I am from Orkney. On Orkney they really appreciate craft and its impact on the local economy.
They are very organised at marketing what they design/make and at supporting each other. I often find Inverness really frustrating as the are very BAD at marketing anything. Often it is not until you read the review that you know anything was on. I know where to look as well!! so for the general public it must be so much worse. There is a ‘if we build it , they will come’ attitude.
We have makers in Hung every other day stating that they have to work to subsidise their practice because of the lack of opportunity here. You would actually think as we are the gateway to the highlands that there would be something eh?
So an opportunity came up and we grabbed it. I am now stretched to the point of crazy trying to pull it together.
We have let a shop unit in the Eastgate for 6 months which we are turning into a gallery. The six months are broken down into 10 areas of the Highlands Of Scotland each having 2 weeks focused on that area. 5 makers from each area will pay a fee to show their work and have someone there promoting/selling their work and area.
If I was in the position to have time to be making it is an opportunity I would jump at. to sell here and so I thought that I would easily fill all the spaces. 5 isn’t many. But it is proving a struggle.
I know these are hard times etc. But paying to have my work to be where 25,000 people A DAY visit to shop AND not having to take time out from my practice ( this comes up again and again – taking time out from making to attend fairs) AND an amazing website which remains active anon, with sales directly to me (no commission) and being on a map given out to locals and tourist alike….seems pretty good for £400.
We can’t make it any cheaper as there is not just the rent, but rates, service charge, staff, shopfit etc. To take one of those ‘stalls’ it is over £500 p/w and you have to staff that yourself.
So far the response has been slow. Fingers crossed they are just waiting until the 11th hour.