A few weeks ago, I had a booth at the second Rochester Mini Maker Faire.
Last year, I also had a booth. I put up my jewelry display and spent the day working on projects – specifically domes and embellishments for the Stages projects. It was fun, I enjoyed talking people through my work while actually having my hands busy (and covered in Mod Podge), but there were a number of kids who came by expecting to be able to DO something, MAKE something, LEARN something.
So I decided to have a hands on part to my booth this year. I figured “half the booth, half the time”, and that I could work on a new project (in its VERY early prototyping stage) for a hunk of the time.
Silly, silly Storychick.
The hands-on experience (make a bead – regular, rolled circle or “s”, or origami waterbomb) was a HUGE success. So much so, that I didn’t have a chance to sit, really, all day! People were thrilled and excited to get specifics on how to do more at home, though that didn’t diminish my work in their eyes. Several had questions and ideas for taking the activity in other places. Schools, hospitals, recovery camps.
To be honest, I had been a bit nervous about the activity. At some of the initial craft shows where I had tried to sell my jewelry, I had several “I could do that” comments. I worried that letting people make regular beads would convince them that this was a simple task and that they would not value what I had created. This was the impression given by those at the craft show.
You know, it’s funny how things work. I intended to write this post about the Faire and this experience and what I’ve learned, but never connected it mentally to the nervousness I had when publishing Framework Basics until now. A few days after that experience, Seth Godin posted about how others will react:
For each person who cares enough to make something, who is bold enough to ship it, who is generous enough to say, “here, I made this,”…
There are ten people who say, “I could have done it better.”
A hundred people who say, “Who are you to do this?”
A thousand people who say, “I was just about to do that,”
and ten thousand people who don’t care at all.
Themes. Connections. It’s all related.
Back to the Faire – the point was that I did not have anyone say “I’ve done that” in a negative way. Yes, some said it, but they saw next steps in my work that they hadn’t ever considered. At one point during those craft shows I had worried about guarding my process so that others couldn’t pick it up and run with it. I didn’t consider it all that innovative or unique and figured those who tried would come up with something similar or better. This time, that wasn’t a concern. I felt like an expert and was able to enjoy watching people discovery the intricacies I see in making each bead.
I’m super excited at some of the ideas that came out of discussions with my bead-makers. I should have some news in that space next week!
I declare the Faire a success! I didn’t get time to do ANY work on my projects. I wish I had had more time to talk with people on the display side, also. Next year, I’ll need a helper. That’s rather exciting. : )
I have one Stages complete and one more just waiting final assembly. Both will go onto Etsy soon. Here are some preliminary cellphone shots of the first Stages – Dragon.