It’s here. What we’ve all been waiting for- monthly pamper days in the form of a Fair at Hoo Village in Medway, where such treats as hand-made soaps, unique gift items and homemade cakes are set to entice us to support local businesses. Let’s get out our diaries now and block every third Sunday of the month and enjoy a day of relaxation with plenty of spa treatments and the joys of gift hunting in a warm community spirit.
The event, rebranded as a Hand- Made and Pamper Fair is the brainchild of on line marketing expert Sian Murphy of The Ruby Marketers and host of the Women in Business Radio Show and Jocelynne Clarke who runs a popular sewing group in Hoo. The pair decided to create a fair where people running businesses from home can sell their crafts and attract a wider market after a successful event organised by the sewing group to show off their skills revealed a gap. “It struck me that there is a huge need to get people working from their homes, supporting families but without sufficient resources out into the community, where they can support each other and boost the local economy.” Sian said. “It fits into my programme to support local entrepreneurs get their businesses off the kitchen table.”
Women like Mandy Hawksworth who bakes tasty Tea Time Treats to de-stress from the pressures of her 4 day week management job in a solicitor’s office. The fair has given her the space to try out different ideas and broaden her selection of recipes including a range of celebration cakes. The business which is mostly a weekend affair in the Isle of Grain has grown locally by word of mouth but now thanks to the wider market, Mandy can cater to new customers and accelerate the business. The same with the multi-talented artist, entrepreneur and therapist, Trisha Wood, who already was a finalist in the Kent Business Woman of the Year Award in 2014 for her home made skin care products. She is now branching out into visual arts by using her unique skill of painting by credit card. That is -Trisha paints using the strokes created by a credit card instead of the strokes of a paint brush to capture mostly cityscapes and recognisable landscapes and buildings. Her talent has led her to create a painting for Dame Kelly Holmes which now hangs proudly in the great lady’s café in Hildenborough. “There is nothing I enjoy more than working on a commission piece.” She added, “I welcome the creative process of working for my enjoyment and hopefully lifetime pleasure.”
All the women have wonderful stories to tell about how they came to discover their passion. Great friends Jo Thomas, Lisa Cheung and Jan St. John-Knight came together to create Queenborough Crafts – a range of jewellery- made from dichroic glass, which was developed by the NASA space programme for use in satellite mirrors. The effects on jewellery are stunning! Metallic coloured earrings and pendants that catch the light in spectacular ways. For the team, experimenting with the glass and not knowing what they’re going to get is just as exciting as selling the finished product. “We do this to fund our addiction” explains Jo. “It’s really difficult to replicate a design. Creating a pair of earrings with exactly the same pattern is the hardest thing.” She said,” So you see every design is truly unique.”
Organisers, Sian and Jocelynne (above) were delighted with the first event on Sunday 8th Feb. A total of 150 people came through the doors at the Hoo Institute with some already confirming their attendance at the next fair. Happily all the exhibitors will return, giving some of us a chance to visit the stalls we didn’t reach, particularly in the pampering section. The next fair is scheduled for Mother’s Day on 15th March, which is perfect for finding that special thank you present. As Jocelynne reminds us “It’s just lovely to be part of a community spirit where everyone is supporting each other”. Very true – see you there!
Links to the organisers and exhibitors mentioned in this article are listed below:
Sian Murphy – https://www.facebook.com/SianAMurphy
Jocelynne Clarke – firstname.lastname@example.org
Mandy’s TeaTime Treats – email@example.com
Trisha Wood – www.etsy.com/uk/shop/TrishasEtsyShop, www.trishawood.com. Art work cards and prints can be purchased via www.thumbnailmedia.com/trishawoodintro.html
Original Art work can be purchased via www.artfinder.com/trisha-wood
Queenborough Crafts – https://www.facebook.com/QueenboroughCrafts