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  1. A clueless girls guide to selling at events

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    With the post christmas slump that is January nearly over I decided it was time to start booking events for the year ahead! If you run a small business events are a great way to get yourself out there, meet like-minded people and learn more about your customers than just an email address and postcode.

    Over the past several months I have taken Alternate Normality to several events and fairs and while it can be daunting at first once you get into the swing of it, it's a great way to spread the word about your business. Even after attending several I am still learning which events work best for me and the business.

    But if like me you are a bit clueless about where to start here are a few tips I've picked up along the way!

    Choose established events!

    In the beginning there is nothing more disheartening than spending your day in an empty village hall with no potential customers in sight! (trust me I've been there) If a fair is a regular ongoing event the organisers are much more likely to have a vested interest in it. This means that they are more likely to spend more time on promotion and ensuring traders have a great experience because they want them to come back again and again.

    Take extra stock!

    I personally always take more stock than I think I will need. This is especially important if like me you have a wide range of different items, having extra set aside means that if on the day a certain product range isn't performing you can easily swap it out for something different. Also if the day goes well and the world recognises your creative genius (and why wouldn't they?) you will need extra stock to refill your displays. Having a half empty table by lunch time is not a good look!

    Find your target market!

    If possible attend these events in advance as a customer. This will enable you to get a better feel for the people who are likely to be walking through the door on the day. Speak to the other traders and ask their opinion, if they regularly attend the event they are likely to be a treasure trove of information. They may also have some insider knowledge of other events that will be of interest to you and your business!

    Money, money, money

    What is your target for the day? When figuring this out you also need to bear in mind how much it cost your for materials as well as the cost of your stall. In the beginning when your business is still a baby money is often tight so you will probably be better off booking more affordable events to start off with. There are plenty of options available from as little as £15 per table! These events provide a low risk way to help you find your feet, practice your customer interaction and fine tune your display & product lines.
    As a side note make sure all your items have visible pricing! In the beginning as the socially awkward shy girl, I would often get flustered when someone asked me how much an item was that I would end up selling it for less than its worth just to try to be nice! Visible prices save awkwardness on both sides!!!

    Accept the uncontrollable

    Sometimes for whatever reason events will not do as well as expected! Any number of factors from the weather to transport strikes can affect footfall on the day. Try not to get disheartened if you don't meet your targets for the day. In the past I have attended events that did not meet my expectations but do not feel like you have failed! Quite often the person that you chatted with but didn't buy anything or the customer that only spent a few pounds will turn into a regular customer. Take a step back and look at the bigger picture! Make sure your business cards are readily available & they clearly show how to find your online shop and social media.

    Make friends

    Making connections with your fellow stallholders can be invaluable! They will often recommend you to others, share info about other events and generally be the perfect person to have a natter with. They are also great if you are attending an event alone, going several hours without a hot drink or toilet break is no fun! Help each other out!

     

    So go forth, get out from behind your desk and smile!!!

    If you have any tips you think i missed let me know on Twitter!

     

    sign off

  2. Easy DIY Christmas jumper

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    It's no secret that I flipping love christmas. The joy i feel when the festive season finally rolls around is unparalleled. I mean whats not to love about indulgent food, twinkly lights and of course the obligatory christmas jumper.

    So with that in mind I decided it was about time for things to get a little festive around here! So here is the first of several christmas themed posts. An easy peasy DIY christmas jumper for even the most ham-fisted crafter!

     

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    You will need:

    • A plain jumper
    • Fabric Glue
    • 5m sequin trim
    • Chalk
    • Scissors
    • Embellishments ( I chose pom poms & gemstones)

     

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    The first thing you will need to do is chalk the outline of your chosen design onto your jumper. I went for a simple christmas tree shape.

    Then you can begin applying the fabric glue on top of the outline. Grab your sequins and press down onto the glue as you go. Continue like this until you have a solid sequin outline.

    Once your outline is complete begin working inwards until eventually you have completely filled in your design with the sequins.

    Then it is time to grab your embellishments and go to town! Glue down your embellishments until you are happy with your design. There is no right or wrong so go wild!!!

    Once you are happy with the arrangement all that's left to do is wait for the glue to dry. I fully recommend using this time to make yourself a Baileys coffee to truly get yourself in the festive mood.

    Then ta-da! A unique christmas jumper for you to rock throughout December.

     

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    Once you have done one, the possibilities are endless! White sequin snowflakes, A red sequin Santa hat or a multicoloured present - the only limit is your imagination!

    Will you be DIY'ing this christmas? Show me your creations on twitter or instagram!!!

  3. The quest for happiness

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     Top Tips for seeing the sparklier side of life

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    Sometimes in life it is all too easy to get bogged down in negativity and forget all of the wonderful amazing things that make life so special! So here are my tips for making you a happier person inside and out. Because you are amazing and you deserve to be happy.

     

    Accept that you are perfect just as you are

    Stop focusing on “imperfections”, you don’t need to lose weight, earn more, be the fountain of knowledge on world politics or have an amazing social life. Instead focus on all of thing things that are truly amazing about you, make a list of all the things that make you fucking fabulous. Write a list and put it next to your mirror or in your bag to look at whenever the feelings of self-doubt start to creep in.

     

     Stop trying to fit in

    It is much easier to be happy with yourself when you aren’t constantly comparing yourself to others. Always do what feels right for you; the opinions of other people will not make you happy - knowing that you are doing what feels right to you will! We are all unique in our own amazing ways, celebrate this!

     

    Do something for someone else

    Spread the love... doing things for other people is a great way to increase your inner happiness. Happiness is contagious, it radiates and in life you get back what you put in. Take some time from your own life to do something for someone else – volunteer for a charity, donate to a women’s shelter, take the neighbour’s dog for a walk or make that visit to your grandparents. Taking time out from your schedule to help another person will leave a big goofy grin on your face.

     

     Let go of negativity

    It is inevitable that occasionally bad things will happen, what is not inevitable is how you deal with it. Do not let the bad things that happen take over, ask yourself if it will matter in twelve months time? 9 times out of 10 the answer will be no. Take a step back from the situation; do not let a setback overwhelm you! Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and carry on growing and evolving as a person.

     

    Find your passion

    Take some time to do something you’re passionate about even if it’s just a few hours a month. It can be anything baking, sky-diving, dressmaking or writing Supernatural fan fiction. The only thing that matters is that it’s something just for you. Do not tell yourself you “don’t have time” everyone deserves time to indulge themselves. This is even more important if you feel as though your life is taken over by your job, children, family etc. As I said before happiness radiates, a happier you will make those around you happier. A bit of self indulgence is good for the soul.

     

    Life doesn’t need to change dramatically for you to be happy

    Now obviously there are exceptions to this rule, but for most people this statement stands true. You’re life may not be the perfect entity you think it needs to be but trust me you can still be happy. Take a tip from radical self love goddess Gala and make gratitude lists. Just spending a few minutes each day making note of the things that make you happy can drastically change your perspective! Take the time to think about the things you are grateful for, this can be anything from your family to pink lipstick or lazy Sunday mornings in bed watching old movies. 

    Happiness is not about having everything. It is about how you interpret what’s right in front of you. Live your life with passion and the rest will follow,

    Holly xxx