Here at Bledsoe Bags we’re missing the craft fairs and festivals that let us meet customers and show our work and hear their stories. We don’t thrive in an online environment, and our bags don’t either.
Like our customers, our bags are one-off pieces, unique individuals with their own personalities. We use a lot of sample pieces, remnants, and reclaimed fabric along with new fabric to make our range of bags, and we like to surprise with our choice of linings and pockets. Our bags long to be handled and tried on. And we long to meet people, see our regulars, have a laugh together.
We’ve been showing at craft fairs and festivals since 2011, and at the annual Atlanta Chomp & Stomp since 2013. Here are some fond memories of past events…..
Since March this year, all those events have been cancelled or gone online. So we’re very grateful for the rare opportunities to sell face-to-face that arise in these times. It takes a lot of dedication and creativity and, of course, Covid-safe measures.
Spruill Gallery is a wonderful gallery in Atlanta that hosts an artists’ market for the Christmas period. They’re showing our work as part of their Fall into the Holidays market, alongside the work of many other amazing Atlanta-based creatives. It’s a great place to mooch around and find handmade gifts for special friends.
A local grassroots initiative resulted in the Craft Crawl in Atlanta, a neighbourhood outdoor artists’ market, where residents offered their front yards and driveways for makers to set up their stalls. Bledsoe’s was pleased to be invited to participate. The first was such a success that it was decided to repeat it next month.
And in London, we have the monthly Open Days at the Couture Collective, where we rent workspace and display our work. This lets us greet customers and potential customers and show them where the bags are made. It’s a fun and safe way to shop – mask wearing is required, and we limit numbers in the shop at one time.
And finally, we love it when friends and family offer to host a trunk show, a private gathering – a bit like a Tupperware party of old – for friends to get together and see and buy our bags. Our friend Carey has offered to host an outdoor trunk show next month in her back garden in Kingston, with tea and cake and mulled wine on offer.
We’re so grateful for these opportunities for face-to-face (even if mask-to-mask) interactions , and we’re very much looking forward to seeing you!