My Booth's Humble Beginnings . . . my story continues

IMG_5059, originally uploaded by B.B. Bellezza.
Sometimes you see someone's Etsy Shop, craft booth stand, store, etc. and you don't even think about what their humble beginnings were. Probably, they don't really want you to. They probably don't even want to think about it themselves.

However, sometimes it is helpful to at least think about your own beginnings in whatever it is you do, and how far you have come and what obstacles you overcame to achieve what you do have. I wrote about my beginnings in jewelry making last week. Now I'm going to write about my beginnings at Building Character.

A few, maybe even 4 years ago, I really wanted to open my own store for my jewelry and bath and body products (which I still made at the time.) I even looked at a couple spaces that I could afford (which were very small and not in downtown Lancaster like I imagined) and tried to work out some sort of schedule so that I could keep working full-time while having a store, with the intention, of course, of eventually leaving my full-time job. Nothing worked out at the time.

Skip ahead to just a couple years ago when I met the owners of Building Character at a show. At the time, they had an architectural salvage store and were holding a Sunday Market in their parking lot to give people something to do on Sundays. They invited me to participate and I jumped right in and started setting up every Sunday.

Sunday market eventually transformed into what Building Character is now - a place for different vendors (artists, crafters, antiques, etc.) to each have their own spaces inside the expanded Building Character.

My booth has changed considerably from the time we first opened. The photo above shows my first set up. I had just 1/2 a stand. I don't hate the set up for what it was. It does look like my craft show stand did at the time. Now I have a full booth, better lighting and I think it looks so much better. It doesn't stop there, though, because I have more plans on how to transform my booth even more in the future and make it even better.

Since opening up at Building Character, I have gotten much more confident. I used to be worried that people wouldn't like what I make or people will somehow make fun of me or tell me how much they hate my work. In case you are wondering, these things seldom happen. While not everyone likes my work, people are generally nice. You do get a comment here and there, but I am much more well equipped to handle it emotionally now. I think that the more time you spend in the public trying to sell your work and the more you actually see happy customers, the easier it is when the not-so-nice-people come around.

So, while my booth at Building Character isn't exactly the store that I originally thought that I would be opening, it turns out to be so much better in so many ways. Building Character has made it possible for me to have my own retail space in downtown Lancaster, while not having to do it all by myself.

(For more photos of my booth at Building Character, click on the first photo and you can see the transformation from a blank warehouse to what it is now.) 


Alicia said...

Your booth looks great. Thanks for sharing your growth.

111collagedesign said...

Thanks for sharing this! I have never done a craft show and am overwhelmed by the idea of even getting a display set up. I guess we all have to start somewhere :)

meghan. said...

I've always thought your booth was very cute (although, I've only known it as it looks now) and love going into Building Character to see what new stuff you might have around. Thanks for the background story!

Steelers6 said...

HI, Kimberlie!

Saw your things for the first time at the block party on Sunday. Picked up your (very nicely done) biz card, and found you here.

Your work is intriguing, and I enjoyed your booth. "Poked around" in it for awhile. I will have to check out your Etsy link. Thank you. Chrissy

Kimberlie said...

Thank you all for your kind comments!

111collage - let me know if you need help with figuring out craft shows. I have done TONS! It is really overwhelming, but after you get it figured out, it's really not that bad. In fact, they're fun! (unless the weather doesn't cooperate...that's no fun!!)