Thursday, November 19, 2009

Stepping Out

This past Sunday, I went to my first craft show. To be more precise, it was actually a mix of a dozen or so venders, some selling crafts and some selling commercial products. It was hosted by my cousin Tina (pictured below) at her house in Monona, WI. Since it was small, it was the perfect thing for my first time out. I'd say it was exactly the sort of low-pressure situation I needed. I even sold a few things! I also made a whole bunch of refrigerator magnets with my logo and shop website on them to hand out for free. I figured if folks walked away with nothing else, they would at least have a funky piece of Wastenot Workshop marketing pafanalia to take with them.

When I was there, I thought "I could get used to this." I've been told that doing shows can be a hectic lifestyle, but it was so much fun to meet other folks who are stepping out into the world in similar ways. I noticed that many of the women I met are moms - like me. Many of them have gone this route in order to be at home with their kids more. Some of them are even home-schooling their kids while running a business out of their homes! Talk about supermoms! I don't know if I could ever make all that work for my family, but it reminded me of a really nice bonus that comes with having your own crafty business - you get to be with your kids more. I started having visions of taking my daughter to shows with me - both for the help for me and an experience for her. So, the show reminded me of one of the reasons I am doing all this - my daughter.

I also just had a darn good time meeting and talking with people - asking about their products and techniques and why they got into crafting in the first place. Plus, I found some recycling comrades there - the super sewing sister duo, Bridget and Claire Maillefer, who make mittens out of second-hand sweaters (pictured to the right). We shared out sewing woes about working with difficult fabrics such as their chosen medium of sweaters and the wallpaper samples I am working with right now.  If you were at the Madison Farmer's Market on the square last summer, you may have seen them in the craft selling area at the top of State Street.

My Aunt Judi was also there with her hand bags, wine bags, and wallets made out of reused juice drink packages (pictured to the left). It's always amazing to me what people can make out of... well, garbage!

For so many reasons, participating in this show was a boost - a re-motivator - which I think we all need once in a while. Mostly, this boost stems from the connections that I made. I don't mean business connections, although those certainly can't hurt. What I'm talking about it the sense of fulfillment I get when I am connecting with others - with other craftsters, with other women, with other moms, and with potential customers. It just goes to show that if you send out the good energy, it will come back to you even stronger.

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