Good morning. what a beautiful day here in the Chicago land area. Another day planned at the Grove Craft Faire in Glenview. The crowds of shoppers have been great. The interaction and comments that flow through are wonderful. I see I have much work ahead of me. Such wonderful people that I have encountered. Children who visit with me as Mrs. Claus. have such wonderment in there eyes. My customers who have returned with their shopping lists have come in and revisited. I love that I have that kind of following and repore with my customers. Sometimes, there is happy news and sometimes sad. But they come and share. It is like we are all old friends. I have one woman that I have been making her ornaments for over 25 years. I have seen her grandchildren grow and marry. I have a customer who had just received a cochlear surgery and will finally be able to hear. Customers who come with their lists a mile long and have all the previous years marked as to what ornaments they have gotten and given so that they don't duplicate. I get thank yous from them for all the new creations that keep them coming back.
If you hadn't guessed by now...my thankfulness for todays blog is for these customers. They are the people that keep the little guy going. They appreciate the art, the handmade items. They support the little guy like me. Not only do they support the arts, but they have become somewhat a family. Through the years, we have traded stories about their friends and family. I love sitting behind my desk and listening to them as they point out items that they have previously purchased and then ogle over the new ones. It is such a joy to watch their reactions and their deep concentration as they decide which ornament to choose for each individual. They all study the shapes and faces of the heads on the family ornaments. Then when brought to me and they are personalized, the excitement that happens when they see the finished items.
They share the stories about how their families look forward to receiving the ornaments each year. I had one yesterday about a set of twins that are autistic and they await their ornaments with great anticipation. The customer said that she love getting them the wood so that they don't get broken. I get special orders on top of what is their. I have one woman who brings in pictures of her grandchildren in the Halloween costumes every year and I paint the ornaments to look like the children in their trick or treating splendor. It is amazing to me what that particular mother has made for costumes.
I have had customers who are so excited when they know that I can make them that particular ornament that they have been searching for. One mom was thrilled yesterday when I told her she could special order a boy gymnasts on rings. And because it was a special order...I could do it in his colors. The appreciation that I receive from them is an amazing feeling. To know that I am part of their traditions. That every year, something I have created comes out to be enjoyed and is treasure is way beyond any gift I could receive. To know how faithful and loyal they are that they continue to return. One particular customer relies on me each year to make her something new and different for her manicurist. She tells me that the woman hangs them all around her manicuring station each year.
I am grateful for all those wonderful people who I have had the privilege over the years to get to know and who continue to return. It is the proof in the pudding so to speak, to know that each little piece of art work gets a special place of honor.
Now there are other items that people purchase of mine from finer art pieces to Friendship Soup. I am amazed each year as to the amounts of soup y customers return over and over again to buy. It is the poem that I wrote the grabs them initially, but once they make the soup...they return for more. I have had customers call me all year long for the soup and they don't order one bag. They order many and even ship them around the country. That gives me the sense of worth. That all the work that goes into making something is appreciated. Thank you to each and everyone of you amazing customers. I am grateful for the opportunities that I have had through the years to get to know you all !