Before I turned 10 years-old, I was fearless. I could sell anything to anyone (except my postman--but believe me, I tried). I picked wildflowers and my mother's roses and bundled them together in bouquets which I wrapped homemade wrapping paper around and peddled to the little old ladies across the street. I decorated construction paper with markers and glitter and yarn and sold bookmarks at 5 cents each to the neighbor boy.
After the success of my bookmark and bouquet ventures, I turned to other crafty activities involving washed-out tin cans, popsicle sticks, and felt (among other things). I recruited a girl from up the street to help me assemble and advertise our wares with posters we tacked to the telephone poles. We sold them to whoever would buy one ... except the postman, who flatly refused.
When I moved to another state, my crafty side was undaunted. I left behind popsicle sticks and construction paper bookmarks and moved on to hand-stiched dolls and set to work crocheting scarves and a cover with handles for my Bible. Then I decided to bake cookies and make lemonade and set up shop on my front lawn.
I almost sold out of crafts and baked goods on my first day in business. So many neighbor kids came to buy things that I actually hired a couple, giving them a percentage of my earnings for the time they spent helping me hand out crafts and cookies to my customers. After two days of profits, I was ready for the big time--I had plans to make a quilt and other big-ticket items. Until, that is, I heard through the grapevine that the kids next door had gotten in trouble with their mother for spending their entire week's allowance at my little "shop." Afraid that I'd get in trouble with her too, I never set up my card table on the front lawn again.
As the years passed, I still dabbled in cross-stich or crochet or even the odd sewn item or two, but in junior high and high school a strange thing happened: I lost interest. By the time I was in college, crafts were the furthest thing from my mind.
And now, the crafty girl in me has awakened. She is getting restless, too. Suddenly, buttons and ribbon and pretty fabrics and cool new types of yarn have me excited again. Instead of boring pastel-garbed rabbits or flocks of geese with bonnets or footstools with hearts cut into the sides, I am envisioning edgy yet ultra-feminine decorative pillows, be-ribboned bookcovers, beaded lampshades, and funky yet functional art pieces.
My love for letterpress has opened the floodgates to other traditional craft professions. I would love to learn glassblowing, for instance. And sewing no longer seems like something restricted to "home ec" class. I want to sew usable aprons. Like they had in the forties--only better. And I'm remembering how much I loved my pottery throwing and handbuilding classes in college for my Art minor.
It's weird, actually, how quickly this crafty mindset has crept back into control! So much so that I am seriously considering going to a local indie craft market in May in order to try to launch my business. Hmmmm. Can I do it? The application is due in just over a week, but it requires images of the crafts I intend to sell--which means I have to get hopping on prototypes if I want to attend! I'll keep y'all updated on my progess, whether or not I succeed in my insane little mission.