Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Snowy Easter Market

We had a wonderful time at our Easter Markets last weekend. It's hard to believe that our Easter Markets in 2012 fell on one of the hottest weekends of the year, while in 2013 we encountered snow and freezing temperatures! Here's a little taster of what we got up to...

Produced by Think Tall Films, filmed and edited by Nurhak Karayol

There are some lovely reports around the web written by visitors to the market. Some of our favourites are by Georgina Giles, AgsiebSelf Packaging and Here's One I Made Earlier.

There are a selection of photos on our facebook page as well.

A massive THANK YOU to all who made our Easter Markets such a fantastic success. Thanks to all the shoppers who braved the snow, the talented traders who put so much effort into their stalls, the wonderful staff at The Dogstar & the journalists and bloggers who helped us with promotion. Thanks also to our esteemed guest curators, Ellie Tennant and Sian Meades. Not forgetting our cast of DJ's, The Tea's Knees with their yummy cakes, Mr Wingate with his amazing screen-printing workshop and Jimbobart for a very handsome Easter Fox. Special mention goes to 7 yr old Jamie FJ who had queues all day on Sunday at his 40p portrait booth and his brother Louis who helped welcome guests at the door. Thanks also to our partners at Intuit UK, Self Packaging, Etsy, Mollie Makes & Last but by no means least, huge hugs and much love to ALL our supportive friends who worked behind the scenes moving tables, taking photos, babysitting, designing & putting up posters...the list goes on - we couldn't do it without you. x x x

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Easter Markets - This Weekend

There is much excitement at Crafty Fox HQ as we look forward to our Easter Markets this weekend at The Dogstar, Brixton. There's lots to explore so get there early and get involved. The doors open at 11am (until 5pm) with free Etsy tote bags for the first 25 on each day.

Jimbobart's stall - photo by Rodography

The 80+ Stall-holders were selected from hundreds of entrants by our guest curators - Sian Meades (founding editor of Domestic Sluttery) and Ellie Tennant (Design Journalist). Over 60% of traders are new to Crafty Fox Market and there is a wealth of creative talent to explore.

 If you see something you like, make sure you snap it up as it's all change on Sunday when a whole new cast of designers arrive to transform the Dogstar. Check out the listings for Saturday & Sunday and start planning your shopping.

Mr Wingate - photo by Marta Loves

A visit to The Crafty Fox Market involves much more than just shopping! Get yourself a drink then pay a visit to the top floor where you will find Mr Wingate (you can call him Sam!) and his brilliant screen-printing workshop. There's no need to book and it only costs £5 - you can walk away with your own design on a tote bag or tea towel, neatly packed up in a cute box from our friends at Self-Packaging

Also on the top floor, take a moment to browse the vintage treasures uncovered by Blonde Fox Vintage. They will be setting up a whole vintage emporium of goodies. 

The Tea's Knees - photo by Rodography
We are delighted to welcome The Tea's Knees back once again with their delicious array of home baked cakes and scones. Get yours served up with a cup of loose leaf tea and shake off the cobwebs from the night before. 

Cyndi from Man vs Wife - photo by Rodography
Every market needs a good soundtrack and we are very fortunate to have a whole line-up of DJ's for your listening pleasure over the weekend. Listen out for eclectic mixes from Mhardi, Snacktapus, D'arcy, Tom, Librarians Wanted and Hwen Rascale. Look out for a new Crafty Fox Easter Market mixtape on Soundcloud in the next few weeks. 

Jamie FJ's 40p portraits are a hit
We've also heard a rumour that Jamie Ferguson Jones will be putting in an appearance with his 40p portrait booth. Jamie (now aged 7) has shared his talents with us several times at the market and often draws crowds of fans. 

With thanks to our partners: Intuit Pay, Self Packaging, Mollie Makes,, and of course the wonderful staff at The Dogstar

Entry is free and children are welcome - there's even a dedicated area for buggy parking! 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

In Business: Using Craft Fairs as a Promotional Tool

Sophie, from Oh My Clumsy Heart - captured by Jack Spicer Adams
Craft fairs are not only an excellent means of selling your wares, but also provide an opportunity for you to promote your brand and connect with shoppers. 

Sophie from Oh My Clumsy Heart makes jewellery. She shares her experience of promoting her brand through craft fairs.

Make it as easy as possible for people to keep in touch with you. Order business cards and offer them to everyone who visits your stall.  Give one to every person who makes a purchase – it helps remind them WHO they purchased their item from and encourages them to revisit your shop online. 

Create a mailing list - it’s a great way of building an audience of people who love your work, enabling you to directly and specifically talk to them.  Make a simple print out to put on your table at the craft fair (if you don’t have time a notepad will do and it’s definitely better than nothing) – encourage them to join by providing a good incentive (eg. 10% discount).  After the craft fair, add these names to your mailing list and remember to send regular newsletters letting them know what you’re up to. 

Create a social media presence and take the time to make sure all the details are up-to-date.  People will be looking at your site BEFORE and AFTER the fair – making sure everything is relevant, correct and working is extremely important.

Keep your stall consistent and in-line with the branding of your shop.  Use the same or similar colour palettes and retain familiarity by running it throughout everything used on your stall.  You want people to instantly recognise you and what you make by providing visual clues.

Talk to everyone.  People will want to know who you are, what you make, and how you make it.  Prepare yourself to answer a lot of questions... but also to ask them.  Network with friendly faces, ask questions of fellow sellers and be approachable to customers.  Share and exchange information – whether it’s business details or friendly advice.  It’s really useful to network; making friends and connections is what helps a business stay successful.

This ties in with the previous two points and applies to everything you do, ever.  Bringing someone with you to help out on a stall is always advisable but inviting a vivacious, outgoing person is a definite bonus.  If you’re a little nervous or an introvert, having someone there who finds talking to strangers comes naturally really does relieve the pressure.  If possible, work at your craft on your table – people are really interested in seeing firsthand the process of the items on display being made.  It encourages interaction and the more interaction, the more memorable you will be.  

Oh My Clumsy Heart will be at The Crafty Fox Market on Sunday 24th March

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Working from home: A survival guide by 'Juan is Dead'

There are many wonderful things about running a craft business from your home. Who would say no to a few extra minutes in bed and missing the rush hour crush? Yet being the social, creative beings we are, it can certainly have it's harder times too. Leah, has been running her company, Juan is Dead, for a year and a half from her home studio in SE London, here's her survival guide.

The Nitty Gritty Practical Stuff
  • ·Write a list for the next day the night before- they genuinely work.
  •  If you are going to be haunted by the everyday household chores then have a system - tackle it all while you have your breakfast or at 5pm before any witnesses get home. 
  •  Post and packaging. It may seem a big spend at the start but get this kind of thing sorted and you'll save yourself loads of time and money.
  • Do a big food shop. For some unknown reason this is actually a hard tip to follow! But on the weeks I do, I love it- nice fruit and veg, good snacks.  Everything I need to keep me pumped for the whole day.

Keeping Sane
  •  People People People :) Find those magical beings! Everyone needs a break in their working day so get on your phone, harass friends on their lunch break, skype a fellow designer maker while you work or find an elderly relative you can pin down for a chat. 
  • For obvious reasons, never turn on day time telly, but it's a different rule for music. The good thing about making stuff is you can do it whilst being entertained.  The radio, Spotify, Last FM, audio books, iplayer, old dvd's... these are all your friends if they help you stay in the making zone.  

Leah's desk

Getting Your Products Out There
  •  So we've all probably had jobs in the past that have meant we've done things we really didn't want to - it might be a presentation to a room full of people or ringing the scary woman in HR. Every once in a while I find it useful to pretend I still have a strict boss who makes me do the scary stuff.  Maybe it's going into a shop to see if they will sell your greeting cards or ringing up a magazine for a name to send your press release to.  Either way, you better do it, otherwise you're gonna get the sack, you hear me!
  • ·Nothing beats getting out in the real world and meeting like-minded people.  Markets can be a bit daunting at first, but most people are probably in the same boat as you. Getting customer interaction and feedback on your products is invaluable.  Try not to be too disheartened if you have a day of bad sales, have plenty of business cards and treat it as a marketing opportunity, you don't know what might come back to you in 6 months time. 

Commission out of the blue from Washington
      The Nice Boss (This is also you!)
  •  Sometimes all this feels like an uphill struggle so it's important to believe in yourself and keep going. Sow the seeds, especially on the internet.  It is a magical place and who knows what seed will grow into a tree. Do whatever helps you stay positive - meditate or go for a run, plant those seeds and wait for the magic to happen.
  • ·You are one person, you are not Superman.  You can only do so much in a day. Being flexible will help you cope with whatever the day throws at you. Some days it just ain't happening.  You can keep trying and be thoroughly depressed by everything you haven't achieved by the end of the day. Or you can give yourself the day off, because you can :) Watch a film, go meet a friend and see an exhibition.  Chances are, you'll feel much more up for it the next day.
          Leah will be selling her creations at the on the Sunday (24th March) at our forthcoming Easter Markets.