Back in April I was approached by Not On the Highstreet to get involved in their very first ‘physical event’. For those of you who don’t know, NOTHS are an online marketplace who provide a selling platform for all sorts of small and creative businesses. We have been selling through them since the early days in 2012 and they have become an amazing outlet for us. Primarily, their ethos is to give customers access to a whole range of unique and different products all in one curated website.
As part of their 10th birthday celebrations they organised their very first live event, which was a 3 day ‘pop up’ at Spitalfields Market in London, where they were giving shoppers the opportunity to discover and shop from a range of products available on their website.
Aside from the shopping element, they also wanted to create a truly interactive event, so in addition to the usual market stall set ups, they invited a few partners to do live demos of how they make their products. I was so excited to be invited as the representative for the Health & Beauty section, and set about getting myself organised to do three days of live lip balm making! After agreeing to it, I suddenly wondered what I had let myself in for – 4 days in London on my own (we usually do events with at least 2 people!) staying in an unknown place, and facing my ultimate fear: dining in a restaurant alone! Thankfully, the day before I set off, I had an email from Lauren Aston (who makes AMAZING knitted items with giant needles) who was also going to be there, suggesting that those of us all getting put up at the same hotel go for dinner the night before for some company.
The day I traveled down to London, was the same day we were fortunate enough to be featured in the Metro who were running a series of pieces on the various partners attending the event, it was quite surreal to be sitting on the tube and seeing people read about our little business!
I arrived in London the night before the event and found my way to the hotel, well, should I say the hotel bar, and met Lauren, along with Nia (the lovely lady responsible for painting beautiful illustrated family portraits, kickass t-shirt designs, and newly added greetings cards!). After a glass of wine and dinner, I felt like we had been friends forever, so felt much more relaxed about the weekend ahead knowing I wasn’t going it alone!
Friday morning came, and we all had to be at Spitalfields for 7am to set up and be there for the Press and Bloggers element of the event. And so it began. A crazy hectic weekend of making lip balms, chatting to customers, and catching the odd half hour to meet up with other partners and grab a bite to eat. Our little ‘crew’ or demo-ers was completed by the hilarious Ollie and Joe from The Naked Marshmallow Company. Sadly as a vegetarian I couldn’t sample their products, but lets just say, if you like marshmallows, then these are the people you want to talk to! They hand make all their products and even sell little marshmallow toasting kits!
Not only was the weekend a great opportunity to showcase our products, it was so lovely to connect with lots of other sellers, and the hilarious Not On The Highstreet staff who kept us going over the weekend, and get to know more of the little community we are part of.
Were you at the event? We would love to see your photos and hear your thoughts on the day! Follow us on Instagram @sweetcecilys and let us know what you thought.