My ‘Alternative View” of Taurus Crafts Arts Market…

A few weeks ago, as well as moving house, I also moved business, into a “slightly bigger than before” studio at Taurus Crafts. It’s visits by appointment only, as I’m not in the shopping area, but this definitely has it’s advantages...one of those being the fact that I can have my weekends off! 

This Sunday though, as there was an arts market, I did decide to spend a bit of time at my bench. I say “a bit”, as I actually spent most of the day with my family, looking around the market, having a yummy lunch in the cafe and eating ice cream (although a vegan option on the BBQ would be good next time please).

Now, I’ve sold at many arts markets and craft events over the course of my career, but it felt really good to be able to be on the other side of the stands for a change. I met with a couple of new clients who wanted to discuss having some old jewellery remodelled, and also got a commission almost finished, but there was no having to stand around being all happy and smiley, and most importantly, no setting up or packing away at the end (I really don’t enjoy that part)!

Obviously, I will still be doing events. I have wedding fairs booked with Bristol, Cardiff, and Birmingham in the Autumn, but just for today, I was able to really enjoy and appreciate “not” being an exhibitor. 

I did my best to chat to all of the wonderful artists that were there, and I think I got a photo of everyone’s stand, but if I missed anyone, please do let me know and I’ll add your link too!

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And I did spend “a bit” of time at my bench too!

P.S. I’m definitely not forgetting all of the amazing permanent shops that are also at Taurus Crafts, but that’s another blog ;)

All change…

The last time I moved house, I saw that there was a craft centre nearby and envisaged cycling to work there each day. That didn’t work out and I continued (in between all of my important mum duties) to work from home for the next 9 years! Well, I’ve just moved again, and this time, I’ve managed to take that next step, and now have a little space at a nearby craft centre, that’s not at home, but is close enough to cycle to each day. 

It’s a big change...bigger than I expected, and at the moment I’m battling with lots of guilt at not being at home, and at the beck and call of my (now really old enough to look after themselves!) children over the summer holidays.

My lovely partner works from home, and so he’s now bearing the brunt of the demands....cue more guilt! I know though, that once we’ve all got used to it and got into some kind of routine, it’s all going to be ok. Working alongside lots of other creative people is really good, and having a bit more space also means that I can now offer clients the opportunity to make their own wedding rings. 

Finally, although it’s only about a mile and a half away, getting home is all hill, including one massive one....but yesterday, I made it to the top without stopping - hoorahhh!!

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My new studio, ready for the first “Make Your Own Wedding Ring” workshop.

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Loving cycling to work!

Onwards and upwards!

This (kind of) follows on from my last blog about re-thinking my social media strategy. By default, I haven’t posted much over the last few weeks due to the fact that I’ve just been so busy making! Everything always happens at once doesn’t it, and following months of going through the process of moving house, we’re finally due to complete this Friday! As welll as this though, because I currently work entirely from home, I have to also move my workshop.

Now, I could have taken the easy option, and just continued being at home, but it just is happens that about 2 miles away from our new place, is Taurus Crafts...and...it also just so happened that they’d just finished, and had put up for rent, so shiny new workshop units...it had to be fate right?

I picked up the keys on Saturday, and we got straight in to paint the floor, and begin kitting it out. I have some gorgeous new jewellers benches, that will the base for running “Make Your Own Wedding Ring Workshops” and already have my first couple booked it at the end of June!

It’s going to be a big change work wise, including the fact that my commute, which will be by bike, will increase by about 4000% (an estimate, I haven’t actually done the maths)! I’ve had my confidence knocked a fair few times in my life, which I think I manage to mask pretty well, but right now, being in a position where I can afford to pay rent on my own proper “studio” feels fantastic!

Currently very empty looking, but this space will soon be the new AFJ HQ!

Currently very empty looking, but this space will soon be the new AFJ HQ!

March Meet The Maker and Social Media Strategy Thoughts....

Yesterday, I read the news that Lush have decided to leave social media almost all together. They say it’s due to data breach concerns, and it’s really made me wonder about doing the same. Despite all of the worries about brexit, 2019 has so far been busier than ever for me. A bit too busy in fact, and I think I’d love to be able to just remove it from my list of work tasks! I know though, that this is definitely not a time to start getting complacent. UK business is hanging on a knife edge and some rich people sat on expensive leather benches, shouting at each other across a room, are doing their best to start the next depression! 

Last month I took part in March Meet The Maker, an instagram challenge where “makers” post every day (in March!) based on a particular prompt. I’ve tried to do it before, but this is the first year that I actually managed to get to the end!! It seemed to be really good for my social media presence, and I picked up quite a few new followers along the way. It was hard work keeping up though, even with posting via a scheduler app, and since the end of March, I don’t seem to have been able to find any spare time to post anything at all!! 

So, I know I’m, not Lush, and so not in a position to be able to just throw away a wonderful source of free advertising, but I am thinking that I need some kind of strategy, rather than just randomly posting. I don’t know what that strategy is yet, and it’s time to go for a run, so I’ll just continue to think about it for a bit longer, and I’m the meantime, here’s a few of my #marchmeetthemaker pics…