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  • Crying Out For a Craft Fair?

    Over the past couple of weeks, I've chatted & emailed with people from all over the South West, sort of Cotwolds to all points south kind of area.

    I've discovered that there are 'craft fairs' out there, but these are more like mixed fairs, with lots of bulk bought items for resale being marketed as 'handcrafted'. Crafters aren't happy about this.

    If you live or near the area above, do you know of anywhere that's crying out for a true crafter's fair? I thought it might make our job (of getting fairs organised for you lot) easier if I knew where to start looking.

    Any suggestions?

    Jules
    Apple Tree Crafts
    www.appletreecraftfairs.com

  • #2
    Indeed that's a big problem these days. Organisers allow bought-in items more and more, as if there aren't enough crafters around! Good on you if you can get genuine crafters together. Good luck!
    Bead Shop, 91 Liverpool Road, Penwortham, Preston, PR1 0QB, Lancashire. Mon-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat 10am-4pm, Sunday 11am-3pm.

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    • #3
      Hmm i think a lot of the trouble is people book stalls claiming that they have 'handmade ' products when really they are 'handmade' by the thousand in some far away country by people getting paid tuppence!!
      http://icecreambird.blogspot.com/

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      • #4
        I agree with you, I believe the imports push down the prices of the true crafts as they make them look expensive in comparsion and some customers don't see the value in something that has been well and loving made and is unique.

        I have been to 'craft' fairs where much of the stuff has been imported, true crafts people should have a discount on their stalls where there is a mix.
        Amanda
        xx

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        • #5
          Don't suppose you fancy coming over to Surrey? There are loads of craftspeople here desperate for outlets and reasonable pitch fees.
          Heather
          Pretty Things Handmade Jewellery

          Website - www.prettythingsjewellery.co.uk


          Destash bead and papercrafting shop - http://www.misi.co.uk/handmade/BlackCatBeads.html

          New blog - www.prettythingsandwitterings.blogspot.com

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          • #6
            Trowbridge and the surrounding areas could do with some good craft fairs - there someone that organises some around this area but his stall prices are very high for the type of fairs they are, and when I had a look round there were hardly any sellers - something which I think reflects his stall prices.
            Katian Mosaics

            ♥ My Ebay Listings ♥

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            • #7
              Hmmm.....

              I think I know the organiser, and I do have some sympathy where it comes to stall prices. I didn't realise just how horrendous venue/pitch prices were until I started organising. And they do vary hugely from place to place.

              Although we stipulate in our T&C's about crafts being handmade by the peson who's selling them, or being the crafter's personal representative, I can't guarantee that 100% until I see what they've put out.

              So, if you see a disgruntled person at one of our Fairs, putting their stuff away before the doors even open, you'll know they've just got the red card treatment for lying to us. I will ask them to either remove the stuff or if they refuse, then I'll ask them to leave. That's in the T&C's too.....

              I know it might sound a bit harsh, but I have to stick to my guns, or our fairs will be like all the others.

              We'd love to expand over to the South East, but at the moment it's impossible. We're looking at Wiltshire though, because it's just a county away.....any suggestions for venues Katian?

              Jules
              Apple Tree Crafts
              www.appletreecraftfairs.com

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              • #8
                Jules, I wish there were more people like you around. There is a big craft fair in our area, organised by one of the local councils, and on their application forms they have a section where the stallholder must confirm that they hand-make all the items on their stall. My flatmate arrived at the market and began to set up her stall, having taken only things that she had hand made and leaving behind items that, although handmade, were not made by her. And what did we see directly opposite her stall? A woman selling 'market stall' type goods - fake designer handbags, plastic jewellery, kid's toys, fake charity wrist bands .... and then the woman next to her began setting up her stall - of imported, mass produced 'bling' jewellery, some of which still had Asda euro-tag cards! Funnily enough, she hasn't been back to that fair.
                Heather
                Pretty Things Handmade Jewellery

                Website - www.prettythingsjewellery.co.uk


                Destash bead and papercrafting shop - http://www.misi.co.uk/handmade/BlackCatBeads.html

                New blog - www.prettythingsandwitterings.blogspot.com

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                • #9
                  Oh No....

                  I do feel for your friend. That just makes my blood boil.

                  It makes you wonder just why you spent so long making all your things to sell......

                  Jules
                  Apple Tree Crafts
                  www.appletreecraftfairs.com

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                  • #10
                    Thankfully she did very well at the fair, because her things are lovely, but that's not the point. Shortly after that fair, one of the traders admitted that she had been convicted of selling counterfeit goods. Another fair in the area has become a sort of indoor boot fair, with stalls selling things like bric-a-brac, second hand clothes [not vintage, just second hand!] and old hand tools. It sort of devalues the work of real craftspeople when these fairs are advertised as craft fairs. Thankfully another fair is fighting back and is looking at ways of ensuring all their stallholders sell goods they actually make themselves. I'm going to be doing that one at Easter [sadly they only do two a year] and I'm hopeful that the renewed emphasis on 'craft' will mean lots of customers.

                    I'm not saying that 'traditional' markets and boot stalls are bad things - I love both of them and adore wandering round picking up bargains, but they are not craft fairs.
                    Heather
                    Pretty Things Handmade Jewellery

                    Website - www.prettythingsjewellery.co.uk


                    Destash bead and papercrafting shop - http://www.misi.co.uk/handmade/BlackCatBeads.html

                    New blog - www.prettythingsandwitterings.blogspot.com

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                    • #11
                      Yes, re: the stall prices I am not aware how much the venue charges, so thats a good point Jules. It was quite a big venue so the hire cost was prob quite high. The crafts at the fair where really nice (I bought a lovely key hanger) and all seemed hand made (yes!!!) but it was a shame there weren't many stalls, in such a large venue. It would be nice to have some fairs at local primary schools, especially in some of the small villages. North Bradley Primary School might be worth a try (where I went to school!), or any others in the area. I would be happy to help with advertising (putting up posters etc) if you need any help.
                      Katian Mosaics

                      ♥ My Ebay Listings ♥

                      My Facebook Page

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                      • #12
                        Just had another thought - how about Bradford On Avon - its lovely there and gets lots of tourists. Lots of little gift shops selling crafts, so a craft fair should go down well.
                        Katian Mosaics

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                        • #13
                          St Margaret's Hall BOA

                          Still waiting for the people to get back to me.....aagghh!!

                          I've never been to BOA but Himself and I did a virtual online tour, and it's lovely...perfect place for us to show off our crafts methinks!

                          Will let you know when I hear more.

                          Got a very interesting invitation to organise a Fair at a beer festival today. Won't know until next week if it's definite or not.....watch this space!

                          Jules
                          Apple Tree Crafts
                          www.appletreecraftfairs.com

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                          • #14
                            BOA is lovely, ideal for a craft fair. A beer fesitval and a craft fair - I would be in heaven!!!!
                            Katian Mosaics

                            ♥ My Ebay Listings ♥

                            My Facebook Page

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                            • #15
                              Carft Fairs near Trowbridge

                              BOA would be good venue afraid St Margarets Hall is best for parking etc and it is right in the middle of BOA. There is a community hall on Paxcroft Mead 01225 766994 just on the outskirts of Trowbridge, Civic Hall Trowbridge 01225 762439 (but that could be dear), St James Church Hall 01225 775169 by town centre, Peace Memorial Hall, North Bradley its the village hall but can't see their number (about 2 mins in car from Trowbridge). There are also quite a few school in Trowbridge that might hire their halls on a weekend to get some money e.g Grove School just off Silver Street Lane 01225 755242 in Trowbridge. Studley Green community centre 01225 769187.

                              (Looked up halls in local directory it gives Holt Village Hall, Holt 01225 782808, Mount Pleasant Community Hall, Bradford on Avon 01225 866800, Prior Barn, Bradford on Avon 07963 476425, Southwick Village Hall 01225 753667, West Barn at Tithe Barn Complex, Bradford on Avon 07963 476425, Assembly Hall Melksham 01225 709887 (right in the middle of the town have sold here before good location), Hilperton Village Hall 01225 761280, Holy Trinity Church Hall, Monmouth Place, Bath 01225 422311, St Stephens Centre, Lansdown Road, Bath 01225 420946, Twerton Village Hall, Landseer Road, Bath 01225 427228. Do not know where some of these are, how big there are, good locations etc but it may give you a couple of starting points.)

                              I make glass and dichroic glass jewellery, and would be interested if you held any fairs Wiltshire/Somerset area (I come from Trowbridge) if you have any jewellery spaces left.

                              Elaine

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