Learning While You Go

I started selling pottery at Village Art in the Park In Leavenworth, WA in 2015. The very first day I showed up here was Mothers day weekend. I would not say that I felt like I new everything, but I will say that I have always been confident in whatever I do, which usually translates to me thinking that I know what I am doing.

 Booth setup my first day at Village Art in the Park

Booth setup my first day at Village Art in the Park

There are about 17 vendors at Art in the Park and everyone is welcoming and eager to help you succeed. Looking back, my booth was absolutely terrible! It was ugly and I was unprepared and I had homemade little weights that could barely hold down a piece of paper and even when Mary, the director of the park gave me better weights, I still was too afraid to ask for bungie cords or anything of the sort to attach them. Fast forward to day two of VAIP. I come rolling in from my 1.5 hour drive because I needed to bring more product back, and I look down the hill and notice that my booth was literally on its side and all of my pottery was scattered on the ground. Well I get to the booth and everyone is gathered around, picking up pieces, telling me not to give up, two people even gave me money! I held it together pretty well, until I hear all of my pottery crashing into the dumpster. That was by far the worst day of my life thus far. I make sure to tell pretty much every vendor that starts at art in the park that story... Not because I want to scare them, but to demonstrate that even though you know things, there is always something that can go wrong and taking help/advice from people is never a bad thing... especially in a vending situation. 

 Mothers Day 2015

Mothers Day 2015

Fast forward to now. I have a booth that has shelves that hang off of it and I think I literally scare everyone who walks into the booth because they do not realize that swinging shelves are better than shelves that fall over. I cannot tell you how much I have learned in the past 3 years about vending, business, and people. Stuff that I almost do not even want to know how to do. One of my fellow vendors that started vending last year with us told me recently that I had mentioned that it took me a year to really get my shit together. He said that last year when I told him that, he kinda laughed and quietly disregarded what I said and then came back this year and told me that I was right. A year is about the sweet spot for where we sell to really understand, not only your audience, but your own product and how to sell it. 

It is amazing the difference between my 20 year old self and my 28 year old self and the amount of listening and compromising I do now, as opposed to when I was younger and prideful. I am much more willing to take the advice of someone else now then I would have been in the past. I almost crave advice now... because if someone could tell me what to do in order to be successful I would be all ears. But I am constantly learning, I am constantly trying to make my booth/shop/business better. It may take me 4 tries, but I usually get it eventually. I have come so far, it would be a shame to stop now. 

 After the fall, Before the current set up. 2016/17

After the fall, Before the current set up. 2016/17

 current set up 2018

current set up 2018

So Tired, I have to write about it.

So Here is the thing, I own a business, I am wicked tired, and I am pretty much broke. Do I like my life? Not all the time, would I trade it for another one? I don't think I would. I actually do like what I do, but being a single woman who owns her own business is hard. It kinda sucks most of the time and I need to find the nuggets that make it worth it. And on top of all of that, I make an item that is sold for cheap but requires an immense amount of labor. So either I am absolutely doing it wrong, or in a couple years everything will line up and my life will be golden...

I have very few examples of pure success of a business owner, and by that I mean that they don't work their ever loving ass off to make just a tiny bit of money. They delegate and have money to spare and enjoy their life. You do not need a lot of money by any means, but there has to be a reward to owning your own business and I do not care what anyone says, just because you are your own boss does not mean that you have a better life. 

So this brings me to why I am starting this blog. 1. I actually really love to write and feel like I need a release at the end of the day. 2. I feel like there is some stigma that even though we own our own business our life is basically better than any of the other population. No one talks about the struggles and how great the reward is when it actually does come. There is reward but that is maybe 20% of the time and I feel like there needs to be some realism in the world a little bit about business. Hey maybe I am doing all this shit wrong, but I doubt it. I work hard and I work more, but when there is a reward its pretty awesome. I closed my doors to my shop today because I am burned out and I can just do that, I won't make any money, but I can do it. So If you own a business, and your frustrated that other businesses far away are succeeding and you feel like your in a rut... Read this blog, because I guarantee it will make you feel better about yourself.f