Monday, 6 July 2015

June Craft Fairs

I attended two craft fairs last month.  I was back at Little Fox and tried a new craft fair "Made in Watford" at The New Watford Market.

Watford was a last minute addition to my schedule of events, I saw it advertised in the local paper.  It was the first one of its kind and I was excited to be a part of it.  However, this was the worst event I have ever attended!  I don't normally like to be so blunt and negative especially as a lot of work went into the event and the advertising beforehand.  In theory it should have been great but some of my fellow stall holders packed up and went at 2:30pm, I stuck it out until it closed at 4pm.

The new craft fair has been introduced to attract people to the market.  The new market reopened in Watford in a new location last year and according to the permanent stall holders it isn't getting the footfall and a lot have had to close their stalls.

When we were there a lot of the usual stall holders didn't open so it looked closed.  Part way through the day we decided to move our stalls out on to the High Street (we did get permission) and I wish we had thought to do that earlier.

I usually say that you need to give events a few goes before making a decision, but I have done enough now to know which are good ones with potential, and sadly I don’t think Watford has much potential.  I was also open to the elements, although the market is undercover it's not indoors. Thankfully it was a sunny, dry day but it was very windy and I needed to add ribbon to my display to tie items down, which isn’t great for customers browsing or the appearance of my stall. You can never guarantee the British weather and my previous experience with an outdoor event gives me another reason not to do this one again. Ah well, at least I tried it, I would have regretted it if I hadn’t.

Thankfully I was back at Little Fox the weekend after which was a more positive experience.  I attend this regularly and you probably have read many times how I enjoy it so all I'm going to say about it this time is, it was another good one.  You can read about my previous times at the Little Fox Market here.

I haven't any more craft fairs booked until August now when I will be back at Royston.  The organiser has done so much to promote this event, including yarn bombing the town, which made the local press and even the BBC news website! I'm looking forward to going back there as this is another one of my favourites.

fizzi~jayne x

Psst.... you can see the craft fairs I have booked for the rest of 2015 here.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Five Minutes With....

The lovely Kate, a fellow crafter and blogger over at Beak Up Crafts, has interviewed me for her {Five Minutes With} feature over on her crafty blog and you can read it here.
Kate from Beak Up Crafts
Grab a cuppa and spend five minutes with me while I share my journey with fizzi~jayne makes.... and share my top tips to time management.

Pssst....There is also a discount for readers to use in my shop at the end of the post.

fizzi~jayne x

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Don't Forget your Father's Day card....

Father's Day is on 21st June 2015 and I have a range of handmade Father's Day cards in my shop for your special Dad.

Men are always challenging to buy for don't you think? And to be honest I find them challenging to design for but I love a challenge and I hope you like what I have created....

Last order date to a UK address is 16th June 2015 to receive your card in time,  if you are posting it onward please allow extra time to order.

I will have these cards at the Little Fox Market this Saturday.  I always look forward to this craft fair and this time there will also be new foodie stalls including a micro brewery. Funnily enough my hubby is now more than happy to help me set up after hearing this news!

fizzi~jayne x

Monday, 8 June 2015

book review ~ Online Marketing for your Craft Business by Hilary Pullen....

One of my 2015 goals is to grow my business online and to help me do this I have read Hilary Pullen's Online Marketing for Your Craft Business.
I made lots of notes and used my new owl sticky notes, they look so cute!

As the front cover describes, Hilary's book tells you "How to get your handmade products discovered, shared and sold on the internet" and I think it does a good job of that.  The book delves into each key area and social media platform, including:
Hilary explains how to get the best out of each platform and gets you started if you haven't got a profile.

I was thankful for a chapter explaining Google Analytics and how to use the reports.  I set up Google Analytics as soon as I set up my Folksy shop and started selling.  Having previously worked in retail I was used to analysing stats but I haven't really got the best out of Google yet and it proves that I need to make time for analysing metrics such as unique vs returning visitors, page views and bounce rate to be able to know what is working and what I need to focus my time on. 

There is a LOT to think about and I'm wondering where I will find the time to do everything and do it well, in a lot of companies there is a team of people whose job is social marketing! Hilary does acknowledge that it looks like a lot of work but by being realistic with your time and planning in advance can mean you make the most of social marketing and in turn grow your business online.

I already have a plan for this blog with my ideas and when I'd like to post them but I don't have a social media plan.  I tend to post as I go which is still important but there are bound to be posts I can plan and schedule so I don't spend lots of 15 minute (or longer) periods during a week.  This book is helping me put my plan together.

This is a fizzi~jayne recommended read if you want to grow your blog/business online and want to get the most out of your social media posts.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

fizzi~jayne x

Please note: the Amazon links in this post are affiliate links
If you happen to click on an affiliate link and purchase something, I may make a small commission (pennies!) on that purchase which goes towards my work on this blog.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

I ran 10km!....

Last weekend was a Bank Holiday in the UK and usually I would be in my craft den but if you follow me on Instagram and Twitter you will already know I ran the Bupa London 10km on Monday!

All smiles before the start

The race starts on The Mall and finishes opposite Buckingham Palace. 

Buckingham Palace before the start

The route took us around many of London’s famous sights including Admiralty Arch, Nelson’s Column, St Paul’s Cathedral, Mansion House, the Bank of England, the Old Bailey, Somerset House, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. I would like to say I took it all in but my focus was to get around the course!

Just before 2km

Just after 7km

I'm pleased I ran the entire route in 1 hour, 16 minutes and 42 seconds. It was a great atmosphere, I wish I could thank all the supporters and marshals cheering us on, it really helps to get you round.

I ran the event to raise money for the Stroke Association in memory of my Nan. I have been blown away by the support I have received, at the time of writing this I raised £315.  Thank you!! 
10km done! I'm very pleased with my medal
Thank you to my hubby for being my cheerleader and taking these photos.

fizzi~jayne x