#MarchMeetTheMaker & the Mollie Makes Handmade Awards

On the morning of the 3rd July, I nervously wandered across Blackfriars Bridge in London wondering what I had gotten myself into this time. I say wandered, realistically it was more like a nervous power walk. I was heading over to the Yacht London for the Mollie Makes Handmade Awards and as the name suggests, these awards were held on a boat. So, not only did I have to hold my nerves, I had to find a pair of sea legs (it was quite choppy on the Thames.) I had made it to the final in the category of Handmade Champion, this award recognises people promoting and supporting handmade businesses, whether that’s a bricks and mortar shop, an online boutique, or the team behind a great campaign, website or Instagram hashtag.

After meeting with a bunch of wonderfully creative people, we were split into groups and at 10.15am I headed out on a photo walk of the Southbank with Xanthe. I was particularly looking forward to this, not only because it was a welcome distraction, but because I know London has lots and lots of colourful art dotted around its streets. I honestly think I need to go back and just dedicate a whole day to exploring London in a new way, through its street art.

When we returned from the walk we were given an interesting talk by Pavilion Books on 'How to Get Published' and more time to chat and network. After lunch, I hung out on the top deck whilst nervously waiting to be called for my presentation. The second I walked through the doors to present, I realised that this was a big deal, not only because I was in the company of the actual Mollie Makes Magazine but also the company of Jane Foster, Donna Wilson, and Fiona Humberstone to name just a few. I could hear the nerves in my voice, but I had no choice but to just pick myself up and get on with it. I had no idea how well I had done, but as I left the room, a sudden wave of calm washed over me. Not only was the daunting part over, but I had actually done something that really scares me and got through it okay.

Once I left the judging panel in the Stateroom I made my way back onto the top deck where were we treated to an afternoon of bunting necklace making with Tatty Devine. I spent so long deciding on which colours I wanted to choose, (there were loads!) and in what order I wanted them to appear! Obviously, yellow was going to be involved. The workshop was followed by a panel discussion on Growing your Creative Business and then with a keynote speech by Donna Wilson. Then came the awards and this happened...

To be completely honest, I was gobsmacked, I still am. I honestly didn't expect to win as I was up against two other really talented people. When I first wrote the Instagram challenge #MarchMeetTheMaker in 2016, I had no idea that it would land me a place on a boat amongst some of the most talented designer makers out there, let alone win an award for it. Really, the award belongs to everyone who took part in the challenge because, without them embracing the challenge the way that they did, I wouldn't have had this incredible opportunity. So, once again, I'd just like to say a great big thank you to each and every one of you who took in #MarchMeetTheMaker, even if you didn't get to the end!

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