This year has brought my little micro business some incredible growth. One of my goals was to expand into stores with my handmade goods. Becoming a vendor at two different antique malls has allowed me to do that and it allows me to scavange for cool things without becoming a hoarder. Both of my booths have a mix of handmade items and classic books and toys for children. The handmade goods are usually made with repurpsed vintage fabrics and the nostalgic vibes always make me smile. The other stuff I find at thift shops, estate sales and sometimes on the side of the road. I take great care to clean up everything before I stock it. Both books and toys get fully wiped down with rubbing alcohol and vintage fabrics are washed in fragrance free hypoalergenic detergent.
I know it is totally irrational, but my anxiety kicks up a notch everytime I bring new stuff into one of the shops. Deep in my gut I just have this fear that someone is going to stop me at the door and tell me I can't bring trash into the shop. Let's face it, my booth looks more like a childrens room or toy shop than the typical antique space. Plus it's almost entirely pre- loved or made with pre-loved fabrics. Yesterday evening as I was unloading my car in the parking lot, that fear came creeping back. I double checked every piece as I loaded it onto the cart to bring into the shop, looking for flaws I missed during the initial cleaning.
As I finished setting up everything in my booth a woman walked by. "Are you the dealer for this booth?" she asked. I confirmed I was and that I was still learning how to stock and organize my space. Here it comes, I thought. I just new she was going to tell me how out of place my stuff was. " I just love your stuff!" she declared! She introduced herself and told me that she's had a booth there for ten years. She said it was nice to see different stuff in the shop and talked to me about what to expect throughout the year. Y'all, I was so relieved and reassured. Her taking a few minutes to talk to me really just made my week. Plus she bought a pillow to gift to her daughter!
It was already dark out when I was driving home. I was reflecting on how God sends us just what we need when we need it. I was mentally listing all the things I needed to record in my gratitude journal. I was halfway listening to a small business podcast about leaning into the good things. Then over the horizon of the dark road, someone set off a huge leftover firework. The kind that looks almost like it's in slow motion as the big ball of sparks expands. It was magical.