Hello dear readers & made w/ love followers!
What has little ole Jenni Loo been up to? Well, nothing much except for a little of this and a little of that. School, work, and trying to be crafty. I feel like summer is going by too fast and I'm not really having the chance to enjoy it. I feel like I'm rotting away because my time is spent mostly at work and partly at school. I'm tired all the time and my health hasn't been the greatest so I'm a bit weak.
My plate keeps getting more and more piled up on it, and it seems a bit overwhelming to figure it all out. Some problems are mine, but one problem seems to be for everyone in the crafting "community." I put community in quotes because there just seems to be a lack of one in the Detroit area. Some might want to argue about that or agree and are afraid to step forward to say, but right now I don't have the energy to explain myself.
But speaking of crafting, I've been doubting myself lately. This past Sunday I vended again at The Rust Belt Market in Ferndale, but by myself this time. I can say it was a day that caused many stresses to my body. Physical and emotional. It was a hot, hot day and my booth was in front of a window, and even with curtains on the window (and AC) I still burned up. I woke up late that day and had nothing to eat -- nor did I have time to pack a lunch. I was by myself so it wasn't easy for me to step away to go grab a meal. I was dizzy. I wanted to vomit. I had the shakes and the heat almost made me pass out. All the negative emotions I was feeling was definitely not helping my body. I certainly have to thank my friend Shannon for supporting me. If she weren't there as a friend and a good luck charm, I definitely would have had a break down or packed up early and left.
To be truthful, I did tear up a couple times because of my doubts and my realization of the day. That morning when I was setting up my booth I thought that it was too colourful. I actually said to the woman (I never got her name) running the candy booth next to me "Sometimes I think it looks like a rainbow exploded on my table." I didn't mean it in a positive way. My table is bright, and it always seems to be crowded with too cutesy treasures that I make. It didn't help that my little shop was between a candy shop and a pastry shop. All the sales went to them, which made me think that I was in the wrong business. Plus, so many people just walked on by without even pausing. My realization was that I was exposing who I really am with all these bright colours, animals, prints, and designs I use & create. Only a few people seemed to understand and appreciate how much of myself is in each piece I make. I have never felt so vulnerable selling my treasures before. I felt worthless and talentless.
Quite a bit of my friends (from school and work) and my aunt & uncle actually stopped by, which helped me out emotionally. Though, most of my sales of the day were from my visitors. Please don't be surprised when I say that I think they felt obligated to buy something from me. My goal for the day was to break even, which I was close to achieving that goal, but that still didn't cheer me up. I mean, vending at The Rust Belt is the most expensive place I have ever paid to take part in. To some crafty businesses the fee is no big deal, but to a college student with not very much money it is a big deal. I only did vended alone because there was a Green Fair taking place next door and I felt that promised extra foot traffic. But even with the added extra attendees I still think no one liked my stuff.
My friends tell me I shouldn't think this way and I am talented, but I'm just going by what I have seen from stranger's reactions. I know I have to find my market and talk to people about myself more, but that's just something more that I don't want to have to stress over about. I just want my work to speak for itself. There's more I can go on about, but I'm just not feeling up to it. I thought I would share, that is all. I will post some photos of my booth if anybody is genuinely interested.