A couple of weeks ago I dropped off some of my handmade jewelry and ornaments for an annual artist sale in my hometown. I recognized the staff person who took my items, but she didn't recognize me. I participated in the sale last year, too, but I'm not a regular shop customer. There's really no reason she should know me. It didn't bother or surprise me in the least.
What did surprise me was when she opened up my box of items and immediately recognized them. These are different items than I sold last year, but the style—the funny or inspirational phrases, the quirky lettering style—was still the same. "Oh! It's you! We love your stuff!" She immediately launched into a monologue about the best place to display my work.
It's hard to describe how happy those few minutes made me. I've been in a bit of a design funk lately. I'm developing a new line and struggling to define my style. This brief encounter reminded me that sometimes it's hard to see your own work. You don't need to fill out lengthy questionnaires or take an 8-week course on how to find your style. You are already present in everything you make, even if it takes an outsider to point it out to you.