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  • Writer's pictureJenifer Brown

#18 The Adventures to Great Soap & How to find it: The magic of the vending community

Many people attend farmer's markets, parades & community events. Bright colors and merriment fill the air with a sense of fun and wonder. As an outsider, it's easy to enjoy the moment and not think of what it takes to get it to the point of opening the gates.

I can only speak from the farmer's market side, but I would imagine other events are similar.

In The Entrepreneurial world I assumed everyone with a booth lived a hippy lifestyle. I pictured local market vendors as roaming nomads. Creators immerse themselves in their art 24/7. Our businesses become part of our identities; we swim in our passions. The fact that this nomadic group lives & breathes their passion, made them feel different to me.

Farmer's market magic is that creators are able to turn a town square or a city block into a small town in a matter of hours. Stepping into the gates of a market, the world should feel like it falls away. The freshness captivates the senses making you forget bills to pay & deadlines to meet.

As the person who tries to bring you part of that magic, we work for days trying to bring you magic. It is a thrilling goal to me to be able to bring you an immersive experience, having you feel the way we do.

Part of what I do is soap making, but I am also selling you a personal experience that lasts hours after you leave us. That lasting experience is my bar of soap. I love the thought of people wanting to seek us out. We love to share our stories, our struggles and the end result that is a great bar of soap. Trying to show each person our passion when they visit is a gift that a vendor tries to give everyone 100% of the time. Part of the handmade community is sharing our love for what we do. When I realized this, it is the magic that I have always felt as a shopper before being on the other side of things.

One of the reasons that fired me up to create was Dennis, whom I've mentioned before in other writings. Dennis & his family are nomadic vendors like the rest of us. They bring the vending magic to the forefront with their display and offerings. If you recall, Dennis is the soap maker that inspired me to dive into whatever my interest was. (Little did I know it was soap. I swear life puts people in our path for things we don't even think about!) Dennis and his family have a fantastic mix of handmade items along with his soaps. One of those items are wooden pigs made from tree branches. I have on of Dennis' pigs on my desk. The display of his handmade items looks like an old timey wood workers shop. The wooden pigs are often found in a makeshift pen on the floor. Pigs resting in shavings from previous projects with little signs that say. "We don't eat much" or "we don't hog the bed". Small magical touches like that are part of the experience that small businesses can lend. Thats the magic I am talking about.

The event comes to a close and the magic falls back to a lone gazebo or town sqaure parking lot. The vendors break down their tables & begin to load their cars. On their way home, they are already planning the next event in their minds. If they have a person who makes the trips with them, they are talking about the customer who was the best. They talk about the goals they reached or fell short on. They talk about improvements and how good a shower will feel when they get back home. It turns out that the vending community is like everyone else. We hope that we made a difference in people's lives for a little while & build on our own dreams at the same time. As the years go by, I fall more in love with the magic that is being an entrepreneur. I keep finding more reasons why it still captivates my imagination.

Do you feel the same? What are ways the event community inspires you?

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