February 19, 2013 by thepolishedbutton
Today I popped my trade fair cherry! I headed over to the NEC (just down the road-lucky me!) to check out the Craft Hobby and Stitch trade fair (‘stitches’ to the initiated!) Being a newbie to this sewing business lark, I had no idea what to expect – do I buy stuff on the day? Will it be busy? Will I get
free stuff useful product samples?
Well first off, it is free to enter, as long as you are a bona fide business and trade cuatomer. So far so good! It wasn’t packed, but certainly busy, which gave it a bustling atmosphere – just the right side of busy if that makes sense? There are plenty of stands showing everything from sewing supplies, papercrafts and fabrics. You can also book in to workshops showing off the latest gadgets and techniques, to seminars on running a business in a recession. I didn’t do any of these, partly because I went on the last day so I’d missed most of it, and also because I didn’t get round to booking anything in advance – duh!
So, I’d done my research and knew some of the stands I wanted to visit and the areas that interested me. My main reason for going was to scout out potential fabric suppliers for the website, and hopefully take advantage of some of the special offers. Mission Accomplished! I will soon take delivery of some beautiful fabrics, and I can’t wait! I also found some interesting haberdashery suppliers – in particular a really cool Dutch company who.make buckles and fastenings by hand – so lovely!
I had some useful chats with the people who make Mollie Makes and The Simple Things, as well as the folks at Homemaker so you may well see The Polished Button gracing some of your favourite magazines soon! I also discovered Sew magazine (yes I’m behind the times) so with my free copy in hand, I shall enjoy perusing that one too!
All in all, I came away with some lovely fabrics on order, a clutch of magazines to research and enjoy, and a stack of business cards for potential suppliers to sift through.
As a first timer, I found it to be a friendly and interesting show – plenty to see and do, a fair few bargains to be had (next time I’ll go on day 1 though to really make the most of them) and a much better sense of how buying wholesale works. I’ll definitely be back next year, credit card in hand!