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Monday, March 28, 2011

[Insert Cliche Good/Bad Idiom Here]

I vended at a show this past Sunday, and my high hopes and excitement were chipped away at all day until the show ended and I closed my cash box having made only 2 sales.... About 350 people had come through the show. Needless to say, I was disappointed. But I could have been much more upset, and interestingly, (because I have a consistently positive outlook) I kinda wanted to be an angry sourpuss, lamenting all of the things that hadn't gone my way that day. But no matter how hard I tried to be a Debbie Downer, the good things about my day kept creeping up on me which made it very difficult to maintain the negative attitude that I so wanted to enshroud myself in.

"Every cloud has a silver lining"
"There are two sides to every coin"
"Take the bad with the good"
"Don't throw the baby out with the bath water"

No matter how hard I tried to focus on the failures of the day...
- "350 people and I only sold 2 items?! To the SAME person!" 
- "Why didn't the vendor who was supposed to be beside me show up? Now there's just a void there and its negative energy is tainting my vending space!" 
- "I want to grab some food, but what if I miss the ONLY other sale I might get today?"
- "Those people giving away free cupcake samples right in front of me are making everyone miss my table!"

...they just didn't really seem to matter when stacked up against the good things that occurred...
-I gave out lots of business cards!
-People always enjoy seeing those Beastly Baby Booties, and it makes me feel great to create something that generates such an instant and positive response.
-I met another Etsy friend! It was her first show, and her table setup looked AMAZING! I was so happy to meet her in person.
-Someone was browsing through my creations and after discovering that I made each and every one told me that I was 'just amazing'. :)
-The vendor behind me was super-friendly and let me know about a job opportunity (I'm currently seeking outside employment until my business starts generating millions) and told me how personable I was. Then she kept giving me chocolate squares. Mmmmm.... chocolate...
-I received tons of compliments on the work that I create and could talk about how some of my items were developed.
-I was photographed for the local 'Snap!' newspaper!
-The journalist who was shooting pictures was looking at a pair of Quantum Teardrops, when I said they were inspired by quantum physics, she said "Oh I get it, like this is sort of like an atom and these represent the orbits..." I get thrilled when people can see the inspiration translated into the design.
-Another Etsy friend came to the show to say hi and check out everyone's presentation (she's getting ready to attend her first show) and happened to bring along with her my one customer for the day...

There's more that I could add to that list, but I think I've made my point. Even though I was really upset that this particular show experience was a bit of a loss on paper (when you factor in table costs, transportation, etc- and weigh that against the meager sales I achieved...) it was still a great day no matter how hard I tried to perceive it as a really really bad one.

Some people say it's easier to think negative thoughts, or believe negative things- but I discovered that it's only easier to do that if you're in the habit of doing it anyway and you've already been consistently ignoring the good stuff in your life. But I'm not like that, and for as long as I can remember I have always been taught to "look on the bright side" and "not let it get you down" and to "seek the positives". It has become such a regular practice for me that it's basically impossible for me wallow in the world of pessimism. EVEN WHEN THAT'S THE ONLY THING I WANT TO DO.

So my advice to you is to really foster a positive outlook and learn to find the things that are great about unsavory situations. With a little practice and metal stick-to-it-iveness, you too can save yourself from being your own worst enemy ;)



  1. Hi!
    Thanks for your post - and I must say what a great outlook you have on things. I was at the SofieM booth across from you and I too had to "void table" infront of me and cupcakes beside me.
    I have been to shows before and must say, you looked happy and positive all day, which is very important, even just so people will approach you. I agree with all the points you made above and I really hope to see you back at our November show!
    Next time - let me know and I'll gladly cover your table while you grab a bite to eat!

  2. *laughs* Hey Courtney! I could be having the worst day imaginable and still find something to smile about. I wanted to take a closer look at your work, but it was supposed to be a reward for a day of great sales :S those belts were amazing!

    Not sure if will do the November show yet or not, but hopefully we cross paths in the crafting world again!

  3. It sounds like a lot of good things came out of doing this show. I think that those cards you handed out might bring in a few customers, too!