Renegade Craft Fair: tips for success from the makers (no. 1)

hapuska, handmade headdress, feather headddress, Renegade crafts, Renegade London, Folksy Selected, RCF highlights, best bit, feather fascinator

Renegade London, RCF London 2013, craft fair, indie-craft, Folksy Selected

The Renegade Craft Fair might just be the biggest and best indie-craft fair in the world… and when it arrives in London this weekend (9-10 November) we’ll be there, along with 12 Folksy sellers who we’ve invited to be part of Folksy Selected. We asked the makers to tell us a little bit more about themselves, and also if there was anything they had learned about making and selling that they wished they’d known at the start.

Because we can’t squeeze all their knowledge and fabulousness into one blog post, we’ve split them into three. Here is your first slice, from Astrid WeigelSally Ayling, Georgia Robinson from Hapuska and Yan Chong from kekekaka

ASTRID WEIGEL
“Having trained and worked as a printed textile designer, I now work from my home in Scotland producing a range of hand-printed home accessories. I use both natural and abstract elements as my departure point to create a collection of items that combines my interests in bold, graphic woodcut/relief art, the craft of sewing, and, in particular, nature, giving a nod to mid-Twentieth Century design too. Once I’ve printed the fabric, I embellish the prints further by using a mix of techniques, such as hand or machine stitching, adding touches of colour by hand painting small areas here and there, all of which add an extra layer of interest to the prints.”

What have you learned about making and selling that you wish you’d known at the start?
“When I first started, I used to make the mistake of making things which required far too much work but wouldn’t necessarily give me the financial return for all the time spend on them; I had to learn to simplify things a little while still keeping that special something. As for selling online, I never realised how much self-promotion you have to do to just to get people looking at your shop.  It takes up quite a lot of time to keep up with social media, and it’s something that I still struggle with, being the shy, retiring type!”

Astrid Weigel, Folksy, Folksy Selected at Renegade, Renegade London, RCF LondonForest Trees, £30, by Astrid Weigel on Folksy

SALLY AYLING
“I am a jeweller inspired by British birds. My latest collection is influenced by the graphic qualities of field guide books and wildlife illustration. Using a wide range of materials and a bold use of colour, I have created a range of earrings, brooches necklaces and rings. I make all my own brooch pins and necklace clasps. I take great care and pride in producing pieces that have consistent quality throughout all their constituent parts. I am strongly influenced by the wildlife illustrator Charlie Harper and the jeweller Barbara Christie.”

What have you learned about making and selling that you wish you’d known at the start?
“Being rather shy and reticent, one important thing I’ve learned since starting to sell my own work is to be less scared of contacting new people. Everyone I’ve met in relationship to my business (gallery owners or people running fairs) has been incredibly helpful and friendly. Keeping this in mind when phoning or e-mailing people I haven’t met before is very useful.”

sally ayling, renegade craft fair, Renegade London, Folksy Selected, Cormorant necklace, £195, and Bluethroat Silver Stud Earrings, £24, by Sally Ayling on Folksy

GEORGIA ROBINSON / HAPUSKA
“I am Georgia and from my studio in Brighton I make unique headpieces, ranging from large-scale feather and textile headdresses to more subtle floral hair combs. At Renegade I will be also showcasing for the first time my brand new range of textile jewellery. I have a passion for textiles and I incorporate vintage silks, handmade lace, hand woven textiles as well as fabrics I have printed myself, working into the fabrics with threads and beads to create a vibrant, opulent medley of textures and colours.”

What have you learned about making and selling that you wish you’d known at the start?
“I really can’t put my finger on one magic lightbulb moment. Setting up your own handmade business is a very long, very hard learning curve, and each little mistake and each little success adds to your knowledge base. I suppose if I was able to go back a couple of years and give myself one piece of advice, it would be to not worry too much. Even if you can’t see the road ahead clearly, even if there are brambles in the way, just keep going. So long as you learn from your mistakes and don’t let them weigh you down, you will be fine.”

hapuska, handmade headdress, feather headddress, Renegade crafts, Renegade London, Folksy Selected, RCF highlights, best bit, feather fascinator

Flourish Feather Headdress, £226, and Flame Hair Comb, £32, both by Hapuska on Folksy

 

YAN CHONG / KEKEKAKA
“kekekaka is a collection of paper goods, accessories and fabric featuring our designs. We handmake cards, prints, brooches, cotton dolls, pillow cases and t-shirts. We like to share some ideas through the products and we hope people will enjoy it. Some of the products have socially relevant themes and some do not. Most of our characters are inspired by fables and our everyday surroundings. We’d like to make our art and design affordable and accessible.”

What have you learned about making and selling that you wish you’d known at the start?
“I wish I’d known more about the importance of social networking and online promotion.”

Renegade London best bits, Little Red Riding Hood doll, Keke KaKa, Folksy Selected, Red Riding Hood Mini Friend Doll, £8.50, and Lion Kanda Brooch, £7.50, by kekekaka on Folksy 

 

Folksy Selected will be at the The Renegade Craft Fair, in the Old Truman Brewery,  91 Brick Lane, London, E1 6QL. Entrance is free and Renegade is open from 11am-6pm on both days. 

 

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