If someone asked me to describe this year’s Handmade Festival in three words, it would be impossible. So many adjectives come to mind: Inspiring, Colourful, Innovative, Educational, Posh ( …being held on The Green opposite the majestic Hampton Court), Relaxing, Unique, Imaginative, Delicious ( …yes, there was also food) ….and so much Fun!
It can be difficult to find quality craft supplies these days, with more and more independent hobby stores closing down. And yet, there is a whole exhibition filled with the most amazing handmade products and DIY supplies.
This year’s festival was held on three consecutive days, from Friday 13th September until Sunday 15th September 2019 and was sponsored by / held in partnership with various companies, including Molly Makes, The Sunday Times and Sewing Quarters.
Supporting Start Up Businesses
It was great to catch up with many well known exhibitors and see their new products.
And it was even more exciting to visit the New Makers area. The designers were handpicked by Kirstie Allsopp and the team, from seventy applications.
Twenty secured their space at the show and showcased their beautiful products. All of them have been in business for twelve months of less.
Georgina Krstic, show manager at Brand Events, said:
“Giving independent brands a platform to showcase their beautiful, handcrafted products is what we do best. There’s something for everyone at the New Makers area, whether you’re into knitting and crochet, illustrations or fashion accessories.”
“We are confident our visitors will love our selection of designers and craft brands as much as we do. New Makers applications for next year’s festival will also open in September to make sure that we’re constantly bringing the freshest talent to our visitors.”
Activities included interesting workshops and talks.
Some of the 300 talented exhibitors demonstrated their skills at their stall.
There were many workshops, with over 150 sessions to choose from. These included cupcake decorating, modern calligraphy, pottery throwing, watercolour painting, needle felting, bookbinding and many more.
The festival was hosted by Kirstie Allsopp, TV presenter and by Liz Earle MBE, wellbeing specialist.
Other celebrities made their appearance, including Rahul Mandal, the winner of Great British Bake Off 2018 and Tilly Walnes, found of Tilly and the Buttons and contestant on The Great British Sewing Bee.
Shopping was possibly the main activity of many of us as when it comes to gifts made with love and craft supplies, we can resist anything but temptation!
There was also an opportunity to create a re-usable eco-friendly bag and be part of a giant cross stitch project. Over three days, Mr. X Stitch was inviting visitors to pitch in and add their stitch snippets, helping create the biggest art piece in Handmade Festival History.