Country Living Fair nightmares are nothing new to me, not one a bit. I’ve been having them for the last six years; after all, I did 12 #clfairs in 5 years. But this is the first one I’ve had when I’m not going to the Fair in any capacity.
In my nightmare I was trying to remember which display piece was for which product, wondering why I sold off all my screen doors, and not having anyone to run the booth with me. Needless to say, I didn’t enjoy it.
Over the last nine months, I’ve been had many sales to cull all of my product and display pieces. While I am thankful to not have 6-10 doors and countless tables cluttering up my shed and back yard (insert the Sanford and Sons theme song here), there is the inevitable “what if I need them” stress of not having all this show stuff.
You might ask me, do I miss that stress? Maybe.
Prepping for a Country Living Magazine Fair isn’t like prepping for your average craft show. In my experience, it’s MUCH bigger than that. It’s like prepping for a cross-country vacation while making $25,000 to $30,000 worth of product. It’s about being so tired that you take 15-minute naps on the concrete floor of your studio so that you can make it through your 20th 16 hour day in a row. You know that the show is coming up in a matter of days when you eat take out three times a day and eating an entire package of Oreo’s by yourself in 2 days isn’t uncommon. When you finally leave town for the show, your so cash poor that you hope you have enough money for gas, a constant stream of caffeine and the hotel room.
That’s all stressful enough, right? The worst part is knowing that you haven’t seen or properly talked to your homeschooled teenagers in a few days, other than texting, or a quick phone call to make sure that they got dressed and were eating real food. Yep, that’s the worst part. “This is not why I had kids,” used to run through my head every five minutes. I knew that I was repeating my upbringing, two working parents running a small business with a bunch of kids fending for themselves.
So maybe I don’t miss all of that. But, what I do miss is the rest of it.
I miss planning something big. I miss being able to be completely focused on one thing; being a homeschooling SAHM doesn’t allow you that luxury.
I miss my out of town friends that I’ve made over the years. Kerri, Tiffin, Kirsten, and Trish, became great friends being my out-of-town Junie. I also miss my “fair family”. I won’t get to see all my vendor friends and have 5-minute conversations about business and life when I sneak out of the tent for potty breaks.
I won’t get to see all my lovely customers that I’ve befriended, the ladies that have supported and genuinely cared about me, my family and my business. You know who you are and that I’m grateful for our friendship! Thank goodness for social media, if it weren’t for that, I might have kept doing the Columbus show just to remain in touch with everyone.
Here where it gets real; this is where I show my true self, for better or worse. I miss being someone. At a Country Living Fairs I’m not just Kelly the wife, or homeschooling mom. There I was Modern June. There you can see that I built a nice little company that people admired. I was an expert on something. It was a place where people came to year after year. It was a place filled with color and memory evoking loot. There, in that booth, I made people happy. There I was someone; I was June.
So, do I miss it? Heck ya, I do. I’m sure it will KILL me to see another company in my space under the willow tree in Columbus next month. Seriously, I’m afraid that will hurt.
Even though deep down I do miss it, but I don’t think I made a mistake by altering my course. Being here, being Mom, is where I’m supposed to be right now. There are so many important things that I’ve helped my kids accomplish in the last nine months, things that wouldn’t have happened if they didn’t have my full attention. I’m a proud mamma!
Now, don’t I think I’m done with this whole thing Modern June/Country Living Fair situation. Just yesterday, I was painting this apple pie painting, and I started playing around with how I’d display art prints at the Fair. Immediately I regretted selling all those damn doors.
In short, I’m happy, but you haven’t seen the nothin’ yet. I’ll be Modern June again once my nest is empty.
Check out my old Modern June blog for more #CLFair photos!