APRIL Pinterest Board of the Month

With spring blooming this month and having just had such a gorgeous sunny Easter weekend, my head is in full gardening mode. So this month’s Pinterest board of the month is called GARDEN by Linda Hodgson.

It’s full of loads of really beautiful ideas for cosy garden seating, raised beds, ways to incorporate planters into walls and smaller spaces, as well festoon lights and candle holders.

Garden Pinterest Board
Garden Pinterest Board

I’m especially passionate about all the diy pallet sofas and beautiful plants featured on there. I’m brimming with ideas on how to make my own garden gorgeous now, just need to decide where to start!

I will be exhibiting at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival in a couple of weeks from May 9th-12th as well so it will be the perfect opportunity for further inspiration and to maybe pick up some more plants to add to my growing collection!

If you’d like to visit, my stand will be inside the Country Living tent. Tickets available here.

DIARY OF AN ARTIST: Exhibiting at British Craft Trade Fair 2018

 

Earlier this month I exhibited at the British Craft Trade Fair in Harrogate for the first time. It was my second ever trade show after exhibiting at Top Drawer in September 2017 and quite a different show in contrast. As a designer-maker I know it can be really hard to know what these shows are like before attending them and to choose what is best for your brand. Hopefully this post may give a little bit of useful insight into what this show was like for anyone interested in exhibiting there.

Me on my stand at BCTF 2018
Me on my stand at BCTF 2018

 

Much like it was at Top Drawer, everyone was given the day before the show opened to set-up their stand which was the Saturday between 9am-6pm. However, unlike Top Drawer, the walls are not so solid so it is not possible to screw or nail anything into them, only to stick things to them and use hooks to suspend things from the tops. This meant I had to think a little more creatively about how to display my heavy stone coasters and placemats. In the end I prepared a shelf panel that could be hung from the wall which actually made set up much simpler on the day and I quite liked the appearance of. Hanging framed artwork on the other hand was really tricky as everything wobbled about and I managed to break one frame in the process. I used zipper hooks suspended on nylon cables which were difficult to keep in place being so lightweight so a lot of sticky fixers and gaffa tape ended up getting used behind the scenes. It worked in the end but took a lot of time and I ended up finishing at 6:15pm.

My Stand at British Craft Trade Fair 2018
My Stand at British Craft Trade Fair 2018

 

The show was open Sunday, Monday and Tuesday which was the same as Top Drawer again. The atmosphere felt quite different though. Overall it was quite relaxed and friendly. I felt less intimidated by buyers this time although this may have been due to having more experience by then. I think the time of year was probably a factor as well though as in September a lot of buyers were keen to get orders in in good time for Christmas.

The British Craft Trade Fair is fairly small but very well curated and has a much more niche craft and artist led focus than some bigger retail events. It was clear that most of the buyers had come from galleries and from a lot of rural places in the UK. Buyers were predominantly from the North and Midlands area which suited me well as I mainly had stockists based in the South before the show. Unfortunately the footfall did feel sparse and by the Tuesday the time really went by slowly. I got a really great outcome out of exhibiting but I feel fairly uncertain about whether I would exhibit there again due to what I gathered sounds to be a decline in attendance and the long distance to travel.

Dawn Maciocia and Joanna Coupland BCTF Stands
Dawn Maciocia and Joanna Coupland

 

Here are a few images of my favourite stands of other exhibitors there. There was a beautiful array of work on show including ceramics, glassware, artwork, textiles, sculpture, jewellery and greetings cards. There was quite clearly a lot of nature inspired work which explains why the show attracts a lot of rural based retailers.

Karen Risby and Rachel Thornton BCTF Stands
Karen Risby and Rachel Thornton

 

Pack down is on Tuesday between 5-9pm immediately after the show closes. I was very glad to have booked my Air BnB for one extra night so that I could make the journey home when I was fresh in the morning. Doing BCTF was a great experience and I’m very glad I tried it out. I wanted to use the show to gauge whether selling my original paintings with galleries would be a viable opportunity and it certainly helped me to answer that question. I had a wonderful response to the paintings I took with me from several galleries so I will certainly be continuing to do more painting in future which is really exciting! Otherwise, I am sticking with Top Drawer for now as far as trade shows go and will be exhibiting there again next year in January.

Sky x

 

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Country Living Spring Fair 2017 Pop-Up Market

 

As you may well have heard I recently attended the Country Living Spring Fair as part of their pop-up market section for young businesses. There was a competition to be awarded one of these stalls for free for one day of the fair so I was delighted to get chosen to attend! The event was four days long so I was only there for the first day of the event on Thursday, April 27th but the venue was buzzing with people all day and a real joy to take part in.

 

Country Living Spring Fair 2017 Pop-Up

Wish I’d managed to take a few more photos but here is one of my stand all set up. I was quite pleased with how it looked as I’m constantly trying to improve on my presentation as I bring out more and more product types. Propping up my pegboard using an easel was particularly handy. My new stone placemats proved really popular all day. Their rustic feel obviously appealed well to the Country Living magazine fans! I also sold lots of cards and coasters as I usually tend to do. It’s interesting how at each event there is always a favourite product that I’ll sell lots of that day.

 

I also took this quick hyperlapse video walking around part of the fair to try to capture a sense of the atmosphere on the day. It was so big and there was so much going on all day making it a really impressive event. They even had little lambs and hens there! I nabbed the photos below from the Country Living Fairs Instagram account just to show how many stands there were in just one of the rooms.

 

Country Living Spring Fair 2017

 

Overall I found the Spring Fair to be a really successful day and everything was very well run. It was a pleasure to get to meet some of the magazine’s editors and so flattering to hear how much they liked my work! I hadn’t realised the editors had actually been the ones on the selection panel for the pop-up market and they told me that the competition was really fierce so I felt really proud to have been picked.

Having been lucky enough to attend for free, I’m unsure whether or not to look at doing the event again with a paid stand for now. I certainly think the Christmas Fair would be more worthwhile when paying such a large sum of money so I may just look into it nearer the time! Next up I’m back at The Frome Independent market on May 7th with my suitcase up on Catherine Hill… Come say hi!

 

APRIL Pinterest Board of the Month

 

Live Beautifully by Lobster & Swan.

A new monthly feature for the blog featuring snippets from a beautiful Pinterest board of my choosing each month for you all to enjoy. This is something I used to do via Twitter and Facebook quite often but I thought why not give these boards the full glory that they deserve and bring it on over to the blog!

This month I’ve picked this gorgeous selection of interiors titled Live Beautifully, exquisitely curated by photographer and stylist Lobster & Swan. All of these homes have a very floral, country living style Spring vibe going on so I thought it an apt choice for April’s pick. There are lots of flowers, antique furnishings, distressed wood and hues of pinks, greys and sage greens going on all creating a wonderfully rustic English garden style. I’ve picked three highlights below which I particularly liked for their use of vintage vs. contemporary furnishings, pastel shades and indoor plants but check out the whole board to get really inspired!

Pinterest Board of the Week - Live Beautifully. Piano

Pinterest Board of the Week - Live Beautifully. Living Room

Pinterest Board of the Week - Live Beautifully. Dining Room

If you enjoyed this post, stay tuned and subscribe via the links on the right for my Pinterest board of the month for May! Here’s my very own Pinterest profile if you fancy a gander at that too. Until next time! X

Spring News Update

Hello and Happy Easter! Just wanted to do a quick little Sky Siouki Spring news update on this wonderful Good Friday.

First up… I’ve recently gained a lovely new stockist in Bradford on Avon called Silver Street Studio! Looking forward to hopefully seeing some photos of my products in this gorgeous designer-maker based shop in Somerset soon. It’s looking like there may be even more Sky Siouki stockists in the pipeline for 2017 but we will have to wait and see for that… watch this space.

Silver Street Studio Shop

 

In other news, my new furnishing fabrics collection is now live online! You may have seen updates about this on it’s way on my Instagram feed but now the wait is over and you can officially order Sky Siouki design fabrics by the metre in either linen union or cotton velvet. They are very specialist luxury fabrics, digitally printed to order and aimed towards soft furnishings and upholstery. Choose linen for a subtler, rustic look and velvet for a more vibrant, decadent style! View all five designs here.

I have also been hard at work this week creating a new online shop which you should be able to see is now fully integrated into my website and blog. So you can now do a quick spot of reading in-between shopping all right here on the same page! You should be able to see a ‘cart’ link in the right of the top menu here as well as new features like creating your own Sky Siouki shop account and wishlist even! Have a little browse via the shop link above.

Alpine - Linen/Velvet Fabric

 

If you subscribe to my newsletter or follow my Instagram you may well have also heard the exciting news that I will be holding a stall at the Country Living Spring Fair pop-up market the week after next on Thursday 27th April! It’s crept up so fast and was such a surprise as I made the application a little while ago and the pop-up market is just a small specialist section especially for young businesses to try the event out for free. I’ll be there just for the one day so if you do visit make sure to come on the Thursday to see me! Not quite sure what to expect but very excited to be taking part so wish me luck! I’ll be sending out leaflets with a 35% off code for tickets with every Sky Siouki order in the run up to it.

Country Living Spring Fair

 

I am making an effort to attend more events and markets throughout the year in general as well. I did the first Frome Independent of the year at the start of the month and it was a beautiful day with thousands of people on the streets of Frome! Here’s a little photo of my suitcase sale stand up on Catherine Hill. I’m booked in to do May, June and July as well, and hopefully more as the year goes on.

I also hope to begin selling at a few Tobacco Factory Sunday markets in Bristol soon. This isn’t one I’ve tried before so I shall have to see how it goes but it’s right on my doorstep so fingers crossed I may soon become a regular there too! To start with you can find Sky Siouki at Tobacco Factory on 28th May and 25th June!

Frome Independent April 2017

That’s all of my news for now. Thank you very much for reading and continuing to support Sky Siouki and I hope to see some of you at my next event perhaps. X

 

SKY SIOUKI 2017 EVENTS

I’ve got a few new 2017 events in place now so here is a little update of where you can find me and buy from Sky Siouki in the coming months. I’m making an effort to try to push myself to do more events so I can meet more customers, learn what you like and of course keep Sky Siouki thriving so hopefully all of the events will bring lots of good things!

 

The Frome Independent 2017 Events

THE FROME INDEPENDENT

When: Sunday 5th March, Sunday 2nd April, Sunday 7th May

Where: Frome, Somerset

What: If you haven’t been to the Frome Independent before then I’d highly recommend a visit! On the first Sunday of every month, as they put it – something wonderful will happen! The whole town is taken over with an amazing array of handmade wares, artisan food, vintage treasures and family friendly entertainment. I’m excited to be selling at the market again with my new Flight collection this time having missed out last year.

All being well, I’ll be back in Frome in April and May throughout Spring with my mini-stall on Catherine Hill. Waiting for confirmation on the Summer markets for June, July and August still but hoping this one may just become a regular thing each month.

 

The Bristol Artisan 2017 Events

THE BRISTOL ARTISAN

When: Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th March

Where: The Arnolfini, Bristol

What: Brought to you by Designers / Makers, you may have already seen my previous post announcing that I would be selling at this exciting new event in Bristol where you can read more about it. With 50 designer makers taking part and taking place across Mother’s Day weekend it’ll be the perfect thing to do in Bristol with your mum!

 

 

Top Drawer 2017 Events

TOP DRAWER

When: Sunday 10th – Tuesday 12th September

Where: Olympia, London

What: This one is just for looking I’m afraid as it’s a big London trade show for those who aren’t familiar with it. It really is huge though and it’s been a long time goal of mine to attend so I am SO ecstatic to reveal that I’m going to be there with my very own stand in the Spotted section this September! So nervous and excited at the same time, still doesn’t quite seem real!

 

That’s all of my 2017 events for now but there may well be even more things to come. Although I’m trying my best not to overdo it or you may find me without any hair left by Christmas! Keep following the blog and join the mailing list to stay updated with what Sky Siouki has planned next!