Google+ Lilies and Laurel: How Is a Craft Fair like a Brussels Sprout?

Monday, November 4, 2013

How Is a Craft Fair like a Brussels Sprout?

Many thanks to the organizers and customers of the Artisan and Vintage Holiday Fair on Saturday! I had a wonderful time and hope you all did as well. If you missed it, be sure to check my events calendar for the other shows I'll be doing, and of course you can always see some of my work on Etsy.

As I lay in bed Saturday night, exhausted but too wired to fall asleep right away, I had the epiphany that selling at craft fairs is like eating vegetables. Mind you, my sleep-deprived brain has also come out with gems like "Circus Animals! We should totally get those!" But this one still made sense the next morning.

Even though I know how important it is to eat healthy food, sometimes (between falling behind on grocery shopping, and trying to appeal to My Daughter the Picky Eater) it just doesn't seem worth all the time and effort I put into it. After a week or so of kid-friendly dishes, though, I'm usually feeling so lousy that I rebel and cook a meal with four or five different vegetables in it. Every time, I remember how much I love eating vegetables, and how great it makes me feel! I have energy, my head is clear, I make lists of all the recipes I want to try, and I feel excited about cooking again. Every. Single. Time.

There's one craft fair I do every year, but since moving back to the Eugene area, I hadn't researched all the local venues and applied to other shows. Every year, as the fair season gets closer and closer, I know I should sign up for more, but dread the thought of all the extra time that goes into having a booth, rather than just selling online. "I'm too busy, it's too much extra work, I'm an introvert and not a natural salesperson... it's just not worth it." I say this to myself every year, in spite of the fact that when I do a show, I feel great! It's fun to get out of my studio to meet customers in person, to watch their eyes light up when they see something I've made as the perfect gift for a loved one or a special treat for themselves, to talk to other vendors about the joys and woes of being self-employed. I always come away from shows with pages filled with drawings of new designs, lists of ideas for making my product lines even better, and I feel excited about my business again. Every. Single. Time.

Life will always get in the way if you let it, so I'm working on automating things to keep that from happening. I'm going to have a cooking day once a week to stock my freezer with healthy pre-cooked meals, so the next time I get behind I'll be less likely to declare it Nacho Night. I'm also making a calendar with the application dates for all the local fairs and markets on it, and will sign up in advance for at least one a month, year-round, so I never have time to forget how much I actually enjoy it. I'll be having a healthy and exciting 2014, and look forward to seeing you all there!


kt40s said...

I always get this dread of thinking I took on too much when i seigned up for a craft fair then it happens and I am so thankful that I did it:)