So Christmas is coming ….. I’m making a list and checking it twice before I head off to the Cambridge Made Christmas Fair, which for the past couple of years has been my go to at this time of year for local handmade treasures and really original Christmas presents.
The Christmas Fair showcases the multifarious talents of a collective of Cambridge designer-makers who have come together as a team under the Etsy banner. Etsy is the world’s leading online marketplace for handmade goods, through which individual makers can run an online store to sell their wares. But it’s much more than a sales forum. It’s a community minded operation that encourages sellers to form teams, meaning that craftspeople can pool their experience and expertise and support each other in what can sometimes be a solitary existence.
I met with Debbie Poyser and Sara Bevan from the Cambridge Etsy team, who firmly believe that people should be able to make things for a living and, indeed, that it’s an essential human impulse to make. They told me that four years ago, their first Fair was a pop up shop in a room above a pub in central Cambridge. The Cambridge BID team then got involved, helped the group to set up a Summer Fair and from there the project went from strength to strength.
This year, the Fair is being held at St Andrew’s Baptist Church and will show the work of forty three designer-makers, artists and craftspeople over three days. There’ll be a huge variety of hand made goodies including ceramics, jewellery, textiles, quilts, botanical toiletries, cards, decorations, toys and homewares. Some new makers will be coming on board each day so it’s definitely worth visiting the Fair more than once. Should you work up a thirst doing all that Christmas shopping and need to recharge, refreshments will be available at Livingstones Cafe in the church. You’ll also be able to help raise funds for Jimmy’s Night Shelter by stopping at the charity table.
Cambridge Made welcomes applications from makers who would like to share opportunities and be a part of this supportive group. Just contact them through Facebook at Cambridge Made.
As shopping experiences go, sorting out the Christmas presents often feels like something of a mission but I can promise you that this Fair is different. So make out your list, come along to support local designer-makers and see what treasures you will find.
Facebook: Etsy Made Local – Cambridge
43 St Andrew’s Street, Cambridge CB2 3AR