Last Sunday, I had the pleasure of participating in the Crafther Market in Austin, Tx at the Fair Market. It was for small businesses that offer handcrafted items. This meant that I would only be able to offer my handcrafted pieces from the Fashion Not Fear Collection. The women behind the market was described as, “A biannual pop-up space, showcasing the talent of women and non-binary makers, creators, and artists in Texas.”
After loading up the car with dresses, clothing racks, decor items and more….my niece and I took the short drive from San Antonio to Austin to pop up at this fabulous event! Upon arrival, I could immediately tell that it was going to be a good day. First off, I didn’t spend the first 20 minutes wandering around looking for the creator of the event to check in and find my space. Nope. There was a beautiful lady standing right at the entrance with clipboard in hand, ready to check me in and show me my space. That was easy! Normally, I have to not only search for someone but I also have to ask some of the other attendees what the person looks like or what they are wearing because I have no idea.
Not only did they make that part easy but there were so many people offering to help us to get things out of the car into the building. In all of the other events, I’ve participated in, all of the transferring from car to space and setting up is all on you. To be honest, this is probably my biggest obstacle when I’m setting up a pop up shop. In most cases, my fiancé is able to come help me set everything up (as long as he doesn’t have to work.) But if he has to work that day, it’s all on me! When I’m setting up alone, Im so super sweaty and frustrated by the time I’m done. That is definitely not the right head space to be in when connecting with new people. This time though, I was lucky enough to have the help of the market staff but my niece was there too…thank God!
After everything was set up and ready to go it finally hit me…
THESE PEOPLE ARE GOING TO BE SHOPPING garment THAT YOU MADE WITH YOUR OWN HANDS, YOUR STYLES. Am I ready for this? Can I do this? What if people don’t like it?? What if the clothes fall apart when they try them on? Are you crazy, Kristie???
This went on for about 45 minutes after they opened the doors to let shoppers in. As people walked in and out of my area, the fear became worse and worse. It was pretty ridiculous. Until I made my first sale. Here is how it happened: A shopper picks up the Floreal Top and says, “love this print”, “thank you”; I replied. “Do you mind if I try it on?; “Not at all” I replied. I nervously take it off the hanger and hand it to her. She tries it on and says; “I love it! I’ll take it!”
That was all it took. I told fear to, “kiss my ass, I got this!” And that’s exactly what happened. Women were not only buying Fashion Not Fear, but they were complimenting the fabric choices, saying things like, “Can’t believe you made this” and more. The feedback was incredible.
The rest of the day seemed to fly by! Although my two glasses of red wine didn’t hurt. 🤷🏽♀️ It funny how each time I receive a request to order a dress through the online store, I get so excited! But it’s hard to find out their thoughts of the piece when they receive it if they don’t leave a review or reply to my ‘How was your order?’ email. The face to face instant reaction was just what I needed. Thoughts of these women walking around Austin wearing my dresses and tees was probably the best feeling ever.
On the ride home, I analyzed how everything went. I was disappointed that I left fear creep in and let me think that I wasn’t meant to be doing what I’m doing. But felt grateful that I didn’t let it stop me. Or make me pack up early and run home. (I thought about it.) Imagine that. Me. Kristie. The dress boutique owner who raves about being fearless and created a damn dress line called Fashion Not Fear…still deals with fear? Yes, I do! Like I’ve said, being a fearless woman doesn’t mean you won’t be scared of shit. It just means you are willing to fight through it to get to it. Whatever your it is.
I enjoyed meeting lots of fearless women who were working hard to create their own lane. So, what did I learn? So much! But mainly…I discovered some design details that I need to focus on. And that everyone isn’t going to get it and that’s okay. I also got another experience in saying; “Fuck you!” to fear.
Needless say that the girl power in the building was off the chains! Overall, I am beyond excited about to improve my designs, processes, and to make Fashion Not Fear the first brand that pops in your head when you’re in need of a great dress.
So, until next year Crafther Market and the over 3,800 people who came out to support. Thanks for the love! Thoughts?? Let me know in the comments.
Stay fearless 💋