Woolfest, a rant, some good news and looking for a lost customer!
I knew it wasn't going to be the right marketplace for me but I'd booked it before I decided to focus on the felt so we treated it as a holiday. As it happens I did much better than I thought I would and I managed to more than cover my costs. Coming from a rural setting I didn't expect to be so affected by the overwhelming smell of sheep pee that pervades the whole of the auction mart but by day 2 I was definitely happy to leave that behind - lol.
The most negative aspect of the event for me was the amount of people who openly said they were going to pinch my ideas. People would come past and say 'Wow, that's a great idea, I'm going to pinch that' and then look at me waiting for me to smile. One woman even took photos so she could remember how to do it when she got home. Now, at an event like Woolfest I fully expected people to look around for ideas and inspiration but to openly tell me in such terms when I'm trying to make my living making and selling the stuff is crass, rude and ignorant. Someone has said they take pictures to remind them of the event, just for personal use, and I don't have a problem with that at all (still nice to be asked first)- another woman came past and said 'This is lovely, very inspirational, I'm going to go home with lots of ideas' and I don't have a problem with that either - it's quite flattering. However, it is very disheartening (and fairly insulting) to have people just tell you outright they're going to steal your idea. So, if you're tempted to tell a craftsperson/designer/maker/artist that you're going to copy their work - DON'T!!! It might lead to an increase in cases of stall rage - lol. The ideas behind stuff like the soaps, bags etc are all out there in various places - free for anyone to find - I even have free instructions for felted soap right here on the blog. However, if I find anyone has pinched my 'design' ideas and is reproducing them for sale I will hunt them down and give them a spinectomy! Be warned :D
And breathe - lol.
Cumbria is a very beautiful place and, despite the torrential rain, we enjoyed camping. This was the 'view' we woke up to most mornings
That's the rain on the tent. I really liked the pattern the rain made so I'm going to try to use it as an 'inspiration' lol
We were just down the road from Castlerigg Stone circle and we had a potter round there on the friday night - very lovely
Now for the good news! Remember the fuss with the cow and the lost calf? Well, the farmer whose bull and dodgy fences were responsible has given us a 3 month old heifer as a replacement. We still won't have any beef for a year but she certainly goes some way as a recompense and she'll be excellent company for Rusty. As soon as she arrived she tried to escape but within half an hour she was cuddled up with Rusty and a couple of sheep
It's a dreadful photo but I had to take it from miles away so as not to scare her. She'd been licking the sheep just before she settled down - strange girl. They're in a huge field but they picked a tiny place to make a sheep sandwich - lol.
So! Now for the lost customer. When I got back from Woolfest there was an email from a customer who had bought some stuff and wanted to order more. I think she's called Pauline Onley? She's definitely called Pauline anyway. Unfortunately the email she gave me bounces and I can't get in touch with her. I've left a message on the site and on a couple of yahoo groups but I can't really do much else. If anyone reading this knows her or indeed if she's reading it herself could she email me at email@example.com many thanks :)