While it was a bit of a bold (some may say unwise!) decision to open a pop-up shop in the midst of a pandemic, I am ever so glad that I did. The opening in October coincided with Farrington Farm's Pumpkin Festival, which saw heaps of people coming for autumnal fun. Lots of people came in to the pop-up gleefully wielding their pumpkins, freshly plucked from the patch.
I was so pleased to sell lots of work from the Socially Crafted range. Up to 60% of revenue from those sales goes directly to the charities, CIC's and social enterprises that support the makers who have learning disabilities or mental health conditions. I love sharing in the joy that people find in these unique pieces of craft. Reporting back to the organisations with news of their sales is also such a highlight.
I can reveal that the bestseller from this range at Farrington's Farm this autumn was...the Ceramic Herb Sticks! These are individually handcrafted by makers at V21 Pottery in Cardiff. Each stick denotes a different herb - mint, basil, coriander, parsley and chives. I will definitely be commissioning some more of those for the spring, when gardeners will be getting their seedlings in order!
It was wonderful too, to marvel with others the incredible craftsmanship of the Kutch handwoven scarves. Many stories of trips to India were exchanged, including one gentleman who had a wild camel ride across the Rann of Kutch - the extraordinary salt desert in the North of the region.
The pop-up also afforded me the amazing opportunity of weaving for three days a week, which I was overjoyed by! Drawing on feedback and discussion with customers, I am now working on new scarf ranges that are wider and longer - and even more luxurious - than before. Watch this space!
So, it's a big thank you to Farrington's Farm for a wonderful little shop studio space, and all of the lovely people that came into the Handloom Room pop-up shop, from me. I hope to see you again soon!