The real joy at the Hester Holiday Fair and two stories for your holiday season
There are two stories to tell this holiday season. The one where you buy product from the big box, chain stores and the story goes like this.
You buy a nice bag, accessory, piece of clothing and head out into the big bad world. You run into a friend and the conversation goes like this:
Friend: “Hey, that’s cool, where did you get that? I love it.”
You: “I bought it at that big, well-advertised store that everyone knows about yesterday.”
Friend: “Shoot, I’m going there right now to get one of those, I need one of those mass produced items.” (She might not have said the mass produced part…but, I included it for dramatic purposes.)
Your friend gets the same outfit/accessory or bag as you and you both show up at the same party/event with it and no one says anything because, well, they don’t want to offend the person who doesn’t look as good. Nothing original to see here folks.
You buy a beautiful, unique, one of a kind bag, accessory piece of clothing. You run into a friend and the conversation goes like this:
Friend: “Holy happiness that’s gorgeous, where did you get that? It looks so great on you. I need one”
You: “I picked it up at one of the holiday markets. There were all these cute stores, and upcoming designers and brands selling all this great stuff. It was so well priced too.”
Friend: “Oh man, I need to get one for myself.”
You: “Well, you probably can’t get the same as me because this was one of a kind but they had other things similar that would look great on you and be so unique to you.”
Your friend goes to the market and finds something that has a similar look but is more unique to her and you both show up to a party and the conversation goes like this.
Everyone: “Holy hotness, you guys look great – you two are always setting trends!
Today is the 2nd day of the Hester Fair holiday market. We’re set up in the causeway of One Penn Plaza right next to the 1, 2, 3 train on 34th street. It’s here you’ll get some unique gifts without the long lines, overzealous heating that suffocates you, fluorescent lighting that makes you look old or the recycled air! (I might never shop inside a mall/big box store again!)
I love working these kinds of events and it’s not for the reason you might think. Yes, the customers are great, of course, I love their encouragement and support. The sales help, obviously and there is a great rush when a sale happens. I love the creativity and effort that comes with setting up a booth/stall and the feeling of putting out my product and hard work.
All of that fuels the experience but what truly drives my spirit for these kinds of events are the other vendors. There is true community spirit in the market life. We’re looking after one another’s booth when a bathroom break is needed, sharing tools and skills, running to get food/drink for each other. Last night, when the rain came in, I ran down to the store and bought three of us plastic curtains and we all rallied around and installed protective covering and innovative solutions to keep out the rain. The guys close by always offer a helping hand, the girls next door are helping out with merchandising and offering each other encouragement, support and glasses of wine.
The entrepreneurial spirit is so alive and well and while the weather isn’t being very cooperative I can’t complain about the warmth around this market. There’s a whole host of great companies launching here; gourmet marshmallows, organic ciders and lemonades, unique jewelry, fair trade stationary, kids clothing, beauty products and so much more…..and I’m here of course.
So step out into the fresh air and get into the good holiday spirit and support local. We’ll thank you so much for it and your friends will all admire your new items…or amazing gifts you give.
Make your story unique this holiday season.
Here's a gallery of images setting up my booth. Thank god for my friend Massimo (kawa-ni & The Whelk) who spent his Sunday morning helping me construct it. Forever grateful for my community of friends....but that's another post entirely.