7th March 2016 this date seemed so far off when we first discussed it back in November. But, time flew.
Suddenly, it was time for Ivy and I to set out on a great adventure to have our products for sale through the Scottish Design Exchange at Ocean Terminal in Edinburgh.
Wait, I skipped ahead a little . . . way, way, way back in October 2015 I met Ivy at Whale Arts in Edinburgh when we both joined the WHALE-Pod (a business incubator for new-start creative and arts enterprises). After a few initial meetings and discussions with David Henderson from WHALE-Pod, Sarah Howard from Community Enterprise and Lynzi Leroy from the Scottish Design Exchange, we were offered an opportunity (funded by WHALE-Pod) to stock our products at the Scottish Design Exchange. We were thrilled at the prospect of joining such superb designers and artists in this amazing retail space. The ethos behind SDE is exactly what Ivy and I were looking for, so we ‘held hands and took the plunge’. Our first day was both exciting and nerve-racking. Supported by David and our families we ventured forth and put together a stand displaying our collective work.
Ivy-ElDesigns is behind ‘All-Things-Bags’ which are crafted and homemade in Scotland. Ivy uses African fabrics of the most vibrant colours, unique patterns and diverse textures. For Ivy, making bags has proved a delight.
Ivy says “I do hope that you all will feel the same about these Scottish made Afrocentric bags, making your near and dear happy with my creations. A percentage of my profits will be going towards women who have suffered and are suffering domestic abuse and violence”.
Oh, and I was there too . . .
Inspired by a love of sewing and working with beautiful fabrics, Busy Bee Handicrafts is a new start-up idea to create a range of textile gifts tailored towards your hobbies or things you love to do. Enjoy giving a gift to someone special or treat yourself.
Julia says “When people become isolated and lonely, often remembering something you love to do can be a first step to regaining contact with other people, and I certainly have found this to be true”.
The staff at SDE were so nice to us. They were so enthusiastic to have us there and we had great support and advice especially from Jodie, Sean and Judy who were there every step of the way.
Our trial period of 4 weeks has gone by so quickly. There have been a lot of things to learn and we have picked up some great tips. Next week, as the dust settles we can talk over the whole experience and work out ‘what comes next’ for this intrepid duo (watch this space).