I can't believe how quickly this year is flying by. I was going to start this blog with "recently", only to realise that my trip to Canberra was almost two months ago!
Anyway, I thought I would take the time to document Ferne & Co.'s adventure to Canberra to participate in Handmade Canberra, which is an amazing assembly of all things Australian Made. It showcases hundreds of small businesses with loads of different amazing products, including absolutely incredible food, art, skincare, clothing, candles, jewellery, and so on.
When I found out that Ferne & Co. had been accepted into the September market, which was held over two days (three including bump in) and would have tens of thousands of people flowing past my little stall, I was blown away. My first time applying! Apparently it wasn't uncommon to apply three or four times before being accepted.
One of the interesting things was how many people asked about pet portraits. I thought this was lovely, as it showed that people out there still were interested in a meaningful bespoke piece of art either for themselves or as a gift. I was only to happy to provide information! I love creating pet portraits, its so lovely to work with a client to create a private little portrait that is so special to someone.
Needless to say, by the Sunday night when we were driving back, I was pooped. The weekend fell right at the end of me completing an intensive three month floristry course (more on that later!!) and it had gotten to the point where Ferne & Co. had become a lower priority than ever before. I think what was keeping me going were the lovely samples kept in the bathroom from stallholders, including the amazing face spritz from our next door neighbour.
What I loved about Handmade was how reinvigorated I became about my business, despite it not being a full time venture for me anyway. It's these little reminders that keep you going through the hard times, like strangers coming up to your stall and buying cards despite not needing to, or someone instantly making a connection with an original watercolour artwork to the point where they drag their shopping partners over to have a peek. Quite a few of the young kids even took to smelling my gift tags, although we realised later that was because a stall to our right had fragrance samples on little cardboard cards.
So if you're ever thinking of visiting or applying to be a stallholder at Handmade Canberra, I would say go for it! The organisers are also the loveliest and most helpful people ever, with a sense of humour that is very welcome in my books.