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Monday, 23 June 2014


Hello everyone

I am really pleased to be able to present this guest post from Lesley Beeton who not only took photographs are stallholder's work at the 7 June Godalming Bazaar, but attended the event as a customer.  It certainly contains food for thought for both me and the stallholders who took part and it is a timely reminder for stallholders taking part in any event.  Thank you Lesley for a very interesting guest post.

The Godalming Bazaar – a customer review

Hundreds of people visited the indoor Godalming Bazaar on Saturday 7th June.  The rainy morning kept some shoppers away, but those who braved the damped conditions were greeted with food and crafty delights.  These are some of my favourites.

JoJo from Artyfacial did a great job, keeping children occupied with face-painting, whilst Julia from Glutton and Glee provided a pop-up cafĂ© for that much-needed cup of coffee and a sit-down.  Stallholders included Melanie Capper from Melanie’s Garden, a natural skincare range, Kevin Gorton, a local artist and musician who hand-paints scenes of Godalming on everyday items, and Dawn Hart of local home-industry knitting enterprise Stone Pit Crafts. Crafts and gifts on sale varied from beautiful oil paintings on canvas by Jan Windle, to delightful glass products by Hot Glass.  There were plenty of hand-sewn items for sale, many to delight younger shoppers, such as customised bags by Made By Lorraine, and the gorgeous tooth-fairy pillows made by Lauren Broughton of Love Sew Sweet. Acorn to Oak provided a little bit of peace and quiet with reiki massage and crystal therapy.  Jewellery, re-incarnated plastic bags and fascinating items by Juraj, the blacksmith, added to the mix.  There were foodie highlights too, in the visual splendour of the macaroons by Pinch of This and the Chai Tea and Perfect Curry kits.

I do however, have some observations (as a customer), which I hope will provide constructive criticism for both the organisers and stall holders. Remember, you want to sell, and I want to buy.

Firstly, although slightly up on last time, a footfall of 50 an hour, or 2 visitors for each stand, seems a bit low. I wondered if a Town Crier out and about in town would be better than someone trying to hand out leaflets.  If you are going to hand out leaflets, what about numbering them and having a ‘Lucky Number’ draw each half hour, with a different stall holder putting up a small prize each time.  The poster boards at the door were not visible.  The banner poster was not effective.  Bunting might make people look twice.

There should be a unique selling point for the market - something that local people will look forward to each time.  Jugglers and knife throwers (or balloon artists and face painters) are too gimmicky for a luxury market. I spent a minimum of £10 at each stall I bought from, most were £12.50 starting point.  That's not cheap (nor should it be) but the market should promote itself as something special.

The first door (opposite Stone Pit Crafts) should have been open. It would have created a better flow of people, and more welcoming on entry.  A large map of who's who would be nice. Stall holders need badges to identify themselves.  Many were not very friendly.  One even had ear phones in!

I really don't like the borough hall as a venue. It was difficult for stall holders to display on one table top, with nowhere to put a banner or hanging items behind them.  This meant that buyers always look down, instead of up and out at eye-level, making eye-contact with sellers.  The noise in the room is unbearable.  There is nowhere for it to go. I had to work really hard to engage the stall holders in conversation, even when I had my purse open and money hanging out.  The exceptions were Melanie’s Garden, Peru Project and the local Godalming hand-painted coaster artist.  They wanted to tell me about their work, and they were interesting to talk to.

I didn't like having the food court stuck away.  More people would have bought a coffee on the way in/out if it had been part of the main event. 

Well, that’s enough feedback.  Good luck with the next market on Saturday 6th September.  May it be happy and successful, with lots of sales.

Lesley Beeton

Note: I took photos of, and talked to every stallholder. If anyone wants to talk to me directly about ways of improving the marketability of their stall, or get a high res photo, please let Jill Spain know. No charge.

Monster face-painting by JoJo of Artyfacial

Yummy macaroons by a Pinch of This

Kevin Gorton, local artist and musician

Tooth fairy cushions by Love Sew Sweet

Melanie Capper, Melanie's Garden

Dawn Hart, Stone Pit Crafts

Oil paintings on canvas by Jan Windle

Unique blacksmith art by JAJ BBQ and Blacksmith Products

Sunday, 22 June 2014


Hello everyone

When I began my blog, I promised myself I would blog regularly - at least once a week.  This was a promise I kept for a long, long time and then everything went to pot!  As we all know, life has a bad habit of getting in the way of plans.  I am sorry everyone for not keeping you up-to-date with what I am doing and more important, not keeping up-to-date with what you have been doing.  I will try to return to my regularly blogging ways and hopefully this post will update everyone with what has been happening in Christmas Pie land.

My 'makes' have been in the pottery section - not items for sale, but for fun.  I have been concentrating on my 'hat people'.  You may recall that a long time ago, I made a 'hat man' who now sports a very glossy black hat.  Along the same lines as Hat Man, I now have Hat Woman; she has a large brimmed hat, also shiny black and this has a red flower attached to the hat.  Her lips didn't quite turn out colour-wise as I had hoped and I will be painting them a nice bright shiny red.  The photographs are Hat Man first, followed by Hat Woman:

I am currently working on another Hat Lady - this one has a very wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. Unfortunately, I have problems making lips (as you can see from these offerings) and a fellow pottery student said Wide-Brimmed Hat Lady looked a lot like Mick Jagger - I may have to re-name her to him.

In addition to pottery, I have been working hard on organising the events now re-named Godalming Bazaar.  So much of what is needed to set up events takes place behind the scenes and of course, as those of you who have organised events or taken part in them knows, there is always so much more that could be and should be done to make them go with a bang.  For the June event, I and most of the stallholders taking part handed out flyers, posted posters and encouraged everyone they knew to come along to the event.

Adverts were placed in local publications (one delivered to 23,000 homes in the Godalming area), online and we had a mention in the What's On section of The Guide to Guildford.  I even had t-shirts printed with the Godalming Bazaar information emblazoned on the front and back - here is a picture of one of our stallholding promoters (Dawn of Stonepit Crafts) wearing her Bazaar outfit.  Dawn and two other t-shirt wearers went out and about into the Saturday shopping crowds to promote the event on the day.  One big disappointment was that despite being advised that delivery of one of the magazines I had advertised in would take place prior to the event to 23,000 homes, I found out last week that it did not take place until after the event.  Such a waste of a lot of money.  A very expensive lesson learned.

The event wasn't as well attended as I had hoped, it wasn't helped by clashing with the Godalming Town Show that took place on the same day.  However, as the procession went past our 'front door' I had hoped we would be able to welcome some passers-by in before they went off to the field for other events.  I had hoped to work with the Town Show organisers, but they wanted a contribution of £150 for the privilege of a couple of shout-outs over the tannoy on the day- cone on, Town Show Organisers, I am a small-business person!  My next event is in September, so plenty of time to come up with a miracle or two - any ideas anyone on how to get more people through the door?

I have booked a different venue for a Christmas event: Fairlands Community Hall.  The event is taking place on Saturday, 13 December and will run from 10.30 am - 4.30 pm.  I am hopeful that this venue will be a successful one, but I know that it takes hard work to get people through the doors and then more hard work from the stallholders to get them to spend.

A visitor to the event, also our 'official photographer' has written a great post from a customer's point of view.  Once I have published it I will add a link on here - it makes very interesting reading and carries lots of valid points both for stallholders and organisers. (me, specifically)

I bought myself a Cricut Explore recently and am looking forward to getting back to card-making and bag decorating - so watch this space for me getting back to 'normal' or trying to.

Have a great week everyone - don't forget to come back for the guest blog post about the Godalming Bazaar event and of course it almost goes without saying, pop over to Handmade Monday to see how everyone is getting on.


Wednesday, 18 June 2014


Hi everyone

Long time no see, or rather long time, no write!  In between what seems to be a lot of wet weather, it has been very sunny here and those of you who know me, know that I am a sunshine girl.  Born in August and therefore I love summer.  When the weather is grim I tend to hibernate.

Now what has been happening since I last posted my diary?  My eye problem has cleared up completely, thank goodness - the local boy cats thought I was winking at them!  I am still reducing the local wildlife - why do humans not like the presents I bring them!  Four weeks ago we had Sage, Angelica, Sorrel and Basil staying with us; just over two weeks ago they moved to another fosterer's home because Jill was away for a few days and doing other things.  Guess what?  We have Sage and Angelica back with us and they have grown so much.  Basil and Sorrel are settled into their new home and I am sure they have grown just as much as their brother and sister.

I have noticed that the fish in our pond are a lot more lively when the sun shines.  I will have to keep a close eye on them, just in case they sneak out.  I am not sure why, but Jill and Richard have covered the pond in netting.  When Jill feeds them, I try to pinch their food!  It's rather tasty.  Something else I enjoy doing, but it seems nobody else is very pleased when I do it.

Richard has his new shed - Jill has told him it would make a lovely summer home for him, room for a bed and he already has electricity and water at that end of the garden. Perhaps she wants him to move in there so she can have more cats here?  More cats?  I hope not!  Only room for me and 'the others' that I live with.

I think I am about up-to-date now, so think it is time for me to do a little sun bathing.

See you next week.