They say if you stay in your comfort zone, you’ll never grow. If you don’t try, you’ll never know.
And it’s fucking true.
I spent five days connecting with people who just get it. From the customers, the connections made with my fellow artisans and opportunities that can come with being a vendor at The One of a kind Show, I am immensely grateful.
I believed that I was an introvert who was scared of opening up to strangers. That it took too much out of me to do small talk. Turns out I was just going about it the wrong way. I came alive. I haven’t used my words and my body like that in many years, if at all. Sure, the days are long and prepping for the show is unlike anything I’ve ever done. It’s full of so many unknowns (what if I sell nothing!?) but overall, 100% worth every doubt and worried moment.
Maybe it’s too soon to say but, I believe I am forever changed by my experience at OOAK. My booth neighbour and I struck up a friendship the first day and part of my excitement to get to the show each morning was to see her. To be completely honest with you, I don’t have any close friends. No one who's been around a long time in my life that I’ve connected with so deeply as I did with Margie (madewithmud). Not to say I don’t have people who are close to me, but to meet someone who gets the creative side of me like Margie does was very special. On the last day of the show, our other booth neighbour Emma (universally e) sat together and reveled in how special the days we spent together were. All in different journey’s of our lives yet to connect to one another so well - “the power of one of kind” we joked.
I came across a quote today that is perfect for wrapping up my feelings.
“It feels scary because it’s unfamiliar, not because I’m incapable”
I have found that to be the truth for me.
To round out this love letter to OOAK I want to share some of my favourite makers I met.
Thank you to each and everyone who made my journey to OOAK possible, including my dad for bringing to life my vision for my booth (and hauling it back and forth!), my mom for her unwavering support, my wife and son for their understanding when I just kept weaving! My ever supportive sister-in-law Michelle for booth sitting (and selling!) and parent-in-laws for caring for Smithy while I followed my dream. And to everyone I’ve met along the way. If you ever told me to “do it!” Thank you, I’m glad I listened, for once ;)