Robin's Nest Stall Holder Interview - MayInspire (Sue)

As you know; Sue is part of the dynamic duo which runs MayInspire.

Between running craft workshops, Sue also makes unique items for the shops. Find out a little more about the brick & mortar shop, what it's like at Robin's Nest Emporium and how things have changed over the years.

Q. What is your stall name and why did you pick it?

The 'May' is in honour of someone that inspired the company to start, so it's a play on words.

We also run craft workshops so we hope we may inspire people by what we do.

Q. How long have you been with Robin's Nest Emporium and what inspired you to be a trader there?

We joined around April 2017 after getting an email about this ‘new Emporium opening’. We used to go to craft fairs a lot so we went to have a look, to see if we could sell our handmade and handpicked things here. We’d been packing up and picking up our stuff on stalls for about a year at craft fairs. Every fair felt like a lot of hassle getting to and from the events. We then had to watch people browse our stall. The feedback was brilliant but it was a little embarrassing. The events had a lot of different themes, and the customers varied so much that we were randomly making and buying things, unsure who we were selling to. Robin's Nest gave us a direction where we could build up a focus. We were changing who we were per stall, per fair & craft event. Now we can just be us. We still sell at craft fairs, but we only do the ones we enjoy, when we have enough time to attend them.

Q. How would you describe Robin's Nest Emporium to someone who hasn't been before? A nice place to spend a couple of hours. If you're looking for something different, things you haven't seen for years. Clothes, records, sewing patterns, restored furniture, hand crafted items, vintage toys, the list goes on. You don't often see all that in one place so it's a really interesting and entertaining place to visit.

Q. What is your favourite item(s) on your stall?

Small swan planters which we currently have on our stall. They match the pastel coloured style we love and they work with the other items on the stall. I like selling bric-a-brac because I like picking it and hoping that someone else will love it as much as I do. I like the 70's style things on our stall too. The stone and pottery ware. It feels handmade, hand crafted. It never feels machine-made.

Q. What makes your stall different from others and how would your customers describe it?

My homemade stuff is on it. You can't get that on any other stall! As I change my style and interests, it changes my work. I don't tend to stick to the same thing but is always in my niche style.

I think they would describe it as unique and full of personal gift ideas. Though, isn't everyone doing something unique now? What is unique anymore?

I hope that they will see things that are made from someone who really cares. I'm not trying to make money from people, I want to give them something they might not have thought about, or be able to make. Things for their home or gifts. We are trying to portray our bright outlook on life with the colours we use. I also hope they see that the bric-a-brac side isn't just a bunch of things from my home. It's not a jumble sale, but handpicked items, hunted out for them to love. A little collection.

Q. Has you stall, its direction and products changed much over time?

Yes! I'm more positive about doing my own stuff. Now we have a base, we can build our little brand. It's like we have found our direction and it's been more fun since we've realised what we want to sell. We can be more selective about our stock and we're moving forward at a steady pace.

We've also changed the way we display our products. We had to change the way we display it! It was a mess because we were making it up as we were going.

We've also changed the way I look at MayInspire; it used to be a hobby, but I can now officially call it a business. This makes you look at what you do in a different way.

You have to keep going forward. I haven't reached my goal and I don't know if I ever will, but I'm enjoying creating lots of great things along the way.

Q. What tips would you give to a new stall holder?

Do your accounts from the beginning. Keep a record of your stock and fill your stall with good quality stock. Also keep up with trends and the next big idea.

Q. What personal qualities have you found useful to run your stall?

My art has been an important part of our stall and I've had to improve this skill overtime. I think you have to get better to keep up with other sellers, so it's good for developing your craft.

I've found that I've had to have acceptance of the uncontrollable. Sometimes you will spend a lot of effort on an item which you are really proud of, and it won't sell as quick as you'd imagined. It's important to not change your style to make quick sales, but to be true to what your passions are.

My picking skills have also been important for selecting the bric-a-brac items. I can't just go around grabbing all the pottery that I see, and adding all the antiques I can find. The items need to work together on the stall, and be right for the customers which we attract.

Q. Are there any other stalls you particularly like at Robin’s Nest Emporium?

(Not including the MayInspire stall)

I love looking around the stalls and the different things people have. It's always changing too, so every week I have another look.

RH (Retro Home) is a stall I have liked for a while. Worth a look, especially the custom lights which he makes. They a one off pieces. His retro style is great and something I look for my own bric-a-brac. It's good to see other people's items in this style.

I also like Dark Elegance with their magical, dark purple theme. They've laid this stall out in a nice way. They also sell a lot of dragon and fairy things, so I'm drawn to them.

Q. What's the best thing about having your own little shop?

It's exciting when you sell something. I still like when someone buys my handmade stuff and my look on life.

Being at Robin's Nest Emporium has been brilliant for us, especially since we don't have to stand behind a stall all day and sell what we've made. The customer service is so friendly at Robin's Nest so I'm happy to hand this over to them.

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