I have loved sewing and making things for as long as I can remember, learning from both Grandmothers and Mother. There were many items earnestly produced and lovingly received by relatives with a few still in existence, albeit a little grubby and tatty. At school I took dressmaking and though some slightly odd items were fashioned I did also produce some very wearable garments.
After gasping a little at the price I invested in my much loved Bernina whenI came to London and I still have it today, yes it was expensive but money well spent as it is still as good as new. I do have her serviced regularly at http://www.britishsewingcentre.co.uk
When I went freelance with my catering I did not have much time to sew but did not stop me collecting fabrics! Some would say that I am a hoarder but I like to think that I am curating a collection.
After some life changes I decided that before I was found under a mound of fabrics I should start to make again. Thanks to Michael from http://www.fabricsgalore.co.uk , my absolutely favourite fabric shop, I discovered the existence of Duck Pond Markets and am happy to say that the rest, as they say, is history. Michael Dankwah designs wonderful bears for his company www.grinandbearlondon.com.
My first market was in Heron Square, Richmond in June 2012 and I have to admit that I did not have a clue! I look back now and realize that without the help and support of Caron and her team and of the other stallholders I would still be in that position. I have not stopped learning since. Duck Pond really is like a family.
I am of course my Father’s daughter in that I have to have a bit of kit for every eventuality ! This causes much amusement when I can produce even the most unexpected item someone may have left behind. I am always up for a challenge and do have one or two bits that have not yet been requested. Equally I feel quite down hearted when I cannot fulfil a request!
It is never hugely entertaining to set up, sell or pack down in the rain but we mostly manage to do it with humour, rarely is that silver lining entirely missing. The perennial argument is which is worse, wind or rain, never a definitive answer but to be honest we do like it best when the sun shines. Sun equals smiles and happy customers and stallholders alike.
p.s Sadly the gorgeous dog Maisie is not mine but belongs to friend and fellow stallholders Lou(see her pictures on favourites page). She is the perfect market dog and I can never resist a cuddle.
My other hat
As well as the sewing I am part of a small but perfectly formed team at a flourishing catering company in Battersea. Juggling both hats can be a bit frantic at times but it all seems to work in the end. Hats are not the only things to be juggled!
Jackie is the proprietor at http://www.jackiefilmercaterin.comand took me in a couple of years ago, I turned up to meet her and realising that my dress was on inside out nipped into the wash up area and put it right. Jacks did not appear to think that this was the result of crazy person, in fact we hit it off really well and the only think that shut us up was the fact that Jacks had a lunch to deliver!!!!! We are a very jolly little ship where harmony is the watchword most of the time though the occasional artistic difference can occur!
Regan is our full timer. A breath of fresh air and we share a proper sense of the ridiculous resulting in some almost surreal conversations, with much accompanying laughter. . Regan has reminded me why I love this business, the fact that you never stop learning. On quiet afternoons we can be found trying out recipes suitable for jobs which of course need to be tested!
If we are lucky and she can be persuaded away from her own busy business Jaz brings her sunny personality in to help us out. Not often enough in our book!
James, driver extraordinaire, is the last but by no means least member of the team. We are very spoilt having him to do the deliveries as before it meant one of us was out of the kichen battling the vagaries of London traffic. Not so happy when he has a day off……..we are thinking of disallowing this sort of behaviour.