This past weekend I participated in my first craft/art fair in Diamond Springs. This event was hosted by Gather, and more specifically, by Ellen. The goal of Gather is “to support and encourage local women artists/makers and learn from them.” I already have a wonderful example of hustle and hard work through my bestie Betsy. The opportunity to finally be involved in an event like this as an artist and seller was both exciting and nerve-wracking.
When I arrived to set up on Sunday afternoon I felt an immediate sense of inadequacy and the need to compare myself to others. It was obvious that the other women there were seasoned veterans at events like Gather. I began comparing my set-up to theirs, my work to theirs, and my success to theirs. But then something really cool happened, something I’ve worked really hard over the years to cultivate…I let go of the comparing and the self-doubt and celebrated both myself and the other women there. I’ve worked so hard to stay focused on myself, on my work, and my own progress. I want to be a woman that champions other women and lifts them up, but not at the expense of putting myself down or diminishing my own talent, work, and accomplishments. I made it a point after I got my booth set up to take a lap around the others and introduce myself to as many people as I could. What I’ve learned in life is that we’re all nervous, we all compare ourselves to others to some degree. If I can be the one to speak up first, to put others at ease while also calming my own nerves, then it’s work the risk.
I would say that this first show was successful in that I met great people, got wonderful feedback on my work, and came up only $20 in the hole for expenses! I’m hopeful that I can try my hand again at a makers market, ideally more local to Sacramento. When I do, I hope to see you out there!