Sunday, November 8, 2009

Top quality goods

I had a wonderful time on Sunday at the first ever Stash reHash market and I hope you did too. Today I am feeling a bit shell-shocked but happy.

Thank you to:
  • my wonderful stall-holders for taking a punt on this event,
  • all the generous people who donated goods for the Arthritis NZ stall,
  • the people at Arthritis NZ for always being such a pleasure to deal with especially when it became evident that we had created a gorgeous but gigantic monster,
  • the great new people I met along the way who came and helped at the working bee,
  • all the supportive people who spread the word about the event to their readers, customers, friends, sisters, daughters and Mums and meant that we got an astonishing turnout on a publicity budget equivalent to my household's monthly Weetbix spend,
  • all the patient shoppers who waited understandlingly or came back later when it became evident that the hall was not capable of safely holding another person,
  • the enthusiastic people who have have asked when it is happening again, how they can help or how to book a stall.

Thanks to all the lovely, creative people who sought me out to say hello, compliment me on this blog, tell me stories from their stashes and about their lives as makers. You have inspired me to get my making-mojo back.

Thanks too to the many positive people who have given feedback on how to improve the event for next time.

But mostly thanks to my fabulous friends. I already knew that my friends - old and new, vintage and contemporary, kitsch and classy, shabby chic and designer - were all top quality goods. They are the sort of people who tell you when you have lipstick on your teeth, kidnap your children when they realise you are doing it solo with a rotten cold, open the door and say "Want a cup of coffee?" when you spring a visit on them at a bad time and can turn your day from bad to fab with a quick conversation.

Since I first planned this event, a lot has happened in my household. Our knitting fell off our needles somewhat. What I had thought would be a peaceful and ideal time in which to plan and run such an event has turned out to be anything but.

So while I may have run this event for the same hourly rate as a worker in a Chinese jean factory, my friends rallied around and worked on it for free. They realised that my LoneWolf act just wasn't going to cut it this time. These gracious ladies gave me pep-talks and sound advice when I needed it ("Nah, stink idea"), wrestled with the mountain of donated goods at the working bee, left their sleeping children at dawn on Sunday morning to help me set up, worked all day on the Arthritis NZ stall then helped me pack up and clean up after the market.

Then my friends thanked me for a great day and encouraged me to continue working on the other event I've been cooking up. Talk about quality goods!

They all assure me that they are still my friends. That is a relief because I want them around whether I'm on top of the world and off to a party or have just returned from the Ladies' Room with my frock tucked into my undies.

Above are some photos from the day. The bright, in-focus ones are courtesy of the very talented Mel from Black Swan Designs (thank you). The blurry, spookily-lit ones are by me.

I'm off now to take up my very wise sister's suggestion of a very large cup of tea and a lie down.


  1. Glad it went well! When I arrived, the line was so long outside (and I didn't have sunscreen on) that I decided I didn't need more fabric that badly, and went away empty handed. I wonder how much was left at the end of the day? I thought of coming back later but I had driven across town, so didn't.
    Next time - for me - arrive earlier or later and wear sunscreen. For you? Perhaps use a hall twice as big, then you could have more stall holders (I gather the stalls were booked up well in advance), and more customers at once. Or you might just decide once was enough, never again :)

  2. Thanks Catherine, I've heard that a few people had your experience.
    I woke with a fright the night before the market thinking that only 4 shoppers would come and that I had let my stall-holders down! Impossible to know how well attended it would be.
    My criteria for choosing a hall were: available on a Sunday, affordable to hire and easy people to deal with, good access for buggies, wheelchairs and less mobile people, near an ATM, near cafe and coffee shop, lots of parking, on a bus route, reasonable sized hall, preferably comes with tables, preferably within cycling distance (for my children) of my home as we only have one car and I was using it.
    I'd love to find a space like, maybe a bit bigger, particularly if it has a park or playground next to it. Any suggestions anyone?
    As I anticipated, the best bargains were from 1pm onwards when there was serious discounting. Arthritis NZ still have goods left and next time there would be some different stallholders and some return sellers.
    Thinking of maybe again in 6 months time and always happy to hear how to make it better.

  3. Ooh just 6 months time - that would be wonderful! I'll quickly start using up all my fabric now so I can justify coming back!! Actually my baby's due in 6 months - can you make it 5 months time please, and provide chairs?!!!