It was great to see you!
This weekend we made our first street festival appearance in exactly 2 years. During that absence, so much has changed about who we are and how we go about our every day lives. For many, we are also seeing and learning more about those around us, to take a step back and learn to see that not everyone is at the same table in our society. The pandemic is forcing us to adjust to how we can interact in the public space, which greatly impacts how these festivals can operate.
We honestly did not have great expectations going into this festival. Our thoughts were that we will focus more on letting people know we are still here. When you don’t get to see friends and even acquaintances for 2 years it can lead to being less mindful of them. And then there was the thought that not a lot of people will be out as they wish to avoid large public gatherings. Of course we knew there would be those, that are like us, just wanting to interact with people after periods of isolation. Putting our best foot forward, considering everything, we set up shop for couple of days in the middle of street just hoping a few people would pop under our canopy to say hi. With masks at hand and a jumbo jug of hand sanitizer available, we welcomed everyone who popped in.
Well, we way underestimated the attendance as well as how well we would do in regards to actual sales. The event was smaller than usual, and we think that made it better. Instead of mostly party people, there were a lot more casual folks strolling around and checking out everything. We ended up with our booth positioned in what we named “Candle Row”. Positioned between 2 other candle makers and sellers; one of which is well established in the community. At first, this intimidated us. How will we stack up to a more known maker and a new “luxury” seller. Our concerns were unwarranted, as it only helped us draw in more guests to see what we had to offer. Not only our candles, but everything else.
The weekend started with having 15 scent options in candles, 8 options in Wax Melts and 5 Room Sprays; well presented on shelves for all to see as they walked towards our booth. No big signage, nor anything else that screamed we had candles. They were only neatly placed on those shelves. Our little pint paint cans didn’t scream “Candle inside”, but they did attract attention.
At the end, we have maybe 7 candles total remaining between 5 scents. Nearly all our room sprays are gone. If we had more of a few scents, we are certain we would have sold them too. With candles being very new for us, we haven’t been making large numbers of them. Other new items were snapped up quickly, Natural Deodorant Sticks, JÖL Fragrance, Body Mists and more. The new seasonal fragrances were well loved.
The in-the-moment feedback we received called out how the paint cans are quite unique and more eco-friendly; that our scents are amazing and far from common; they even loved our way of sharing stories and ensuring that we personified what JÖL means – we made it a celebration! And the fact that we offered all of this at roughly half the price of the other 2 candle vendors locked in the sale.
Everyone was welcomed to our celebration. It seemed like every person who walked under our canopy roof knew they could be their true self and knew they would be fully respected. We all could smile, laugh and teach each other so many little things; it was like the best cocktail party but the hosts fully sober. This proved that we all have the potential to be good people and that all that makes us different in any capacity does not have to be a factor into how to be kind.
Although our name is J&L Pogonotrophics, and we started as being all about Beard Care; in nearly 8 years time we found the right banner that describes us as a business, as a member of our communities and as ourselves. JÖL means to have good time, and we do our best to ensure that we all have that good time. It also means, “You’re the Bomb!” – and you all are to us. Each and every one of you make us better and stronger. Even better when you make us laugh, and we hope that you feel better and stronger at any measure after meeting us.
Thank you so much for giving us a great weekend. It was so good to see you all again!