Saturday, December 15, 2012

Crafty Fox Christmas Markets 2012

Showcasing 80 unique sellers, the Crafty Fox Christmas Market was held across all three floors of the Dogstar, in Brixton on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th December 2012.  

Second Floor - Workshops
Starting from the top floor and working down.  The Crafty Fox workshop den was a haven of creativity.  Mr Wingate, The Stitch ClinicSuzi McLaughlin and Papercraft Princess oversaw the creativity and the results were very impressive. 

First Floor - Tea Rooms
The first floor featured a selection of hand-picked designer maker stalls while The Tea's Knees hosted their Tea Room, this time with live DJs.  On Saturday, Claire from Letter Lounge encouraged guests to put pen to paper, while on Sunday, craft writer and author of Material World, Perri Lewis ran a card making workshop. 

The Tea's Knees

Ground Floor - Market
The ground floor had the largest selection of stalls with DJs and a full bar as well as a surprisingly busy 'buggy park' - it seems Brixton is in the midst of a baby boom!

The amazing Miwary

Visitors to the market have been sharing their experiences online.  People of Print enjoyed screen printing with Mr Wingate and the selection of illustrators that were on show.  This is Your Kingdom described Crafty Fox as having 'an urban edge'.  Stacie Swift, an illustrator and seller at Crafty Fox blogged about her experience saying "footfall was amazing".  We posted some pictures from Saturday and Sunday on our Facebook page and Brixton Life captured the scenes on the Sunday with this short film.    

Make & Do with Perri Lewis -workshop

We would like to thank everyone that made The Crafty Fox market so much fun, whether a seller or customer, or member of the team. Thanks also to print sponsors, media partners Mollie Makes & The Simple Things and for the tote bags, as well as the amazing Dogstar staff who went the extra mile as always. 
Thanks also to Rodography and Martha Loves for all the photos from the event. It was a fun way to celebrate Dogstar's 17th birthday and to get into the Christmas spirit.

If you are interested in selling at a future event, make sure you have signed up to our mailing list.

Cindy of Hands on Family and Brixton's United80 on the decks

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Almost time for our Christmas Markets!

Join us at the Dogstar in Brixton this weekend and shop for unique, affordable gifts direct from the makers.  Enjoy tea and cakes by the Tea's Knees, workshops including screen printing and origami, plus DJ's all weekend long! 

Saturday Workshops

Letter writing with Letter Lounge (1-4pm)
Screenprinting with Mr Wingate (11am - 5pm)
Origami decorations: Suzi McLaughlin (11am - 5pm)
Card Making with Papercraft Princess (11am - 5pm)

Sunday Workshops

Make & Do with Perri Lewis (12 - 4pm)
Screenprinting with Mr Wingate (11am - 5pm)
Knit a beanie with Grannies Inc. (12 - 2pm)
Make a DNA Christmas Decoration with The Stitch Clinic (11am - 5pm)

We have a limited number of free totebags from Etsy for the early birds and will also be running a favorite stall competition.  Cast your vote to be in with a chance to win a selection of craft books, goodies from and a Crafty Fox print by Jimbobart.

Read more about our sellers here:
Saturday 8 December Stalls
Sunday 9 December Stalls

Mr Fox is looking forward to seeing you. 
Crafty Fox & MC Badger original illustration by Jimbobart
PS: If you are interested in becomming a stall-holder for a future market, please sign up to our mailing list. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Meet the Crafty Fox DJs

By Stephan

Music has always been a very important element of The Crafty Fox Market and we're very lucky to count some great DJs as our friends.  I'll introduce some of them here.

Chris & Cindy are better known as manVSwife or Hands On Family when they DJ.  They run the music part of United80 in Brixton Village and play the smoothest selection of soul, jazz, funk and all things good.  It's essential listening on a weekend morning and keeps us smiling during busy market days.
Local DJ Hwen Rascale lives a literal stones throw from the Dogstar DJ booth.  Very handy after a late night.  Hwen is a professional DJ who also runs his own parties alongside his day job. He produces a number of re-edits of his own, so chances are that the dancefloor hit he's spinning has his very own twist.
Stephen McCaroll is a talented DJ from Dublin.  He looks like Noel Fielding and recently re-proclaimed his love for vinyl.  That's good because Crafty Fox loves vinyl.  Over on twitter he has also proclaimed a love for weaving.  When he's not drinking pints with postman Pat he can be found trawling for second hand 80's records or women's jewellery, -nuff said.
At our Christmas markets a second DJ booth will be popping up behind the counter in the Tea Room.  This means we will be playing out over two floors and will be welcoming some new DJs to the fold including Tom Patullo and D'Arcy Heath.  Other talented friends that will be spinning include Parisien house head Mister T and ex radio and club joc HowieK.
As a keen record collector and DJ it's no secret that dusting off a few 12" for Crafty Fox is one of my favorite parts of each event.  It gives me a warm feeling to get that appreciative nod from a stall holder or punter when they're enjoying the music.  The environment allows the DJs to play anything they want, and we always mix it up.   

Check out our soundcloud page for a taste of what's on our player at the minute.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

In Business: Craft Fair Checklist

Our 'In Business' series continues with a guest post by the talented illustrator Stacie Swift who will be joining us at our Christmas Markets on Sunday 9th December. I am already the proud owner a beautiful 'Foxes Dancing in the Rain' print by Stacie and I can't wait to check out her latest creations.

Stacie put together a really useful blog post and checklist for stall holders following her last visit to our Market earlier this year. It includes such gems as:

'Be prepared to beautify an awkwardly shaped pub table into a stunning display' and 'always make sure you get there in plenty of time to set up and faff about.' 

 You can read the full post on her blog and download the'craft fair checklist' below.

About Stacie Swift Illustration
Designed to appeal to little and big kids alike, Stacie Swift Illustration stationery aims to raise a smile and give a nod toward the sentimental. Behind the products is Stacie Swift, an illustration graduate with a love of animals and a penchant for stationery. Bright, bold and playful, all of Stacie’s ranges have a sense of humour and an instantly recognisable style. Though stocked across the UK, Europe and Australia, Stacie Swift Illustration proudly remains a very British brand; every product begins as a hand drawn illustration and each item is hand packaged and printed in the UK.

Monday, November 19, 2012

In Business: How to sell your work in shops - Part 2

Welcome to the second part of our new business series where we explore issues relevant to designer makers. Last week, Lily from frillybylily gave us some really helpful tips on wholesale from the designer's perspective. This time, it's the turn of the shopkeeper to provide some pointers. 

Emy from Brixi in Brixton Village describes her shop as "a curiosity shop selling old and new oddities." If you haven't yet checked it out, I really would recommed a visit as you will always find something to inspire the imagintion. Emy does a brilliant job of merchandising and the shop is beautifully laid out. Emy was one of the guest curators for our forthcoming Christmas Markets, helping with the difficult task of stallholder selection. Here, she shares her top tips for wholesale:

1.    Be Commercially Minded 
It is really important to approach shops with commercially viable, ready to go products. Although it’s often easy to see potential in a product, a small shop will not always have the time to spend helping mentor designers and getting work ready for sale. Be clear about the difference between wholesale and retail.  Most shops will take a commission of approximately 50%.  Be realistic about what your work could comfortably retail for.

2.  Face To Face
If possible, a face to face visit is always best.  There is only so much you can convey over an email or phonecall.  It’s vital for me to handle work in the flesh and get a real sense of what it is about. To meet the maker and get an insight into how and why the work is made, makes it much easier to sell.

3.  The Complete package
It’s in your interest to make your work as easy to display, sell and package as possible.  Really think through every aspect of a transaction.  Obviously every shop has their own way of doing things, but to show you have thought it through shows you are a professional outfit.

4.  Be Organised
When delivering work, make sure you are organised. Have a clear list of what you are dropping off, including wholesale prices. It pays to leave the retailer with as much information as possible. Most shops will have a contract of sorts, yet it doesn’t hurt to bring your own.  Be clear about terms – when and how you’ll be paid, in event of damage/theft etc.  Be armed with the right questions.

5.  Keep in Touch
Running a small shop is hectic! If a designer is organised about restocking it makes it much easier for the retailer. Keeping on top of restocking is important.  Check your sales, see what has sold, offer to replenish etc.  The more you are on top of things, the more chance you have to sell more.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

In Business: How to sell your work in shops - Part 1

Welcome to the first post in our new series of business topics.
Are you a maker wondering how to get your items into shops?  Or have you ever been approached about wholesale?  We will talk to two successful people -one a maker, the other a shopkeeper- about their experiences.

Meet, jewellery designer Lily from 'frillybylily'.  Lily will be at the Crafty Fox Market with her creations on Saturday 8th December.  Here, she shares her top tips for wholesale from the perspective of the designer.  In our next blog we'll be speaking to shopkeeper Emy from Brixi - a beautiful gift shop in Brixton Village.

Lily, in her own words.

frillybylily jewellery is inspired by my hometown of London. The style is best described as 'pretty but gritty'. Everything is manufactured in small batches in North London using recycled metals. I have been designing, making and wholesaling for 6 years. Current and past independent and larger stockists include: Brixi in Brixton village, Branch on the Park in Victoria park village, Mon Bijoux in Hampstead, Homage in Stoke Newington, Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie stores.

My top tips for selling wholesale:

1. Do weekly stock takes: If you are working on a small scale, simply keeping a page in a notepad with current stock totals is enough. Do the same with packaging, findings and anything else you may need to order in in advance. If you're more sophisticated you could always do a nice colour coded spreadsheet!
2. Have your terms and conditions ready to be signed before you leave stock with a new stockist. Outline your non negotiables and stick to them! Get a dated signature and a mobile phone number if you can. This helps if you need to chase up payments or just get in touch with the shop owner/ manager rather than the shop assistant.
3. With larger stockists they are very strict about deadlines. Whether you are manufacturing or hand assembling your order, you need to KNOW that you will be able to hit the deadline, otherwise you may be charged. This means using suppliers/ outworkers that you trust and planning your time in advance. Use a delivery method that you know and trust, or better still deliver it yourself!
4. Keep your prices consistent across all stockists and your website. Nobody wants to be undercut by anybody else. 
5. Ask for feedback from your stockists. They speak to the customers. See if there is anything you can do to keep your collections up to date and flying off the shelves!

 Join us in our next blog post for the shopkeeper's perspective. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Perri Lewis at Crafty Fox Market

We are delighted to be welcoming author, journalist and blogger Perri Lewis, to The Crafty Fox Market on Sunday 9th December. Perri was one of our guest curators for the market, helping us with the difficult task of selecting stall holders.

Perri at the launch of Material World
You will find Perri in the first floor tea room from 12 - 4pm along with a big stack of crafty supplies. Pull up a chair, eat some cake, have a natter and make some cards - the perfect time out from browsing the stalls. 

This was a big week for Perri as her beautiful book, Material World was released. It covers many different types of modern crafts and alongside really useful DIY projects, also includes words of wisdom from well known names such as Tatty Devine and Philip Treacy.  I was particularly excited to see page 184 which features a quote from me! 

Perri will have copies of the book available for signing at The Crafty Fox Market. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Look & Feel

My latest homework assignment for the 'Blogging Your Way' course was to create a mood board representing this blog. Faced with a choice of a digital version or collecting up relevant items and photographing them, I opted for the second option using items from around the house and garden. This is my first ever mood board - I really enjoyed making it so I don't think it will be my last! 

Lavender Birdie from Hope and Eden,
Brixton print by Lucy Loves This, 'I eat my cake in my pants' plate and 'Ghetto Badger' print by Jimbobart.
A couple of flyers from our previous events with Crafty Fox illustrations by Jimbobart
Bunting Triangle from Etsy UK
'Love' paperweight from The Lollipop Shoppe
Birdie postcard by Heart Zeena
Fox cushion by Robin & Mould

I started with a backdrop of records - the DJ's are a key element of Crafty Fox and our house is stuffed full of vinyl so it seemed like an obvious place to begin. Jimbobart is the talented illustrator behind the Crafty Fox character so my next move was to reach for some of his brilliant work.  I also chose to add the Brixton print from Crafty Fox regular, Lucy Loves This. Like most Brixtonite's, we love where we live. 

At present, the blog's main colour scheme is black, white and red. In putting together this mood board, I included a couple of items in turquoise - I think this is a good addition and plan to incorporate it in the design in future. The one thing I struggle with is the quality of my photography - an element which I would really like to improve.

I am planning a blog redesign - conveniently this is actually the latest homework assignment from the blogging course so hopefully it will give me the push I need to make it happen. I'm contemplating a switch from blogger to either wordpress or tumblr. Sometimes I find blogger clunky to use and I'm not technically able enough to mess with the html.  Any recommendations out there? 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

New Poster for The Crafty Fox Christmas Markets

This time around Crafty Fox is joined by the cute MC "Ghetto" Badger on the turntables.   We absolutely love this.  Another genius creation from the talented Jimbobart.   Catch him selling at the market in December and look out for the posters and flyers in Brixton and surrounding areas.

Friday, October 26, 2012


Have you checked out the listings of amazing designer makers who will be joining us for our Christmas Markets on 8th and 9th December? We are really excited to see this talented bunch transform The Dogstar from drinking den into a crafty wonderland.

The task of selecting stall holders was more difficult than ever this year due to the volume and quality of the applications. There really is an amazing wealth of talent out there. We are really pleased that The Crafty Fox Market is attracting new talent from around the UK and beyond.

The Selection Process
For this edition of The Crafty Fox Market, we were honored to be joined by two guest curators - craft writer Perri Lewis and Emy of the wonderful Brixi in Brixton Village. Look out for Perri's new book 'Material World', released next month. I've had a sneak peak of a few pages and it is beautifully produced. And if you are in Brixton anytime soon, make sure you visit Emy's shop and see if you can spot any items from Crafty Fox stallholders past and present. Brixi has to be one of the most skillfully decorated shops I have ever seen. Here's what singing sensation Jessie Ware had to say about it on twitter: 

"‘I went in there looking for birthday cards and I came out having put a deposit on a piece of art. The owner Emy always supports young artists and she has a very generous spirit. She’s got really interesting and beautiful stuff in there"

Perri pondering 
We had a really fun evening with each of them, supping on wine and munching on some home cooked food while going through the hundreds of applications. There were a pre-determined number of spaces up for grabs in each category which meant that the most heavily subscribed jewellery and illustration categories were particularly competitive.

If you missed out this time but are interested in applying for future markets, make sure you have signed up to our mailing list where we always announce new events first. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Getting to know you

Jimbobart, Me & Stephan taken after the 1st Crafty Fox Market
As I mentioned in my previous post, I am currently taking part in a blogging course. As part of my homework, I was tasked with re-vamping the 'About Us' section of the blog. In the original version, we were being shy foxes and had asked our friend Claire from Letter Lounge to write about us. Claire did a wonderful job, describing Crafty Fox as a 'kind and caring market'. This time, after several re-drafts, I've taken the plunge and written this section myself.

I've also updated the photo to a more recent one taken at the recent Jubilee celebrations in Battersea Park on a wet day. Unbelievably we don't have any decent photos of both of us together at a Crafty Fox Market - I guess we are usually too busy running around on market days to stop for photos. Hopefully I will be able to update this with an 'action' shot after the Christmas Markets.

As part of the course, I learned that there is no 'formula' for this section of a blog and it can be as detailed or minimal as you choose. I opted for a half-way point between the two - let me know what you think. I'd love your feedback and also to see your own bio pages - feel free to leave me your links in the comments section below.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Crafting a Blog

Photo credit: Hownowdesign

There are many elements to the running of Crafty Fox Market and this blog is one which has a lot of potential but doesn't see as much action as it deserves. I'm not a confident blogger and as a result often spend a long time putting posts together. Not being a technical person, I tend to find that I spend far too long fiddling around with photos and placing text on the page. 

With the aim of shaking things up a bit, I recently signed up to the 'Blogging Your Way' course  run by Holly Becker of Decor8 fame. It's a self-paced online course with students taking part from all over the world. So far, topics covered have included 'The Importance of Being Authentic' and 'Blogging Trends'.  Holly uses a variety of formats including articles, podcasts and videocasts. This keeps it interesting and makes it enjoyable to learn.  I'm finding it really thought-provoking and hopefully you will notice an improvement in both quality and quantity of blog posts as a result.  The course lasts for 4 weeks so I will report back again at the end. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Jimbobart Exhibition at Wolf & Badger

Last week, we went on an outing to the launch of an exhibition by our very own Jimbobart, who was showing his work alongside Phoebe Richardson. It was at Wolf and Badger in Mayfair as part of Vogue Fashion's Night Out. There was a real buzz in the area as lots of venues were hosting events on the same evening.
Jimbobart next to 'Mrs Spring Fox' 
Jimbobart produces new artwork for each Crafty Fox Market.  Several of these featured in the exhibition and proved particularly popular with guests.  It was great to see the latest 'DJ Crafty Fox and MC Badger' artwork which will feature on the poster for our forthcoming Christmas Markets. It was appropriately hung next to the glamorous DJ!
Check out Mr Bear - he featured on the flyer for the exhibition. Amazingly, this piece and a number of others produced specifically for this exhibition, were drawn using a scraperboard. You can view the latest work on Jimbobart's website.

 It was a special night for us as it was baby Rían's first big night out!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Applications Open for Christmas Markets

Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th December 2012
The Dogstar, Brixton, SW9
11am - 5pm

Illustration by Jimbobart

Apply for a Stall
We are delighted to announce that The Crafty Fox Market will be returning to The Dogstar, 
Brixton for the third year running this December. 

Applications are now open for stall holders, closing on Monday 17th September. 
To apply for a space, please fill in the application form

Guest Curators
Crafty Fox is excited and honoured to be working with some talented guest curators for the Christmas markets.  Emy runs Brixi in Brixton Village, described as "a curiosity-style shop that displays a mix of old and new." Perri Lewis is a craft writer for the Guardian and author of "Material World: The Modern Craft Bible- a new book due for release this November.   
They will be helping us in the difficult task of selecting stallholders for the market.

Look out for further details on our twitter and facebook over the coming weeks on Twitter and Facebook

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Christmas Market Dates & New Arrival

We are delighted to confirm the dates for our 2012 Christmas Markets at the Dogstar, Brixton (London, SW9).

Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th December

This will be our 3rd Christmas at the Dogstar. Last year saw over 3000 visitors at our Christmas event. If you haven't been to The Crafty Fox Market before, here is what you can expect:
  • a hand-selected range of around 40 different designer makers on each day 
  • an amazing array of handmade/vintage products
  • plenty of hands-on workshops
  • a pop up tea room
  • a free gift-wrapping service
  • a fun atmosphere with DJ's spinning throughout

Kerry from Seventy Tree at Crafty Fox Market

Jimbobart does the Crafty Fox artwork.  We love his latest pic of Crafty Fox on the decks.

Trader applications are open until Monday 17th September.
Sign up to our mailing list if you would like to keep up to date with us.

Local Brixton designer Lucy Loves This says, "Crafty Fox has a unique atmosphere and is always well promoted.  Taking part worked out really well for me and I would recommend it to anyone".

If you are interested in running workshops or any other form of partnership for this event, please contact us by email.

In other news.....
We are delighted to announce the arrival of our little cub! Our baby Rían was born on 27th June and he's been keeping us very busy here at Crafty Fox HQ.

He loves his little fox cub outfit!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Jimbobart at Clerkenwell Design Week

We very much enjoyed our visit to Clerkenwell Design Week last night. There was such a buzz in the area and lots of interesting things to look at. When we arrived at the amazing Farmiloe building, we made a bee-line for Etsy's space where Crafty Fox artist Jimbobart had been busy doing a 'live-draw' of a bear in the bath. As you can see below, he had made really good progress and Mr Bear was looking very comfy! It was good to see so many people coming to check out Etsy's selection of talented illustrators which included Jamie Milk and Julia Pott

Jimbobart's amazing 'bear in the bath' installation

The Etsy UK area spotted from outside the Farmiloe Building in Clerkenwell

Me with bump and the girls from Etsy

This stunning fox caught our eye along with some beautifully made furniture from Young & Norgate

If you missed Clerkenwell Design week this time, I can highly recommend a visit next year. It's a free event with lots to discover. I only wish we had more time to check out more of the exhibitions.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Fox Cub

Image via Silviu Cucerzan on Flickr

The Crafty Fox has been a little bit quiet since our Spring Market back in March.  As some of you may have already noticed then, we are expecting our own little cub, due at the end of June.  

We will be focusing on our new arrival over the Summer but will be up and running again with some fantastic Crafty Fox Christmas Markets in December.   These will take place at our usual den at the Dogstar in the heart of Brixton.  We are still working on the exact dates but will let you know as soon as possible.

 The call for stall holders will go out in September via our mailing list so if you are interested in a stall, please sign up now. You will find the sign-up box on the right hand sidebar of this blog.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Jimbobart's Lacoste Commission hits the shops!

We were delighted to hear the news that Jimbobart's brilliant commission for Lacoste has finally hit the shops. His quirky range of hand-drawn ceramics and prints are always super popular at Crafty Fox. You will find this toothy creation on a range of t-shirts in the Lacoste shop.

Original artwork by Jimbobart

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Spring Market Round Up

We had a brilliant time last weekend at our Spring Market in the Dogstar, Brixton. We welcomed over 2300 visitors through the doors over the weekend. All our designer makers did a fantastic job with their stalls and the hands-on activities proved popular.

First Floor Stalls & Tea-Room

6 year old Jamie FJ with his 40p portrait booth

Downstairs Market in full flow

The girls from Boom Nails hard at work

Wil's Origami Fox Workshop
Thank you to Martha Love for the photos. More to come soon on our facebook page.