1%

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The true 1% is not measured by wealth. The true 1% is not measured by what they drive or where their kids go to school. The true 1% is not measured by the size of their houses or where they vacation.

The true 1% is not protected by unions, retirement plans, pensions, sick days, family leave, downsizing buyouts, unemployment, sponsored health insurance or overtime pay.

The true 1% don’t have office parties, team building events, corporate sponsored training, vacation days, paid retreats, team lunches or bonuses.

Instead, the true 1% can be found around their worktable on Friday nights getting ready for setting up their booth early the next morning while others sleep off the night before.

The true 1% is busy learning a new technique for their craft while trying to wrangle screaming kids while waiting for dinner to finish cooking.

The true 1% can be found in workshops, garages, kitchens, basements or spare rooms all across this country until late in the night making, baking, stirring, designing, drawing, bottling, wrapping,  growing, cutting, gluing, painting, sorting, drilling, staining, waxing, labeling, assembling and packaging new products while the rest of the house sleeps.

The true 1% is busy planning for spring and summer shows and building inventory while others are sitting in front of the TV waiting on a respite from an invasive virus.

The true 1% is budgeting their few dollars to buy groceries and gas because the last show they were at wasn’t as good as they expected.

The true 1% can be found behind the wheel of a packed car at 4 AM as they sleepily make their way across state lines to get to their next show to set up before customers walk through the doors.

The true 1% attempts to explain to others why they do what they do with utmost futility. Then they try to explain it again.

The true 1% is ready to lend a helping hand to others at any time for any reason.

The true 1% can be found at flea markets, craft stores, furniture stores, antique malls, garage sales and even big box stores looking for that one last item that will complete their booth setup.

The true 1% can be found well before the crowds with tools in their hands setting up a temporary store from a pile of unidentifiable pieces that only go together one way.

The true 1% can be found standing proudly behind the products that they bare their souls they make.

The true 1% can be found on their feet in dirty arenas, church parking lots, parks, school auditoriums and fields all across the country.

The true 1% can be found with a smile on their face waiting to greet people as they walk up to their booth.

The true 1% is proud to be part of a community of people that they have yet to meet.

The true 1% can be found every week in the heat, in the cold, in the wind and rain and even snow waiting to connect and build relationships with others even if short and fleeting.

The true 1% risks their money, their time, their reputation and their talent with no protections from economic downturns, illness and injury, weather cancellations, and even viral outbreaks.

The true 1% has more drive, stamina, faith, love, strength, respect and community than the all the other 99% put together.

You are the true 1%

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