I've officially stepped into the handmade world...in a face-to-face with the public way (Etsy only kinda counts) and I was a tad nervous. I am a strange emulsion of a person--a moody homebody who sometimes imitates a social butterfly. And, working craft fairs and markets require over-the-top performance.
Thankfully, my initiation to the market scene was a success. Thankfully my passion for what I do (and a heavy dose of adrenaline) kicked in, and I had a roaring good time. Thankfully, I also came out ahead, financially, and I'm hoping for some return customers in a few months...
|Highlands Spring Fling, April 9th, 2011|
Since that first market on April 9th, I've had some unique selling opportunities. I set up my mobile shop and worked a half day at a fancy-shmancy master planned community called Solterra in Lakewood, Colorado. I met some lovely people. One wonderful thing about being face to face with the pubic is that you get some serious people-watching and head on interaction. Here's a few favorite interactions of the day:
A beautiful new mother and fellow vendor at the market was lured to my table by her girlfriend and accompanied by her husband. Perusing and sampling what I had to offer, she leaned into her husband, batted her eyes and asked expectantly, "Can I spend $45?" He shrugged delightfully resigned to her irresistibility and said "I'm not going to tell you that you can't buy ANYTHING." Gasp. Melt. Swoon.
A sweet 12 year old girl had been walking around the market spying everything and was the first person to stop and get a taste of Commonsensical Spa. She tried my cocoa body butter (before the Mile High sun melted it liquid) and reservedly died of enjoyment. She thanked me and moved on. Later, she strolled by and stopped to ask me "Is that YOUR sugar scrub in the bathroom?" I replied that it was. (I usually place a scrub in the women's powder room for testing, tempting and securing the thought that it is a must-have.) She gushed about how much she liked it and left. Then, later she returned with her father, pointing out to him the sugar scrub she had tried and convincing him of it's wonderfulness. Then, again, she left, telling her father she was heading home. Clever girl. Dad remained and said, "well, I guess I better buy that for her." And, then he followed up to explain himself, "she celebrates her half birthday, and it's coming up so this will be for that." As if he needed an excuse. Sweetness.
Reminded me of another Daddy's girl, close to my heart....
|Daddy & Natty: Happy Together|
|Don't we look happy and beautiful?|
New Shea Butter Supplier
In Half the Sky, the authors state "Evidence has mounted that helping women can be a successful poverty fighting strategy." (p. XIX)
If you read my blog at all, you've probably realized that I have an constant, unsettling concern when it comes to the global oppression of women. That's why I am reading this book and attempting to compile thoughts to share with you. It's also why I am striving to ensure that the ingredients in my products are fairly sourced, processed, traded. I recently discovered Bead For Life, a great organization that works to provide Ugandan women with a way to make an income by making accessories and processing Shea butter.
Immediately, I think, please, can they provide my shea?
Please can I support something that does good to women on the other side of the world?
I want to do what I can to make the processing of East African Shea from these women, a sustainable business. So, I contacted them and they sent me a generous, free sample to test out with my formulations. I've been using West African Shea, which is very commonplace. They process East African Shea which is creamier, softer, more nutrient dense. And I love it. I will be ordering in bulk when I am out of my current supply. You, my customers--current and future--will just die from delight.
Coming very soon. I could just cry from the beauty of it!
Summer, Summer, Summertime
I am going to have quite the summer. Trey is studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland beginning June 2nd. We are leaving for Texas next week. I will bum around in DFW until boarding a flight myself mid-June (solo!) for a summer in Europe with the hubby. I will join him in Dublin where I'll read & blog like crazy, SLEEP IN, exercise daily, dream and plan for Commonsensical Spa while Trey studies in Dublin and interns for the Chief Solicitor (woo woo). Then, when the program concludes we'll skip on over to London for a night before heading to Paris & Versailles for a my good friend's wedding. Then, it's back to Texas to spur on the delivery of my niece before heading back to the Rocky Mountain High.
As a result, Commonsensical Spa will be still be open but there will only be a limited supply and probably will be closed from June 17th-July 8th. Shipping from Europe would be a little craaaaaazy.
I'll be sure to take you all along with me, being faithful to share my summer with you. Wink. Don't be jealous.