Monday, 5 September 2016

Full Time and Craft Fairs







Well, it has been absolutely ages since I last blogged - April in fact - and so much has happened since then. I am not sure where to even start after such a long hiatus!
Unfortunately, I have not had a good year health wise and took the step to take an unpaid career break from my job as of August 1st. I am now working on our little business full time and this is the end of my first month as a full time crafter and seller. It was a really tough decision to take and very scary as I am used to a regular salary.....but I felt ashamed being off on the sick and felt that this would help with my pride and self esteem, and so far things are going really well!
We got off to a flying start in August by finally being accepted as a Not On The High Street partner. We have been wanting to get in with them for ages and applied several times in the past. We ended up going to their 'Pitch Up' event at their offices in Richmond at the end of July and took a few of our products for feedback and advice. It was totally worth the trip to London and I would recommend to anyone interested in joining NOTHS to go to their next one in October. A lot of our products were declined as the market for jewellery on there is already saturated, but they did like our molecule necklaces and gave us some really good advice on branding and photography......we went home and worked in these and 2 weeks later got accepted!!!! Here is our little shop : By Poppy NOTHS shop. We are sooooooo proud of it and it is doing really well so far *fingers crossed*.

My Exhibitor Badge & Show Guide.



For the third year running, we also had a stall at the Chilterns Craft & Design Show at Henley on Thames. I felt very nervous indeed this year as it is a very expensive fair to do and felt like a bit of a gamble now we are reliant on the income from our business. We took a large 6 metre stall this year as we wanted to keep our spot from last year and they were changing the layout of the marquee.....and also decided to stay in a B&B instead of camping.....so our costs were much higher. I spent the fortnight before panicking and stressing that we wouldn't sell anything and that it would be a disaster, but thankfully we did really well. We had a lot of customers come back to see us from last year and met loads of lovely new people. It has taken me a good week to recover from it.....and now we are doing it all again this weekend at Penshurst Place in Tunbridge! (Only we have a more manageable 4 metre stall this time ;) ) 

Our Stall at the Chilterns Craft Show

Hopefully we will continue to grow both online in our Etsy shop and NOTHS. We are also in the process of totally redoing our website, but it has had to take a bit of a back seat whilst we have been concentrating on the fairs. 

Anyway, I had best get on with making and preparing stock for this weekend and get the weekend's orders prepared and posted out. I am feeling much more positive about the future now and working for myself is doing wonders for my self esteem - I can also plan my day around my energy levels (thanks lupus) and rest when I need to....whilst we are talking about resting, I might just have one more coffee and pop over to Lucy Blossom and Handmade Monday to see what some of the other ladies have been up to......have a great day xxxx



6 comments:

  1. Good luck with your events and your full time crafting career. It can be fun but also lonely and frustrating at times. Good for you getting into NOTH's they turned me down but would not give me feedback as to why, which annoyed me some what.

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    1. Thank you. I am enjoying it so far, but I do see what you mean about the loneliness aspect.
      NOTHS turned us down several times too, we only actually got feedback once we went to the 'Pitch Up' event, so if you are still interested in joining NOTHS, then I would recommend going to the next one. There's a lot of really good, one to one advice xxx

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  2. Well that is really interesting. As I go up that street quite often, but had not noticed that NOTHS offices were there. Good luck with your sales.

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  3. Congratulations on being accepted to NOTHS. It's scary doing craft full time but hopefully it will all pay off for you. Don't under-estimate the need to rest when you are not feeling well. It's easy to think "Oh I'll just... because I'm working from home" and find that you've overdone it.

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    1. Thank you Lucy. It is a bit scary....well, a lot scary. I totally get what you are saying about rest. I still keep overdoing it and ending up in a permanent flare xxx

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