This weekend was Pilgrimage Festival here in Complimentees' territory. It's a lovely music festival in our small southern town that truly is a gift for the community in so many ways. We were super excited to be vendors for a second year.
And then the rains came.
Mind you....it has not rained here in months. Then suddenly a system moves through and stalls out right over top of us (in fact, it's still raining). Much much much needed rain, but its timing was poor and five hours into the first day, the festival was shut down and was never able to reopen.
And then the people were angered.
Like, seriously so incredibly angry. The atrocities, threats, and exaggerated dramas posted on social media embarrassed me so for our community and made me a tad glum for everyone involved. I get it....it's a rain or shine event and you paid good money for your tickets....but then the rain was just too much. I get it. They are refunding for Sunday and I think that is perfect and all you can really expect them to do. This is a huge loss for them and they have no control over weather or what the city (who owns the property) requires them to do when they can no longer deem the site safe due to the water.
Trust me, as vendors, especially artisan vendors, there is a lot of money and time invested in repping at festivals. Booth fees, worker pass fees, all that is required to make product specifically for the event. Most of us don't have storefronts to take these items to the next day. It's a crazy amount of money for small businesses to lose. So....again, I get it. But here's the thing....this isn't a tragedy. There was no hurricane that caused a flood and left you homeless and displaced. No terrorist attack. No rampaging maniac armed with weapons. Everyone left there with the friends and family you arrived with and that's a win any day of the week in the world right now. So...breath. It's all good.
A plethora of posts about being "trapped in the car for hours on end trying to get out"....you weren't trapped. You just had to open the door to get out. You were indeed delayed....or you had the option of leaving your car for a bit and taking a short, but wet, walk to one of the best little downtowns in the nation that had it's doors wide open to welcome you into it's many restaurants and bars.
So many posts about "I missed my son's ballgame for this. I can't get that back." No, but you already made your choice to miss that ballgame that you knew you couldn't get back, so that point is mute. But luckily, because there was no actual tragedy in this moment...you will get to see another and hopefully dozens or hundreds more games.
We put in a bazillion hours preparing for this event. Gathering and distressing the shirts to print. Tie Dying shirts to print. Endless seamstress hours creating RePurposed clothing items.....I could go on and on....and the money? Yep, it hurts. Burns in places that shouldn't burn. But here's what else happened during all of this....
*My kids came home. Like so many in the area, we bring in family and/or friends for the event. Was everyone disappointed not to see some of their favorite performers? Absolutely....but happy to spend the time together and see each other when we normally would not. Nothing like some impromptu cooking in the kitchen when it's raining outside and there's nothing in the pantry or fridge because no one expected to be home for meals. Glad we grow our own food!!!
*When the rains came I spent time in a tent with friends I really haven't seen or truly spoken to (#butwetext) in awhile, who came to seek a little refuge with us....and that was pretty damn awesome. Because I love those people and have missed them.
*I crawled under a fence in the mud and pouring down rain to trespass through someone's lawn, WITH A FRIEND, to walk instead of sitting in my car for hours with my husband. She was in a dress...I was in soaking wet harem pants....climbing the barbed wire fence, not a good choice...but crawling under it, the perfect one. Best decision in the rain I ever made. It was a giggling moment and I hope that we are still friends when she is old and I am even older and that we say "remember that time we crawled under that fence in the mud and pouring down rain at that music festival?" And I hope we turn it into an even bigger story that makes us sound like two old lady badasses and all the other old ladies want to be like us.
*For the 5 hours we were able to be open I witnessed young love that made me smile. Seriously, cutest couple ever. You know who you are...
Also in those five hours...
*A man and his young daughter who came to our booth last year and made friendship pins, came back this year. They told us what a great memory that was for them and we talked for a long time and well, I think we are all friends now.
*I got a hug from my favorite hugger whom I have not seen in far too long. She wears linen after Labor Day and yet she is still my favorite southern sister because...I GET IT!!!!! Plus, we store each other's secrets in the vault even though we never actually are in the presence of one another anymore.
*For five hours people filled our booth with smiles and laughter. Thankful for the happy environment, engrossed in the positive message, and LOVING all of the one of kind pieces in our RePurposed line. TOTALLY. WORTH. IT. That positive feedback tells me to keep on pushing through it. It tells me that there is light at the end of this crazy small business tunnel because our tribe is out there....they just haven't found us yet. We had a very successful five hours and I cannot imagine how amazing the whole weekend would have been for us as a business...but, Mother Nature needed to love on this land a little more than the world needed Complimentees and I cannot argue with that.
Life is only a complete wash out if you allow it to be. Today's compliment goes to all of those who found understanding in your hearts and chose to see the sunshine through the rain in Franklin, TN this weekend....YOUR POSITIVITY MAKES ME SMILE!!!!
I Believe What I Wear.....do you?
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