Well I made it through!
Generally, I am sick as a dog at this point but instead I’m cool as a cucumber. Doing holiday bazaars has put me through an entire range of emotions. Each show I did was an entirely different experience.
At my first show I was positioned right next to the chocolate popcorn lady. Very quickly, I realized this was about what people who attended this show wanted to invest in! Popcorn was flying out the door and I was wondering what I had gotten myself into! There was one saving grace. There was one silver lining and that was my friends. This first show was also the closest to my home and so many wonderful people stopped by to give me a hug, invest in some of my work and keep me smiling. I will not forget their kindness.
The second show was a complete dud for me! It was completely overwhelming. There were over 70 vendors, yet not too artsy, it was primarily knitted Afghans, Tupperware and more of that chocolate popcorn!!! There were 4 of us vendors tucked into a corner that was completely bypassed by traffic. This was incredibly frustrating. I made my investment back, but the day very much felt like I was selling used cars rather than something I feel very strongly about.
The third show was just the right fit. The photos above were of me setting up for this event. The biggest difference was that my first two shows were school affiliated events and the final show was at an art center. The Jamestown Art Center. The venue was small. Only about 20 vendors and mostly artists. There were printmakers, painters, potters, clothing designers and overall very unique artisans. It took place in their gallery so the lighting was beautiful. The final wonderful attribute was the clientele. I’ve never met such an enthusiastic and curious bunch of people. Too many to count would come up and engage in conversation about my process, my interests and where I was from. Oh man, does that make the time fly! And many people bought some of my work and would tell me who it was being gifted to and how excited they were to give something hand-made. WOW. Is that the difference? Finding shows with like-minded people?
Your thinking BIG DUH …right?
If only it was that easy! Apparently you have to kiss a few toads before you find your prince show!
Overall, I thought for sure I was going to swear up and down that I’d never do this again! But, in the end, I stayed calm (well not really – as calm as I could!), I didn’t take it personally and I absorbed it all as a learning experience. That them there means growth I believe!
I leave you with some photos I took during the events while trying to keep myself occupied. There were definitely some characters. Life would be so boring without them!