A few weeks ago I tried a pattern with chunky yarn and it looked nothing like the photo. After what we call “frogging” the project and many attempts, I came up with my own way of doing it. I was pleased and so were the people I made them for. I figure sometimes this happens not only when a person creates a pattern, but also when manufacturers don’t give clear and concise instructions. I see it often in the crochet and knitting groups. We are all about making adjustments!
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.
There are just somethings in this life you have to take by the horns and fix it yourself. I waited until the last minute to resolve an issue. I sought wise counsel and I got great, but mixed advice. I thought I saw the right thing to do or was it that I saw what I wanted to see? I thought I felt the right thing to do, but it was too hard to do. I was vexed in my spirit for two weeks! I knew all along what had to be done. I only wish I would have done it sooner.
The lessons and reminders for me are:
- Leadership requires making hard decisions sometimes
- This wasn’t a Fix it Jesus moment. This was a moment of growth in my journey. It was very uncomfortable. I had to work through that emotionally and I am still working through that.
- Vibes and energy are important. If you don’t feel it or them, if they do not feel you, just don’t mix it with business or pleasure. People are responsible for the energy they bring to you and you are responsible for yours. You can put out good energy and they can still bring their weird or bad vibes. What are you going to do?
- If you are in business, you should bring good energy and vibes. You are providing a service, but people are paying you for it. Why would you bring bad juju? 😀
- You are not asking for a favor, you are acquiring a service. (wise counsel)
- Keep it short, don’t go into detail if you feel they won’t be receptive anyway, and keep it professional. (wise counsel)
- They told you how they felt about you through actions and attitude. It’s okay to do what you need to do. (God, Holy Spirit)
- This helped to decipher if I were being sensitive or if this was my GUT speaking. Hence, feeling vexed versus hurt feelings. My gut was practically screaming!
- You know what energy you want to bring to an event. You know your audience. Trust yourself to cut what doesn’t flow.