NAMI Convention Show

OK, so… I am in Orlando for the NAMI convention. Today I spent some time displaying and selling my landscape beads. Sara Parfait, our affiliate president, graciously invited me to share her space at one of the consumer book sales tables. In the picture, Sara is on the left and I am on the right.

I was very nervous about this endeavor. I only got the confirmation that I would be able to show my beads (made into pendants) a week ago. I spent the time frantically assembling the beads into pendants and building a display for the beads. At this point I haven’t gotten a chance to torch in six days! I knew I was stressed by this when I kept making my chiropractic appointments for the same time as my therapy appointments.

I learned several things from this experience. First, I learned not to distract prospective customers with superfluous items. My mother (sorry mom) insisted on putting a little container out with some hollow beads I had made. The hollow beads were what I call “wonky” or “duds,” and had deemed not fit for sale. I found people would pick up the beads and get distracted.

Another thing I learned from this experience what the power of names. Several people seemed to relate to the beads better when I named the beads… night, dawn, storm, spring, sea, etc. One woman was instantly moved when I referred to one of the pendants as “Alabama Red Clay.” She was reminded of a movie she saw where a little boy expressed confusion about racism using a metaphor of different colors of dirt.

All in all, I sold 14 pendants which was a lot better than I had hoped I would. I made a little bit of money which I have earmarked for more glass and glass related supplies. First thing I am going to do on Thursday when I get home is order a lentil trio press. The rest of the money I made today will go with me to Oakland in August for the International Society of Glass Beadmakers convention.

I am so grateful to all the people who bought pendants from me today. I also am very thankful that Sara shared her space with me – I think a special gift is in order there. And of course, my mother has been so supportive of me and I am so… overwhelmed by her support.

Today has been a great day, better than I had hoped, and it made me think that I might be able to really make a go of this beadmaking thing. I can only hope that tomorrow will be another good day.

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