We managed to get out and about again last weekend and what a time we had!
Little Orchard Cider festival was simply an amazing time for all involved.
There was 7 of us that went to mix in with nearly 5000 others at the festival, and we were mainly all involved with TeX – our textiles project.
Our set up was half for trade and half for workshops and repairs.
We traded from Friday until Sunday and for those 3 days we met so many friends, old and new, we laughed until our bellies ached and we ate foods from the four corners of the earth that included Pad Thai, Fish and Chips, Pulled Pork, Pasties and Nachos.
Our workshops we more aimed at children where we made pompoms, friendship bracelets and we painted faces- all for free and with them able to take away what they made. We also offered a free repair service that saw multipul bags, jumpers, shoes and we even had one man wear a tutu while we repaired his shorts.
Trade was so much better than what we thought, with our knitwear going down beautifully with the public alongside our wonderful hats that we make during the long winters in Cornwall. Unique, amazing, colourful were words that were heard often alongside the fast demand for business cards (that we actually forgot and hastily wrote out on request).
What these festivals mean to us is invaluable to what we do. It gives the makers the money they so often need to continue, it gives us the feedback we need to help find direction, it gives us the opportunity to get out and about as so often we simply can’t afford it due to living on such tight budgets and it gives chance to talk to people about sustainable fashion, industry waste and how we work to creating a circular economy. Things like Little Orchard Festival need to happen, not just for us to continue our work but simply for the fun it provides in the community, the way it brings people together and to remind us for just a short time that life is good and there are some beautiful people around.
We hope to be back next year as this year was such a blast !
Just over 12 months ago we made a film to promote Bodmin Town while it was undergoing major roadworks , a film that showed Bodmin was Open and whilst doing the film, through conversation with the local traders in one part of the town that was effected the most, Honey Fayre was born.
The conversations with the shop traders on the street told us that they wanted to increase footfall, that they wanted to highlight the area, its diverse independent shops and they wanted to break the negative talking down of the town. From a few coffees over a few weekends meeting them and listening to then and in return them listening to ideas it was apparent that the best way was to hold a pop up market that was youth centered with the addition of support from community benefit groups.
We spent a month marketing the event through the normal channels, we got young enthusiastic entrepreneurs involved and within a few short weeks we had a massive crowd who wanted the event and 21 traders who committed themselves to be there.
The week leading up we made flags and bunting to decorate, we met and spoke with community groups who would be there to promote their work and we built up a small army of volunteers to help with the day.
6 am and the morning soon came around to start it all off. The feedback from social media was so positive we just knew it would be well supported and we had so much lined up for the first market for many years in a town that desperately cries out for community events like this to happen.
By 9.30 the traders had turned up, a couple got last minute nerves and pulled out but it left with 17 stalls who had put in so much effort to trade their wears and creations.
We had music, the most amazing youth street dance ( KBSK ), food and fantastic craftwork from youth as young as 13.
The whole day was very well supported by the public and the community really came together to show support. The mayor even turned up to pay a visit as she was very much in favor of this happening.
The over all feedback is for more and it was heavily suggested that seasonal would be best to start off with and with this we are looking at holding another in the run up to christmas. This in itself will create a few problems with organising as the area is a wind tunnel at times but the desire to create a covered area / walk through was put forward and we are eager to explore this idea.
Trade was increased that day, one shop said they had doubled takings which to us was fantastic news. A young disabled chap who made fudge sold out by lunch time and he was simply over the moon with the interest. The kind messages of thanks from the young people was amazing though and with them asking if we could do this all again as this helped lift a great barrier for them when it comes to trading and testing their creations on the public.
So.. We hope to see you in December where we will grow off the feedback, involve more young people and do what we do best.. bring the community together.
If you would like to be involved with the next market, to trade, to volunteer, to offer support ( financial would be most welcome !) or if you know how we can create a covered walk way then please get in touch, message us and we will make this happen.
Thanks to all those that came and to Councillor Frost who believed in us enough to help finance a couple of gazebos that enabled people to trade.
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