West > Colorado Renaissance Festival

New and jumping in with both feet

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Hey, all!

I moved to Colorado in early January because, quite frankly, it's a beautiful place where I can breathe (after getting used to the opposite  :o) and I've wanted to live here for quite a while. I'm 22 years old and definitely a Maker at heart, and it's always been my dream to be able to simply make for a living. I mostly knit, with pullovers and jackets and stuffed animals, but I've been preparing (even before I moved) to branch out into sewing and I now make dresses and vest and am working at expanding even further.

A while ago I was struck with the compulsion to make "princess dresses" and someone suggested that I look into vending at the Colorado Renaissance Festival. So I looked it up, looked up requirements, guidelines, costs, etc. and decided it looks very much like something I want to do. And maybe each year if I can learn enough and get a good grasp on how things work.

So, as a newbie, I might as well start off by asking what might be "stupid" questions:

I understand the rule of naturally-colored hair, but as for style, would dreads be allowed?

I would assume "no anachronisms" means I would not be able to wear my glasses with plastic frames?

Also, I understand that what's sold needs to appeal to the audience, but does the "anachronism" rule also mean I shouldn't make dresses with zippers, etc?

Somehow the part about shop space wasn't clear to me. If I apply and am accepted for shop space (not cart), I would need to rent a space in a building from a previous vendor? Also, if I return and want shop space that isn't a cart, I lease shop space for the duration of the fair?

Good luck, blackbird!

I am a member of the Colorado Renaissance Festival cast, not a vendor, but I can answer a couple of your questions nonetheless:
1.  Dreadlocks are VERY highly discouraged.
2.  Spectacles are fine, even with plastic frames.

As for your other questions, I will send a link to this thread to a vendor friend of mine, and ask her to chime in on your other questions.

Rowan MacD:
  "princess dresses' like Cinderella costumes?

  Most garb sold at faire is the peasant variety..
  You want something that can be made cheaply, quickly, from inexpensive fabric  in a variety of sizes to sell enough to make any money to cover your booth rental, especially if you are planning to vend at only one faire.
  Simple peasant shirts, skirts, bodices and trousers/breeches are generally S,M, L or one size fits most...children's' clothes sell very well.
   Simple bag hats are another big seller, and a great way to utilize scraps..
Tig'r Toggs is an excellent example of mass produced, good quality peasant wear. 
  Feel free to substitute ties and laces for closures, and drawstrings instead of elastic... it's actually easier to do.
  Please, no zippers.  Or Velcro.

  Back to 'princess dresses'...The good quality fancy garb is expensive because of the materials and time involved, and unless you have a website (see Moresca and Pendragon leather and garb) or some other steady market for your products with a  loyal customer base willing to spend hundreds on a single piece, they must be produced on a commission basis to make any money, especially if you are doing them your self.   

  Halloween quality costumes will not sell.  They look cheap, and are just basically...cheap. 
  If someone wants to wear a nylon ripstop knight's tabard, or a snow white dress, let him get it from Walmart please.    The Disney princess stuff looks completely out of place at renaissance faires, though there are still people who try to sell it, and some who will wear it.   


Unless you are on cast-I don't think glasses matter much.   

Never heard of anybody wearing dreads (outside of the occasional pirate) as cast or vendor; but  they should be easy to cover up if you have them.   

I fully concur with Rowen MacD's post.

Thank you! This is exactly what I am looking for!

Also, what I meant by "princess dresses" isn't the "halloween costume" type, or very complicated. I took that phrase because I wanted to make simple, feminine dresses that someone can feel like a "princess" in. But your explanation is extremely valuable and I will be taking it into account and altering what I'd like to make to fit in more with that.

So since no zippers, I would also assume that using non-theme fabric would also be a no? For example, nothing printed, but more period-accurate?

Also, I have some other hair issues that I was actually considering covering with realistic dread extensions, but since I'm getting good feedback that it's not a great idea, I found a different way to cover my hear, which also works to keep a costume within rules and fairly accurate. I'm just concerned that I'll get it "close" but not enough. eeeh.


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