When we were given the opportunity to help Black Country Echoes and the Leather Museum organise a retro-inspired Xmas fair a few weeks ago I jumped at the chance. Back in the 1990s Walsall was described as hip, cool and happening by The Guardian and I'm determined that our town regains that reputation if it kills me.
Despite Trip Advisor rating the Leather Museum as Walsall's number one tourist attraction, it never ceases to amaze me that so many of our townsfolk have never visited. I'm passionate about our industrial heritage and, with the added attraction of the Fox Collection, an archive of locally made leather and suede fashion hidden away for over forty years, it was the perfect opportunity to both raise the museum's profile and celebrate Black Country ingenuity.
|Jon's Vintage Suitcase Boomboxes|
We decided to focus on local indie businesses, makers and creators, hoping to not only raise the town's profile but to offer people an alternative to the mass produced goods available on our high street.
Hetty's Heavenly Treats is a local tea room and outdoor caterer. The girls ran a gingerbread icing workshop and offered some pre-packed treats.
Sharon & Jodie of Vintage Duos run very successful vintage & craft fairs around the Black Country. They helped to save the day by coming to our rescue after a local creative cooperative cancelled with days to go. Their paper craft, framed retro prints and vegan bath products proved very popular.
Liz of Izzybird Bags brought a range of her amazing creations, bags, cards, accessories and even honey from her hives.
Jolene's stunning designer jewellery is instantly recognisable and on most Walsall women's wish lists.
Lyndsey from Boomerang Retro brought colour and vintage cool (and enjoyed the free bar!)
Second to None (represented by June's lovely husband, Dave) had a rail of groovy leather and suede clothing. I snaffled this 1960s mini dress.
Mark from Rustic Woodcraft drew in the passers by with his ace creations, ably assisted by Katie, his gorgeous partner.
Artist Jain McCay's work is incredible and happily lots of customers agreed. She was another of our eleventh-hour saviours and we were delighted that she got such a great reception.
Gordon from the wonderful world of Babouskha was born in Walsall (even though he lives in Stourbridge now). A man saw him modelling this Bavarian jacket and bought it immediately. The green suede suit went home with me!
Duccio are one of Walsall's leading leather goods manufacturers. Kanye West is a fan.
The museum organised a peg doll workshop for the kids. The little boy told me his was going to be a Ninja Turtle, his sister favoured a more traditional fairy.
The Curio Shop has been trading in Walsall for over 45 years. They brought along a selection of their eclectic stock.
Black Country Echoes offered a strategically positioned free bar, set amongst the exhibits. What could be better than sipping cranberry vodka whilst drooling over Walsall-made designer handbags?
Meet Jo, a long-time blog reader who'd made the journey over from Burton on Trent to say hello. A gorgeous, glamorous, charity shopping, Wetherspoons fan. She's definitely coming on our next girls' day out.
|I'm wearing a vintage chiffon, diamante and pearl encrusted Texas-made evening dress (birthday pressie from Babouskha). Jon's in vintage/second-hand from head to toe.|
We had a wonderful day, lots of visitors and loads of positive comments. We were thrilled that so many of our friends turned out to support everyone. Here's to more Walsall events in 2015!
......Of course one fair in a weekend just wasn't enough, we worked at Moseley's groovy vintage and retro fair yesterday, too.
|I'm wearing a Polly Peck maxi from Garbo Antiques £5 rail at Vintage Village, Jon's robbed the stockroom. That's gorgeous Gail in the Santa outfit and the divine Cameron in the regimental jacket.|
So that's it for 2014, 32 vintage fairs and 7 festivals. Thanks to the organisers, fellow traders and all of you who turned up, bought from and supported us. India is only weeks away now!
We're off to
Linking to Patti's Visible Monday.