Friday, March 25, 2011

resounding positivity

Last night was the annual meeting for the farmer's market.I was dreading it. But I wanted to go to be a voice of the younger generation or just smile and clap for the hard working farmers and crafters who have been under attack by the dissatisfied few. Mediators were brought in to facilitate. Everyone was braced for something spectacular and awful. And those mediators did help keep things focussed and fair and respectful. There were naturally complaints and grievances and suggestions.But what I heard was person after person,farmer and crafter and food processor stand up and say I love this market.
Our farmer's market is a model in the state. Our community supports us with two years of phenomenal growth in a time of economic turmoil. Our board members are working ceaselessly to keep our market strong and dream us into a future where we are all successful together. Our director communicates with the membership more than any other market manager. We are a motley crew of some 150 independent businesses and We Love Our Market.
And so with just over a week before opening day, I can say I am truly excited to go back to market. I feel more warmth and enthusiasm for my fellow vendors, more connected to this positive vision(most of us) share.I feel inspired to make moth and squirrel a leader of friendliness,customer service, creativity and innovation.
So, in a way, I guess we owe thanks to the noisy bunch of nay sayers for helping bring us together, for helping us clarify our mission and intent.For giving us a reason to say to each other "we are awesome." I've been sewing to Jay Z this month and his ambition and pride push me. His words keep playing in my head:"I love all my haters."

Thursday, March 03, 2011


The farmers market is a big part of moth and squirrel's success. It is not a perfect organization. It doesn't cater to all of my needs. However, it is generally a pleasure and an honor to set up my tables every saturday from april through october. To get feedback from my community and exposure to tourists is priceless for a young business. The farmers market is not as cool as the indie craft fairs, but it gives me exposure to people who would never go to a craft fair or hip boutique, people who are just hungry for carrots or tomatoes or something to do with their in-laws. This past year of focussed studio work and parenting, the market has served as an unexpectedly delightful social outlet for me. In short, it is a dynamic and profitable part of my business. Despite the unpredictable weather and economy, I am making it work.
Every spring there is a rumbling from the membership right before we open for the season.I think of bears awakening from their hibernation.Bears who have forgotten the sweetness of honey and berries and salmon.Bears that feel winter's poverty in their bones.This year the rumbling is quite loud. A discussion board has gotten heated, as many a discussion board will. Even though I wasn't participating in the "dialog,"I removed myself from the Google group this morning. I still feel agitated. And I don't want to give it any more of my time.
So in an attempt to turn that negative energy into a positive resource, I am going to devote more time on this blog to sharing things that support me in my business and creativity. My hope is that I can in some way support you in your creative dreams.
Two websites that I have just recently been reading are Hello Craft and Crafting an MBA.
HelloCraft is a great all around resource for indie crafters. I've gotten links to craft fairs, photo tips and an indie trend report. They were at Crafty Wonderland last spring and held the Summit of Awesome, which I wish I could have attended. I mean Summit of Awesome, that's exactly the kind of positive support that feels lacking in my market community right now.

Crafting an MBA is specifically business tips for independent artists and designers. I really believe the best way to make it though the economic hard times is by strengthening our business skills while improving our craft. Better customer service, getting over shyness about selling ourselves, seeing a bigger picture, understanding financial realities, marketing and networking, these things don't have to cost money, but they do take practice and study. And they don't have to be slick or fake or pushy. I think we can be successful and authentic to ourselves and our visions.