Chatsworth Country Fair 2016
With the end of August fast approaching, it feels like summer is drawing to a close. Whilst we mourn the end of the warm(ish) weather and light evenings, it does mark the start of our preparations for Chatsworth Country Fair.
Held annually in Chatsworth Park, the Country Fair is an impressive outdoor event comprising a mixture of country sports, displays, crafts and shopping. It is always a spectacular weekend, with the highlight being a Red Arrows performance, usually on the Sunday.
There is always an eclectic mix of shopping opportunities, with everything from fresh local produce to photography, clothing to hot tubs! It's well worth spending a couple of hours wandering around the trade stands and food village. If you are in need of a unique gift or even early Christmas presents, this is the perfect place to start.
In order to create a fantastic shopping experience for all you lovely visitors, a lot of organisation, preparation and hard work is required! Typically, our final prep for the weekend starts around 3-4 weeks before.
A list of stock to be sold at the show will already have been drawn up, but it will need pricing. Sometimes certain items will have special show offers or promotions and these will also need to be marked up at this point. This means somebody working through a list of prices and individually checking and pricing every item. Whilst this may seem a laborious job, it is crucial for the weekend to be a success. Once we arrive at the trade stand there will be no computer for us to check any stock prices on. Any unmarked items will have to rely on our staff members' knowledge or good memory! If there is no price, we cannot sell an item.
When all the stock has been checked and priced, it then needs packing ready for the show itself. This takes a careful and organised hand - nobody wants to start rummaging for stock when it arrives!
Although the fair itself doesn't open to the public until Friday, our first day on site is Wednesday. The stand needs to be built from scratch including flooring, display shelves and the counter. Layout is crucial so customers can safely navigate their way around the stand and so stock stays protected from the elements.
Once the stand is set up, we need to fill it with lovely things to buy! Typically we take a selection from brands like Hunter, Barbour, Longchamp, Portmeirion, Spode and Beswick, alongside small items of giftware. Everything will need to be carefully unpacked and arranged ready for the public on Friday.
Hunter wellies are one of the most popular items we sell during Chatsworth ranging from children's boots through to heavy duty boots like the Balmoral range. If you are not sure what type of wellies would fit your requirements, we can help you to choose the right pair; just ask us. The giant Hunter display boot often makes an appearance too - everyone loves having their picture taken with it, or even in it!
There are always plenty of four legged friends during the weekend who love trying out our range of comfy Barbour dog beds and coats. We are massive dog lovers, so don't hesitate to drop by and say hello with your pooch - we guarantee they will be made a fuss of!
Prior to opening, all the last minute details are checked. Have we got enough carrier bags and tissue paper to wrap purchases? Is all the stock priced and laid out correctly? Have we located the nearest purveyor of bacon butties?!
Friday means the official start of the Fair. With thousands of people visiting over the weekend, long days and lots of stock, the weekend is always super busy for us. We don't mind; we love meeting customers both old and new. The atmosphere also makes this a very special event - we can't wait to return this year!
Chatsworth Country Fair 2016 starts Friday 2nd September and finishes Sunday 4th September. Don't forget to come and say hello to us at stand D20!