Last Saturday I opened up my home to provide a setting for my vintage fair. Slightly different from a 6x2 table in a big hall, it enabled a personal evening with food, Mulled wine, of course lots of girly chatter, and allowed me to support a friend starting out selling cupcakes (Kez's Cakes on Etsy).
I used every surface possible to display my items as you would have them at home, with the motto of 'anything with a price tag can be taken home'.
Saving on stall booking prices and travel expenses allowed me to provide refreshments for all, and to donate 10% of profits to Breast Cancer Research.
A perfect girly evening and hopefully something that can become
an annual event; although I think I might need a bigger house :) I'd highly recommend a 'home fair' to all sellers!
Whilst selling on-line is still creative and fun, there are elements that you miss out on from selling in person. So for me, booking a stall at a Vintage Fair fills me with absolute excitement!
Packing your car up to the brim the night before (unless your lucky enough to have a van) and then setting off at the crack of dawn, with a certain fast food breakfast and a fully charged Sat Nav, is where the fun begins.
The rush of the unloading, and arranging your stall is exhilarating as the bustle of creativity fills the room, and having a nosey peek around the room confirms or denies that your stall fits in.
Just before the public enter, as little twinges take turns in your tummy, there's just time for a quick cup of 'flask' tea and a stand back from the table for last minutes tweaks and a nod of approval.
Photo's of LoLoVintage at the latest Vintage Fair attendance; Loughborough Town Hall, in Leicestershire, organised by The Vintage Fair (click here for facebook page)
Its the first time you've sat down all morning, giving you a chance to give a few smiles/ have a quick natter with the sellers around you - 'is it your first stall?', 'shall we exchange cards?'. Your trying not to glance at how many people are walking through the door but you can't help it!
This leads you to the first person who stops at your stall for a look, you try to catch their eye in a friendly but non-pushy way and as they walk on to the next stall you can't help but feel a slight niggle of disappointment and self doubt; 'did I price too high?', 'Maybe no-one will like my stuff.'
But it's all worth it for that first sale - there's nothing like it; you can now unleash the big grin that was lingering as the sale looked promising, standing to take the tea set, bunting, or photo frame from the lovely buyer, wrapping it in tissue paper, and slipping it into a brown paper bag with a business postcard stapled to the side. Your rummaging in your nan's good luck tin for their change and finally trying to show your gratitude without jumping up and down squealing like a little girl at a JLS concert. And even though it's only one sale of approximately £8, you can finally relax and enjoy the day as this lovely person has confirmed that your on the right track, and that there's still 3 hours and 55 minutes until the last 'fair goer' walks out the door.
And so the journey of the day brings a lot more to offer;
* Crazy busy times and quite lulls
* Times to take it in turns to spend some of your earnings
* A few minutes to get chatting with the stall next door to exchange tips and stories so that you leave the day with 100 new ideas to think about
* A few more flasks of tea and a cupcake from the fair's tea room
*And yes we've all done it - every now and then entering the tin to 'see how much we've taken so far'.
At 5pm, when the late stragglers are making their way out and your stall is hopefully a lot more sparse than at 1pm, it's time to pack your car up again and head home with your big grin, a few buys to arrange when you get home, and your money tin feeling heavier than this morning (fingers crossed)
However much you might enjoy the challenges and routine of 9-5 work, some days you need to scrap all responsibilities, leave the housework until tomorrow, keep your slobby clothes on, and have a creative day.
Here is my ideal;
Start with a walk down to the local florist (the penultimate outing of the day) and buy a variety of different flowers - nothing ready arranged. Ready at home will be a variety of miss-matched vases of all shapes and sizes - a small enamel teapot, a porcelain floral wide mouthed vase, a tall slim tin jug - all waiting to be filled with beautiful flowers and admired in their full glory. Such a simple creation can feel so lovely, brighten your home in an instant, and start the day rolling with ideas. Plus, you can have sneaky peaks all through the day as you work!
Now comes the decision of what to do first - sewing machine or camera? Sewing machine wins easily most days but even this brings dilemma - do I feel nostalgic and traditional and use my Singer, or do I use my slightly faster electric machine in order to achieve more?
The next few hours can whittled away surrounded by fabrics, thread, needles, ribbons, and relaxing day-dreams. For me not only do creative days take you away from boring and irritating responsibilities but at the end you can sit back; slightly tired with an achy spine, and say - "I've just created that!"
After hours of craftsmanship and 20 cups of tea later, a stretch of the muscles with a walk across the fields/ around the block/ to the nearby take-away, can be the ultimate relaxation before snuggling down for the evening.
So turn off the T.V, jump into your 'comfies' and get your creative juices flowing for an 'every-now-and-then' day of creative genius.
An on the spot decision to grab an ice cream and have a walk in Bradgate Park lead to a browse in 'Dog Rose'; a beautiful little independent home shop in Newtown Linford.
Unlike some such shops that have owners who sit quietly in the corner lost in their laptop or a private telephone call, this owner was welcoming and chatty without just trying to sell you something. This then lead to discussing my handmade Vintage Cake Stands, which then lead to her saying that she welcomes people with individual handmade items, which then lead to me taking mine in for her to display.
This visit was a lovely breath of fresh air and helps with the little confidence boosts you need as your trying to get established. So hats off to Dog Rose and fingers crossed she's not the only person that likes my Cake Stands! If you are ever in the area it is definitely worth a visit with a variety of beautiful items and all at very reasonable prices - and I promise I'm not just saying that because my Cake Stands are there :)
The main excuse for a lack of creativity around your home has been lack of funding; so when you've seen the same picture in every of your friend's homes you start to think that it was chosen firstly for price, secondly for likeability.
Cue Vintage! Not only can it be very original (apart from a few fashionable retirement homes) but also rewardingly creative; whilst a book shelf is a practical way of storing books, it can also play home to a quirky mix of old and new objects that start to set your home apart from the rest.
So instead of picking up three matching vases in varying shades of beige, find out where your local Vintage fairs are, log on to sites like Etsy, or with permission have a rummage through your next door neighbour's garage to see what amazing and cheap accessories you can find and get stuck in to imagining new ways in which to make home YOUR home.