Posted in Indie Business

Lady Magpie and Me


Last weekend, Lee and I pootled down to Castle Douglas to take a stall at the Lady Magpie & Me Winter Fair (I say pootled, it was a 5am start and we drove through a blizzard). I won’t lie to you – after all my ramblings and rantings about markets, I had my reservations about how good a use of my time and resources this was going to be, but I’d heard good things about the summer fair and I know that the organiser, Leah Halliday, knows her event onions.

This is a photo taken from behind my stall just before the doors opened. We were opposite the terrine stall, and also opposite the entrance. Why the random photo? Because it was so freaking busy this was the only photo I managed to take!

I cannot recall in recent memory being at an event that was so steadily busy for the entire duration.  In fact, I think it may have even been the busiest event, relatively speaking, I’ve ever exhibited at.  For a town with an estimated population of under 4,000 people, to get 1400 people through the door is not just testament to the phenomenal marketing and organisation skills of Leah, but is nothing short of miraculous. It felt like I spoke to and sold something to every single one of those 1,400 people, too – people were interested, engaged and hungry for unusual stuff to buy.  Frankly, I was over the moon, in many ways – the cash tin was full of paper money, the stock levels were depleting but best of all, I really enjoyed myself. That cannot be underestimated. It really gave me a renewed enthusiasm for what I do. I can’t wait til the Spring Fair!

It’s a source of constant anguish to me that there is no event in Glasgow that could come close to this one anymore. So I’m off to Newcastle next month to try a market there – I’ve always done well on Tyneside and I love it there. I do hope that we get even half as good a turnout as last weekend. Hats off to you, Leah – you’re a market superstar!


I’m Claire and I live near Glasgow, in Scotland. I have strong family ties to Cincinnati, too and regard it as my second home. If I had to describe myself in five words, it would be thus: Does. Not. Suffer. Fools. Gladly. I’ve been cross stitching pretty much all my life, but professionally since 2005, first as Miso Funky, then as The Bellwether and now under my own name. I'm known for my witty, sarcastic and occasionally profane typographic designs. My work has been featured in The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Channel 4 and on BBC television as well as numerous media outlets across the globe. At one point, I was kind of a big deal but I mostly just dabble in it these days when I have time. My website is a repositry of cross stitch charts, travel and food blogging and you'll find it at I also love to travel and eat, ideally travelling somewhere great to eat something brilliant. I'm fascinated by social history, particularly the Victorians and will absolutely beat you hands down in a quiz about the Tudors. Dogs are LIFE. I like being in water and have lots of ideas that will never see the light of day but would definitely be a winner on Dragon’s Den/Shark Tank. I love to give people gifts. I! also! overuse! exclamation! marks! sorry!

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