This is the last ‘Seller Update’ post before the Christmas Brighton Craftaganza craft market. Shall we hear about what jewellery designer-extraordinaire Jen from The Midnight Deer has been up to since we last heard from her?
Since my write up for Craftaganza in March I’ve been back and forth selling my work at the summer Festivals. First was The Secret Garden Party, then Playgroup, Wilderness and finally Bestival. Whilst tiring (the car broke down almost every event!) the festivals were great fun and it was brilliant to meet so many like minded sellers.
Throughout the summer months I focussed on flower garlands and other hair accessories, particularly as these were popular with the festival goers! For the garlands, I use a variety of fabrics and wires, artificial flowers and naturally shed feathers. These are probably one of my favourite things to make, particularly because it’s very easy to sit sunbathing whilst working on them!
Once the festivals were over, I started focussing on greeting cards and, my very favourite new items – lovely 16k gold plated pendants. I’d wanted to introduce these items to the collection for some time, and I feel it’s good to have a varying range of items, particularly for different events and stockists.
With several Christmas Markets ahead, I’ll be continuing to focus on a good range of items, and have plans for even more Festivals in the new year!
Let’s hear what Sarah has to say about her new products which will be on sale at Brighton Craftaganza at Fabric on December 10th…
I am really excited about extending Shark Alley’s range into a whole host of handmade products and have recently been sewing lots of animals and birds. I used to love sewing as a girl so I am really enjoying this, plus it’s perfect to do on the sofa in front of the TV of an evening, especially as the long dark nights of winter are fast approaching (boooo).
I started by translating my owl brooches into embroidered felt charms/keyrings but then felt I’d like a bit more of a challenge, so moved on . . . . . . to otters. Why otters of all things?! Well, otters are currently my Number One Fave Thing ever since falling in love with them at London Zoo last year, and so I wondered if I could translate this into something for Shark Alley. I felt they wouldn’t work so well in papier mâché as this requires compact shapes and their tails stick out too much. I started by making keyring charms in a similar way to the owls, then moved on to a rather more ambitious 3D standing-up job. As I was making the pattern up myself from photos, the first attempts were VERY BAD. http://sharkalleyjewellery.blogspot.com/2011/06/evolution-of-otters.html
I visited various otter sanctuaries this summer and was so inspired by their hard work in rescuing, looking after and rehabilitating orphaned and injured otters that I decided to donate 10% of all the money I make on otter sales to one of these sanctuaries every year. This year, it’s Otters & Butterflies in Devon, where I spent a brilliant morning being a keeper and getting up close and personal with these beautiful animals (whilst taking good care to stay away from their sharp little gnashers). http://www.ottersandbutterflies.co.uk
I’m really excited to be part of the Christmas Craftaganza, and am preparing by putting together lots more ‘Sew Your Own’ kits, containing everything you need to make a bird or bear keyring/bag charm, which would make perfect stocking fillers, and I’m also stitching away at some new festively inspired products, including tree decorations and possibly some other things, but I need to work them out in my brain first!
This week we’re launching a new feature on this here blog called ‘Seller Update’. It’s where we take a look at what the sellers who have sold with us previously have been creating since our last event in March. Seeing as we have already ‘met’ these sellers on this blog through a ‘Meet the Seller’ interview, we thought it would be nice for the ‘Seller Updates’ to be an opportunity to read about them in their own words, rather than responding to our standard questions. The first ‘Seller Update’ subject is Katy from Bobbins and Robbins (you can read her previous ‘Meet the Seller’ interview here):
This summer I’ve been working on a ready-to-wear collection for this autumn and winter. I will have them with me at the Christmas Craftaganza along with the usual soft tweed toys. I decided to do a ready-to-wear collection for all those who can’t quite wait for the made-to-measure service! It features the most popular items of the Bobbins & Robbins clothing selection in a variety of reclaimed and vintage fabrics all resourced locally with reclaimed and some vintage buttons. It’s been so fun working with these fabrics. There’s Brigitte the simple Sixties blouse (from a vintage 1960s pattern), Blousey a classic Peter Pan blouse made from a hand-drawn pattern (by myself), Rita pencil skirt and Emmeline the twelve dart skirt (two more hand-drawn patterns). They come in small, medium and large but of course I’ll still be poised to take made-to-measure orders as well. I’m just about to start work on more soft tweed toys and perhaps some little Christmas goodies too. I’m quite excited at the thought of it all and really looking forward to the Christmas Craftaganza and seeing what other crafty folks have been up to too.