, and this proved to be the right move, as the temperature is rapidly dropping this week. People could certainly think about winter, and doubtless about their heating bills too, since Opec are once again playing silly buggers as they did back in the 70s.

Oh la. Still, 100 euros is nevertheless worth having, and it frees up yet a bit more room in my sewing room. The furs I didn’t sell, I now plan to cut up and use to make a throw for the sofa. Looks like it’s going to be a minky Christmas. 🙂

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