I think we’ve gone completely mad !

I know you won’t want to think about it yet, but unfortunately we need to be organised. We are thinking about the ‘C’ word…yes Christmas, is very much on our mind.
Last year when looking for fairs I asked to be put on a few different mailing lists , obviously I was feeling ambitious as I put us on the mailing list for the festive gift fair at the NEC, and as I had asked, they contacted me. We really didn’t think we could afford to do a show that size, but it appears we can. Don’t get me wrong it is a lot of money, but we decided it was within our means and well frankly why not! So with our usually, ‘we will find a way’ attitude, we signed up. We are now the proud owners of the tiniest little stall, in the huge NEC arena, for 4 days in November! OMG!!

The next thing that came to my mind was OH EKK!
So I’m trying to calm myself down and be rational! Let’s start with the positives. 1. We love Christmas! 2. We have some lovely products. 3. We are excited. 4. There is a possibility if we do it right, it will be a nice little earner. 4. The stall is very small, so it won’t take much to fill it. 5. Oh, did I say I am excited? Squeeeee!!!!!!

So on to the challenges…….I’m not going to say onto the negatives, because we will get something out of this adventure even if it’s just sore feet, backs and a lot of lessons learnt.
Although the old adage is, ‘you’ve got to speculate to accumulate’, we’ve probably just about at the top end of our speculating budget. We know we have to spend some more. We need to buy lots of materials, so we have enough things to sell. We also will need accommodation in Birmingham, as I don’t think a daily commute from Cornwall is very practical 🥴 Add to that the realisation that our car probably won’t hold enough stock and fixtures and fittings , so we may have to hire a van. There is also the possibility that we may have to sleep in said van ! ……….only joking. I’m to old for that!

Talking of enough things to sell! How do we calculate how much to take? Really! how on earth do you work that one out? 🫤

Then we have to work out what will be the biggest sellers. Do we just take a limited selection of what we know is popular? or do we go all out and take everything?
We then have to be very inventive, we know there will be a plethora of mass produced gifts and decorations on other stalls, so we have to think how can we stand out. We need to make our tiny little space the place people want to be. We don’t understand how fixtures and furniture get secured in this sort of venue. So my first instinct of going high , may not be that practical. It’s something we will have to research and find out what’s possible. We will be looking at what we already have that we can utilise, or bought cheaply or maybe even borrowed.

We have decided our current priority is to just make stock. I am cutting my hours in the shop, so I am able to up my production. Steve will be doing 4 days in the shop and I will do 2. At the moment we think we will stick at being closed on a Monday. That way we can at least have some time together and it will be a completely work free day ( like that’s really going to happen, 😂) but we can try.

I’m also going to ask if any of you, who have an experience of a show on this scale, if you have a tips or insights that may be useful. Or for anyone with any ideas please to share them, as at this moment, panic has set in, and I might need some help.

Janice x

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