Firstly I wish to thank Sarah for giving me the opportunity to guest post here on her lovely blog. Sarah has recently guest posted at my website and wrote about how anyone can be involved in the wonderful handmade community (you can read more about it here). So to be given the same opportunity to guest post at Sarah’s blog, I was more than happy to oblige. Enjoy!
Recently I set up a little meet and greet with a group of handmade sellers whom I have met online. All of us were part of our local online handmade community in Facebook. We have known each other for a few months but have never actually met in real life. I thought that it will be fun to see the faces behind their screen names so I volunteered to get this event going. Deep down, I was nervous about the whole idea. I am a typically shy person and an introvert. The doubts started clouding my mind. What if we could not get along? What if there were uncomfortable silences in the room (the kind that you can hear pins dropping)?
Ever since I stumbled upon the world of handmade about 3 or so years ago, it has led me to an online community that is friendly, fun loving, supportive and of course, creative. Naturally, nothing is perfect and there were certainly a few bad apples in the mix (which I shall leave it for another story) but overall it is a rather pleasant place to be.
The computer and internet connection makes it easy for anyone to meet people with common interests regardless of where they may be located in the world. Personally, I find it easier to make friends especially when you are a part of a group of people with strong similar interests. I have ‘met’ jewellery makers, painters, photographers, ceramic artists, knitters, sewers and stationery designers, among the many others. All of us from different backgrounds and different nationalities. All bound together with a joint purpose – the love of creating items by hand and sharing it with the world.
We learned about each other’s craft, passions, businesses and sometimes each other’s personal lives. Some were more open in sharing their personal details whereas others tend to shy away from such familiarity and prefer to chat about their craft instead. No matter whichever topic we choose to share, there is usually lots of support being given and laughter, lots of them. We use each other to bounce off our ideas and our crazy dreams. Not all dreams turned into a reality (at least not straightaway) but no one was put down for daring to dream.
Let’s get back to my story at the start of this post. Meeting each other in person seemed like a natural progression after having to know each other for a while via the internet. The date took place on a cool but sunny Sunday morning at a local café.
There were cups of coffee, tea and hot chocolate being ordered around the table. We mostly talked about handmade in general, giving our views and sharing our experiences. It was lovely to be able to put a face next to a name. The result of this meetup could not have been better. We did ‘click’ (thank goodness!) and had a superb time.
At the end of the session, every single one of them thanked me for organising this and some eagerly asked when the next one will be. The funny thing was all of us had secretly wanted to meet each other in real life but no one actually went ahead to put it into action. Therefore for me to put my hand up and started this, there were actual sighs of relief for all. A couple of us did have second thoughts initially and almost backed out from coming but were happy that they came.
So as we all head home and back into our lives, we now share a collective memory of us sitting at that table in that café and knowing that we are glad we said YES to this.
Are you a part of your local online handmade community? Have you ever met them in person? Share with us your experience(s) in the comments below!