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Second time is even grander. Going to Market again.

I just completed my second Market and it was exhausting, a blast, educational and super emotional. Last go round I was in the Vintage and Handmade section. This time I was in the mix of it all. It was great to feel like my little 'ol business was next to business that spend tens of thousands for Market. A little intimidating, of course.. but it was super exciting! 

So with all these amazing businesses surrounding me, I was astonished to win Best Booth, again! That's right folks.. my booth full of re-purposed items as displays took home the prize. I am still in shock and so incredibly excited!

booth from straight on
Bringing the yellow couch seemed super extreme at the time.. especially when we where lugging it into the freight elevator. But if there was a an award for the most comfortable vendor, I would take that prize as well. Four long days at the show makes it totally worth it!

My goal was not only to display but to share some ideas with buyers on how they could display my work. I encourage picture taking and it seemed to be something the buyers really appreciated. These are the ways I came up with to display headbands. They truely are the peskiest things to display.

Headband Displays for Shows and Shops

This go round we had the new (and awesome if I do say so myself) charm bracelets. I displayed them on an old plant stand. Painted turquoise.. of course.

Colorful Charm Bracelets
my version of advertising
Now I have to admit.. it was great winning best booth two times in a row. But I hang up my hat. I am going to work on a paired down display for future shows. One that preferably does not make me rent a moving truck to transport. It was super gratifying and I fell like it was all I wanted it to be, but next go round I am simplifying. Since my goal is to do Atlanta , Vegas and New York Markets, I need to humble the displays a bit so they can be crated and shipped.

Ahh... but I had one show that it was just as it was in my head. One show that I did not comprise one little bit and my artistic soul was allowed to play freely and be crazy. A big thanks to the moving tuck, paint, a willing husband and a assistant that kept telling me I was not crazy for wanting a couch in my booth.

Now back to life and getting my orders out.

<3 Nikki


Use the dang quilt! Celebrating my momma

A year ago today I sat in complete silence, stunned and trying to figure out just what living my life without my momma in it would be. How would I go on? Who would I talk to everyday? Who would tell me I could do it all and be my biggest fan? Who's advice would I pretend to ignore and then secret implement it?

I have been dreading this day all year. Knowing I had to face it sooner or later. It haunted me. I have already made it through her birthday (just 2 weeks after she passed), my birthday, every major holiday and Mothers Day without her. This was the last big one. Or at least that is what I tell myself to make it through.

But today I decided to celebrate life instead of focusing on her death. I am still here and I can still partake all of the joys she can no longer experience. She first and foremost wanted to teach me how to have joy and love life. So here is what I did to make her proud.

I Spent some time working on my big dreams. She was so proud of my business, my work ethic and
that I could make a living at doing something I loved. I worked on finalizing some displays for Market. She was usually my sounding board the one I would discuss every last detail with. She would have loved being involved in all of this!

I found a few more of her wooden spools and I added to my collection I have of hers. She was an amazing seamstress and keeping her spools where I can see them make me feel close to her.

Then it was time for a little fun. We went to dinner at The Olive Garden. Mom... I know you loved this place, but next year we are finding a different restaurant to celebrate you!  The food was bad, but we laughed about how Mom always swiped the cutlery. She only needed to go to Outback Steakhouse one more time of have a whole set. I blame this on my step dad influence.See the billiard balls in the spool photo? Those were my dads. He never had a pool table. So I am assuming he swiped those each time he went to play with friends. Oh mom and dad.. you were funny and quirky.

Some mini golf with the family and the first real snow cone of the season was perfect for this day.Time with family was what she asked for every holiday and what she loved the most.

Then there is the quilt. 

My mom made this for me when I was 15. I cried when I got it. There are pieces that are less then a square inch! She stayed up late for months after I went to bed to surprise me with this. She was so proud when she gave it to me and I can still see the look on her face in that moment.

I quickly put it in my cedar chest where it has sat for 17 years. She always gave me crap about keeping it in the chest. I told her I didn't want to ruin it. As I got older she bugged me to use it again. I still did not want to ruin it.. and it did not exactly go with my color scheme. She laughed and told me there was no point in a quilt sitting in a chest.

Well tonight I took it out and I will sleep with it. Knowing her hands made this with so much love will be so comforting. Living in the moment today, loving my life and using the quilt will be my way of telling her she taught me well.

I get it mom. Life is short. Chase your dreams, know what matters and use the dang quilt.