I almost named this blogpost “Haters gonna hate”. That was the first experience I had with the last #veryberrypicnic I hosted. It was my fourth picnic already, but the first one I had in Finland. And I would have never thought that that would mean a lot of new struggles. First, very few people signed up. Then half of those cancelled. Some girls messaged me that they’re too afraid to come. All that made me quite disappointed already. Next I came up with the amazing idea of sharing the event in various Facebook groups around Helsinki, hoping to reach more people that way.
The response was nothing I would have ever expected. I thought everyone would be excited about my idea. I had organised an amazing venue (my absolute favourite restaurant in Helsinki!), we would have a Christmassy time, sit, talk and eat together and our sponsors had made us incredible goodie bags filled with raw chocolates, natural skincare products, different teas, various spices, all worth about 50€ each. Attending the event didn’t cost anything, you should just contribute something to the picnic. The best cooks would win prizes. Sounds super cool, right?
Well, some people didn’t think so. I got a mass of messages telling me how rude it was to host a “promotional event” to which I asked people to bring their own food. And not only that: to ask them to cook for everyone. I got comments saying that I am completely stupid if I think I can make people cook for others. Some vegans attacked me telling me that I can’t host an event that is “preferably vegan, otherwise vegetarian” and that they for sure wouldn’t come.
Let me just ask one thing! In what way are my picnics promotional? What do I gain from them? Nothing! I host them to give something back to you guys, to thank you, to meet you personally, to spend an amazing time together! In this case, to share the Christmas spirit.
I was so devastated and sad the day before the picnic. I decided I would never ever host one anymore, at least not in Finland if that’s the response. I sat at home crying and considered cancelling Saturday’s event too. Until my friends picked me up and told me to go through with it. “Haters gonna hate” they said and told me that those people don’t even know what they’re missing out on. They helped me believe in myself again, and in my idea too.
Now I’m so glad I stayed strong. The Helsinki #veryberrypicnic was amazing. We held it at the Mexican restaurant Eatos, which is my absolute favourite restaurant in our capital (I really recommend you visit it if you’re ever in Helsinki!). It’s very central and so pretty too, so it was absolutely perfect! We were 16 people altogether and everyone brought amazing food. I have to mention Uriah, a follower from the US, who happened to be in Helsinki for his travels and joined as well! Thanks to him, a boy from Slovakia and a lady from Luxembourg our picnic was very international and we spoke in a mix of Finnish and English. The raw gingerbread dough balls and the Christmassy carrot cake won the prizes for best dishes, and the funniest moment was when we grabbed a bypassing man from the street to take Boomerang-pictures of us!
And everyone loved their goodie bags! But those were so amazing indeed. Helsinki’s famous health food store Rouhonjuuri contributed chocolates and skincare products, and Lovechock, English Tea Shop, Nord-t tea, Urtekram spices and Detria all also sent goodies to take home as well.
What’s the message of this story? I think I now learned to believe in myself and my ideas. And I learned that there are always people, who try to pull you down. Trust in the people, who hold your back. Trust in yourself. All’s well that ends well.
For today’s For my #BLOGMAS you can now win the same chocolates that were in the goodie bags – vegan Lovechock and Loving Earth! I have 14 bars that I will divide into 7 bars for two winners! This time, please like my Facebook page and comment on this blogpost when done!
The winners are Erika R. and Larissa B. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org