The last year and some odd months has been.... a lot. I posted over a year ago about my first show of 2020 and it turns out it was my only in person show that year. Shortly before lockdown I was able to hang out with a bunch of crafty people for Midwest Craft Con which was a serious bright spot. I think the year that followed MCC would have been much harder if I hadn't spent a weekend being creative. Even then it felt like we were waiting for it all to crash.
All of my maker friends scrambled to deal with the new circumstances we found ourselves in. My favorite show organizers figured out ways to have events online. Some things worked and others didn't. But we were all willing to try things out. It was definitely hard business wise to lose the biggest months of the year. I knew it was the right thing, but trying to replace that income was difficult. Most small makers count on holiday shows to keep everything going during the slower show months.
I gave up doing outdoor shows a couple years ago because it was so much work to haul everything, set it all up, deal with weather issues and then pack everything back up again. I am not a fan of the heat anytime, but add in a ton of humidity and a threatening storm and I am done.
What did I do instead of shows? More than I would have thought.
Set up a shop on Faire for wholesale accounts.
Asked if anyone wanted me to send them a postcard. Over 150 people said yes.
Redesigned about 80% of my magnet images.
Redesigned about 40% of my mug designs.
Organized my graphic files.
Lost all of my graphic files. (Still unsure how that happened.)
Re installed the vast majority. About 15% had to be recreated.
Reconfigured my workspace so that it was more efficient.
Worked on new card, notebook, and magnet designs.
Made lots of Chex Mix and Beer Bread. (Pro tip... beer bread with shredded mozzarella and Everything Bagel seasoning melted in is amazing.)
Things not done-
Listing all those new designs
Updating website. (Though obviously that is happening now.)
Donating all the things to to the thrift shop. (Started a pile of stuff, but that was as far as it got.)
Updating wholesale catalog. I lost the old one when I lost my graphic files.
It was a lot and kept me from falling to far in to despair. Keeping busy has always been the thing that helps me cope. I am still not sure what I am going to do for this holiday show season, but I think I am going to cut back from 6 or 7 shows to only 1 or 2. We will see how the summer shows go for everyone and how I am feeling about the state of the world.