Customers Can Make You Cry

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.

8 thoughts on “Customers Can Make You Cry

  1. I loved coming into your booth Dana. And I can’t wait to spin up my fleece. They are calling me. I hope you will set up a booth at the Canby Fair too. Hope to see you there. Adele.

    • Hi again Barbara! Oh it was grand visiting with you all! I sure look forward to the coming shows and I’ll get to admire (drool) over your beautiful wood spindles again and again. I just loved the mesquite (can’t stop drooling for some reason)… For a fellow woodcarver, discovering a pretty new wood is always a thrill. I’d never heard of ‘flamewood,’ and am now hoping to find some I can work into hook handles. Thank you for taking the time to show me your precious lightening strike markings – now there was a perty pc of wood. Lucky you.

  2. Oh yes, I’ll be at the Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival at the Canby fairgrounds. Always check my Events Calendar page.
    I’m thrilled because it’s practically in my backyard; I live nearby in Sherwood. My assigned spot is in the main bldg, near the staircases.
    In past years, I’ve volunteered in the Fiber Arts division and will miss it, although I’m still helping the show by being a vendor this year. “Pssst! the entire show is run by volunteers, and we have a good time! Hey everyone, give back to your community and Volunteer at OFFF.”

  3. I had sooo much fun visiting your booth and meeting you and your husband. I would LUV to have one of your sheep-shaped spinning wheel bags… is there somewhere I can order one??? I got one that has a felted sheep on it. It’s great…but, it would be even more awesome to have one that is shaped like fuzzy sheep. =D

    • I’ll be at Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival in Canby, OR, on Sept. 22 & 23, and will bring as many Wooly Sheep Bags as I can possibly make. I only managed 11 for BSG, which all sold. I’ll also make Rams with horns this time. Goats too – with their horns and cute uptilted tails. Wanna make Pygora & Angora goats. Felting spiral horns sound like a fun challenge.

  4. yours really was as my grand daughter says,” my favorite and my best.” i have proudly used my items every single day. i will see you at offf.

    • Awww….pshaw! I must be blushing. Please thank your grand daughter for me. I am touched by so many compliments, and each individually means a lot to me. It makes the long hours of work (fun, but still work) so gratifying when customers enjoy the results. I’m already working up new ideas (esp for needle felted sheep figures) towards Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival. I’ll look forward to greeting you again. See you then! Have a wonderful summer!

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