Monday, 15 August 2022

Church hosts craft and gift market for smaller businesses

Church hosts craft and gift market for smaller businesses

A MARKET promoting small retail and craft businesses took place at St Leonard’s Church in Watlington on Saturday.

The annual event, now in its third year, supports businesses that don’t have a shop front or presence on a High Street. There were 27 stallholders selling goods including candles, candle holders, jewellery, pictures, clothing, novelty lights and cuddly toys as well as a café run by the church to raise funds. More than 170 people attended.

Organiser Michelle Evans, of Hurdlers Green, Watlington, said: “It went really well. The most important thing is that the stallholders are happy. Footfall is irrelevant as long as the people coming through the door are coming to shop rather than browse.”

Mrs Evans is a former accountant, who now works from home in direct sales. She said: “Like many mums, I started a business in direct sales to keep me sane and bring in a little money while the children were young.

“Trading at fetes, fairs and markets, I met lots of other people, not just mums, who run small retail and unique craft businesses that don’t have a position on a high street, and need good quality affordable pop-up shop opportunities, so I started the market, creating a professionally organised and well-advertised local market for people like me to exhibit.

“St Leonard’s Church was the only venue big enough in Watlington and the church likes it because it gets people using the building. We have tried running the market at other times of the year but it’s just in November now. Next year we may change the name to Watlington Christmas Market.”

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