Craft Fair: Renegade Craft Fair, London
Reviewer: Claire Munday from Folksy Shop Beetle Cherry
Dates: 9th and 10th November 2013
Venue: Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane
Cost of stall: £125 for half a stall (which was actually nearly the size of a full table at other fairs I’ve done) for both days, plus a bit extra for the table and chair .
Entrance fee: free
Crowd: Groups of women, young couples and foreign tourists.
Footfall: No idea of numbers, but incredibly busy from opening on Saturday. Slightly quieter once it was dark and on Sunday.
Organisation: It ran very smoothly, and seemed very organised.
Sales: The highest I’ve ever taken at a craft fair.
Would you do it again? Yes definitely, if I can get accepted!
I would never have dreamed of applying to Renegade – I always found the standard of amazing sellers a bit too overwhelming! But when Folksy asked if I would like to go as one of their 12 Folksy Selected makers, I was on board immediately. I was still overwhelmed by the other sellers while I was setting up my stall, and to be very honest I had a bit of a freak out on the phone to my mum when I popped out to get tea just before the doors opened.
But at 10.30am a large crowd filtered through the door (and it kept on coming), I’d made my first sale by 10.40am and I was just too damn busy to be scared. Suddenly it had become the best craft fair ever! I realised I knew tonnes of people there, I met other sellers I’ve stalked online, made new friends, spoke with some great customers and sold a whole load of stuff. I went home on the Saturday night absolutely buzzing (and with a fairly large amount of cash in my bag), looking forward to getting back there on Sunday.
My Beetle Cherry stall
The venue on Brick Lane was a large old warehouse, so it meant that both sellers and customers had lots of space. There were no congested areas where people couldn’t get round, so browsing was easy and relaxing, and I’m pretty sure some people stayed for the entire day.
There was also an area for crafty workshops (sadly no cafe, which seemed a shame) which always makes for a great atmosphere. There was a good mix of people coming in: the east London trendy types, students and other artists, as well as a whole host of foreign tourists and visitors.
The entire weekend seemed very well organised. Renegade had obviously done a lot of online marketing and many customers said they had come last year and had made an effort to check the date for this year. I did feel that the marketing and signage on Brick Lane itself wasn’t great, the room we were in was up quite a lot of stairs and hidden away (although with lots of signs in the building itself), so a few more posters or big banners might have pulled more people in, especially on Sunday when it was a bit quieter. But despite that, all the organisers were very friendly and I even got a beautiful Renegade screen print for free, which is now up on the wall in my studio!
Sales-wise I was over the moon, and it seemed most other sellers were equally happy with how the weekend went. I sold some of everything in my range, but in particular a lot of the smaller pieces such as brooches and my papercut packs. I’ve learned from doing craft fairs that it’s good to have both expensive and cheaper things for sale so as to reach as many different types of customer as possible!
I will definitely be applying again next year, and fingers crossed I get in. It was amazing being at such a big and well-known craft fair in London, although being surrounded for two days by so much beautiful handmade stuff, I did have to treat myself to quite a few things!
Claire Munday sells on Folksy as Beetle Cherry
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