Whoa! This is a hard pill to swallow if you’re experiencing this for the first time.
You’ve awaken early excited to get to your very first craft fair, coffee in hand, looking over your table with pride, ready to conquer the world.
Your items are displayed nicely, prices are reasonable, your banner hangs nicely and your tablemate knows exactly what she/he needs to do in case you have to step away from your booth for a minute of two.
And then she arrives…
Her hands are behind her back, like a teacher looking over your shoulder during a test. You smile and greet her with a warm hello. She responds with a stern look over her glasses, cracks a half-ass smile, and goes back to scanning your table.
You then respond by stating that if she has any questions please don’t hesitate to ask. And what happens next almost floors you.
She says, “These look like everything I’ve seen already. I can go to Kohl’s and find these same pieces.”
You stand there like a deer in headlights, your heart dropped two notches and you force the mask of a smile on your face. What…Just…Happened?!!! Of if you’re like me, your first thought was…WTF!!!!
Did this buyer just reject me?!
So now. Let’s talk about what’s really going on here. I mean before you snap because there are a few things we need to understand.
1. What just happened had NOTHING to do with you or your art.
2. We are NOT taking this personal.
3. Honestly, the opinions of others are just that. Opinions. They’re not factual and everyone’s entitled to one.
As an artist we feel our art are like our babies, we nurture them, we take care of them, and we feel like they are the best in the world. We love them and feel that everyone else should too. The reality is not everyone does or will and that’s okay.
One thing we MUST do as artists is to learn to separate ourselves from our pieces. In other words, this customer wasn’t judging you, just your pieces.
She wasn’t saying that you were not talented or that your pieces hold no value.
As a matter of fact, she kind of just gave you a compliment wrapped in insult (if you took it that way) because what she sort of said was that your pieces were so good that she could find them in a department store.
See how I just turned that negative into a positive? Yep it’s a thing and you can do it too.
Now I have to share something with you. That was a true story of an incident that actually happened at my very first craft fair.
So my question to you is, how would you have handled that situation?
What were some of your first thoughts while reading that scenario? Share your thoughts in the comments.