Saturday, I had my first opportunity as a vendor for my crocheted items. It was an awesome opportunity to gain experience, meet new customers, and network with other vendors who are also African American. It has nothing to do with exclusion, but it has everything to do with building and creating opportunities for crafts, small businesses, exposure, and financial gains for businesses that are often overlooked or unheard of. We are also able to keep each other informed on bigger craft shows and opportunities to support each other. This is a plus for ALL women as we began to included each other and support each other’s ventures. Friendships and partnerships are often made.
My next vendor adventure will be a very big one at the Colonial Park Church in my city. It is a Fall Festival I have always known about before I began to crochet. I have never been, but it’s a family friendly event that involves the entire community. Needless to say, but saying it anyway, I am anxious about it. I was very anxious about the one I did yesterday and nervous because it was my first time. I was filled with doubt and prepared myself that if I didn’t sell one thing I had at least taken the first step. I had no idea how to set my table up so I reached out to other crafters, women from all over the world that gave me tips, shared pictures, and some that never did a craft show but wanted to wish me luck and pray that I sell boat loads as one said. I did sell some things and I was pleased with the outcome! I was pleased to network and purchase from two other vendors. I was pleased to meet new customers. I was pleased that I was offered more opportunities. I am now less anxious about next Saturday. I had to talk to myself the entire time I was on the way there. Therapy helps. I used the tools I was given and was able to calm my anxiety.
Afterwards, I had to pack up and get things back in the car. Here is where RA/RD and fibromyalgia is major factor. Well, that morning I had no help to load my car. My daughter was with her father. When I arrived, I had some help getting things out, then I had to set up on my own, break it down on my own, and I had help loading my car. But, when I got home, guess what? I had to take some things out and the other stuff is still in there. My body was so sore and achy BEFORE I even left the event or began to pack up. This was from just loading up everything to get there. Needless to say, the rest of the evening I was incredibly sore and I had to take pain medication for my pain. Sunday, was a little bit better and today is much better physically except my hands are still achy and I have been having some shoulder and back issues before all of this. BUT, I am so proud of myself to push past anxiety, my shyness (believe it or not), and put my side hobby out there. And it helped to have the support of a crafting community, friends, and family that cheered me on. This one reason I try to cheer others on. I know how important it is.