Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Folk It spent their 1st birthday at The Handmade Fair

Well, the dust is settling and we have been busily unpacking after the Handmade Fair.  As we settle back into our usual routine back in Sheffield we are still bowled over, not only by the fantastic response we received over the weekend but also by the event as a whole; the quality of the stalls, the food and of course, the atmosphere. Only in it's second year, it is still relatively new but it can certainly stand up against the more established events across the country. 

As you may know, the team at Folk It were preparing for the Handmade Fair for quite a while before the show.  This event certainly had a special place in our heart as it was the event we used to launch our kits back in 2014. Last year we had a fantastic response and this year although we hoped for a successful weekend we weren't sure what reaction we would receive, whether we would see many people from last year or how many new faces we would see.  We are pleased to say however, that our fears were unfounded. Throughout the three days the Folk It team was kept busy with demonstrations, questions and catching up with Folk It regulars from our Social media and a few familiar faces. Among those we met were the lovely Carrie from illabella, blogger and crafter, Terri from Home is where the craft is and Susie from SK Cakes

It was fantastic to chat to Folkers about the projects they've created since last year and it was a great feeling to see projects posted on Social media from people who had gone straight home or to their hotel and cracked open their kits.

1. Emma created this lovely hanging heart. 2. Lauren went home to practice the Starter kit designs.
3. Louisa has been bitten by the Folk It! bug and has been adding dot designs to everything :)
4. @thecrochetchain shared these lovely borders on Instagram

Every evening, you could find Carol in the Grand Makes tent putting her teaching experience to excellent use to show everyone how to create a dot rose design. Many people entered the tent very sceptical about how easy this design is to create and to see their designs and their faces when they realised we were telling the truth was amazing.  From old to young, men and women, they all left the tent with a huge sense of achievement and a card to keep.  We had to dash back to the tent each day to help out the rest of the team with the crowds of people buying kits afterwards. Word got round to the organisers as well and they congratulated Carol on delivering one of the best Grand Makes of the event.  

One of the lovely surprises of the weekend has to have been a visit from Kirstie Allsopp to our stall. Early Sunday morning, Carol found herself demonstrating the Starter kit to Kirstie who was amazed at how simple and effective it was.  Knowing how busy she was, it was lovely to see her stop by and celebrate our first birthday with us with a team photo :) 

The Handmade Fair Folk It team with Kirstie Allsopp 

One of the downsides to the event was that we did not get a lot of time to browse the amazing stalls and wares that were on offer (though that might have been a good thing for our bank balances!). As a Sheffield based company ourselves, it was lovely to see people from Ernest Wright selling their fantastic scissors in the other tent.   We were also introduced to the fun and wonderful world of Wild Things who create beautiful dresses and capes for little ones.  From beautiful dresses to Little Red Riding Hood capes and fancy dress outfits this stall was just gorgeous! One stall that also seemed to be constantly busy was the Arty Crafty Place and their Block Craft. Their Fair-trade hand carved blocks can be used to print on paper and fabric and their range of designs was stunning.  

Simply Vintage Designs had a beautiful stall and the Haywood Sisters were part of the HotchPotch Charity Events tea rooms. 

There was lots of cake decorating inspiration on the Fiona Cairns stall and the staff at Lea Lu were dressed in beautiful vintage outfits. 

With a relaxed, almost festival like vibe, we saw an array of outfits from vintage to crochet, sophisticated to unusual.  With Pom Pom jewellery and flower headband workshops there was an array of eye-catching head wear.  There really was something for everyone.  

Kirsty and One Man Crochet certainly turned a few heads at the weekend  
It is impossible to say which part of the event was our favourite as we have truly been blown away; by the amazing stalls we have seen, the people we have met and the feedback we have been given. One thing we are certain about though, it was a fantastic place to celebrate our first birthday.  With many exciting events on the horizon, we are definitely looking forward to The Handmade Christmas Fair in November.  If you can get to Manchester, it promises to be another fantastic (and festive) weekend.  


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