Christmas is approaching (What? Have I just mentioned “Christmas”?), and this year, there will be a lot of craft, arts, and produce markets in Chandler’s Ford for you to buy the best gifts.
Chandler’s Ford Age Concern Centre on 7 Brownhill Road (SO53 2EB) will become a major centre for many upcoming markets. I hope you could visit these markets to support our local businesses.
1) Chandler’s Ford Arts, Craft and Gift Market
Early in June this year, Michelle Duffy launched her first local Arts, Craft and Gift Market at Chandler’s Ford Age Concern Centre with huge success.
Her autumn Arts, Craft and Gift Market will be on Saturday 5th September 2015 at the Age Concern Centre, from 11am to 3pm.
Her Christmas market will be on Saturday 14th November 2015.
2) Chandler’s Ford Produce and Craft Market
This is new and exciting. A group of local people, including crafters and artists, will bring you Chandler’s Ford Produce and Craft Market on the following Saturdays – 10th October, 21st November, and 12th December 2015, from 10am to 2pm, at the Age Concern Centre.
From the Craftbox: Arts, Craft and Gift Market
I interviewed Michelle Duffy to find out why she runs Arts, Craft, and Gift Markets across Hampshire.
1) Janet: Michelle, What’s your personal link to Chandler’s Ford and Eastleigh? What do you like most / remember about it?
Michelle: From the age of four my parents moved to Bishopstoke and this is where I grow up. I used to work for Fox & Sons Auctioneers in Southampton and found my way living in Chandler’s Ford about five years ago. I have many friends and enjoyed what Chandler’s Ford had to offer.
I met my daughter’s father who also lived in Chandler’s Ford, however due to personal circumstances which I obviously wouldn’t wish to be published, he decided prior to her birth that he didn’t wish to continue to be part of our lives. Therefore due to costings and wishing to have a fresh start, I moved to Gosport where I have been able to start again and create a stable life for Sophia to grow and development.
I still have many dear friends in Chandler’s Ford and so do like to visit and the Caretaker of the Age Concern Centre is a close father like figure to me, hence why I decided to use the Hall as one of our Market venues.
2) Janet: How would running a market help local community centres?
Michelle: I would like to hope that my Markets allow for an additional community event, for locals to come, browse and enjoy and all being well come away with a few purchases.
Likewise I also hope that local crafters could use my Markets as a way of showcasing their hard work, as I know many people handmake or handcraft however it is a hobby and therefore struggle to find outlets of where they can show their works to the public domain.
3) Janet: How are you so ‘brave’?
Michelle: I wouldn’t say that I am brave, I guess I am a strong-willed person, who is very passionate about what I do in life.
My daughter in many ways was an amazing blessing, as I hadn’t been blessed with a child until her in my early thirties, however I now wish to enjoy being a mum, being able to support and yet still there to do the school runs, when the time comes and to not miss out on her first years, which I feel are so important.
I wish for her to be sociable and find a good balance between working and us having family time. Therefore the Markets allow me to be flexible and very much work around her needs, which in turn allows me to enjoy these first years of motherhood.
4) Janet: What makes your craft markets special?
Michelle: I would hope that when people arrive at our markets, they are always friendly, fun and offer a wonderful pleasant atmosphere to stallholders and visitors.
I try to make our Markets family friendly, so we have children’s crafting areas, the first 25-50 visitors venue size depending receive a free goody bag with a mini crafting project in each.
We also run a free prize draw, where visitors simply complete a little comment card to tell us what they thought about the market etc and at the end of the Market, one comment card is pulled out to win the contents of the Markets Hamper, which are donations from the stallholders on the day.
We try to ensure all stalls offer handmade/handcrafted items to browse and purchase.
5) Janet: What are the crafters like and what kind of crafts do you want to attract?
Michelle: We have a mixture of different crafters, hobbyists, artists, authors etc and very much are trying to create Markets where you can find unique, personalised items which you wouldn’t find necessarily on the high street.
We are always delighted to find different crafters who might create or make something a little different which nobody has ever thought of. Also we have Jewellery stalls, cards stalls, knitted and Crochet stalls alike.
I have also just launched our Stallholders directory, which is available on our website and allows crafters to have am online “stall” 365 years of the year, where they can give details about themselves and what they offer, links to their own web page or facebook page plus they can list where their next Market with us is. An entry is free to a stallholder as a bonus thank you when they book into more than 5 Markets, or is just £15 (the same price as a standard stall at our smaller venues) to take a listing without a stall booking or lower than 5.
In June’s market, I saw many unique, personalised, hand-made gifts, and met many talented local crafters.
Jane Duxbury, from Hiltingbury, is an ethical crafter. Her table was full of stunning gifts that she made.
Jane specialises in using the most ethically soured materials, including fairly traded, recycled, organic, sustainable and locally sourced yarns and materials.
You can visit Jane’s delightful website Mrs Craftypants, to find out a wide range of crafts that she does.
I also met and bought from another talented crafter Tracy O’Neill, who specialises in cards and jewellery, porcelain flowers, crochet items, fimo bears, and book folding.
I’ll introduce more local crafters to you in my future posts. Now you know where to stock your Christmas presents.
I hope you’ll be inspired by our local craft markets in Chandler’s Ford. What are you going to buy? After you’ve visited the craft markets, do share your visits with us (tell us what you’ve bought). Or, do you need any gift ideas?
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