Sometimes you buy gear, sometimes you make gear (particularly if you’re a DIYer like me), sometimes you just find gear.

Leannan Sidhe’s lead singer had an old black leather purse she didn’t use anymore because somebody got paint on it. It was passably renfaireish before that – at least after she’d put on a metal decoration on the front to distract from the modern clasp – but since the paint accident she’d put it aside. And that’s how I found it at a rehearsal.

paint not shown.
(it was mostly on the strap)

Now, at renfaires – her band does a lot of renfaire gigs, and these days that includes me – you can sell CDs and stuff. But you want to keep them and your sales gear out of sight, since those are obviously very much not period. Talk about it at your show, of course, but don’t carry a big cardboard box from Memphis around. The illusion is tenuous enough as it is.

So when I looked in this old purse and saw it had CD-width dividers built-in, I said, “Oh, is this what you used to carry CDs in before you got that awesome wooden box you use now?” And she looked at me and said, “…I never even thought of that.” And so she gave it to me.

The paint was just latex. It came off with a mild orange-oil-based adhesive residue remover (De-Solv-It) that doesn’t even need gloves to use. And so now I have a renfaire sales box – one compartment for CDs, one for download codes (and an extra CD, because it fits), one for money and Square for charge cards and a pen and there’s even room left over. Keep the big stock in your tent, refill between shows as needed, carry 10 or so CDs to a set, everybody wins.

I didn’t even have to make this thing. It already even had correctly-sized dividers inside! I just had to recognise what it was, and clean it up. So yeah, sometimes… you just find gear.