I’m Charlotte, founder and sole organiser of The Handmade and Creative Market. I’m an ex-teacher, specialising in Science and behaviour management. I am a self taught leather worker, loosely working under the brand name Bramble Leather. I say loosely because all of my time is taken up with market organising. Having taken a break from teaching, 2020 is going to be my year to properly establish my leather brand and refine my product lines. I also write a monthly craft article for ‘Let’s Talk’ Magazine, touching on a range of disciplines at an entry level. This allows what I’m doing with the market to reach a more mature, more affluent group who do not frequent social media.

Established in February 2018, the event started as Norwich Creative Market, a small 30 stall event in Blackfriars' Hall, Norwich. I assumed I would have to cancel because no exhibitors would want to attend but how wrong I was. Since that point the Norwich event has grown to a staggering 120 stalls, taking over the entire Halls complex. In 2020 there are just two events at the Halls, August 22nd and 23rd and November 29th. I wanted to focus on creating a small, high quality artisan fair in 2020 so began the task of establishing a new, monthly market in Holt, Norfolk.

Just two markets in and our Holt footfall has doubled. Visitor feedback forms in March all scored us 5/5 for ‘would you recommend this event to a friend?’ and the one who didn’t only gave us a 4/5 because the coffee was ‘too fancy’. Further to the regular Holt event I am also running the craft market as part of the Holt Street Feast this July, and have two pop up markets in Blakeney, taking advantage of Easter weekend and seal pup tourism. I hope that the Holt market will continue far into the future and plan to expand into some other venues for 2021.

As part of the Handmade and Creative Market, 2020 has also seen the beginnings of a new craft guild, the Handmade and Creative guild. At present this is a very small venture, open only to regular attendees at the events. Applications will re-open later in 2020, once our founding group have become more established. However, you must have previously attended a Handmade and creative market to apply. You can read my blog on the website, with articles ranging from beginners guides to market applications through to establishing your brand identity.

As the sole organiser I currently curate, administrate, create the graphics and images, build the website, maintain the social media, market the event and ensure I am the smiley face greeting customers on arrival. My friend Rachel, of Creative with Line, helps me to set up the venue on arrival and is the driver I couldn’t do without. Becca at Bec Illustrates designed the logo. Rory, boyfriend and floor planner extraordinaire, measures the venue, draws it up and lets me know how many of you I can fit into each event. He also nods enthusiastically at the right places while I rabbit on about all the wonderful things that people he doesn’t know are making. Then of course there's all the talented makers which truly make this event a success.

If you are interested in exhibiting, running a workshop, attending a workshop or shopping, it’s best to start over at the website where most of the information you could need is provided. I am upfront about stall pricing before you apply and this changes from venue to venue. Please refer to the ‘Exhibitors 2020’ pages for more information.

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