I awoke in the darkness. The car was packed. I got ready, James encouraged me to sit for a while and have breakfast. We left as the sky was pink. We marched through the wet grass, and when we arrived, tables were already set up, the market was in full swing. We shouldn’t have leisured over that cup of tea, a cup of tea, that would not be strong enough for today’s work.
I claimed a place next to an edge, I don’t like people meandering behind me. This spot was also anchored next to a tree, a beautiful way to separate myself from the next vendor.
I teeter totter between introvert and extrovert, swaying dramatically between the two. Thumping clumsily back and forth instead of gracefully rocking in the middle. I knew this day called for extrovert, but my introvert was happily fully present as I watched the market unfold.
I keep my notebook available and brainstormed extraverted ideas for any other next times. Maybe I could have characters dancing around the market dropping jewels? A lovely reading area for children? An art table? A jewel activity? Then I explored obnoxious, inappropriate marketing slogans…”Give the gift of math comprehension for Christmas”, “If you don’t buy these books, your grandkids will be dumb”.
A sunglass table set up besides me, good news for me on a sunny day. I could see that shifting to extrovert would need some help, I walked off to get some coffee. With a caffeine buzz, I initiated conversations with those around me. I showed interest in their offerings. I relaxed a bit.
As the day went on I realized a few things. One, I was a bit unprepared, I needed cards and a sign. Two, my product was a bit expensive for a market without a bank machine, most people don’t carry $50 in their pockets. Three, children love jewels, they played with them a lot and I let them (I’m probably missing a few 🙂 ).
On a personal note, I was far more intrigued at the psychology of a market, then selling Arithmetic Village. I loved watching how people reacted when they walked by, I noticed whether they looked at the table or straight ahead. I noticed their different behaviors when I was writing (people looked more). If I was in a conversation with someone else, more people were inclined to come have a look. I looked for patterns of behavior. Children were generally easygoing and brave, they came right up and start reading, regardless of my position. One girl had to be torn away from the book by her nervous mother. The morning left me thoroughly entertained.
I really should have been focused on selling the books, but Arithmetic Village is actually quite easy to sell. Once people understand it, and see the beautiful images, they want it. I sold enough to justify my effort my and spark curiosity about this new venture. I look forward to more summer weekends at my table under the tree…