Stories from my latest Craft Show

The temperature was in the upper 60s with a slight breeze and music pumping. The market set up was ideal. There were volunteers to help unload my car and complimentary snacks and coffee for the vendors. The booths were more spread out than usual, so I didn’t hit it off with any of my booth neighbors like usual, but everyone was friendly. 

Throughout the first day of the event, Saturday, I had a few fun interactions!

One that was brief (but absolutely melted my heart) was when a young girl, maybe 3 or 4 years old, walked past my booth holding her mother's hand.  She looked up at my display and pointed to my framed paintings hanging on the wall. She then confidently declared, "One day, I'm going to do THOSE!" I practically melted as I placed my hand on my heart and made an adoring face to her mother. So. Dang. Cute!

Early in the morning I saw a familiar face beelining it to my booth. I recognized her as a past customer at a previous event. She headed straight for my water coloring pages and scooped up two of my newest design. We exchanged enthusiastic greetings and right away she explained how her girlfriend and her had already purchased and completed the Minnehaha Watercoloring pages they bought from me before and were so excited when they saw I released the Lake Itasca page. Her friend was out of town but insisted she come to this event and get these so they could have another painting night together. It was so fun to hear and see that these do-at-your-own-pace paintings were a hit and they were back for more! One thing I’ve worried about as I create online learning opportunities is that I’ll become disconnected from my students. While it’s true that I will have people who learn from me that I’ll never meet or hear from, this proved I could also create a community of students who do want to develop relationships and I’ll get to experience their learning and growth first hand. Check out their amazing work below!

Along similar lines of connecting with students, later in the day another familiar face walked up. He seemed more surprised to see me but happy none the less. We had met at the Stone Arch bridge Festival a month before and after discussing watercolor, my desire to teach and for others to learn, he had purchased one of my watercoloring pages. I asked if he had gotten a chance to try it yet he said "no" because he wasn’t "ready yet" I reacted with a playful exasperation since the whole goal was to learn through painting! But he proceeded to explain that he HAD been watching and following along with my many YouTube tutorials. In fact, he and his granddaughter had been doing them together! So precious. It was so great to chat and find out what else he wanted to learn more about. I gave him a heads up on my next tutorial I'd be releasing soon on color value and I told him I’d add his suggestion of how to paint clouds to my priority list. 

On day two I had even more note worthy moments! The familiar faces continued as an enthusiastic lady walked into my tent smiling and declared "you must think I’m a stalker!". Which was probably the most hilarious greeting I got that whole weekend. She proceeded to tell me how she doesn’t have social media or anything to find me. She’s been wanting to buy more of my cards (which I don’t sell on my website) and so she said she came to this art fair just for me. But when I asked her how she knew I was here, since she doesn’t follow me online, she said she didn’t! She only knew this event was happening and decided to stop and see if I was there. She even texted her sister and asked her to look me up, but then she found me before her sister could confirm. Needless to say, I made sure she got on my email list so she'd never have to stop at a random event and hope I’d be there again! She even had to stop and call her sister to declare her success. It made my day! She bought plenty of cards while I promised some new designs in the future.

There were so many joyful interactions as I connected with customers over nostalgic memories of Minnesota places, met a few online friends in person, and watched many happy stickers find new water bottle homes. I hope some of these stories bring a smile to your face as well!

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Stay creative!

-Alyssa

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