A new event in Coventry is set to give independent businesses that have sprung from lockdown hobbies a stage to reach thousands of new customers.
The National Wool Show is being held for the first time at Coventry Building Society Arena on Saturday, April 9 and Sunday, April 10.
When researching the opportunities for the show, the organisers found that small, independent businesses - many of which were created during lockdown as people left their previous careers - were concerned about the commitment and expenditure of taking stands at some existing events.
This led to the creation of the ‘market street’ which will resemble an indoor market and host up to 40 traders with ‘local market stall’ rates – giving small businesses and sole traders the chance to meet with more than 10,000 potential customers over the two days.
The National Wool Show has been set-up by Shelley Rothwell, owner of Knit & Yarn in Leamington Spa, who has personal experience of the challenges of launching an independent wool, knitting and yarn business.
Shelley said: “Lockdown saw thousands of people take up knitting for the first time, but it also saw people, who had seen it initially only as a hobby set out to turn that passion into a business.
“The cost of exhibiting at a show can be off-putting for some small and independent businesses. We wanted to make sure we could give them a chance to showcase their products, but without the big financial commitment of a large exhibitor stand.
“When setting up Knit and Yarn in 2018, attending shows and meeting new customers was vital in establishing our business.
“We’re believe the market street can give entrepreneurs across the Midlands the boost they need to get their business off the ground.
“The show will be a celebration of all things wool, a chance to meet independent businesses, major traders, customers and like-minded people who are passionate about the craft.”
The show is set to feature a range of independent retailers alongside major national and international suppliers, with everything from wool and hand dyed yarn, to crochet, felting and finished items on display.
It will also feature demos and workshops to help visitors improve their skills. This joins a dedicated ‘knit & natter’ area for visitors to chat with fellow members of the knitting community.
The stalls on market street are 3 metres by 1 metre and are priced at £150 (including VAT) for the weekend. To enquire about booking a market stall table at the show visit www.nationalwoolshow.co.uk/applications
Tickets for The National Wool Show are priced at £15 and are on sale now. Limited exhibitor space is available. For all information and tickets visit: www.nationalwoolshow.co.uk