Where it all began:
The Fairy Tale Fair was launched in the summer of 2012 and is the creation of Claire Montgomery. As a designer and regular on the craft scene herself she decided to set up her own craft fair. She loves taking part in craft fairs but felt there was a lack of community based fairs for all the family to enjoy. After a few months planning and hounding craft-y contacts The Fairy Tale Fair was finally born! The first fair was in August and was in fact the hottest day of the year! It was held in a little hall in Patcham, Brighton and despite the blazing sun saw a huge turn out! It was quite stressful in the lead up to the first event, not knowing what the response or turn out would be but luckily it all went well. Stall holders and visitors very much enjoyed their day- eating alice in wonderland themed cakes, drinking gallons of tea and selling or buying wonderful handmade creations. One thing was for certain though- we needed a bigger venue!…
How we became established:
2013 was a busy year for The Fairy Tale Fair! We moved into our new venue of Patcham Methodist Church, which provides a much bigger hall, cafe area as well as a craft workshop room and entrance hall. This venue works really well for us, and often means families stay for hours exploring all the rooms have to offer and of course stopping for tea and cake in our yummy vintage tearoom! In 2013 we held a Easter Spring fair, Summer fair and Christmas fair too. The Fairy Tale Fair brand continued to grow, building up a strong online following. This following, as well as the thousands of flyers have lead to each event so far being well attended and successful. We’ve had great feedback about each of the fairs, and have attracted lots of press attention too, including The Argus and The Crafts Institute.
Where are we now?
2014 has continued to see our fair grow more than ever before! In April we held our Spring fair in Patcham, which as with each fair before had great feedback. Visitors enjoyed making easter craft creations in our workshops, eating Spring time treats in the vintage tearoom and bringing the fairy tales to life on the little ones faces. We also held a charity raffle for The Martlets.
This winter has seen an exciting expansion for the fair. As well as our Christmas fair at Patcham Methodist on November 15th, and a move into central Brighton with our fair at Brighton Open Market, we also held a big festive special at Brighton Racecourse on Saturday 6th December, with over 100 stalls of high quality local designers and makers! It was very exciting expanding into a much bigger more central venue, if a little scary! We felt it was also important to still have our fair in Patcham, as we think the local community feel works so well, and it has become our well loved home. Last Christmas and Spring we had so many wonderful applicants that we had to turn down as we simply didn’t have the space, so by holding the local and central fairs we felt this was the best of both worlds and allowed more opportunities for stall holders too.
We now have a large social following- 5,000 of you on facebook, and Twitter isn’t fair behind. We also launched on Instagram recently. Thank you to everyone who has visited, taken part, supported and featured us over the past two and a half years. It has helped us expand to where we are today, and we could not have done it without you!
For 2014 we were also selected by American Express as one of the top 100 small businesses in the UK, for Small Business Saturday UK on 6th December. How exciting! We were also featured in The Guardian, The Argus, Mollie Makes, Vintage Brighton, and had a visit from Caroline Lucas MP!
We can’t wait more more exciting adventures in 2015!