I'm in a bloggy (it keeps auto-correcting to "bloody." ugh.) mood tonight so I thought I'd hop on and do a little brain dumping. I've had so much on my mind lately that I wanted to kind of get some thoughts out of my brain and turn it into a post. I've been SO BUSY lately with work. If you don't know, Keola left his job and is now helping me with SoPupuka full time. It's
kinda really scary sometimes but I think we've figured stuff out enough to the point where we're ok. I've been SO BUSY with work. It's kinda weird to call SoPupuka work, because I never took it myself seriously enough, but now I do, because it's our livelihood. So. I've been so busy with work because it's the Christmas season, and I signed up for every craft event I could find. I ended up with Friday-Saturday craft fairs every weekend for a MONTH. I'm halfway through them now. The first event was good. Great traffic, good sales. The second fair was kind of pathetic with not much traffic (though it was the weekend after Thanksgiving and with Black Friday and all, we had a lot to compete with.) This weekend I'm headed to what should be the biggest event of the season, and I'm so excited for that! It should be a good one.
I've been learning so much as I've gone to these and other events over the months, the biggest lesson being that it's NOT THAT HARD. I remember when I first started doing events, it was Wailuku First Friday and we lived on Maui. I was so nervous about it I did a complete set up before the event every single time I went. I had crazy butterflies in my stomach. Even after I had been doing them for a while I'd still get nervous. For a long time I wouldn't want to try for big events because I didn't think my stuff was good enough and they wouldn't let me sell at their event. I thought other vendors would be mean or stingy. I thought no one would want to buy my stuff.
NOT TRUE, NOT TRUE, aaaand NOT TRUE.
I've been accepted into every single event I applied to (and the event planners have all been very nice). I've made wonderful friends with other vendors. NOT ONE has been stuck up or unwilling to share their own insights and experiences. People buy my stuff. Some people buy A LOT of my stuff (which is really cool.)
I've gotten into a groove. I have a "set up." I no longer have to plan out my set up in advance. I just pack everything up, head over and set up when I get there, making the best use of the space I have.
It's NOT THAT HARD. Of course, it takes time to learn these things. I go through a lot of trial and error and I'm constantly changing things up and figuring out what's the best way to do things. I learn more with each event. But the cool thing is, that the more I do this, the less scary it becomes.
Tomorrow I'm heading to my biggest event to date. Earlier this year I would've been a nervous wreck. Heck, earlier LAST MONTH I would've been a nervous wreck. I would obsessing over my set up, loading of the car already and making sure I have EVERYTHING. What am I doing instead? Writing a blog post. Later I'll probably make some cocoa and watch an episode of Supernatural (or Downton Abbey but I think Keola wants to watch Supernatural). I'll make sure all my electronics are on chargers tonight, but other than that, it's just another event and everything's been ready to go since my last event.
I could never have imagined this being easy when I first started, but each event brings new information and new opportunities, and after a while, it's no big deal. Seriously. January and February are already half booked because I met people and events who have told me about them.
I love doing these events and meeting new people and growing my fan base. I'm hopeful about next year being a year of even more growth as more people learn about my brand and as I shoot for bigger and bigger opportunities.
The takeaway? If you're just getting started with something new and it scares the heck out of you, just keep going. Take every opportunity to try. Scary things are scary because they exist in the unknown. Once you shine a light on it, it won't be so mysterious. It'll get easier. I look back on where I started and there's no way that girl could've imagined what I'm doing now. I'm sure in the future, if I continue on this trajectory, I'll look back at my present self and think "Wow. I've come a long way from that."
Progress is progress even if it's slow progress. Don't stop.