Lots of petrol, lots less sleep!

Well hello there!

What a month it has been. I’m somewhat at a loss as how to structure this bombardment of information relating to the last few weeks, but there is no better time to do it than the first weekend off, so here goes…

Post the November Old Spitalfields, our first festive event was the Dudmaston Hall Christmas fair. The beautiful Dudmaston Hall is in beautiful countryside on the Shropshire borders and definitely a worthwhile day out.

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It was a lovely start to the roll of Christmas fairs, though we were very glad to have opted for an indoor pitch as it certainly wasn’t a warm weekend in that well stocked orchard! We met some great people there, as well as conducting a number of investigations into the effect of our FFY slippers upon terriers and canines alike. The findings, whilst inconclusive showed that most dogs were rather apprehensive, which came as a surprise! I was rather expecting a deluge of sheepskin pieces!

From Dudmason, we went on to the marathon that was The Festive Gift Fair at the NEC in Birmingham. One word. Challenge. As you know, we haven’t been going for all that long, with the majority of our events being us setting up on a table an hour before the cameras roll. Not this time. We had booked a 2×2 metre pitch- a mere box, which we had to transform in to something incredible! We took everything we needed the day before, but didn’t have the time to play with set-up options and rather abandoned ship until the following morning. I’m not sure we ever got to incredible, the day one set up was far from ideal, certainly a bit amateur. Fortunately, I had my friend Louise providing a helping hand and, between us we managed to mock up something much more festive and generally all round more appealing at the end of day one! Thanks Louise!

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My personal NEC favourites were the Christmas angel which featured everywhere alongside our FFY slippers, and our EWE trees on loan from the WiRE offices, which looked super posh! For all the ‘ups’, the downside of this event was the fact that we were directly opposite a stand also selling slippers, granted not remotely like ours, but slippers all the same. Despite this hiccup, we made it through and now have a better idea how we go about such an event in the future (a lot more preparation, with a LOT more time booked in to set up)!

Our next stop was the historic Shugborough Hall. This grand house set in parkland was the perfect set up for an all together festive weekend, somewhat helped by the addition of reindeer on the Sunday. Let’s hope for all our sake, Santa didn’t forget to pick up Rudolph…

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Shugborough was made all together more wonderful for mum and I thanks to the surprise guests in the form of my cousin from NZ and his lovely wife. We had no idea they were coming and it really made our day! However, we were slightly disappointed that they hadn’t brought their 6 month old daughter along, though Ceri rectified that on Sunday and there were BIG smiles all round!

Suddenly, we’ve hit December without having had to time to check our watches, let alone anything more substantial. We headed back down to London at some ridiculous evening hour on a Thursday evening for The Islington Centre Christmas fair. We were very excited about this one as the Centre does great work supporting migrants and refugees. There was an INCREDIBLE atmosphere at this event and we had great fun just being there! It is something that we really hope to be able to support again in the future and can only look forward to this time next year! The following day we were back down to our old favourite, Old Spitalfields Market. This delivered, as ever, in terms of great atmosphere and great value for money.

For someone who comes from a family who traditionally doesn’t do Christmas until Christmas eve, it has certainly been a full on month of Christmas cheer and we still haven’t even reached the event in question! No bad thing has come from this- though, nor can I admit to being ‘ready’ for Christmas either (and there I was, pushing mum to squeeze in a Christmas party!), with a number of presents still left on the ‘to do’ list.

In other news, we are getting into the Christmas spirit by offering FREE UK postage between the evenings of Sun 15th Dec and Thurs 19th Dec, so be sure not to miss out on this: http://www.bysikora.co.uk. Those wishing to receive pre-braided FFY slippers, don’t forget to email and let us know. We’re hoping to get in some extra dates for Jan and Feb in the London area, so do keep up to date by following our facebook and twitter accounts, it’s always great to meet new people!

A final note must be made. A number of you may have noticed, but we have had to make some subtle changes to our branding. We think this has been for the better in the long run. We only hope that you still love what we’re doing and how our brand is being represented and, that you can continue along our journey with us, albeit, a little less sheepishly…!

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Wishing you all a Merry Christmas, let’s hope some of you have some very cosy surprises under that beautiful tree!

Jo x

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