Introducing the delightful Loaf & Bear, White January and Evie Jade Jewellery in this week’s Meet the Maker blog! Each of these wonderful makers has a passion for a good cause, be it sustainability, vintage goods, a love of craft or making references to fabulous feminists in their work!
It’s time to get inspired, so this week’s Meet the Maker got to know them more…
Pedddle: We know everyone’s plans have changed drastically this year. What’s new for you?
Loaf & Bear: I’ve recently released my existing Modern Muses prints (featuring Lizzo, Jameela Jamil and Great Thunberg) in some bold new colourways, to give people more choice (and offer something new whilst I’ve been busy working on other projects)!
I’d also love to promote my new Indie Gift Guide as I think it fits alongside the Pedddle ethos nicely. I LOVE shopping from small independent businesses and in keeping with my brand values, I want to celebrate as many of them as possible by starting a weekly gift guide!
My first one goes live on Wednesday 24th June, so watch this space!! The first one is all about my favourite thing to buy; statement earrings.
I think a couple of makers I’ve included are Pedddle members, and as I have lots of different list themes planned I will be sure to feature lots of others as time goes on!
White January: I am always thinking and working on new products and ideas… I did a collaboration giveaway just recently and launched my new Macrame Diffuser Rainbows, which are going to be released on Saturday for the ASTS x Pedddle online market…
I am currently working on some prints and cards, and I’m working on a collaboration which will involve subscription boxes! These will include a variety of items revolving around Yoga/Essential Oils/Crystals/ Tarot and Horoscopes/Moon Phases etc… It’s not quiet there yet but it’s all very exciting!
Evie Jade Jewellery: I started out making jewellery, which I still love doing, but I have also branched out into accessories and my newest make is my fab colourful basket, pictured below.
Pedddle: What first made you consider selling your products at markets?
Loaf & Bear: I regularly went to Alty (Altrincham) Market and I admired the traders there so much, not just their creativity but also their bravery for running their own businesses, fuelling their passions and doing something they loved. And I was desperate to be a part of it!
I had run a small pop-up shop selling handmade products in London years ago and I’d loved it but couldn’t find that same audience when I moved back up to the North West. Now I could see that audience here in Altrincham (and in nearby Manchester and Liverpool), I got the fire in my belly to give it another go!
White January: I’ve always been a HUGE fan of markets myself… The vibe you get is like nothing else, and yes that’s down to the customers but also to the other stallholders. Everyone is so friendly, interested, supportive and you get to meet so many people and have some great chit chats…
Evie Jade Jewellery: I have sold online for a few years now but I saw other sellers at markets having such a good time that I just wanted to try it for myself! I attended my first markets last year in the run up to Christmas, which was such a nice time to start. It was also lovely to meet other makers in real life!
Pedddle: Nothing beats the atmosphere of a great British market! What makes selling at markets special, for you?
Loaf & Bear: Seeing people discover and connect with your work. You just don’t get that online. People could be oohing and aahing and smiling as they browse through your website, but you wouldn’t know.
I also think an amazing thing about markets is the other traders. There is a vulnerability to selling your work at a market and also an excitement that comes with every sale. You get to share these things with the traders around you who understand those feelings so much more than your non-market selling friends and family.
White January: I love the individuality of the products on offer and there is always something that grabs you. There is nothing like a market, it’s exciting and fun!
Evie Jade Jewellery: They have such a buzz about them and it is great to actually meet potential customers and discuss your work with them.
Pedddle: How do you feel about the markets re-opening now lockdown is easing?
Loaf & Bear: Honestly, I’m a bit apprehensive about them. I’m worried that the magic of a market just won’t be there whilst social distancing measures are (rightly) in place. There is so much more to a market than buying things, it’s about interaction and browsing and discovery and the hustle and bustle of it all. I don’t want to rush back to physical markets until I know some of that magic is there.
White January: I think it’s great that markets are re-opening, for the social aspect mainly. We have all missed that interaction with the public and other sellers, and it’s important.
I won’t be part-taking in any myself just yet but that is a personal choice for me and I am not sure I will venture to one for a while, but that is not to say it’s wrong to go – it’s down to the individual(s). I will be back very soon though I’m sure. And good luck to everyone that has got out there and back on the scene.
Evie Jade Jewellery: I think like with everything else re-opening, I am a little apprehensive about getting back out into the real world, but the ones I have seen so far have been really well organised to keep people as safe as possible.
Pedddle: It’s so important to keep markets alive and small businesses running, especially in these uncertain economic times. In your opinion, why is it so important to shop small, independent and local?
Loaf & Bear: I like shopping small and local as I know I am supporting the life of an individual artist, designer, maker, creator, chef, butcher or baker -rather than contributing to a CEO’s new yacht!
I love buying from indie creatives because I like buying things that not everyone else owns. Having my own business means I know first hand that when you buy from an indie biz, your purchase is seen and celebrated by it’s creator.
You are buying hours of experiments, failures and frustrations along with moments of pure joy and excitement. You are buying passion and creativity and supporting someone’s dream – and that feels good.
White January: I’m a farmers daughter and come from a small market town, so shopping small is in my blood! There are so many wonderful independent businesses on my doorstep.
I’m a quirky individual and love to find one-off pieces, great quality items and things that truly last… You only get that from the small and independent artists and makers. Their passion can be felt in what they make and it’s that story that makes the product special.
Evie Jade Jewellery: It can make a huge difference to an individual if you choose to shop with an independent business. Rather than just adding to the profits of a big company, or the payout to shareholders, your money is paying for real things – dance lessons, fun days out, school uniforms.
Most small businesses are also now on social media so you can interact with sellers, speak to a real person and really see the company values, where your money is going and what you are supporting, which really matters to so many customers.
Pedddle: There are some fabulous markets coming up soon, such as our collaboration with And So To Shop this weekend (eek!) and Spot Design Online on 1st August.
Are there any markets you’re especially looking forward to that are coming up, either online or in person in the next 2 months?
Loaf & Bear: I’m not sure when I’ll feel ready to go back to trading in person at markets, but I’m really looking forward to being able to shop at them again!
Endless Love Creative is one that has been doing lots of interesting things online during lockdown, like raffles and markets and live life drawing – I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with next!
I’ve launched a new collaborative postcard project myself, Post Snail Press, during lockdown and we’d really like to take the postcards to some pop-ups before the end of the year, but we’ll have to wait and see what happens!
White January: I am really looking forward to the ASTS x Pedddle online market on Saturday 27th June… I’m not booked for any others online or in real life yet, but I am excited to see StallMCR come back.
There is also going to be the ones (dare I say it?!) for the run up to Christmas, sooner than we think!
It’s a changing world and this period of uncertainty has been hard (like all changes are), but I think this is going to remind people of a simpler and less hectic life/lifestyle, and the creatives and markets are going to see more appreciatation and supportive custom in future.
Evie Jade Jewellery: I currently have 3 online markets planned – the Pedddle x ASTS market this Saturday, an Etsy Made Local Online event at the start of August and a Gorgeously Talented Handmade Fair (from Handmade Hour) in October. I also have a Craft and Flea event (which was due in May) that I will be attending when it is rearranged.