This first spring open house at the Collective lhe+ Makery has a lot of meaning for me,and I actually have a little story to tell you why.
For those of you who have been hanging out with me a long time, you might remember one of the very first shows I was a part of planning with Anne Marie at Nada Farm? If you are fairly new, you can see what the Nada Farm sales were like here and here. They are such fond memories for me. Right before the first Nada sale back in 2010, I had been doing small shows and craft fairs, and selling on Etsy. I had been getting some income from them, but not making a lot. Many times, when I would do a show, I would barely make my $30 table, let alone cover my time and supplies. I wanted to make a living being creative, but wasn’t making enough money to make a difference or justify it and it made me feel like that maybe I either wasn’t talented, or nobody really wanted what I made. Even though I love my mom, your own family being your best customers doesn’t always feel like winning.
I met Anne Marie when she had come to a blog gathering I had organized, and she had asked me if I was interested in being at her show. At the time, I had been selling on Etsy, and even though sales were ok, I felt like a bit of a failure. My sales never seemed to compare with what other people had the appearance of making. I was feeling discouraged, but I had an internal nudge to do one last go, and I told her that I would try her show.
I said yes, but I was thinking “If I don’t make any money at this sale, this is it, and I am going to move in another direction, I’m done with retail.” Looking at that now, it’s funny, right?
So I did it, not really knowing how it was going to turn out, knowing it was an hour and a half drive one way, knowing I could be spending all of this money, and I wasn’t even sure if I was going to make any of it back . All I knew was negatives. I am so glad I took that chance. After the first day, I was blown away by the response. In fact, we were all struck a little speechless. At the end of the show, when the sales were tallied up, it was the very first sale I had ever had, where I didn’t just make my $30 table back, and had to pack up a little sad I hadn’t done better. I had made over a thousand dollars in two days, doing what I loved, for the very first time, and people bought my things because they loved them. They bought my art, and my jewelry, and my handmade things. Anyone who creates knows that selling something you made with your own hands is one of the best feelings in the world. I realized, maybe it wasn’t time to throw in the towel yet. How different my life would have been if I had not taken that one last leap of faith way back in 2010, and just called it quits.
Flash forward to 2018, after almost 10 years of retail and wholesale and a rocky start. Our spring open house at the The Collective lhe this weekend was more than I could have hoped for. It was so busy, I didn’t even get to grab pictures during it. Luckily, I took a ton of photos before. We talked and laughed, and had a great time. We also have two amazing women working with us, who are just the best ever, and who continually bless us, and our customers. Autumn and I collapsed at the end of the night, exhausted, but happy. It’s amazing how it has come together.
It brought back those Nada memories, and made me realize, that sometimes when it’s hard, and we don’t know where it’s headed, that we have to keep going. I’m glad I kept going. And, every time a blog friend or reader comes in the store, it makes me even happier I kept going.
I did grab a few pictures of how the shop looked beforehand to share with you. It was such a fun day. Everyone loved the make and take flower bar and made beautiful bouquets!
We also had a sugar cookie artist with samples, as well as a chocolate samples and goodies, lots of giveaways, including our fun angel wing, floral,selfie wall.
I might have grabbed one with myself in front of it… because I’m a big dork like that. 😉
We have such cute spring things, and another shipment coming in next week. I love how Autumn and I have curated everything that’s coming in. It’s so hard not to want to buy it all, and keep it for myself.
It’s all bunnies and spring scents here, and pretty green and pink.
We played with texture and spring color by putting moss over the door with faux flowers.
It was so much fun getting the store ready for everyone.
If you follow me on IG, you can see I painted flowers in the front window. I love how what would be considered vandalism in your teens, is now art in your 40’s.
It was such a fun weekend, and we we were so blessed by the turn out. We can’t wait to host our next event.