Saturday 14th December 2019
Now, you don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out what this month’s blog is all about 😊
Christmas is nearly here, the website is all decorated with festive fabrics and banners, as well as our Facebook and Instagram pages (please follow those), City & Guilds Coursework is still ongoing (hoping to get that completely finished in early January 2020)…and in between doing all that I was preparing for my very FIRST and SECOND Christmas Craft Fairs!
And thinking on those things, I’ve come up with a small poem (based on the famous nursery rhyme) to mark the occasion:
little sewer went to market,
and her non-sewer mother came too,
selling fabrics, kits and gifts,
to earn a bob or two.’
For the past 2 months I had been prepping and creating more than 20 extra Handmade Gifts (43 in total) to take with us to the 2 Craft Fairs (along with Fabric bundles, Fat Quarters and Corinne Lapierre Kits).
I’d never done anything like this before – yes, in the past I have sung in front of people and performed for them (either within a choir or most of the time on my own), but this was very different indeed – let’s just say if I could talk and sing at the same time then there’d be no problem. For a while now I’ve known that I’ve never been good at actually talking to people (definitely not a social butterfly) – I think it originates from being bullied at High School – I just kept quiet most of the time. Some may say that I should move on from all that, put the past behind me, and I have for most of it…but some things just stick with you. Now that I’m older, I’ve noticed that when I’m nervous or anxious, my words just seem to leave my mind and it upsets me sometimes.
When I started up Sew-Drops with my Mum back in July 2019, we both knew that Craft Fairs would be something that we’d need to do in order to get ourselves known within our local community and further afield. So, I would need to learn to be able to ‘speak’ again.
So, I’ll fast forward now from Sept-Oct 2019 all the way to a cold, wintery Monday night in December at Hope Academy for our FIRST Christmas Craft Fair. Mum and I had prepped, packed and decorated our stall with an array of fabrics, kits and handmade gifts (and even a reindeer and snowman – see if you can spot where they are).
Everything looked lovely, we were all ready to go for 6pm, and then the
Wi-Fi decided to have a funny. We were offering both cash and card payments so last month we bought a SumUp Card Reader (folks they are amazing and really easy to use – I definitely recommend them for small businesses) and we needed the Wi-Fi to be able to get it to work.
Luckily, we managed to get the Wi-Fi working just in the nick of time and were ready to do some sales with my new SumUp. Turns out we only did cash sales, so I didn’t get to use it ☹ Oh well, hopefully I’d use it for my second Craft Fair. It was a good night and for my first ever Craft Fair I don’t think it went too badly.
The next day came and we went off to Leigh Golf Club for our SECOND Christmas Craft Fair – I thought ‘great! I’ll hopefully get to use my SumUp today’ – did I use my card reader? Sadly no. The Wi-Fi wasn’t working. Honestly, I couldn’t believe my luck (never would I have believed that the one thing I thought would always be a given, with this day and age, would turn out to be the most difficult thing to find). So, we had to resort to just taking cash payments.
The craft fair started, and Mum and I were doing really well, and then it happened. Mum said that she and Dad were going to leave me for a bit and then come back in an hour or so. Well it was like telling someone who can’t swim that they’re going to be thrown in the deep end of the pool.
But I knew that in order to get over my fear of speaking to people, I needed to do this…for myself, and for Sew-Drops.
So, Mum and Dad left, and by some weird miracle I was able to talk to any of the customers that came up to me or bought anything from my stall. Folks, I couldn’t believe it – maybe I was okay with speaking to people this time because I actually knew what I was talking about, I actually had information about the fabrics, the kits and products I was selling, and because of that I was able to make some sales so I’ll take that as a win – even if it’s a miniscule one. It’s a huge stepping stone for me.
So that’s basically all there is to tell about our 1st and 2nd Christmas Craft Fairs – we learnt a lot from them, and I’m hoping that there’ll be more to come in the New Year.
Along with the Craft Fairs, Coursework and website decorating, I’ve been helping Mum create her own 12 Days of Christmas decorations by Corinne Lapierre – those of you who follow our Facebook and Instagram pages will have seen the photos. We’ve just got another 5 kits left to make before Christmas – so fingers crossed, we’ll get them done in time.
Speaking of Corinne Lapierre, we’ve recently re-stocked all of the kits including the 2019 Advent Calendar and some brand NEW additions – you can check them out now in our SHOP.
A couple of weeks ago I created a small list of mini projects that I’m aiming to get done before and after Christmas (I feel sad saying ‘after Christmas’ – I don’t want it to end). The ’12 Days of Christmas’ kits is just one of those, but I will also be creating a special Christmas Stocking for my very special boy, Alfie – made up of rich red and tartan fabrics, and a little felt dog bone with his name embroidered on the side. Once I’ve finished it, I’ll be posting up a photo on our social media pages, so look out for that.
Last Tuesday we re-launched the Handmade Gifts with a few ‘festive’ discounts. Selected Handmade Gifts have been reduced and will be on sale until the end of January 2020.
Along with these festive discounts, we’ve added some BRAND NEW Handmade Gifts onto the website last night which includes Bags, Christmas Stockings (Large/Small), Cosmetic Bag/Zip Purse Combos and Hanging Hearts.
(IMPORTANT NOTE: Any orders after Wednesday 18th December will be dispatched after Christmas, so that no orders get lost in the post).
Lastly, I’d just like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!