I Do Handmade is run by Becky, a mother of two from West London, and her mum Wendy. Passionate about helping small businesses thrive, we wanted to speak to Becky and find out more about her motivations in running markets and what she has planned for I Do Handmade next.
Click here to view all I Do Handmade events on Pedddle.
Read our Q&A below to find out more…
How long has I Do Handmade been running for?
I Do Handmade initially took a slightly different form. I had my own small business selling craft kits, and when Covid landed on our doorstep in 2020, one thing we did to help encourage the sales of our craft kits was to create the Shop Small Christmas Gift Catalogue. We posted it out to thousands of homes, advertising gift ideas, all sold from small businesses, including my own, encouraging people to shop small at Christmas. I realised that I loved helping other companies, and I wondered about converting our catalogue into an in-person event.
So in August 2022, we hosted out first ever pop-up market in Westfield Shopping Centre in London, encouraging the nation to shop from small businesses. I absolutely loved meeting so many inspiring business owners and helping them increase their own exposure and sales.
It made me want to organise more events, and the business grew naturally as I hosted more in-person shopping events and pop-ups, helping diversify the high street with products from small businesses.
As a product-selling business owner myself, selling a range of craft kits, I know full well how hard it can be to generate a regular income and to keep a business going, especially with big brands dominating the high street. From my own experience I’ve found that if you have a good product, selling in person can be such a beneficial way to get your stock off the shelves and into the hands of your ideal customer – and this is what we’ll continue to do!
What is your newest market, and what is most special about it?
Our newest venue is at Waterloo Station, where 2 million people pass through each week! It’ll be our smallest pop-up to date, as we’re hosting it for 3 weeks from 16th October, with just 4 different brands popping up each day. We’re excited to see the opportunities that will arise for small businesses – and when you put your business out there, you never know what might happen!
It’s a great way to really focus on getting some exposure for smaller brands.
What is your favourite I Do Handmade market to date?
My favourite event so far was one in Watford that we did for the local community. It was a Winter Wonderland Christmas Market. I was so worried whether people would turn up, and over 800 people rocked up – by the end we nearly sold out of all food! The room was full and it had such a great buzz! It really was a great time had by all. One of the team surprised us by hiring a giant fairy to turn up and take pictures with all the younger ones. It was such a feel-good event and we were really proud at the end of the night!
As great as all of our events have been, being able to serve our local community in this way was so rewarding (and fun!).
Why should people visit your markets?
Our events consist of sellers that only make handmade items, so there is always such a variety of products that you’ve never seen before, all made by talented makers.
They’re always great places to stock up on unique gift ideas and presents for loved ones or yourself. Especially useful for Christmas and birthdays – but lovely to visit all year round!