The Early Days of Bagnet
When I first invented Bagnet and was handmaking them, I would sell them at three-day craft shows in California. During the fall and holiday season, my husband and I would sell them at a series of craft shows called The Harvest Festival. From September to December we’d work the shows from Southern California to the Bay Area to Sacramento (our home city). It was exhausting work: after flying or driving to the show and setting up our booth, the next morning began a 3 day marathon of non-stop, face-to-face demonstrations, pitches, and sales. Bagnet isn’t exactly a product that explains itself, so we stood at the front of our booth next to a restroom stall wall and demonstrated Bagnet, over and over and over again. We had our pitch down pat, and even now when we reminisce about the old days, we can break into it like it was yesterday. I’m an introvert, and while I loved selling my invention and seeing women get excited about it, eight hours of non-stop talking was draining for me. After each show, I would be absolutely spent and I would daydream about the day I’d be able to sell Bagnet exclusively online. “Just think of the day we’ll be able to enjoy the holidays instead of working every weekend!” is what I’d always say to my husband.
That day came sooner than I imagined it would, and 2017 was the first year we didn’t have to work the festivals. I was SO excited and SO grateful that my online business had taken off, but a small part of me missed doing the shows. As exhausting as they were, I missed the crowds of happy holiday shoppers, cheerful groups of women having a fun girls’ day, and the excitement and anticipation of the coming holidays. My online business allowed me to reach more people than I ever could doing the shows, but I missed the pleasure of a face-to-face connection with women, about our shared frustration of a hookless public restroom.
Every year since then, my husband and I have gone to the Sacramento Harvest Festival. Not as a vendor, but as happy holiday shoppers. We buy as many Christmas gifts as we can, happy to be supporting fellow small businesses and hand-crafters. We stroll along and appreciate all the time and hard work it took for the exhibitors to be there, and we re-live all the excitement and exhaustion of a long but successful day at the show. But mostly we just thank God we don’t have to do it anymore 😁