The recent lack of blog posts is mainly due to being consumed with preparations for the Thame Fair on 22 February. The list of exhibitors has now been released and can be viewed HERE.
Preparations have been particularly onerous, mainly due to the unforeseen implications of changing the way I work over the past year, as I've been increasingly making to order and special commissions. This means that I don't have to keep large stocks of the full range of miniature toys and toy dolls, each in a variety of colours. I can make just one or two and place them on the website with details of how to order in the colour(s) or style of your choice.
This is all fine and dandy, until a miniatures show hoves into view. I can't turn up as an exhibitor with just a handful of miniatures to display. Customers rightly want to take their purchases home with them, and they want a range of miniatures from which to choose.
Back in the day, when I averaged at least one specialist show each month, I would always have a reasonable stock, and items which had sold were replaced on a rolling basis. However, now, primarily because of my MS, we exhibit at just one show a year.... the Thame Fair later this month.
So I am in a quandary. I either have to up the number of shows we attend, to justify the additional effort required to maintain stock levels, or cut them out altogether. The former is no longer a realistic option, so I'm tending towards the latter.
I would of course, really miss the direct contact with collectors, many of whom I've known as customers and/or students at my workshops, for many years. Despite the stress and hard work involved in preparing for, and attending a show, they are always enjoyable and the first-hand feedback is invaluable. It's also a great opportunity to interact with fellow artisans and see what they are doing.
So will this be the last year, in over 25 years, in which Tower House Dolls will exhibit at a show? The jury is currently out......