This weekend I jumped on the train down to London to go to a small intimate event in South Kensington, organised by Allison of Champagne and Qiviut. You may be more familiar with her as she's one half of the Yarn in the City team.
In the almost eight years of business, I rarely do shows (in comparison to other UK dyers). There are three reasons for this:
1. Shows cost a fuck ton of money for vendors. I'd rather use that money in more sustainable ways where I can control the risk. If I've spent a fuck ton on travel and accommodation and need to close my studio for the duration, I need to know my costs are covered and then some to compensate that I'm personally out of action afterwards. It's the realities of business.
2. I have a large brick and mortar studio and boutique in a major city. The show circuit was never on my radar. I don't want to spread myself too thin.
3. Aspergers. People often forget that I'm on the autistic spectrum because I mask so well, or because I look like I'm spinning a million plates at once with ease. Well, that's Public Face, yeah? And a fuck ton of organisation and a great team supporting me in the background.
Shows are often a sensory nightmare for me. The lighting and noise are all wrong, I get grabbed at by people I have no idea who they are, it takes weeks of recovery time, which takes time away from my work. And that's just me visiting a show, not as an exhibitor. I love meeting you guys, but I have to selfishly do it on my terms. So people come to me. I will only do one large show a year and that's it. I'll announce next year's show shortly.
What made MAKE JOY different?
This was a small intimate event in the centre of the city of London with 12 vendors, light airy space in a cracking location that was accessible. Everything about it was so relaxed that I came away from it not needing weeks of recovery, just a day. I'm massively proud of Alli for the success of Make Joy and she may just host another one in the future. There was a huge focus on bringing knitters and crocheters together to converse face to face and it was magical. And I'm not easily pleased y'know! In fact, I took back a mere 18 skeins to the studio having sold everything.
So thanks to everybody who made my suitcases lighter and came for a chat with me!