"In 2017 My True Love Gave To Me...
7 Successful Craft Shows
(6 animal rescues, 5 rolling acres, 4 happy farmers, 3 playful kitties, 2 gay roosters, and a home of our very own)"
We've been at this for almost 6 years now. Some seasons I've done as many as 20 shows, but this year we decided to take it easy, taking the summer off to work on the farm, and hitting it hard come September. I loved this year for just that reason. Outdoor summer festivals can be great, but they can also be awful. You are at the mercy of the weather, which can go from sunshine and light breezes to damaging winds and rain in the snap of your fingers. Your livelihood exists under a canopy with canvas walls and sand bag weights, and everything under it you put your blood, sweat, and tears in to create. That's a lot to have taken out by a 50 MPH wind gust in a matter of moments. It happens. The first festival we ever did we lost our tent to the winds, it was devastating. But, we picked up and moved on, getting a better tent, and going to the next show. I loved that every weekend this summer that those threatening storms rolled in I was sitting in the comfort of my house wondering where I might have been set up that day. I also missed being out there in the sunshine, being a part of that community I have grown to love.
Festival life is more than just selling stuff, building an audience, or showing your talents. It's about being a part of this huge community of artists who have decided they want to show a world of mass produced products where so many talented craftspeople succumb to desk work, they aren't giving into that. I think it's a bit sad to read statistics about the amount of people in our country who hate their job. I believe many of those people would create something if they thought they could make a living doing it. Our automated culture turns the furniture maker, the toy maker, the seamstress, and the potter into someone who instead sells insurance, collects data, or pedals pharmaceuticals. What if everyone who wanted to make something could actually make a living doing that? How much happier of a workforce would we be? I can tell you from personal experience...So. Much. Happier.
We had 7 great craft shows this year. Next year we'll have more as we get back on our summer schedule. I'm still debating what direction to go with my clothing line after our best show to date was done without and textile items on display and, from the perspective of setting up and tearing down, it was so much easier. I'm sure that debate will continue, as will my love for sewing, the increasing popularity of our natural body care line, and the tugging of my heartstrings as to where to spend my shrinking time.