It’s 8:45am on a bright, crisp and cool Saturday morning, and my phone rings. “Hello, it’s Emi here. How do I get to Jaya One from the Federal Highway?”
WHAT? Someone’s already on the way to the Crafty Art Market and I’m not even out of my pyjamas yet! Talk about committed. So begins the frantic scrambling to dump my gear into the car, along with baby Reuben, who was serenely observing the chaos while sucking on his toes.
It’s 10:30am when I arrive at Jaya One and the normally sleepy sidewalks are already bustling with Etsy sellers and enthusiastic visitors. All tables lining the sidewalks were fully occupied, with just 3 spaces left further inside, adjacent to The Bee. I am thoroughly impressed with how early everyone is, and slightly embarrassed that I am among the latecomers. The organisers had clearly done a fantastic job of getting the logistics settled so that we could concentrate fully on doing up our shops and getting ready to meet our customers.
I glow inside upon observing excited smiles and chatter being exchanged amongst vendors, as well as with customers and curious passers-by. Light, classy jazz numbers float out of The Bee, echo down the hall and spill onto the street to meld with those conversations.
There is an unmistakable, undeniable warmth, and it’s not from the weather.
Throughout the day, customers come and go. At times the walkways are quiet, then suddenly we’d find ourselves awash with visitors and buyers, everyone jostling to get a closer look at what’s on display or to squeeze past the narrower walkways. We talk about our art, share what inspires us to create what we do, wander over to another Etsian’s table and make new friends. Our friends and family stop by to say hello and exclaim their surprise at just how lively the Market is. And when we get a little downtime, some of us scuttle over to The Bee for food and coffee, both of which are whisked over to our tables by friendly waiting staff.
In the afternoon, it rains. Plastic sheets and boxes appear, protecting our goods from the worst of the weather. From what I hear, everyone’s spirits were still bright and buoyant, unaffected by the downpour. The rain eventually clears, leaving the streets open to browsing once again.
Visitors continue to pass through the market right till 6pm, when we are meant to close shop. We call out our take-cares and goodbyes, and all too soon the streets fall back to their usual quiet calm.
At this point, I am mentally kicking myself for not making time to take photographs of the Market, or to visit everyone’s stall to welcome them personally (more photos courtesy of Skyejuice and Kiirey can be found on Team Etsy Malaysia’s Facebook Page). But I know we all had a great experience with this inaugural Crafty Art Market and are looking forward to the next one in December.
Thank you everyone for bringing your enthusiasm, your warm smiles, and of course, the craft that you make with such passion. The secret ingredient that gave the Market its unique sense of warmth and camaraderie, was, I truly believe, the Etsy culture that we all innately share as members of this global community of handcrafters.
Let’s spread the love. :)
Filed under: Team Report