Today I am preparing for the WI Sheep & Wool Festival that’s held annually in Jefferson, WI. It’s a 3 day fiber festival, and has two barns full of vendors, various food trucks, knitting and other fiber workshops, and even a sheep dog herding competition. For all the fiber artists in the area, this is like the State Fair. What a great way to spend your weekend! It’s 3 jam packed days of fun, fiber, and fall!
This is going to be my second year at the festival, and I am returning with high hopes. The shoppers were so pleasant last year, and very supportive of my work. The vendors were friendly and fun to talk to. The onsite staff were really great, too! All in all, I’m definitely excited for this weekend (well, as excited as anyone gets about working weekends :P) The show was a huge success for me last year, and I made many great connections as well. I got a lot of feedback about my booth, with the main suggestion being to bring more than just items related to yarn! Sure, the sheep mugs are cute, and the yarn bowls are always a huge hit, but many shoppers made the comment, “oh, we’ll buy anything!” This year, I will have a booth stocked with all the items I make, still including yarn bowls and sheep/alpaca themed pieces 🙂
One thing I did learn last year…I am definitely a “youngster” in the vendor group. By a lot. It can be very hard to be taken seriously as a young vendor, especially in the art world. Many a vendor has commented on my age (like that should matter, right? look at my work please)! And the most common question asked in my booth is, “did you make all this?” But I feel very lucky to be doing what I’m doing at such a young age, since more often than not artists have to work there way up to full time. I am not taking this for granted! But I do want to be taken seriously, because I take what I do very seriously. I work hard, and work often! This is not my hobby, this is my career. The only way to be successful is to take yourself as seriously as you want to be taken by the rest of the world 🙂