Last Sunday, Beary Naise held its first flea at Pandora Flea market at Dempsey. To be honest, it was not easy being a total greenhorn, planted amidst all the regular flea -goers. My table was ill-prepared, I arrived late, my table cloth was not long enough (hahaha this was an honest mistake because I was initially given a smaller table dimension), and I was very nervous. My first potential customer asked me how much was the Strawberry Bucket Bag, and my heart was beating so fast that I couldn’t remember. Bleah, I resorted to jotting the prices down on my palm next. So cliche!
To make matters more intimidating, my neighbouring flea-owners had very prettily decorated booths. This, I have a lot to learn from. My first flea experience was not about myself nor was it about my products, it was about observance, and the feeling of just being in it, with everything happening around me. It was surreal, being in an actual flea market, and not the one shopping. Observing how other flea-owners interact with potential customers, interact with each other etc… Observing how some people are potential customers, and how some just want to suss out your products to see if they could make it themselves too. For the handmade flea market scene (not those of clothes), you have to be prepared for people who are DIY-ers or crafters themselves, and who will judge. For that, I really have to up my technical and design skills.
The first step you take is the longest stride. – Author Unknown
Looking back, there are a hell lot of things that I could have done better. But I’m very grateful for this opportunity given by my aunt, and people who were there to support me. My sister, who woke up early to lend a helping hand in setting up the booth, and provide entertainment relief. Haha. Hammy’s mom, who fussed with me about the table cloth the night before, and loaned me small change so I didn’t have to break my bank. Hammy, who drove me to the venue in the morning, then joined his family for mothers’ day lunch, then came back with his mom and cousin, Ashlyn, to pay me a visit. Then he drove his mom back, got me lunch, and then stayed till the end of the flea. Ashlyn, who came with Hammy and stayed to accompany me. And many others, who wished they could come pay me a visit, but had work (yes, mei hung) or simply because Dempsey was too out of the way. Thank you all. They say the first step is always the hardest, but my first step was a result of so many people’s support and well-wishes. Tears are welling up as I write this, but I am really thankful for everyone’s help.
After my first experience at flea, I am more mentally prepared for my next. There is much work to do, and it’s a continuous journey. Do I have the tenacity to keep going, and resources to keep myself afloat…?
He dares to be a fool, and that is the first step in the direction of wisdom. – James Huneker
I really hope the quote is right, and that I am a fool now, but heading for greater plans. Because even as I try to convince myself that this is what I want to do, and that one day I will succeed, there are people who look at me as though I am crazy, immature, lazy, irresponsible, good-for-nothing, and the list goes on. Sometimes they get to me, but more often, I’m determined to prove them wrong. I just hope time is on my side.