I try to be unobtrusive and let them wander around, just mentioning to each of them that they should give me a shout if they have any questions, but moving in quick smart to help, when it looks like they need help undoing a clasp.
I don't sit around chatting with friends, scrolling through messages on a telephone, chewing gum or generally behaving as if I don't care - because I do, I care very much. My friends who come along to help all take my lead and get with the programme. So what happens? Let me tell you the story of a few pieces I sold at my shows.
He asked 'silver?' and I go 'yes'. And that was all. He said 'I'll take it', while the lady stood by with dead eyes and an unsmiling face. I was about to launch into an explanation about the earrings, but he just pushed past me and went to the counter to pay for them. I wondered whether he was buying them for his girlfriend with the wife standing by ( or the other way around)! Surely not? But why then was she so disinterested? I wasn't expecting her to clap her hands together like a seal, but a smile, and a casual 'they're pretty' wouldn't have choked her.
He leaned towards me and in a loud stage whisper 'give me a good price and I'll buy it', he said. I am no good at this game. My prices are fair, and I even lower them a tiny bit to compensate for the money I will save from not having to make a Paypal transaction. But in India, bargaining is a sport, and I had to learn quickly how to play the game. I asked him what he thought was a 'good' price, and then moved up from there.
'Ha,ha, haaa,' I laughed 'I can't do that!'. 'How about .....' and so on - after all I have been brought up by my mother who is a champion at the art. I probably would've been too, I've just lived in the UK too long and lost it.
And all the while, the lady stood by, looking vacantly around, completely uncaring whether her husband actually bought the damn thing or not.
And an old classmate who said 'why is the necklace you are wearing so expensive - look at what I have on, it's only ......' and then conceding that her necklace was made of glass beads, and mine of semiprecious gemstone beads and an Ethiopian Coptic Cross which is expensive, but beautiful and irresistible to someone in the know.
And the lady who said that her older daughter had an art jewellery shop herself and she was looking for a birthday gift for her. Unfortunately, according to the mom, said daughter "didn't wear 'junk', only gold and diamonds, although she displayed it in her shop". I said "perhaps I ought to contact your daughter, maybe she'd like to put some of my 'junk' in her shop" and she had the grace to look shamefaced at her laissez faire usage of the word. 'No, no no', she said 'I didn't mean your jewellery was junk, just that it wan't gold and precious stones'. The younger daughter who was with her tried on a load of stuff, and looked great in them but wouldn't buy any, even though her mother offered to pay - who knows what that was about.
There was Aishwarya, who wore her necklace on two consecutive days and sent me a selfie.
There is Jackie who wears her pieces of Caprilicious so often and tells her friends where they can get some - she is Caprilicious' best publicist in India.
And Sheela who wore a pre owned piece of Caprilicious to the show and looked so elegant in it.
There is Rubi, who wore her necklace to a party the very next day and tagged me into a picture on Facebook.
And Mythili, who loved Caprilicious so much she picked a dozen of them to sell in her exclusive saree store, Mithila as well as one for herself.