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We initially planned to be exclusively online and only budgeted for two shows at Manchester and Exeter. Using these events to help spread the word and get valuable feedback on growing and understanding what people want and need.
We started our journey in a wet Manchester (it always rains in Manchester) at EventCity near the Trafford Centre. It was a great event and we soon realised that a steep learning curve was needed to steer us in the right direction. We got valuable advice from fellow exhibitors (House of Zandra, WightCat Crafts and Pinflair to name a few) and members of the public, as they embraced these never seen before products.
Two weeks later and a completely revamped set up we arrived at the Westpoint Arena in Exeter. Both events where organised by ICHF Events and even their staff was astonished at the difference in under two weeks. The difference in the set up meant that we where an instant hit with members of the public.
Three weeks later I was off to the Bath and West Showground at Shepton Mallet for the Craft4Crafters show. This time with a bigger stand and even bigger ideas! This was the defining show as it was the first show that wasn’t 100% sewing and stitching show. We met a lot of talented people and again had great feedback. We learnt was that people loved the different ideas that we suggested but not everybody was a competent sewer. I suggested to Dawn that we needed sewing kits. It may be better not to repeat the phone conversation but it went silent for what appeared an eternity. She calmly (well calmly for Dawn) said and when do you want these ready for? I said Glasgow in two weeks time plus some finished items too (followed by a lot longer silence) and I love you darling!
Dawn worked miracles designing and preparing the sewing kits ready to roll out at the ICHF Glasgow show. To have people arrive at this show who had travelled just to see us is humbling. Dawn had one lady who had her daughter on the phone who was telling her what she needed from our website! Dawn is a very special lady. One note of caution if you are going on a long journey check the tyres on your car first. It safes a blowout on the motorway!
The largest show of the year was our final show the ICHF show at the NEC Birmingham. Yes it was hard work but thoroughly enjoyable and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. People travelling from Exeter, Bath, Manchester and even Glasgow to see us again. We have had fantastic feedback and more than one has said that our stand was the one that got them excited and talking about. We also had the inspiration behind Tactile Treasures on stand on the Saturday our daughter Amelia who wanted to see what Mummy and Daddy do at work. Yes she did make a few sales although I don’t remember seeing the money from the sales!
We have a busy schedule planned for 2017 with a return to where it all started at EventCity in Manchester. Followed quickly by visits to Exeter, Glasgow, Birmingham, London, Shepton Mallet and Harrogate. All that’s before May!!!!!!