November 18 - 20 I got to set up shop all weekend at Chicago's Millennium Park Market. I was there with 30 other vendors, over 22,500 Art Market attendees, 5 live music performances, and tens of thousands of “cool” people (Saturday was COLD!) who attended the 109th Annual Chicago Christmas Tree Lighting – just outside the market! The mood was festive, the soup was hot, the music was lovely, and I got to meet people from all over the globe. This was my second year in a row selling here and it is quickly becoming one of my favorite markets.
And lotion was the favorite thing! Winning best seller of the weekend. It was also the impetus of 2 of my favorite moments of the weekend.
On day 2 of the market a customer stopped by. Their hands were visibly cracked and dry. He mentioned he recently moved to the area and his hands haven't acclimated to the change in weather. I offered some lotion to try and after he tried it and loved it, he elaborated he just returned from a 13 months deployment. And the lotion was just perfect and restorative. And I maybe cried a little and gave him a military discount because it was literally the least I could do. And he was so grateful and so kind.
I love this part of my job. I get to meet so many people, either via my inbox or in person, and so often I get tiny little snapshots into their lives. It feels like a gift every time. Now that I made you cry…
I can tell you that on market day 1, a kid ATE the lotion. In his defense I handed it to him on a spoon and it was pretty loud in the tent with all the people and music. "Do you want to try it?" And a spoon = food, obviously.
His parents were standing right there but engrossed in soap smelling and the kid (probably about 6) was very excited to try whatever I was offering. So try he did, immediately inserting a small dollop of lotion into his mouth, rather than the intended back of the hand which is where most people put it.
My eyes widened in horror as I said, "O no, don't eat it!" His eyes clouded with confusion as his mother advised, "Spit it out!" Which he did. At this point his mom was laughing, I was laughing, and he spit it out even though
1) It's all natural; and
2) He said it didn't taste that bad.
I apologized up and down and now know to ASK THE PARENTS before I offer lotion "trys" to anyone in the future. I dug into my purse for my Altoid tin to get the taste out of his mouth. And everyone lived happily ever after.
So lotion had a big weekend. You should try some if you haven't already! Just don't eat it.