How do you measure success?
So, Renegade Craft Fair came and went.
I spent November in a blur of wood chips, concrete dust, and ink splatters.
I built a display from scratch. Then a rolling storage unit. Then some signs.
I painted my logo bigger than my face. Twice.
I bought a new printer, then printed 100+ brochures. I handed out maybe 10.
I inked quotes until my fingers were black. Then I kept going.
I packed my entire booth in my hatchback.
I drove 7 hours in the rain.
I stood in heels for 9 hours. I still can't feel my toes.
I sold fucking prints hand over fist. I spent a night making more, then spilled my entire bottle of ink on my black jeans.
I painted a custom quote that almost made me cry.
I found people. I found people who my words resonated with. I found my people.
I met some amazing makers. New ones and ones I've insta-stalked for ages.
I barely saw Austin. I spent 90% of my trip at the fair or in my hotel room. I was too exhausted. Too emotionally spent to even attempt to explore the city like I planned.
I became angry and bitter when we couldn't decide on a place to eat. I have a man who understands me and did all of the decision making after that.
I went to a restaurant where 50% of the things included fennel for some reason. I walked out of that restaurant.
I spent an evening at Buffalo Wild Wings because I couldn't find the LSU bar. I had a really shitty hamburger. Then watched a really emotional football game.
I cried when I thought I had watched my coach's last game. Then cried again in my hotel room when I learned it wasn't.
I stood in flats for 9 hours.
I sold prints faster than I could make them.
I heard a British lady say the word c*nt. And it was glorious.
I made money. I made the most money I've ever made in a weekend. But it didn't come close to covering my total costs. It didn't even come close to 4 digits.
I had the best pizza I have ever eaten.
I slept better than I ever have.
I drove 7 hours in the rain.
I'm mixing the highlights and the disappointments because that's life. That's how we experience it. Bouncing from awesome adventure to huge let-down and back.
If you asked me today if I would do this trip over again, I honestly don't know what I would say. Probably? Maybe? Ok sure?
We put a monetary value on everything because it's easy. But only because I can't tell you the value of the gift a grieving daughter will receive from her best friend. I can't tell you the value of instant customer feedback. I can't tell you the value of rocking my first out-of-state market. I can't tell you the value of the best fucking pizza ever. (Actually, it was $9.50)
What I can say, is that monetarily, it was a loss. I spent more than I made. Black and White.
But if I don't act on all the things I learned. All the progress I've made. All the feedback I received. Then, and only then, will it truly be a loss.
Its all about what you do with it.