Is it really a few months since I posted on my blog? We had a heatwave then, but fair's fair, here we are at August Bank Holiday Monday and the sun is shining, but thankfully not a heatwave. We had a BBQ party on Saturday and by 8pm people were heading indoors to find their wraps and jackets, it was not very warm!
So the past - well, I have been busy, I'm not slacking and snoozing through summer. To be honest, I felt I was blogging to only myself. Well, it's not as if you leave me a comment when you read my blog, so how would I know you are there?
This is primarily my business blog so I have no intention of sharing my family secrets, telling you where I am going on holiday with my family (so you can nip round and burgle me) or washing my dirty laundry in public. If you want that you'll have to buy Heat and Grazia or any of the daily red tops. Not that I share my secrets there either, but plenty seem to!
To the present: there have been changes a foot for some time.
Do I want to travel round the country attending craft fairs - we (husband is my roadie, due to back and arm injuries I cannot carry anything heavy) leave home at 5.30am to get to our Salisbury fair in time to be able to park close by and then set up, you can see the attraction? Is it worth the distance, the fuel costs, the high parking fee? What is selling, what isn't? The one thing that came out of the long paper-fuelled brainstorming session was that beads are selling better than anything - and I don't sell them at fairs.
My first fair of the year is in Weston-s-Mare on Saturday 12 October, which at least is close and is a gentle start to the season. I have then booked to take part in 4 fairs starting Sunday 13 October in what used to be Seeley's Newsagents in Hill Road Clevedon (or if you watched Broadchurch, the Broadchurch Echo). These are small but have quality work and are local. I'll see how they go and intend just taking a smaller selection of my jewellery so I can manage these without my roadie. I have a lot of jewellery, silk and velvet scarves stock now made and ready for my fairs and depending how this season goes, I will see where I go from there. My last fair, and I have pretty much one if not two a weekend until 8 December, will be finishing up at Hill Road Clevedon.
And what of the future?
We have already decided this will be our last year driving to Salisbury, the early starts, the long distance - it's over 150 miles round trip, and the steadily decreasing sales have ceased to be worth it, there are always too many jewellers at this venue - too much choice helps no one, people leave confused having spent nothing. We will review other fairs at the end of the year. I love doing them although husband is happier doing something else, but I need his muscle power. But they have to earn their keep, we are not a free or cheap floor show for a cold, wet or windy day. A lot of visitors seem to labour under the false impression that we are attending for free so it doesn't matter if we sell anything or not - far from it, most of my table fees are upwards of £50 before I even get in the car and turn on the ignition. Many of the county shows are over £200 a table, often much much more.
The other big change is I've closed my Folksy shop today. I've been dithering over this for several weeks and decided it is better use of my time to stop procrastinating and get on with it. So the deed is done and no doubt in the next day or two Folksy admin will remove all trace of me from their site as my buying account has to go when my selling account closes.
My Etsy shop is now very well stocked and starting to show signs of growth. My beads are selling well on Ebay so I am also concentrating my efforts to listing them there every couple of weeks or so.
Will I travel to anything other than a local fair in 2014?
That is for you the customer to decide.
The necklaces shown here are for sale in my Etsy shop. The beads are available for the next 5 days on Ebay. Enjoy browsing and tell your friends!