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Sunday, 28 April 2013

FROST, HAIL, RAIN, SUN - NO SNOW PLEASE

Hello everyone

Hailstorms yesterday that made the ground look like it was covered in snow and thick frost this morning - I think spring is here, but don't quote me on that.

A big thank you to everyone who commented on my blog last weekend - I had hoped to, as much as possible, respond to the comments that are left, but the days whiz by and here I am again back at Sunday.  It reminds me of school: 'I must try harder' and I will.

A few weeks ago, a friend and I went to an indoor country market in Cranleigh to check out a potential sales outlet.  Following our visit, I did some research into this type of market and discovered, as per their website:

'The Country Markets organisation has roots going back to 1919.......  There are currently over 350 Country Markets throughout, England, Wales and the Channel Islands.  Each market belongs to one of 65 Country Market Societies, which have a legal responsibility for ensuring that their markets are run in accordance with statutory requirements.

I found a country market venue in Pirbright, which is close to me, but unfortunately it is held on Thursday mornings and takes place at the same time as my pottery course.  I located another one in Jacob's Well, appx 6 miles from me, and contacted the market manager and arranged to meet with him on Friday so that he could assess my work.  I had been told that there was no space for more cards as they already had 3 card sellers - is card-making the most popular craft?  Does it have equal shares with jewellery-making?  I decided to take my scented candles and fabric makes.  However, I did take some of my cards along, just in case.

The result is that from next Friday I will be at the Jacob's Well Country Market selling my candles and my fabric goodies.  I won't be able to do it every Friday, but that is not a problem, I just need to let the manager know when I will not be available.  The people I  met were very friendly and helpful and despite the fact that I threw a mug of coffee all over the table I had my work on, I was made to feel very welcome.  The fees are 5p to join the organisation - a one-off cost (a bargain) and I will have to purchase an invoice book and a handbook and 12% of my takings are deducted by the centre's committee to cover expenses.  I think 12% is fine and means I will probably make more money than attending a craft fair every week.

I know it may not be everyone's idea of a selling platform, but I am looking at it with three hats on: the opportunity to work with people who have a genuine love of handmade work who want to encourage the public's interest in it, an outlet to sell my work and a regular opportunity to promote it.  I will let you know next Sunday how my first event works out.

My stock of 'cuppa candles' is low, so I visited the charity shops in Godalming yesterday morning.  How lucky am I!  I bought a complete, undamaged Wedgewood tea set for £8.99 and a beautiful red/gold coffee can set for £6.99.  I am not producing the antique- cup-and-saucer candle range which is very popular a the moment - I want to do something different so I am going for what might be called every day cups and saucers, but just that little bit different.   I have a busy week this week, so will be fitting in candle-making in between everything else.

Candle making is calling, so time to hand you over to the other crafters taking part in this week's Handmade Monday.  I have had a quick look at Wendy's post on Friday and I am definitely going to ask if I can join in her digi-stamp testing.

Have a good week everyone.  I will be back next Sunday and Milly will be here on Wednesday with her kitten tails.  Plus, I very nearly forgot, I have a lovely guest blogger here on Friday, so don't forget to drop in on my blog.  If you would like to be a guest blogger, please do get in touch on christmaspiecrafts@virginmedia.com as it would be lovely to get this up and running again.

Jill

41 comments:

  1. I do hope this works out for you - good to go with an open mind. At least you should make some new friends if nothing else!

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    1. Also good is not having to pay if I sell little or nothing. looking forward to it.

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  2. I think the country market is a great idea. I haven't actually heard of them myself plus I wouldn't have enough to have a stall weekly. Lots of luck. Ally

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    1. It is worth checking out ally as you don't have a whole table to yourself, you share and you don't have to do it every week.

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  3. Country market sounds a great idea. I might be able to pop along to Jacobs Well :-)

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    1. That would be lovely - lots plants, cakes and savouries there.

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  4. The country market sounds like a fantastic opportunity, i could see you doing really well there and i'm sure there will be lots of lovely fellow crafters to chat with too! :)

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    1. I am really looking forward to it - have to try new things and new ways of selling our work, don't we?

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  5. They do Country Markets near me and I keep meaning to go and take a look - they do sound a great idea. Hope you enjoy doing them :)

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    1. It is worth going along to one to check it out - certainly nice to see a market that is purely for handmade.

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  6. It'll be interesting to hear how you get on at the market. Have a good week.

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    1. Lots of work to do this week to make sure I have a variety of stock for Friday.

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  7. That does sound rather great, paying a percentage of what you take. I just clicked on their site to see if there are any markets near me, and then had to give myself a reality check, as I don't really produce enough to anything regular. Good luck with you stall.

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    1. The good thing is you don't have to do it ever week, so it is worth considering doing say every other week or once a month. As you don't have a stall all to yourself, you don't have to produce lots of stock either.

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  8. That sounds like a brilliant opportunity both for selling and networking - well done you! I like the idea of "ordinary" teacup candles as the antique ones seem to be everywhere at the moment.
    Good luck on Friday, let us know how it goes. xxx

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    1. Fingers and toes crossed it goes well - certainly a new type of event for me

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  9. The fairs sound wonderful I hope they're really successful for you. Had a look and there's four near me so will have to have a look. The cups sound like great finds, enjoy your candle making.
    Ali x

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    1. Certainly worth checking out - may not be everybody's idea of a fair, but it's all handmade so a bonus

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  10. I will be really interested to see how your country market goes. There is one near me which I went to see a couple of weeks' ago. I was looking forward to a nice browse but disappointed as there were only 3 tables in a small room - cards, plants and home made food. The rest of the room was locals drinking tea! I am sure they are all quite different though so good luck with it! x

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    1. The first one I visited had more tea tables than selling tables., The one I am joining was packed with sellers, so I am hopeful this attracts a good foot fall

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  11. I am not aware of Country Markets going on here in Jersey....I shall have to look into that one!! Spring has definitely sprung here (not trying to rub it in, honest)
    Enjoy your candle making!! Have a good week!
    S x

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    1. Certainly worth a look. I think spring has shut itself away or gone on holiday here.

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  12. Great bargain on the tea set :)
    I look forward to how you get on at the 'market' I checked out your link and there are a few near me, I think I'll be looking into making a few visits to check them out.

    Jan x

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    1. Very pleased with my purchases - started to use them today and they look good.

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  13. Sounds like a great idea, I hope it works well for you. It can be tricky to commit to things week in week out, not only because of other commitments but because you need time to make new stock!

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    1. That is very true, plus don;t want to get into the situation of customers only seeing the same thing week in week out, so a break every few weeks will be ideal.

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  14. Hehehe, you sound like me with the 'must try harder!'. I know I must.

    Fingers crossed with the fair. I'm sure it will be fine :)

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  15. Like the idea of tbhe country market - even better than you can share tables and not commit to every week. Look forward to seeing your candles! Simmi x

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    1. Less stressful really when it comes to ensuring sufficient stock

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  16. Good luck with your new venture- I hope you sell lots!

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  17. Hope the country market goes well. I'm sure it'll be a sell out. Good luck with the new candles venture xx

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    1. Thank you - it seems to be a popular one

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  18. congrats on finding somewhere to sell, i hope it is successful for you. Do wish i could drive so i could do the same :-/

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  19. Hi Jill, how exciting for your venture. I wish you the very best!

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    1. Thank you - I am really looking forward to it

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  20. I love your ingenuity! Great new sales venue you've found there. I hope it goes well for you.

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    1. Thank you Rumpy - I am looking forward to it

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  21. I've a friend who does a country market and finds it a really good experience - both in terms of sales, but also repeat customers who know where to find her and in friendly contact with others as she's got to know other makers really well over the time she's been doing it.. Good luck.. Sue

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Thank you for your comment - it is always lovely to have feedback and I hope you enjoyed my post.