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Artisan Vending: Get Paid To Travel While Doing What You Love

Artisan Vending: Get Paid To Travel While Doing What You Love

Festival season is upon us! For a lot of people this means at least one weekend this summer full of dancing to some of their favorite music, basking in the sunshine with their favorite people, and making a statement with the most eccentric outfits and accessories available to them. Music festivals have not only created an atmosphere of outward expression through music, dance, and art but fashion has come to the forefront of self expression for attendees. Many festival goers have used their personal appearance as an outward expression of self. It is a chance for many who don’t have the opportunity in their daily 9-5 to let the peacock within spread those beautiful tail feathers.

This trend has created quite the business opportunity for crafty/creative individuals. Now, you can google “festival clothing,” search Etsy and Instagram, and immediately find several sites dedicated to creating unique clothing and jewelry specific to the festival culture. Coachella is a good example of a fashion-focused festival. There are several blog posts all over the internet focused solely on what is “in” this season.

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For those creative hobbyists who have been doing things like geocaching and collecting precious stones to make jewelry already, entertaining the idea of creating a business model around exactly that is a no-brainer. So what is next? Now that the idea has sprouted excitement where do you start?

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    Create enough for expected/desired audience

    Now that you have decided that you are going to make the jump from hobbyist to small business entrepreneur, creating enough product to attract and maintain steady revenue is your first feat. If one-of-a-kind festival jewelry is your route this is no easy task. Each piece takes quite a bit of time, sometimes days. Find a pace that works for you, learn as you go and make room for mistakes and mishaps. Being a one woman jewelry factory is no easy feat so keep track of those shortcuts for your jewelry cleaning processes and creation as you go. Excel and word docs are now my best friend.

    Generate an online presence

    It is the 21st century–there is no longer a successful business without a successful online presence. It is extremely important to the success of your new business venture to create an online voice and business through Facebook, Instagram, and your online store.Your goal is not only to create new customers but repeat customers. Keeping your business at the forefront of buyer’s minds in your niche is easily done through social media. Once someone has purchased from your store, having a space or several where previous customers have visual reminders of new products will be key.

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    Things to keep in mind

    You’ve created a healthy inventory, your online presence is buzzing with excitement and pleased customers, now what? A lot of artisan jewelers use their niche as an opportunity to travel and share their work at the festivals that their customers are attending. This side of things brings on a whole other realm of potential struggle. There are so many positive elements to working festivals. The idea of doing what you love for a living and being able to see the country while doing it sounds like a dream. Meeting new people and making connections with like-minded individuals, being able to enjoy the music, and sharing your creation face to face makes for a wonderful experience, but it’s harder than it sounds.

    Surviving a festival is a learning experience as well. When traveling to any festival, pack as light as possible. Remember everything you pack in has to be packed out. Cleanliness is difficult as well. Keeping your precious creations out of the dust while staying retail worthy is a task, especially with customers who want to touch and try individual pieces on, this could be highly stressful.

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    There is also the matter of staying healthy and getting the proper nutrients while you are traveling to and from these festivals. Granted festival food vendors are always delicious, but the average plate costs $10-$15. That will add up very quickly. My advice is to pack not only non-perishable foods but vitamins as well. Vitamin C, Echinacea are my go-tos when I begin to feel under the weather. Take care of your body and your body will take care of you.

    The largest roadblock for a lot of new artisans is the price tag. Being able to showcase your work at a festival ranges anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand–not counting the cost of travel and food while in attendance–for a small tent space, where there is no guarantee you will make your initial investment back.

    As a business owner this will have to be your judgment call. Monitor your online presence, as well as your followers and the festivals they attend. This will help you decipher whether or not it is financially beneficial for you to attempt this route of business. For many the online route makes the most sense but if you have caught a case of wanderlust and think this could work for you, it could be quite the adventure. Best of luck turning your hobby into something that is also financially advantageous!

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    Last Updated on July 10, 2020

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

    We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

    So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

    Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

    What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

    Boundaries are limits

    —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

    Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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    Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

    Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

    Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

    How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

    Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

    1. Self-Awareness Comes First

    Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

    You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

    To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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    You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

    • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
    • When do you feel disrespected?
    • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
    • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
    • When do you want to be alone?
    • How much space do you need?

    You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

    2. Clear Communication Is Essential

    Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

    Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

    3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

    Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

    That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

    Sample language:

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    • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
    • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
    • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
    • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
    • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
    • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
    • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

    Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

    4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

    Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

    Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

    Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

    We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

    It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

    It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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    Final Thoughts

    Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

    Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

    Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

    The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

    Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

    Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

    They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

    Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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