Sunday, October 17, 2010

Life lessons via vomit and eye popping headaches

I’m sitting in failure, my own as always. I would never judge anyone else to the extreme measures in which I judge myself. I seem to learn the most important issues when on my back, spinning with dizziness or with my head in a toilet. Yesterday was the latter. Please tell me I'm not the only one! The artisans and artists crafts sale was yesterday. The quality and work of the vendors was beyond incredible but the turn out was lack-luster to say the least. (N.B. to self- attracting amazing artists is a strong suit). I went over in my head where I had failed- I went over all I did to promote the event from over a hundred listings on the net to local papers, a PSA on CIUT,promotion online through a website and Face Book and all other the other bits and pieces. What could I have done better, how could I have worked harder…….I worked myself sick and tired there was no more work to be done… by me. My friend Caro has the great angle on "hard work" and the work ethic that we are handed down by family and our communities. TWWAN missed our place at YIMBY. As the vomit queen I had asked my dear friend Elvia who was going to hold down the fort at YIMBY to come and help me at the sale. That feels like the biggest mistake of the year. That was the piece of exposure TWANN truly needed. I left the sale for an hour to treat myself to the luxury of my our bathroom- no offence Tranzac…And returned at the end of the event to sit on a chair try to smile and try not to barf on my very practical shoes…… I need to learn my limits! I am one person, I am Michelle I am not a network. Two hands can only do so much! The piece I missed was the artist, the community and local business! Yes I can provide a space and events but I can’t guarantee a living wage just on my own nor can I do everything on my own. Am I really re-learning this freakin' lesson again? So I have to sit with this and contemplate, but after my first cup of coffee in four days and a bit of sleep, I think there needs to be at least fivepieces implemented. 1) A call for volunteers and members- move it beyond me, I feel embarrassed saying this it’s so obvious but I need help. I’ve put the call out but not in any real way. 2)A large scale awareness of TWWAN. Christene Pensa an amazing printer from yesterday had a great low cost (no more money can be spent) idea, a flash mob craft sale! Brilliant! She made me realise that I need to take it to the streets and some stunts and media are essential right now. 3) Responsibility of the artists and artisans involved- and the funny thing is, is that this is my responsibility at first to educate folks on how to promote their work and clear requests and guidelines on what is needed from them to help support TWWAN and themselves. This is the piece that has been missing! 4)Partnering- we have succeeding with partners in the past and this time went it alone, our costs were toooo high and we were flying solo. By we, I mean me. Also to create a structure where the artists can also partner with organizations that they support, work with or would like to raise awareness. oh and finally 5) A move beyond competition into networking and sisterhood. Competition is a capitalist concept and is pretty much the death of the seeds of a community. Why do we look at women with similar work as competition rather than opportunities for collaboration or collective work? Note to self- add dismantling of capitolism to Monday's to do list. This is as far as I have gotten this morning but I think it’s solid and headed in the right direction…… Time to meet with the board of directors and my business mentors and you the community and get this off the ground. I promise to keep you tuned in! More details sooon! Michelle

1 comment:

  1. Michelle! Thanks for all that you do - there are lots of us rooting for you. It is great that you are reaching out for support, but don't beat yourself up. You're not failing, you're learning! :) And unlike a lot of people you are willing to share your experiences, good and bad. So you're not only doing the hard work, you're inspiring others by bringing us along with you on this journey!

    ~ KT :)