Tales from a Shopkeep (part 2)

So, yeah, I cheated. I back-dated that last post and wrote it earlier today (shh, don’t tell) so that chronologically, when I look back on this in three years and think to myself, “Wha…?!” I’ll  go, oh right, you were insane that weekend, but wanted to pretend like everything was perfect! Haha! Just kidding. I’ve outed myself now.

So, where were we!? The Bloomington Handmade Market, that’s where! Thanks to my co-organizers Jaime and Chelsea, the BHM Spring edition was perfect in every way. It was filled with amazing handmade vendors, we had new and old sponsors supporting us and helping us get through the haze that is marketing, and we had a successful market. Albeit, it rained. All. Day. Long. But, you know what – that didn’t even matter. Bloomington still came out in droves to support shopping local and hearing stories from the people who make their items by hand. Here are some highlights:

IMG_20160503_095619.jpgDuring set up this girl just had me in stitches. She always has a smile, and is ready for a photo op at any moment. The best thing about hosting the Bloomington Handmade Market each year (twice per year) is getting to make friends like Brittany! (And, now, we’re so lucky to have her gorgeous work in the store after this week!! Look forward to beautiful, one of a kind, hand-bound book necklaces and earrings!!)

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Watching these guys pull in not with just a pick-up full of products, but a full trailer! And this is our ‘smaller’ market! That adorable (and smart and super talented) family behind The Wood Frog is always full of surprises! Their kids are always so well-behaved and entertaining, and that day I learned that if you see a truck rolling down the street without a driver, it might just be Mr. Wood Frog’s truck taking a joy ride!

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This line! Did I tell you it was pouring down rain!? ALL DAY?! And yet, these people trudged out in it, at 10 am on a Saturday morning, to line up in our sky-walk to get these beautiful swag bags designed by Joshua Allen from Starsprinkle Supercollider, and printed by Jim Beck from BadKneesTs. I’ll admit, I’m a stress-ball when it comes to the Market, and the day before I’m always thinking to myself, “Is anyone going to come, does anyone even care anymore?” and then, there you are, lining up at the door, like it’s your job. And damn, I appreciate it sooooo much!

And then there was the Market. Filled to the brim with people I hold so close to my heart! The besties from Ohio who make me smile and swoon, the leather-maker/Craft Show wife from Dayton, the local teacher who keeps me in t-shirts in the shop, the hand-lettererer who surprises me each month with her broad smile, her giving nature, and her sheer talent, and the new makers we welcomed this year that I hope become a part of our family!! It was amazing folks, just amazing.

IMG_20160503_095800And then, it ended. The rain dried up. The sun came out. And we began to pack it up to go back to our respective lives. But, we had to get one more memory in for the day! It just so happens that PROM was Saturday evening, and I’m convinced every single prom picture gets taken in Fountain Square Mall for some reason. (It’s a beautiful building, that’s why!) And so, while we were packing up, trying to get out of everyone’s way . . . well, let’s just say we were all delirious enough by the end of the day that it was almost just funny, maddeningly funny, to watch the mall get taken over by pretty girls in gorgeous dresses. Surreal even.

And that was that. We’ll do it all again in just a few months! 192 days to be precise!

Hope to see you there!!

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