I should probably explain the need for strapping things to the roof, I suppose the reason is obvious, the car was full! Actually, I feel that full is an understatement.... 10 apple boxes of stock, assorted plastic tubs of stock, a suitcase, a holdall, and yes, a partridge in a pear tree! Mum ended up having a crate on her lap for the entire 4 hour journey, as well as no room for her feet with all the extras we crammed in.
The contents of Alf, my faithful Vauxhall Astra Estate, was the result of months of 14hr days of work - hundreds of homewares, accessories and handbags made by my own fair hands, for the biggest event in the history of Les Sacs Magique: a five day shopping bonanza at the Country Living Spring Fair.
So exhausted before we even set off, after a frantic weekend of organising, packing and labelling (by my mum and sister, as I will still at the sewing machine!), we left for the Fair. After a brief panic that something had fallen off the roof (actually it was a machine in a field we were passing) we got stuck in 2 hrs of traffic, but eventually reached the Business Design Centre in Islington, relatively unscathed!
After carting crate after crate, box after box, and owl after owl (yes, my giant owl cushions weren't exactly packed in anything) we arrived at the modest stand on the sought after mezzanine level at the fair. It was time to build....
|Les Sacs Magique - Stand M98 at Country Living Spring Fair|
So at 8am on Wednesday 23rd March, mum & I were at the stand organising and arranging the stock into this shabby chic, mini boutique, which was the concept for the stand.
|The Apple Crate Shelves Stocked with Homewares|
|Notice Boards, Stuffed Hearts & Peg Bags|
|A Les Sacs Magique Selection|
Speaking to visitors to the fair, I found how receptive they were to UK handmade products, particularly with the fair having a relatively high number of imported goods, and my bestsellers (homewares) were selling like hotcakes!
Whilst exhausting, (I don't think my feet have ever ached so much in my life... note to self, put a chair in the next stand!!!), the show was rewarding, successful and fun! The Gala Evening allowed us a couple of glasses of wine and a giggle, as well as catching up with old friends, family and customers who had come to support Les Sacs Magique.
The remaining 4 days of the show saw more Les Sacs Magique supporters come for a visit, as well as a growing number of customers. Mum & I developed a shift system as the small space was a little overwhelming when manned by two people, and it all went without a hitch. I sold handbags, noticboards, key rings, toiletry bags and homewares galore, and was encouraged by the customers who really valued my products. (Every now and then I do have to wonder if this business is the right thing to do, being permanently broke and overworked, but then you get a customer who thinks it's wonderful, and you know they will keep coming back, and I remember why I'm doing this, why I'm passionate about it, why I work 70 hr weeks...)
|Owls & Bunnies Galore...|
|The Mother of All Noticeboards ;-)|
It certainly was an adventure, the most successful event so far for Les Sacs Magique, and I can't wait for Country Living Christmas...
|A Kooky Owl Bonanza...|