South Wales Makers Market hosts first online event to support craft businesses

The fifth St Fagans Halloween Makers Market will be held online as craft businesses struggle to survive without face-to-face contact

Wood turner working on a craft
The hard-working crafters are passionate about their creations. Credit to Paul Hindmarsh Photography

Local crafters are turning to their first online event in an attempt to keep their businesses afloat and increase sales.

The Halloween Makers Market will start on Facebook on 28 October at 10am until 1 November at 5pm. Crafters will display creations by posting on the event page, and will interact with shoppers through comments and private message.

There are 30 crafters in the South Wales Makers Market, whose skills range from traditional welsh ceramics, to all-natural skincare. The crafters have exhibited their work at the Usk and Monmouth Show, and within the grounds of St Fagans National History Museum.

Tracey Baker of Cardiff based Tracey Baker Ceramics has been organising the online event alongside running her business.

“I have been trying to lift the market from the real world to the virtual, and it’s difficult,” she explained.

Previously the Makers Market has been an environment for talent to showcase their work and run workshops, giving customers an opportunity to interact with the craft-making process. 

The internet is not enough

Times have been particularly tough for the crafters, who attend up to ten markets a year which is the main source of their livelihoods. 

Sarah Bevan, a Caerphilly based crafter has been running her business successfully for five years, and although she has her own website, the majority of her sales come from market events.

She says, “The internet is a wonderful tool, but it’s not enough.”

The effects of the pandemic have more than halved Sarah’s income, who says that crafters need that face to face contact to allow people to see and touch before they buy. 

This lack of stability has resulted in a negative mental impact on the crafting community, with many fearing that the 20 percent of last year’s earnings now offered by the government will not be enough to survive. 

“We are passionate about our creations, and we care for our customers,” Tracey said, “I am desperate to keep our community together.” She says the crafters are grateful for any support.

Both Tracey and Sarah remain hopeful that the online event will reflect the strong sense of community they have within the market, and will be a success. 

  • The crafters of the South Wales Makers Market attend up to 10 events a year
  • the Annual Halloween Makers Market was set up five years ago, and takes place over the half term
  • The market takes a hands on approach to crafting, with stallholders setting up interactive craft sessions such as throwing on the potters wheel
  • The crafters, alongside promoting their own work, aim to encourage creativity and inspire the younger generations
  • Paul Hindmarsh of Llandaff, Cardiff based Paul Hindmarsh Photography is a multi-award winning master photographer who is part of the makers market community
  • Paul created the South Wales Makers Market website alongside showcasing his own work, which he has kindly supplied for this story