Following a tip off from fellow mummy Helen of East End Prints, I went along to the first Designers Makers market to be held in Old Spitalfields on Saturday afternoon. It was a hideous day – cold and damp – so hardly ideal conditions to be manning a market stall and I really did feel for the designer makers in attendance, especially since this is a funny time of year to be selling gift wares. Designers Makers was sharing the main hall with a vintage market as well as various other mainstays, so it was hard to locate the right stalls, but I was glad I did find them as there was some wonderful new talent on display: I do however have one major gripe. Promotion! Or lack thereof… Business cards, especially ones with all the necessary information (website, etsy, twitter, facebook, pinterest, ANYTHING but an email) were in very short supply, and only one stall holder I talked to had a mailing list: others seemed befuddled when I asked to sign up for one. Designer makers would do well to read up on how to get the most out of a craft fair before going to so much effort – there are many great resources online, such as this blog from The Design Trust: How to prepare for a Craft Show or Design Trade Fair. It makes me so frustrated when talented artisans are not properly prepared to promote themselves at a market: many people are likely to be window shopping but they are all potential customers who may well buy something online at a later date. Or indeed at another fair, to which they have been alerted by social media (of course). Here were my top finds:
Psychedelic ink splot cushions were inspired by magic eye patterns and optical illusions. Designer Dionne Sylvester trained in fashion at Falmouth, and is now decorating homewards in imitable style.
Lulu and Luca: super pretty Art Deco inspired prints on organic & upcycled fabrics.
Handmade needlepoint tapestry cushions by Jessie G came in a variety of eye popping colour ways: they represent the most unbelievable amount of work. An absolute steal.
Seriously genius: Zinc White husband and wife team had travelled down from Huddersfield to sell their innovative upcycled jewellery made out of waste Derwent pencil stubs, which are set into resin then carved into broaches, rings and cuff links.
I couldn’t resist a few pairs of these incredibly well priced laser cut and painted Art Deco inspired jewellery by Don Manolo. Either I am very attracted to Art Deco or I sense a trend emerging.
Fun volcano necklaces by i am acrylic came in neon brights.
Hazel Nicholls: cute slogans on kitchenwares and prints featuring graphic versions of the ever popular Babushka doll. I couldn’t agree more: It’s Whats Inside That Counts.
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