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The Joy of Craft Fairs

TWO WEEKS off work started with helping my wonderfully talented, wood turning father-in-law setting up at his local Craft Fair in Logiealmond. I have been 'helping' him for about twenty years, mostly with supplying visits from grand-children and occasionally minding the stall while he goes and stretches his legs. At the age of 85, the assistance is a bit more meaningful, but it's just as enjoyable. Setting up my wee parallel sterling silver jewellery business has been focused on the online shop, SEO and trying to take a half decent photograph (not as easy as it should be, apparently) but helping out this weekend reminded me of how much I love interacting with people, and the whole vibe of lots of creative people, all in the same space, hoping for a decent number of sales is wonderful. As I had set up on one little corner of my father-in-laws table, covered in beautiful oak and elm pieces due to a last minute burst of bravery, I was happy just to be there, drinking coffee and nibbling cake.

Three silver rings and a citrine necklace in presentation boxes on a wooden plate
Jewellery made to look good by beautiful wood

Last night I picked out the four pieces I had hallmarked, gave them a bit of a buff and wondered how best to present them. I have a load of costume jewellery as well, but had given no thought to how to display it, so stuck with my silver pieces. If you are selling hallmarked precious metal, you should display the hallmarking information, and suddenly realised I hadn't replaced the old printer (dust collector) we had lobbed out six months ago. It was a touch...janky...but I repurposed the inkless package label printer to get the information printed out reasonably clearly (mental note to get it made up properly) and in a fit of late night inspiration, used the Wix QR code maker to print off a few codes to advertise the website. I was in danger of becoming organised!

The internet is great but gaining traction and advertising your wares is not a simple task unless you are willing to shell out but interacting with people and talking about your work is not to be underestimated. For many, that can be uncomfortable, and it hasn't always been my go-to approach, but showing your passion and learning from others is worth it. We're all a curious combination of our parents and, in my case, I have inherited my father's ability to be at ease making small talk, but also my mother's tendency to severely doubt my ability or worth. It's a fascinating combination that's taken me to nearly the age of 50 to make sense of, but I think I'm getting there. One thing is for certain, today has encouraged me to pay a lot more attention to the worth of craft fairs.

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