Through Our Hands: The third issue

Front cover of the third Through Our Hands magazineMy article about the delightful and quirky Bristol Wool Fair is published in the third issue of ‘Through Our Hands’ textile magazine.

The Bristol Wool Fair

5 – 7th September 2014, Clifton and Durdham Downs, Bristol

The marquees were an impressive size even from a distance. If you looked carefully, you also might have been able to make out some sheep milling about and being prepared for shearing demonstrations. Getting nearer to the event, the smell of wool and the bleating of sheep were strikingly evident. This was certainly peculiar for the middle of Bristol. And yet, the Bristol Wool Fair was a great success.

The Wool Fair was held over three days on Clifton and Durdham Downs, an expansive stretch of open green space in the heart of the city. It is often used for hosting touring fairgrounds and circuses, but has never before entertained such a big or ambitious art event. It is possible that this was the first arts and crafts fair that the Downs had seen.  Continue reading

Behind the scenes at a bridal boutique

This interview is published on Wedding Ideas Magazine

I interviewed Jessica Letheren at ‘Allison Jayne’ bridal boutique in Clifton, Bristol. Besides running ‘Allison Jayne’, Jessica is studying business in Swansea.

P1020426How did you get into this business?

Allison Jayne is my family business, which was started forty years ago in Swansea. We are all from Swansea. Twenty years later they opened another shop in Cardiff. Then we opened on the triangle eighteen months ago.

What are the best bits of being in this business?

The selling is the best bit without a doubt. In this business you are always dealing with happy brides. Developing the customer’s trust is also hugely rewarding.

What are the hardest bits?

What is hard is having to chase things up under time pressure. Some clients only come in a few weeks before the wedding and leave things until the last minute. So dealing with close deadlines is stressful. It is a lot of responsibility.

P1020407How many dresses would you advise a bride-to-be to try on?

On average people try on about ten dresses, although for some people it can be the first one or go up a lot higher. The most someone has tried on is 25! Occasionally people try this number on over a period of a few visits.  Continue reading