A couple weekends ago I said YES to something that I knew would stretch me, but I also knew it would be super fulfilling for me creatively. I said yes to participating in a local handmade market, something I haven’t done for years now! At first the idea felt daunting (what did I just commit to?), but once I wrote down how many products I wanted to bring and how I wanted my table to look, the upcoming market totally fueled me!
Time to get sewing, Gus! ;)
I gathered my previous experiences, past markets I’ve done while living in Minneapolis and Los Angeles, and then a few others while traveling to conferences, and got straight to work.
Each day, I had about a 2.5 hour window during the afternoon to design and sew.
Each day, I kept reminding myself that everything on my list was achievable. I just needed to “keep doing the next thing” (one of my absolute favorite motto’s).
Each day, I left any self-doubt at the door.
It was tempting to add too much to my list, but I knew better. My goal was to be done making product by Wednesday night, and then I would have two full days to tie up any loose ends before Saturday morning.
Handmade markets can be hard to predict. How many people will come through? Does my product line match the shopper’s style? Are they here to browse, or do they have specific items they’re looking for?
With my experience, markets are usually either wildly successful or uncomfortably slow. But the upside, no matter what the actual outcome, is they bring me a lot of joy.
And friends, the show a couple weekends ago was s l o w. I was bummed, I had put a lot of hard work and planning into this event. And I felt a little discouraged, trying to figure out what I could have done differently or why I didn’t meet my personal sales goal.
But in the end, it was OK, and it’s because of this: selling at a handmade market brings me joy. (And I knew I could take any leftover product and stock my online shop.)
You can now find the Everyday Bags in my Gussy shop, which I know you’re loving because HELLO, ORDERS! Just the other day I listed the new Wooden Necklaces, and can I confess to you how much joy they also bring me? Because it’s almost ridiculous. Color makes me so, so happy! I love how the necklaces turned out :)
I’m so glad I said yes to the handmade market and brought my Gussy product. I’m so glad I spent the time designing new products and sewing dozens of products and planning how I wanted my table to look. I’m so glad I have Zack to cheer me on and his willingness to help, because friends, having a creative outlet is wonderful.
Our creative outlets are all a little bit different from our neighbor, and I just love that. Our differences are mightily important.
So here’s to saying YES to trying new things and sharing our joys, regardless of how we measure successful.
(The business side of me knows it’s important to turn a profit and earn an appropriate wage, but the creative side of me knows it’s also important to give myself a chance… and this isn’t my last chance.
“Giving up is the only sure way to fail.” — Gena Showalter
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