Friday, November 9, 2012

The Artisan Bazaar - Lessons Learned Through Challenges

Hello Dear Blog Readers! Thanks for stopping by to read up on my experiences in a recent artisan bazaar I participated in last weekend. I met some great fellow artists, made some great connections for future opportunities and enjoyed being in the general festivities. However, the day did not come without it's share of challenges and, of course, I learned a few lessons by working through those challenges...

Submitting Fees

Last year I participated in a different bazaar - this is because I am not a Costume Designer Guild member (the organization hosting the event), but I have a friend who is. She forgot to submit the fees last year, so she made a point to submit them for our participation in the bazaar this year...however she never got a response containing information we would need on the day of the event. I asked if I should send her my share of the table fee, but she wanted to wait until she heard back from the event organizers.

My friend made several calls to find out what happened and finally spoke with the organizer who told us she would have a table for us on the day of the event...

An example of some new small booklets I made for the bazaar...

Broken Limbs

One week before the bazaar was scheduled, my friend called me to tell me that she had a very bad fall and had dislocated/fractured her arm - OH NO!! She was hoping to move forward with doing the bazaar but I said we should play it by ear. I wasn't sure if I could participate in the bazaar on my own since the table was in my friends name and I'm not a member of the guild, something I should have asked about.

I called my friend throughout the week to see how she was doing and she was adamant about moving forward with doing the bazaar, with the help of her own dear boyfriend. I offered to help her with unloading and setting up, since my own book display would be a small one and quick to put together. I admired my friends determination to do this event, despite what turned out to be a broken arm =-(

I discovered a fun twist with wax resist techniques to create this booklet cover

Disorganized Organization

As I mentioned, my friend never got a response from the organizers of the bazaar about necessary info we would need for the event, such as our table number, and if we could use a tent (which we couldn't). My friend managed to speak with the main organizer of the event (after speaking with an assistant who was out of town and not very helpful!). The main organizer stated we would have a table and thought they saw my friends submission check arrive in the mail. On the actual day of the event, things were different:
  • The main organizer said she never saw my friends submission check!
  • There was no table and no umbrella, which was being used in lieu of tents for the outdoor event, on what became a summer day with 95 degree weather!
  • The main organizer was quite cranky due to the early hour and dealing with many vendors who had not bothered read all the information that had been sent to them. When I arrived at the event before my friend did, I greeted the organizer with a friendly good morning, briefly mentioned our table situation and when the organizer asked me to wait, I quietly stepped away from the bustle until my friend arrived to figure out the situation.
After some discussion, my friend managed to secure us a table and we then proceeded to set up her goods at our shared table. She was concerned about being seen with her broken arm among peers that could be work connections and concerned that she might not get costume work references from the event organizer due to the bru-ha-ha of getting a table for the day.

I felt badly about her concerns, but remembered that she had made a choice to be at the event and I did what I could to help so she was not exerting herself in anyway, such as figure out how to use some soft metal rods and a Styrofoam cooler she brought to set up a unique hat display for hats she was selling. She was very pleased with the results I came up with! Sadly, I did not get a picture of this creativity in action.

Later in the day, I reminded her that I had to give her my share of the costs of the table, but she refused to take it, insisting that she was very grateful for all my help. I did give her some mail art envelopes I made that she expressed interest in, since she had done a lot to get us the table, despite her broken arm injury.

Luckily, we eventually got an umbrella since there was an extra one and it came in handy since it was a HOT day!

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

After the event was over and I was resting at my dear boyfriends place, I sent my friend an email thanking her for all her efforts in getting us a table at the artisan bazaar. It really was a lot of work, during a week that had been quite stressful for her, due to her serious injury and I was very grateful for all her efforts, since I was not in a position to make the calls and speak with the organizer, as I am not a guild member, and the initial contacts were in my friends name.

Other booklets made using wax resist techniques, watercolor, inks and gel medium

The next day, I received a response from my friend, thanking me for all my help, and how glad she was that we managed to get through the day together; however, after going over her receipts for the day, she had not made much money and asked if I would send a check for my share of the table fee...

I sent her a response letting her know that I was sending my half of the table fee through my Paypal account.

But I must say that I was disappointed in this turn of events.

This artisan bazaar was certainly full of lessons to be learned and here is my summary: 

Lessons Learned
  • When money is being offered to you, DO NOT EVER REFUSE! This sends a message to the universe that you do not WELCOME the abundance it is offering to you and the Universe will continue to act accordingly
  • When others are being cranky, shower them with kindness (far easier said than done most times, I agree!), but it is not a license for YOU to respond with similar crankiness and, in retrospect, you will be remembered for having a good attitude
  • When others go back on their word, count to ten and honor original agreements - then use the example as a lesson how NOT TO ACT in the future with others, so you can move forward with integrity in all interactions
  • When others are mumbling/grumbling negative things about the actions they have taken, remember that it is THEIR STUFF and people ALWAYS have a choice to make a decision that is best for them (though whether they are ready to face the responsibility of that reality or not is another matter)

Thanks for stopping by to read my adventures! I'll be working toward an upcoming in-home boutique and sharing goods here, so stay tuned!


Karen Wallace said...

Sounds like this was a rich experience. Love the books. Hugs

humel said...

Oh, sweetie. Good for you, managing to turn the negative side of things into a positive learning experience - but I'm sorry it went like this! xx

Kathryn Hansen said...

what a bummer...but it was really awesome that you could find the good in the experience. so important!! i am hoping your in-home boutique goes a lot smoother!!