We have been at Fort Polk for almost 2 months now and it has been a wild ride so far! We got a house on post, moved our stuff in, got about 85% set up and then life started up full speed ahead again. My husband went back to work, the kids started school, I got back to reading, writing, running and making friends. I received my Sole Proprietership and EIN paperwork for doing business as My Messy Desk and just found out my exception to policy to solicit business on post has been approved. So, away we go.
Last weekend I did my very first vendor fair at a place in Leesville called, My Favorite Things. The owner is the fabulous JaNae Manley who not only founded this shop that sells the work of many local ladies who have found their passion in everything from handmade jewelry, cards, headbands and decorative items to vintage and antiques refurbished and refinished with love, but has her own business called Signs of Patriotism. She is passionate about helping others, particularly Army wives, find a way to do what they love. You know from Find Your Passion, that is right up my alley!
Before the vendor fair, I even got some fantastic free marketing advice from a friend at PWOC who helped me arrange and re-arrange my info board. Somewhat sadly, I have to say that my marketing department might have sabatoged my sales at the event. I didn’t have a lot of sales, but there was some wonderful interest in Craft Days. If you are still not sure what a Craft Day is, check out these blog posts for more info: Craft Days, March Craft Day, and April Craft Days. I think I talked about helping people create things similar to what I had on my table so much, perhaps they wondered why on earth they should buy them when they could come do it themselves… I love that!
When we first got orders to FT Polk, you might remember I wrote about knowing that God must have something major planned for us here in Jonah Moments. Well, it seems I was right. Having been introduced to JaNae through a mutual friend that I attended PWOC at FT Carson, I’m not surprised that her name kept coming up in conversations every where I turned after we got here. It turns out she has been looking for another person to facilitate craft workshops from her expanding store. Just yesterday, I had a call from a lady who said, “I got your name from JaNae Manley….” And you guessed it, it was an opportunity for My Messy Desk! I’m doing a demo for the Fort Polk Spouses group at their October luncheon and at least two people from local churches have expressed and interest in My Messy Desk doing something with their ladies ministry. Opportunities are popping up all over the place here.
I was very tempted to be discouraged by the fledgling sales from Saturday, but I truly believe that God is calling me to do this business and I refuse to be shaken. My passion lies in the creating and the fellowship around the craft table. Sales have always been secondary for me, but it only seems fiscally responsible to sell some of my works, so I will cast a wider net and open an Etsy shop! And I will pray that if that is how God wants to bless my business, that it will be successful.
As I prepare for the next step, I have created a facebook page for my business which is where I will announce and track RSVPs for Craft Days and other events. I have created a My Messy Desk Pinterest board that I will allow people to pin crafts to that they would be interested in doing at a Craft Day or having me help them with individually.
Though it all God has been right by my side, cheering me on and opening doors I didn’t even know I needed to go through. I am so thankful to Him and all the wonderful people who have supported me this far on the journey. I hope and pray that as My Messy Desk grows, I will never lose sight of the fact that God has blessed me with this gift of creativity and that I will always use all my abilities to bring Him glory.