Hello everyone,it's been a while since we chatted. Fill your coffee cup and pull up a chair. Oops! Becareful now - don’t spill. How have you guys been then? A bit of a crazy year so far - am I right?! I've been a little, off on a tangent trying to find the best way to move with the times. Not easy in our ever changing country. Well, world I guess.
Let's see - where do I start? For the first couple of months of this year it became clear that I needed a new outlet to display my work. The beautiful garden markets, though great for a lot of traders, were not the best outlet for my work. Online sales are always difficult - it's hard to imagine how a handbag made from jumping castles would be a good idea without handling it in real life first.
It turned out that there were a few trader friends of mine in the same boat. It doesn't matter how good a market is, sometimes it's just not the right place for your work. So I started the process of organising a pop up shop. TRADE. The idea was to create a shop/exhibition space for one day only. Full of quality product. Some handmade, some purchased. All carefully curated and giving preference to micro business. People who are doing it for a living, not just a hobby.
Our first event. held at10 Cross Street, was a huge success. Showcasing some of the best local product in town,Castim Furniture,Tom Jeffery Photography,HEAT Pop-Up Kitchen,Cherry on Top Confectionary,Cuddlesomecuties,Taste Tastic,Tracy’s Gone Crackers,Blu Robin, Blackwoods Treasures, of coarse Kisma Kreative. I found some things on selected online businesses too,BunduBeard,Miss J.L Hall's Worchester Sauces,Janice’s Kitchen, andWake up and Dream
I brought in a range of plastic free alternative products that were a huge hit and sold out early in the day. There are so many alternative products online but really, we all still like to see it and touch it in real life before we commit. So that’s what I did. I bought in a range that everyone could see in real life and let them make up their own minds. Safety razors, fresh bags, wax wraps, bamboo straws and more. It was a hit and it turns out people really want to make the change.
We had a few small crisis at the beginning of the day...like the card machine packing it in at 9am with a que at the till. Eep! Luckily we got it sorted out quickly, with a little help from my friends. The day was crazy busy and we were all so grateful for the response and support from our local community.
It got me thinking that there is a market for my favourite things. Art, craft products and gifts from conscious traders, carefully curated. By ‘conscious traders’ I mean artists, collectors, bakers and makers who are aware of what they are doing in relation to the world around them. People who deliberately make the change away from plastic packaging and they are aware of unnecessary waste in their making or buying process. People who refuse, reuse and recycle as much as they can. It's quite exciting that I have found a way to collect and show off some of the most amazing traders and creatives that I come in contact with on my online, social media and market travels. In turning businesses I admire into partners and suppliers I have met some of the best people. People who enforces the belief that, as a micro creative business, we are not alone.
So TRADE is born. To meet my favourite traders, makers, collectors, creators and a chef look me up at TRADE on facebook and instagram @TRADEgrahamstownMakhanda. Keep an eye out on social media for news on future Pop- Up shops too.
Now, the only problem with the Pop-Up shop is that I put so much into it that I have little time left to work on my own Kisma Kreative product. So I’d best get back to that before we do it again. I am bursting with new ideas and designs so there’s no problem there, I just need to get to it.
Oh look, my coffee is finished, I’ll just do the breakfast dishes and then get on with the binding on my first completed bag since TRADE Pop-Up shop and then get going on a new design. Thanks for the chat friends. I wish you all a beautiful day.