Posted on

I am Here Now

What brought me here today:

My week off from blogging has done me some good. I needed a little time away from writing it. There were a lot of things going on during the past week and change that required my full attention. Working on the two regular weekly blog posts was diverting too much of my time. Almost all of my time has been spent preparing for a series of holiday pop-up sales that I’m participating in.

Long time:

It’s been quite a while since I last sold my artwork at a sale. At least eight years have passed since the last time that I participated in an arts and crafts type of in-person sale. The majority of the arts and crafts sales I was in went well. Some of the larger holiday ones (with a higher table fee) were the best. The kind where I made table money within the first hour. Anything I made after that was gravy.

There have been several different arts and crafts shows here in the Wilmington area during the summer and autumn. I’m hoping to participate in a few of them next year. There’s plenty of time for me to research so that I can choose the best ones for me and my type of artwork. Having these arts and crafts shows further out also allows me to create new artwork to offer as well

How’d the sale go?

The holiday pop-up sale last Saturday went extremely well. I’d twisted myself up into knots about it though. That’s just part of how my brain works. The day of the sale I was super-amped-up as well. My husband said I was bouncing all over the place. I didn’t sit at all during the show. There was no sitting still for me that day.

I took items that I’d been working on for the last few weeks to the sale. Plus an array of dolls that I thought would appeal to the widest portions of the people at the sale. Once I set it all up, I thought I’d made a mistake not bringing more artwork. My decisions must have been good ones. I made my first sale within the first half hour of the sale! Four of the little angel ornaments found a home!

In addition to bringing new and currated artwork to sell, I made sure to have special in-person pricing as well. Every one of the items that I’m selling at the holiday pop-up sales have prices that I’ve discounted. Several of the pieces that I sold were items that I had in my online shop too. Honey and Pippa both found homes! I was delighted to sell each of them too!

Card scanner:

I set-up an account on Square prior to the sale. It was much easier than I thought it would be too. I purchased some additional mobile data from my provider as well. There wasn’t a need for me to have a Square account prior to returning to the US. It has been something that I’ve wanted to do. But I’d just not been actually able to do until now.

The thought of taking credit and debit cards made me a little nervous. Mostly because I thought that the POS app would be confusing, or perhaps wouldn’t work well. My cell phone is getting old. Plus it was purchased in Finland. Oh yeah. And I dropped it and cracked the heck out of the screen! To me, old phone and new app seemed like a possible recipe for a lot of cursing.

The only thing I did to prep my old phone was to archive a bunch of photos. Then deactivated some apps I’m not presently using. I needed some memory to add the new POS app. Other than forgetting to turn on my mobile data, there were no problems with the Square POS app at all. I’m updating my phone in the next month or so. The profits from the holiday pop-up sales (there will be three more) are being saved so that I can buy that new phone.

Meeting new people:

This was incredibly cool. The whole sale felt like community coming together. In some instances, we could put names to the faces that we see around the neighbourhood. The holiday pop-up sales have been organized by West Side Grows Together. I’m looking forward to getting to know more people in the neighbourhood, and West Side Grows Together. Here’s a link to the event.

I also loved getting to talk to the other people who were selling their artwork and products too! As a one-horse-operation I spend a lot of time alone. Most of the time, I’m okay with that. It was lovely to be around other entrepreneurs who are working hard to make their businesses grow. That kind of energy is creatively invigorating!

For me, the holiday pop-up sale made me feel more connected to where I am. Parts of my mind still drift back to Finland and how much I miss it, my friends and the life my husband and I created there. We’re beginning to feel more connected to Wilmington with each passing day. I need that to continue for my own emotional well-being.

So, now what?

Well, I made enough to pay for a third of the new phone I would like to buy. This alone is pretty cool. But the feeling of community. The feeling of putting down some roots where we’re living. That makes me feel like I’m headed in the right direction. And gives me a sense of belonging. I can miss Finland. That’s totally okay. But I am here now, and beginning to kind of “like-like” Wilmington. This is a ‘like’ that I can see turning to love in the future too.

Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you again next Tuesday.