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Monday, July 29, 2013

Wow, what a weekend!

I've just got back from my first Fibre East. I didn't go last year but heard it was a bit of a mud bath. Worms were mentioned a lot too. This year was a complete contrast. It was HOT! Saturday especially was very HOT! We were in one of the marquees and even with several of the side doors open, it was HOT. The Saturday got off to a quiet start then it got really busy in the middle of the day and later in the afternoon it went very quiet again. I think all the knitters and spinners were outside socialising and knitting and spinning (or eating ice cream and trying to cool down).
Sunday was very different. It was a bit cooler and very windy. And there was a more of a steady stream of shoppers. A bit busier in the middle of the day but on the whole a steady stream. On Saturday we sold more yarn than patterns but on Sunday we sold more patterns. We probably had a similar number of transactions over the 2 days (although not looked at it yet) but took less money on Sunday as patterns are cheaper than yarn.
I must admit I was in a bit of a meltdown last week. Those of you who follow me on Twitter may have realised that from my tweets on Thursday. By the time Simon came home I was having a complete meltdown. I was on the verge of tears and wanted to give up doing everything. Part of the reast I was stressed out was that this show came a month after Woolfest and it takes me a couple of weeks to fully recover from Woolfest. I've also had several deadlines in the last month and I've got several patterns on the go for deadines this week and trying to juggle that with family life and preparing for a show as very, very difficult. I'm quite relieved that our next show isn't till end of September (Yarndale).
 I also hadn't done Fibre East before so had no idea what the stalls will be like. I knew the meaurements but it's difficult to imagine how big that is. I'd also expected some kind of dividing walls between the stalls but found out last week that wasn't the case. I should have taken a pic of our space before we set up. Turning up to a rectangle marked out on the tarmac and 2 tables then having to try to work out how to set things up is not easy.

First thing we did was to ask the lovely organisers if they could give us a third table.  I coudn't do anything about walls. I do rely on wall space to hang my hanging dress forms to display as many shaws as possible. I'd brought my dress form, borrowed one from a friend and brought my table top dress form. We also used the space at the front of the tables to display shawls. In the end I was happy with the result. 

In the rush to pack I'd brought my old banner which annoyed me a lot and I'd also forgotten to bring my carrier bags. Our lovely friends at Purlescence helped us out and kept us supplied with carrier bags for the weekend. And that's the thing I love about these shows and this industry as a whole. Yes we are competitors but we are also friends and the friendship and helpfulness between stall holders is great. Everyone is just so friendly. 
The visitors were wonderful too. I met several of the Lace Lovers Club members and other regular customers. It was great to put some faces to names, although you may need to remind me again who you are next time we meet as I'm rubbish at remembering who's who. There were a few 'fan girl' moments which are flattering but which i never quite know how to react to. I met some of my sample knitters and friends I've known online for years and I met several indie designers & yarnies I've known online but never met in person before. It was wonderful to meet you all and you really made my weekend.


Handmade by Stefanie said...

Looks like an awesome event!

Nikki said...

It was great to meet you on Saturday - I have to say you didn't look at all stressed and the stall looked great. It says something when we recognised the stall by the shawl!

Anonymous said...

It was great to meet you too, Nikki. I felt so much more relaxed when we got there and were set up. Really enjoyed the weekend. Been feeling exhausted this week though.

Nikki said...

I'm not surprised, I was exhausted just going round!! So will you be there next year or is it too early to say?

Anonymous said...

I'd love to be there again next year but it's too early to decide on which shows to apply for. It's very soon after Woolfest and Woolfest is a better show in sales terms, as in we make more of a profit.

I'll be making decisions in the autumn about which shows to apply for next year but Fibre East is a show I'd like to do again. I just wish it wasn't so close to Woolfest.