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Monday, May 12, 2014










This weekend felt both really long and super short. Saturday I had my first big craft fair and only my second craft fair ever. I will say I am a lot more organized than I used to be so all the logistics that I was worried about didn't come into play at all. Really the preparing and loading and setting up and taking down was easier than I ever would have dreamed it could be. The fair experience itself was a mixed bag for me. There was the good and the not so good. I will start with the not so good so I can end on a positive note, because truly, I do feel like the experience overall was a positive one. The worst part was that it was very slow. Painfully so. A huge venue, 200 vendors and a very sparse crowd. And from my vantage point and talking to other vendors this was by far the slowest they had experienced at this particular craft fair which is usually hustling and bustling, upbeat and very profitable. There definitely seemed to be a vibe in the air that if tumble weeds would have started rolling down the isles I wouldn't have been surprised. I walked out breaking even which I felt really grateful for in the end. I think I was lucky to do so. 

The good parts were on a more personal level - and really those are the longest lasting. Being online all the time with both my business and my blog, I wanted to do something that was "in person," be apart of my local community, have the opportunity to network and meet other people. And that was really lovely to do. I am really glad that this afforded me the opportunity to that. I met people whose products I have been admiring on local shop shelves for years and new extremely talented artists who I am so excited to know about (I'll share some of their work in a later post). I also met and exchanged information with several shop owners, which was another reason I wanted to participate. While I have my designs online (obviously) and in shops in other parts of the world and the country, I don't have anything here in Portland. 

In the end, I am not so sure I am going to be adding craft shows to my repertoire. I am not sure it's the right fit for me. Plus breaking even does not include time spent, and these things are a lot of work, and seriously I did the minimum. I wanted to use a bit of restraint not knowing how it would go (though i wish i would have gotten better pictures of mine, but i just snapped a few. it was fun seeing everything together outside of my own shelves). Some peoples booths were just amazing, I couldn't imagine the hours they put into it. And as I learned you just never know, one year it might be overwhelmingly busy and the next you might walk out with a deficit. And with that said, it also validated that the way I have naturally been inclined to run my business and the way my business has organically developed works really well for me. But validation is really great sometimes, and like I said, I walked away with a lot of good things - all of which wouldn't have happened if I didn't do this. Another benefit of doing something like this is that it makes me appreciate normal life. Being non-stop busy for three weeks preparing makes me nostalgic for things like having time to clean my house, read books, visit people and reinvigorates me to keep putting my energy into working toward the things that I have been steadily been working on building and growing. So honestly while, like I said, that might be my first and last big craft show, I am really happy I did it. And never say never, right?

Sunday I was tired! I wanted to go do something "new," or at least not something I always do, but considering my energy level and my big step outside of my comfort zone the previous day, I opted to stick to the tried and true. So when I was asked what I wanted to do for mother's day morning I chose my favorite little french crêperie and a trip to Powell's bookstore. Which I think just set me all right back in alignment. It was a really beautiful day and the crêpes were better than ever and I came home with a healthy stack of books and read - completely ignoring the fact I still need to unload my car and put my house back together. Today I my sofa is finally arriving! I am pretty sure that will get me in the mood for cleaning and organizing.

How was your weekend?  

13 comments:

  1. Well I'm glad it all ended on a positive note! And I think you seriously need some extra applause for breaking out of your comfort zone and going for the craft fair in the first place. The display looked amazing, I would have bought the whole thing out if I'd been there :)
    Crêpes and books with your boys. What better way to spend a Sunday? A lovely mother's day celebration. I can't wait to see your couch!! xoxo

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    1. thank you thank you thank you. it is always a bonus when you step outside of your comfort zone and actually enjoy it, so i am really happy about how it all worked out. and now i can comfortably step back in mine and feel good about it. and sometimes it's just fun breaking up a routine. you really do learn more about yourself.

      mother's day was pretty perfect. i got mr. penumbra's 24 hour bookstore (among others). but i started that one last night - so far it's a really fun read. perfect for my mood. say hi to paris for me. xoxo

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  2. oh my gosh, the display looks absolutely amazing christine! i'm sorry the arts & crafts fair was so slow...but congratulations on pushing yourself to try something new. and meeting the local creative community sounds like a major win! a very happy belated mother's day to you :)

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    1. thank you so much. like i said i wish i would have gotten a picture of the whole display, but you know how these things go - you end up forgetting things like taking photos :) xo

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  3. Regardless of the mixed bag of results on the craft show, it sounds like you really got a lot out of it - breaking even sounds like a bonus. Those connections that you made are pretty valuable and so is the feeling of being connected with your community. The server I'm on right now is blocking pictures so I'll have to come back and look at the ones you took. I'm glad you had a wonderful mother's day as well - anything good in the 'to read' pile?

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    1. i really did. breaking even was awesome. and even though it was slower than i imagined (and from others said what it normally is) it was really fun. xo

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  4. Well, first, I'm sorry I disappeared on you. Really sorry. I wanted to offer my "chin-ups" and all sorts of words of encouragement and support. I thought about you and how it was going, but I never got the chance to tell you that.

    I think it sounds like a wholly worthwhile experience. Sometimes those things are set out to teach us stuff, and (sounds like you had a lot of time to sit around and think things through!) you learned/validated SO MUCH about yourself. These are all good things. I simply ADORE those pillows, the photo ones especially. And your Mother's Day sounds perfect. love you, ducky.

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    1. no apologies necessary! it was a worthwhile experience. that's the perfect way to put it. i am glad i did it and really glad to get back to things i have had to put on hold in the mean time. if nothing else, like i said, breaking out of routine/ones comfort zone is great thing to do if only to give you a fresh perspective on the 'norm.' and thank you for your kind words. love you too mama!

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  5. Ooh, a new sofa - can't wait to see! I love your pillows btw, these photos are probably the tipping point for me. As to the show, I couldn't agree with you more, it's why I stopped doing shows + they are incredibly exhausting when you add flights and airports to the mix. I hope your mother's day was a good one, sounds like it was!

    xo Mary Jo

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    1. it's heeeeeere! so excited. i just want to gut my house and only put things back that look pretty with my new sofa ;) mother's day was perfect. it was wonderful to have a good excuse to just do a couple of my favorite things. xoxo

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  6. sounds like it was an overall good experience. there is something to be learned from everything. at least that's my philosophy :) my weekend was good. I'm going back to the UK on Wednesday so there was a lot of last minute meeting friends and saying good bye and a lot of taking stock of what has happened during the past two months. it all got me into a bit of a nostalgic mood, but in general it was good :)

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  7. Ooo, exciting about the new sofa!! I am glad to hear that things went okay with the craft show. Your display turned out really nice looking I think, and new insight from new experiences is always a plus. I jsut am curious, in that pic with the masks, is that a zombie horse?? lol! xo

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  8. Overall, I would say it was an experience you learned from and that's what it matters. And I also think it is important to do in-person meetings from time to time and get to know your clients better.

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