Last week we had a brilliant evening at our Craftd launch event in central Exeter. It was amazing - and a little overwhelming! - to see so many creatives, makers and supporters gathered in one room. We'd already had to change venues once but we certainly didn't expect to have almost 70 people join us on the evening.
We hadn't done anything like this before, and Craftd is only a couple of months old, but broadly speaking the goal of the evening was to:
- celebrate the launch of Craftd and share some of our story
- meet some of the wonderful makers that we've connected with over the last 10 weeks
- provide an opportunity for makers to have their products photographed by a local product photographer
- explore what an offline 'makers community' might look like in Exeter
- hear from local makers who are using Craftd to sell their products
- create space for an open Q&A so that we can answer any questions that might have arisen about what we're about and where we're going
Anybody who's organised an event before will know that things rarely run smoothly, and in truth there's lots that we could have done better. However, the best thing about the evening for us was having the opportunity to meet so many people who have become part of the wider Craftd community, including makers, customers and supporters. There was such a buzz in the room and we're excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for us all.
One thing that really stood out on the evening was a desire for greater collaboration and community between creatives in Exeter. This really excites us, and we think it's really important. There are many opportunities to learn creative skills and lots of local markets/fairs, but perhaps not so many contexts where makers can get together to talk about some of the hurdles of selling handmade products or the challenge of moving towards earning a full-time income through one's craft. We have lots to learn, but we're really excited about the possibility of more regular events that facilitate some of these conversations and plug this gap. If you were there at the launch event and would be interested in giving us some feedback or food for thought in this area then we'd love to hear from you.
We're really enjoying this journey and are thrilled by how things have progressed so far. Thank you to everybody who has supported us - we can't wait to share more of our story over the coming months.
Here are some photographic highlights from the evening from some of our lovely guests.
It was a great opportunity for me to tell the story of Colville Leather at the launch night of @craftdexeter Repost from @annaegiles . . . . . #leather #leatherwork #leathergoods #exeter #devon #handmade #handcrafted #shoplocal #shopsmall #shopsmallbusiness #slowfashion #swisbest #story #interview #leathercraft #artisan #makersgonnamake #makersmovement #madeindevon
Makers of Exeter - tonight sees the official launch of Craftd, a growing community of makers and creatives. If you are a local maker or creative or just love to shop local come and hear what the Craftd Exeter folk are up to. See @craftdexeter for details #craftdlaunch #craftd #exeter #buylocal #creatives #makers #maker #exetercraft #exeterillustration #exeterdesign #lovelocal #devon