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30 May 2012

Disaster movie story...






The sun is shining, the shop goods are packed and we're ready for market day! What's that? "Harry and eLe Lee"? "Harry and eLe Lee"? What, what, what the bleep! Yep, a late night rushed bunting job with my shop name on is mis-spelt. Argh!!! Some quick emergency sewing soon puts things right. Ok, so we're good to go!

With bags in tow we whizz round to a different bus stop. Why not? Nothing can go wrong right? Yep, you've guessed it, this is as predictable as a Hollywood movie. No buses for 15 minutes. What?! Ok, ok, so in the great scheme of things that's not too long to wait but we're late due to disaster sewing typo, so 15 minutes ain't good enough. Right, lets think...call a cab, cool, great. What's that? No cab for 20 minutes? What!!!!

Right, lets stop the whole "it's behind you" from happening. To the usual bus stop we go and now it's that happy ending moment. We get on a bus, we get there and set up our stall just in the nick of time. And so everything goes according to plan. Lots of shoppers, lots of sales and lots of lovely feedback. Right? No!

What happens next?

The light breeze we felt before leaving the flat picks up and for the next 8 hours it's a constant, never ending battle stopping all of my designs from flying off the table. NB I sell hankies (among other things), soft, light cotton hankies. Perfect for your nose but also perfect wind fodder. I spend more time retrieving my designs from the other side of the market and re-setting my table layout than actually selling. You'd be right with that image of a headless chicken. That was me.

As you can tell, it was a bit of a disaster BUT a very good lesson on how not to do an outdoor market. I actually learnt a great deal, so here are some top outdoor market tips:

1) Go prepared for all eventualities - wind, rain, shine!

2) Give yourself extra preparation time and double it.

3) Research the location and visit the market before (if you can). See what other traders are selling and what customers are buying. Ask yourself - is this the right market for me?

4) Ask a friend/partner/family member to help with

  • transporting your goods/table props (remember there's not just your designs to carry, you've got food, drink, possibly a seat, scissors, string, tape etc for disaster situations)
  • setting your stall up
  • selling/minding your stall
If you're on your own however for part or all of it, get canny with packing techniques (boxes within boxes within a suitcase kind of thing) and luggage options. Also, get to know the stall owners next to you, so that they can not only mind your stall (loo/coffee breaks!) but also supply string, scissors etc (anything you've forgotten which would help those disaster situations) and above all else, if it's a quiet day, it's always nice to chat to someone. It will certainly keep you sane! 

One last thing. Where are the pictures of the day you ask? Well, that 'light' breeze stopped me from leaving the table to set up a good photo shot. All part of the learning curve!

If you've been at a market recently and it didn't turn into a disaster movie, I would love to hear your top tips!

Adios for now folks!



12 May 2012

Thames Market prep!

I've been working away the last few weeks on some new designs in preparation for the Thames Market on Saturday 26th May. As most of these won't make it into my Etsy shop, I thought I'd share some of them with you. If you see something, however, that you would like to buy, just let me know and I'll add it to my Etsy or Folksy shop especially for you.


                                                                                        Hankies!   Bunting!  Brooches!
















5 May 2012

Blog Gem - Littlegreenshed


Hi everyone and welcome to another Blog Gem! This month I'm super chuffed to be interviewing the face behind Littlegreenshed, so without further ado, lets get chatting! Hello! Who be the face behind the blog?

Hello! My name is Lou Archell from Littlegreenshed. I am an Artist/Photographer from Bristol, UK, where I live with my partner Dan and my two boys. I run a small on-line shop where I sell my prints, cards and homewares. I also have a blog called Littlegreenshed.  I love to draw and am passionate about taking photographs. I am daily inspired by nature, beautiful homes and interiors, great design, art, colour, my allotment, crafting, and of course my family!!



What's your design space/studio/work area like?
My studio is set up in our spare room. It used to be my sons nursery, but as they grew I claimed the space as my own.  It has all I need, my laptop, a desk, printer, scanner, pictures my sons have drawn and photos I have taken.  I love Scandinavian and Mid-Century design so my studio reflects this. Painted floor boards, white desk and walls and a mid-century teak chair.  Comfortable and paired back.



If you had to take only one of your crafts to a desert island, what would it be and why? 
Tough call but I would have to take my camera. If I am without it I am always seeing a great photo opportunity. The sunlight falling on a leaf, an interesting cloud, a bright coloured building... inspiration is everywhere.



How do you work and get inspired?
I take masses of photos, I go out at the weekend with Dan and the boys, we usually head to the woods, I take photos, find feathers, leaves acorns etc (treasure). I am always inspired by nature.  We have an allotment where we try to grow our family vegetables.  Getting down into the soil working it and growing something from seed is wonderful, plus it is our garden, we go there to lie in the grass and watch the world go by.



What top tips would you give to any novice bloggers and/or those thinking of selling their designs? 
I think to start a blog, you must write about what you know. My blog is about me, my family, the things I love and do.  So I find that quite easy.  It started off as a blog about my allotment, but I found that too restricting, so I mixed it up a bit.  Never be afraid of changing direction.  I wrote Littlegreenshed for over a year before I started to sell my cards.  I didn't set out to write a blog to promote my work, it just happened to come together like that.



Is there a story behind the name 'Little Green Shed'?
Yes!  Littlegreenshed is the shed at our allotment. We were given this old run down shed from a garden near our home. It needed some tlc. So we patched it up, gave it a new roof and I painted it sage green. And voila! Littlegreenshed was born.



If you could be given an award for your designs by any person/fictional character (dead or alive), who would it be?
Wow many people.  I think alive, David Attenborough, he's a legend.  Dead, Barbara Hepworth - incredible artist.



And finally...book & tea or film & wine?
Well as I don't get much chance to read a book any more with my two boys, it would be great to read a book with a nice cup of pouchong green tea!

Oh wow, I love the sound of the actual little green shed, I can just picture it! Thanks so much for giving us a sneaky peek into your creative world and for your great tip about not being afraid to change directions. I think that's essential for a blog (and designs) to grow. Cheers Lou!

I hope you all enjoyed this month's Blog Gem. If you would like to find out more about Lou and Littlegreenshed, check out the links below and until next month, keeeeep blogging! :-) x


www.littlegreenshed.blogspot.com
www.etsy.com/shop/littlegreenshedshop
http://littlegreenshed-illustration.com



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All of the images and interview answers are the copyright of Littlegreenshed. Please do not use without seeking permission first. Thank you.

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