Jewellery designer Sinead set up the Crafty Fox pop-up market a year ago to give emerging designers and crafters an opportunity to showcase their work in a community-driven setting. I caught up with her to find out more about the successful south London venture.
What inspired you to set up your own craft market and what’s the ethos behind it?
I set up Crafty Fox Market because I make jewellery and I was sick of travelling to north and east London at the weekends to sell at markets. At the time there wasn’t anything like that in south London. My background is in event management so I thought I would give it a go and see what happened!
Who sells there?
Our criteria for selling is ‘handmade or vintage’ and the event is curated to ensure quality and a good selection of products. Stall holders range from established artists to those who are just starting out selling as a hobby. There is also a good mixture of locals and those who travel from far away – including Edinburgh and Dublin – to take part.
How many people do they usually attract?
Our Christmas Market saw record attendance with a total of over 3,000 people through the doors. The Dogstar is a great venue as it seems to absorb people over three floors.
How has the market evolved since you launched?
We always tweak the format of the event with the aim of improving it every time. At our first Christmas Market in 2010 we only used the ground floor of the Dogstar as we didn’t know how many people to expect. We have now expanded to using all three floors with an extensive programme of workshop activities. Last September we ran a night market which worked really well and brought a different flavour to Crafty Fox – we hope to run another night market in the coming months.
What would you say makes your market unique?
Crafty Fox has a unique vibe, which is very difficult to explain to anyone who hasn’t been to the event. I think this is due to a number of factors: a great venue, DJs with a brilliant selection of tunes, amazing stall holders, lots of creativity and a welcoming, friendly atmosphere.
What’s your day job?
I work in events and communications for a university.
Do you ever find it hard to juggle both?
It can be a challenge to juggle both, particularly in the run up to an event. Apologies to all the friends I’ve been ignoring over the past few months!
What’s been your best moment so far since you started up Crafty Fox?
The past year has seen many high points – Crafty Fox has been a fantastic experience. Running our pop up at the Thames Festival, next to the Tate Modern with a view of St Pauls was pretty special.
Have you faced any opposition or challenges along the way?
We have been very fortunate that Crafty Fox has worked well from the start but that’s not to say that we haven’t had to learn some lessons along the way. We are often faced with difficult decisions and it can be really challenging to know which route to take and which partners to work with.
Do you liken yourself to a crafty fox?
Crafty, yes… foxy, of course!
How important do you think community is when you’re living in London?
Community is extremely important when living in London. Brixton has a really strong sense of community and it’s something that we aim to promote when talking about the Crafty Fox Market. There are loads of great initiatives happening in Brixton and indeed south London as a whole. Community creates a sense of belonging and pride in an area and is particularly important when living in a big city.
Where would you go in the city if you needed some quiet time?
I would head to Brockwell Park if I needed some quiet time. It’s my favourite park in London – I love the variety it offers and the great views out over London.
What do you have up your sleeve for future markets?
We hope to continue to make Crafty Fox even better for visitors! We haven’t yet set dates for 2012 but are planning another night market and an Easter event as well.
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