I worked my last Celebrate Brooklyn! shifts at the Etsy tent for the next two weeks last weekend. My last shift, Saturday afternoon, involved Dan Zanes, the children’s musician. That day also involved the guy working at the Farm at Adderly tent suggesting I eat a hot dog. I smiled and told him he knew me well because I HEART hot dogs! So yum! I later realized that they were probably offering hot dogs since it was a children’s concert, but regardless it made me a happy child-at-heart-adult. Also, it was a mighty fine hot dog!
I realize that I’ve just rambled a bit about a hot dog, but my last point on this topic is that you should always be aware of the moments life provides you regardless of what it is handing you. For me, that moment was about a hot dog and being surrounded by a community of music loving families. While Dan Zanes is hardly my type of music, the afternoon was fun and carefree.
Now, in the past two weeks, I’ve worked/attended the following concerts: Lyricist Lounge, where Raekwon (who took me back to my Cleveland Heights High School days)was the star performer; Gospel night with Vy Higginsen’s Gospel for Teen Choir and Shirley Caesar; and finally Dan Zanes with the Brooklyn Youth Orchestra and Bedstuy Veterans. In other words, three extremely different concerts with three extremely different groups of attendees.
The common denominator in all three shows however was the interest in the music over anything else. Everyone who attended these concerts was there for the music, not to shop. On the night of Lyricist Lounge (aka Hip Hop night), I think the only vendor that did well were the alcohol booths. The day of the Dan Zanes’s concert, the ice cream vendor sold out! The night of the Gospel concert, I’m not sure that anyone had a particularly amazing day. The Etsy team did in fact make sales, but it was a night of glorious, deep soul reaching music. While I’m hardly a Gospel music lover, I was awed at the amount of talent that presented itself.
Another key point about the last weekend was that I made my second sale as a Celebrate Brooklyn! Etsy vendor. I know. It was only my second sale, but even still the amount of positive feedback, in addition to the sale, I received last weekend was enough to remind me why I’m doing this again. No, I’m not needy. No, I was not planning to end this if I didn’t make sales. However, it is important to know when to drop things and turn yourself and business in a new direction. Selling with my Etsy Team at Celebrate Brooklyn was my way to enter the market and test the waters.
I will definitely blog about the end result of my experience as an Etsy seller at Celebrate Brooklyn (not bad at all, just about my expectations for sales vs. actual results), but for now, I can tell you this, Friday night when I made my second sale, I was elated and it may have affected how I responded to the music that night. Yes, it is great to be in Prospect Park surrounded by talent, art, families, music lovers, but I’m also there to get my name and message out.
On Saturday, when a customer came in and told me that she loved my “Eat and Veg” invitations, I was again elated. While there wasn’t a sale, I got that sense of validation in being part of this and moving forward on the pursuit of my dream. I talk a lot about that feeling on this blog and it’s because I have learned that I sometimes need positive reinforcement in my efforts, especially when it’s directly related to my dream. I have a ton of friends and family who are staunch supporters and they are lovely and incredible beings, but there is nothing like having someone you don’t know, look at your art/product and tell you “I just LOVE this! Nice work!”, there really isn’t anything like it. It fills your heart and your soul, much like taking a deep inhalation of Prospect Park fresh air while listening to live music.
As I get ready to head out on a vacation that promises to be just as deep soul reaching, I share three nights worth of pictures and two videos from Gospel night. If you can’t guess, of the three shows, I really dug the Gospel concerts. Both shows were amazing!
The clip of Shirley Caesar is by far my favorite and I have to apologize to you readers/viewers because I ran out of space on my memory card, but Shirley only sang for another 30 seconds after the clip finishes. I really enjoyed her sing-talk moments during the song. Listen to those words. I mean really listen to them.
In the clip of the Teen Choir, I loved when they started dancing with their “teenage energy” toward the end. Also, when the guy does the split at the end. A-FREAKING-MAZING!
Photos of the three shows are in order below.
Finally, I am bummed that when I get back I will have missed some amazing shows by the likes of The Feelies, Oumou Sangare, Chuck Brown and the one I really wanted to attend, “West Side Story Sing & Dance Along,” but am excited for the remaining shows. If anyone goes, let me know! Also, I also hope I sell some more stationery while I’m away. I’ll send lots of positive energy vibes to the Universe to make that happen and to continue Celebrate Brooklyn’s reign of awesome outdoor concert in NY!
Oh, in case you don’t know, and before I forget, Gothamist ranked Celebrate Brooklyn! as number 1 in their “100 Reasons Why Brooklyn Lives Up To The Hype.” I should note that I don’t normally buy into the whole borough rivalry, but I am from originally from Brooklyn….so yeah!