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.

MOTHER’S DAY GIFTS… TOP 5 Gift Guide

Mother’s Day is only a few weeks away now! (Which also means The Bristol Artisan which I will be selling at is very soon too. Eeee!) Anyway if you’re after a unique and special Mother’s Day gift for your mum this March then you are in the right place. I just love finding feminine handmade presents so putting together this little TOP 5 list was a delight. I’ve only featured artisan UK companies since I am all about supporting locals and independents and because I know mum’s appreciate things that are extra special and thoughtful. So without further ado here are my TOP 5 Mother’s Day Gifts.

Mother's Day Gifts - Handmade Pink and Gold Bowl

1. Handmade Pink Bowl with 24 Carat Gold from Att Pynta

I have to admit I have such an obsession with little bowls but I swear there are few woman in this world who don’t have a million uses for little pots and bowls like these including all the mums out there! Use them for dips, nuts, fruit, jewellery, pins, keys, anything! What’s even better is when you find a beautifully handmade bowl in a stunning dusky pink or midnight blue glazed with real gold around the rim like these ones made by Marie L Sundegren in colloboration with Att Pynta. I love that each one is slightly different with it’s minor imperfections showing that they are lovingly hand crafted.

Mother's Day Gifts - Siberian Husky Hair Wool Socks

2. Siberian Husky Hair and Wool Hand Knitted Socks from The Gorgeous Company

Maybe socks may seem like a clichéd gift but when socks are this good, who wouldn’t want a pair! These just look so incredibly soft and snuggly, made from husky hair would you believe! The huskies are just brushed during moulting season so no need to fear, these are totally ethically made.

 

Mother's Day Gifts - Needle Felted Snowdrop Sculpture

3. Snowdrop Pair Needle Felted Sculpture from The Whispering Wild

I recently discovered the amazing creations of The Whispering Wild and am in awe of each and every one I see. Her handmade needle-felted plants and animals make truly unique and beautiful gifts for mothers to treasure for years. She creates a lot of bespoke work so get in touch if your mum has a favourite animal you’d like made in felt for her. Here are some snowdrops in honour of Spring blossoming in March.

 

Mother's Day Gifts - Ladies Floral Purse

4. Waterproof Floral Ladies Coin Purse by Jiggle Ma Wiggle

Jiggle Ma Wiggle have a lovely selection of vintage designs available on a variety of zip pouches and bags. All waterproofed and with sweet little tassel zip pulls attached. This floral pattern and delicate mix of pink and ochre struck me as an ideal choice as a gift for a feminine mum. Just like bowls, there are always a million handy uses for little purses like these!

 

Mother's Day Gifts - Minimal Copper and Faux Leather Necklace

5. Minimal Copper and Faux Leather Necklace by Katie Betty

If you have a stylish mum who likes to stay on trend then these handmade necklaces from Katie Betty fit the bill perfectly! With a lovely subtle variety of colour combos available and simplistic geometric shapes these necklaces would look great with everyday wear and evening outfits too. She’ll feel really special knowing her necklace is unique and handmade.

I hope this gift guide leaves you feeling a little better equipped for Mother’s Day this year! If you’re still in need of ideas why not check out Peach Hamper’s gift guide here, full of thoughtful ideas with a personal touch. And if you’re still stuck, why not bring your mum to The Bristol Artisan on Mother’s Day instead and buy something of her choice from one of the fantastic 50 designers who’ll be selling there all weekend at The Arnolfini! See you there!