The “Great Minnesota Get-Back-Together” was awesome! Sure, we had a pretty rainy first weekend, and yes, post-pandemic attendance was down over 40% this year with the fair overall. But despite these challenges, the Glitter Glamper’s business only dropped 13% from 2019! Now, mind you, it feels wrong to even compare this record low post-pandemic year to a record breaking year like 2019. My expectations were set pretty low this year, not only with the uncertainty of fair attendance, but the uncertainty of whether people would even want to allow us to do what we do…which involves touching faces. But, I was still blown away by the love and support of our community! Four of the days we actually topped 2019’s numbers! I’m fairly certain that if we hadn’t had a rained out weekend, we could have topped 2019’s business!! The Glamper survived covid and thrived, and we can’t wait to see what 2022 brings! Until then, here’s a recap of 2021’s Minnesota State Fair!
The booth changed a lot this year! Having two years to prepare this time (vs just a couple already jam-packed months in 2019) gave me ample opportunities to dream up fun new additions, as well as a new layout.
With the checkout station moved forward, the lineup of customers was also pushed to the outside of the booth…creating more space for artists to work and allowing for some distancing where we could.
In 2019 the booth was set up to accommodate up to 6 artists at a time. I learned that I didn’t really need that many at once, at least not until we become more known by fairgoers, and artists preferred to have longer shifts anyway. So, this year we cut the number of stations down to 3. We had two artists working early and late in the day, and three during the busier times. We kept going at a good, steady pace with this amount of artists, so we will probably either keep it the same or add one more during busy times in 2022 as the fair’s attendance picks back up.
In 2019 I was just SO overwhelmed and exhausted, it was all I could do to come up with some colorful aprons with my branding on them. This year I was able to have so much more fun with our overall look! Tricia really inspired us all in 2019 to embrace the Glamper’s 50’s style rockabilly branding with her cute dresses, so I bought a few myself on Amazon!
I didn’t require retro clothing of everyone of course…but I did have a blast stocking up on cute, retro aprons which tied us all together whether we had retro dresses or not!! I cut and ironed on my brand in glittery vinyl, and everyone could wear whatever style they wanted, along with their glittery Glamper hats (or bandana headband) and name tag.
In 2019 it was pretty easy for me to take off my “brand” and go “blend in” with the fairgoers if I wanted to take a break. Not so much this year, haha! I got countless comments wherever I went…one woman asked “Are you doing something special today, or are you just special?” Haha! I told her BOTH! My wardrobe was definitely a conversation starter though and a chance to tell people what we do at the fair!
We had an awesome “Dream Team” this year! My artists are THE SINGLE BEST PART of the Glamper experience. They are uber talented artist who love what they do, have FUN doing it, and it shows!! As I still struggle to work through the kinks of a new operation, honing in on the right shift lengths and number of artists to try to maximize everyone’s earning potential, I always start out my call for artists by making it very clear that there is no guarantee of any amount of hourly income. Being new, it takes years for people to realize we exist and seek us out (which MANY actually did this year already, coming straight to our booth first!) Fairs ebb and flow with the weather too, and this year, the uncertainty of a post-pandemic world. But these artists are willing to take a chance on me and just have FUN together! So, big profits or not, I try to keep it a comfortable & fun environment, encourage breaks, provide water, snacks, Gatorade & of course CHOCOLATE (If you happen to stop by and see us stuffing our faces with chocolates, never mind us, it’s just “chocolate o’clock” in the Glamper!) This year I added a Keurig machine in the back room as well, which helps on those 12…14….16 hour days!
I was absolutely floored by how many people came straight for our booth this year, planning to get their glitter right away…many of them holding up their phones to show us what they got TWO YEARS AGO! The fact that people are already seeking us out after only being at the fair one year and then having another year to be potentially forgotten about, gives me huge hope for business in the years to come! I have hundreds and hundreds of awesome photos from our booth…here is a tiny drop in the bucket!
Oooh the glitterly shenanigans! When I first created this booth my goal was not only to make it a fun place for fairgoers, but just a fun place to hang out with my painty friends! I figured, hey, even if we don’t make a profit for 3 years which people say is the average it takes, at least we’ll just have a big, fun, 12-hour jam with friends every day, haha! And it sure is that! We have a lot of fun, and sometimes get a little silly in our down time. Maybe it’s all the chocolate and fair food we eat…or the glitter we inhale…but fun and goofy-ness is contagious in the Glamper! Haha! Let’s just say, nobody wonders if we love what we do when they step into the Glamper!
Tricia is now saying “Wait! These aren’t ALL of our shenanigans!” I know, I know…gotta leave SOME things to the imagination, hehe! What happens in the Glamper stays in the Glamper! Well, sortof. Unless it’s too tempting to put on social media. 😉 Don’t forget to check out our Facebook page fore more goofy videos of us flossing and other sweet dance moves!
Check out this little video montage from the fair, set to music by Lori and her daughter Becca!
Huge thanks to everyone who came out to support your local artists! We can’t wait to see you all next year, and at your special events between now and then! If you just can’t wait until next summer, feel free to request a quote for us to bring the bling to YOU this year!!