Over Easter, we visited the London Artisan. We were not sure if it would be open on Easter Sunday so I contacted the London Artisan through their Facebook page and they told me they would be open. In fact, the London Artisan is open every Sunday throughout the year at the Old Truman Brewery . If you are in London on a Sunday, take your lunch money with you to Elys Yard, Hanbury Street & Brick Lane and wander inside.
We visited on Easter Sunday and when we arrived, we were greeted by a packed crowd cruising down narrow rows of amazing looking food that smelled delicious.
After touring the booths on the main floor, we picked food from three different stalls and three different regions of the world. The average price per dish was 6 GBP and the portion sizes were large enough to fill two people. Every stand that we passed offered us food to try so we could have tried everything and bought nothing but that would be very wrong. Small business people deserve your support so buy their huge portion sizes and make the sacrifice and buy your dinner there too. You can start your diet on Monday or Tuesday or the Following Saturday or whenever you return from your vacation but don’t count calories when you visit the London Artisan.
Leaving the food section, we explored the other two areas of the London Artisan which were not edible. The first section was on the main floor and consisted of a mixture of vintage clothes, records, art, jewellery, UK made shoes, knit clothing, prints, sculptures and bags.
My favourite stand on the main floor was the jewellery designer with a label called Pick a Twig.
The jewellery line belongs to two artists Akville & Karolis. They designed their earrings so that each piece will work with the others and if you have several holes in your ears, you can become a tree. Since I only wear one set of earrings, I can’t test this out for you but if you want to see all the little twigs, check out their online store or visit them at the London Artisan on Sundays.
If you are moving to London for good and want to rent a booth, the booth prices are around 75 GBP, a little less if you book for a month. If you are trying to develop a following, you will need to be renting a booth by the month. Don’t be trying to do a one off because that would make no sense unless you are already a famous designer and just want to hang out with the commoners for a day.
I was impressed with the turnout and believe this is a good opportunity to showcase your designs/goods. If you decide to invest the 300 GBP for four Sundays, try and get a booth on the first floor which is busy. The second floor looked like this:
See the difference. The artists and designers on this floor had more space but the traffic flow was minimal. I purchased the earrings on the main floor but I saw something on the second floor I might have purchased if I had not already spent my daily spending allowance on twigs. (One artist had smashed up raw diamond jewellery.)
Here is a business challenge puzzle for you to figure out. (If you don’t like puzzles skip down to the street art.)
How do you get the big crowd from the bottom floor to check out the second floor before buying? How do you make the flow keep flowing and not trickle up the stairs?
We already know from our experience at the Munich Food Lovers Market, that Munich Foodies want to buy food and Munich art lovers want to buy art and the two don’t always mix. This type of fair combines both of those by providing a big space for the artisans and a big space for the food. To be successful, you need to have both spaces on the same floor but separate so the people who are looking to eat can avoid the artwork and the people wanting art can avoid the food and those who love both can wander between the sections. Everything has its place every week and there are no surprises.
Now, how do we make two levels work?
How about some flashing Neon lights or maybe an artist event where an artist like Lumenman waves his arms around your full belly and then emails you the evidence of your devotion to a foodie life.
If you are in London and are free on a Sunday, I would suggest you stop by and check out this market and the street art right outside the main doors which, on my visit, was HNRX.