I promised to keep you guys up to date with how things have been progressing and how we did at the Desire Fair at Chelsea Town Hall.
It has been a very busy few weeks since my last post, I have been teaching loads, up to 5 days a week as well as trying to get prepared for the fair. Despite my nerves at doing the fair it was an amazing experience and everything I needed it to be. Ok so I didn’t make my fortune but I did learn a huge amount as regards pricing, style, display, networking and market research. I met some lovely customers, equally lovely fellow stall holders and came away buzzing with ideas of where to go next. Let’s be honest here, I am pretty new to this whole malarky so one year into doing shows for real and there I was with some designers I have known and respected for years as well as making friends with some complete newbies like me. Sharing space with some of the great and good of the jewellery world was intimidating to say the least but after pulling up my socks I approached some of them to say hello and guess what…..? They are totally human!! It turns out they are some of the nicest people happy to give advice and support. I especially got a lot of help from one of neighbours who gave advice on pricing and what is likely to sell and what is worth moving away from. There was a little bit of advice that was hard to hear but you don’t learn by getting praise all the time and sometimes you need to hear the tough stuff. Do not get me wrong it was not a ‘bitchy’ attempt to undermine me, I don’t think all the other free flowing advice would indicate that so although I had a half hour to lick my wounds I dusted myself off and got on with the positive aspects of what I have been told.
So the upshot of all of this advice is I have applied to the next Jewellery show which is in Winchester in late November with a view to applying for more next year and the Craft in Focus fairs of which Desire is part of. I can confirm that I have been accepted to the Winchester show, woohoo!
Regarding customers, I met a lot of really nice people and a big thank you to all my friends, students and colleagues who came and supported me, I can not do this without you and I am deeply thankful for all of you. Feedback from customers was good, it was interesting to see which pieces drew attention and which did not and also how customers react to my pricing (which needs work but it is a perennial problem for all us jewellers)
So all in all it was a great experience and I hope to be accepted to the next fair and will keep you posted. I might even get to do some more flirting which did help pass a lot of the time standing about (plays havoc on my knees) so one really does need to entertain oneself.
Apart from this momentous event things have been busy and good. I have made contact with another local jeweller who again has been very free with advice and support, thank you Carolyn. Also plenty of great support from Wooburn Craft School and Ernest for recommending me for various teaching jobs and helping me get established.
On the home front things have been settled, I am sorry to say we have had to cancel our trip to France (we should of been sailing today) because it has just been too busy for both of us. It is my in laws 60th Wedding anniversary this week and we were going to take them away but they could see the stress we are both under to work and so kindly have postponed the trip until later in May, however it did highlight that the two of us have not had a holiday away alone for ages and can not remember when this last happened, we have had wonderful weekends away but with other people and these have been amazing but not the two of us. Thats a wee bit of a fib as there were two trips to France to check out the house as well as to sign for it but these were very short trips and busy with agents and solicitors etc. So we are both looking forward to a whole week away thanks to my mate Ady for house/dog and chook sitting.
I think that gets us up to date so far, I am looking forward to also getting back in the workshop at the beginning of April and then its the Thame Artisan fair with Sally Evans so if you fancy a day out to this lovely town come and see us and enjoy all the wonderful art on display. Catch up soon…. Gx