Selling (textiles) at a show

Last weekend (7th and 8th September 2019), I had a stand at the Wolsingham Show. Wolsingham is a town in County Durham in the North-East of England.

Stand at the Wolsingham Show, 2019

The show takes place in September every year and the Wolsingham Show claims to be the oldest in England! It’s a huge show with 32,000 visitors, typically, over the two days. You will find horse-riding events, dog-shows, vintage cars and caravans, Cumberland wrestling, birds of prey demonstrations, livestock shows, agricultural vehicles and more. It was, as ever, good to meet people on the stand and talk about what I can offer: patterns, fabrics and one-to-one teaching on how to make a quilt.

Talking to customers at the Wolsingham Show, 2019

So this blog post is about the things to have ready if you are planning to do a show. First of all you may need your own table and chairs. (At this show, these were provided.) Either way, you might want to think about a cushion to sit on for the moments when you are not standing talking to customers; it’s often a long day (8.00am until 4.30pm) is typical. A flask of tea that you can hide under the table is useful and if you are in a marquee a good, thick body-warmer (as seen above) is very handy! It may rain, so waterproof boxes or a waterproof fabric covering for your regular containers will stop the goods getting wet on the way from the car. We always take a ‘gubbins’ bag (there must be a proper word for it, but I’m not sure what it would be!) which has things like string, masking tape, double-sided sticky pads, blu-tack, sellotape, safety-pins and spare pens, just in case of need. I also take an emergency back-up charger for the mobile phone and card reader as there are no power points in a tent.

The pop-up banner seen above on the left was sourced from a local printer. Apart from the business name, it lists my key areas of business: Fabrics, Quilt Patterns, Weekly Blog (this is it!), Skillshare (my online class).

The money was kept in two ways; notes were in a bag around the waist:

Money bag

while coins were in a money box at the back of  the table

Each of the fat quarters on sale were £3.75, so I made sure we had plenty of five-pence pieces, which were on the lower level of the box. We also had a PayPal card reader to take debit card payments.

Fat quarters of fabric by Amanda Jane Textiles

Each type of product had a branded price tag

Price tag for Amanda Jane Textiles

Each of my seven tea-towel designs was on show, stitched up into usable cloths (if you buy the fat quarters of linen/cotton mix fabric to make them online, you need to hem them yourself at home.)

block print roses tea towel by Amanda Jane Textiles

‘Block Print Roses’ tea towel by Amanda Jane Textiles

There was a sign-up list for the once-a-month newsletter(for which a pen is also needed.

Newsletter sign-up sheet for Amanda Jane Textiles

Also a stack of flyers ready to give out, along with a (wrapped) sweet – mint or a toffee, anyone?

Flyer for Amanda Jane Textiles

My next appearance behind a stand will be at the Seaham Arts Market in a marquee at Seaham Cenotaph on the Terrace Green, Seaham, County Durham on Sunday 29 September 2019 from 11.00am to 4pm, when the stand will be a little different, with more quilts for sale on show. You can find details about the event, which is organised by Creative Pop here.

How about you? Do you enjoy doing shows?

 

 

Let me know what you think!

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