Wednesday, 31 July 2013

#IndieMonth - What I've done to support #IndieRetail

Purchases from Delicious, JilMadeThis and Bevolee
You may or may not know, but July has been #IndieMonth where consumers have been urged to change their habits and show their support for local independent retailers.

Being a small independent retailer myself, I could hardly ignore this campaign! 

And although I do try to buy from #IndieRetail whenever I can, this month I have tried a little bit harder, and I thought I would share with you some of what I have been doing to support #IndieMonth!

My very first purchase of the month was a steak pie from Billy's Hill Farm Shop in Hemingfield. Unfortunately this item doesn't have a photo as it was eaten before we had chance to photograph it! 
I can heartily recommend their pies, and award winning sausages! 
They also sell a great selection of cheese, wine, meat and handmade bread.

My second purchase of the month was from Folksy shop Delicious.
Based in Leeds, Elizabeth sells hand screen printed posters and cards, and it was some of her beautifully intricate cards that I treated myself to:

Blue Screenprinted Folk Tree Card by Delicious

 My next purchases all came from the craft fair at Elsecar Heritage Centre organised by Paperdoll Events. Both makers were people that I had admired on twitter, so it was so great to meet them in person and help support their wonderful work!

From JilMadeThis I bought 'Howard'
He is the spitting image of my friend George and I couldn't leave without purchasing this item as a gift! But nor could I leave without something for me too...
So I treated myself to the little floral postbox brooch shown in the photo at the top of the page.

'Howard' aka the spitting image of our friend George!

As I was leaving I spotted Bevolee from Little Paper Spaceship whose beautiful designed washi tape I have admired for a long time. So out came the purse, and another purchase was made!

Washi Tape designed by Bevolee

During this month I have also pledged to support a Kickstarter campaign for the first time!
Local illustrator Jen Whitman is looking for pledges to put toward her dream of getting her designs printed onto calendars and wallplanners. At the time of writing her campaign had 14 hours to go and was disappointingly short of her target. This is a fab project, and by pledging just £5 (or more) you will receive one (or more!) of her lovely calendars.

 So that's what I have been doing to support #IndieRetail during #IndieMonth
Please feel free to leave a link in the comments to share what you have purchased during July!

But before I go, I want to say a big thank you to everyone who buys handmade,
supports local shops, and seeks out independent retailers.
Keep up the good work!
I also want to give a big shout out to my real-world stockists, who do so much to
help support handmade art, craft and design.

Thank you!

Artworks in Beeston, Nottingham

 The Gift Gallery in York

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Craft Stall Display - How made by lolly has changed over the years

Every time I attend a craft fair or event with made by lolly I do my best to come up with the most amazing stall design that I can. It's not always easy, and I look back at some of my early attempts and cringe!

But... over the years, as my stall display skills have increased, and I have collected a better variety of display equipment the more pleased I have been with the finished design.

However, since I found my 'muse' (You can read all about that in the post 'How I inadvertently invented a marketing strategy...')  I have a much better understanding of my style and what types of craft stall display work best with the felt brooches and corsages that I now make.

So... as I am now on Summer break and won't be attending any craft fairs for a couple of months (don't worry you can still shop online!) I thought it would be good fun to have a look back at some of my previous craft stalls and see how my style and skills have (hopefully!) developed and improved over the years.

Promise you won't laugh... 

Here in all its technicolour glory is a picture of my first ever craft stall.
Taken at Elsecar Heritage Centre on 22nd May 2010:

Look how few brooches I have on my stall back in May 2010...
Next we move on to the rest of 2010 and early 2011.
Purple is still a very big feature. But already you can see lots more brooches!

Unfortunately I cannot seem to locate any pictures for Autumn/Winter 2011 
or Spring/Summer 2012 so we will just have to fast forward directly to 
Autumn/Winter 2012.

The purple tablecloth and mismatched equipment have gone into hibernation 
to be replaced by pale cream and grey wooden crates and baskets.
Felt brooches as far as the eye can see!

By Spring/Summer 2013 I have swapped to a grey tablecloth and am using the wooden crates 
to create a stepped display area for my luxury boxed corsages. 
I acquire hessian lined wire baskets and a make a hessian tablerunner to match.

...And hey presto! 3 years and 3 tablecloths later a stall display to be proud of:

Featuring a LOT of felt flower brooches!

I'd love to know what you think of the changes that I have made to my craft stall display 
over the last few years. Is there anything that you particularly liked or disliked?

Have you got any favourite tips for making your stall look fabulous?

Do you have any suggestions for changes that I could make in the future?
From September I have a lot of big events that I will be attending where I really want to make an impression and stand out from the crowd.

What else could I do to make sure that made by lolly felt brooches get noticed?

Please feel free to leave any feedback in the comments below!

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