Sunday, 1 January 2012

Retail Therapy, Part 1

As I mentioned in my previous post this past month has been a hectic one, with some great opportunities for selling my designs and meeting other crafts people. 

I began at the end of November with the Christmas on Hope Street event at Blackburne House. I wouldn't have known about this at all had it not been for the Merseyside Etsy Team, and I'd have missed out on a really lovely event. I have a particular soft spot for Hope Street as I spent three years in a shabby building at the very end of the street while doing my BA, and know the area well. The event itself was a lot bigger than I was expecting even though it only occupied Blackburne House itself and the grounds outside.There was so much to see and do and unfortunately I saw and did very little of it, the pitfalls of going solo to these things, there's never a good chance to look around. I did manage to pick up a couple of treasures for myself, and heard good things about the rest of the event from friends who stopped by for a chat. It was really well attended and brilliantly organised by Orb Events, a great start to the season!

Next up was the Winter Arts Market at St Georges Hall, this was the biggie. I'd heard so much about last years event from other makers, and having been there as a shopper I knew how busy it would get. So I booked a week off the day job to prepare. Excessive? Well, I had holiday to use up!

The Saturday was brilliant, despite the awful weather, and I had a great day, talked to lots of lovely shoppers and had some repeat custom from folks I'd sold to at Hope Street and the L1 fair in September too. Sunday started out much slower and looked to be a bit of a disappointment, but I had a bit of a peak later in the afternoon, most noticeably when I sold both my upcycled muffs! These were some of the first things I ever made and never failed to get compliments when I've had them at fairs, but they never sold. I even had a conversation with my boyfriend on the Saturday night and he said I should just accept that now was not the time for muffs. Proved him wrong! Overall I had a fantastic weekend and I'd love to do more fairs with Open Culture in the future.

I rounded off my trio of fairs with the Made Here Chistmas Market on Bold Street. As ever this was a lovely event to do, the organisers do a great job, the location is brilliant and the other stall holders are always wonderful. This time round I even had a surprise visit from my sister bearing christmas presents and a hangover!

Hopefully next year will bring many more opportunities like these, so I'd better get making!

Retail Therapy, Part 2: Handmade highlights in my Christmas shopping, coming soon...

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