I am still sore this morning. And still SO thrilled. Wanna shout from the rooftops how wonderful it was to see so many friendly faces and meet so many new people, to have sales like never before, to have a little helper who really wanted to be there with me!
I guess the whole story of Boerne Handmade Market started for us in October of 2013, just three months after starting up the business.
But the story of this particular market began a couple of months ago.
The planning stage is first… going over all of the ingredients, jars, and labels, plus handouts, shopper bags, and extra equipment needed for a booth space. Next is the ordering/shopping phase that drains the checking account and spirit. Then I spend a couple of weeks in a sterilization phase. (You wouldn’t believe how many loads of glass jars go through my dishwasher in those two weeks!)
Finally I get to the fun part! Measuring, mixing, pouring, and labeling. It smells amazing! It’s methodical. It’s therapeutic. It’s my happy place. It’s a little difficult to find space to make my usual delicious dinners, but I can make it happen. And all of our dining room table gets completely covered in my work, but we have a breakfast table. So it’s all good!!!
And for this particular market, I decided it was finally time to make a couple of long-awaited adjustments. I finally switched our laundry detergents over to an unscented version. And I FINALLY made a whole bunch of wool dryer balls! Now, this took MANY skeins of yarn and some panty hose, a few movies on Netflix, a whole Sunday afternoon, a hot load of laundry, and a few cycles in the dryer. It took some guesses on boxing and labeling (in which I goofed on a little bit). But…
Back to the timeline, next was set-up. Evan (my 9-year-old) helped me find our space in the Cana Ballroom and helped me carry in my big chalkboard. But then I needed to get him to his dad’s. So the rest was up to me. Three HEAVY trunks filled with t-shirts. Countless numbers of rubbermaids, filled with product and needed items. Several trips loading from the shop to the truck, then unloading from the truck to the ballroom. Quick set-up. Then home to get a good night’s sleep.
I was up bright and early… and the day was a blur!
I was on my feet the entire day. Never got a restroom break. Scarfed down a quesadilla at my booth at lunchtime. And what else?
I remember being slammed from 9:00 to 1:00. Some fellow vendors made it over to shop and visit. Some past customers came by to stock up on their favorite products. Some of my friends and some of the boys’ teachers stopped by to chat. I met so many new people. I got to tell our story. I got to talk about my favorite product. I handed out about a hundred copies of Best of TX Hill Country Magazine. I handed out lots of information about us, Diva Night, Small Business Saturday, and the Hill Country Handmade Market. I sold out of our new dryer balls immediately! It’s funny when I remember all of these moments. I remember trying to check people out as I was packing up their bags, as I was answering a bunch of questions from other shoppers. It really was nuts! All while trying to deliver great customer service.
About this time, my parents stopped by and brought me a Steel City Pops carrot cake popsicle. (yum!) And I realized I had missed a bunch of texts. Turns out Evan desperately wanted to be at the market with me.
1:00 to 2:00 was still crazy-busy. At this point, I was down to just a couple of vapor rubs, only a few handouts, and I was out of our thank you cards.
Evan was with me from 2:00 to 4:00. He took over all of the checkout process. So while he was doing that, I was able really focus on finishing off the customer experience. We wrapped up the day beautifully. He did an incredible job helping me pack up and get everything back to the truck. And for payment, I treated him to a crocheted hedge hog (from a neighbor’s booth) and Whataburger (his choice!).
So we headed back to the shop, ate dinner, and unpacked everything. And at this point, I am sore from being on my feet all day and from all the lifting. So we headed home for a movie on the couch. (But thrilled to report that we had a happy dance interrupt our movie when I got the square report that we had 72 transactions in that 7 hour period! Have never had anything like that happen!)
So… so many thank yous…
To all the fellow vendors. For following us and engaging with us on instagram, tagging us in posts, for shopping with us, for loving on us! What an amazing community to be involved in!
To all of our customers. None of this is possible without you. Thank you for listening to our story, supporting our little family, trusting me to help you make a change in your buying habits.
And to Alyssa and Beth! For your blood, sweat, tears, passion, support, time, attention to detail, and love for all things handmade! Way to go on an amazing new location and a completely flawless execution (from what I saw and experienced). We had a wonderful time, incredible sales. So blessed to have your market available to us!
Okay, I just cried a little while writing that. Changing it up a bit with a bunch of pics that I just snagged off of instagram. Credit goes to the vendors and customers that took them! (yay for hashtags on instagram, making amazing things possible!!!)
Looking to participate in or shop at the next market? I’ll announce 2018 dates as soon as I hear them! Or follow Boerne Handmade Market here…