Finally having come off my crafty high, I sat and pondered my very first market experience as a seller. I must admit it was something that really took courage on my part. Being a crafter, you always sit and make and get lost in creating, certainly never thinking about selling (well at least I didn't). As one of my favourite quotes by Hip Hop artist Jay Z goes
"You can't make art with business in mind. You have to make art first" .
Every time I create, I feel like I am making art for myself and for the feeling of peace and tranquility it provides. The excitement of combining colours and fabrics and to see some long thought out ideas occupying space in my brain - finally come to life. Dollars and cents don't come into it.
However, on my quest for self improvement and pushing myself a little, I wanted to try a market. To see if this was the way I wanted to go in terms of sharing my creations with others. So after sending my application form and paying my stallholders fee, I began the process of creating for selling. A new and different way to do things.
Always enjoying this process, it surprisingly did not take on a different meaning just because I was now creating for selling. Fear number one - scratched off the list. Phew!
So I continued to get lost in the art of making. Watching each bit of fabric, each stitch become a craftyclaudes creation. The craft room soon ran out of space as owlies, dolls and birds took over. Martino kindly giving up some of his art space for my ever growing menagerie of softies.
The days leading up to market day included checking stitches, creating tags, packaging and other bits and pieces. These days also included many sleepless nights and a few nightmares. Mainly of having crowds walking up to my stall and walking away laughing....and empty handed. Yikes! But I could not back out now.
Market day arrived. The first blue sky sunny day for almost 10 days of rain. A good sign that hopefully, the masses would soon pop in an visit the very first market in Marrickville Town Hall. Arriving and setting up my stall was fun, although the butterflies in my stomach felt at times, overwhelming (tho having my mum and Martino there certainly helped calm me down). Meeting and seeing other crafters doing the same filled me with a sense of pride. Here we were, all of us nervous (probably) excited (much) and hopeful. Seeing my stall come to life with all sorts of colour filled me with pride. This was the first time I had seen all my little creations come together, all on display - d e f i n i t e l y no turning back now.
Then comes the first sale....which I was hoping would happen on the day (but never a guarantee). One of my fellow stallholders bought the first owlie before the market opened to the public. I think I almost cried and jumped for joy and danced around - all on the inside of course! Fortunately, this continued for the rest of the day.
However, what I did not expect from this market experience, was the joy and thrill I got from meeting so many people. Many stopping by to share in the excitement of my creations, reminiscing about their favorite childhood doll, to discuss up cycling fabrics, colour combinations etc. Seeing the look on people's faces (especially the kidlets) light up when they saw the owlies really made me feel proud that I took the leap and brought them to market. All sorts of wonderful feelings and great energy on this day.....things I would have missed out on had I not pushed my comfort zone a little.
So onwards and upwards for this crafter - the next Creative Lane Market takes place on Sunday 31 July at the same venue. Hope to see more of you there :-)