Headed to the Nest Fest? Here's What You Should Know Before You Go!
There are few things more beguiling on a crisp Saturday morning in October than to hop in the car with a few of your favorite people and go find an excellent craft fair.
That’s exactly what we did this past weekend at the Nest Fest, and I want to tell you about it! Along the way, I’ll give you some tips for maximum enjoyment so that you can make the most of your experience.
What is The Nest Fest?
It is a curated craft fair hosted by popular home decor blogger and author Myquillen Smith (aka The Nester) on her property in Midland, North Carolina, not far from Charlotte. If you follow her on Instagram, it may seem a little surreal to be at a craft fair in her yard after seeing so much of their home progress online!
As Mom and I walked around, she said, “Is that her house?”
I replied, “Yes, and I could probably give you the tour myself, I’ve seen inside it so many times!”
That is just the weird and wonderful times in which we live, friends.
Along with some amazing creators who bring handcrafted goods to admire and purchase, you will find
- food trucks,
- live music, and
- book signings by a host of excellent female authors including Myquillen (the host), Emily P. Freeman (Myquillen’s sister and host of the popular The Next Right Thing podcast), Ruth Chou Simons (talented artist and author), Tsh Oxenreider and Anne Bogel among many talented others. (The authors alone deserve a stand alone blog post just based on the quality of their books and the inspirational messages they are all bringing in different ways.)
Why Should I Go to The Nest Fest?
Well, the short answer is that it’s just really delightful to be outside shopping and eating while listening to great live music.
The long answer is all of those reasons, plus the fact that these people all are so gifted and so committed to producing excellent artisanal goods: be it books, jewelry, vintage items, handmade candles or homemade DIY kombucha kits.
It was so nice that there were not a massive amount of vendors; there was plenty of time to browse each tent and talk to the creators.
It’s super inspiring to be around people who are working hard to produce beauty…
in small batches,
in unique ways.
It was also encouraging to discover how many of these businesses were family-run operations:
- a husband and wife team hand pouring candles,
- a mother/daughter duo upcycling Pendleton wool blankets into bags, plant holders, zipper pouches
- another mother with three daughters who were selling all of the equipment you need to make your own kombucha
- And another mother/daughter team who helped Mom pick out a necklace she really loves.
When you buy something at an event like this, it just feels great.
You’re helping gifted creatives continue to do the work they love.
You’re saying with your money, “Keep Up the Good Work!”
Some things to remember if you want to go to the Nest Fest next year:
- The Food Truck lines got really long. If we had realized how long we would end up waiting to order and then to get our food, we would have gotten in line much earlier. The Nest Fest runs from 10:00 – 4:00 which is not a super-long time, and we spent almost an hour of that time getting our food. To be fair, there were only three trucks and everything was being made to order by a small staff in each truck. I vote for more food trucks or maybe some pre-made grab and go cold sandwiches for people who just want a quick option. If you’re coming with kids or a spouse, you may want to bring some snackage.
- If you see something you love at one of the vendor booths, go ahead and buy it. Most of these vendors only have a few of each item and when they’re gone, they’re gone. Having said that, many of them have online shops.
- Don’t be afraid to talk to the vendors. Say hello, ask them about their processes, ask where they’re from, compliment them on their wares. These folks pour their heart and soul into their work, and it’s all displayed before your eyes. Part of the fun of buying something at a craft fair is meeting the person who made this thing that you love! Relish the experience.
- Along those same lines, don’t be afraid to ask if they do custom orders or if they can tweak an existing product to meet your needs. My mom admired a pendant on one necklace and the color of the beads on another, and the vendor quickly swapped them to create a custom piece of jewelry that she was absolutely in love with.
- Enjoy the atmosphere. Everyone at the Nest Fest was so friendly and helpful. Just soak it up; listen to the music, eavesdrop on conversations, relax and smile.
- If it’s supposed to rain, bring an extra pair of shoes, socks and a bag for your yucky ones. That might sound like weird advice, but if you end up tromping around in the mud, you will be glad to change out of your muddy boats and into some comfy, dry shoes for your trip home. …It’s the little things, right?
What are your favorite tips for maximum Craft Fair/Festival enjoyment?
Leave a comment and let us know!