Having recently returned from Spring Fair at the NEC in Birmingham, I must admit to feeling somewhat shell shocked. For those of you who have never been, imagine the biggest superstore you can (think Asda, Tesco B&Q etc)…quite large, wouldn’t you agree? Well, now scale up your imagination and visualise the floor area covered by 20 of these superstores….there you have it Spring Fair…the International Trade Show of the UK.
To say I am pleased to return to Cornwall, is an understatement. Does anyone really ‘enjoy’ spending five days under artificial lighting with artificial air….I don’t know?? Come on…own up if you are out there!
There are always happy positives to come out of such ordeals….I get to chat to some of our lovely existing stockists, I get to meet new stockists and, on this occasion, I have a lightbulb moment where, I am reminded of just why I decided to take the plunge, give up the well paid day job and create my own business.
For those of you who have visited the studio or met us at events or follow us on social media you will know that we are a small business with a big heart. We are passionate about craft, passionate about quality and make things which we feel are both beautiful and practical. We don’t get things made in China or India, we make them in the studio, behind my house, in Cornwall. Hayley and Meg sew each product and I print each piece of linen by hand using traditional artisan screen printing techniques. We love what we do and we hope that this shines through in the products that we make. We send all our waste fabric to the local school, wash our screens using recycled rain water and really try to do our bit to help planet. We love Cornwall and feel very lucky to live and work here.
Despite the enormity of Spring Fair and the alien environment, it was really great to have the opportunity to meet up with retailers who share our passion for high quality, who work really hard to search for British Made products and have shops which stock interesting and unique pieces that are not found all over the high street. I don’t know about you, but these are the shops I love to visit when buying a gift for friends and family….or myself!
A special thanks has to go to Helen Lester Hinchliffe, a stockist and now a good friend who spent three days helping out at the show…without whom, I would have certainly struggled to survive….!! Helen’s shop, The Upcycled Home Company, is undoubtedly a treasure, and somewhere we are proud to stock. If you visit the Rame Peninsula, you must go….allow yourself at least half an hour of browsing time…maybe more!
Here’s to all those lovely shops stocking British Made products and to all those makers who work hard to make such beautiful things. #hyperlocal
If you, like me are passionate about buying products with provenance, do visit The Contemporary Craft Festival, 9-11th June in Devon. We hope to see you there!