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Great to put faces to names!

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  • Great to put faces to names!

    We went to Seagrave village fete today and it was just lovely to meet people from the forum - Beckyboo of Tickety Boo jewellery, Jane from Just Soaps, Salli from Tickly Spider, Louise from Chestnut designs with those scrumptious candles (I bought a strawberry & cream cupcake and I really want to eat it!!!!!) and Kathryn Saunby with her wonderful pet portraits. (We've been looking for a candle maker for our Syston Fair and absolutely thrilled to find you Louise!)

    There are so many superb craftspeople out there - what a shame we have to be exhibiting amongst mass produced clothes, Phoenix Trading, cheap bookstalls etc. Perhaps we should all get together and refuse to book at fairs which don't specify genuine arts and crafts only.

    Looking forward to seeing you at our fair in November, and will see you around before then I'm sure.

    Cheers everybody!

  • #2
    It is always lovely to meet up with other forum members, have a good chat and put the world to right.

    As for your comment re craft fairs and handmade only - whilst I agree in principle - most of us would find that we would not find many fairs to attend

    Which would make life very difficult for those of us running a business with our craft.

    I don't get too worked up about it when it is a village fete - but when it is advertised to me on a booking form as handmade only, and then find mass produced products with stalls - that is a different matter.

    Hope to work with you soon.

    Twitter JUSTSOAPS
    Natural Handmade Olive Oil Soaps and Skincare free from SLS, Parabens, and other Nasties


    • #3
      The handmade thing is a real bug-bear with us locally in Cornwall. We have very few regular events that aren't full of bought in rubbish and I think the public are getting fed up with seeing it. Consequently the fairs look like jumble sales and people won't pay for decent stuff. The really good fairs all seem to be in the south east which is such a long way for us. I do travel but the cost of this and staying in hotels eats such a large chunk out of my profits.

      I'm seriously thinking about doing wholesale and on-line only next year.
      Best wishes


      • #4
        was nice to meet new and old friends as well yesterday

        I have to agree with Jane here whilst in theory it would be fab to only have genuine crafters at every craft event sometimes you can't , local events give priority to local people be it phoenix cards,osboune books or handmade jewellery
        handmade events as Jane said are different and i wouldn't expect or want to see any bought in stuff there
        I did 2 events this weekend , both sharing space with bought in products but we had an excellent time and had some very very good sales plus custom orders and a party booking

        if i refused to book at either of these events i'd have kicked myself

        look forward to November , sounds like it's going to be fab
        Cinderella is proof that a new pair of shoes CAN change your life !!

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        • #5
          I agree that village fetes are different (and Seagrave's whole set up was brilliant) but the trouble is when they advertise the craft section as a Craft Fair and then half of it is patently NOT crafts, it affects public perception of what a craft fair is. Then when a genuine one comes along they assume it'll be the same.

          We're in the very fortunate position (being wrinklies!) of not having to rely on the pottery for our living, but do understand the dilemma as we ran it as a business for 10 years with neither of us having a 'proper' job. Back in the 80s craft fairs were strict and very popular with the public and successful for exhibiitors. The slippery slope started when lots of (non-craft)people jumped on the 'organising' bandwagon thinking they were going to make a load of dosh, and were only interested in filling the halls and charging admission (£3 a head in some cases!!!!) and the quality of 'crafts' crashed.

          The inevitable happened, the public saw through it and voted with their feet and those of us whose livelihood depended on it were forced out. Your situation in Cornwall sounds the same scenario.

          I think the only way round it is for those of us who are able (i.e. not full time) start quizzing organisers when they send us booking forms, and refuse to book if any bought in goods are allowed. (You can often tell by the booking form. If there are no terms and conditions, just a 'please-sign-here-and-send-us-the-money', you can guarantee anything goes.)We already do this and make it plain why we're not booking. If enough of us did it and they had difficulty filling their stalls it might alter things a bit. But it will take a concerted effort and it won't happen overnight.

          Ho Hum........... happy days!


          • #6
            Handmade goods at fairs

            At Pennine Fairs we totally agree with Cuckoos nest comments, having been in the craft world since the early 1980s as stall holders and organisers we have seen a lot of changes. At our fairs we insist that ALL work is handmade by the exhibitor and bought in goods are NOT allowed.
            Over the last 4 years this ethos is working and we intend for it to continue. We support genuine crafts and they support our fairs, and as a result our next one in November at Sywell near to Northampton has been extended to allow more quality workers to join us.
            We still have a few spaces left in the Hangar One Suite if anyone with unusual handmade crafts would like to apply.
            Pennine Lady


            • #7
              hello all

              I'm new to the whole craft event thing with Seagrave Fete only being my 4th event, and i know when starting out in this i have to take any stall i can get just to get recognised and have people in the local area know about my product, at my first event i was the only stall with handmade products that shocked me!! but something i have learnt is that at every event i have been asked to attend further craft events and have had the opportunity to meet people who enjoy being creative and so for me at this point the good out weighs the bad.

              Maybe us crafters could get together and arrange our own events craft only, i'm sure if a few of us got together we would have enough contacts in various different areas that would make this sucessful! just a thought





              • #8
                It sounds like you all had a good day at the fete but I agree, it is anoying when events are advertised as Craft fairs and they're not.

                I am organising an event in November if anyone would be interested - we will be allowing a very limited number of genuine, verified Fairtrade products in (absolutely no more than 20% of stalls, but looking like it will be nearer to 10% now), but all other stalls MUST be goods made by the exhibitor - no mass produced goods will be allowed. We are aiming to have at least 150 stalls, hopefully 200 at this event, which will be very heavily marketed - we have already started to book advertising space in regional publications.

                I know one of you at least is already booked in and another on the jewellery waiting list but if anyone else wants to drop me a note on [email protected] with a couple of photos of your work, I'll send the booking details over.

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                • #9
                  Sounds like I missed out on a good one there! Glad you all had a good time tho' praps see you at the next.

                  Clarie x