First we had to drive way down south to take Miles to his APP testing which took two and a half hours. Nadine and I occupied ourselves for the duration by going to nearby Pacific Fabrics so I could buy pillow inserts and zippers, and then walking around Uwajimaya and China Town. Then at night I brought them with me to Art Under $100, a craft fair in South Park, where I was meeting a friend I hadn’t seen in far too long.
They were totally bummed in the morning when I told them what our day would be like, but when we finally got home that night and looked back on it all, we talked about how much fun we had. Miles felt really good about the test he took, Nadine and I laughed about the funny stuff we saw at Uwajimaya, and I told them how much I loved hanging out with them all day, even though we had to do “boring” stuff. Then we made our full moon wishes.
We’ve been making full moon wishes ever since I took my alchemy class last year and learned all about the power of the moon. Whenever I say goodnight to the kids on a night with a full moon, I remind them to make their full moon wishes. On this full moon night Nadine told me that she wished she would do really well at her gymnastics meet the next day. Miles didn’t tell. And I told them that I wished people would love my pillows. Then we snuggled and said goodnight.
We had to get up early the next morning to get to Nadine’s gymnastics meet which was all the way in Redmond. We took two cars, and she and I were out the door by 8 a.m., making it it there by 8:30 so she could warm up. The meet started at 9 a.m. and I got to see her do her bar, beam, and floor routine. It was her first meet of the season and she seemed a bit nervous, but she did great. I missed her vault because I had to leave early so I could get over to my pillow sale.
The pillow sale was actually a ‘Holiday Bazaar’ craft sale to support the kids’ school. It was held at a school family’s big beautiful house, and it was full of other moms who made stuff like bags, jewelry, soap, granola, and lotion. There were kids there with some cool stuff too, like shrinky-dink earrings and candles, which I thought was very impressive.
I got a corner spot where I could set up my pillows on the window seats, between a woman who made jewelry and home-made sunscreen, and another woman who made purses out of designer fabric remnants. My pillows looked cool in the window, but the corner spot wasn’t ideal, as people had to squish between two tables to get to them. But I was happy, and hopeful, and my neighbors were really fun.
Just after I got all set up I got a text from Todd which said, “Nadine got first place, which means high score on vault and beam, and second place on floor and bars.” Go Nadine! Way to get your full-moon wish! I was so so happy for her and couldn’t stop smiling. I told everyone.
The Holiday Bazaar kicked off at 1 p.m. and I immediately made two sales. The first was to a friend who bought the pillow with the Words to Live By on it for her daughter for Christmas. The second was to another friend who bought the Tin Man Follow Your Heart pillow. As soon as she got to the sale she came right over to me with her credit card and said, “I love this pillow! I’m getting it!” Hooray! So nice. I’m going to sell a whole bunch of pillows today I thought. But no…
I sold two more pillows that day. To two other friends. Four sales total. And when it was time to shut down at 4:30 I was pretty bummed. Why didn’t I sell more? What was wrong with my pillows? What was wrong with me? Was my spot bad? Are pillows not a good Christmas gift? Were my prices too high? Why didn’t I get my full-moon wish?
I packed up my stuff and went home to an empty house. The kids and Todd were still at Grandpa’s, then going to get a tree. So I poured myself a beer and started watching The Royal Tenenbaums. It was the perfect movie for the mood I was in. I love that movie, and I started to feel better. And I started to change my mind about the day. And I decided that I really did get my full moon wish. I didn’t, after all, wish to sell a lot of pillows; I wished that people would love them. And they did. And I love them too, and I’m really proud of them.
In hindsight I realized that so many people had the nicest things to say about them, and that the people that bought them really really seemed excited to have one. The lady selling purses next to me said, “I can’t believe you didn’t sell out of those pillows. They are amazing.” A friend of mine that was working at the sale came over to my corner to admire them, and asked me all about how I made them. She added that she thought about selling some of her stuff, but she thought that her price point would be too high for this kind of sale. Another friend texted me that night and said they were the best most unique thing there, but that people were probably more prepared to buy small gifts there. And another friend texted me from the Urban Craft Uprising which was going on the same day, a sale I would love to do some day, to say that she didn’t see anything there like my pillows, and that she would love to help me sell them at their summer sale. How nice is that?
So what does it all mean?
It means that this is only my second sale ever and that I’m still in a discovery period. I still have so much to learn. And every time I put myself out there, I learn stuff. I’m realizing that I really need to figure out who my customer is and how to best reach her/him. I’m thinking I need to find and talk to people who’ve successfully done this sort of thing, and learn from them. And I’ve decided I should spend some time figuring out how to source my materials at a lower cost, and how to make them in less time. Clearly this is not going to be a get-rich-quick operation.
But it’s fun! And I love it. And I have another sale on Friday, and so many ideas after that. So I guess I’ll just have to work hard, be patient, and see where this all goes…