Friday, November 1, 2013

Responding to Failure

I applied for a juried craft fair... and... was... rejected.


I have never been rejected like that before in all of my ** year life. "Rejected" by boys I had a crush on in high school. "Rejected" by honor clubs for which I had interviewed in college. But... never... ever... ever rejected in my artsy life.

I was so sure I would be at that craft fair. I had already begun production on my products. I had also invested quite a bit in my booth presentation. The theme of my booth was to be a re-creation of a general store from times past. I had purchased this:

Vintage 1920's General Store Paper Cutter
Cool estate find was this rubber stamp:

Special Delivery Postal Stamp!

"Special Delivery" plus newly designed "Hillcrest Cottage" stamp plus a fun bicycle was just the image for which I was hoping. Was I ever on a roll!

Free Gift Wrap Example Completed

Add vintage aprons with Hillcrest Cottage art sewn onto it. I was pumped about the craft fair to come.

Until... the rejection email arrived.

Now, I was faced with more choices. Not fun choices, like how to design my rubber stamp logo, but hard choices, like what do I do with failure?

I tried several options which led me down dead end roads to no where. Ultimately, I asked myself, "What would be your dream? If you could just punt this whole fall craft season, how would you like to see yourself this time next year?"

My answer:

I want to learn how to print with a letterpress. Say "hello" to my new baby:  a 1893 Model Kelsey Excelsior Letterpress. It is missing some important parts (I am currently working on that.)... and I have no idea of how to use it (Working on that part, too.)... and I don't have all the supplies to print (Okay... so I have a long way to go before I can actually print.)...BUT, the main point is that I am working toward a goal.

                      I am inspired by what my son learned at West Point: Fail and Continue.

And, I'm gonna be so cool and awesome that no craft fair is ever going to reject me again.

This is how I respond to failure.


  1. THEIR LOSS!!!! YOU are awesomely talented and have so much creativity in you that you couldn't possibly get it all into one little craft fair. Hmmmph.

  2. Fail and continue ... good lesson from your son.