Sky Siouki at The Bristol Artisan

Last weekend I exhibited at The Bristol Artisan at the Arnolfini. Anyone who’s been following my blog or Instagram will probably know I was very excited for it as well as a little nervous about setting up my first professional trade-show style stand. With Top Drawer booked for September it was the ideal opportunity for a practice run and I’m so grateful for the experience if only just for that. It was a lot of hard work and a pretty stressful set-up but I’m so pleased with how the stand ended up looking in the end and so pleased to have received lots of lovely comments about it too.

I made all of my shelving using reclaimed wood from Bristol Wood Recycling Project – a fantastic discovery in itself. The guys there were very helpful and you can borrow their saws and workbenches once you’ve purchased the wood which was super handy. The wood had to be sanded down and waxed so it was quite a bit of work but I felt that using recycled materials with a natural finish was only right to fit my brand’s ethical focus.

I also managed to find a gorgeous little set of vintage drawers from Rhubarb Jumble which was perfect as a place to discreetly tidy away extra stock and packaging materials. I wanted to evoke the feeling of a colourful and eclectic living space as best I could so also used a wooden chair and ladder shelving for my display and added a vase of eucalyptus leaves and a little vintage jug for pens on top of my drawers. I think this worked well to create a feeling of home without being cluttered.

I also added a rail to hang all of my tea towels so the full designs could be seen. This is something I wish I could do at every market as it really helps for customers to get to see the full designs and worked really well. I had planned to get an amazing laser cut sign made but had some issues with timing and so had to give it a miss this time. Considering everything else went to plan, I think I did pretty well. I was so caught up thinking about putting it all up the night before that I barely slept!

Sky Siouki at The Bristol Artisan

Sky Siouki at The Bristol Artisan

The event itself went really well. It was so so lovely to meet a few people I’ve spoken to on Instagram in real life and incredibly flattering to hear that what I do encourages others. The show looked amazing, the quality of work was really high and every single stand was so well put together. Lots of people came along, especially on the Saturday and I hope to have made lots of new Sky Siouki fans who will be ordering online in future. For anyone thinking of attending Designer/Makers‘ next The Bristol Artisan event I would say to expect more of a consumer led event rather than trade and so it’s good idea to have a broad range of products available for sale. Unfortunately I felt that the Arnolfini didn’t do a lot to help promote it which was quite disappointing but thankfully the Designers/Makers team had worked hard to get lots of people through the door. I felt like the event had a lot of potential but whether the organisers are willing to take on feedback in order to improve for next time remains to be seen.

This Sunday I’ll be selling at The Frome Independent so catch me there for all your stone coaster and bird based tea towel requirements! I’ll be near the top of Catherine Hill.

Crafty Fox Peckham, Dec 2016

Last Sunday was my final Christmas market of the year in London at the Crafty Fox Market Peckham. I have to admit it feels pretty relieving to have finished up my markets for the year as I am well and truly knackered now but it’s been a lot of fun and a lot of success which is wonderful!

Crafty Fox Stall

As it turned out Crafty Fox was actually my least successful market this year which I was quite surprised by since it was very busy all day. I perhaps a little naively expected London customers to have a little more spending money in their pockets. The event was really well run with upbeat music playing and a real buzz throughout the venue from start to finish. I was only just about set up before customers were already coming through the doors when it opened. It was lovely to meet new fans as always and learn from other traders at the event so there was certainly still a lot to take away from the day. The crowd seemed significantly younger on average than I would usually see at the Made In Bristol Gift Fair which I think was down to the area of London and I feel may have had some effect on my sales. I also couldn’t help wonder if the wildlife based theme of my work may appeal more to people who choose to live in an area with such a large amount of surrounding countryside like Bristol has.

Crafty Fox Peckham

I had always wondered if I’d been holding myself back by fearing driving in London and missing out on events like Crafty Fox so the purpose of going had always been intended as a bit of a test. It’s very interesting to now know, and a little comforting even, that I don’t need to feel I’m missing out on too much through living outside of the capital and it also reminded me of just what an amazing thriving creative community there is in Bristol. For now I’m undecided if I may revisit Crafty Fox as a trader but I’m certainly feeling more ready to conquer a London trade show now I’ve managed driving around in the city a little.

Crafty Fox

Like a lot of the traders at the market, I only had a small square table to work with so this was another challenge I conquered through doing the market. I’ve felt like my stall displays perhaps could have done with an upgrade since launching a lot more products this year so this gave me a good reason to invest in some new display props. I was pretty pleased that I managed to put everything on display using height to my advantage. This is another aspect that’s got me excited about exhibiting at a trade show as good presentation will be everything and I’m excited to start planning how I could lay out my stand.

That’s nearly it for me this Christmas but you can of course still order from Sky Siouki online! My final order date to get gifts in time for Christmas is Dec 19th. Shop here!