Monday, May 7, 2012

A Clover Market Anniversary

As a little girl, my mom would drag my sister and me to local craft shows. Okay, drag is the wrong word.  Both my sister and I loved walking aisle after aisle, taking mental notes of all the crafts that we could duplicate.  And it turns out we come from a long line of crafters. I remember as a girl saving the handles of milk jugs for my mom's mom who would use them to make kitchen scrubbies out of tulle. Weekends during the summer my grandma and aunts would have tables at community craft fairs selling kitchen and bathroom scrubbies long before Bath and Body Works sold puffs.

My mom grew up a crafter, and she passed that DIY spirit on to my sister and me.  My mom sat my younger sister and I down in front of her sewing machine when we were both in elementary school.  I still remember how odd it was for me as a middle school student taking home economics class during our introduction to sewing unit.  By the time I hit middle school, I had already been following patterns and stitching up dresses for five years. And as much as my sister I would protest as young girls our weekly 4-H sewing meetings, both of us turned out to be pretty crafty women. Although we live states a part, we still call one another and email each other when we run across a particularly crafty find that we might duplicate.

So this past Sunday while at Clover Market, it dawned on me that it was my first anniversary. My very first craft fair was time last May. Although I had been stitching and crafting up gifts for family and friends for years, it really wasn't until last year that I decided to take a leap and try my hand at fairs and festivals. And quite a bit has changed since my first booth (as you can see at left). Not only have I added and subtracted from my booth set-up, but I'm starting to hone in on my brand and my look.  I'm not there yet, but I think I'm getting there.

This past weekend at Clover Market, I caught myself doing the same thing that I've been doing since I was clutching the hand of my mom as a little girl - scoping for ideas and inspiration. I love seeing how others put displays together, taking mental notes of color combinations, display layouts, and fresh ideas.  And Clover Market is such a fantastic venue to do such booth-shopping (like window-shopping, only much, much more fun).  The level of pride and attention that so many of the vendors at Clover Market pay to their displays is clear. I was joking with so many that stopped by my booth that Clover Market is a dangerous place for me - I make a little money, and my first thoughts are about when I might be able to walk around to spend it! But more than shopping, I love seeing all the fresh ideas. As a crafter and DIY-addict, Clover Market has been a great place for me to start my craft adventures and grow as a business woman. I look forward to June's market!

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