Today I did my two-hour shift at Made In Ojai. I arrive early at 9:30, open the door, turn off the alarm, get the key out of the mailbox for the night closing person. Turn on the lights, sweep, count the cash, turn the signs around. All the usual stuff.
I find a CD that I can listen to...it has to be a CD we have for sale in the store and they are all by Ojai musicians. And there are a lot of them to choose from. Still it is hard sometimes because I have either listened to them too often or can't abide them to begin with! Legally it is against the law! to listen to your own CD of some artist you do like without permission from the artist. Or some such legal mumbo jumbo...which irritates the heck out of me. When and where did this law come from?
And also we can't listen to the radio without permission from or payment to the radio??
But I find a CD I like and away we go. The Farmer's Market is just up the street so there is more foot traffic than during the week. And the weather was beautiful this a.m. My other working partner shows up and she likes to sweep. Her name is Susie. She set up her display with a shelf her father made for her to display her cards and books. Her art has been licensed and she is a pro. She does beautiful, sweet work. I like to call it Cottage Art. Pinks, greens, flowers, knitting, pretty stuff. And paintings too.
It wasn't real busy this a.m. It started getting busy at noon when I was leaving and my replacement, Robert, arrived. He is a traditional woodworker who makes boxes, brushes, carvings and furniture. He is leaving the co-op soon unfortunately.
If fact quite a few artists are leaving in the next few months for one reason or another. Summer is a busy time for some people and they leave town and can't be tied down to the obligations of the co-op. One girl is moving away from Ojai. Some people don't sell enough product to make it worth their while.
But hopefully new artists will come along. One girl is joining soon who makes exquisite jewelry. We have quite a few jewelers already but none that makes their stuff with gold and silver...some use a little silver or gold-plate but this woman's stuff is expensive. Kind of abstract too. I think she will do well.
Our wreath maker is leaving and we will miss her. Her flower and leaf combinations look beautiful on the wall and she makes bundles of sage and other small items that make the store smell great.
I am staying, along with my other artists who are content there. We love being in a co-op and are hoping to hang in there for awhile. It feels like spring is a good time for sales and tourism.
There will be hot days. Ojai gets very hot in the summer. And slow days. And maybe the fires that we get every summer somewhere nearby. Hopefully not. And then September. That is a drag month, before the holidays start. But still people do visit Ojai and the store gets more well known every month.
So we will continue.