My oh My, it’s been a busy few weeks. I knew time was going to fly prior to taking off for the Vegas Gift Show the last week of January but I’m surprised at how fast it really went. Today is Saturday, February 23rd already?!?
The SF Gift Show has come and gone. It ended on Tuesday. I was thrilled to return to yoga on Weds morning (hadn’t been for 2 weeks), walk Thursday and go for a hike in my favorite, John McClaren Park, yesterday afternoon. I was able to soak up the sunshine, relishing the sound of the wind blowing through the trees, the sight of little yellow flowers in bloom on a hillside and the smells of early spring. Life IS Good, I thought to myself…just like those T-shirts state!
Standing in my booth at Moscone Center, I thought how far I’ve come from my Corporate Sales World! Standing in the midst of the Gift Industry, literally, I felt far removed from Office Furniture, Commercial Carpet and the Friends/Co-Workers/Clients I used to have when I lived and worked in Seattle/Portland. Maybe I needed the move to San Francisco in order to birth Words and Watercolors? A completely different city allowed for me to nurture my soul and coax my inner artist out of her doubt in a way that probably wouldn’t have happened had I stayed in Seattle. My Sales Queen Persona was so strong and resolute that I doubt the Inner Artist would have had a chance in Seattle. Living here has supported me in my Artist Self coming forth….from the day we moved Mark in (I followed a few months later) and met Chris and Sarah, our neighbors, who introduced me to Art94124, I was viewed as an Artist by others (I was holding my tote bag with my tulips on it, Sarah commented and the friendship was formed). Through Art94124, I became part of a group of Artists supporting a local gallery. I began to see myself as an Artist! I was introduced as an Artist! I made friends and developed opportunities to showcase my work. Amidst all the change, I slowly began to consider resurrecting Words and Watercolors (I had started a greeting card line of the same name in the mid 90’s). I needed a job, the economy was in the tank and I was not going to find one in my old “career” so thought I might as well try to create my own company. And so it was nearly 3 years ago that Words & Watercolors officially was “birthed”.
Seeing so many faces that I recognized at the SF Show also contributed to my realization that I WAS in the Gift Industry now. I loved standing in my booth and having buyers recognize me/my art. I wrote quite a number of orders with people who had written with me from the beginning. Many recalled me in my old booth in the back. I felt blessed to be in a booth, now, with my rep friends, Deborah, Joyce and Bill. It was our 2nd time hanging out together at a show and they asked me to be with them again in the Summer show. Another indication that I’m now part of this world, was I found myself hugging both buyers and reps that I’ve come to know over the few years I’ve been building my company. I felt truly blessed and grateful that I made this shift from Sales Queen to Artist/Entrepreneur…and exhibited for the 6th time at the SF Gift Show!