I've been organizing Cheerfully Made Markets (formerly the Handmade Harvest Craft Show) for 6 years. I've actually lost count of the number of shows under my belt, but it's somewhere around the 20 mark. At this point I consider myself a professional. I hope the makers who participate in my events would too.
In 2013 I began working closely with Etsy Canada to organize the Etsy Made in Canada show, and it brought the whole thing to a new level. My audience grew, I befriended dozens of new Ottawa makers and I became someone people think of when it comes to handmade goods and craft shows in the area.
As fun as it is to watch my little craft show baby grow these wings, it also comes with a lot of responsibility.
It has become increasingly difficult to put on a show without a great deal stress. I've developed sleep issues and anxiety attacks, I've gained weight and have developed some seriously awful nail biting habits.
It's gotten to a point where I've had to seek counseling to deal with the juggling of it all.
This probably sounds incredibly dramatic, but it's something that I'm really struggling with and have decided to get it out there in order to move forward. I've become great friends with some fellow show organizers through my Etsy partnership. One of those girls is Melissa Lowry, the top-notch organizer behind Makeology. Melissa and I have become sounding boards for one another and have co-written a blog post that, if you are a maker who participates in crafts shows, you might find enlightening. Or enraging.
I hope it's the former.
You can read it on the Makeology blog here.