The Handmade Fair

We recently wrapped up a very sunny weekend at The Handmade Fair at Bowood House and Gardens in Wiltshire but it’s been a busy year of preparing for both the Wiltshire and Warwickshire shows. Here’s our round-up of The Handmade Fair presented by Kirstie Allsopp.

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The Handmade Fair press launches

In February we held the first of our press launches at Rewired HQ in the heart of the Jewellery Quarter to celebrate the return of the Warwickshire show to Ragley Hall. We invited key members of regional press and bloggers to enjoy workshops from exhibitors from the fair including the talented Sandra and Carol from Folk It and Katherine from the Leicestershire Craft Centre. We transformed our meeting rooms with bunting and confetti and our guests took part in folk painting workshops and made their own tassel necklaces.

Just a few weeks after, the team arrived in Bristol where we launched the second of the press launches at The Forge. With armfuls of fairy lights and plenty of sweet treats, we were ready for an evening of crafts. Tess from hugely successful The Arty Crafty Place joined us for her second year of being part of our press launches and we met Wiltshire local, Nicola Davis Crafts for the first time. Local media were able to try their hand at silk painting and Indian block printing and it was a great night of crafts and promoting The Handmade Fair’s first show in the region.

The Handmade Tour

Following the press launches we organised further activity to encourage brand awareness for the fairs throughout April. With a branded Handmade Tour Caravan, we visited six locations across Wiltshire and Warwickshire and Handmade Fair exhibitors joined us including Sandra and Carol from Folk It, Steffi from The Makerss, Helen from Mindful Crafts, Caroline from Craven and White, Paula from The Crafty Lass. As part of our campaign, we also offered butterfly origami workshops designed by Jane Gois from Tea and Crafting which were created all in aid of Together for Short Lives, a charity which does important work for children with life-limiting diseases.

Before we knew it, May arrived and it was time for the first of the fairs. The Handmade Fair returned for its second year at Ragley Hall. We were pleased to be reunited with Raggers the Bear, a wicker sculpture of the Warwickshire emblem which played a part in our activity last year. The weekend saw Kirstie Allsopp opening the show, followed by ceramicist Keith Brymer-Jones on the Saturday and Radio DJ Edith Bowman on the Sunday. It was a busy weekend full of workshops and plenty of exhibitors selling crafts and artisan produce. One of our favourite workshops was Betty Etiquette’s brush lettering workshop and watching Keith Brymer-Jones throw pots on the Super Theatre stage!

The Handmade Fair at Ragley Hall, Warwickshire

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The Handmade Fair at Bowood House, Wiltshire

Just a few weekends ago, the team arrived at Bowood House where we were met with a weekend of glorious sunshine at the stunning venue. Kirstie Allsopp opened the show on Friday, followed by skincare and wellbeing expert Liz Earle on Saturday and gardening expert and presenter, Sarah Raven on Sunday. We loved dropping into Jim Parkyn from Aardman Animations stand to see people have a go at making their own plasticine models as well as popping into the Super Theatre to listen to Liz Earle discussing her guide to wellbeing  - we’ve noted that Kefir is her health drink of choice!

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Over the course of both shows, we organised broadcast filming with ITV’s Good Morning Britain, interviews with Kirstie Allsopp including The Times, Daily Express, Daily Mail, BBC Radio Warwickshire and Wiltshire as well as coverage for the talent including Liz Earle, Kaffe Fassett and Keith Brymer-Jones. So far, we have generated over 182 pieces of coverage, 168 regional pieces and 3 broadcast pieces.

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