My Handmade Fair 2015...

Thursday, October 1, 2015
Hi everyone,

This is a bit of a long one, so go grab a cuppa and get comfy!

As per usual- I'm late on my blogging! OOPS! But better late than never, so here goes. I'm going to write about my Handmade Fair 2015 experience. It was the second year for both me and the fair, and once again I came away on a complete high.

There's something about being somewhere where you're appreciated that makes all the difference. As you know I don't do a huge amount of fairs, I generally rely on my online and catalogue orders throughout the year. But I am really enjoying going to a few larger fairs. Some fairs are all the same, the small purchases to a few people, and going home feeling pooey! And then there are others where people assume I buy everything in from abroad-WHAT!?
The Handmade Fair is different. Everyone there, whether they craft or not, appreciates the hard work you've put in. Kind comments mean the world, but this year some of you made me shed a tear. It's very overwhelming when more than one person says "I can see how hard you've worked, you should be very proud of yourself". I'm not trying to say 'Oh look at me- everyone loves me' by the way. I just want to express how much it means to me when you say nice things.

Being self employed and running my own business is probably the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I'm only 24 and for the last 4 and a half years I've been working my socks off. Every year is different, and every year comes with new challenges. When you come and say hi, or tell me you've seen me at another show, or you read this blog, or you've read about me in a magazine, I cannot tell you how much it makes all the hard work worth while...

Anyway sorry for that emotional essay. Back to the fair!

Here's me on the first day! All ready and raring to go! I was really pleased with the finished stand. And a huge thank you to my beautiful friend Carmen for designing the whole thing!

I was so excited about launching my new fabric range! And thank you so much for your feedback. They are on their way right now, and should hopefully be available in a couple weeks. I haven't ordered the slightly modern geometric design though, as I feel it needs more work. But the other 3 are coming soon. YEY!

I got to meet the lovely Kirstie Allsopp again this year, she is always such a hoot! And she loved my Handmade Fair Tribute cushion. As did many of you, so thank you for all of you who took photos of it and raved about it online.

Here are some close ups if you didn't get to see it properly. There were a few of you who were interested in buying it-which took me completely by surprise. But I have still got it and have permission from the lovely events team now, so if you want it- Contact me.

Right now onto lovely people...

There are so many lovely, lovely crafty people whom I met at the fair. So sorry if I don't mention you all! But here are a few new friends.
Firstly Tilly Walnes and the Tilly and the Buttons Team! They were SO happy and friendly- love them all! Georgie from The Paper Hare, is now my new favourite illustrator. I've made a list of things I NEED to buy for Christmas Pressies (not all for me promise!). Izzi and Lara from Izzi Rainey, who brightened up my life with laughs, smiles and their beautiful wares! (Plus I think mum got me something from them for Christmas as I saw a cheeky bag hidden in the boot when we left! SHHHHH!) My neighbour Lou Hopper, who's South African printed wares have made me want to re-decorate my whole house! My other neighbour Hannah from Handcrafted by Me, who was so interesting to talk to and an amazing business woman! Gemma from The Silver Shed, who's gorgeous tiny silver jewellery is to die for! Lois from Punto Belle, who's colourful bags and accessories were a true show gem. Plus visit her blog for her 'fair tribute' video featuring yours truly.
Bloggers Laydey Katabella and Emma from the PR Mummy who both loved my cushion. Visit Laydey Katabella to see my cushion featured in her blog. Ashley from Lazy Daisy Jones who loved the little Alice in Wonderland brooches I made for the press bags. Lastly Charlie, aka The Savvy Crafter and editor of Simply Sewing Magazine. Who loved my Handmade Fair cushion so much she featured it on the magazine's instagram page! *HUGE SMILES* You all made the fair amazing and I'm looking forward to seeing you again soon!

Overall my experience of the show was hugely positive. I've made loads of new friends, met new customers and have had a few trade customers too! I'll be there again next year in the same place, so make sure you get your tickets. (too soon?)

Thank you to the Brand Events Team for listening to all our feedback from last year's fair and making this year's an amazing one. Mum and I loved every minute. Huge thanks also to my amazing Mum who was with me every day- got me food, water and let me have the occasional break.

There's so much to look forward to in the coming months. The biggest being receiving my new fabrics in a couple weeks. I'm planning loads of new products soon, so keep your eyes peeled. I've been busy updating the website when I can, so there's new products for Christmas being added and my new card range will be on there soon.

Thanks again to all of you who have supported me. Whether you've bought Jessalli wares, read this blog, follow me on social media- it all keeps me going, keeps my creativeness flowing and makes me appreciate how lucky I am to have my dream job!

Happy Handmade everyone! (Sorry if your tea is cold now!)

Over and out.... x

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