Craft fair yesterday!

I delved back into craft fairs yesterday after having an unsuccessful one back in august. This one went well; I sold several bags.


Craft fairs are so difficult for autistic and other ND makers in general. You're expected to be "on" as far as marketing and being very outgoing and personable.


One of the other vendors acted strangely from the get-go as soon as I showed up to set up my table. She barked at me to wear a mask even when I was just bringing in the table and other items. Which is fine if the mask was required at all times; I put on my mask, but it seemed odd the way she did it (right after I'd stepped over and said her items were really cute).


When I tried to engage her in conversation another time, she just turned away and started talking to someone else while I was talking to her. It was just ... rude. I swear I was making eye contact! And yet, at other times she was nice, saying "You have cute stuff!" and so on. Personally, I'd rather someone just be themselves with me - either you want to be rude and snarky, or you want to be nice. Pick one. I have a really hard time differentiating between what you really think and what you're saying to me, if you don't.


I constantly work on my social abilities - I took a 2nd job in part so I could get practice masking with people in a social setting, because I was losing that ability working from home. I masked for twenty years before being diagnosed autistic, so it's not that I'm not able to mask. It's just like any skill, if you don't use it, it gets rusty.


But for some reason, if I'm doing a craft fair and no customers are around, I don't know what to do with myself. There's only so much wandering around your table and adjusting items that you can do. The other vendors knew each other and were chatting about things that had happened in the past, so I couldn't really join their conversation, so I just crocheted during down time. I know that doesn't look right when someone's expecting me to be up and "selling" though.


Would love advice from other autistic or ND makers on how they manage downtime at fairs!





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