Mary-Kate Sceal, 30, is hoping to showcase the work of a new generation of up-and-coming makers to inspire a ‘crafting revival’ across the Waterlooville area.
The mum-of-two says she set up her small business, MK Events, at the beginning of 2022 with the aim of ‘bringing something back to the community’ by hosting fairs for local crafters and traders.
MK Event’s first market, Waterlooville Craft Fair, is set to take place from 10am to 2pm on March 26 at Waterlooville Community Centre.
Mary-Kate said: ‘We actively planned the first craft fair to be the day before Mother’s Day so people would be inspired to give a meaningful gift from a local crafter to their loved ones.
‘We will have crafts for all different types of mothers and loved ones.’
The event promises free entry and parking, as well as refreshments including baked goods from Betty Bakes - which will also be offering Mother’s Day hampers with cream teas and Mother’s Day cupcakes.
A range of children's clothing and toys, macramé, scrunchies, chocolate bombs, jewellery, bows, soap, and mosaics will be on offer.
Mary-Kate added: ‘I want to break the traditional thought of craft fairs as being just for older generations and stay-at-home mums, and showcase the new generations of recyclable and eco-friendly craft goods - and the new technologies being used in crafting as well.
‘I hope that everyone enjoys themselves because that’s what craft fairs are for.
‘You get enjoyment from finding something new and different, and hope people get inspired.’
After putting out a call for local crafting businesses to reserve a stall at the market, Mary-Kate was pleased to see that tables were snapped up by interested traders in only three days.
‘In Waterlooville itself, there’s not enough for local crafters to get involved in,’ Mary-Kate explained.
‘Finding enough good local craft fairs in the area is really hard - they’re like gold dust.
‘With Covid, a lot of people found they have multiple talents.
‘Now it’s making a pathway for people to sell those crafts and take pride in what they’ve made, and get to show their work to their community.’
The Family Way, one of the crafting businesses set to host a stall at the upcoming craft fair, was launched a few years ago by Mary-Kate’s mum and sister.
Both avid crafters, the pair create bespoke children’s clothing, toys, and gifts for a range of occasions.
Mary-Kate, who also loves to craft, said: ‘MK Events was inspired by The Family Way and the struggles we found trying to find local appropriate craft fairs.’
The fairs will also support the wider community astwo Havant and South Downs College students will be taking part in the March 26 event as part of their certifications.
Bringing her experience in project management to a new career in event planning, the mum is excited to provide ‘guidance and help’ to the next generation of crafting businesses.
She said: ‘I saw, especially with some of the applications for the craft fair, that a lot of people are just starting out and don’t know how to proceed in attending a craft fair.
‘I’m looking forward to doing more craft fairs, and I’d like to find a local place to host crafting sessions for retirees, mothers, anyone who would like to try something new.
‘I hope this will help us to involve ourselves more into the community and make people want to be part of the community again.’