Renegade Austin Recap

Renegade Craft Fair - An Honest Behind the Scenes - Little Eli

So, Renegade Craft Fair came and went.

I spent November in a blur of wood chips, concrete dust, and ink splatters. 

I built a display from scratch. Then a rolling storage unit. Then some signs.

I painted my logo bigger than my face. Twice. 

I bought a new printer, then printed 100+ brochures.  I handed out maybe 10. 

I inked quotes until my fingers were black. Then I kept going. 

I packed my entire booth in my hatchback.

I drove 7 hours in the rain.

I stood in heels for 9 hours. I still can't feel my toes. 

I sold fucking prints hand over fist. I spent a night making more, then spilled my entire bottle of ink on my black jeans. 

I painted a custom quote that almost made me cry. 

I found people. I found people who my words resonated with. I found my people.

I met some amazing makers. New ones and ones I've insta-stalked for ages. 

I barely saw Austin. I spent 90% of my trip at the fair or in my hotel room. I was too exhausted. Too emotionally spent to even attempt to explore the city like I planned. 

I became angry and bitter when we couldn't decide on a place to eat. I have a man who understands me and did all of the decision making after that.

I went to a restaurant where 50% of the things included fennel for some reason. I walked out of that restaurant. 

I spent an evening at Buffalo Wild Wings because Austin doesn't care about football. I had a really shitty hamburger. Then watched a really emotional football game.

I cried when I thought I had watched my coach's last game. Then cried again in my hotel room when I learned it wasn't.

I stood in flats for 9 hours.

I sold prints faster than I could make them.

I heard a British lady say the word c*nt. And it was glorious

I made money. I made the most money I've ever made in a weekend. But it didn't come close to covering my total costs. It didn't even come close to 4 digits.

I had the best pizza I have ever eaten.

I slept better than I ever have.

I drove 7 hours in the rain.

I'm mixing the highlights and the disappointments because that's life. That's how we experience it. Bouncing from awesome adventure to huge let-down and back.

If you asked me today if I would do this trip over again, I honestly don't know what I would say. Probably? Maybe? Ok sure? 

We put a monetary value on everything because it's easy. But only because I can't tell you the value of the gift a grieving daughter will receive from her best friend. I can't tell you the value of instant customer feedback. I can't tell you the value of rocking my first out-of-state market. I can't tell you the value of the best fucking pizza ever. (Actually, it was $9.50)

What I can say, is that monetarily, it was a loss. I spent more than I made. Black and White.

But if I don't act on all the things I learned. All the progress I've made. All the feedback I received. Then, and only then, will it truly be a loss.

Its all about what you do with it.