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By knittykittybangbang, Apr 12 2015 03:07PM

First off I must say that I’m really bad at the aesthetics of display, this is definitely not going to be a ‘how to make your stall look fab’ post! If you want stall display inspiration just click over to Pinterest and there are literally thousands of pics to flick through. This post is going to be about practicality and basics, your style is entirely up to you.

If you want to have the best possible display, the only way to really do this is to set it out at home and practice. You can imagine things will look a certain way and in practice they look entirely different of don’t fit. Draw it out then practice laying it out before you go to your first event.

The biggest mistake people usually make is that they plan their display in a vacuum. They set out their ‘dream’ display and don’t take any of the practicalities of life and work into consideration. When planning your display for fairs and markets the first thing you should be thinking of is –

What are the limitations?

All events have largely immovable limitations on space and time and these will differ per area or event. These limitations will be things like –

• What space do I get?

• How long do I have to set up?

• How far will I have to carry items? Will I have any help?

• What is my transport situation?

• Do I need to own my own table?

• Will there be electricity available? If there is, will I need my electricals PAT tested?

• What restrictions are there on what/how I can display? (ie do I require a table cloth)

• Health and safety!

These limitations should form your display design rather than trying to force your design into the limitations.

Quick reality check – EVERYBODY would like more space, their back to a wall and electricity, so you aint all gonna get it! If you follow this guide, you should be able to stop desiring those things!

Let’s just think through the limitations above as to how they will inform your final design.

Do I need to own my own table?

I’m putting this first as it is the biggest variable that you can cheaply take completely out of the equation – whether you need to or not, buy your own table! Folding tables cost £20-£40 and solve the feeling of ‘what table am I going to be faced with’, and allow you to practice and plan your display exactly as it will appear at events. You’ll never be faced with a display that fitted fine at home but now doesn’t fit on the table you’ve been given. Having your own table also opens up opportunities that you wouldn’t have if you didn’t have your own table.

Find out what the ‘norm’ for your area tablewise is, and buy a table the same – for example the norm here is 6ft x 2.5ft (normal ‘hall’ type table). If you’re not allowed to bring your own table to an event, then generally the tables don’t vary much from the norm. Where you are, there might be no norm. If this is the case, do some research on events you want to attend to find out if you can bring your own table and/or what size of space you will be allocated so that you can try and get a table that will provide your display base for most events.

A word of warning – a pasting table is NOT an adequate substitute for a proper sturdy table. They are not made for holding more than 1 sheet of paper and I have seen several completely collapse taking all the stallholders stock with it. (Yes one was china!)

What space do I get?

Where I am, most indoor events let you have 6ft of space. This is an absolute – you get 6ft, you make your display fit within 6ft. This is where practicing your display comes in, if you don’t have your own table, mark out a 6ft area and use it as a blank canvas. If, like me, you kinda love drawing things to scale with graph paper (mmmmm scale drawing with graph paper) do that. DON’T guess your space sizes, actually measure because a guestimate wont do.

If you decide you really NEED more space, be prepared to pay for it. You don’t need to bring, or have on display ALL of your stock at once and you should have plenty space under your table for back stock that you can bring out if something sells or someone wants something that is not on display. It is a real faux pas to apply for events and say on the application ‘I need more space because my display is big’. Most organisers will be happy to sell you a double space but why should they turn down another paying stallholder so you can have more room, and why should you get a bigger space than someone who is paying the same as you?

If you can’t fit into the space readily available, perhaps reconsider if attending these events is right for you. If you sell very large goods – such as furniture – maybe try bringing a couple of small examples and use the rest of your space as display for pictures of your goods, wood stain/paint samples, and perhaps access to your website through a tablet or a catalogue that people can look through. Remember craft markets are not just about sales on the day! (See previous blog post)

How long do I have to set up?

Obviously we’d all love to take our time, chat, drink tea and leisurely get prepared pre event, but sorry folks, time is money. Most venues will be paid for either by the day or the hour and you’ve paid for your spot based upon how much the venue is costing, as well as paying for the heating, electricity and staff who actually have to be there while you set up. Find out what the average time is in your area and practice or amend your display until you can do it in less than that time.

How far will I have to carry items? Will I have any help?

In some (rare) cases there will be people on hand to help you carry stuff in, but keep in mind that there could be another 100 stallholders who are also wanting their help. You are no more important than any of them so plan on being self sufficient if you can. Steps are common into venues so be aware that you will likely not just be able to pile everything onto a trolley and nonchalantly wheel them in. Feel free to ask organisers if there are steps etc but if you want the maximum opportunites, make your display items ‘step friendly’.

It may seem obvious, but make sure you can safely physically lift your boxes/cases and display items. I know more than once I’ve filled a box nice and neatly then gone to lift it and no chance! Be aware of your own physical limitations, you don’t want to get injured.

What is my transport situation?

If you’ve got a mini you likely can’t fit a whole shop in it! If you only have room for 2 boxes in your car, that’s all you can take so plan accordingly. If you’re serious about ‘the fair life’ and transport is a problem, maybe you need to think about changing your transport situation rather than trying to work with it. If you can’t drive and rely on a lift, maybe learn to drive and if your car is too small then maybe think about changing it. If these options seem extreme – although if you’re serious about your business then they shouldn’t be – see if there is another stallholder you can car share with. A lot of people will be happy to share petrol and parking costs, however your transport situation is YOUR problem and it’s best to find a solution where you don’t need to rely on anyone else – how are you going to cope of they pull out of an event or are sick on the day for example?

Will there be electricity available? If there is, will I need my electricals PAT tested?

Organisers have to lay out their events on a ‘needs first’ basis and sorry but unless part of your body needs electricity to keep you alive, you don’t NEED electricity. A higher than average number of crafters have disabilities and if they need a certain space to be able to see/hear/get up then that’s much more important than someone who wants to turn on lights or charge their phone. You also need to be aware that LOADS of people ask for electricity for one reason or another and some venues don’t even have a single socket. If electricity is a dealbreaker for you, you need to realise that this will minimize your opportunities and cost you extra– is it REALLY making you that much extra money?

Some venues require anything plugged into their sockets to be PAT tested. This can be done at any electricians and isn’t desperately expensive (around £5-£10 per appliance), but if you are working on a small budget it’s something you might not want to spend money on. Not all venues require it, but it will give you extra opportunities if you get it done.

There is an easy way around the dependence on electricity – battery power! Swap out your electric lights for battery ones and you’ll never need to worry about whether you are next to a socket. Battery tea lights and fairy lights are really really cheap (you can get them in pound shops) and if you look around you can find bigger ones in lots of different designs online. This might take you some time to figure out, but the extra opportunities, the money you save on PAT testing, and lessening of uncertainty should make up for it.

What restrictions are there on what/how I can display? (ie do I require a table cloth)

This is something you want to check out. Where I am, most events require you to have a cloth covering the sides and front of your table. Regardless of whether or not you are required to have the fronts and sides of your table covered, it’s a good idea to do so. Under your table is where you will mainly be able to stash your stuff. If you’ve spent time designing a lovely display on top of your table, do you really want it spoilt by everyone seeing the complete disaster zone that’s underneath it? (What do you mean it’s only my table that looks like that underneath???)

Whatever restrictions organisers have put on they do so for a reason so be aware that in certain situations you might have to change your display to comply. Take this into consideration in your design. Be fluid and flexible and you’ll have more opportunities.

Health and safety!

Adhere to basic health and safety rules –

• Don’t pile things up high so they might topple

• Electrical cables must not hang, they must run along the floor and be taped down

• Don’t have sharp stuff/poisons/breakables where little paws can reach out and grab them

• Don’t have stuff that people might trip on or will encroach on the walkway

• Don’t have a ‘dangerous’ display such as broken glass or mirrors, irritants or toxic substances, or unstable shelves/tables.

Make a list of the limitations in your area - these are all things you HAVE to work around so consider them first, or at the very least try your perfect design and then make it fit them!

Now on to a few things that are just helpful in making your stall look great.

Work to your strengths

I’m TERRIBLE at keeping things tidy so I have to work with that rather than trying to produce something that’s going to be a headache for me to lay out or maintain. If you have skills or ‘deficiencies’ like me, work with them rather than against them. Be honest with yourself, if you are terrible at combining colours, for example, don’t try because you’ll never feel secure about how your stall looks which means you will spend forever fiddling with it.

Stick to your demographic

Your display should appeal to your target market so determine who they are and design things around them. An easy example would be items targeted at children – your display will need to be low enough for children to be able to see and reach things, it will need to be brightly coloured and you are probably wise to make it easily cleanable! Ask yourself WHO are my demographic and WHAT do they like?

Are you cheap and cheerful or sophisticated and expensive?

Your display is what will attract people to your table so have your display reflect your prices. Are you selling ‘market stall’ items or high end hand made? If you are ‘pile em high and sell em low’ then do just that, if you are looking for a high price for high quality goods, your display needs to reflect that. I wouldn’t rake through boxes for a £100 handbag and if I was looking at items 5 for £1 I probably wouldn’t bother approaching really sophisticated looking stalls as I’d assume they were too expensive.

Black can make colours look great up close but it does nothing for anyone at a distance

I love black but it seriously saps light. Sure the items on top of your table may look great but for someone looking from a distance you kinda disappear. If you are using black then add signage or something so that from a distance you are eyecatching rather than a black hole that just blends in.

Use height

Find a way to build height on your stall so people can see your goods without having to stare directly down on your table. Pinterest is great for finding ideas for how to add height, just remember to make everything very stable.

It takes a great deal of skill to make ‘a plethora’ not look ‘cluttered’

You don’t have to have EVERYTHING on your table, which applies to both stock and display equipment. Coco Chanel said of accessorizing “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” This works for table displays as much as it does for clothing. It’s only YOU that knows that something is not on there.

Your product is what people should see first, not your props

You’re not setting up a museum display, you’re trying to make your product look good. I’ve seen some beautifully crafted displays, but I’ve not been able to tell what’s for sale and what’s for decoration. If people comment on your display more than they buy your goods, then you’re doing something wrong. Strip it right back and see if your sales figures go up, then you can start adding your beautiful props back in.

Textural and natural usually work

Now I’m not saying that all displays should be textured and natural, but it’s much easier to work with that than with flat, shiney and man made. Texture can be added by using pattern as well as relief and textural cloths are much less likely to look like they need a good iron! Wood and baskets will immediately look warm and welcoming and are easy to pick up cheaply. Slate and stones also work really well to give a simple classy look and have more warmth than flat black.

If you’re not confident with colour, natural colours work well too. Creams, taupes, pale greys and pale browns usually all work well together – and work with wood, slate and baskets easily. They wont fight for attention with your products but look warmer, and are easier to maintain, than white.

Of course these colours wont work for everyone, but if you’re stuck for a place to start find a picture of a flower or landscape that you feel fits with your theme or brand and start building your colours and look from there.

Your opinion is most important

Now obviously everyone has different opinions about what looks nice and certain things will suit your style better than others. I’m quite a good case in point being a jeweller whose jewellery looks much better away from the jewellery standards of clean lines and shiney monochrome. Do what feels right for you and screw everyone else, including me and my ‘helpful tips’!

By knittykittybangbang, Feb 17 2015 09:01AM

With fair season about to explode, I thought it might be a good time to write a piece about selling specifically at craft fairs and markets. If you google ‘selling tips’ you will find a lot, but mostly about selling for a big company, to another big company, which to my mind doesn’t really translate to the artisan life where we are generally talking about a lone designer maker selling directly to an individual, for relatively small amounts of money.

Before I get on with the knittygritty (ya see what I did there?) of things I think there is something important that needs to be said. Craft markets are NOT JUST ABOUT SALES! “Shock horror gasp!” I hear some of you cry, but they’re not. They are about helping to create and maintain a strong client base. They are about advertising and networking as much as they are about selling. If you are a lone worker they provide possibly your only time in a week where you can chat to people who understand your job.

Think of it this way – you pay £30 for a space at an event, how much advertising would that buy you? 150 facebook likes which may or may not lead to a single sale? A personal ad in your local paper, because it certainly aint buying you ad space? And as for networking, a place at a networking event, where you may or may not meet useful people, will set you back more than £50 through the local Chamber of Commerce. At a well run craft event your table fee will give you access to hundreds of visitors who are actually interested in your type of item – giving them the chance to see it in person and touch and feel (or taste!) it. Just because they don’t buy on the say, if you make in impression then they may come back and buy in the future. It will also give you access to other stallholders with knowledge, experience and an interest in your field! ALWAYS keep this in mind, NEVER go in thinking about sales alone, which brings us to our first bit of advice –

Adjust your attitude!

It’s not just about sales. If you’re having a poor sales day, so what? Do you think people are likely to approach your stall if you have a face like thunder on you? Do you think organisers and other stallholders are getting a good impression of you if you’re bitching and moaning? Just because your morning has been slow, it doesn’t mean your afternoon will be. If you have a good attitude and sunny disposition, it will shine through and people will pick up on it. And see that person across the room who you assume is doing really well because they look like a Cheshire cat? They might not be doing any better than you.

Be at your table

You’d think this was obvious but I see it time and time again, people spending more time socialising, smoking or making cups of tea than working. YES networking (and tea) is important but your customer should feel like they are the most important thing and that they aren’t dragging you away from something else. If you’re not there to make sales, how are they going to happen?

Stand up!

You just need to try this to feel the difference. It’s something that most of us just grow into so let me just save you some time and tell you – STAND UP! Studies have been done that say if you are standing you will feel more positive and confident and that alone will help you sell more. It’ll also help you feel more energised. Standing up will make it easier for you to reach the products on your table, and will put you face to face with your customers rather than them looking down on you.

Your personal appearance will affect your sales

Now I’m the first person to defend someone’s right to look exactly how they please but if we’re talking about sales then we need to be pragmatic. It would be great to be able to say people shouldn’t judge but alas some do. Look appropriate for your customers and product – for example if your demographic is older ladies, probably don’t dress as Hitler. You should look like someone who understands your product, and client, inside out, and your clients should feel comfortable asking you for advice. If you sell a product you can wear, you should wear some (something I am terrible at!)

While we’re on the topic of appearance we also need to cover personal hygiene. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD HAVE A WASH! You’d think that didn’t need saying, but trust me IT DOES. Be aware that you might need a breath mint or deodorant (humphing tables and stock around can get sweaty) and if you smoke remember to deal with the smell. Do you really want people thinking that that beautiful quilt you are trying to sell them for their babies’ bed is going to reek of BO, B&H or last night’s beer?

Say hello!

To EVERYONE!! If someone looks at your stall, invite them in with a hello. It isn’t pushy, it’s just polite. If you walk into a shop and nobody says hi, how do you feel? Ignored? Unwelcome? Well at a market you are in an even more intimate environment with your customer so an acknowledgement is even more important.


Shy? Suck it up buttercup! ‘Isn’t it a nice day?’, ‘Are you just out shopping today?’, ‘have you been here before?’ etc, will put your customer at ease, make them feel welcome and more likely to ask questions and feel comfortable enough to try things on or pick things up. All these things help lead to sales! Another important reason to chat with customers is that people don’t read signs. Yes you have a whacking great notice up there saying everything is made by you, but most people won’t notice so if it is important, make sure you tell them. Chatting can also lead on to:

Identifying your customers’ needs

If you’re new to selling and you’re feeling anxious about just chatting, this is maybe one to work up to, but it’s definitely worth it. Gently questioning customers - What is it they are looking for? Is it a gift? Do they have a budget in mind? If you know their needs, you can try and fill them. But remember:

Don’t overdo it!

Nobody likes a pushy sales person. Chatting is great, foisting things on people isn’t. You might get them to buy something once, but be sure as heck they won’t come back. People don’t expect the hard sell in a craft environment and it’s a sure way to put someone off your product.

Let people touch

Unless you are selling food, don’t have everything all packaged up and out of reach. People visiting markets want to be able to see and feel the products – otherwise they’d just buy online. If you sell clothing or jewellery, make sure people can try things on. If your product is skincare or something that really needs to be packaged to keep it clean or usable, then sacrifice one as a tester, or have some you can give our as free samples to people who perhaps need to try things due to allergies or in daylight. (Same would go for any items that are aimed at the wedding favour market).

Remember your regulars

Even if they never buy! People love it when you remember them. Try and remember what they’ve bought before and what they like/don’t like. You will be able to suggest things to them that they might not otherwise notice, and they will feel special. Just because someone doesn’t buy, it doesn’t make them worthless to your business – they have friends, colleagues and contacts that they might introduce to your business.

Know your product

It may seem obvious but really know your product inside out. One of the most common things I get asked is ‘what is it made from?’ Know exactly what your materials are, what allergens may be present, how they can be cleaned, ‘what will happen if...’. If you can’t answer a question, that’s probably a lost sale. As well as materials, know the benefits of your product – why is it better than others? What makes it good? Of course there are always questions you can’t answer, I got asked the other day “other than necklaces, what ARE these?” Still not sure what that meant...


That might be a new word to some of you! If you buy a greetings card in a shop and they say ‘do you need stamps?’, that is upselling. Do you need earrings to go with that necklace? We do scarves that match that hat, etc etc. I don’t advise doing this on every sale, if you’ve already established a budget and they’ve spent it then asking them to spend more isn’t going to make them happy.

Keep your stall looking good

Your stall is what gives people the first impression of your product. If it looks like a jumble sale, people will expect jumble sale prices. If it looks like a high end boutique, people will expect your prices to be high (ooooh that gets me onto pricing and that’s a whole other ballgame!) Don’t go crazy with the props, your product is the star. Your stall will get untidy through the day, don’t worry about it just tidy it up as you can. I have to say mine often looks like a tornado has hit it, the joy of lots of chains, but I just apologise to customers before I start chatting to them. DON’T tidy up as people are browsing, you’re ignoring them, distracting them and they will feel like they can’t touch and/or are in your way.

Write down your sales

How you ‘feel’ you’ve done is often far from the facts. I LOVE NUMBERS AND LISTS!! Making a list of things done, or sold, gives you a sense of achievement. If you work to a target, this will tell you how close you are to it. Don’t be obsessed by the blank page if you’re having a slow sales day, remember it’s not just about sales.

Bring people in!

This is a major bugbear of mine. Often you’ll hear people complaining about having bad sales days and the first thing I always think is ‘how many of your friends and social media followers did you bring in?’ Yes the organisers have a responsibility to market the event, but each individual stallholder has the responsibility to market their own business. Put something out on social media, contact your mailing lists, let them know where you will be so that they can come and see, and maybe buy, from you.

Bring em back!

With at least every sale give out a business card AND any flyers for other fairs you will be attending. Don’t expect people to help themselves to cards and flyers, the majority wont. If you can hand out cards and flyers to browsers too that’s great, but again don’t be too pushy with them.

And one final one for you to ponder or try out....

Work on your product at your table VS Don’t bring ‘something to do’

There are definitely 2 distinct camps here and I would encourage you to try both yourself to see which works best for you.

One thing both sides agree on, if you are going to be ‘doing something,’ make it work related. Don’t be playing scabby birds or whatever the latest game is, don’t be reading 50 shades of poop, don’t be watching films (yes I have actually seen that!) Certainly use your phone/tablet for business, but make sure you still acknowledge people and even apologise for doing it. The people in front of you made the effort to get off their butts to come and see you, the person who sent you a facebook message didn’t. This includes eating - Yes I know you have to eat, it’s important you don’t let your blood sugar drop, but be discreet, don’t be chomping down a saucy burger in their face. (If they are me they will leave your table and go and buy a burger...I could go a burger now actually...)


The essential ‘pro’ argument is, if you have a product you can be working on at your table it may bring people in as they are interested in what you are doing. This is especially true if your craft is something people will never have seen before, or takes particular skill. If making your product makes a nice smell (such as grinding coffee beans for example) that can be a big draw, as can something that makes a noise, but don’t go using noisy tools as it’ll not make you popular with your colleagues!

Certainly this might make people stop, but will it make them BUY?

My first problem is, manners dictate that it is rude to interrupt someone. If someone is not there with a hello, ready to serve me, then I feel like I am taking them away from something more important, or worse, that they don’t like the look of me. I think that customers should feel welcome and comfortable, which requires your attention. My second problem is, if I’m watching you do something, I’m not looking at your product – if you are demonstrating a product that might be different (drop spindles for example) but if you show me how to make your product, aren’t I more likely just to try and make it myself rather than buy it from you? Your customers are likely to be craft savvy - never give away all your secrets! Lastly - you can work on your product at home/studio any time, your networking/socialising time with other people in your industry/customers is limited to these few hours. Enjoy this time. I have heard huge deals being done at craft markets, don’t waste this opportunity.

My main suggestion is that if you feel strongly about one way, rotate between it and the other way for a few months and see what the difference in your figures (because you’ve written everything down) are.

If you’ve read down this far WELL DONE!! I hope at least some of these help you, or at least have made you think about how you ‘shop keep’.

By knittykittybangbang, Jan 10 2015 02:13PM

I asked members of the knittykittybangbang presents... facebook group what they had learnt in 2014 and the answers that came back were enlightening, especially to those new to the craft fair/craft business circuit!

Invest in yourself and keep learning

Whether it be learning how to do your own books or something more specialist to your field, there is always value in learning or honing your skills. It might just be making time to read or research a bit more, or it might be taking classes or a course, it is all beneficial and can save you money in the long term! Here’s a really obvious example – how much do you pay your accountant compared to how much a booking keeping class is?

All craft markets are not created equal – pick with care!

I think everyone has to go through trying EVERYTHING to see what works for them, and I think we’ve all found events that work for us and ones that don’t. There are a lot of variables when it comes to choosing events and each of us have to work out what the important variables are for us.

Be confident with pricing and don’t undervalue yourself.

Oh how I nearly cried with joy when the first person wrote this! You deserve to be paid, just like everyone else does. If a shop didn’t pay their staff because they weren’t worth it, then there would be outcry so why do it to yourself? Pricing is too complicated to go into in this post but there is a knittykittybangbang e-book coming later in the year that will cover some of it.....I could spend hours just talking about pricing....mmmmmm numbers......

Diversification VS Narrowing of product range

There has to be a better word than ‘narrowing’ but I couldn’t find a suitable one that didn’t sound hella negative! I think this is a terribly ‘space dependent’ issue. If you have the space – whether that be in a shop, wholesale or online, then diversification is certainly no bad thing – even the most avid bow lover will tire before getting to the end of 500 pictures of bows, for example. However if you only have a 6ft x 2.5ft space to contend with, there are definitely problems that come with diversification – display looking over complicated or ‘jumble-saley’, lack of a cohesive ‘brand’, having to cart about loads of different bags/packaging. Some people manage to achieve a ‘boutique’ look and product range (Crafty Wee Birdie is a superb example of this) within the small space, but it is definitely tricky to do.

Just because a fair was good one year, doesn’t mean it’ll be good the next (and vice versa)

Things change. People change. New things come into fashion, people get bored/lazy, or have already bought everything you offer! YOU change, your product refines, your clientele changes. Never rely on something being a sure thing.

Be more organised!

Whether it be with something specific, or just in general, the need to be more organised seems to hit everyone! For a lot of creative/people focussed types things such as admin and bookwork are deathly dull or difficult. Despite being the least tidy person IN THE WORLD (seriously), I don’t feel on top of things if I don’t have my books done every month and I ALWAYS make time at the start of the week to make a proper detailed to do list. (mmmmm lists......mmmmm numbers......)

People appreciate quality

They really do! If you have a well made, well designed item, that is appropriately (ie not too much OR too little) priced then there WILL be a market for it, it’s just up to you to find it.

Brand Awareness is really important

This is one that you might need to experience for yourself, but please just trust us, it really is important! Get business cards, have a table sign, even if you just make them yourself. Remind people it was YOU they got that lovely thing from. Going a bit deeper ask yourself why when in foreign countries do so many people buy coca cola and go to McDonalds? Brand recognition = trust = safety. If you are asking someone to spend money with you, they want to feel ‘safe’. I know from the outside that sounds a bit peculiar but they want to know they can trust your product, that it won’t fall apart/poison them/have a webcam in it/have fallen off the back of a truck. Once someone feels ‘comfortable’ with your brand (and this can be as simple as having heard your name before) they are much more likely to buy from you.

Don’t waste time obsessing about how competitors are faring

Now benchmarking against others is a necessary evil for some as it makes them ‘up their game’, but this isn’t true for everyone, and spending too much time picking through the work of others is a waste of YOUR time and can only be destructive to YOU. Stop following them on facebook and twitter and start watching people and companies you would aspire to emulate, that inspire you or cater for the same demographic.

Embrace technology

This is a biggie for me. I got a tablet free with my mobile phone and I thought ‘ahhh this’ll just be a fun toy to have’ man did I underestimate it! I tend to feel that most ‘tools’ are unnecessary things just to get you to part with your pennies (to the point that some of my students make fun of me!) but my tablet and card reader have let me do so many things (and won me sales!) that I wouldn’t otherwise have been able to. For example - I was at an event checking facebook before I opened. A client had got in touch to ask if I had anything in green. I used the tablet to quickly snap what I had and sent the photos back to her. She picked several pieces, I told her where I was, and she was able to come and get them (and a few more!). Had I not been ‘mobile’ this would have been a much more complicated process, and would definitely have been a much smaller sale. On that same day, the folks right and left of me were losing sales repeatedly because they couldn’t take cards whereas I didn’t have this problem. Technology needn’t just be computery, it could be anything that makes tasks quicker or lets you do things you couldn’t before. Examples might be knitting or sewing machines, stand mixers (or 2 stand mixers instead of 1) or just a trolley for ferrying your stuff around. Not tech savvy? This goes back to the first point about investing in yourself and keep learning.

What have YOU, dear reader, learnt in the past year? Anything you’d like to share? Anything you would like to query or disagree with? Please feel free - but no abuse please! (as if you would....)

By knittykittybangbang, Sep 17 2014 10:05AM

Knittykittybangbang’s basic sewing class has now been running for 2 weeks and I am seriously impressed with the items the students are making!

Week 1 we started off making a basic envelope cushion cover. Students produced their own patterns, then cut and stitched up their own cushions. Almost everyone finished at least 1 cushion in class and nobody sewed themselves to anything or swore!!

Last night everyone started on making their own bags. They were told how to make a very basic pattern then they all amended it to produce their own designs. Each design was different and unique and I can’t wait to see them all finished next week! It’s amazing that on the first week most people weren’t sure how to thread their machine up and now they are making their own patterns without a second thought!

After our bags we are moving on to skirts. Not everyone wanted to make a skirt so 3 have decided to make dresses the brave brave people!

By knittykittybangbang, Aug 11 2014 09:14AM

I met Magda from My Decor Ideas at one of the very first fairs I attended in the early days of knittykittybangbang. The fair was a complete disaster, but Magda and I stayed in touch and she has attended almost every one of the knittykittybangbang presents events. I've seen her progress from making cushions and small painted household items, to completely renovating everything from shelves to chaise as well as making her own candles.

On 1st August, Magda took the brave step of opening up her own shop! Any excuse for a party, of course, so along to the opening I went and ate cake and drank fizz. Magda has really great taste so I knew the shop would be gorgeous and it is!

Magda is an example of what hard work can do, as well as proving that craft doesn't have to be twee. Her pieces have a 'modern rural' feel, using beautiful, comfortable and warm materials, but in, as the name suggests, a more urban colour pallette and slick lines than the usual shabby chic look.

Shades of Blue and Grey is open Tuesday - Saturday from 11am, 281 Holburn Street, Aberdeen (parking directly across the road)