Tuesday, November 22, 2011

On Failure

I don't do well with failure. And during the past two years that we've lived in Hawaii I've learned a few things about myself, one of which is that I don't let go of negative events easily. I still catch myself ruminating about small personal slights or regrets from years ago that nobody else would even remember. So it was with a mixture of trepidation and excitement that I signed up to have a booth at the Hickam AFB fall craft fair.

As I carefully set up my display last Saturday morning, I hoped and wished and crossed my fingers that the day would be a success, despite the fears in the back forefront of my mind that no one would be interested in my products and I'd leave the craft fair many yarn-wrapped wreaths richer and many dollars pooer. I was already feeling vulnerable and slightly awkward about putting my own creations on display for the world to see with the expectation that people would actually want to pay money for my knitted items and go on to wear them or display them in their homes. Turns out, people didn't actually want to pay money for my knitted items.

Hello, failure. Rarely have I felt so disheartened in my life. I only had a month and a half to prepare for the craft fair and I spent nearly every day brainstorming and creating. The past two weeks were spent with my butt on the couch (which, by this time, had molded to fit my backside perfectly) knitting and crafting almost non-stop. I made hats, mitts, coffee cup cozies, rosette pins, knitted jewelry, and 10 yarn-wrapped wreaths. I worked so hard, and (to use a cliched phrase) I put myself out there -- something that's not easy for this shy and often overly-cautious girl to do.

I made about $100, but after the $42.50 I paid to rent a space at the fair and the cost of supplies, I actually lost money. Not to mention, I couldn't resist doing a little shopping at some of the other vendors' booths. I'm trying to put the disappointment behind me. Maybe this means my knitting isn't as great as I think it is. Or maybe my friends and family are right and it just wasn't the right venue for yarn-made crafts. It is Hawaii, after all.

I did learn something else about myself from this experience -- not much will cheer me up like whining to my ever-patient mom on the phone for almost an hour, then hearing two of my favorite songs on the radio back-to-back while on the way to get a deliciously fattening comfort-food meal for a takeout dinner. And on the bright side, I'm now the proud owner of some gorgeous yarn-wrapped wreaths and a couple cute knitted hats!



  1. Our brains sound like they work very much alike...every little thing that has ever happened that is slightly negative has been replayed, over-analyzed and ruminated upon for hours in my mind. I wanted to tell you though, that you took a much bigger step that I've ever been able to with my quilting and you should be so proud of that. It take a lot of courage just to put yourself out there and that is half the battle. I'm sure you learned lots that will help you next time you do something like this...you just may not see it yet. So, I say Job Well Done for being brave and ambitious!

  2. i think your stuff is super cute! i bet in cold weather places it would sell like crazy. your stuff looks professional and you have a good eye for color. sorry it didnt go so well! :(

  3. hey, I'm just browsing your posts for the first time in a while (I've been slacking in keeping up, sorry :/) but I wanted to tell you don't be disheartened! people are sooo stingy and don't like spending money on anything, let alone beautiful hand-knitted items. I'm always so afraid to even try selling my things. you're at least brave enough to go for it! :)
    also, if those pink xoxo mitts are still available I will buy them. not even kidding. I WANT THOSE! haha


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