Join my Gift Wrapping Workshops at Kirstie Allsopp’s The Handmade Fair

Join my Gift Wrapping Workshops at Kirstie Allsopp’s The Handmade Fair this weekend, plus we are giving away 2 pairs of tickets for this amazing event…..read on!

hampton court

At Hampton Court Palace, after the resounding success of The recent Handmade Fairs, Kirstie is back again to inspire, impress and surprise us and to feed our hunger for all things arty, crafty, creative and handmade.  Tables of champagne, china teacups and cup cakes will accompany and sustain much perusing inside white marquees, as a vivid variety of handpicked sellers, step by step project instructors and skilled presenters give thousands of creative imaginations a treat.

 

September 15-17th  are the dates to put in your diary if you wish to have a magical time among like-minded hobby crafters.  Not only is there the wonderful experience of hearing from Kirstie, along with many, varied skilled experts but there is also the promise of extensive, high quality, crafty shopping.  Either, stock up on craft-making essentials and accessories or treat yourself to something stunning, hand-made by an expert.

jane means and kirstie allsopp

A unique collaboration.  Kirstie Allsopp has very successfully spearheaded the popular resurgence of crafting for over 5 years now and her passion, her appeal to people of all ages and her prominent position in the media have enabled her to draw so many well-known experts together so that everyone can learn from and enjoy this very hands-on event, where each person who attends has the opportunity to make something to take home.

Inspiring catering is also a must, after creative minds have crafted and also shopped themselves into exhaustion.  There are plenty of opportunities to sit and take a break with a variety of refueling snacks and drinks.  The Artisan Marketplace will also supply you with more goodies and gifts to take home.

 

Celebrations Skills Workshops will take place throughout each of the three days and my gift wrapping workshops will begin at 2.30pm each afternoon, featuring how to wrap a gift beautifully.  I will explain, step by step, how to make the presentation just as good as the item inside, and you will take your gift home.  As a regular speaker and demonstrator at trade seminars and corporate events, I am looking forward to returning to Kirstie’s The Handmade Fair very much, after enjoying the warm and friendly atmosphere of last year’s event.

giftwrapped book

 

Giftwrapped book by Jane Means

Come and find me at Stand E9…  I will be signing copies of my book, ’Giftwrapped’ at The Handmade Fair and will be happy to talk wrapping paper, ribbon, have photos taken together and enjoy a quick chit chat

Handmade Fair stand E9

Unique ribbons, raffia, luxury paper, lace, boxes, bags and more…  Displaying practical and inventive ideas to wrap up all occasions and celebrations, I am looking forward to being a part of this very special fair and to enjoying what I know will be a fabulous weekend of inspiration, fun and meeting lots of like-minded people.

 

Come to a stunning and inspiring setting.  Hampton Court Palace, home to Henry VIII, after originally being the residence of Cardinal Wolsey, evolved through Tudor, Stuart and Georgian periods of royal and architectural history and is a unique and wonderful venue for such an event.

 

Hampton Court Palace is also well-known for its yew tree maze, designed as a humorous distraction for William III, and the world famous gardens, designed by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, are a stunning feast for the eyes.  The estate covers 750 acres in total within a loop of the River Thames and, if you make a weekend trip of your Handmade Fair visit, the palace and all its attractions are well worth exploring.

 

Located in the beautiful parkland surrounding the palace, with its white marquees, adorned with bunting and surrounded by picket fences, The Handmade Fair is a wonderful day out or weekend away and offers so many opportunities to both sellers and craft enthusiasts.

Bunting

It is also wonderful to know that Kirstie will be around, chatting, drinking tea, happily posing for photos with people and generally soaking up the fantastic atmosphere that this spectacular event creates.

 

Travel.  The palace, located in the London borough of Richmond upon Thames, in Surrey, is easily accessible by train, bus and coach and there is extensive parking but it is advisable to pre-book a parking space.

win

So if this sounds like your perfect day out, we are giving away 2 pairs of Admission Only Tickets for this wonderful event. Simply leave us a comment by 22.00hrs BST on Wednesday 13th September why you would like to win, and our 2 lucky winners will be revealed

For more details about ‘Kirstie Allsopp’s The Handmade Fair’ log on to www.thehandmadefair.com

See you there folks x

Categories: Autumn, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Clever props and styling tips to make your craft fair booth stand out

I’ve written this blog post ‘Clever props and styling tips to make your craft fair booth stand out’ after being asked by so many people about displays.  Even if you haven’t anything to sell or promote, this article will give you lots of inspirations for displays in your home too.

When a stall is competing for attention at a craft fair and when your specifically selected and painstakingly hand crafted examples of practiced skill and creativity are waiting to be admired, chosen and taken to a loving home, it is important to ensure that the products are the stars of the show.

It was Chanel who suggested that a woman should get ready, stand in front of a mirror and remove one accessory before leaving the house.  The essential advice being that ‘less is more’ and the same is true of the art of visual merchandising.

mobile craft fair

 

A great idea is a custom made wardrobe which can be transported to a fair and it’s ready for action as soon as you’ve opened the doors

It is not necessary to have everything on display all at once.  Having too much to look at can become less of a feast for the eyes and more of a confusing overdose, which detracts from the features and qualities of each individual item.  Extra product can be concealed under fabric-draped tables or safely hidden elsewhere so that each item is allowed its own place in the spotlight.  Dependant upon the products, some can even be presented in boxes on the floor below the main, more accessible display.

neat storage

If you’re mixing colour do it in blocks

Grouping similar items together and creating sections of colour coordination is key to making a cohesive visual impact.  It only takes a second or two for eyes to advise the brain to keep walking or to take a closer look and clever styling will draw people in and allow items to be easily seen and, more importantly, be presented at their best.

 

craft fair display

 

Colour Order works well and is easy on the eye especially in cramped spaces.  Ribbons by Jane Means

Today, your products are also going to become the photo shoot models of virtually every camera and phone that flashes by your stall.  You are suddenly selling to people who are not even attending that particular event as each picture could Facebook and Instagram its way across the globe and your small craft fair stall has suddenly become the unassuming platform of your worldwide advertising campaign.  Every vista of your visual merchandising counts.

jewellery display

Image courtesy of GoodSamShow

Items are generally, extensively displayed on tables, which means table cloths or lengths of fabric are required.  Select beautiful fabrics such as black crushed velvet, crisp white tablecloths or a fabric colour that really compliments your products in a way that makes them stand out.  A vital tip is to ensure your table covering is spotless and creaseless and, perhaps, have a spare on hand just in case of unforeseen accidents.

ribbon table cloth

Image courtesy of Aroka Weddings

Tearing of your stall is a great way to optimize the amount of product and the clarity with which it can be seen.  Boxes can be built up and concealed under table coverings or display props can be used.  Creating height at the back of your stall makes your presentation area appear bigger and, remember, the aim of the game is to create a perfect picture, illustrating your product from a few metres away, so keep stepping back and admiring your merchandising until it looks just right.

 

watering can storage

Watering Can by Clifton Nurseries

Creating a focal point such as this turquoise watering can will catch the eye and draw people in.  A sense of spectacle and drama is not to be under-estimated but one main focal point is more dramatic than throwing on everything you think is wonderful for impressive effect.  Your focal point may feature your star products framed by a stunning free-hanging, picture frame, suspended from the stall roof or it may be a customized prop that has been styled to suit your theme perfectly. I love to use cake stands

cake stand

Small stand – Great for highlighting your favourite products

Props need not be expensive and can be as random and quirky as your sense of styling allows.  I recently purchased an old but beautiful bureau from ebay for ten pounds but a weekend of sanding, sweating and painting later and it was a terrific, turquoise display fixture for stationery items and the perfect focal point for my pop up shop in London at Clifton Nurseries.

Turquoise bureau

Tall, wooden stools, antique tables, free standing or stepped shelving and upcycled old chairs hung on walls as shelves, make great merchandising furniture and old copper kettles, elegant cake stands, antique typewriters, painted bird cages, vibrantly coloured watering cans, large candlestick stands and artist’s easels are examples of random, beautiful objects that may just enhance a theme by their strategically placed presence. I love these painted apple crates

painted crates

 

Image courtesy of Pinterest 

Do not forget the backdrop of your stall.  Plastic sheeting of a blue and white, stripy nature may be what the stall was supplied with but consider the scenery of your stage setting.  Clip on fabric, tape up wallpaper or use an opaque plastic sheet of appropriate colour.  Every inch of your selling space should be considered, designed and intentionally presented.  Space is expensive.  Use it to maximum impact but remember, ‘less is more’ and, if something does not add to the show, then it takes away and it should probably be removed.

 

country living fair

I’ve also utilised crates under the table so it acts as display as well as storage. I’ve also made a ribbon curtain to hang on the wall as a feature

Remember, people will look with their hands as well as their eyes.  Although people are just being enthusiastic and probably just can’t keep their hands from the textures and fabrics, etc, (we all do it!) it is our own responsibility to keep our stage set spotless.  Maintenance of the area should be constant as photographs certainly will be.  Nobody wishes to enter an untidy stand or would be tempted towards a messy stall when the one next door is looking stunning so, paying attention to house keeping detail is a vital piece of advice.

neat display

Keep your display neat and tidy

One of the most important fixtures of your stall has not yet been mentioned and this is you!  You are the key to selling your products, ideas and inspirations.  Always be friendly and approachable.  This is your stage so wear a smile.  Eating and spending time on your phone are not ideal or appealing things to do in this, your professional place of work so save that for an allocated break time when you can step away from your stall.

Your stall is also a good place to inspire potential customers and to show them just how beautiful, versatile and useful your products are.  Giving demonstrations is also the perfect way to engage people’s attention and keep them at your stall.  Remember, there will be equally interesting stalls or booths beside yours but the clever trick is to make yours stand out and look like ‘this is the place to be’.  Drawing a small crowd with a demonstration is always a good idea and this can be done at several times during the day.

Jane Means LONDON 108

Gone are the days for me when I’d head to a village hall and throw a tablecloth to see my wares.  With the birth of social media I’m now aware that many shoppers are taking photos of my stand and it’s a great way to get keen instagrammers to snap away and highlight your products and hard work. Soft lighting and props are always eyecatching

Hope House Press

Leather Journal by Hope House Press 

haberdashery closet

Our Haberdashery Closet in Lincoln full to the brim with ribbons and we use baskets, crates, terracotta pots, planters.  I also bought a gorgeous pine sideboard off Ebay seen here

inject-humour

Inject humour to make your customers smile

 

tea cup display

Use quirky props.  Tea cups are good for small items

 

Country Living Spring Fair 2016

You could add flowers even if they’re fake

 

Finally here’s some more tips…

Always look friendly and approachable

Try and look slightly busy or demonstrate your craft so you don’t appear too intimidating

Never eat or be on your phone – take a break to do this

Ensure table cloths are washed and ironed

Wallpaper makes a great back drop in a booth.  Just use Masking tape

On a final note, we’ll be at a few shows this year including Burghley Horse Trials, Handmade Fair, Spirit of Christmas, and Country Living Fair, London. Do pop and say hello to us if you’re there, we’d love to see you.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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