Outlaw Craft Fair review

Craft Fair: Outlaw Craft Fair
Dates: Saturday 14th September  2013 10-5pm
Venue: St. John's Hall, Penzance
What was the venue like? Spacious and well used- one large hall with stage and one room just off the hall with pop-up supply shop, workshop space and cafe
Cost of stand: £30 
Entrance: £1.50 with £5 for specific workshops that ran during the day
 Women of all ages and families with a spattering of gentlemen
Footfall: Busy from the onset with slight drop off after lunch
Organisation: Incredible amount of organisation went into the entire event and it showed on the day. Organised by Judi Wildeman, Josh Wildeman and a fantastic team of helpful folk on the day.
Sales: Really good -  unexpected for the time of year and area.
Would you do it again? Yes definitely!

'If craft fairs could be entered for Britain's got Talent this one would steal the show...'

I was contacted by the Outlaw team back in May to see if I would be interested in applying for a stall and from there you could tell this wasn't going to be your average craft fair experience- a funky logo, an appealing website, an online presence via Facebook and twitter- yep they were planning something big!

Here's a list of what was on offer for the day:
  • 40 designer-maker stalls (chosen through an application process- meaning the organisers could curate and promote confidently what and who would be turning up) 
  • live demos on the demo table that rotated during the day run by designer-makers 
  • demos that happened on the stalls as designer-makers sold their work
  • over 5 pre-bookable workshops for £5 covering a range of crafty projects
  • a dedicated kids craft area - the Crafty Kids Treehouse - where they could make 5 different outlaw kits
  • a pop-up deli with amazing cakes, drinks and a wide selection of savoury goods
  • a pop-up supply shop so folk could buy useful bits and bobs to create their own projects
  • live music from local acoustic guitar player and singer Nick Mears
  • warm, inviting, open, learning atmosphere
So basically you could turn up in the morning and not need to leave the place till close- in fact that's what I heard a couple of ladies did!


Plus here were the perks for having a stall:
  • Free tea/coffee - all day! (just had to bring your own mug)
  • easy access to unload and pack up
  • very close parking and only £1.90 for the whole day
  • opportunity to demo your makes and offer workshops if you wanted
  • online inclusion and linkage on the Outlaw craft fair website
  • being promoted through the Outlaw craft fair facebook pages
  • two free tickets for the fair
  • opportunity to talk and meet with other talented designer-makers
  • opportunity to feedback to the organisers at the end of the event

In the lead up to the fair the organisers were certainly active in marketing the fair with frequent Facebook posts of makers work, behind the scene images of Outlaw HQ, a competition to win a VIP goody bag, as well as traditional advertising in local papers, sending out postcard packs to all involved  and clear signage on the day. A good incentive was offering the first 20 customers through the doors an Outlaw Craft Fair gift bag filled with all sorts of crafty goodies. 

Having been to Renegade fair in London which funnily enough ran a year ago to the day of Outlaw Craft Fair I'd have to say it compared favourably perhaps even pipping it with the convenience of the pop up cafe and great array of workshops and demos. The atmosphere was certainly one of relaxed learning and excitement to discover new craft and design with the knock on effect of interest and direct sales for stall-holders. Since the fair I've also had a number of wholesale enquiries from stockists who came to the fair seeking new products.  

The Outlaw team's attention to detail and professionalism really showed on the day and for a first time event they pulled it out of the bag! The brand have established themselves as a trusted provider of a well run craft fair and I'm hoping they continue- they've got the makings of a great business supporting and bringing Cornwall designer-makers to the wider craft scene and general public, as well as encouraging and inspiring more folk to get crafty. So for now watch this space

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