From Online Store To Craft Fairs - How Do We Do It?
Bearded Seagull are hitting the road again. It's Craft Fair Time!
Unfortunately summer is coming to an end but all is not lost - we still have one more summer craft fair in our diary, happening this Sunday (8th September) at High Legh Village Hall, Cheshire, from 1 - 4:30pm.
High Legh again!? Why do you keep popping up there?
We only started this little business a few months ago. We often have to remind ourselves of that fact, as it feels like much longer!
Back when we were ordering our first print runs, and proudly unwrapping our brand new business cards, we were very lucky to be handed a great opportunity to set up our first stall at High Legh Village Hall.
Our hosts, the High Legh Bowling Club, took a big punt on us. They were putting a lot of trust in us having a worthwhile offering to bring to the table, literally.
We were fresh out of the gate with no experience or reviews. They hadn't seen our products but, as Graham is a member of their team, they were familiar with the quality of his art.
The Village Hall had purchased his original watercolour painting, depicting the building during a Sunday afternoon tea.
Having mounted it, pride of place, on the hall's wall, the locals were keen to have the opportunity to buy cards and prints of the image too.
We jumped at the opportunity and decided to expand the print run order to be a bit more diverse than one image!
Aware we had a steep learning curve ahead of us, we spent an evening preparing all of our signs, stock taking and packaging up all the bits and bobs we needed for the stall.
So, with a mixture of excited anticipation and a few butterflies, we drove from Nottingham up to Cheshire, ready for our first physical unveiling of the Bearded Seagull brand and our product range.
Despite only having a tiny space in the corner of the room, we made an impact from the moment we started to set up. It was clear we were going to get plenty of intrigued walk-bys and furtive glances, sussing out the new guys on the block.
Throughout that afternoon we had a near constant trickle of interest and sales. We started to restock some designs in our displays and the coin tin began to rattle, more and more.
By 4:30pm the cakes had gone and the efficient clean up operation had begun around us. Keen to hit the road and get home, we did a quick stock take, counted up our takings, high-fived each other and repacked the car, happy in the knowledge that we had had a successful first outing.
People beyond our friends and family had responded positively to our brand and products, the outcome we had hoped for but not dared to assume would happen.
Our relationship with High Legh has evolved from there, with follow up invites to attend more events popping up during the consequent summer months.
Kill Two Birds With One Stone
Not only do these events provide us with a great opportunity to reach our customers and share our brand in person, but it also gives all of us, the Bearded Seagull team, a chance to meet up.
Those of you who read our previous post, To Pin Or Not To Pin? - The Start Up Business Dilemma, will be familiar with our process for photographing Graham's latest paintings.
Being a brand that is split geographically between Warrington and Nottingham, makes things more complicated.
Having chances to physically meet and update our photographic galleries and product ranges are crucial to the brand's growth and continued success.
We find it exciting to see the latest artworks in person for the first time, formulating plans for adding them to the range and showing them off to their best.
Graham can paint at an impressive speed! Every time Imogen appears with her camera kit there are at least a couple of brand new canvases waiting in line to be captured!
What's in Store? ... New Card Designs + A New Brand!
Sadly, the village's popular afternoon teas season is now drawing to the end for 2019, which means our presence at the Village Hall will also be quietening down for the winter hibernation.
Do not fear though, the clocks haven't gone back yet, the remnants of summer live on and we have one last stall stint before the cold weather takes!
Alongside revealing lots of beautiful new card designs (a few feature snow but don't worry, we won't say the C word yet!), we also have a new brand making its Bearded Seagull stall debut.
Excitingly Jo, our co-founder and master of the sewing machine, has been very busy recently, fashioning some lovely, hand-sewn creations especially for this event.
Her first collection of hand-sewn bags from her brand, Watson Designs, will be unveiled on Sunday.
If you are the type of person who likes to get ahead of the winter panic (before the C word) and buy truly unique and quality gifts, Jo's pretty bags are definitely worth checking out.
Unsurprisingly, due to their hand-sewn nature, we only have limited stock. Be sure to get in there first for the best choice, as no two bags are the same.
As well as supporting our budding business you will also be supporting another great cause - we donate 10% of our takings to our wonderful hosts, High Legh Bowling Club. The money raised goes towards maintaining the club, keeping it open and accessible to lots of locals and visiting teams.
What? High Legh Village Hall's Afternoon Tea & Stalls
Where? High Legh Village Hall, Cheshire (Sat Nav: WA16 6LR)
When? 1pm - 4:30pm Sunday 8th September 2019
Why? Lots of delicious cakes, tea, books, tombola...oh and our wonderful stall of goodies ;)
Who? All are welcome, the more the merrier!
See you there!
Imogen & Jo x
PS This also means we are available to bring Bearded Seagull's stall to other events over the coming months. Would you like us to appear at your event? If so, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us on any of our social media accounts. We would love to hear from you :)
We are Bearded Seagull Arts & Crafts Collective - a group of artists and crafters who have joined together to share and promote the products we make, selling a few along the way and inspiring others as we go.
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