Renegade Craft Fair: tips for success from the makers (no. 3)

kathryn edwards, renegade craft fair, illustration, best bits, stalls, London, handmade

Renegade Craft Fair, London, RCF London 2013


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 final slice, from Kathryn Edwards, Sam Pierpoint, Candice Lau of Kuku Big Bag and Laura Lane

“I am Kathryn Edwards, illustrator and writer. My work features comedic elements from general conversations – unique moments I’ve been nosy enough to observe and sentimental experiences shared with friends and loved ones. A love of vintage and ditsy printed textiles, which I source from every new city I visit around the world, can be seen clearly throughout my illustrations. Finding that perfect gift can be a minefield. I try to create products that connect an individual to their own experiences, as I feel this makes for a much more personalised gift.”

What have you learned about making and selling that you wish you’d known at the start?”
“While creating my own work I’ve learned that you get out of it exactly what you put in. If you choose to sell online it takes a lot of patience and success doesn’t just happen overnight. In order to promote your work you need: good branding, a strong online presence, and external retailers to sell your work. Oh, and of course you need a stall at a reputable craft fair.”  

kathryn edwards, renegade craft fair, illustration, best bits, stalls, London, handmadePlease Don’t Take My Bike Print, £10, and Flying Ducks by I Am Kathryn Edwards on Folksy 

“Hello, I’m an illustrator and designer based in Southampton and I create custom hand-illustrated shoes for people who want that extra personal touch to their footwear. My work ranges from intricate monochrome line drawings used on my shoe range to bright and colourful 3d paper cut illustrations which I use for my range of prints, greetings cards, notebooks and postcards.”

What have you learned about making and selling that you wish you’d known at the start?
“I’m still learning – it’s definitely an ongoing thing! It’s really important to know your market and to make sure that you’ve done lots of research before spending time and money on making your products. But most of all, make sure you have fun and it will show in your work!” 

Sam Pierpoint, handpainted shoes, illustration, illustrated shoes, Renegade Craft Fair, London 2103Hand-painted Loco Shoes, £45, by Sam Pierpoint on Folksy

“Kuku Big Bag is a brand of handcrafted, modern and functional design leather accessories, satchels, backpacks and bicycle panniers. They are designed for creative professionals who want quality, traditionally made, functional bespoke bags and accessories that are aesthetically refined to suit the emerging mobile city lifestyle – they can be taken on a bike or scooter easily without compromising style. I recently spent time in the Netherlands, and was highly influenced by the Dutch creative culture, their love for functional design and most important of all, their products that are designed around their mobile, cycling culture.”

What have you learned about making and selling that you wish you’d known at the start?
“One of the most important things I have learned over the past year since the start up of Kuku Big Bag is to not be afraid to ask for help and outsource parts of your business to others who are experts. That’s not to say I have a team of people working for me, but I have established connections and friendships with people who are willing to help me make Kuku Big Bag a success. They can see my passion and love for designing and making, but they also know that I am rather rubbish at the business side of starting a fashion label. I have been fortunate enough to not always have to ask, but to have been offered help and advise from really generous people.”

 Kuku Big Bags, Folksy, Renegade Craft Fair, London craft, UK Handmade, handmade leather bags, cycle bags handmade, shoulder bags hand crafter, leather bright, yellow bag,Right: The Hendrick Ochre Leather Tote Bag, £120, by Kuku Big Bag on Folksy


“I live and work on a smallholding in Cornwall. I work mainly within ceramics, using porcelain and stoneware clays. My work is inspired by narratives, usually my surroundings, the environment or social issues – nearly all of my work has evolved from these. My most recent collection of work is called ‘Eyes of Arctic Ice’ and it’s all about climate change in the far north.”

What have you learned about making and selling that you wish you’d known at the start?
“One of the things I’ve learned is that it helps to have a range of products at various price levels. You need a bread-and-butter range: the things that keep you ticking over while you work on something exciting and new. It’s also good to have pocket-money items that will engage you with people and may lead to future sales. And then you need a more expensive range. Also, make sure you do your costings! Be aware of your costs, your wholesale pricing and your retail pricing. Knowing these details mean that when people ask you to supply them with work, you have all this info to hand and you come across as professional.”

Laura Lane ceramics, Renegade Craft Fair, RCF London 2103, Folksy SelectedInuktitut Pot, £120, and Polar Bear Vase, £72, by Laura Lane 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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