London Local Spring Market
On Saturday 14 May, the London Local Etsy Team joined forces with the Hornsey Town Hall Arts Centre to bring Crouch End a curated Spring Market of London based Etsy designer makers.
The London Local Team was created last year by Captains Emma Barnes, Melodie Telliez and Becky Lupton. The team has grown from strength to strength, with monthly meet ups, skill and knowledge sharing through workshop and hosting craft events for the public. The team also has 4 team leaders, myself (Jinny Ngui), Shoshana Bratton, Aiza Cheung and Saffie Pluck. Inspired by the success and our involvement in the London Etsy Made Local Christmas event in Soho, the team were bitten by the market bug, so we decided to take on our own event!
When the initial plans for the market started we asked our team members for ideas for a venue. Team member Michele, of Wyckoff Smith, suggested the Hornsey Town Hall Arts Centre, where she has her jewellery studio. The Hornsey Town Hall is a beautiful listed building in the heart of Crouch End and is currently being run by an interim community project. With the benefit of insider knowledge, we booked a meeting and were excited to see the venue for ourselves. We were blown away by the beauty of this 1930’s treasure and were filled with excitement. We had all sorts of thoughts running through our heads: Where do we start with the planning? Will we have enough stall-holders? How do we get people to come along? After setting a date and a little wave of panic, we divided and conquered!
The captains and leaders worked together on creating the application form and going through each submission. When curating a market, it’s important to balance the different categories of products and think about the overall shopping experience for the customer. As Etsy shop owners ourselves, we have insight to what we hope and expect from a market and we drew our ideas from our collective experience.
We are fortunate to have our own in-team graphic designer, Aiza. When we started planning, it was cold and dark outside, so we thought spring flowers would be the perfect theme for the market graphics. To continue the theme we organised a craft party to make floral decorations for an Instagram wall for the event. It was a great opportunity for team members to socialise and get creative together.
With most event planning the biggest fear is no-one showing up. With a tiny budget, we had to decide what was going to work for us and give us the best return. We heavily relied on spreading the word on social media, with over 750 members in the team now, we have a huge network of support. For the local area of Crouch End we sent out flyers and posters.
As a team we are more than just about selling at markets. To illustrate this, we have a team blog, which covers different aspects of being an Etsy designer maker. London is such a vast city you are spoilt for choice for things to do and places to see so to help generate interest for our Spring Market we looked to our blog as way to introduce the area of Crouch End and the Hornsey Town Hall. We also discussed the area with team members local to Crouch End. Blogs have become a force to be reckoned with. Looking for more creative ways to get other bloggers and vloggers involved with the team, we hosted a special workshop for them to attend and learn more about the team and what we do. We collaborated with Puck Studio to create vinyl heat pressed tote bags, which we could use as giveaway goody bags for the first 50 shoppers at the market.
In a blink of an eye May was upon us. It’s fascinating how planning something for a few months can almost make the event you are working towards disjointed from reality. You talk about it everyday and it’s not until the week before it dawns on you that it is really going to happen. All the hard work and planning comes together.
I am an avid planner, I love a good spreadsheet and make endless lists. This may sound useful, but sometimes it’s a form of procrastination forme. Before joining the team last summer, I worked mainly on my own from home. Working on a project with a team has made my planning skills more focused and it was a real thrill to see our event go beyond our expectations. Our fears that no-one would turn up were quickly dispelled and the event was a huge success with over 1,600 people attending the market. There was a fantastic buzz throughout the day with the live Instagram and Twitter feed projected on the stage with our hashtag #lolomarket and Puck Studio and Mollum Vellum did a fantastic job with their drop in workshops encouraging customers to get creative too.
“It was so lovely to see the hall all set up just before we let the customers in, it was a moment that I felt really proud. Everyone was in such high spirits and because we’re a team and see each other regularly, there was such a friendly atmosphere in the room. Each stall holder did their bit in helping to promote the market so it was lovely to see how working as a team can create a really successful event.”
“After putting in so much work, I got a great sense of accomplishment seeing the market take shape. People were queuing to get their goody bags at the beginning of the event. We had an incessant flow of people from opening to closing time but what really made me feel proud was the seller’s feedback. So many of them came to thank us for organising such a great event. I even had 3 different people telling me this was the best fair they’ve ever done. It really doesn’t get any better than this! And that’s what the team is all about.”
“I loved seeing the London Local Spring market come together & to be part of such a great event. Hornsey Town Hall looked so wonderful filled with the handmade decorations made by the team and it was a great setting to showcase our talented teams work. There was a really happy atmosphere on the day & a strong team spirit to help make the event a success. The LL team is such a unique, creative and supportive community & I really think this shone through at the market & was appreciated by all involved!”
“Having only just set up my own brand last year, selling at markets is still a fairly new experience for me. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I have to admit, I was pretty nervous before it all began. But, once the doors opened, time flew by! The customers were all so interesting and I loved the little windows of time I got to have a wander around. Seeing so many beautifully set up stalls featuring such a variety of work reminded me of how wonderful it is to be a part of the London Local Team. I’m the luckiest person because I get to meet the people behind these brands. They’re people who are each so talented, clever, supportive and unique. Without getting too mushy, it’s exactly the kind of community I always dreamed I’d get to be a part of one day.”
“When the doors opened and people started to flood in, I felt so proud of our team! The amazing products showcased in our team members’ beautiful stalls translated into a buzz and excitement from the shoppers that came to browse and shop. I could see that the shoppers were definitely impressed – we even had people asking us if it was going to be a weekly market! The event has been such a success and I’m so happy to be a part of this wonderful team. It was lovely to meet fellow members, both familiar faces and new ones. I want to thank everyone for their support, be it making decorations, spreading the word or coming to show your support on the day. It truly was the best feeling ever to have our community come together and put on an awesome event!”
“After months of preparation, it makes it all worthwhile being able to see the outcome, and the bustle and excitement of a market in full swing. The atmosphere was great, and the locals appreciated the time and effort we had put into the market, but also the fact that we had chosen to use a hall in a historic building such as the Hornsey Town Hall. What made it for me was being able to interact with other designer-makers, as well as putting faces to brands. It was lovely to all be able to meet in one setting and showcase our small brands to everyone!”
Our next adventure is the annual Etsy Craft Party. We are hosting our event on the Alfred Le Roy, the beautiful Canal Boat stationed by Crate Brewery in Hackney Wick. For more information and to book tickets visit Eventbrite.
Blog post by team leader Jinny Ngui, Jinny Ngui Design.