THIS YEAR’s Shetland Craft Fair got off to a flying start on Friday as 750 people attended the opening night of the event in Lerwick.
It is expected that at least 4,500 punters will pass through the Clickimin doors over the weekend as local makers show off their wares.
This year there are a total of 115 exhibits spread across the main hall and the bowls hall, with 27 doing it for the first time.
There is slew of different goods on offer ahead of Christmas, from clothes, trinkets and candles to jewellery, teddy bears, glassware and books.
Shetland Arts and Crafts Association’s Wendy Inkster said the opening night saw around 250 more people attend than last year.
“The quantity of exhibitors has gone up this year, so more folk are coming to see them. It’s getting busier and busier,” she said.
An anonymous exhibitor survey revealed around £230,000 was spent at the craft fair last year, underlining the amount of money that is pumped into local businesses and the economy over the weekend.
“I think the survey was a good indication of how popular arts and crafts are not just with folk making them, but also folk wanting to shop locally and spend their money within the island,” Inkster said.
“Being in such a small community, people want to support the local folk who are making things. It’s not just that – if you look at the work here, the standard of it is just so high. Exhibitors also don’t just come back year on year with the same stuff, they’re always upping their game and coming with something new and different.”
One of those taking part in the volunteer-run craft fair for the first time was Jill Hood from Sandwick, who is selling hand-made items such as make-up bags and lavender heat bags under her Merrymaking Sewing moniker.
“It’s been lovely seeing all the things that everyone has made, and it’s really lovely having people admiring the work that I’ve been doing,” she said.
“I’d be delighted if anyone wants to buy anything. It’s just something I do as a hobby, so if anyone else takes an interest then that feels special. I’m also coming away with lots of ideas for other things I want to make.”
Established sellers meanwhile also remarked on how busy this year’s opening night was, which saw the Clickimin only open its doors for two hours.
The craft fair is open on Saturday between 10am-6pm and Sunday from 11am to 5pm. Entry is £2 for adults and £1 for concessions.
Become a supporter of Shetland News
Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.
Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.
Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has over 400 supporters who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.
Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -
- Bring you the headlines as they happen;
- Stay editorially independent;
- Give a voice to the community;
- Grow site traffic further;
- Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.
If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.Support Shetland News