During this 'Lockdown' period I have missed two crafts markets, usually easter and mid-summer, they encourage us reclusive makers to get our stock together, and put ourselves out there, face-to-face with actual humans. So, I have been sad not to see fellow makers, to meet some lovely customers, and to get feedback on the jewellery that I have been making. BUT, the great and amazing organisers of these markets understand the importance of the gatherings, and have come up trumps with some online marketplace events which have really helped.
Firstly I'd like to give a massive shout out to Joanne of Tea Green Events who single handedly got her head around organising an online marketplace for over 100 exhibitors. It was based on Facebook over a weekend and introduced a huge variety of makers and creatives to each-other, and to new customer bases. I had fun watching the fast pace of people commenting and engaging and it surprised me how many people were getting involved. Tea Green Makers Directory is a great place to look for handmade gifts and treats from some of Scotland best small creative businesses and I'd encourage you to go and have a browse anytime you're looking for gifts.
THIS WEEKEND I am taking part in The Guild Dumfries Online Pop Up Shop. They are a new group to me, but have been 100% amazing since I applied to be part of their online market. They have a great crew of leaders offering support and skills to help small creative business and are passionate about craft and makers in all forms. Based in Dumfries and Galloway this will be a new base of potential customers for me, and I am already meeting lots of lovely new makers from there. I know this part of Scotland has a wealth of talent and is also a beautiful place to visit!
I am going to dive in and do an instagram LIVE which terrifies me but hopefully it will offer some insight into how and why I do what I do.. come along and watch, follow @TheGuildDumfries on Instagram at 12.30am on Saturday 27th June.
I have no idea how it works, as with most of the technology that has been involved in these digital 'events' - Facebook, Instagram, Canva, Vimeo, YouTube, Zoom.. But it has surprised me how engaging a lot of the content is, how people are just people, at the end of a different form of communication and we are 'all in this together' (eye roll)
One thing that has definitely become apparent is the importance of good photography.. I mostly use my phone to take pictures of my work, and in my haste to get them online I forget to edit and take care over their presentation - mistake! So I hereby vow to spend more time and care on my photography...
An observation about online 'life' is that most people want a deal. Me included. Whether it is free shipping, or 10% off because its Sunday, or a buy-on-get-one-free offer. This has stumped me a bit, I really take care to keep my prices affordable and realistic, and therefore the margin for giving stuff 'away' is very limited. I imagine there are many makers in the same boat and it is tricky to strike a balance.
I find it much easier in real life, explaining the skill, showing a customer how a piece can be worn, allowing them to try things on and feel the quality of my work, that discounts and deals are not something that are discussed at an 'analogue' crafts market.
In short, once we are all back to 'normal' PLEASE PLEASE check out your local crafts markets, come along, have a chat, buy or don't buy, us makers just want the opportunity to share what we do and to show people why we do it. ❤️
I update my Find Me page regularly with any markets I am doing as well as places that stock my jewellery.
Follow this link to see the live instagram chat..