One of my things I love about running your own business is the marketing and promotion and exhibiting at a select few shows each year, to meet our customers face to face, both our long established customers and the new ones too.
We do not attend many shows as it is not always easy to pop them in to our busy schedule, but more importantly, I like to hand pick the shows we exhibit at, to make sure they have the right ‘atmosphere’ and that our collection fits in with the ethos of each show.
The Dorset Brocante is one of the shows I enjoy the most, full of beautiful brocante, the faded elegance of timeworn treasures of both English and French origin and style, and an amazing team of exhibitors who work together to make this brocante one of the best.
I always remember the build up to a show as one of hectic excitement and a desire to be ready and set up on time! My lovely husband says I often have my ‘hectic head’ on as we work hard to create the most perfect stall, and to blend amongst 40 other stunning exhibitors who are all equally working as hard to create an amazing atmosphere when the doors open.
The days are always long and involve a very early 5am start, squeezing every last item in to the van (I am sure that last little gap can hold something more, now let’s see….) before a long drive to Dorset and time for the unpacking and setting up to begin.
A last-minute dash for a quick cuppa (we have 5 minutes after all!) and the doors open, the visitors arrive… and the day begins.
As exhibitors, we often laugh and say we could write a book about the shows, the behind the scenes trials and tribulations, the planning, the things we forgot to pack, the early mornings and late finishes, the hours of fun and laughter, the comradery and support amongst the traders, the beautiful friendships we find and build, the exhaustion at the end of a long day, the weary feet, the lost car keys at the end of the day (and yes, the tears of relief when an hour later we found them packed in the last box at the back of the van, which we had to unpack on a dark winters evening…).
The May Brocante was held at The Larmer Tree, a beautiful garden set in the heart of Cranborne Chase, an area of outstanding natural beauty on the Wiltshire/ Dorset border.
The next brocante will be held at Deans Court in August, in the centre of Wimborne Minster Dorset, another truly amazing location and definitely worth a visit, even if just to their café, known as the Squash Court, and to experience their equally amazing food, and lunches to die for!
So, if you are looking for a stunning day of flowers, vintage brocante, artisans, textiles, pottery, craft workshops, good food and music, head to the next Brocante and enjoy a most magical day of brocante inspiration in truly magical locations.