So, the day is almost upon us... my time as the Resident Artist with LocalShops1 in Gulfport is coming to a close.

While I am very sad to know that, and the approaching date is coming with an odd mixture of sadness and excitement and anxiety and and an-- it is something I know is not a closed door forever, which is something I am so thankful for!

This opprotunity came out of the fringe and into my life with a bounding leap and a tacklepounce and a hug.  It was completely unexpected and not even something I was considering looking for!  Such is God's way of showing us he has his own plan for our lives and our paths.  I have not had a more PROMINANT example of that in recent memory to personally happen TO ME.  Not a story I had something tell me over tea.  Something I could tell someone else.  Like now :)

Long before I ever started "Creative Chaos" and any of it's previous evolutions, I had this thought of how cool it would be to have my own shop and my own storefront.

Take the TV show, "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman".  The character, Loren owned the small town of Colorado Springs' General Store. Even as a kid, looking at that looked cool to me.  You had something people wanted or needed and some of your own stuff and people would come in and talk with you and order what they needed.  To me, it was cool! Even more exciting was that it doubled as his home and he lived upstairs of it.

Growing up and being more involved in my community and my husband working in the downtown St. Pete Arts Distrct, specifically in a gallery gift shop resparked that love of... what if I ever could do art and did that?  Wouldn't that be the coolest??

Bury that thought/feeling as I felt I was no where good enough for anyone to care about my lack of artistic skill and my thoughts and move on in life.

Flashforward to last year and finally find my confidence and then this year...


Somehow.  SOMEHOW someone likes me and my work enough to offer the opprotunity to be the first Artist in Residence in their Popup Shop vision.



So, to have that sudden confidence is AMAZING!

I have had so much fun living out my dream, even if it was for a short time!  What great information and research to take with me into the future!

A lot of information I will bank for later because honestly, it's boring information!  How to set up my pieces better, which items get the most attention, etc... trust me, I don't want to bore you TOO much ;)

But the biggest piece of information I WILL share because it is yet another piece of the puzzle that makes me, ME.

Ready for it?

I am NOT a shop person.

GO ahead, laugh.  It's okay. I laughed enough for all of us.

I am the type of creator that gets very... "in my head" when I'm working.  I find my zone, I put on some music (either too loud over my laptop, or in earbuds) and just get to work!

I love it! I love being in that space I can find in my head where it all gets so quiet for once and letting the wire or paintbrush or yarn or whatever take me away and when I am out of it, I can take in what I did and see where I went.

I. Love. It.

Do you know what happens when you are in a shop?  You get CUSTOMERS!

Now, this is not a bad thing.  And this is NOT a complaint.

However, being in the zone and then having to transition my train of thought into customer service is not easy for me to do and in an effort to not have the transition be so choppy, I have cut down a tremendous amount on actually creating while in shop.

There seems to be a switch that is difficult for me to engage between Creator and OOPS, Customer! and putting on my customer service face!  No one has said anything to me, mind you...just a feeling I have, it's a bit of anxiety because I want to be a "hand off" customer service person to whoever comes to the shop or into my booth at shows.  I am here, I am friendly and I can customize anything you want but I also want you to have a shopping experience where you are not "being sold" my items.

Look. Enjoy. If you feel a connection? Purchase :)

....I should make that into a sign actually...


My point is, while I am sad... it helped me grow considerably because now my knowledge of how a shop works for me is in my arsenal.  How to set it up, how to go about working it, how my items do, and which items need more display than others.  A TREMENDOUS HELP.

On the other side of the coin, I am looking forward to the next few months and doing more outdoor shows again (YAY!!) and having the opprotunity to relax in my own space and work without needing to worry about how I look while I am working and finding the customer service switch for when a customer walks in.  :)

Both are so awesome to have and I am looking forward to a future stay at LocalShops1! Maaaaybe for my next anniversary? ;)

Hope you guys are well, and I will be posting more updated scheduling very soon!

~Elizabeth <3