Saturday was spent in Parma at Crafty Goodness, a modern art & craft show organized by Chris Sorenson. It was only my second show, and I still don’t really know how I feel about them. I’m not very good at sitting still for long periods of time, and it takes an awful lot of self-confidence to sit and be judged by passersby for hours on end.
It’s scary to see individual reactions to the things I make, because these are what I love. That table is piled in things I have spent hours dreaming about, stitching together, and smiling at. I have pride in everything I make, and I know that I do quality work.
Plus, I consider my sewing to be the coolest thing about me. My creativity is the part of myself that I like best. Usually, though, it’s not the first thing that people know about me. Once they’ve talked to me for awhile, it usually comes up, and then I feel like I’ve gotten an extra boost in coolness. But at craft shows, it’s the first (and really, only) thing that people know about me. Instantly, they know the part of me that I like best, because it’s out on that table on display. And what do I do when they don’t like the best part of me? See, it’s scary.
On Saturday, for a good portion of the morning, I was sitting by myself nervously and stuffing narwhals as people walked by. I said hi to most people who walked by my booth, but I wasn’t sure what else to say… “hi, i’m sam and i, um, make things. yeah, these things.” At two separate moments, two different older ladies came up to my table, picked up a whale, and said, “what do you do with this?” I was confused, but I smiled and answered, “it’s a stuffed animal!” They shrugged and walked away; apparently cuteness was insufficient purpose.
But things gradually became less awkward. After many less-than-enthused shoppers passed my table, a young girl bought a mousie with a look on her face that said “i will love this forever”. That boosted my morale. My boyfriend stopped by for awhile and sat with me, and he brought good luck, too, because I started getting a few sales.
Then I finally had the daymaker. A girl and her mother approached my booth and said, “we know you! we came to meet you!” Meghan had ordered something from me back in August, and since it was only a bit of a drive, they came to visit and see me and my things in person! I was flattered and super excited to meet an online customer & blog reader… I don’t get to know every reaction to my packages after they’ve sent out, so I was absolutely thrilled, especially after that scary morning, to be told that yes, my stuff was cute and good and likeable.
That definitely made my day, and it certainly changed my attitude from “ah-scared-scared-scared” to “okay, i can do this, i’m kindof awesome”. I think it was apparent on my face, too, because my improved confidence in myself gave everyone else a more favorable view of my products.
At the end of the day, I was worn out and completely done with the fluorescent lights. But the overall vote for the day? A Good Day. I even managed to make some money! But I’m still glad I won’t have to do another show anytime soon.