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  1. The events are coming and going with amazing speed at the moment.

    After Coventry Frankie did a coffee morning for the Redditch Inner Wheel and as last year her goods were very well received and she was able to make a healthy donation to their charity account. That was on the Tuesday morning and on Thursday we went to King Eds 5 Ways school concert. This is a bit of a manic evening. We set up and sell about 45 minutes before the Christmas concert starts. Then there is a lull for the same time while the first half is in progress amd then we have another manic 45 minutes during the interval then while the second half is on we pack up and have gone by the time the concert finishes. We always do well here and this year was no exception. The only difference was the rain as it was torrential the whole evening. Fortunately we were able to park close to the building and the stock stayed dry.

    The following night Frankie and Laura went to St Josephs First School Christmas fair in Droitwich. Again a repeat of last years event and well worth doing but its a bit unfortunate that its sandwiched between two very busy days.

    The second busy days being the Christmas Extravaganza at Upton on Severn (and nearly Upton in Severn!). The torrential rain from Thursday had continued but had stopped by Saturday morning. In fact before leaving we had to scrape the ice off the windscreen. Got to Upton for set up at 8am and the Fair opened at 10am. All went well for the first couple of hours with a steady flow of buyers on a cold and grey, but dry morning. Carols were being sung and although some of the other events had been cancelled (the donkey and nativity tour for instance) all seemed well. Unfortunately at about midday the rain started and came down with a vengeance. There were still a fair number of visitors that braved the weather but these were measured in their '00's rather than the '000's expected. We kept a brave face and ended up with one of our best days ever but about 4pm the organisers came round and said that some of the roads out of Upton could be closing. That obviously made everyones mind up and the event effectively ended then. Shame really as although we had a good day we were still left with a feeling of what might have been. As we drove out of Upton we could see the river shooting up 6-9" high out of the drains and although we didn't see any floods in Kempsey it didn't surprise us when we heard the next day there was extensive flooding in the area.

    Anyway onward and upward. Sunday was spent making up a nice order of 8 wreaths off the website and listing a few types on ebay. We've had a sale from the latter within 48 hours of listing.

    We are now getting ready for the Warwick Victorian Fare on Thursday when the town switches its Christmas lights on - but not sure about the Victorian dressing up bit though. Saturday we are at Bewdleys Christmas lights festival and Sunday we are Redditch's Victorian market at the Bordesley Abbey and Needle Museum visitor centre. We almost sold out at that event last year I just hope we have enough stock for these three events. 

    Where did the year go to?

     

  2. Coventry Transport Museum event turned out to be a really good weekend. On Saturday it tied in with an event remembering the Coventry blitz. Very atmospheric with sanbags all over the place, staff all dressed up in WWII uniforms and lots of 2nd World War music. Mind you this latter wore a bit thin towards the late afternoon as it was very loud and there is only so much of Vera Lynn. George Formby etc one can take. Especially as it was interspersed with full blown air raid sirens going off every now and then. Didn't put the sales off and we were very pleased with what was achieved. It was our first time there and every one else told us Sunday would be quieter. Well it was noise wise but sales were even better than the saturday. This time they had an event featuring Vespa's and VW campervans and that brought in a lot of people as well. Overall it was a good weekend with a wide selection of sales across the board.

    We now have a very busy period but firstly it seems that the website and emarketing is beginning to pay off. We have our daughter home and her tinkering with the website and Facebook (panachegifts) pages has coincided with a rise in sales and interest from those quarters. She has also set us up with a twitter account (@Panache Gifts) and although we have a number of followers already its difficult finding the time keeping all these pages up to date.

    We are also listing some of the wreaths on ebay as that was successful for us last year and it seems to be having positive results already.

    Frankie was out today doing a stall at the local Inner Wheel coffee moring with the table fee (a % of the sales) going towards its charity. Then Thursday we are at King Edwards Five Ways christmas concert. Both of these event are repeats of last year so we know what to expect but on Saturday we are at Upton on Severn's Christmas Extravaganza. Forecast is for a cold sunny day but as long as it keeps dry we are hopeful of a good day. It'll be a long one from 10am- 6pm but we've just had the stand info through and we seem to be in a good position in New Street, just off the High Street.

    A new development at Coventry was our first sale with the izettle. This is an attachment to my phone which allows us to take credit cards, particularly Mastercard. It certainly got us at least one sale we might otherwise have lost and got an increased level of sale on another occasion. Be interesting to see how it goes.

    Lots of stock to make this week as we don't know what to expect at Upton on Saturday - might be a mega sale might be a total washout but if it is the latter we have Warwick Victorian Fair the following Thursday and we have been told to expct 000's of people to attend that one.

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