Borders girl living life in the capital

Smailholm Fete

Recently I volunteered to have a stall at the annual summer fete in the village where I live, Smailholm. Since being at last years fete I decided that I could have a stall this year selling handmade cards and a few other bits and pieces. However as the fete approached I had almost decided that I wouldn't have much time to make any cards when I agreed to take a stall!?! The fete committee e-mail's kept saying that they still needed more stalls and so I decided that if I said I would take one then it would force me to make some cards and hopefully make some money too. This meant that my efforts were quite last minute as it turned out that I was pretty busy with other commitments for a couple of weeks before the fete. However I after a few late nights(2.30am!), and some much appreciated help from my sisters and Malik (my boyfriend) I had enough stuff to fill my table top.
This is my stall! :)
I decided to sell handmade cards as well as little wooden hearts on a ribbon that I had painted, decorated then varnished. I had a few other little items as well such as stones I had painted and varnished to make paperweights, heart shaped magnets and large slates that I had decorated with quotes and one that I had made into a sort of welcome sign. I was selling cards and the wooden hearts for £2 each with the other items varying between £1 and £3.50.
I never imagined that I would have had so much success at the fete. Sales were slow to start with and at first the only people that were buying anything were Malik's parents and family, and some friends in the village, who I couldn't help thinking were buying things because they felt they had to. I had paid £10 to have the stall and then I think I had spent about £40 in craft shops buying blank cards and more bits and bobs, buttons, ribbon etc. (May I add it is very easy to spend a lot of money in these shops and I don't think it would be hard at all to blow thousands in craft shops!!) By half way through the day I was thinking that I might just cover my costs but however by the end of the day when I counted up my earnings it came to about £86 which I was ecstatic about....I was so pleased that my hard work and late nights had paid off.
I wasn't just the money that I made that made me happy about the success of my stall. During the day I had a few people ask me if I do regular craft fairs (which I don't) and a couple of people asked if I would be interested in taking a stall at some other fairs nearer Christmas which is great. It is amazing to hear people saying that they like your creations, especially if they like them enough to buy them. There was a woman at another stall selling jewellery (Earthbeads) who asked for my contact details because she said her kids would be interested in the little wooden hearts at Christmas as presents for their grandparents. I am hoping that I can continue to make cards, paint hearts and come up with some more creations in my spare time and then I will hopefully attend some craft fairs nearer Christmas. I most certainly like the idea of this becoming an on-going side project.

It's not a very good photo but this was one of my favourite cards, I made the hedgehog from a small slate I found that had a wee pointy bit like a nose and then painted the spikes on the card and used a stamp for the grass. I was reluctant to sell it at first however the couple that bought it said it they were going to send it to a friend that had a B&B called 'Hedgehog Hill' so at least it was going to a good home!! :)
 Please let me know if you know of any craft fairs around the Borders of Edinburgh area!

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