did I ever tell you about the time winona ryder almost bought some of my art?
It was the early days of my first business and I had a weekly booth at the Melrose Trading Post in Hollywood and one day Winona stopped by my booth!
Those early days of trying to make a living from my art were filled with cheap protein like canned tuna or eggs, lots of overdraft fees on my bank account and a frantic scramble on the 25th of every month to scrape together rent. It was stressful, but also, I was young and there was an element of starving artist romance to it all – I mean when I wasn’t having a panic attack and wondering why I’d dropped out of grad school to be an artist.
I know I wouldn’t have made it through those rougher moments without my roommate and “I also dropped out of school to be an artist” friend Paige by my side. It wasn’t just that we shared tips and resources (How could we make super cheap business cards? Which hardware store had the best free wood pile to use as canvases for our art? How could we make $25 worth of groceries last a week?). It was that without even realizing it, we were a two-person accountability mastermind group pushing each other to uncover and go after our goals. We stayed up late talking about art and business and where we hoped to be and brainstormed on how to get there.
When one of us second-guessed it all, the other would pep her up with talk of following the dream and how every great artist struggled and how this hand-to-mouth time wouldn’t last forever. And, we were right! It didn’t!
Eventually we both found our groove and then the record changed and we pivoted and found a new groove. But even 20 years (and many pivots) later, we still bounce ideas off each other and can spend hours talking about creativity and purpose and doubt.
there's something magical and powerful about being with the people who get it.
People who know what it’s like to try to do something that’s against the odds (ie: make a living with your creativity). It’s like a lichen on a tree – it’s a mutualistic relationship where you not only help each other but the more one of you thrives, the better the other does.
This is part of the motivation for every single thing we do here at Dear Handmade Life… to help creatives thrive. Sometimes that means sharing a blog post to inspire you to close your laptop and make something with your hands. Sometimes that means bringing makers together at our Patchwork Shows to celebrate community and shopping local. Sometimes that’s helping you discover inspiration through one of our podcast guests. Once a year, it’s when we gather in Ventura for our annual Craftcation Conference (BTW: the next one is April 19-23, 2023). And, most recently, it’s through Dear Handmade Life: The Club.
October is The Club’s one-year anniversary and we’ve spent the past year working behind the scenes and using your feedback to fine-tune it and build the community and education that you all are longing for.
IF YOU ARE A CREATIVE BUSINESS OWNER WHO IS READY TO:
- Find like-minded creatives
- Get mentorship and guidance for your goals
- Grow your business with intention
- Get the accountability and support you need to stay on track
- Learn business skills and get inside resources
- AND bust through the roadblocks that always seem to be standing between you and your goals
Then, take a tour of The Club here. I’m going Live to answer your questions about The Club AND share some of my goal-getting tips with you. RSVP below for these FREE mini-workshops and to get your questions answered.
If you made it this far, you’re probably wondering why Winona (yeah, I feel like we’re close enough to be on a first name basis) didn’t end up buying my art. She walked around my friend Paige’s and my booth at the flea market and picked up several of our small paintings and then handed us her credit card. This was 20 years ago and there were no easy ways like Square or Venmo to accept payments from people. We weren’t set up for credit cards, we were lucky to have enough cash to break a twenty!
Winona said all she had was a card but that she really loved our art and would go to an ATM to get cash and come over to our house later. We gave WINONA RYDER (my adolescent icon) our apartment address, set her paintings aside and hoped she’d actually show up.
I wish I could tell you that Winona came to the Hollywood Continental Apartments and rang our bell and that Paige and I were able to splurge and get margaritas and split a carne asada plate from our favorite neighborhood spot. But, Winona never showed up.
Despite the fact that the rational ego-protecting part of me kept saying, “don’t get your hopes up,” my hopes were a little up and I was pretty devastated when Winona was a no-show. Luckily, Paige was right there with me in Disappointment Land, Population: 2.
If I was solo I don’t know if I would have been able to make the best of the situation the way we did together. Sitting on the floor eating tuna melts, drinking cheap beer and laughing about how Winona Ryder was almost our celebrity art collector… that moment may have actually been just as good (OK, maybe almost as good) as making the actual sale.
That moment helped define who I am as a creative business owner. It proved that no matter how good things seem, there will be downs and those downs are a whole lot easier when you’re not alone. Dear Handmade Life is here to make sure you’re not alone year round with The Club. Join the waiting list and get the community and mentorship you’re longing for.
And, Winona, if somehow you get word of this email (who knows, it’s a small world) thank you! Because you not showing up to buy my art actually was way more valuable than if you had.
BRING YOUR QUESTIONS TO OUR LIVE Q&A EVENTS!
Friday, September 2 – 3pm PT
Tuesday, September 13 – 10am PT