You know that feeling you get when you’re nearing the end of a season? Some people feel trepidation, like when school is about to start, and all the busy months are practically on the doorstep. Maybe some people get irritated because they don’t like summer.
Actually, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like summer. Bad example.
A lot of people get a quiet thrill from the change of season.
Maybe they’re excited about learning new things at school…
or entering football season…
or anxiously waiting for their favorite TV series to return (mine is the Walking Dead)…
or thinking about shopping for the holidays!
I’m feeling a few jitters, but mostly excitement and motivation! Starting in August, I’ll be participating in at least one market each month through December. It’s a lot of hard work ahead, but I’m looking forward to it. It’s a step in my journey to build on LSSLuscious Knits. Just making my way towards realizing that life-long dream of making a living as an artist.
One of the greatest things about doing markets and fairs is that I get to meet my customers in person. It’s wonderful to correspond with them online, but seeing them live is a very different animal! I learn a lot more about them; where they’re from, what they do, whether or not they have pets or kids. They’re all interesting and have a unique story to tell.
Last year, a nice lady bought a whole bunch of mittens from me. She wanted to give them as gifts to a number of relatives who were visiting Illinois at the coldest part of the winter…and they were from California.
I used to do maybe 1 or 2 shows per year, always in the winter. This year, I promised myself I would step it up. I wanted to do shows that spanned more seasons of the year, and take myself out of my comfort zone. Selling in person is hard. It’s difficult for me to talk to strangers, but when I’m in a market, that’s exactly what I have to do.
The good thing is, I know my stuff. So it’s easy to talk about it with just about anyone! And…even though I may be a little nervous about “putting myself out there,” I basically love people. I think most people are pretty cool.
One of the things I like the most about my customers is that they always encourage me to “go with it.” They give me a very simple guide…like a color or two that they love, and then they tell me to just take it from there.
I love the artistic freedom customers give me.
This tells me that they trust me, and I cherish that, truly. It’s hard-earned and can be easily lost. Trust is one thing I’ll never take lightly.
It also tells me that my customers have a deep appreciation for all things handmade. They enjoy original art and the often-unplanned happenings that go into the process.
They’ve have had good experiences with my work in the past, or they enjoy the work they see so much, that they’re interested in what I can do for them specifically.
To me, this is an amazing thing: having people from all over the country, requesting something as personal as a handknit pair of mittens – completely my own design, or an ice-dyed t-shirt, with no real knowledge of what the outcome will be.
If you’ve ever commissioned anything from me–thank you. I’m honored that you chose me to make something for you! If you haven’t, I hope you’ll have a chance to visit one of the markets where I’ll be selling. I’d love to meet you!
Have a good week!