Dorset Etsy Team Christmas Fair was held on Saturday the 5th of December at the Allendale Centre in Wimborne.
I looked forward to taking part in it because I heard it was a huge success the previous year. I must admit because of my previous experiences at a few craft fairs, I was not overly optimistic (at least I was not letting myself be too optimistic.)
Given that I had participated in 2 craft fairs at the same venue earlier in the year which turned out not very good because there was just no traffic through there at all; I believe I had every reason not to be too excited about this particular one. Nevertheless, I got up early packed my stuff up and made my way to the venue.
I was still very tired after having had a very busy day at work the previous day. Thankfully it was just a very short drive for me and I was more or less determined to make the best of the whole experience.
More than 70 Etsy Sellers had signed up to be there and on my arrival I knew this fair was going to be different because everything seemed so well structured thanks to Rachael, the proprietress of TheDorothyDays; who is the Captain of the Dorset Etsy Team. The 2 halls at the Allendale center were scheduled to be used and it filled up pretty quickly.
It never ceases to amaze me the speed at which owners of small businesses set up their wares/creative masterpieces with such precision, detail, and care. They come in with several bags/boxes and within the twinkle of an eye its all done.
The Dorset Etsy Team Christmas fair being so well advertised turned out to be a spectacular event with lots of beautifully crafted works on display. From the minute it was opened to visitors till the time the doors closed; there was an endless stream of people. I am pretty sure there were at least a thousand people that walked through the doors. I know for sure that I probably gave out about a hundred complimentary cards.
It was a really lovely experience and most importantly it was great being able to put a face behind lots of the beautiful works which were on display. Rachel and her mother did a wonderful job mixing up the different shops thus no 2 shops that did similar things were together. Before the fair started I went round to see other sellers and their creations while taking a few pictures as I went along.
Ruth Robinson of SatisHouseFive was hard to miss with her lovely light boxes and accessories which I found very interesting and unique. They would make great gifts I am sure.
Sarah Taylor of TenAndSixCraft was there with a selection of unique, handmade fascinators and purses. She was wearing one of her most popular headpieces- Clubs and Spades. These are custom made to order and ideal for so many occasions - New Year's Eve, Vegas Party, anyplace you want to stand out from the crowd in a really easy to wear headpiece! See her website for more details.
Nicolette Dawn's Wire Sculptures were hard to miss. They reminded me of the wire cars I had as a very young child. These cars were made entirely with metal wires. They were very simple but yet ingeniously designed. I remember then they were made by some local children who I am sure never realized where they could have been had they continued with their craft
Interestingly Nicolette makes bags and buntings but she came with what she describes as her menagerie of beautiful creations. She says on her Etsy profile:
After spending years creating with fabric and wool, I decided to turn my hand to something completely different and am now sculpting in wire. I bought a roll of chicken wire, spent an afternoon experimenting and as a result, my first Indian Runner duck was conceived! A couple of pairs of leather gloves later and numerous scratches (it doesn't take any prisoners!) my menagerie has expanded. I am so pleased with how effective the result is and after creating ducks, ducklings and chickens I have expanded my collection to include other British wildlife. Hares in particular are proving very popular.
I completely understand why her sculptures would be popular because they are truly gorgeous and they stopped me in my tracks while I was walking around seeing what others had been up to.
Ian Matthews of Tipana Crafts along with his wife was there with his handmade distressed and plain wooden products for the home and garden, all from new or reclaimed wood. We were on the stage together and they were a very pleasant couple. There was a lot of interest in his products and I did take home one Hanging Light Bulb Bud Vase on Wooden Board (Similar to the one above).
It was interesting finding out what led to him making such things as it turned out (as with most creative processes) it all came about by trying different things which led to the final point. Again I was drawn to it because it reminded me of a Golden Pothos Plant my sister had in her kitchen which was in a light bulb filled with water. I would often stand and stare endlessly at it trying to figure out how they were able to take the base off without breaking the glass.
Ian did try to explain but I still couldn't get it round my head how such a fragile piece of glass would not break as one tries to take the base off. Talent and skill!! That is how it is done.
Here is my table at the fair. I got there and found out I was on stage with had a lot of room. I immediately regretted not coming with my studio easels and much bigger works. It would have been a perfect place to show my much larger paintings.
Again my small acrylic paintings displayed on the mini easels received a lot of attention especially the Bournemouth Beach Huts. I am always glad when people take to them very well because I enjoy painting them.
I also met Rachel Vivian of Daisy and Arthur and Jules of Dorsetmade. Their works were very colourful and pleasant to the eye. Rachel was introduced to the world of crafts by her grandparents, Daisy and Arthur, with whom she spent many glorious hours as a child. Her love for anything colourful and crochet is clearly evident in her works.
Jules loves making something items that mean something to people; She has taken great enjoyment in watching the smile on her friends' and family's faces when they open a present that has been made with them in mind.
Linda Williams of Ndieh's Designs was also there with her brand new collection of fabulous bags and purses. They are unique collections because she designed the pattern for the fabric she uses and had it professionally printed here in UK. With her it is all about branding and bold colours. Her products are instantly recognizable and are a perfect way to add some colour to any outfit.
In general it was a very well organized fair and was very well attended. Lots of people had nice things to say about their experience at the fair. Here are a couple of comments from Facebook.
I wish all the owners of the small businesses that took part in the Christmas fair all the very best in all their endeavours. All the hard work will continue to pay off.
Thanks again to Rachel of TheDorothyDays and her team (including her mum) for all their hard work.
I hope I have been able to give you a few gift ideas that would hopefully make shopping for your loved ones this Christmas a lot less stressful [Tweet this].
Be sure to visit the shops highlighted above and those of other members of the Dorset Etsy Team and have a good browse. After all it is FREE to look. Help support local small businesses
Let me know how you get on.
All the very best and Have a very Merry Christmas
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