So each year that “R” and I go to Midwest Men’s Festival we take sarongs and sell them. We don’t really make much money at all, usually pretty much break even, but then making money has never been what it’s about to us.
MMF is held at the end of July and it’s HOT!
Hot hot hot hot! And I don’t mean sexy. There have been years when it has topped 100°. Needless to say, we wear as little as possible. And the thing to wear is sarongs.
R and I discovered that at Laid Back Labor Day Weekend, and event held at the very same camp–Camp Gaea. I quickly fell in love with those pieces of colorful cloth. It made me feel like I had been transported back in time to some Greco Roman period (even if no Roman would have been caught dead in any of my selections). It just reminded me of that Troy movie with Eric Bana. Soon I was collecting!
We went to our first MMF expecting to buy a few new ones and to our surprise, it turned out to be pretty much the only event at Camp Gaea where there wasn’t any vendors. Made me sad. No new sarong!
We got home and a good friend, one who had sold us several sarongs, asked us how we liked our event and we told her we loved it except–no sarongs.
“Well,” she says, “since MMF is pretty much the only event that I am not allowed to go to (being she is not a man), why don’t you sell them for me. And for every (I can’t remember how many) you sell, you can have one for free.”
Sounded fun to us. So we took them….
And they sold like wildfire!
Mainly for two reasons. They were rock bottom cheap and because you can’t have 125 gay men in the woods for over a week and not let them go shopping! Plus it gave them a souvenir. We did so well we wanted to do it again.
But this time she convinced us to buy them from her and sell them ourselves. That first year I was a mess. What if everybody who wanted a sarong had already done so? What if we didn’t make our money back. We spent a lot!
But we sold them for the same rock bottom price (meaning we had to sell quite a few of them to make our money back) and they sold like hot cakes!
We kept it up several years in a row. Then I put an email out asking if we should keep doing it–it is a lot of work–or if people would prefer we stop.
We got a ton of emails back saying “Don’t you dare stop bringing them!”
And so now for well over ten years we have sold sarongs. I even have a faerie name to go with them. Sister Serena Sarong So-Right! It’s become a tradition. People expect them. It’s like a community service. What is thrilling is that we don’t have to vend them. In other words, we don’t have to sit and watch them. We hang them on clotheslines and create gorgeous corridors of color and tell everyone they are for sale and to just pick one and bring us the money. MMF is a place that we can totally trust. We have only known of one that was stolen, which made us sad. But we didn’t let it break our spirit or well-being, or trust in our faerie brothers. One stolen, hundreds sold. Pretty darned amazing!
Tonight we did our ordering and I am thrilled that we found a ton of them that aren’t like any we have sold before! Some really different ones! And we never get more than one of each, because really! Do you want to be walking around and find someone wearing your very same sarong! Of course not!
So here we are just weeks from Midwest Men’s Festival 2015 and I am already excited as can be!
It is going to be a blast!
Sister Serena Sarong So-Right!
PS: Here is a video of our corridor of sarongs outside our cabin! It’s pretty amazing! If you watch you can even see Sarah Jane!
PPS: And here are some more of the sarongs we are takng with us this year!