We have been crazy busy getting stock ready for our two main Christmas fairs happening over the next two weekends: St Clement Danes School Food and Gift Fair in Chorleywood on Sunday 30th November and Little Fox Christmas Market in Ricky on Saturday 6th December. I’m always excited about these fairs because they are always cheerful, fun and busy.
My place smells like a spa at the moment, but there is stuff everywhere and it seems like everything was trying to go wrong; I ran out of transparent lid boxes thinking I had loads left, I stuck Lemongrass labels on my Coconut body butters, I threw oil and butter on the floor and curtains at various times, my Mango & Passion Fruit bath bombs continued to expand out of the heart-shaped moulds and once set and wrapped they completely disintegrated, I went to carefully add an essential oil to a mixture using the dropper bottle but the whole lot came pouring out….and so on!
But despite all that, it’s still fun and rewarding when you finally get to a fair and people love your products. (Although there will always be those who say they don’t wash…)
I love Autumn. At lunchtime yesterday I popped out for a walk to get away from the office and enjoy the sunshine before Hurricane Gonzalo hits. As I was walking along, crunching my way through the leaves, I noticed the temporary Newington library and sales office for the new Heygate Estate development at Elephant & Castle. The crate-style structures looked very familiar because they are a feature of the Shoreditch Boxpark on which the New Watford Market is based.
On Saturday I visited the market in its new location under the flyover that crosses over the upper high street after popping into Rebel Pebble by the pond to restock and tidy up our shelf. Unfortunately, I didn’t get going very early, so I only got there at about 3.30pm when quite a few stalls were closed, and realised that the grand opening isn’t happening until the end of October.
First we attended our regular Little Fox Market at St Mary’s Church Centre in Rickmansworth on Saturday 4th October for fun in the…rain. Although it was bustling early on and we chatted with customers and saw many familiar faces, the rain settled in and soon the afternoon was very quiet. However, it was a fun and friendly day, and we got to debut our skin oil and skin balm.
Our next event was the following Saturday morning at Watersmeet Theatre in ‘Ricky’ for the annual Rickmansworth Society Autumn Market, which has been going for about 30 years.
The event was introduced by a town crier (Hear ye!) and then the Chairman of Three Rivers District Council and finally Miss Rickmansworth and her attendants. When we arrived, we realised we were right over by the stage in a really dark corner, so we had to nip out and grab some emergency LED lights to illuminate our products. It was a busy event, with lots of people wandering through and it was great to speak to so many people at the stall about skin complaints, particularly eczema, which seems to be plaguing a lot of people in this changeable season. From this, about 4 people purchased our new Soothing Skin Balm, which I was really pleased about. Of course there are some who are extremely cautious about trying a new product on irritated skin, and perhaps prefer to rely on prescription creams only, but I did my best to reassure them that the product is completely natural and gentle enough to use on the face (which I had done that morning) if they wanted to try something natural to calm the itch.
I have finally got around to making our new Soothing Skin Balm. Made with calendula oil, which is known for its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic properties, the balm is great for skin that is prone to eczema (like mine) or psoriasis. Calendula (pot or common marigold) is also used to treat burns, cuts and grazes. Apparently, it was once said that “where calendula is, no pus will form”. (Oh I am glad!) Added lavender and sweet orange essential oils bring extra soothing properties, as well as a nice, subtle scent.
I decided to make a balm because I know how nice a balm feels on irritated skin, compared to a heavy butter, particularly if you need to put clothes on over the skin. This morning I massaged a bit of leftover balm into a small irritated patch of eczema I have on my wrist at the moment and it seems to have stopped the itching and smoothed the skin out! Because I tend to get patches during Autumn/Winter season, I will make sure I take a pot with me everywhere I go.
Soothing Skin Balm is available in 50ml and 100ml tins.