Each of the cities where we hold our Patchwork Shows has its own unique charm. We held our first show in Santa Ana. The awesome location in the downtown art district coupled with our personal history with the city make it dear to us. We took a big chance when we added a second Patchwork Show location and brought the event to Long Beach. We’re proud to say that seven years later that show is still going strong. Then came Oakland.
I feel like this was the riskiest choice for a third city since neither Delilah nor I had roots in Oakland and it was hundreds of miles away from where we’d spent years building our audience. All the nervousness (hoping the show would be a success) I’d felt with our very first show in Santa Ana came rushing back when we did our first Oakland show.
I was scared but I also recognized that feeling anxious was a good thing. It meant that we were leaving our comfort zone and pushing ourselves. As a creative entrepreneur, I know that taking risks doesn’t always pan out. I’ve had my share of what some people would call failures with my own handmade business and with our Dear Handmade Life ventures.
I try to learn from every experience, especially the ones that aren’t as successful as I hoped they’d be. I also know that sometimes I learn a lot more from something that didn’t work than from something that did. If I don’t push myself beyond what I know I can do, not only do I get bored but I don’t grow and neither does my business.
I’m so glad we took that risk and brought Patchwork Show to Oakland. I can’t say that it’s been easy or that issues haven’t come up BUT it’s been worth it. We’ve forged amazing relationships with businesses like Jack London Square, Yelp, Rock Paper Scissors Collective, Oaklandish, The East Bay Express, Arch Art Supplies, SFEtsy, VAMP Music & Art and Marion and Rose’s Workshop… just to name a few. We’ve met dedicated makers who put their heart and soul into what they do. We’ve been lucky enough to work with Bay Area staff and volunteers who continue to blow us away with their awesomeness. I LOVE the community and the unique spirit of supporting creativity and local business that Oakland exudes.
At our Oakland show this past Sunday, I couldn’t help but gush over the hospitality and kindness of the city. From the vendors to our partners to hostess at the restaurant of the hotel where we stay when we’re in town… Oakland is one of the most welcoming cities I’ve EVER been to. It’s rare to find a city filled with such pride and generosity. Even though I don’t live in Oakland, every time I arrive there I feel like I’m coming home. I know that Adam (my favorite go-to guy that works at Jack London Square) will welcome me with a huge smile and a hug. I know that Adam along with the Jack London Square Marketing Director Linda, will do everything they can to make sure we have what we need. I know that the bartender at The Fat Lady won’t get cranky when I ask him to remind of the rules of how to play liar’s dice as I have a night-cap with my staff (which includes my parents as well as old friends) before we turn in and get ready for the show. I know that pretty much everywhere I’ve been in Oakland I can’t escape the genuine warmth of the city.
Big thanks to everyone who came out and shopped, sold their goods, worked behind the scenes and supported our Oakland Patchwork Show. You all are awesome! We can’t wait to hang out with you again in the fall.