… my first fair …

It definitely was an experience! I am so proud that I had the courage to do this. I am so proud I could handle such a social event and for the most part even enjoy it. I am so happy I was able to meet a bunch of wonderful customers with so much passion for crafts. I am so happy I got the chance to meet and connect with other fantastic entrepreneurs that immediately felt like old friends. It didn’t feel like a competition but a joint venture to make this event as fantastic as possible for all of us. My main goal was reached. I got the confirmation that fairs are something I can handle – in my own way – and perhaps even end up loving!

Another goal of mine was to gain more exposure and find new customers. I hope I accomplished at least a little bit of that. Hopefully some of those people I met during the fair will remember me afterwards and visit my webstore in the future. Of course I also hoped to make a good amount of sales but that is something I was quite disappointed with. According to my experience this fair didn’t attract enough people with passion for modern fabrics. But on the other hand as a first experience this was probably a good thing – not too hectic and overwhelming.

And immediately after this fair in Helsinki I had to make a decision… to accept or decline my booth at Suomen Kädentaidot in Tampere. But this decision was easy. I talked to several exhibitors in Helsinki and they all praised Tampere and encouraged me to go there. And I really wanted to experience this again! So I am hopeful that Tampere will give me some final answers… what direction to take in the future regarding my fabric production…

Of course all this would not be possible without the support of friends and relatives… and especially without my husband who supported and stood by me in Helsinki and will follow me to Tampere as well. I was surprised how well he behaved ;), probably better than I did :D. Thank you…

And what would a trip be without some extra hassle…?! A screw in the trailer tire… my husband giving some first aid so we can get back home :D. I was so tired that I could only laugh 😀

 

… preparing for the fair …

 

 

If someone had told me a few years back that I would be exhibiting at a fair I would have laughed. Not me… I am not a “fair” person ;), not at all! I am not the most social type. I do like people but it is not easy for me to be comfortable in social situations. Why? I seriously don’t know. When I was a child I loved school plays. I loved to act and perform. I loved to be in the spotlight because in general I was quite invisible… I was the shy and quiet girl – always in the background. But already then I had mixed feelings about being on stage – I loved it but I also felt very nervous. And slowly the insecure side of me got the best of me and the love for performance turned into hate.

When I started my business I decided to do everything I can with online marketing but would never attend any fairs. I knew it would decrease my chances of expanding my brand but I didn’t want to sacrifice my own well-being. I had pushed and forced myself for so long – trying to do what I thought I had to do to get respect from others. Finally it was time to do what felt right for me.

But life changes you… I have floundered through so many obstacles… I have pushed and fought… trying to find my own way… This autumn I finally decided to accept the fact that things weren’t moving in the direction I had hoped… it was time to move forward and leave the fabric business behind me. This decision was difficult but on the other hand it gave me freedom to stop forcing things. But just when I had reached this decision something happened… suddenly the interest in my brand increased. I knew it could only be a little upswing leading to another crash but something in me told me it was time to turn the last stone. I wanted to feel confident that even if things crashed again I had at least tried everything.

For the past two weeks I have been planning and preparing for this craft fair in Helsinki – Helsingin Kädentaitomessut – and suddenly I have found a piece of my inner child :). As a kid I loved to plan and arrange all kinds of events – they were small and mainly just for my own family but I loved it! And preparing for this fair has been so much fun! Even though I am scared as hell I am also so excited! I want to be that little girl again who loved to be in the spotlight… or at least can handle of piece of it ;).

Maybe this is an age thing… I am turning forty in a couple of weeks… if I can’t get rid of old ghosts and try something new now I will never get the courage to do this. I know this weekend will be rough – no matter what the result will be – but I want to experience this. What if this “fair” person is within me but I just haven’t given it a chance?! Who knows?!

I hope to see you at the fair! 🙂

Love,

Sari / SHALMIAK