18 December 2018

Lifelong Dreams and All That

I've always loved going to craft shows. I love wandering the booths, eyeing the pretty things talented people make. I don't tend to buy a lot of stuff, as I'm not a very knick-knacky type, but I have bought a few notable things at craft shows.

1) I bought a Christmas sign with two snowmen on it because they have my parents' names written underneath them. The sign was just an example of personalization...but it just so happened to have my parents' names on it, with the exactly correct spelling and all, so I asked the seller if I could buy her example, and she let me. That was about 10 years ago when I was a freshman in college, and it still comes out at their house every year at Christmas.

2) Hairclips. Those with a sharp eye might have noticed that I often wear either a pink flower clip or a blue flower with feathers or a teal flower with feathers. I've had these three hair clips for years...probably since about 2011, 2012. They stay so nicely in my hair, and the "flower clip in the hair" is just a signature Rachel move at this point. I bought two of them one year, and went back to the same seller at the same craft show the next year and bought another because I loved them so much. 

3) A bracelet made of forks. And earrings made from the handles of spoons. Angel bought these gifts for me, but I helped pick them out. They're pretty much perfect.

Always, secretly, as I wandered the aisles at craft shows in the USA, I thought about how fun it would be to have my own booth. To sell my handmade wares. But I'm not a business person, and through I'm crafty in my own way, nothing I might make is the sort of thing people would buy. I'm not really cut out for the job, anyways. I just always thought it would be really fun. Ever have really impractical dreams of that sort?

And then, this month, I got to live out a little piece of that lifelong dream as I got to help my little sister prepare for and run her booth at not one, but two craft shows. The first was at Angel's school. He'd asked if she could join the craft fair they were having, but we didn't want to tell her about it till we knew what the answer would be. We got a "yes" answer Wednesday night. The show was on Friday.

She flew into a frenzy of painting on Thursday as I dutifully cut paper, laminated bookmarks, washed jars, punched holes in gift tags, wrote out price lists, and did my little part to support her creative genius. Sarah watched the babies. It was truly a team effort to complete everything in time for the show!

I went with her to set up the table and help with adding and subtracting and nearly burst at the seams with excitement as I watching my baby sister selling her art.

On Sunday, we got word that the following week, on Saturday, there would be another craft show that she could join, at a different venue.

Six days notice to prepare for a show seemed like a luxury of time after the previous week, but again, it was a week full of paper cutting and laminating and painting and lettering and creative chaos until we left early on the morning of the show. This time, I even colored her hair vivid red the night before the show because...everyone's more confident when their haircolor is great! It takes a team! Angel watched Cyrus while I spent the morning of the craft show with MaryGrace, and then we traded places in the afternoon. 

It was fun to sit back and watch her chat with strangers, make new friends, and become a little more confident in her artwork. We sometimes fumbled with the wrapping paper for the glass jars. The bags we brought were too small for some of the artwork. We learned a bit about what sold and what didn't. At the first sale she received multiple requests for Dr. Who-themed bookmarks, but didn't have any. She made some for the second sale, and sold several of them. Her velociraptor and jellyfish illustrations were popular, and the handpainted gift tags sold like hotcakes. Even the watercolor galaxy ornaments--my idea that MaryGrace was not really convinced was actually a good idea--nearly sold out, much to her surprise.

So, it wasn't my booth, but it was my dream, and I think that helping with the practical background stuff while watching my little sister's talent blossom is just about the best fulfillment of said dream that I could imagine. Sometimes dreams don't always turn out to be all about you, after all. 
Rachel ¦¦ A Nesting Nomad said...

This is such a lovely post, and for me sums up the joy of family so well.

Also, your sister is an amazing artist! I'm not surprised she was so popular at the craft show. I'd definitely have made some purchases.

AnneMarie said...

Her artwork is beautiful! That is so cool that you got to help her out with this endeavor. What a cool way to live out your dream!