This summer has been my 4th summer at the Anacortes Farmers Market. I was able to jump on board right after we moved from Friday Harbor. Being a vendor at the market was one of the best decisions I ever made. First of all, it is where I met my first friends here in Anacortes. One of my very best friends is Keri the market manager. Who knows where I would be if I hadn't met her. She let me into the market and showed me the ropes about Anacortes. I love so many of the vendors, it is like I have a second family on Saturday mornings. Second, it has been really great for my business. I have repeat customers, collectors, and the community recognizes my art. It has been overall a wonderful experience to be a part of this community weekly event.
Well, this past weekend was one of those awful days. If you are a vendor, you will know what I am talking about. It was one of those jaw-dropping, knock the wind out of you, barely make your booth fee kind of days. A few little sales here and there but overall have a horrible business day. Nobody buys anything, and you just sit there. You sit there and think. These days are the worst, especially this last Saturday. The sun was out, lots of people milling around, a beautiful July Saturday morning. You wonder why nobody is going into your booth, you start second guessing everything. Your art stinks, you shouldn't be here, you are wasting your time and everyone else's just being there. You should stop breathing because you taking someone else's oxygen....someone better than you. :)
I hate those kind of days. Not from the fact that I didn't make any money, but from the fact that I will continue to sabotage myself and second guess everything. It was especially hard sitting down there all day after coming off of a great festival the weekend before. I did have one older gentleman come seek me out after seeing my art at Starbucks, that made me feel good.
So, as I sat there feeling awful about myself, I really started thinking about the market. This farmers market has been SO MUCH MORE about making money for my business. It is a second family to me, a part of me, something I truly love being a part of. The heart of the market isn't about sales, it is about community. Granted, (I know what you are thinking) of course we all have to make a little money otherwise we wouldn't be there...but it is so much more than that!!! I love that little community market. The customers, the vendors, the food, the dogs, the music, Clover, the balloon fairy, all of it. THAT is the HEART of the market.
So, I put my pride aside.....realized that there are good days and bad days in sales, took a deep breath realized I was just happy to be there.