This year I’m all about the wholesale and the trade side of business, so tomorrow I set up for my first ever trade fair. It feels a bit strange because I’ve been wholesaling and doing trade sales for as long as I’ve retailed. Yet this show feels different from the heady, adrenaline fuelled rush, slight panic driven feeling that often accompanies retail fairs I’ve previously done.
I am however, very excited yet calm too. This is going to be a whole new experience and the preparation for this show has let me dust off skills that I haven’t had to use for awhile. BCTF or the British Craft Trade Fair, is a specialist fair for high end British Crafts, it’s a beautiful event, and almost like being at an art exhibition in some respects. It has a specific feel and look, and means I’ve had to look at how I viewed my work and business from a new perspective.
So I’ve dug out my curation skills because at retail fairs, it’s all about selling. So you need quantity, whereas for BCTF it’s all about displaying collections of work that highlight and emphasise what you do. This has proven the hardest thing to do because I have quite an extensive collection of work and I love it all but I’m limited to space!
I’ve also spent ages on really working out pricing and having to assess what I print into whether it’s viable to sell at wholesale. It’s having the confidence and belief in what you do, to really face up to whether something is working and having the strength of conviction to say no it’s not. This isn’t a negative thing either, just a very refreshing but scary review on how I work and understanding my strengths and weaknesses.
At the show this year I’m going to be launching my new collection of work. A series of photographic prints depicting the beauty of my extensive wood type collection. I’ve loved bringing this together to show the other side of printing, and I really hope to expand on the product range after the show. For now, you’ll be able to order framed prints, unframed prints that are mounted, greetings cards and postcard collections. These are available to order at the show but they’ll soon be live to buy at Not on the High Street and through the DYP store here.
Anyway, I’ve got a BCTF roll call, as a lot of my rather splendid and highly talented friends and creatives will be showcasing as well. I’ve given a list below so you can find them online and at the show too.
I’ll be updating facebook, twitter and instagram whilst I’m away and then be back to give you my verdict!
See you on the other side and be sure to check out the fantastic people below too!
Bec Gilray – Do You Punctuate? Stand N20
Lynsey Searle – SwirlyArts stand 236
Shelley Lodge – Contemporary Enamels – Stand N11
Marianne Eyles Smith – Blue Duck Designs – Stand 80
Nicola taylor Photography – Stand number 154
Kimberli Werner – The Red Corvid Stand 170
Magnolia Restrepo Jewllery – Stand N1
Emma M Swailes – Jems Stand N29
Naomi Southon – Nimanoma – Stand 269
Margaret Glackin – Stand N40 –
Kath Bonson – Bon–art – Stand 344A
Helen Russell – Helen Russell Creations – Stand 280
Liz Samways – Inkylinky – Stand N49
Tracy Connell – Ruby Spirit Designs – stand 347
Leigh Shepherd – Leigh Shepherd Designs – Stand 206
Sarah West Wood – Sarah Westwood – Stand 318
Alexia Swirkowski – Stand 204 (I’ve got get a weblink!)
Julia Bately – Teazle