Just Keep Swimming

We went to a market in July a couple of years ago in Atlanta to show my jewelry to wholesale buyers. This is how my jewelry gets into stores across the country. We did the January show and had success, so we thought going in July would be the same. Other vendors told us that July is a bust…not worth the trouble. Don’t do it, they said. But we did it anyway.

Turns out, they were right.

There weren’t very many buyers, and even the ones we spoke with weren’t placing orders. The whole thing was rather depressing. I kept thinking about the money I spent to get there. It’s thousands of dollars to do one of these shows, not to mention the entire week away from home and family. I was feeling utterly defeated.

I had spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars preparing for that week. Stress, toil, and sweat.

It’s not the first trade show I’d done, but it was the first one that was a bust.

I didn’t even break even.

But then…

Then, some very nice catalog reps came by to see the designs. They ordered samples of three of my pieces, cheered me up immensely with their friendly visit and went on their way. This was one of only five orders I wrote the entire week. The way it works with catalogs is, they see your work and they order samples of the pieces they are considering for their catalog. If any are chosen, they order in large quantities so they can ship to their customers directly from their warehouse. They sell out of those, and then order more. This happens throughout the life of that issue of the catalog.

As it turns out, they included a necklace, some earrings and a bracelet. The bracelet in particular was a big seller. I got an email from the rep saying that it was the number one selling item in their summer catalog. How cool is that? They continued to place more orders all throughout the summer keeping us all very busy. AND, it was in the holiday catalog as well.

Which means, that that utterly depressing July market turned out to be my most successful one yet. By a mile.

My point is that you never know what can happen if you just try.

Sometimes the rewards or blessings happen down the road and sometimes, we might not see the fruits of our efforts for years. But, I think it’s important to keep at it, just keep trying even when it’s difficult and discouraging. You just keep swimming.

An arrow can only fly after it’s been first pulled backward.

Originally published at findmeaning.net on March 24, 2015.