Wednesday, 14 November 2012

A Fair to Remember

Well, one Xmas Fair down and one to go (or maybe two as I've just had another invite to have a stall at a Fair in a couple of weeks time!) so I have a bit of breathing space for a week or two, and time to catch up with your blogs and share about the Fair!


It was pouring with rain when we arrived on Saturday (my lovely daughter made a special effort to get up early to come with me) at the lovely large and modern Village Hall at Rolvenden in Kent ( I never got around to sharing the venue, sorry!) and so we had to unpack the car in the rain which was a pain.

We met the lovely organiser Frances, looked for our stall and found we had a prime spot immediately opposite the doors - how good was that!

These photos I'm sharing are sadly pics of the mock up at home nearly week before the Fair, so not all is shown - lots more Xmas "25" linen hearts were there, as were many more covered journals - next Fair I will be better organised and take photos on the day of the Fair in action as I know that's what you all want to see - sorry!

There was only room for a few cushions on the table, but I took a shelf unit along with me which I placed at the end of the stall and was able to fill with other cushions.


On the day the green mini bunting was fastened properly along the edge of the table, and I had a sign with my name pinned to the front. I also had spent a day or two playing with Microsoft Publisher and printed off some pretty labels which I attached with linen string - and it all looked better than I'd hoped on the day.

So the stall looked pretty good, and the organiser seemed to love it all, so we just got on and enjoyed the bustle of the Fair - it was far busier than I'd expected, about 30 stalls in all set around the edge of the hall with an inner circle of stalls.

There were cake stalls and a bread stall, a cookery shop stall, toys, painted furniture, handmade soaps, jewellery, baby goods, home-cured cooked meats, cheeses and homemade preserves and all manner of other stalls - the atmosphere was very festive with live music, face painting and Minnie Mouse and Hello Kitty characters with their huge, rather scary heads!

And it was pretty busy the whole day, although it took a while to make the first sale which caused me a bit of angst to begin with!  Talking with some other stall holders an hour into the fair, we agreed that it was more of a social event for the villagers, as everyone seemed to know everyone else but they weren't taking out their purses, and at this early stage we were all worried we wouldnt even cover our stall costs!

But then they did (take out their purses!) and by the end of what seemed like a VERY long day it was well worth all the time and effort I'd put in - and I think it helped that I dropped my prices a little in the first hour after panicking that I wouldnt sell anything! Just a few "twofers" and a pound knocked off things seemed to help!

The fabric-covered Diaries and Notebooks seemed to be the best sellers of the day (one lady bought 3!), followed closely by the Lavender stacks, various Heart hangers from vintage linens and mangle cloth, and the little Cathedral Window pin-cushions I'd made recently (not shown here).

I made lots more journals than the ones shown here - I was still waiting for the 2013 Diaries and lined notebooks to come when I took these photos - it was a close run thing as they only arrived a couple of days before the fair.

Luckily I had partially made them up so could finish them off quite quickly, although I was still hand-stitching name labels on the back whilst I was at the Fair!


I thought it might be nice to add labels which told a little about the cloth used.

And I made new business cards and smaller simple labels to match.






(you can see this was still a work in progress as you can see pins in the heart where it still had to be stitched up!)

So taking a breather this week, catching up with friends real and virtual, learning from my experiences,  planning what additional goodies to make for the next Fair and what needs topping up.

Thanks to you all for your wonderful supportive comments these last few weeks!

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  1. Wow Wow Wow, what an awesome collection of hand made goodies there! Good luck with the next fair. Suzy x

  2. Gorgeous makes, it all looks so lovely and French, very stylish!

  3. So glad the fair went so well for you Gill, your work is lovely and so beautifully presented too! :)
    Best wishes for the next one!
    Vivienne x
    BTW Lovely giveaway goodies in the last post. :)

  4. Ooh it all looks gorgeous set up Gill!
    Victoria xx

  5. I'm glad it went well for you. I know that angst of not knowing if anyone will buy something. I'm already angsting about that for my market in a couple of weeks. Gosh I hope I can cover my costs at least!
    Your goodies look wonderful. You must feel more confident about the next market I'm sure :)

  6. What a beautiful array! Very stylish! Cx

  7. you create such beautiful pieces, love the hearts so much

    brooke x

  8. Oh it all looks beautiful.xx

  9. Glad all your hard word paid off, it all looked delicious, you must be very proud
    Thea x

  10. Just beautiful Gil!!!! You are so talented and your items are gorgeous! So glad it was worth all your hard work!

  11. Congratulations! the stuff you have made looks absolutely brilliant. Love those hearts!

  12. Everything looks so beautiful. I do miss English Craft Fairs - I used to do a lot when in the UK with my handmade chocolates. I loved the setting up, the 'comraderie' with other stall holders and seeing all the hard work and love people put into their particular crafts. Your things are mini-perfections. Axxx

  13. I love the look of your stall. If I had seen it at the fair I definitely would have been drawn in purse in hand!! All your makes are truly gorgeous! beautiful colours and textures xx

  14. Your items are all so pretty. Everything looks fabulous:)

    Have a great weekend.
    Your blogging sister, Connie :)

  15. Good to hear it went well - everything looks fabulous. Well done you, and hope you enjoy the next one even more.
    Happy weekend, xx

  16. wow what a work you have been very bussy what a lot off pretty handmade stuff yes its very lovely to see the tings you make and its good made too with care tink thats wy people love and liked it have a great time with the next fair greetings leon10

  17. Love your post title! Very clever! I think the idea of labels giving some background to the product is just what people want - makes it that bit more special. Hope the next one will be the sequel to A Fair to Remember! xCathy

  18. Your stall at the fair looks wonderful Gill! You must have been so busy making all these lovely things on display. I am happy to hear it all went well.

    Enjoy your weekend!

    madelief x

  19. It all looks wonderful! So glad business picked up and you did well :D

  20. What a lot of sewing you have been doing! Your stall looks lovely with so many different things to buy. Such a lot of hard work goes into exhibiting at a craft fair, not just the sewing but pricing, setting up and those labels are a very good idea. I have been given some Freezer paper but haven't had chance to use it yet.
    Ruth x

  21. It was great to hear how you got on at the fair I am nervously awaiting my first foray into the world of craft fairs on Dec 2 .
    Liv x

  22. Gosh lots and lots of wonderful things Gill....I would surely have been attracted to your stall because its all my sort of thing!!! Very glad to hear you were successful and I hope you continue to be in the next fairs you sell at.

    keep well

    Amanda :-)

  23. You have made such lovely things, Gill! I'm glad the fair went well for you :) Good luck with the next one too.
    Have a lovely week.
    Helen x

  24. Hi Gill, I finally have caught up with you. Everything looks gorgeous, very well done to you! Love Linda x


Thanks for visiting and for taking the time to leave a comment - I love to read them!
Gill x