How many of us have created and created, to the point where our creations are taking over our homes?! I know I certainly have, and my partner Peter is reaching the point where he is considering moving into the garden shed! I think there comes a point in everyone’s journey, when they realise that their hobby is taking too much room in their home, leaving little room for anything else. Does this ring a bell or am I the only one who is feeling swamped by my creations?!
Talking with my friend Debi (who is a fellow crafter), we both realised that we have so many lovely creations that we will never use, never wear and have both saturated our gifts to family and friends. So where do you go from here?
A while ago, I tried creating an Etsy account but I didn’t have much response. When people searched for items like mine, my items were always at the bottom of the list. Not being very experienced with online selling, I don’t have a clue how to promote my goods without spending a fortune. But over a glass of wine (or two) one evening, Debi and I decided we should try dipping our toes into the world of Craft Fairs. The thought of doing this on my own was terrifying! But with my buddy by my side, the prospect didn’t seem half as scary, and I thought yes, we can do this!
Around the same time, I had created a new Facebook page entitled ‘Welsh Felters’ (what else would I call it?!!)
If you’d like to see my new Facebook page, please click the link: https://tinyurl.com/yvytnpkx I’d love to know what you think?
Then, a day or so later, I was contacted by a lady called Jill, who has run a craft fair called ‘Made it Market’ for the last 8 years or so. Jill introduced herself, and invited me to join in her next craft fair, which was to be held in St David’s Church, Neath on Saturday 23rd September. Having shown the invite to my friend Debi, we agreed that we would give it a go. How better to relieve our bursting homes of creations, with the prospect of meeting lots of like-minded people into the bargain?!
We both began sorting through our wares, to gather items we thought people might like to buy. Debi, being a big crocheter, knitter and weaver, found a multitude of beautiful scarves, hats and Santa hats for wine bottles (bit of a theme here?!) I gathered together various felted soaps, scarves, hand spun yarns and art yarns I had created. I also had an idea to add to my wares by making wet-felted key rings…funny little creatures with googly eyes and hats! Having started making the key rings, I discovered that they were really time consuming, so I quickly changed plans and decided to turn my wet-felted balls into cat toys instead…(yes, I probably didn’t need to think about making anything new but it’s so much fun to create!)
I found lots of feathers, ordered some ribbons and bells, and set about creating some cat toys. I know, this was supposed to be about offloading some of my creations, not adding more to them, but I just couldn’t resist! They were so much fun to make and far less fiddly than key rings!! I think they turned out pretty well. I took one to Debi’s for her kitty to road test for me, and he absolutely loved it! It also stood up pretty well to his best mouse-mutilating tactics! So, having been thoroughly tested by Zeek, in the Quality Control Department, I was satisfied that they were good enough to sell in the craft fair.
One thing I hadn’t really thought about was the need for insurance. However, once I received Jill’s paperwork, I realised that of course, we would need insurance!! Have you looked at the cost of insurance?? Wow, it is expensive. But, I then remembered that I am a member of the International Feltmakers Association. I joined the Association about two years ago, when I heard they offer very good value for money, including a quarterly magazine… AND… included in your membership is insurance cover. I had a look at the policy, and sure enough it would cover my stall, goods and also anyone with me (which included Debi!) Having read and re-read the policy, I was satisfied that this insurance would suffice for any craft fair, so I was a very happy felter! Having completed all the required documentation, we were duly booked onto the craft fair!! This was going to be soooo exciting!!!!
Having sorted out and prepared all of our wares, Debi and I were ready. We had to have an early start, so we could get to the Church on time, in order to unload and put together our stall. Jill’s husband Gareth had been tasked with the job of marshalling everyone on arrival, directing cars and ensuring that everyone could ‘stop, drop, park and then set up’! It was clear to see that Jill was a school teacher in her previous role, as she had everything planned down to the minutest detail, including stall plans and directions for us all. I was impressed with Jill’s level of organisation. But to be fair, when you have a multitude of crafters arriving around the same time, you have to be organised or things could easily descend into utter chaos!
Once we had set up our stall, I took some photos to mark the occasion….
Some close-up shots of our stall….
We had a lovely time at the craft fair, meeting lots of new people and of course, selling our wares. I even got approached by a lovely man who has opened a cafe, and who asked whether I wanted to rent a shelf to sell my creations…real networking in action!
After the craft fair was finished and we were at home relaxing with a well deserved cup of coffee (yes coffee, not wine!), Debi and I evaluated our day and considered what we would have done differently. We both agreed that next time, we should have a table each in order to showcase our wares better. The worry we had was not having enough to fill a stall, but having done our first craft fair, it was evident that we had more than enough!!! We also agreed that we needed a neater table cloth, one of those stretchy cloths that hook underneath the table legs. The lady in the stall next door informed us that they are available to purchase online for around £10. We also agreed that because we both have multiple health issues, the purchase of a wheelable trolley would be a definite asset to make loading and unloading far less challenging for us. We agreed that we would definitely do this again, as it was a very enjoyable day, if very tiring! I have to admit to falling asleep as soon as I got home! But all in all, we agreed that the day was a success and we are looking forward to our next craft fair!
With thanks to Jill at Made it Market https://www.facebook.com/groups/197744683660217/?ref=share for making our first fair such a positive and enjoyable experience!