It’s not often I have a whole weekend where I don’t have to do any work, sketching or sewing, but last weekend was one of them and I decided to be a local tourist for the day. I got to spend the weekend with my family, and on Sunday I ventured to Harrogate with my mum and son to the WI Centennial Fair to say hi to a few fellow designers/makers – if you’re ever in need of gorgeous unique and quirky jewellery check out JEMS, and if you want to try your hand at making your own then head to My Gemstone Boutique. This was followed by a stop at RHS Harlow Carr to pick up stock from Just Makers and so Harry could have a cheeky Betty’s ice-cream. As well as getting me in the mood to start my Christmas shopping I’m getting quite excited now about the fairs I’m booked into in the winter season. I will write a separate blog about the current Just Makers Exhibition but it’s worth popping in for lots of textile buys this month.
Anyone who has been following my blog for a while will know that I did a big Country Living Fair at Harrogate a couple of years ago and decided it wasn’t for me for various reasons, the main being I lost money doing it, I didn’t feel that handmade items were fairly represented and I can’t afford to dedicate so much time to making stock and standing there for 4 days let alone set up time. I still stand by that decision and going to the WI Centennial Fair has confirmed it’s the right decision for me. Don’t get me wrong, as a customer there were some lovely stalls with beautiful handmade items, and I did make some purchases, but most of the stalls seemed to be mass produced or not what appealed to me. My mum bought me a lovely ‘handcrafted bag’ and I’d assumed with it being the WI Fair that it had been lovingly handmade in the UK, to get home, unpack it and discover the dreaded ‘made in China’ label. I couldn’t believe I had fallen for it; even with a one year old running round my feet and in a rush to get out how could I as a designer/maker not make this realisation? It is still a lovely bag, but it will not help my fellow makers/designers selling, competing and distinguishing themselves at these events.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on any big ‘craft’ events you have visited recently.