A big shout out thank you goes to my friend Celeste, who makes fabulous handmade lovely fabric bags, yoga eye pillows, and other great fabric stuff. It will be worth your time to check out her website www.celestialsews.com.
Friday I went to Bennington, Vermont to meet with Celeste, after we've not seen each other in at least a year. She lives quite a distance from me, more so now that I have moved a town north of where I was living, and she already lived south of me.
She's not just a friend, she is a fellow business owner, handcrafter, artist, family member of special needs relatives, and solopreneur. She also once was, and occasionally still is, a client of mine. I built her website and managed her social media for about a year before deciding to focus more of my time toward making my dolls. Plus, she got so good at doing it herself I didn't think she needed me anymore.
She has been such a source of inspiration for me. It was she who received the first box of doll prototypes in the mail from me a year ago. I wanted her opinion on them. She has been such a cheerleader since then, I think I may have given up by now if not for her.
When I made the decision to sell my dolls on Etsy and at craft fairs, she gave me plenty of advice based on what she had been watching and listening to on YouTube. She follows people like Renae Christine, Starla Moore, and Nancy Badillo (no, they are not affiliate marketers on this site, I just like them and want everybody to know). She actually keeps their videos playing while she sews her fabric bags and eye pillows (I tried multitasking like that once, I can't do it. Kudos to her for being able to.)
Friday's trip wasn't just for a visit, it was the result of a mission she has been on for the past several weeks. She wanted to see me get my product in some gift shops down there.
Bennington is a town right on the Massachusetts border, a great tourist town. She felt it was important for me to have a presence there. After she gave me the names of shops she thought I'd do well in, I contacted them and managed to get appointments with both on the same day.
We met at our first stop, Bringing You Vermont, had coffee and snacks, visited a bit, and then she kicked this chick out of the nest and watched me fly. She thought I should visit these shops alone, as she didn't want to be a distraction while I was showing the shop owner my stuff.
Bringing You Vermont agreed to take some of my dolls and plaques. I was so overjoyed I couldn't even figure out which ones to leave with them (I'll know next time to make that decision beforehand. It's all a learning process.)
This is the shop where you will find this week's Darling of the Week.
You can also find my products and another shop, Vines and Branches Gallery, also in Bennington.
My dolls and plaques are a constantly evolving product. This Darling actually started out looking a bit different than what she does now. In fact, this fairy started out as an angel. Really, though, I'm the only one who can tell the difference (clue, the angels have halos and the fairies have crowns).
This was her when I first released her. Her wings were made from scrapbook paper and her halo was painted on.
As opposed to how she looks now, pictured here hanging from a plaque, and presented as the Darling of the Week.
What a difference, right? She's also the first Darling of the Week to have a name. I'm working on giving them all names right now. It's a difficult process, but it's going, slowly but surely. I'm sure there are even better things to come.