Last year on a bit of a whim I entered the Mollie Makes Handmade Awards. At that point I’d been running Crafternoon Cabaret Club for almost a year, I was starting to find a voice with my blog and I’d met some really wonderful performers and venues.
I was incredibly nervous when I entered – and even more so when I discovered I’d been shortlisted and would have to go and present my idea to a panel of judges!! I knew I loved making and I really loved running my events which were starting to grow in popularity but the idea of standing alongside people that were designing, making and selling their work filled me with dread. I wasn’t sure if my work was good enough, or if it was too different because it was an event rather than a product. How do you even explain something like Crafternoon Cabaret Club and give the judges a flavour of that experience in ten minutes?
Looking back it was one of the best decisions I’ve made since starting my Crafternoon journey. Aside from winning the Creative Idea Award which was amazing and insane and wonderful, and led to me getting to know the fantastic Sinead from Crafty Fox Markets, I had such a boost in confidence. Presenting my idea challenged me to take my work really seriously (rather than a whimsical hobby I loved!) and to recognise and celebrate the strengths of the business I’d created. It made me braver, it made me want to grow and pour more time into Crafternoon Cabaret Club to see where I could take it too. It also made me engage much more with the wider crafting community – something that as an events and blogging focused crafter I was nervous of.
Now the Handmade Awards are open for the second year and I’m delighted to be involved. I’ll be running a special Crafternoon Cabaret Club at the final event in June!! I cannot emphasise enough what an amazing experience it was to go through the awards and I met so many inspiring and incredible artists and makers. For anyone who is in two minds I’d say just be brave and go for it!! You never know where you might get to:
There are five categories that you can enter in:
Youth Award For creative entrepreneurs aged 18 to 25 who haven’t yet established a business.
Start-Up Award For small handmade businesses that have been trading for less than two years.
Established Business Award For small handmade businesses that have been trading for two years or more.
Creative Idea Award An award to recognise an exceptionally creative idea or innovation in the handmade community.
New! Collaboration Award Submit any project where you’ve teamed up with another business, establishment or individual to create something brand new.
The prizes are seriously good this year – they include tickets to Blogtacular for every winner (jealous!). Plus category specific prizes including mentoring, memberships, free craft market stands and goodie bags.
For more info and details on how to enter head to the Mollie Makes website here
Best of luck!!