Thursday, April 11, 2013

Following YOUR Path...


April 11th is a significant Day.

In 1970, on this day, Apollo 13 launched  and shortly after, some 200,000 miles from Earth, radioed the now famous update:

"Houston we have a problem".

Using ingenuity, courage and sheer guts, the crew was able to guide the hobbled spacecraft, against all odds, safely back to Earth.

In 2013, April 11, brings the 1st update from Sarah Trumpp, of Wonderstrumpet. Sarah launched into full-time status in October of 2012. Sarah has plenty of ingenuity, courage and guts, but, unlike Tom Hanks, she doesn't know how this will turn out. Neither do we. Let's check in now and see what's been happening over the last 3 weeks.

                                          You can read the original article here.

When we last talked you had mentioned applying to a number of juried craft shows. What has happened so far with that process?  I applied to six shows and am still waiting to hear about four of them - all of the BIG ones, of course. I did submit my plush and needle felted stuff for the first time to Plush You!, which is a big plush show at a shop in Seattle, sort of the who's who of plush designers, and happily I got in, so there is a bit of positive news. I should be hearing about Allentown HOPEFULLY today - Nicole got her letter on Friday, so I have been on pins and needles about it all weekend. The trials and tribulations of living in the middle of nowhere! 

I have been honestly terrified about this whole process. Last year I applied to two shows: To Mayday Underground (in Rochester) and to send my stuff to Craftland (a store in Rhode Island) for their annual holiday humongous sale. I got into Mayday and got denied for Craftland, and, even with the Mayday acceptance, that denial was all kinds of devastating. Getting a denial from the jury of one of these big shows will be a punch to the kidneys for sure. I was going to apply for more in case I got denied by the bigger ones, but what if I got into ALL OF THEM!?!?! That would be equally horrifying. I will know one way or another about three of the four within the next couple of weeks, though.

Update 4/10/13 - Did you hear from Allentown yet?  I did - denied! As kidney-punchingly devastating as I thought it would be...

One of your goals for the year is to focus on creating specific products that go together. Have any ideas started to come together? I've been working on more of the sculpted peg doll guys (pictured here) since they seem to be pretty popular.

 I think some of that particular goal just needs to be accepting that I CAN actually make a bunch of different kinds of stuff and that it all looks like 'me',
but that's probably a longer time coming. 

Do you have some "measuring sticks" to gauge success from week to week, or month to month(sales, contacts made, # of items produced etc...)? Do you feel you are succeeding by those standards?    Normally it would be measured by sales, but right now it's being measured by piles. I'm not listing anything new on Etsy right now since I'm freaking out about having enough stuff to sell at shows, but I'm still doing all the other marketing-type stuff too... Making it into Plush You! was a huge deal for me, so this week I feel like I'm succeeding. 

I am also trying to do 300 paintings this year - I don't think we talked about that last time. I've been catching up on a bunch of workshops for the last couple of weeks towards that end, too. The link to the 300 paintings page on my site is here: 

I'm actually up to 16, not 14, but still. I have a LONG way to go.                              

Check-up from the neck-up. How are you feeling overall right now? Right now I'm okay. I'm nervous about the show stuff, and it's kind of taking over my brain, but I'm excited about new techniques I'm learning and maybe knocking some more paintings out. My to-do list is 8 miles long and I'm stressed, but it's a good stress, I think. Better this than being stressed over your boss hating you or something, though, right? 

Is there anything you would like to say to your followers until your next update? If anyone wants to start texting me every 15 minutes saying "hey stop pacing and get to work", I'd appreciate it! ;)

          Next Week....

      Simple truths... 

                   Live by these and succeed. Guaranteed.

Written by Al Pilato of harvestwoods


  1. Congrats on getting into PlushYou!, Sarah! Thanks for continuing to share your story... and thanks, Al, for documenting it! Well done!

  2. Congrats on PLushYOu. thanks is so awesome and huge!
    now get to work!!

  3. Nice work despite the punches to the gut...we all have those disappointments but you seem to be handling them well. You've no doubt inspired others here who are thinking about getting into craft shows, or taking their craft full time. That agony about wondering if you have enough inventory? Its such a juggling act! Congratulations to you...(and yes, carry on and get to work!)

    1. Thank you!

      Yeah, I'm not gonna lie and say that it didn't make me say, "Screw it I'm going to get a job at a convenience store" and have a pity party for a little while. I halfheartedly finished some stuff and then spent the evening scowling at a video game instead of painting, but now I just consider it a challenge for next year.