Last week was one for the records! I don’t think I have ever experienced such a roller coster of emotions. It all started because of a post that I wrote about my thoughts and opinions regarding the exclusivity clause that Signatures recently announced. I feel very passionate not just because it’s detrimental to Make It, but it pissed me off that a show organizer wanted to limit the earning potential of artists, makers and crafters. It also hit home because I used to make my living selling my accessory line Booty Beltz, and I know how crucial the holiday season is. I used to be a craft show maniac and sold at 8 shows between November and December. Prime hustle time! It triggered something deep inside me, and I felt compelled to express myself through writing a post on my blog. I had no idea that it would be shared all over social media, and get the attention of the Edmonton Journal, CBC Radio and Alberta Primetime. The topic was something that not only exhibitors cared about, but also customers.
My inbox blew up with messages of support and love from Makies, loyal shoppers and people who just felt passionately about the topic. It was so heartwarming to hear how many support the work Chandler and I do. Sometimes I get in my own Jenna-bubble, and forget to stop and remember how much Make It impacts the handmade community and the public. It feels really good to be acknowledged. It also made me realize our little craft show isn’t so little anymore! This is a testimony to how strong the handmade movement really is, and that it’s only going to grow and strengthen.
In my interview with the Edmonton Journal, the reporter asked me how Make It has been able to grow so quickly. My response was that people are becoming more conscious of where the goods they consume come from. They like the feeling they get when they buy something from the person who made it because they then get to be part of the story. As we get more and more distanced and distracted, there’s something so comforting about buying an item that was made with intention. It’s the connection to another human being that creates a transaction that feels authentic. Six years ago, Chandler and I had an incredible coaching session with amazing Danielle LaPorte, and she told us “treat your exhibitors like rockstars, and everything else will fall into place.” These words stuck with us like glue, and continue to be our guiding focus.
Now that the message is out there, and we’ve said what needed to be said, I’m ready to move on. As much as it felt great to hear that so many people support Make It, I also really despise conflict and the whole ordeal with Signatures was stressful and time consuming. It felt yucky to be in a he said/she said battle, and now it’s time for me to rise up to the next challenge. I’ve got some really exciting plans in the works that I can’t wait to share with you. If anything, this whole dispute has reaffirmed Chandler and my desires to create the best damn craft shows we possibly can!
When you are an entrepreneur, there’s guaranteed to be a few bumps along the way. What you must figure out is how to deal with setbacks, conflict and other unplanned situations so they don’t bring you down. What I’ve leaved in the past few weeks, is that it’s all about perception. What you believe full heartily in the work you are doing, and do it with integrity, nothing will be able to stand in your way. This is because when you have this mindset you rise up over obstacles. It might sound a bit woo woo, but your mind is SO strong and if you focus on positivity, love and abundance, magical things will start to manifest all around you. Trust me.
A few summers ago I took up rowing. I had been a rower in high school and I thought it would be fun to do in Vancouver. When you are rowing, the one thing you can’t do is look side to side. As soon as you glance to the right or left, your rhythm gets messed up and everything starts falling apart. You must focus only on what’s ahead of you. I think this applies to life as an entrepreneur as well.
If you have any comments, questions or ideas please share them below. I would absolutely love to hear em!
Pssst: I’m thrilled to be speaking at Maker Mentors, which is the very first online creative business conference that brings together mentors and makers to talk about the art of crafting a successful handmade conference. It’s May 14-16 and if you use the discount code MAKEITVIP you get $50 off!