Of course, we all remember that fateful day, September 11, when terrorists struck us on our own land. No one will ever forget that day. Or what they were doing that morning. I was knee-deep in preparing for my very busy upcoming craft show season. But for a while, time stood still.
After several hours, I had to pull myself away from the tragedy unfolding on TV. I had to get back to work. It wasn't out of disrespect for what had happened, but more of a self-preservation thing. I just couldn't watch anymore. It was far too heartbreaking. I had to move forward.
At the time I was selling my work at a local craft boutique, not far from my home. By Friday of that week, I had a call from the owner, asking if I had any patriotic pins, or anything else patriotic that I could bring in. She said the requests were non-stop. People wanted to show their support for our grieving nation. (This is also a big military area, with Offut Air Force Base just down the road.) So I rummaged through my inventory and found a dozen or so flag pins, much like the ones shown here. I grabbed a few other patriotic things I had left over from July and took them in.
Two days later, I got another call. Everything I had taken in was gone. When could I bring in some more? So began a cycle for the season. Every two or three days, I needed to restock the store.
While many crafters say they saw a slump in sales that fall, I did not. I was working long hours every day, mostly creating things in red, white and blue. Normally, this is a one woman operation. Anything that must be done in this business, I do myself. Well, that year, there was no keeping up on my own. I had to enlist some help, so I called on my niece.
As a college student, she was always eager to make a few extra bucks. I handed over the busy work to her. She glued jewelry findings on pins and earrings. She put the jewelry on cards for display. She priced everything I made. She packed boxes of inventory. She even carried things over to the craft shop and filled my booth for me. She was a Godsend that year. I don't know how I would have survived without her.
My patriotic work extended beyond flag pins and star earrings. I made Christmas ornaments and figurines as well. One of my more popular miniature figurines was this adorable little Angel:
She is still one of my favorite patriotic pieces.
God Bless America!