How to spark some happy dances this Christmas
The first time I started really hustling was when I was 19.
A hobby of mine was creating those cluster necklaces full of crystal bling. I’d get so many compliments that my friends started asking me to make some for them. One of my bestie suggested I sell them at the markets and I thought, yeah cool idea.
So I booked a stall at my local Sunday market. I borrowed a table, bought a large blank canvas board and covered it with black velvet material. I then displayed my necklaces and earrings by pinning them on the board.
With the sky still pitch black, I drove out to the markets at 5AM and setup my stall.
As customers started to roll in at 6AM, I sat behind my black velvet display, too timid to say hello to browsing customers.
By 9AM, I still hadn’t made a sale. My confidence was dwindling and I thought to myself, I’m so dumb who would possibly want to buy amateur handmade jewellery like this?
My friend dropped by and she asked how I was going. I told her how I felt. She instantly lifted my mood and gave me a pep talk, Shez, your stuff is amazing!!! Get your shit together and stand up, you got this.
I got my shit together and spoke to the next customer.
“Hi, how’s your morning been?”, I cheerily asked.
“Amazing so far, such good weather today. I’m looking for a gift for my best friend, I can’t decide what to get her!”, the browsing customer responded.
“Oh awesome, I made something similar to this for my friend. She loves it and wears it all the time”, I replied.
“Whoa, you make these yourself?”, she said in amazement.
“Yep, I designed and handmade all of these”, I said grinning ear to ear.
“I’ll take that one thanks! It’s perfect, she’s going to love it”.
As the customer walked away with purchase in hand, I stood there in awe.
MY FIRST EVER SALE TO A STRANGER. HECK YEAH!!!!
I still remember that moment so vividly, I literally did a happy jump dance when the customer left. It was such a buzz that it sparked something inside me - it was a flood of confidence, self-belief, joy and the feeling of dreams coming true.
These days, when I visit the markets, I can see how excited these artists and small business owners quietly get when they make a sale. I love hearing their stories of why they started and how much passion they have for what they do. Of course, I can hardly walk away without making a purchase and somehow feel like I’m paying it forward.
So as the festive season dawns on us, I encourage you all to spread some joy to these wonderfully talented small business owners, artists and entrepreneurs. Listen to their story, encourage them, put a smile on a face.
Tag a small business in this Instagram post below or leave a comment with a link to your fav small business.
Check out our League Members that have some wonderful businesses too.
Sheryl Thai, CEO
League of Extraordinary Women