I thought I’d take you through a somewhat typical Saturday for Crock of Shirt. Most of our Saturday mornings are spent at the farmers market, where we set up our tent and racks of shirts. The market people have been good to us, as have the customers and other folks we have met over the past couple of years. The market might seem like an odd place for a couple guys to start out a business, but it has turned out to be quite positive: low rent, consistent location for people to find us, supporting local small business, and being part of our community.
I’m not sure when Kris gets up, but I would assume it’s about the time I awaken, which is 6:00 am. The first step is to stealthily hit the washroom for a shower and get dressed. I usually get dressed in the hall outside of our bedroom, as I don’t like to disturb Monica. I walk out of the bedroom with jeans, shorts, a shirt, and a sweater. I’ll make my mind up over the jeans or shorts depending on what the weather looks like outside our living room window. Kinda weird, but that’s how I do things.
Below: I forgot to take pictures of myself brushing teeth and having a shower, so I will start here. This is me putting on pants in the kitchen. Cloudy = pants. Sunny = shorts.
Next for me is breakfast. Very important to have some good eats or I get pissy. Pissy is not a good way to be on a Saturday. I start by boiling water in the kettle for coffee, then crack some eggs in a pan. While the eggs fry, I gather up my lunch that I have prepared the previous night and put it in my backpack. Again, I have to have a decent lunch or I get pissy.
Below: This is the kettle boiling water for coffee. You can see the clock in the background on the stove showing an early 6:11 am. Bullshit.
Below: While the water boils, the eggs fry.
Below: Three eggs on spinach with avocado, plus a bowl of homemade granola cereal with chopped banana. Half a cup of coffee to wash it down. This is how it’s done.
Below: Snack bar for a snack; tuna, avocado, and veggies for lunch; plenty of water. I also make sure to pack a fork. I forgot my fork once and had to make a scoop out of cardboard to eat my tuna. It sucked.
After eating and gathering my stuff, I take a coffee downstairs to the computer and login to the Crock of Shirt Facebook page for a quick update.
Below: Have to feed the kitty. Notice his food all over the floor. He’s more pig than cat.
Below: I always post a quick message about what we’re up to on the day of an event.
Next is the drive down the hill to meet Kris at the market for 7:00 so that we can get stuff set for the 8:00 opening.
Below: Arrival at the market. It looks really pleasant now with the pumpkins and fall colours coming out. Not so pleasant were the piles of dog (hopefully not human) shit and the half hotdog I passed on the sidewalk.
Below: Kris usually arrives before I do. Here he is unloading our stuff from the van. By the way: bylaws, please stop giving us parking tickets! We need that $6 to buy gas for this piece of shit.
Setup of our stuff is generally pretty smooth. The tent, table, shirt racks, shirts, and a couple other little bits have to be dragged out of the Crock van and brought to our location on the school field. We have been very fortunate the past couple of years to have encountered rain only twice that I can recall.
Below: Inside the legendary Crock of Shirt van.
Below: Setup is completed at about 7:50 am.
Once setup is complete, Kris goes down the street to grab us coffee and I generally dive into my sketchbook to put down any ideas that might be brewing.
Below: Kris goes to get coffee. That’s our payment as employees, as the rest of the profits go back into the business.
9:30 is snack time for me. Don’t want to get pissy.
10:00 is when things usually start to pick up with more people wandering about the market.
11:30 is lunchtime for me. Remember, I have to eat or I get pissy. The unfortunate thing is I usually bring tuna and the smell makes Kris pissy. I sometimes excuse myself from our tent so I can eat it elsewhere. However, if the wind is blowing in Kris’ favour, I will stick around and eat at the tent.
This is not typical, but I had to go for a very urgent leak this past Saturday. I can usually hold it, but I must have had a bit too much coffee and water. Unfortunately, the lack of overgrown foliage around the schoolyard means the only option is to use the portable toilet on site. I won’t go into details, but I was quickly reminded as to why I will almost always do anything to avoid using a porta-potty. It was heinous. I don’t think it had been emptied in a couple weeks, but I had no choice. Heinous.
Below: Not good. I had to go. It was clean inside, but full of some beastly stuff. I think somebody was ill. I tried not to breathe. I even had my sweater pulled over my face, but the stink penetrated the fibers.
Noon is closing time. Four hours isn’t very long, but that’s the way it is. Time to pack all the shirts back into the bins, which means taking them off the hangers and folding them. Folding shirts is something I never did until we started Crock of Shirt, but I am now getting lots of practice. The tent is always the last piece to be taken down, then all is loaded back into the most awesome Crock van.
Below: All of our stuff is packed up and ready to go back to the van.
Once everything is packed up, we really don’t have a set routine. Sometimes Kris will go back to the print shop to print more shirts or clean equipment and I will go home to feed the kids lunch or work on a design. This past Saturday was decent outside, so I opted to fit in a bike ride.
Below: Appropriate attire for the ride. I selected the Kapow! shirt.
Below: Biking in the sun is my small reward!