I pulled up to my regular Market spot this morning before the sun rose, and my first inclination was to run and hug my vendor buddies! However, I have on more than one occasion, been known to socialize when I should be unloading and setting up…and then Jim, our fearless Market manager, has to nudge me gently in the right direction. 🙂 So I withheld my hugging impulses until after I unloaded and parked my car…Being back was great!
My Granny — who is the wisest woman I’ve ever known, and whom I often quote — has traveled a lot in her 89 years. I always ask her about her trips upon her return, and she always says that she had a fabulous time, but that the real purpose in taking a vacation so that we’re glad to come back home. I thought about that bit of her wisdom today as I admired the bustling crowd at today’s reopening day, and I realized it was totally applicable. Being away from the Market for the month of August made me so much more appreciative of being there today. Everything familiar and wonderful about the Market meant a lot more to me after not having it in my life for a little while. I talked with many vendors and customers who shared the same sentiment.
And reopening day was not without its fanfare! Applebutter Express played fun tunes that had me tapping my toe (and feeling a little jealous of those dancing right in front of the stage). New vendors were welcomed, and each brings a special new element to the Market. Last but certainly not least, the “Curbie Award” — given to the vendor with the most votes on the recent Market customer survey — was awarded to my buddy Ron at Sugarbuzz Dezert Company! I’m very happy that all of Ron’s hard work on his business paid off! There’s no better feeling than the appreciation of your customers, and although every vendor is deserving of their own award, I know Ron loves filling Lakeland’s bellies with yummy goodness and love!
Coming back to the Market today was wonderful, not just because we all felt refreshed from time off, but because it was just good to be HOME. To be back to what is a familiar routine. To be back to a community of friendship, creativity, and good ol’ fashioned wholesomeness.
I can’t wait to continue learning the life lessons the Market has to teach me. I just get the feeling that some very special things are going to happen in this new Market season!
On a friendship-related note, I’d like to use this blog post to promote International Women’s Friendship Month (IWFM), which comes around each September. I try to use my Market business (Swan City Stitchery) as a platform for important causes that are near and dear to my heart. IWFM is very special to me because it was imagined and created by Kappa Delta Sorority, of which I am an alumna sister. Kappa Delta has played a very important role in my life, connecting me with not only some of my very best friends in life, but also helping shape me into the confident, capable woman that I am today. One of Kappa Delta’s platforms is the Confidence Coalition, which serves to mobilize the many organizations, companies and individuals that promote self-esteem and confidence among girls and women. Through my involvement in Kappa Delta and the love of my sisters and women friends, I have truly learned to feel comfortable in my own skin and learned that a person’s beauty is so much deeper than what you can see with your eyes. Today, I volunteer for Kappa Delta as an alumna advisor to my chapter at Florida Southern College, which helps me continue to learn about being a confident woman and share with college students what I have learned about being a confident woman.
So, because September is International Women’s Friendship Month, and because women’s friendships are so valuable, I want to share with you all an opportunity to win a very cool contest offered by the Confidence Coalition. Throughout September, all women can celebrate their most cherished friends by entering the Confidence Coalition’s 2013 International Women’s Friendship Month Photo Contest. Entrants will submit a photo with a caption that answers the question, “How do your friendships build your confidence?” If you submit the winning photo, you and a friend will win a girlfriends’ getaway to Memphis, Tennessee to have lunch with IWFM spokesperson Leigh Anne Tuohy (a Kappa Delta alumna), the real-life inspiration behind the film “The Blind Side.” Leigh Anne is also an acclaimed author, the host of the uplifting TV series, “Family Addition with Leigh Anne Tuohy,” and an advocate for women’s friendship!
You do not have to be a member of Kappa Delta to enter the contest! You just have to be a woman who is willing to share about a friendship that builds your confidence! I have so many incredible female customers that this seemed like a very fitting cause to share for the month of September. 🙂 All the details about entering the contest can be found on the Confidence Coalition’s website.
Looking forward to SO many things!