This is our third blog, and I think I'm getting the hang of this now, my partner has recently enlightened me on the use of twitter which I think is something I'll be using a lot more. If you want to follow me on twitter then our handle is @springbokcrafts I aim to get the hang of this social media malarky.
This time I thought I'd share some recent good news and elaborate a little further on the event space. Events can be a tricky arena to play in! every year we are faced with tough decisions, do we continue to go to our local tried and tested venues, or do we venture further a field into the great unknown. A year or two back we were doing a routine local event in Westbury Wiltshire, I think it was called Christmas in Westbury, we were next to a really cool stall holder who sold custom wooden chopping boards and whilst we were there we met and got talking to the owner of the potato and food vendor who referred to this awesome event he sells at year in year out 'The Great Dorset Steamfair'. We heard rumours and myths that you can't get in to the craft tent, you'll only get in if someone dies or gives up their pitch.
We thought we would try our luck for the 2018 Dorset Steam Fair, we were lucky (thank god) our products were reviewed and we were in... Not knowing what to expect we prepared our best selling products (our book cushions) ordered extra business cards, arranged for childcare for our special little boy and packed off not knowing how well we would do.
Well, what an event, we had an amazing result, we sold more than we could ever dream of we had found our perfect event, booking up for next year was a no brainer! I won't share how much we made but it was touch and go for having to re-stock mid-show. What we didn't realise given it was our first time there, was that it was a special year to the regulars.
A 50th anniversary to be precise of the show, it attracted more people than ever from all over the globe, the weather was fantastic which drove even more people through the gates which some what explains the bumper turnover we saw selling our hand made gifts, not to mention things people had not seen there before, specifically our book cushions mentioned above.
So, we rebooked for 2019 and whilst we didn't have the same turn out as 2018, for various reasons such as: it's a normal year, the turnout was less, the weather was extremely hot and as a result there seemed to be less people passing through the craft marquee, not to mention it was probably a weekend too early for most peoples payday. Regardless we still had an awesome show and will definitely be booking for 2020 for two reasons!
1) We won our first ever award 'Best In Show' - What an achievement and we couldn't be happier, this more than made up for the difference in turnover from the year before, and in fact brought us down to earth in terms of what a normal steam fair should be doing for us (not dreaming of that special year like we had come to expect)
2) Every time we attend places like this, we are meeting new people, learning new things and making awesome friends. People are always happy to speak with us and enjoy the colourful items we have on display. The feedback and these conversations are what keep us going in these events not just the sales :)
So in summary Dorset Steam fair is the one event in our calendar we look forward to followed by Frome cheese show and Gloucester Quays.
As this blog initially started, we've got a couple of other events we are trying this year not knowing what to expect, specifically the Royal Berkshire show at Newbury Show ground in September, we've got similar feelings on this that we had before we had been to Dorset for the first time, it could be amazing for us, or on the flip side it could be hard slog, long days with no-one out to spend money, people not really interested in the craft tents and there for the other events the show specialises in, these are the gambles and frustrations in unknown events.
But as the old sayings go, "you have to be in it to win it" and "you have to be on the pitch to score a goal" so we go with optimism and positive energy and thoughts. I'll save some of our event horrors and nightmares for a future blog as that's a whole new story.
For now I'll sign off with the positive memories of you guessed it "Best In Show" I still can't believe it but here is an image that'll show you how happy we are! and we get to hold this and stroke it for the next year, you might even hear me mention it a few more times! I've got to enjoy this award whilst I've got it. And hope that we can win more at other events! Wish us luck.
As always if you've got any questions or wish to get in touch, don't be shy we don't bite!