Monday, May 24, 2010

lessons learned, lessons to come...

ok so, first time doing a craft fair come and gone.  it was so much work to put everything together for this show, which was then compounded with the hours needed to set up, man the booth, break down, etc over the weekend.  Needless to say, i am exhausted.  All I want to do is sleep and catch up from the last two weeks of late night painting and early morning book assembling, but being a mom of a two year old comes first and so hello 8am wake ups and refusing to take a nap marathon play day.  This has given me lots of time today to reflect on the experience this craft fair.  I have been trying really hard to dwell in the positive.  There is a great potential to slip into the latter, as the festival was terribly run, poorly advertised, and the other vendors that I was told were all arts and crafts - turned out to be about 60% wholesale sellers of crappy manufactured items like knock-off purses and perfumes - it looked more like a county fair or street sale than an arts and crafts show.  Over the two days that I was there, we saw about 100 people come out - this after we were told from the promoter that 8-10,000 were expected.  Things didnt start out well for me either, I was running late for my Saturday 7AM set up, thankful we had prepped the tent, tables, and shelves the night before on site, then arrive to find my tent had bucked under the weight of the rain from the night before, bending one leg until the metal tore and rusted (can things really rust in under 12hrs?), the tables were turned over and muddy, and the shelves were swollen with water and coming apart (they were really cheap shelves).  My 6 hours of sleep was starting to make it all unbearable and I fought back tears as my sister, lovely German friend and I scrambled to repair, clean, and assemble everything before the festival opened to the public @ 9a.  The redeeming factor in all of this was that many of my wonderful Gainesville friends came out to the fairgrounds just to see me and give support.  It was a huge part of healing my disappointment over the weekend, and helped me see that I gained more than I lost. 
What I lost was just $, sleep, and time.  What I gained was valuable insight into what it takes to run a craft booth, set up in time, engage customers (the few I saw), fix issues on site, and improvise in meager conditions.  I did make a few sales, which was inspiring and exhilarating.  I have sold my journals before, but usually online or to friends, and it was a real treat to have a stranger love my work and want a piece of it to inspire them at home.  I met several wonderful people and had meaningful conversations about art, creativity, and the healing nature of freeing yourself from that inner voice that stifles our ability to experience true joyfulness in creating something from the thoughts we hold within.  So I really really want to thank those people who know me that came out to support me, those who just met me for the first time and encouraged me by loving my work, and most of to my family (and those who are like family) who stood beside me and lent a hand into the late nights getting my books finished, showed up to help me set up, run my booth, and break everything back down at the end of the day.  You all are so dear to me and I couldnt have done this without you.

Oh and one more thing, I signed up for a eclass given by this wonderful artist Kelly Rae Roberts.  She is a fellow creative, a well recognized, selling, and established mixed media artist, painter, and author.  She is offering a 5 week experience to gain all her tricks of the trade, inspiration, and community to help fellow crafters and artists wanting to make their work into a business find their wings.  It is a perfect fit for me in my creative process right now, and I am super excited about what I can discover along the way.  Here is her website for more info if you are curious.  Kelly Rae Roberts

Anyway, be well and may you find blessing and inspiration in your day!

1 comment:

  1. good for you for getting your first craft fair under your belt! Looking forward to growing with you in the Flying Lessons e-course. Sincerely, Robin


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