Honest To Blog: Porter Flea + Our Small Business

Two weeks ago we set up Honeybean at the 2nd Summer Porter Flea market, smack dab in the middle of our crazy insane work and travel schedule. I had been dreading those few weeks for months... not because of Porter Flea, but because of everything else we had to do around it. During a 36 hour span of  Friday + Saturday, I had worked 33 of those hours (39 of 42 if you want to get really technical). 3 hours of sleep Friday night left me feeling a little bit lethargic and stressed when it came time to set up Honeybean. I won't even go into the whining and complaining about running the bar by myself that week (I'll save that for my "I quit my job!" post... you know, if that ever happens). 

This photo shows a decent variety of the indie designers we have in the shoppe!
 
We pulled Honeybean into Marathon Music Works a day early, on Friday the 15th, so we could get her partially set up. She's a bit of a beast in comparison to most people's table booths so I was glad we were able to take care of that. We spent several hours setting up before having to rush down to work, so this allowed us to show up about an hour and a half after most people the day of the event. The doors opened at 11am and I was amazed at how many people flooded in. This was my first time attending Porter Flea, let alone vending, so it was fun to see how it all worked. Within seconds Honeybean (who was directly across from the entrance hallway) was overrun with people who appreciate handmade and independent designers. I remember looking over at Mike and saying "This is what it's all about. These people just 'get it!'" I've loved setting up Honeybean each and every place we have. Even when the rain threatens to strip me of my sanity, I've loved meeting people who totally get our vision. But Porter Flea was just perfect. The demographic was exactly what we were shooting for, and we were over the moon.
@ngelpoon
The event was from 11am til 6pm, but I had to leave Mike at 3 so I could rush back down to the bar and open up. In the 4 hours that I was there, I met so many people! Blog readers, internet friends, Nashvillians who loved Honeybean and had seen her around town, and even potential designers to stock the shelves. When I eagerly exclaimed to Mike that "this was it", I also told him that my heart had never felt so full. Running your own business, especially a retail shop, can be truly testing of your patience with people (and yourself). We've had snide comments in the past like "That is too expensive" and "I could make that" (what handmade business doesn't get that?), but at PF we finally felt like we had found the demographic that our business spoke to, even if it wasn't everyone's cup of tea. Each and every time we make a sale, I'm reminded at just how much I love Honeybean, yet how badly I want to expand and grow with her. Owning my own brick and mortar storefront only became a "dream" of mine in high school, but it is as strong as it's ever been today. It's an exciting position to be in to be able to pick out beautifully made pieces in hopes of sending them home with a potential customer. Am I waxing too poetic for you? Sorry, I'm getting mushy!
@crashwagon
@chelsgriffith
I also told Mike that I would run on 3 hours of sleep every single night if that meant I was able to live out the Honeybean dream on the daily. While it's always been our plan to really try and put plans into motion after the wedding, I was in full force "Let's get this ish done!" mode and it was on. Since the flea I've charted out pages and pages of decor, shop interiors/displays, potential wholesale designers, and even gone as far as to buy the first major piece of furniture for display. Whether it's 2 months from now or 2 years when we sign a contract to open Honeybean's (permanent) doors, it's something that I will not slow down in thinking about. 

I try not to let the little annoyances like local caravans painted the exact same, claims of being the first "fashion truck" in town or weather (insane heat/rain) get the best of me. At the end of the day I'm doing something I love to do, with someone I love to do it with. Mike has without a doubt been the very best partner I could ask for. It goes without saying that absolutely zero of my small biz ventures would pan out the way they do without him. He's invaluable. I know it's a bit crazy to live with someone, work with someone, and basically be 110% invested in something like we are, but it works for us. And I hope that's always the case. We just make sure to have separate lives/friends/activities to enjoy in order to keep us sane haha Everything else is just noise in the picture.
The lovely Elizabeth from Stockroom Vintage! She and her hubby helped string up the pretty lights you see attached to Honeybean. She also styled the event! (Thank you, E!)

My very own Matron of Honor, Elle, set up for her stationery biz Jam + Toast!
 Acorn + Archer
 Cordial Kitten 

NashPop


To the fab people at Porter Flea (Katie, Jessica, Brent + Friendly Arctic Printing and Design), thanks for letting Honeybean be part of the event last month. It was so much fun and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. In fact, I'd do it every single month. We didn't get a chance to fill out the vendor survey afterward (I forgot to tell Mike about it!) but we'd do Porter Flea if it were a seven day event ;) We definitely hope to vend come the Holiday Flea, too! To everyone who came out to see the 'bean, stop by the booth, and/or say hello, thank you! Thank you for making it so incredibly obvious to me (even in times of doubt) that this is exactly what I want to do. A few shoutouts to some people who came by to see the 'bean for the first time (that I can recall!): Corinne, Lauren, Jenna, Allis, Zoe, and I'm sure there are more! If you were there, let me know in the comments. Introduce yourselves!

When it's all said and done, I just need to prioritize my life and make Honeybean/our businesses my main goal. I think I've let crappy dead-end, yet well paying, jobs (I'm looking at you, bar!) keep me in some kind of comfort zone. That job doesn't force me out of my element, to risk anything. But at the same time it doesn't spark any of my passion or creativity... Here's to finding the power within myself to say goodbye before too long! We don't set up every day, or even every weekend, but hopefully once I figure out my work situation and where I hope to take this little trailer, we'll have a steady set up. Until then, I'm just happy doing some fun events around town. 

PS; Sorry I don't have more pictures! Or any of the event/other vendors. Our booth was so packed the entire day that I only got to walk around for about 10 minutes, and even then it was just too much to try and snap photos! The Instagram photos are courtesy of the fine folks sourced underneath, and the rad digital photos are courtesy of PF photographer, Emily Spence! Peep the Facebook for more photos!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Honest To Blog is a weekly free-writing feature where I share whatever is on my mind. No edits, no filters. Just unapologetic, sometimes offensive, always truthful thought. Click HERE to read all of the past posts in this feature.

45 comments:

  1. I love this post! I can't wait to see your journey towards opening up a brick + mortar store!

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  2. Oh my goodness! This all looks so cute!! I wish we had flea markets like this!

    http://livefreeandfashionable.wordpress.com/

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  3. I love all of the adorable items you're selling! I wish our flea markets looked like this!

    http://livefreeandfashionable.wordpress.com/

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  4. Thanks for the shout out! It was great meeting and working with you two. Wishing Honeybean all the success ever!

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  5. Wow looks amazing, love the Honeybean.

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  6. wow i love these pictures! looks like the sort of event I would absolutely love :)thank you for sharing!

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  7. I can really feel how much excitement and passion you have for Honeybean when I see you write about her :) As a fellow small biz gal, I can totally relate to that!

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  8. you my dear always amaze me on how determined you are. You let nothing stand in your way and that is a big thing. i totally look up to you and how you live ( what we see ) your life.

    I really hope one day I get to meet you and i would love to shop at honeybee! come to canada!

    xoxo larissa

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  9. You should def come to Canada!

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  10. What a neat place! I wish I would have heard of it so I could have made it. So many talented vendors in one place!!

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  11. This made me smile so much, you are so inspirational how motivated you are and it's such a good reminder that the things you worry will be challenging or hard work can often lead to those amazing moments where you realise it has all paid off and been so worth it. It must be so amazing to see honeybean all set up at a market with people swarming round her and eyeing up all the handmade goodies. I hope you manage to make honeybean work full time soon and wave goodbye to the bar! If anyone can do it you can! X

    Rosie | A Rosie Outlook

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  12. This post is too cute Kaelah! I feel you on hanging on to the dead end job. Please get a brick & mortar! and put it in East cause we need more stuff like this over here!!

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  13. This post is so cute Kaelah! I know you will have your own store one day, and I can't wait till you do!

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  14. Love this post! It's so inspirational to see how your dreams are coming to a reality, and how much you really have a passion for it!

    Keep up the good work, girl! And the Honeybean looks beautiful!

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  15. What you do is amazing! Never forget that. I always try to buy independent or locally to support good, hardworking people like yourself. Go Honeybean! Go!

    PS Can't wait until Honeybean has a permanent home so I can visit!!

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  16. How exciting. I am glad there was such a good turn out and that your dreams are coming true. It is also awesome that you have a man who is there to share in your dreams and journey :]

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  17. Im so happy for you!! This is amazing!!!

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  18. congrats on everything! reading that sounded very similar as to how i feel about my shop. I really haven't found a place to sell my stuff where people don't walk in a say oh thats to much for a cookie and don't realise all i time i put into it. Id love to open my open birck and morter bakery with the prettiest decor inside. I can't wait to see the store you will open and it will go on my road trip list lol

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  19. Oh god that just looks like pure heaven to me. It really is the dream!

    I loved this post; very inspirational to other small biz owners like me who currently still contain their business in a tiny box room! :-) one day!

    Dayner x my blog - mozzypop.com

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  20. I hate it when I hear people, after they see your price, say, "I can make that." And then you want to say, "Well, go ahead and show me." You've reminded me, I'm not the only one who hears it.
    Congrats on the success of the Market. It looks like a lot of fun. I would love to partake in something like that. :)

    http://sallyandlew.blogspot.com/

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  21. It's so lovely that you are following your dreams! Not everyone has the courage to do that! I love your little shop and I hope I get to come visit it in person some day soon!

    xoxo
    Sarah
    theantiquepearl.blogspot.com

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  22. it was so great to see the bean and talk to you guys. i love the porter flea so much! i used to be in a craft club and we'd do craft shows around the mid state, but never at one like this with people who would appreciate what we were doing. i can't wait for the christmas one! i'm going to try to buy most of my gifts there this year!

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  23. I can not believe I never went to that. I grew up about an hour away from Nashville. It looks so cool and I am glad things are going your way and I hope they continue to.

    xoxo, Noor
    http://www.littlepinkstrawberries.com/

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  24. I am moving to Tennessee soon with the boyfriend so he can complete his schooling and I hope to see You, Mike, and the Bean once we make it around Tennessee!!

    - Amy

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  25. Hello!
    I just found you blog!
    I love it!

    I made a blog a couple of months ago!
    I would really appreciate it if you could check it out and follow if you like it!
    Thank you!

    http://www.newfashionorder.blogspot.com/

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  26. so excited for you and your ventures. i love how well you and mike compliment each other. its awesome he supports your dream and is helping it become a reality!!

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  27. Exactly. THIS IS WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT! What an exciting post to read. =) Honeybean looks so, so good. Congrats on an awesome event and here's to many more! Wish I lived closer so I could stop by an event... but hey, you never know. There's always travel!

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  28. I hate that people copied you -- agh! I let out an audible squeal when I saw your set up! So clever.

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  29. I love reading about your business ventures! This has been a really inspiring post. Well done!

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  30. thanks for the shout out, lady! it was SO good finally meeting you & it means the world to me to be able to support such an amazing dream + vision you have for yourself (& family!). i'm positive you'll continue to be successful 'cause "where there's a will there's a way" and your passion seriously cannot be topped <3

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  31. aw how exciting! looks like it was a great time! <3


    XO Sahra
    EffortlessCool

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  32. Honeybean is so cute! I showed all my friends at work this post and they adore you and her! You're so awesome at being inspirational yet down to earth. Keep up the amazing work, I get giddy every time I see a new post by you in my bloglovin feed :)

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  33. So happy to hear that event kicked ass! I LOVE when people "get" what you're all about. It's also super hard not to punch people in the face when they say stuff like "I can make this".
    I cannot wait for you to open up your b&m, it's going to be so magical! Riley and I have worked together in our shop for 3 years and it has been amazing. I really cannot imagine not having him there.

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  34. I'm so excited for when you finally get a brick and mortar store! I'm a resident of Murfreesboro and ALWAYS have my eye out for Honeybean if I'm in Nashville for some odd chance that she may be on the road. I'll definitely be a frequent visitor to your permanent store once it opens! :)

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  35. That Holiday Flea sounds killer! So excited to see creative business owners:)

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  36. I really hope to visit HoneyBean one day :D All of your goodies seem so cute!! It's also so nice you offer consignment options. Hope to be involved some day! <3

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  37. Fantastic post, I'm just at the point of looking to set up my own business and the passion in how you talk about making this dream a reality for you is beautiful and just how I'm feeling right now! I have no doubt you'll achieve everything you want xxx

    www.keepinghealthygettingstylish.com

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  38. Thanks for sharing this great article, I really enjoyed the insign you bring to the topic, awesome stuff!


    Sign-Mart

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  39. Wow that looks like something I REALLY need to go to next time! I'm so glad it went well for you. It's fun reading about your business ventures...I admire you so much for pursuing your dreams.

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  40. I was there! But got their after 3. Sorry I didn't get to say hi!

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  41. Thanks for the shout out, sorry I didn't get to come say Hello in person! Your 'bean is adorable!

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  42. Looks like an amazing event! I love going to handmade fairs because everyone is so passionate about what they're making. You can definitely tell how passionate you are about making a store a reality and I think you should go for it. My mom opened a women's clothing store the same year she had me and had it for 13 years before she wanted to try something new. It was something she'd always dreamed of doing and just went for it. As long as you have passion for retail and great products, which I'm pretty sure you do, you'll be a huge success!

    the lemonade stand

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  43. Looks so great!! It's a huge dream of mine to get down to Nashville sometime and see the Honeybean in action. <3

    I hope all your plans go well and you're able to open your brick and mortar shop soon! <3

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  44. nice posting.. thanks for sharing.

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HEY! Thanks for dropping by. xo KB