So when we first launched this business, Christmas was never on our agenda. In fact, we discussed that we were going to solely concentrate on Weddings and Events. Well that soon changed…!
Katie used to run a little sideline called The Kentish Wreath Company. I must say, they are incredible wreaths. She started getting her usual Christmas enquiries to make wreaths this year. Having just launched in September we haven’t got too many weddings or events this side of the year and we wanted to keep ourselves busy.
We unexpectedly received a call from Chilston Park asking us to host their Christmas Workshop this year. We hadn’t even considered this as an option but we grabbed the chance with both hands. This definitely launched us into the Christmas spirit. (Not that we needed any help!)
Chilston Park have already sold out of their Sunday date and decided to hold an extra day!
If you’re free on Thursday 1st December 2022 and fancy a workshop to get into the festive spirit, I’ve attached a link at the bottom of the page to get your tickets! Anyway, I digress…
We then brainstormed and booked onto a beautiful Christmas Market in Canterbury - The Night Yard which is also an incredible wedding venue (go and check it out - https://en-gb.facebook.com/thenightyard/ ). This was just meant to be it… But Nahhhhh!
I live on a fairly new estate in Maidstone and we thought it would be great to set up a little Pop-up stall outside my house selling wreaths, garlands and baubles. We also had just put our Christmas door arch up so was hoping not would be great for people to come and see it.
We spent the whole week before the pop-up prepping wreaths and garlands all day everyday (well, while the kids were at school, it’s the only peace and quiet we get these days). We made approximately 25 wreaths and 3 garlands and a selection of baubles. We had great fun designing and shopping for the adornments in the week before. It was so lovely to have free-reign on our creativity. I wanted to make a pink wreath, not because I love pink because, quite frankly it’s far to girly for me but because I knew someone would buy it. Katie was not convinced but I made it as sparkly and flowery as possible. Surely someone would buy it?
We had grand plans… gazebo, crates, decorating table (we were on a budget ok!) We made them look stylish with our wedding table cloths and runners. We even roped the husbands in to help pleading with them that we ‘desperately’ needed their muscles! (We didn’t, we just knew we had a lot to do and minimal time).
The morning came, 8am we we’re outside waking the neighbours on a sunday starting to put together our stall. We caught the eye of a few early morning dog walkers but other than that, dead! Even my 4 year old (who is a ginger version of the devil) wanted to get stuck in and help. (More a hinderance but we persevered). And then, finishing touches were done and it was suddenly 10am! OPENING TIME!
Silence flooded the street, we exchanged glances thinking ‘shit, this is going to flop!’. Had we wasted our time doing this? Suddenly… a familiar face waltzed down the street with her daughter. A mum friend from my eldest son’s class came to visit… BAM, Pink wreath SOLD!!! The gloat on my face when Katie realised was quite a picture. Mum friends really are the best!
Then silence fell, again. The odd person trickled down but no major footfall.
Suddenly, came 12ish my advertising efforts and all our hard work started to pay off. It got busy! It wasn’t just our friends and family either, there were strangers coming to see us, even some loyal Kentish Wreath customers made the journey across town.
We literally had the best day, it went sooooo much better than we imagined. We finally started to feel recognised and if I do say so myself, we looked professional too. Like a real shop! (One day we will be, don’t worry). Out of the 25 wreaths and garlands we had very few left. We sold most our stock and even took some custom, bespoke orders too. We we’re only meant to be open 10am-2pm but stayed open till 4pm as people kept coming down. You really cannot beat local support.
What people don’t know is that their support on Sunday has given us the confidence boost that we needed.
We felt inspired and motivated to keep going. We are doing another pop-up stall on Sunday 27th November outside Katie’s house. It’s on a busy main road so hoping to catch the eye of the passing public, hoping they stop and take pity on us.
Things we learnt this sunday;
Your friends, family and friends are your biggest supporters.
Your neighbourhood is watching, they root for you and they want you to succeed.
You work hard enough and it WILL pay off. You reap what you sow.
Never give up… You can do this!
A special thanks to Katie’s incredible sister - Gemma for her amazing photography skills. Gemma is also an amazing wedding and events photographer - https://www.gemmawatsonphotography.com/home
A huge Thanks to my husband James for helping us set-up bright and early on his only day off this weekend and for helping us tidy up at the end. (He’s asked me to mention his fishing and shit but quite frankly it’s boring so I wouldn’t even waste your time reading this comment.)
Chilston Park Wreath Workshop - Thursday 1st December 2022 7pm - https://www.handpickedhotels.co.uk/ticket/chilston-park/wreath-making-1st