What have we been doing in August? We always take August off from fairs and things just to regroup, have break and look at product development. At the moment we are working on getting some bigger orders out, but also developing some exciting new products for the autumn, including a skin oil, which will hopefully be on the stall on 4th October. We always have a selection of our products at Rebel Pebble in the Parade, Watford, near the new-look pond, so do pop in and have a look at our shelf. We have also had our space confirmed at the St Clement Danes Christmas Food & Gift fair on 30th November in Chorleywood, which was mega-busy last year. Can’t wait!
I was reading an article today about the ‘hyper-creative brain’ as I believe I may be suffering from some of these traits. The symptoms are:
- You get high on new ideas and you have lots of them
- You get impatient and bored with carrying through on details
- It’s hard to carry a project through to completion
- You start a new project with gusto but a few days into it you hate it
- You have strong gut feelings about your ideas
I always have ideas. I’ve been a researcher, aerobics instructor, an almost-nutritionist, and an HR person. I make cards, I love dancing, cooking, interior design (currently obsessed with Kelly Hoppen) and did I say dancing? Yes, the most recent one was Tap Dance and I have all the shoes – ballet, jazz, tap, ballroom and a lovely pair of monochrome split-sole dance sneakers, plus knee pads and all colours of leg warmer, which I willingly lend to friends… But I do partake regularly, so no bad thing.
However, the article made me realise that there is nothing wrong with being this way; the hyper-creative person just needs to find a way to maintain focus. For example, I was convinced I was supposed to be a nutritionist, but when I realised it wasn’t going to happen and I was kind of flogging a dead horse, I got rid of all of my nutrition books so that it was no longer there to tempt me back. I trained as an aerobics instructor, but because of other commitments, I had to accept that I don’t have time to do that now, so I just attend classes for fun instead.
If you are constantly thinking of ideas, write them down. I keep a notebook with me at all times to note things down while I’m out and about so that I don’t forget, and seeing it on paper makes it easier to weigh up; i.e. you soon realise you can’t do and achieve everything.
Also, I love love love lists. How else can you get everything done? I also take a look at what I have going on and make sure to say ‘no’ when I need to, just to make sure I’m not taking too much on. Sometimes in the craft market world you find people giving you lots of suggestions about what you ‘could’ do and ‘should’ do, based on what they do, and it can excite the creative mind, but you have to stay focused on your goal, commitments, available time, resources etc.
Less is definitely more!
At lunchtime today I visited my favourite shop in London: G Baldwin & co on the famous Walworth Road near Elephant & Castle. It is a real gem in the heart of an area of London that is considered by many to have seen better days, but is now going through the process of gentrification, I mean regeneration. I really hope it doesn’t become yet another copycat high street with the bog standard chains of shops and the ever-popular faceless yet unaffordable flats that seem to be popping up everywhere at the moment.
Baldwins is a “purveyor of natural products” and has been since the 1844. I will quite often buy my essential oils, dried flowers and other supplies there if I don’t want to put in a huge mail order with my usual supplier or if I need some bits last minute. You can also get their own gorgeous skincare products, candle making kits, bath accessories, oil burners, natural health books and…I could go on. (Baldwins is near my day job, in case you are wondering what Elephant & Castle has to do with Rickmansworth).
If that wasn’t enough, they also have a health food shop next door where you can get your vitamins, shampoo, tea bags, buckwheat and pretty much anything else! Love them!
We had a stall at a market recently and unfortunately the day wasn’t that great in terms of footfall and sales, so I was in a bit of a bad mood the rest of the day! It isn’t unusual to have a bad day of sales when you do regular markets, but there are a few things stallholders can do to make the day less annoying :
1. Don’t pack up before everyone else just because you’ve decided you’ve had enough – it’s not fair on other stallholders as it makes customers think the market is closed! It can also be highly disruptive.
2. Don’t jump out from behind your stall to grab people. They just want to browse in peace. I was next to someone who did this once, and they ended up sabotaging any interest in my stall because they kept people talking for so long they wanted to escape as soon as they had the chance!
3. Be friendly to other stallholders. Don’t snub people who you should be networking with! It is amazing where a bit of knowledge sharing can get you. It also makes the day and environment a lot nicer for visitors.
4. Also on the subject of networking; don’t thrust your business cards and other paraphernalia at other stallholders without giving them the chance to give you theirs or bothering to hang around to actually engage with the person! I say this because someone did this to me. They insisted I took their card and info and before I could even respond, they were on to the next stall. This is not networking or sharing, this is shameless self-promotion!
End of rant.