It's beginning to look a lot like...Market Season!

Yikes, blink and you’ll miss it! Summer, that is.

Autumn has officially hit here in North America, a little sooner than I was hoping for. While I have enjoyed a cooler apartment, I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to the long, sunny days.

The change in weather also means market season is kicking off in full swing! Crazy to think that this is all leading up to Christmas (14 weeks to go!). The hardest thing about this market season is choosing what markets to be at.

Vancouver market game has really stepped it up in the last few years, with some awesome markets popping up. It’s hard to find a balance of getting out there, meeting people, selling and keeping your sanity. More than anything, I love meeting and connecting with people, as well as getting feedback on my product. So many markets fall on the same weekends.

I could hire someone to help me run a second stall, but making genuine connections is what really counts for me. And, I can’t be at two places at once.

So, for me, less is more. Choosing fewer markets, and being able to spend time chatting is what I like. My number one salesperson (aka my hubby), likes it too. He LOVES a good chat.

That being said, I’m mixing it up a little bit this year and trying a few new markets! I’m kicking it off this Saturday, September 22 at The SeaWheeze Sunset Festival!

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Sneak Peek

Print design - exclusive to the Sunset Festival

The Sunset Festival is run by lululemon and is part of the weekend of celebration for the SeaWheeze half marathon. Not only will the have a huge outdoor yoga class and some awesome bands, you can find a selection of local artisans selling their wares.

You don't have to be a runner to attend; the festival is open to the public. Buy tickets online now!

Hot off the heels of the Sunset Festival, is Fall For Local on September 29-30. This one is near and dear to my heart, as it was my first ever market. Kelly (owner) and Suraiya do an incredible job of curating and running the market. I also volunteer at the monthly Fall for Local talks (for more, check out their website; link above).

Some designs you’ll see popping up at upcoming markets (and online). I’ll have a range of new and existing tea towel designs and adding to the mix, are enamel pins, foil prints and tote bags! I’m excited to bring the new designs to life.

Following up from Fall for Local, I’ll be at my first ever East Side Flea market, on October 20-21. I’m really looking forward to this one, and hoping to make a regular appearance.

I’ll be announcing upcoming Holiday specific markets soon.

In the mean time, come see me at one of the markets listed above, shop my online store, or find me on Etsy! I’m also starting to take custom orders for Christmas (more about that soon). Shoot me an email for more details, or, just to say hi: hello@emmahands.com

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Wedding

I'm currently packing for a week away to see family in Calgary (my husband's side). His grandma was unable to attend our wedding, so I packed our wedding photo book to take with us.

It bought back so many memories! I couldn't resist having a flip through and reminiscing. This was by far my favourite project to work on. 

I created everything from the save-the-dates, to tea towel wedding invites and napkins that doubled as wedding favours. 

For our first anniversary, I created a wedding photo book, with a wooden box. It was such a nice way to put all of our memories into one book, and to tie back to the traditional first anniversary gift of paper.

Do you know anyone getting married? I love working with brides to create a unique wedding experience. Email me at hello@emmahands.com for more info.

Wedding book and wooden case, Artifact Uprising
Wedding photography (front cover and contents of book),

Until next time,
 

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Leap of Faith

[This post was originally written in October 2017]

My recent fling with anxiety saw me leave my full time job. I'd entertained the idea of working for myself for a long time. It was a familiar day dream, one I spent a lot of thinking about (even telling people about!)...I'd make the leap one day..."When I get more clients" or "When I get a new laptop" or "Oh, I need the latest pens/technology/new notebook before I can do that" or "I just need to build my folio more". There was an endless list of excuses.

A quick visit to my doctor, suddenly saw me taking three months off work to rest and get myself back on track. I'm not a stranger to depression and anxiety, but this time it was a complete curve ball. I'd worked myself into such a stressful state, over a number of months (years?) that it had started to manifest in my body, in the form of severe digestive issues.

I'd realised that I'd fallen out of love with my job. It was no longer what I wanted to be doing, and I'd lost all passion for it. I'd become miserable and not myself. My unhappiness was a slow transition, I didn't realise just how low I had become.

While I loved the people I worked with, it was the job itself I wasn't enjoying. On paper, it sounded great. When I told people what I did, I'd often hear "Wow! That's so cool!". When everyone is telling you how awesome your job is, it's hard to understand how you really feel and easy to keep slogging it out. 'Cause it's an amazing job, right?

Many hours of sleep, days on the couch (thanks, Netflix!), endless pots of tea and a lot of soul-searching, I realised it was time to move on.

I am scared? Shitless. Wondering if I'll get work, be successful or when the next paycheck will come is terrifying. But I know I have to do it. For too long, I've suppressed what I need to be doing, and it didn't do me any good.

As scared as I am, I’m also excited to to jump in the deep end (they say fear and excitement is the same thing!). I know it won’t be easy, and I’m sure i’ll fail at times. But, I’m finally following my passion and it feels so good.

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Today, I turn 32.

That sure does feel weird to say. I still feel about 26, and have to mentally correct myself almost every time someone asks how old I am. 

The younger me thought I'd have everything pretty sorted by now. I had a vision that I'd be married with two kids, have a great job and be living my ideal happy-family life (whatever that is).

I got the married part sorted. The kids part...they aren't far from my mind, but it's not something that will be happening anytime soon. The best thing about having friends with babies, is that I can play with them and then return them.  The thought of caring for a little being, terrifies me.

And the great job I had in mind? I just quit my full time job to pursue my own business (aka, I'm sitting in my home office with not much to do. How many times a day can one check their emails?!). And a happy life? I wouldn't say I'm unhappy, but this past year has been a bumpy road.

There have been times that I compared myself to my friends, we all do. They seem to have this whole life thing sorted. Happily married, with a baby or two. They have what I thought I'd have by now. 

It's so easy to focus on where we think we should be in life, and lose sight of where we are, and what we have achieved. 

Spending the day by myself in Seattle (hubby is at a conference), sipping on some bubbly, I can't help but be pretty damn happy about where I'm at. It might not be what I imagined, but I am happy with my achievements, and excited for what the coming years will bring. 

Em xox