Category Archives: Blogging

On Craft Fairs and the Future

Hello again! It’s been much longer that I intended to let slip by before writing here again. But a family medical emergency that took me away from home most of November unfortunately intervened. The good news is that all is well now on that front.

The other good news is that I was very satisfied with how I did at both of the craft fairs I attended this year. I had some sales at both, got to promote my Etsy shop, got some great ideas for other products to sell (as well as what not to sell) and in general enjoyed myself both days.

Certain Smiles' Booth, St. Thomas the Apostle PTO Craft Fair, 2014

Certain Smiles’ Booth, St. Thomas the Apostle PTO Craft Fair, 2014

It’s never wasted time if it can be considered a learning experience. And both days certainly were. And they were also great opportunities to interact with fellow vendors as well as customers. I’m an introvert by nature, but put me in a situation where I have to interact and I love it! Especially when I’m talking about something I enjoy as much as crafting.

Certain Smiles' booth, St. Thomas the Apostle PTO Craft Fair, 2014

Certain Smiles’ booth, St. Thomas the Apostle PTO Craft Fair, 2014

However, I now find myself at a bit of a crossroads, asking myself where do I go from here? While I met the goals I had set for myself this year for the craft fairs, what about for the future? As I said, I learned a lot this year. Including that perhaps craft fairs aren’t the best place to sell the products I make. Sure, the customers I had were very enthusiastic about my creations, but were there enough of them to make my attendance at the craft fairs really profitable? Or would I need to focus more on “stocking stuffer” type items to sell – and creating such items is not really in my game plan right now, though perhaps it could be.

So I’m taking December to reconsider and regroup. I’m not stopping creating, not by any means; just refining where I’m heading in 2015. This blog will be part of that journey. I hope you’ll come along for the ride.


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Filed under About Me, Blogging, Craft Fairs, Creativity

Hello world!

Welcome to the Certain Smiles Blog!

In a recent message, Joel Osteen (message #619-It’s Already Yours) spoke of an impression his father had of a part of Heaven. There was a warehouse full of boxes, each with someone’s name on them. His father asked St. Peter what all the boxes were for. St. Peter explained that they were the blessing that were assigned to individuals, but that those people never claimed for themselves because they didn’t have the faith, or the courage, or the belief in themselves to accept the blessing and pursue it.

I expect my box is pretty darn large. Last week, during a phone call with my boyfriend, we were talking about my Etsy shop and how I could increase sales. He made a very good suggestion. My response: “I’ll have to look into,” which, for me, is code for, “Um, sweetie, that sounds like something that pursuing will have to force me outside of my comfort zone, so while it sounds like a good idea and all, why don’t I just say I’ll ‘think about it’, when in fact I’ll just put it on the shelf until you forget it.”

Kind of like this blog. It sounds like a good idea, but I get intimidated every time I sit down actually come up with content for it. So, after my boyfriend and I hung up after that phone call, I clicked on to the computer game I often play when I’m stalling for time. Turns out, I’ve stalled for time a lot. I checked the statistics. Then I blinked twice and read the numbers again. Yikes. I’ve played that game 2,602 times (and that’s after my computer crashed a few years back and I had to reinstall the game software. I don’t want to think about how many times I played it before then.) At approximately 10 minutes per game, that’s 26,020 minutes, or 433 hours (really?!?!?!) Do you mean to tell me I’ve spent 18 days of my life playing a computer game! 18 days “stalling”? Do I dare post a statistic like THAT on a public blog?

Then yesterday, I found a blog by someone I was curious to learn more about. The author had only done about two dozen entries in 2013; and none since then. It wasn’t a fancy blog, no earth-shattering “never-before-seen on the Internet” content (its focus was on healthy living), but what was unique was the person behind it and the uniqueness he brought to each entry. That’s what made it special; particularly his post about what it means to be a father and his own experience with fatherhood.

And that’s when it dawned on me. OK, you’re not going to find information here that you couldn’t find else on the Internet through a Google search. But you’re going to get it through my filter. Every time I sit down to come up with ideas of what to post here, I think, “but someone else has already done that (and probably done it better).” Well, OK, I’ve taken the first step. Gotten over the idea that what I put out there has to be something that no one has ever done before. The next step is to ignore that constant critic of mine who never thinks anything I do is good enough. That part is going to be harder to accomplish. But I’m ready to conquer that foe as well.

I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

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Filed under About Me, Blogging