I've spent the past few days recovering from exhibiting at the British Craft Trade Fair, between 8-10 April in Harrogate. It was a great experience - yet very tiring being on your feet for 3 solid days!
The first thing I should say is a big thankyou to my mum for driving me there, helping with set-up and take-down and being on hand to fetch me cups of tea and huge slices of cake all the way through!
It was very daunting getting there and seeing a completely empty space with my name above it - but seeing as I'd sketched out the layout roughly a million times and planned right down to how many hooks I needed it was quite easy to put it all up.
One thing about BCTF is you're not allowed to use nails or anything on the walls, so I strategically planned everything on my stand to hand from string tied to S hooks clipped over the top of the walls. I also wanted to go for a natural, simplistic look as my actual products are very busy and patterned. So, I just used bulldog clips for the cards, dowel rods for the wrapping paper, and a long wire basket instead of a shelf for the packaged tea towels and tote bags.
Once the set-up day was over, the fair was open for three days. It was a fantastic experience, I talked to so many talented people and learned so much. Everyone was friendly and happy to share their experiences and advice, which was great for me as this was my first trade fair. I also met quite a few buyers interested in possibly stocking my work, so watch this space!
Next event I'll be doing is my degree show to mark the end of my illustration course at Edinburgh College of Art - I'll be an expert in how to display things after this!