I won my first EVER Blue Ribbon (First Place) for a product a few weeks ago in the Soaps and Lotions category at the 2015 Denver County Fair.
Yee HAW! (as we Westerners say). 😉
OK – not to sound super horn-tooty or anything, but this win was significant for a couple reasons:
- I need to continually “put myself out there” when it comes to something I want to grow. It’s not always easy, but it’s necessary. We all – not just artists – have to stretch our comfort zone to stay engaged with life. Sometimes, (more often than you’d think, in my case), we need to develop a thicker skin re: not being understood. Such a BURDEN being ahead of the curve!
There’s no guarantee that you’ll get any recognition – in fact, another soap that I entered did not. Go figure. Sometimes, people just don’t “get” what you’re trying to do. That’s OK! (BOOM – see how I did that? Their problem for not “getting” what I was doing, not mine. Thick skin achieved. BWAHAHAHAHAHA!) 😉
2. I learn from both going through the process and from seeing what other contestants do. I’ve found this invaluable in the international soap challenges that I’ve entered – which, PS, I’ve yet to win.
(OK – that’s not entirely true – the soap that won the 2015 Denver County Fair Blue Ribbon – BADASS QUEEN – was actually one that I had developed for a soap challenge last winter. Different contest, though.)
However, I love seeing other creative interpretations of the parameters of the challenge, love seeing how more experienced soap makers go through their processes. I enjoy their blogs, and their creative insights are fascinating. Sometimes they achieve results that I simply can’t, as I only use natural ingredients (especially with coloring), but that’s the limitations I choose to work with – seeing others’ work still generates interesting ideas.
Though…now as I think about it, the grand prize winner for the was Trish, who was relatively new to soaping and only used two (natural) colors. So there you have it. No excuses. I can continue to improve. (her entry was awesome, btw.)
3. I finally won first place against a lotion.
No way around it – this sounds petty, but here’s the story: for the last few years I’ve had the top ranking soap at the Denver County Fair, only to be beat out for first place by a lotion (“Soaps and Lotions category”). I mean, c’mon! Two different products, people!
This year, the top lotion entry came in second, though in fairness, it was probably lovely. Another soap came in third.
I won’t lie – First Place was enormously satisfying.😉