Having spent the past few months living in the bubble of my little studio and occasionally living room (when I felt like I should venture out and check that my husband hadn’t starved to death on the sofa) it was lovely to get out, have some fresh – if cold – air and see how the lovely British public responded to my bits and bobs.
The only people who had seen what I was making until now had been my husband Ryan and the odd friend or family member, and though they seemed to love the various bits and pieces – there was always the thought of ‘well you would say that wouldn’t you mum’ going through my head! And as always the strongest praise and harshest criticism I faced was typically from my lovely husband.
Always quick with the praise and usually delusional in his belief that whatever I do will be amazing and make us millionaires, he also has his moments of bloke-ishly just ‘not getting’ some of the items I make. He seems fine with the idea of turning old kid’s toys into jewellery, and even the knitting needle bracelets... the soap wrapped in fabric on the other hand are a no go. There is no explaining to him that girls like smellies, and if those smellies happen to be wrapped in pretty fabric and tied up with a bow then all the better! Even my aunt who pointed out that they would be nice left in your draw to scent clothes or as a bathroom display couldn’t convince him so I suggested that we simply agree to disagree on this occasion.
Anyway off I went to my two Christmas craft fairs (I was dismally late to the game it seems and managed to miss the majority of them this year) armed with my soaps and all. It’s always unsettling when you’ve spent months making things that you really love, playing with pretty fabrics and trimmings to suddenly realise that whilst you love them the rest of the world might not! So after being introduced to the other stall holders and arming myself with a cup of tea I unpacked my little stall and waited for the first customers...
Thankfully I needn’t have worried; my badges went down well with both men and women of every age. Particularly two teenage boys who politely told me, if at the same time making me feel very old and un-cool, that a. badges were cool if worn in clusters on a black woollen hat (not sure if the wool part was a necessity but that is what they had so I’m sticking with it) and b. that some of my Pokémon toy key rings had slightly the wrong shade of yellow. I apologised for the latter whilst selling them the former, and they went off happily pinning on their badges.
My magnetic memo pegs were a surprise hit; considering I made them at the last minute I’ve nearly sold out – lots of people seemed to buy them because other people were. I defiantly think that for future fairs I should employ someone to stand in front of my stall pretend buying – I know I always head to stalls that look busy anyway!
Key rings went down a treat too, mainly the ‘Monsters in my Pocket’ and ‘Boglins’ with boys both big and small. Though one very sweet and fragile looking old lady bought a red ‘Boglin’ pouring two bottles of beer into his mouth – when I asked her if she’d had a good look through for one she liked she said ‘yes’ – that she chose the red one because it perfectly matched her Vesper scooter, which promptly shut me up!
And yes even my soaps got a look in, though granted with an entirely female audience. I think fabric wrapped soaps might just be a stretch too far for the majority of men, though I’m determined to find one who ‘gets it’!
The general response at both craft fairs was great... kids and adults alike lapped up the retro toy jewellery and the home wear and gifts went down very well, with lots of people saying they would make great stocking fillers, especially as most items were under £5.
Now it’s time to carefully pack all my stock up and tidy and hover my living room, which looks like a fabric army has fought and lost a battle there, enjoy my Christmas decorations and reassure my husband that I haven’t abandoned him (though I’m pretty sure he’s secretly loved me being so busy as it has left him free rein of the telly – and more importantly his damn computer game!)
Have a lovely Christmas and New Year everyone – thanks for reading my little ramble!!
We are a British company specialising in handmade gifts, jewellery, fashion and home wear. Taking loved retro items and themes and giving them a new twist.
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