I really love my local community. I’ve said it before and I could say it again and again until I am blue in the face and desperately in need of a glass of water. I mean it, wholeheartedly. I love my local community. I was thrilled when someone suggested having a beginning-of-the-year swap meet. During the years that I’ve been involved, there haven’t been any swap meets other than at the yearly anime convention, which I don’t attend. I thought it sounded like fun–everyone brings one or two things they’re hoping to trade or sell, and everyone has fun chatting and browsing through what we’ve all brought.
When I arrived, the swap meet looked a little bit like this:
An entire pool table covered in books, dresses, accessories, wigs, cutsews, and bags.
It was amazing. There were so many people, so many items available, and so much to do! Girls traveled in from nearby states just to join us. Every available surface was covered in sales items–couches, counters, pool tables, benches, tables… Eventually we spread out a few clean sheets on the floor to provide more place for display. There was even a clothing rack to hang things on.
Some of the items I brought had been recently dry-cleaned, so I left them on the hangers. I wasn’t the only one! Having a rack avoided wrinkles more than laying these things out.
Soon a laptop was unpacked and set up, allowing us to use PayPal if we didn’t happen to have enough cash. I think we all underestimated the scale of the swap meet, so that was really handy! I honestly didn’t think there would be so many people and so many items, so I didn’t bring nearly enough money with me to make change or purchases.
The meetup was graciously hosted in a beautiful and spacious house, so the setup kept goods for sale arranged in the immaculately-finished and gigantic basement, while the kitchen, dining room, and living room were set up with drinks, food, and tables. Nearly everyone brought something tasty to share; the selection was amazing. Savories and sweets abounded. I was particularly taken by someone’s homemade cake pops (one of the girls works at a bakery and usually arrives with sweets of immense tastiness), some made with chocolate cake and others with strawberry cake~ ♥
This hallway shows just a glimpse of how many people were in attendance and how intensely we all enjoyed looking over everyone’s offerings.
There weren’t, to my knowledge, and specific rules regarding what could or could not be bought or sold, so there was a wide variety of offerings–but no one brought anything too far off-tangent to see ridiculous. There was obviously a wide selection of shirts, dresses, shoes, socks, and other clothing items representing both lolita and Japanese punk styles. Jewelry and accessories were also very popular. There were some books and magazines, as well, and a few people brought CDs. (I was probably the most unrelated; I showed up with some My Little Pony figures.)
She was organized enough to bring her items in a suitcase that could double as a display, and tagged most of her items with prices. The rest of us spent a lot of time running around and trying to figure out who’s item we were interested in and how much it cost, hee hee.
I was really happy to find new homes for a few clothing items I just don’t wear and swap a Pullip for a dress. ♥ I also couldn’t resist a pair of knit gloves with usakumya on the back of one hand!
Overall it was lots of fun, and I hope we do something like this again. It would be really neat as an annual or bi-annual event. It was much easier to organize an event like this at someone’s house rather than at a convention. No-one worried about theft or vandalism. It was nice knowing that you could leave your things unattended downstairs while enjoying a snack upstairs without the risk of something “wandering off.” You can’t possibly do that at a busy convention. We were so lucky that the hostess organized such a fun meetup! It was really great, and I’m sure that if we did it again it could be even better now that the community knows what it’s like. It was absolutely worth taking a Sunday off of work for~!