Saturday, 31 May 2014

20th Century Design Fair at Farnham

Last Saturday saw us getting up at 4.45am so that we could be at Farnham Maltings by 7am to set up our stall at the 20th Century Design Fair. We were all ready so we just stumbled into the car and off. What a (relative!) pleasure the M25 is at that time of the morning.
We found the Maltings in a warren of narrow streets and were soon inside and setting out our wares. Here's our stand, with its slightly eccentric preponderance of Shorter ware. This is because, back in the late Nineties, D and I became keen collectors of Shorter and amassed a huge quantity of mainly green plates, jugs, vases and planters. It was something of an obsession, fuelled by our buying a copy of The Shorter Connection by Irene and Gordon Hopwood, which is a fantastic book containing many tantalising photos of rare Shorter pieces.
The 'connection', by the way, is with Clarice Cliff, making Shorter of particular interest to Cliff collectors.
     We were quite pleased with the look of our stand, having brought some fresh flowers and also the 'round mini bunting' that I'd made the day before to decorate our shelves (you can see it in the photos above). We even christened our new Instagram account with a couple of photos, but when we looked at them later we decided it looked a bit 'quaint' -- I think you could tell we were newbies at this business.
     It was the first public outing for our new logo, 'Found and Chosen':
This represents a venture into design and retail! We're going to be designing and selling things through various online outlets (such as Society 6 and Etsy) as well as blogging on a new Wordpress blog which I'll tell you about soon. It feels great to be collaborating with D on this and I definitely feel that we'll do better things together (than if we tried on our own) and that our individual skills will complement each other -- so that's a very positive place to be starting out from.
Meanwhile, back in Farnham last Saturday, we were cutting our baby teeth in the real world of retail. The fair was full of lovely stuff, very covetable -- but that was NOT what we were there for! (I did weaken a little bit in the end...). The other stallholders were very friendly and didn't seem to mind us being new people at all. The lady on the stand next to ours shared lots of trade 'secrets' about which were the good fairs to do and when the 'season' starts and ends, which we really appreciated. The consensus seemed to be that this was quite a quiet fair -- it normally takes place in Woking but has been in Farnham just a couple of times while the Woking venue is refurbished. Apparently it goes better in Woking. But we made enough to cover the cost of the stall and petrol with a little bit left over so we were happy. To be honest, it felt a little like playing shops and we just enjoyed the novel experience. We loved the people-watching aspect of it all and I can tell you that Farnham antique-lovers are a splendid lot!
The highlight for us was when a gentleman (not the one above) told us that he was related to the Shorter family through his great-grandmother. We were really delighted that he liked our stand and bought something.
     I bought two boxes of old letters, which I intend to use in some art projects.



1 comment:

Printed Material said...

Jane,
I seem to be way behind with blog posts! I loved reading about the fair and I'm glad it wiped its face as far as outlay was concerned. Sounds as if valuable market info was gathered though as you forge ahead into entrepreneurship. I am agog and can't wait to add a wordpress blog to my reading list. Love the logo and the name. Now want to see how it all fits together! Also love that blue jug with the bees - did you sell it? If not, let me know all about it please. Can't resist something with bees.