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  • Crafter's Database

    Since organising the Spring Craft Fair, I was approached yesterday and asked if I would set up a craft fair in Taunton. Today, I have spoken to someone in south Somerset and another person in Cornwall, both have complained about the lack of true craft fairs in their areas - that is craft fairs exclusively for handmade crafts. Both people have requested Fairs in their areas.

    It seems that increasingly, more and more craft fairs are becoming market-like and letting in stallholders who sell mass-produced products imported from the far east, and that these products are taking the market away from quality handcrafted items.

    I am now seriously thinking of organising Craft Fairs for crafters, whereby the items for sale must be handcrafted by the stallholder. There are two more events in planning as I type.

    To do these fairs properly I would like to build up a database, in complete confidenciality, of crafters in the West Country and crafters who would be prepared to travel to the West Country to attend fairs. With this database I can contact crafters with advance notice of our event dates/venues etc, which will allow crafters to plan their events diary more effectively and reach buyers who want true craftsmanship.

    If you would like to add your details (name, address, email address & craft details) to our database please visit our website where you will find an email link to contact me or PM me here.

    Jules
    Last edited by Apple Tree Crafts; 13-02-2007, 04:15 PM. Reason: spelling
    Apple Tree Crafts
    www.appletreecraftfairs.com

  • #2
    Thats a great idea Apple Tree Crafts. I am too far away from you in Newcastle to get involved but I support what you are doing. Too many people are jumping on the 'handcrafted' bandwagon and haven't a clue where the items they are selling were even made.
    Anice xx
    Funkyhand x
    my website
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    • #3
      HI I also agree that the idea is terrific. I have first hand experience of how this can affect you at craft fairs. I did a fair last year, where i sold some hand made wooden puzzles. A couple of stalls away they were selling puzzles made in india or china or somewhere like that. They were quite open about this, and sold them on the premise that they were hand made in the country of origin. Needless to say they were half the price of mine, so i will leave you to guess who made the sales that day.

      rightly or wrongly, it is my belief that if i go to a craft fair, i want to see hand made crafts, of all types, but which are made by the person behind the stall. For me it is the personal touch which makes it appealing.

      We love going to craft fairs, but more and more, we leave early, disappointed with the goods being sold, increasingly more of which are resellers, and not true crafters.

      I live in Nottinghamshire, a fair distance from you, which is the only reason I have not signed up. Hope it takes off for you.

      regards
      JOHN www.jbwoodcraft.co.uk

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      • #4
        I think that all craft fairs should be handmade items by the stallholder, not bought in from somewhere else. The name 'craft fair' says excatly that to me. My friend makes jewellery and did a craft fair and told me how frustrating it was that stalls selling 'imported goods' where selling loads compared to peoples own handmade items. I support your idea 100% Jules
        Katian Mosaics

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        • #5
          Crafters Database

          You would definately get my thumbs up.

          I make and sell Handcrafted Cards and I am always up against Phoneix Cards which I have to say are lovely and very good value but I just can't compete with the prices. At some events I have even been put next door!!

          There is an organiser in the West Country (not sure of the name of the company) which does organise Craft Events purely for handcrafted goods. If you want a stall at his events you have to send off samples of what you are selling to ensure they are truely handcrafted.

          I suppose the problem would be what do you class as handcrafted. I have had to diversify to cover the cost of some events and have started to make some items of jewellery - this is mainly bracelets and bangles with beads and gems - the bracelets, bangles and beads are all made elsewhere and I put them together - would this be handcrafted or not. Don't know how difficult this would be to manage and might be alot of work for you to undertake but I do like the idea.

          (His events are around £40+ for a table!!!)

          I will be adding my details to your database tho just in case you do go ahead.

          Willowmax
          Handcrafted Cards for Special Occassions
          www.willowmaxdesign.com

          email - [email protected]

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          • #6
            Sounds like a great idea.

            I've noticed that a lot of the jewllery sold at craft fairs is clearly not hand made!

            The trouble would deffinately be deciding where you draw the line though. I make my own jewellery but i don't make the beads and i dont allways use handmade beads in my pieces - would this still be hand made?

            Laura
            Beyond Beads
            Handmade Beaded Jewellery for all occasions

            [email protected]


            www.beyondbeads.co.uk
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            • #7
              TRUE handmade items is what i'm all about so i'd be interested in this. i'll contact you with my details...
              Steph http://www.handmadeheaven.biz
              Contemporary, fun, funky fused glass gifts, art and jewellery

              BLOG: http://glassygoodies.blogspot.com The life, times, work and waffle of a fused glass artist...

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              • #8
                Handmade...the Line.

                Ok firstly, thank you very much everyone for your support. I really do value every bit. Thank you

                I've said on another thread what I personally class as 'handmade'.

                I make handcrafted homeware/wear...eg aprons, laundry bags, scented hangers & pillows etc. BUT although I make these with my own hands, I do not make the fabric. The item is still made by me. Personally. It is not produced on a faceless machine in an unknown factory, although I might use my sewing machine. But it is my design, my assembly and my time and effort. I never make any two items exactly the same either.

                So, the same principal is applied to nearly every other craft. You could never produce half of these wonderful beads in your home or workshop, but HOW you put them together, choosing colours, selecting metals or leather thongs and the designs, are ENTIRELY personal. It is yours, done by hand, even if you are using tools etc. However you look at it, YOU did it.

                The one word that sums up crafters selling their own stuff is; PERSONAL.

                And it is that word that sells crafts to me. Someone whom I don't know has created (whatever the item might be) by themselves, for my enjoyment and appreciation. And because that item is personally made, I think it contains elements of that person, of themselves. Which means much more to me than anything mass-produced in a factory.


                Um....Anyone know where this soapbox belongs?


                Jules
                Last edited by Apple Tree Crafts; 14-02-2007, 11:17 AM. Reason: bad spelling...ack!
                Apple Tree Crafts
                www.appletreecraftfairs.com

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                • #9
                  This is something SO SO hard to do..

                  Our directory only lists ukcrafts websites but at the start I tried to list only uk handmade items but that then cut out many suppliers as the site offered beads for example that arn't from the UK..

                  So to be handmade in the UK you can us non uk items etc..

                  Hope this is making sense ?

                  In regards to fairs you have the same problem.. (Without mentioning names or sites) people can say make cards and off crafts supplies too from china/south america etc..

                  The supplies arn't handmade and 100% non UK..

                  So at what point to you draw the line..


                  An example of how it can work it http://www.craftfair.uk.com/
                  Top end crafts like the crafts in "crafts" magazine.. Stuff selling for £200+


                  Hope this sort of helps..
                  .


                  Promote your craft site today : Add Your CRAFTS
                  (£5.50 a month or £50 per year)

                  Fun new blog: Snowboard Stuff

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BeyondBeads View Post
                    Sounds like a great idea.

                    I've noticed that a lot of the jewllery sold at craft fairs is clearly not hand made!

                    The trouble would deffinately be deciding where you draw the line though. I make my own jewellery but i don't make the beads and i dont allways use handmade beads in my pieces - would this still be hand made?

                    Laura
                    I take it you don't make the findings either?
                    Why would you be expected to create the beads anymore than the findings.?

                    I poured out my soul on this topic a few weeks ago:
                    http://www.craftsforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=3452

                    You are the artist and creator... you hand made the goods.

                    It's no different from people who make cards using peel offs and toppers whilst other people create from scratch. They are still hand made!!!

                    Jules I really believe in what you are doing and wish you all the luck in the world. The Uk craft industry needs to start shouting loudly!!!!

                    My pet hate at events is when someone blatently claims to have handmade the items even though they didn't... the brass neck of some people!!
                    full time mum and very very part time crafter.

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                    • #11
                      I am really glad that somebody is taking on the mammoth task of hand crafted items for sale at Craft Fairs. I am part of the East Dunbartonshire Craft Forum in Scotland. They actually come out and visit your home/premises to make sure that you do actually make what you say, but the problem is a lot of the time the EDCF are booked for an event but the organisers also sell tables to non crafters so a lot of the time you can be up against people selling jumble.

                      It is so sole destroying when you put your heart and sole into your craft to have someone turn their nose up at it and go off and by some cheap tat!

                      Sorry on my soapbox
                      Bowed Over
                      Handmade Dog Collar Accessories
                      www.bowedover.co.uk

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                      • #12
                        East Dunbartonshire....

                        Ahhhhh.......my first serious boyfriend was from Dumbarton itself. He used to cycle 14miles to my house in Torrance, just to spend half an hour with me!

                        Not that I should be talking about Paul on my wedding anniversary!

                        Jules
                        Apple Tree Crafts
                        www.appletreecraftfairs.com

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                        • #13
                          Well that must have been love because I don't see my husband cycling 14 feet to get to me!!

                          I was at a craft fair in Torrance just before Christmas and it is in a time warp it hasn't changed a bit since I was at school (The Wheatsheaf and the Torrane Inn are still there).
                          Bowed Over
                          Handmade Dog Collar Accessories
                          www.bowedover.co.uk

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                          • #14
                            I remember.....

                            drinking pints of snakebite in th Wheatsheaf....well under age, and they must have known it too!

                            I've not been back to Torrance for 20 years, not missed it either.

                            But I do miss Glasgow.....visited about 10 years ago and it was great, changed but for the good. I think my fabric obsession started in Glasgow....John Lewis's had the biggest selection going, and there was a huge place upstairs somewhere near Arnotts....happy days!

                            Jules
                            Apple Tree Crafts
                            www.appletreecraftfairs.com

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                            • #15
                              Hi Jules,

                              That would have been Reminent Kings I think. Quite an old fashioned building across from Arnotts (which isn't there anymore, it is now a whole row of different shops, Gap, JJB, Woolworths etc). I miss Arnotts and Lewis's (and Goldbergs). They were excellent at Christmas time they used to have these massive Christmas displays running the length of their building. You don't get anything like that nowadays!! (showing my age now).

                              Glasgow is changing rapidly just now. You are scared to stand still in case the build on you!!

                              All the best.

                              Lisa
                              Bowed Over
                              Handmade Dog Collar Accessories
                              www.bowedover.co.uk

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