Earlier in June Oyster Moon went into labour, well... sort of, we had our second major event!
Doing a major art and craft event is like having a baby! Hard work, painful, makes you sweat and can bring you to tears, but they also bring great rewards and when it's over, amazingly, you forget all of the angst.
Last year we took Oyster Moon to Alexandra Palace at the Country Living Fair, our first major event, playing with the big boys. Four days of setting up/breaking down and non-stop selling, then squeezing everything that was left back into the car. Exhausted and completely drained and swearing up and down we wouldn't do another major event!
Fast forward 9 months and a convenient lack of memory - "Oh look, there's an amazing event in early summer." we heard ourselves saying over coffee one morning. "Well, Ally Pally, was pretty good. Wasn't it? We met amazing people, it was fabulous exposure for us and some great sales (all true, but we had conveniently forgotten the aching feet, the months of stock build up, financial stress, exhaustion...) and we were once again full of optimism - "Let's do it."
So we did.
We weren't happy with a small stand like before. Oyster Moon had grown and so we signed up for a large one. We also hadn't done a show before set in a marquee. We soon learned that tents hold a few challenges, not the least, wobbly flooring, condensation, tent pegs (tripping hazards!) and no walls to hang artwork! Not a problem. We invested in some wonderful new metal display stands, came armed with gravel bags, rope, lighting, all of our product and so much enthusiasm!
We were so fortunate the weather was dry leading up to the event and during the event it wasn't too hot. We loved every minute of it, although someone, who will remain nameless, (Gina) lost her voice the first day in and could only smile and wave.
We spent three lovely days at the Stansted Park Garden Show in Rowlands Castle, Hampshire. If you've never been to Stansted Park, you should go. Even when there isn't a large event taking place, the grounds, house, Farm Shop and especially the Tea Rooms are fabulous.
We can highly recommend it.
We can also highly recommend the wonderful Stansted Park staff and volunteers, event organisers, helpers, fellow crafts/gardening vendors, food vendors and most importantly our lovely customers, new and returning. We had a great time, met lots of wonderful people, ate ice cream and cake, drank Pimms (purely medicinal for the croaky throat). We ooh'd and ahh'd over plants, and other amazing crafts and, despite the long days, aching feet and angst, we just loved being in such a fabulous setting.
And now a month on.... roll on Christmas events. Labour pains? What are those?