First….THANK YOU to everyone at 2012 BLACK SHEEP GATHERING: the organizers / other vendors / visitors / and especially my customers. You all helped make this 1st time as a BSG vendor into my happiest, most successful show ever!
And a special thank you to the customers who made me cry (in the best sense). You know who you are!
Of course I also appreciate the multitudes who entered my booth with sparkly eyes and wide grins. I loved seeing your reactions to the magic I tried to generate! Some was my intentional effort to entertain customers by creating a fun, fanciful booth. Mostly, it’s just my intrinsic whimsical nature bubbling forth. Thus the cheery green color theme / silly logo / playful booth contents. I love that some customers laughed aloud! I gleefully agreed to every request to take photos of my felted sign or Whimsy, the needle felted sheep ~ spinning at her miniature wheel ~ who is our booth mascot.
There were a few who made me cry. Oh, they hugged me afterwards to be sure, but first they made me cry. These were the customers who stopped & gazed slowly around. When they spoke, it was to thoughtfully observe and compliment:
· “Your sparkling creativity”
· “your homage to the silkworm”
· To inform me that as she passed by and glanced over, “….everything here just drew me in.”
All this capped off with :
· “Oh, the amount of time & effort you put into your creations.”
That’s all it took to bring on the tears. Just so you know, I’m not all puffed up – full of myself. The more compliments dished out, curiously the more humble I felt……ambivalent about the abundant accolades. But then, Black Sheep Gathering is already a show to overwhelm the senses, and here customers were heaping praise on top.
I cried for knowing how the rough economy smacked my family around in recent years, (cue Electric Light Orchestra: “ Hold on Tight to Your Dreams” ) and for the deep appreciation of the improving fortunes since I became a vendor. It has brought much happiness into our lives.
I cried for gratitude that another person would recognize the exhausting long hours put into prepping items to stock a booth, then sweetly take the time to express that recognition. Tears well in my eyes even now……remembering.
These women couldn’t know of the short prep time causing panic-stirred dreams. Or that I skipped YMCA / library group nights / even grocery shopping just to gain more hours prior to a huge show like Black Sheep. That my husband took over cooking & many chores to allow me extra time to felt, dye or carve. Or that dear husband put in long hours braiding dyed wool / then helped package, bag & tag the rest.
And dear readers, I teared up a bit too on behalf of all the talented vendors surrounding me. As I was hugged by some of these kindly women, a thought was clear in my mind: “We all work so hard to make these items in hopes of good sales and pleasing our customers, and helping make Black Sheep a terrific show.” I made sure to express this aloud.
To those of you who take the time to look a vendor in the eye, recognize and sincerely compliment their efforts, I tearfully thank you too.
Not to be forgotten: gratitude to my family. Our eldest daughter & fiance welcomed us into their Corvallis abode, despite their busy schedules. Same daughter squoze in a couple days to help set up the BSG booth, then help run it on Friday (thank heavens, because Friday was a tsunami of customers!). She was delightful company in the booth and wonderful with customers. A teacher by training & nature, she explained to a young girl what ‘citrus’ means (perky multi-color sheep sculptures). The girls eyes lit up “oh, so here’s lemon color, & lime & grapefruit & orange? ” It was a charming moment wherein she also learned a category of fruit. No reason shows can’t be educational too!
Our youngest daughter also helped, albeit from afar in Scotland. She’s a media consultant whiz – and has
pushed …um….nudged her computer-impaired mum into the blogging world thru sheer persistent determination & by assisting with blog mechanics. Dear husband has been supportive & deeply involved in The Biz from the start, and is already a well known booth companion. I find it endearing to observe how much he enjoys himself minding the booth and chatting with customers.
Clearly, I am blessed. Even if sometimes it makes me cry.