I must have got through at least two full notebooks with all of my lists! I hand made little paper items to decorate presents, I got my sewing machine out and made some totebags, my mum even helped me out with knitting some really cute stripy dishcloths and corsages! It was a lot more work than I ever thought it would be, but I enjoyed every minute so I suppose it wasn't that bad.
After all of that work I felt very prepared, packed the car and set off to the first one on Saturday. I can't have come crashing down to earth harder than I did that afternoon! The first fair was in a pub (This should have screamed not worth the risk really), it was free so I thought why not. I got all set up and was really excited to finally get my work out there and for people to see it, well that would have happened if people had actually come to the fair. There can only have been 10 people that actually came and looked around in the 3 hours we were there. To top it off the landlord didn't put the heating on so I was absolutely frozen! We left early and I made a loss with petrol and the raffle prize I gave towards it.
So after a HUGE glass of wine that night I pulled myself back up and told myself tomorrow would be better. Thankfully it was, for one thing it was warm inside the hall! I only made enough to cover my stall but the atmosphere was really good and I met some lovely stall holders aswell as the ladies that ran the event, they were all so supportive and quite happy to chat about business tips.
I had a lot of positive feedback but you have to watch out for some customers though, there was one little old lady that pulled some faces at the price of my totebags (I made sure I got a really nice strong heavy canvas cotton so they were really sturdy and would last. I neatly lined them inside aswell so there were no stitches on show inside), they were £8 for a large one. Anyway, she bustled off only to come back with her daughter and husband to mutter about them some more. All right infront of me! If something like this happens don't take it to heart, there will always be people who aren't happy with something, I just looked the other way and made sure I couldn't hear what they were saying. I realise some people are good at sewing and can easily make these things themselves, they're not who I'm aiming at. It's always going to knock you down when someone does something like this, but just ignore it as it won't be very often and for that one little glitch everyone else loved my products.
My highlight has got to be where a little boy, who reminded me a lot of my little 8 year old brother, kept walking past my stall and smiling at me until eventually he just had to say to me that he really liked my notebooks and would love to buy one but didn't have enough money left. He really liked my Spaceman design and I was so touched I let him have it for a discounted price. Sometimes if you don't ask you don't get =) That little boy honestly made my day.
When your in this industry it all feels very personal as it's your designs from your imagination and drawn with your hands so it feels awful when you hear negative comments. You really have to focus on the positive ones though, everytime you feel a bit upset by one persons views just think back to a time where someone stood out for you and made you feel good about your work. I sold a set of my Harvest time prints to a lady in America who bought them for her 2 year old grandson for Christmas. It's such a special feeling that I can't really describe, but this is why I design, so people like that, who really love what I do, can enjoy them as much as I do.
Have you ever had anything like this happen to you? What do you do to lift yourself back up?