The picturesque village of Filkins between Lechlade and Burford is to hold a regular monthly market in its 110-year-old village hall and is looking for quality artisans and craft-loving visitors alike.
The incentive is brought together by resident and FLBC member Charlotte Spencer, candlemaker and aromatherapist, who has been toying with the idea for a while having attended various local markets but not finding a regular event on her actual doorstep.
‘I am looking to build a monthly makers hub to help boost trader’s sales in what is still a pretty tough climate, but also create a place to bring the community together. I have found that some craft fairs can feel a little flat so while this is predominantly a selling platform for artisans, I am also encouraging positive engagement by the traders in what I hope will be an evolving interactive environment for visitors, with live demos and interactive stands as time goes on. There will of course be refreshments (I am not ruling out booze!) and a small seating area for visitors to come together, relax and slow browse. There will also be a monthly hamper for one visitor to win an item from each of the sellers, proceeds of which will be allocated to charity.’
Charlotte has already had great interest from ceramicists, artists, and jewellers but is on the hunt for more.
‘I would love for there to be the kind of artist who values meeting their customer, talking about their craft and even offering a GWP – anything to convert a conversation to cash! I have a couple of rules to keep it fair to all traders. Strictly hand created by the maker (no franchises, sorry) and no duplicates per fair, unless items are very different between categories such as art and jewellery can be. I am running it on a strictly first-come-first-serve basis but also plan to run a waiting list.’
One of the greatest challenges of any new venture such as this is getting the footfall.
‘I am under no illusion that these things take a while to gather speed. To date I have been promoting through local business contacts, flyering, and social media streams but you can never do enough, especially when you already run your own business, so any help on the publicity would be absolutely fantastic and very much appreciated.’
The Cotswold Makers at Filkins Fair takes place on the third Saturday of every month at Filkins Village Hall, starting on September 16th 2023 from 11am-4pm. The hall can accommodate 15-20 pitches indoors with room to spill outside for any crafter who requires it. If you think you might be interested in trading, helping, or simply visiting on the day, all information can be found by emailing Charlotte at email@example.com or calling her on 07818440824. The social media handle (Instagram/Threads) is @thecotswoldmakers.