Etsy Made Local was by far my best event not only in 2015 but ever; I took a few £ less in 5 hours at Leeds City Museum than in 4 days at Country Living a couple of years ago. This in part is due to the fab organisation and team effort from Etsy Team Leeds, but also to the appreciative visitors who queued around the block before we even opened the doors, and of course the fantastic customers who were happy to spend on great quality and something unique. It’s rare for me to do an event where I don’t get a raised eyebrow or nonchalant comment about my pricing but I didn’t hear a single negative comment or the usual one about how someone could buy a bib in a supermarket at the fraction of the price. The lovely locals of Leeds appreciated the effort that as designers and makers we put into our products, and in turn they were supporting local businesses.
I suggest you take a look at the Etsy Team Leeds blog for all the amazing designers but I have chosen a few of my faves to share with you:
Hutch and Willow – Not only was Abi my lovely neighbour for the day, and being surrounded by friendly faces when there is a long queue out of the door definitely helps the nerves, but her gorgeous illustrations are enough to make anyone smile. These quirky, nostalgic yet trendy woodland creatures particularly caught my attention and my love of sending old fashioned snail mail and greetings through the post means I’m always on the look out for cards to buy.
MaggieMagoo Designs – If you haven’t seen the on-trend cacti of MaggieMagoo then where have you been? Carole’s love of surface pattern design shines through in her homeware and stationary range, and I may have bought quite a few things for Christmas presents and my own collection of sketchbooks and pretty things.
Punto Belle – I saw Lois a few times over the festive period of 2015 as we do some of the same winter fairs and I can always spot her gorgeous fabrics which are her own designs and showcase her love for bold shapes and striking colours; exclusive to Punto Belle’s quirky travel accessories.
Red Paper House – It was so busy on the day of Etsy Made Local that I had about 2 mins to go and browse/buy from other sellers, but Amy’s stand was one that I knew I had to get to for a pair of hot air balloon earrings. This illustrated wooden and paper jewellery, with contemporary shapes and colours are popular at the moment and the hand drawn designs caught my attention.
Sarah Westwood – I have loved Sarah’s illustrations, inspired by her dog Sprocket, for many years after I bought one for my friend’s birthday but last year saw the 100dayproject which both Sarah and I participated in. It’s great to see that her illustrations for this project have made it into lots of new designs using her unusual technique of wax and paper together, along with the expansion of her product range.
Kate Broughton - Living just a few miles from me, it’s easy to see why the surrounding area and beauty has influenced Kate’s work, but it’s not easy to find an illustrator with such an eclectic mix of themes including wildlife, cocktails, gardening, craft, allotments and summer holidays. Kate’s simple outlines and block colour work well to create such striking images on stationery, prints and giftware.
I’m not going to turn this into a thank you speech but I would like to say a quick thank you to Louby from All Our Glory – our Etsy Team Leeds captain, the team leaders and all my fellow sellers/designers/makers, and The Photo Booth who took many of the photos in this blog . But without the 6,500 visitors through the door on a wet and windy day in Leeds, the customers were incredibly savvy and grateful of quality and independent businesses.
I am still a little surprised that I was chosen for the event and to be amongst such talented designers. Here’s hoping for another Etsy Made Local event in 2016 that I wish to be part of.