West End Fair Week 1

Even though it is Friday today, today is day seven of the West End Fair and nine days since I started the set up.

So lets start at the beginning. Last Thursday I arrived with all my display and moved into what will be my home & hub until 25th August. 

will it all fit?
I knew roughly what to expect of my stall when I booked, however in past years I have been in what is called the Chinese Hat which provides a rain and wind proof home to 6 stalls. This year, as one of the many changes, 3D2D have moved the Hat and so I was to have one of the "shell units" or beach huts as I like to call them. This slightly more open aspect had meant I had to rethink my display as I didn't want to run the risk of my origami blowing all over Edinburgh!

So when I first saw the stall on the Thursday I had a quick look to double check that my display ideas would work and started home for an early night. That plan was quickly put binned as a last minute ticket to the Fringe Opening Party appeared and I jumped at the chance for a nosey around Summerhall. I felt a little scruffy having dressed for lugging boxes, but hey, it's the festival, there would be people dressed far more weirdly than me. The cabaret shows and live music were fab, I was only a little disappointed not to join the Red Door Gallery badge making workshop but I couldn't get near for the cool crafters.

Back to the West End Fair on Friday and the first thing to do was to sweep up the leaves that had accumulated over the weeks of the build. It takes two men over a week just to lay the decking! Next the wallpaper went up and the lighting cables arranged. I had been meaning to get new lighting this year but struggled to find what I wanted. After a chat from my neighbour Andy I now have a clearer idea of what to look for. The last job for Friday was to put up the shelves (more difficult than you think when the hut isn't level but you don't want things sliding off) then head home to print signs and try to relax before the 1st day of trading.

Saturday was an early start, this would be the reckoning, would all the stock fit and look good? Well it all fitted, I will leave the customers to judge the aesthetics...

 Trading was busy on the Saturday and Sunday, a great start to the market! The weekdays are quieter but it gave me a chance to do some hand sewing of much needed stock and to play with the display once I saw how customers used the floor space of my open, gallery style beach hut. The weather has been kind all week with just the odd drizzle and a short downpour yesterday doing nothing to dampen the spirits of customers and stallholders alike.

sun on the beach huts

sudden downpour temporarily clears the boardwalk
Yesterday was also the first day of the weekend marquee. Adding space for 20 or so more stalls and giving the weekends more of a buzz. Over the coming weeks I will be featuring some new faces and old favourites on the bY Mi Facebook page so be sure to check them out online even if you can't make it to Edinburgh.

Come along if you can and if not I will be back with more news from the West End Fair next Friday. I will leave you with a photo of Fudge, Mr Wudwrex friendly dog who visited earlier this week.

Hannah x