Waaah what a week! We've been so busy we've failed to do our daily brain dump on what we've been up to so here is one big off load (to be honest with the crazy Christmas season staring at us like a bull at a Matador it's probably going to be like this for the next couple of months)!
Craft & Flea Sheffield
Martha had a great Saturday at the Craft & Flea held at Sheffield's Cathedral. Craft markets are so unpredictable we've learnt through trial and error to not expect anything from a market and don’t go expecting to take a certain amount of money! Yes, you must do a load of prep before the market, set it up, be there for the whole day and take all your stuff home when the market ends but if calculate what you should take to cover your time and products etc you'll be very disappointed! Treat any show or market as a PR opportunity, marketing project, networking event and a chance to meet kindred small business owners as well as a sales opportunity. You never know how many people who walked past your stand and didn't buy on the day come back to buy from your website or from a stockist when the moment is right for them.
Craft & Flea have dates all over the UK, find one near you here. We'll be at the one in Leeds on 28th October and Bristol on 4th November.
Gift Wrap That Gives!
Running m&h isn't about making loads of cash for us it's much more than just money. It's about being able to do what we love whilst being able to balance the see-saw of life and work, keeping the guilty working mother gremlin at bay whilst ensuring we keep our identities.
We are also very keen to be part of the 'pay it forward' culture we love true philanthropic brands such as Selfish Mother, Gandy’s Flip Flops and Toms and taking inspiration from these guys we've developed our Gift Wrap That Gives campaign!
We will be giving 10% of profits from the sale of our gift wrap designs to nominated charities and we have launched by donating to Trussell Trust foodbanks in Sheffield and North Devon from the sales of our Christmas Brussels Sprout gift wrap!
Find out more about our project here
The Creative Community
I mentioned in our first Dear Diary blog that I'd been listening to Holly Tuckers Conversations of Inspiration well this week was the turn of the awesome copy conjurer Andy Poplar from Vinegar & Brown Paper. We first listened to a talk Andy gave at a Folksy event 5 years ago (maybe 6 years ago) where we were in awe of his ability to convey emotion with simple words or phrases etched into everyday items. Intrigued? Mooch about Andy's website here
Anyway, this isn't just about us girl fanning about Andy's work it's more about our affinity with his story and how his emotions and experiences parallel ours. The unhappiness in previous careers, the time to mend, the creativity that turned into a business, the dark lows and the bright highs. Staying ahead of the game, finding the right work balance and becoming the richest we've ever been, not in monetary terms but in happiness. Listen to this amazing podcast here.
Working for yourself is amazing don't get us wrong but the reality is everyone struggles and if their Instagram appears to be all positive, they're simply not telling you everything that is involved in running a small business and life! With that in mind please send virtual hugs to another fellow creative Devonian, chunky knitter Lauren Aston who is navigating the shit storm of breaking her wrist just before the busiest time of the year....
Argh we've done so much more this week, but I really need to stop writing here and get on with the never ending job of rewriting our Etsy titles and tags (fun Friday)!
Have a great weekend, I've got no plans other than siphoning our home-made blackberry vodka out of the Kilner jar with a Calpol syringe and drinking it!
P.S Last weekend I did make Bacon cakes which were surprisingly yummy and found dinosaurs!