Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New York Gifts

I had an amazing day at NYIGF yesterday. I helped Virginia in her Brushkins booth where there was a steady stream of buyers from Florida, California and many regionally. Several people were buying for their internet business and a few looking to start one. Sales, I am told, were small orders, but there were many. Escama's owner, Andy said that their first NY show where they introduced the line of bottle top bags was mind blowing and after six shows, this one quite nearly reached the same totals. Exciting stuff.

I left there feeling promise that the market was on an upswing. Promise that my store would again be doing well. Promise that the ostrich eggshell jewelry and our line of safari would be embraced at the show. . . my mind was racing.
I would love my own booth - the excitement of planning, the control of creating yet a new venture, the promise of sustainability for the programs I put in place in Botswana. I wanted to share the warmth of the shop, bring awareness of the women I work with, and harness and prove the viability of the products.

I couldn't wait to return today to take in more information about how other people were working the show, gain some more insight into what was missing, what people were buying, how to sell.

I wanted to find new products to make the store fresh and profitable. I wanted to make good connections for new vendors and possibly, connections for my own businesses.
I loved being in the thick of the sales, the mindset of retail, enveloped in fair trade practices and theory. I wanted another day in the buzz.

But then I took a deep breath and I stopped myself - defended myself from myself.

I keep talking about promoting the women's products, bringing awareness of their way of life, preserving the craft and their culture and making all of us a little more financially secure. Will my shop do that? Yes, to some degree. Will my wholesaling do that? Yes, a little bit. But what would do that the biggest and best way? My book.

For the past two weeks I've been obsessed with change - buy a new house, open a shop, get a job...All of those things are great distractions, great excuses, and tangible endeavors, but none of those things would accomplish the biggest and best change for all of us. The answer to my restlessness is the book.

I had entitled the book "Women's Work: My Life's Work" but that's not true. Women's Work (the store, the concept, and quite literally the meaning of the phrase) has always been a vehicle for my true life's work. I believe my greatest passion and my one and only talent is my writing.
To put my life's existence out there - to write this book, I will be fulfilling my life's work. But what if it's no good? What if no one wants to read it? What if it never gets published? Then, will my life be a failure? Reasonable Cecilia says no of course not! But Irrational Cecilia often prevails...
But not today, IC, not today. Today, I write the book.

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