Wednesday, 30 March 2011

The first Brighton Craftaganza. Papped.

All the way back in January, I disclosed an on-going project I had been working on which came in the shape of a craft market named Brighton Craftaganza. Six months of planning and organising finally came to fruitition this Saturday when the first Craftaganza event was held at a deconsecrated church/turned art gallery called Fabrica in Brighton, UK.

Personally, I have never organised anything on this scale before. I've had stalls at various handmade markets and craft fairs before, but I didn't have any idea what it would entail to actually sort one out from scratch. The day itself was totally awesome, and I enjoyed it so much. I really want to share with y'all, my lovely blog readers, some of my favourite images and bits from the day.

We started the day at about 8am with a bare, chilly hall and a massive pile of trestle tables. Lisa, Steph and myself had some wonderful helpers which came in the form of our partners (including the illustrious Patty, of course, who was also Official Photographer for the day) and two lovely volunteers, Laura and Rehannon. I can't thank these people enough, especially Laura and Rehannon who were so sweet and funny, they both even came along with homemade cakes! Got to love that.

We decorated the hall with balloons and bunting (nearly 40 metres may I add, made by my own fair hands from fabric scraps I got from work) and the potentially dreary church hall looked Spring-like and beautiful. It's such an awesome space, insanely high ceiling with sun light streaming down (if the sun chooses to shead some that day).

All the sellers, of which there were about thirty one, including three food stalls, dribbled in over the next couple of hours and set up their wares. Then all of a sudden, BLAM!, it was 11am and time for the doors to open. I shared a stall with this lovely lady....

My good friend, the amazingly talented Michelle from Naught Little Pony! I had some skirts and bags on sale, and Michelle had an incredible array of brooches, necklaces, cushions and more. It was so nice to spend time with her, as well as meeting and chatting with almost all the other sellers (the ones in our stall's vacinity at least).

I didn't get as 'spendy' as I could easily have done (I left that to Lisa, who seemed to be on a mission to by something from each stall!), but Patty and I did get an incredible print and some greetings cards. When choosing which sellers' applications to accept, Lisa, Steph and I really tried to reach for a wide variety of products with a decent level of quality and a range of approaches to make this market as inclusive as possible. I think we managed that well, there were so many really individual and unique products that even the least craft-friendly shopper would have been hard pushed not to find anything that appealed to them.

Look! It looks like a real craft market doesn't it?!


Meeting the other stalls holders was a total high point, as well as chatting with some of the steady flow of punters and visitors who came through our doors. A special shout-out goes to a lovely lady called Jenny (I think it was Jenny, I'm so bad with names, sorry!) from Rustington who introduced herself and told me she reads my blog! Email me and we'll go for a bevvie!

It was hard to tell from behind the stall, and because I spent most of the day involved in conversation and sausage rolls, but the whole thing seemed to go smoothly and be well attended. Some stall holders (including myself) didn't make as much cash as others, but so far the feedback from all the stall holders has been really positive.

Steph, Lisa and myself (pictured above) were actually pretty sad when the day came to a close. We've now got quite a lot of analysising, thinking and discussing to do to figure out the next step for this formidable trio and the Brighton Craftaganza 'brand'. We definately want to organise more markets but we have other exciting ideas in the pipe line too. Watch this space.... (or this space!)

16 comments:

Marie said...

Wow Zoe, what a huge event to have organised! You must be very proud! Looks like the day was a huge success, with gorgeous stalls!

Kate at M is for make said...

Well done on all your hard work. I was brilliant, I popped in late in the day and it was packed, I was so impressed, can't wait for the next one!

KC said...

Congratulations! It looks like a very successful and fun event--you must be very proud!

Darci said...

I adore craft fairs and am totally sad that I'm too far away to attend!

Well done, tho! I'm sure this was quite a large undertaking. You should be totally proud for pulling it off!

Sarah said...

MARVELLOUS!! What a fantastic event. How I wish I weren't an ocean away so I could have gone. Well done you for your tons of hard work and effort. :)

Alexandra Mason said...

So glad it went well! It looks great, well done xx

Corrine said...

Bravo on your big event. I know how much work and planning is involved in such a venture. It is scary and exciting at the same time. I would suggest that you do follow-up/outcome surveys with all your vendors. This will give you lots of information about the next event and what was good and what might need a tweek or two. Enjoy the afterglow for a while, you earned it!

Tilly said...

Wowzers! It looks amazing! I can't believe that was the first craft fair you've organised - it looks like it was so full, exciting, professional and full of gorgeous things. Well done you!

Jane said...

Wow, I'm so impressed, it looks like it was a fantastic event. Really wish I still lived in Brighton, I'd have been there like a shot. In fact it looks so good I'll definitely make a special trip for the next one. What an amazing achievement, well done. x

Carolyn said...

Congratulations that it all went well.
And thank you so much for organising Me-Made March! I enjoyed it a lot... and it was great to see what other me-makers have been up to!

Toria said...

Oh well done, it looks like an amazing day, congratulations!

Stevie said...

Well done Zoe I'm gutted I couldn't get there I have been after some individual prints and stuff for my new house! Nevermind If you organise the second I shall be there! x

Gabrielle said...

How did you manage that on top of MMM???? It looks like it was fun - but it must have taken a lot of organising too - well done!

Law said...

Hey Zoe,

I'm so glad it was such as a success. Am totally up for helping out next time too, especially if you throw in more sausage rolls!

Law xx

Zoe said...

Thanks y'all! I wish you all could have popped by!

@Corrine, thanks for the advice, that is indeed what we've done. We've emailed all the sellers with some questions to garner feedback and it's been really interesting to see how we could have made things better.

xxx

MrsC said...

I am looking at these older posts, love your blog! I drove through Brighton on the way to Rye in mid March, had I known such exciting things happen there I'd have gone! Maybe when we come back to the UK :) Great work, I know how much work such things can take! Love your scrappy bunting too, such a great touch.

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