It finally came true.
Over the last few years Second Storie has grown with each event. Not so much in terms of size, although we have grown a little bit, but more so in the quality of the entire experience. Always learning, making adjustments, pushing ourselves to grow, and growing closer in our friendships - the other Stories and I have strived to foster for our vendors a sense of family, of being cared for and appreciated, and of being recognized for great joy, talent, and care in making. From the tremendously heartfelt feedback landing in our mailbox each day, I dare say we've accomplished this. We have always felt that if our vendors felt cozy so would our shoppers - it's difficult not to smile, and support handmade when the artists are beaming.
This year felt like the perfect storm of everything we have learned coming together at the right time, with the right people, and with the right crowds. It was perfect. Old friends reunited, or in some cases met for the first time, new friends found kindred connections, gorgeous, inspiring work was presented in abundance and sold in abundance, the shoppers were full of good cheer, the music was festive and there were yards and yards of the best streamers ever.
There were happy trades, wholesale opportunities, generous donations from our artists for a truly amazing raffle (that was free), and a private blog for our vendors to arrange carpooling and places to stay. There was no fee for admission to shop, there was an old school bake sale with old school prices, a delicious, private catered brunch for our vendors, generously donated free coffee and tea for shoppers throughout the event, and some treats for early birds, too!
There were so many hugs, and smiles, stories exchanged (some into the wee early morning hours), high fives, hope to see you next years, hard goodbyes, a running dive across the wood floor to choose our raffle winners (as is now tradition) and so many thank yous and see you soons.
I'm sorry if you're sort of starting to gag at all the joy here, but really if you were there you wouldn't have gagged. I think you probably would have high fived someone too. In the end, all I guess I'm wanting to say is that if you're thinking you might want to make the journey (short or long) to set up a table or browse the tables I hope you'll give it a go. I'm guessing next year will be be even better - which is, I think, our most important tradition.
To my fellow Storie girls - I love you, my life would not be the same without each of you. To all the friends and supporters of handmade that came to our event in lieu of the mall - thank you. Thank you for investing in something so important and vital. Thank you for your encouragement. To our behind the scenes support - we'd be lost without you, truly. And to all of our vendors - you made my year. You've inspired me beyond measure. I send you all a hearty high five, and a hug.
'Till soon, S