Most people think I'm nuts for making a living out of crafting. Admittedly, it isn't the most lucrative career path I could have chosen for myself, but after 13 years of building my business I just refuse to give it up. I constantly fail and I always struggle. There's never enough time in the day to finish my work and there is always a new project to finish. It's frustrating, and at times, just a headache.
So why bother with it, and why do I encourage others to do it? One reason, I LOVE it! I've had many failures but I've also had huge successes, and it's those achievements that keep me inspired. Sometimes it's watching the success of other crafters that keep me going. I hosted a craft show at our civic center last year and I had a crafter stop in to see if there were any spaces available. Unfortunately, I had sold out and was completely full. I was running around like a maniac coordinating the show and checking on everyone, that I basically sent the poor guy away because I just didn't have the time to talk to him.
As he walked out the door one of my volunteers pulled me aside and said he had driven two hours just for a chance to see if there was a way he could display his work. I immediately ran out the door to talk to him. It turns out he had made some beautiful garden decorations. I still didn't have any room for him, but he wanted to bring in his laptop and show customers what he made. I agreed to let him in and gave him a small spot at one of the lunch tables, but because of that, a customer was able to see his work and he made a big sale. Needless to say, he went home a very happy crafter. But before he left to make his long trip home, he had mentioned his wife didn't think he was going to sell anything. My heart went out to him, because I knew what it felt like to not have support for your passion. So while it was good to know that he made the big sale, but it was even better knowing that he did it with little support and had the odds stacked against him.
It's stories like this that make what I do completely worth it. I know what it takes to put your heart and soul into something, to take the time and money and invest it into something you can only hope will bring you success. It's tough, but it's also the most rewarding experience I've ever had; and to be a part of someone's success story, makes what I do even better.
Help make a crafters day successful and stop by a craft fair, shop online or visit a local store. You never know what you're going to find and you have no idea how special that sale might be to its creator.
Here's some links to get you started...