The beginning of April is always totally hectic at Miloamde HQ. Not only does my son’s birthday fall at the start of the month, it’s also always the last week of school before the Easter holidays and I have to plan a birthday party just as I’m in the midst of getting ready to travel down to Yorkshire for the British Craft Trade Fair. So it’s all systems go on all fronts – work, family, school etc and there’s no rest until I get to Harrogate on the Friday evening and can sit down in my airbnb room in silence and just breathe and contemplate the working week ahead.
Over the years, I’ve managed to get a little more organised and prepared ahead of time with everything. This year I got all my jewellery made, labelled and packed months in advance. I just had to get my display cabinets and stand layout finalised and then make sure I had everything ready to go on the Friday morning. I had my sons party bags done way in advance and we’d decided on just having a few friends over after school for games, pizza and a film. It turned into total chaos as usual, but that’s just kids being full of energy and excited, so nothing new there. I just hid in the kitchen away from all the mayhem and dealt with the food. The birthday cake was a disaster, but that was easily remedied with a shop bought replacement (note to self for next year) and all went swimmingly well in the end.
The only thing I was stressed about though, was the arrival of my new banner. I got a good friend of mine to design a massive 2m wide and high banner for my stand and get it printed. One less thing off my to-do list, but as I’m a control freak, I did end up being quite prescriptive about my requirements. Luckily it arrived a day ahead of schedule, yay, you might think, but…
…it arrived damaged! Thankfully we had enough time to get another one re-printed and re-delivered in perfect condition. Phew. I was so relieved!
I collected my hire car on the Friday morning, took ages packing all my stuff into it, but still managed to get away before midday and hit the road South.
The beauty of travelling down on the Friday is that I don’t have to rush. It’s a long drive and I have two scheduled stops on the way. Luckily it was a beautiful day and as I passed the Angel of the North I kicked myself as I should have turned off and made that a third stop on my route – next year I definitely will add that to the itenery.
Here’s my stand set up in progress…
And here’s the completed stand…
The show was smaller this year, but I found it quite busy on the Sunday and Monday. Tuesday was completely quiet and a very tiring and frustrating day of just waiting for the show to end so we could all pack up and leave. I got lots of orders from new stockists which is very exciting and I’ll be sharing details of these over the coming weeks as I get through the orders placed and dispatch my work around the UK.
The Airbnb I booked was fabulous. Really comfy bed, access to kitchen to prepare food, really close to the showground and the host was really lovely too. If you’ve never tried AirBnB out, you should. It’s cheaper than a hotel and if you look well ahead of your time of travel you can find some really great places to stay and you get the added bonus of meeting local people too.