We’re stepping into Spring this week, and seeing what a whole host of our stallholders have to offer! With stallholder applications for 2020 in full swing and many markets re-opening, we thought it high time to Meet the Maker see what our stallholders have in store for the year ahead.
Pedddle: Charis Raine Illustration has the most beautiful artwork and Cedar offers incredible-smelling candles, which you’ve each been producing for a long time. What exciting plans do you each have in store for 2020?
Charis Raine Illustration: In 2020, my plan is to freshen up my shop with lots of new products and designs. After a very busy Christmas, lots of my items have all sold out at once so I’m taking the opportunity to create a whole new line of products. You can soon expect new enamel pins, wooden pins, lots of new greetings cards and prints, stationery items and some clothing accessories!
Cedar: I will be leaving my part time job in July to focus fully on Cedar. I feel so fortunate to finally be in this position financially and it has all been thanks to all my amazing customers. I’m really looking forward to having more time for product development and to attend more events.
Pedddle: That’s great news! Markets give your customers the opportunity to see, smell and learn about your items – do you think this is especially beneficial for a business like yours?
Charis Raine Illustration: 2019 was my best year ever due to the markets I was lucky enough to be a seller at. Pedddle has been especially helpful with this! It’s a very isolating job when I work from home, so markets are important for me as it’s the only opportunity I have to meet the people who love my work. It’s also invaluable for market research.
Cedar: Absolutely – my designs and the scents I choose have all been driven by the feedback I receive at markets. As you can imagine, it’s quite hard to convey what something smells like over the internet and many of my customers at markets ending up choosing scents they say they wouldn’t normally have gone for.
Pedddle: Environmental awareness is a huge point of interest these days. Markets give people the chance to shop local, support British trade and be more environmentally friendly by saving on packaging too. In what ways is your business eco-friendly?
Charis Raine Illustration: I try to keep my small business as eco friendly as possible as my entire inspiration comes from the natural world. I’ve made the switch to compostable cello bags, I reuse packaging where possible, or opt for paper based postal materials. A lot of my cards are made from recycled paper and I use entirely Yorkshire based production companies to keep things local! Markets give a great chance to explain this to customers and for them to see it first-hand.
Cedar: Cedar candles are all hand poured in small batches in Manchester. We use 100% natural soy wax, which is then blended with a mix of the highest quality fragrance oils and essential oils. We aim to be environmentally conscious and all our jars are made of recycled glass and can be reused and recycled after.
Pedddle: How did you get into this line of creative work – what first inspired you?
Charis Raine Illustration: After finishing uni, I ended up back at home. I studied filmmaking at Edinburgh which was impossible to find a job in, so I worked in soulless hospitality jobs for minimum wage. I started to make a small painting every day just to keep myself sane and to my surprise, people were interested and wanted to buy my artwork! I had no intention of doing this as a job but things just kept on evolving and I can now write ‘illustrator” as my job title, which is insane to me!
Cedar: Candle-making actually started out as a bit of a sanity project for me. I was in my first year of secondary school teaching and things were getting really quite stressful. However, I’ve always found it satisfying lighting a candle when I get home. It’s such a small thing, but it’s rituals like these that help you to take a step back, slow down and unwind in the evenings.
I’d also been looking for a creative outlet around this time, so I decided to go on a candle-making course and, again, I just found the whole experience very therapeutic. From the mixing, pouring and blending scents, to the science of getting the right kind of wick and watching your temperatures, I was experimenting, and that was a lot of fun. I got some really positive feedback from family and friends and my “sanity project” turned into a business.
Pedddle: What is your best selling product and why do you think this is?
Charis Raine Illustration: My best sellers are my Scandinavian style paintings of the night sky. My greetings cards are the most popular as people find them very original and they are great for framing as well as giving as gifts.
Cedar: My best selling scent is Black Amber and Lavender. It’s warm and musky and has a rich, earthy quality. Strangely, I get a lot of people telling me that they don’t normally enjoy lavender – I suppose it is a well-known, traditional kind of scent – but they say that they love this one. The amber gives it a whole new dimension. I think it’s a popular one because it triggers memories for people and takes them back.
Pedddle: What first made you consider selling at markets?
Charis Raine Illustration: I first wanted to try markets just to see if anything would sell. I had no idea what to do and didn’t expect to make much. Now, I have been up and down the country and met some amazing sellers and customers. I love how everyone is so creative and so friendly and its always a great day out! I’ve been really successful in 2019 and its so exciting to see peoples reactions when they visit my stall. Theres a real buzz which is something I have never felt on the high street and I can’t wait to see where I’ll end up in 2020.
Cedar: I have always enjoyed strolling around the markets and looking at everyone’s wonderful creations. Faced with the challenge of conveying scents over the internet, it seemed like the most obvious starting point.
I’ve been really lucky to build up lots of regulars who have supported me, which has spurred me on during the rainiest of days! I’ve also met so many amazing traders that have become true friends. Everyone really looks out for each other and they are always willing to share tips and tricks!
You can find both these stallholders and many more at https://pedddle.com/stalls/.