Hand-crafted items for the summer

Posted 18/05/2023 in Tips for Crafters

It’s a scenario many of us dream about during those grey and drizzly winter days, a warm beach, the gentle lapping of waves and the feeling of sand between our toes. Relaxation, blue skies, cool drinks, and complete serenity. For the more adventurous among us, maybe our daydreams include rambles along Cornish coastal paths, the exhilaration of the surf or whiling away the hours exploring coves and caves from a boat. Whether we love vast swathes of sandy beach or lean more towards rock pools and quaint fishing villages, most of us love to be beside the seaside. 

Holidays beside the sea date right back to the Georgian era, when the wealthy would seek out the health benefits of salt water and bracing sea air by staying in coastal locations for a good length of time. We can get a glimpse of this in some of the literature of the time. However, the coming of the railways and subsequent affordable travel opened seaside holidays up for many more. Thus, we still have many Victorian seaside towns around our coast, complete with grand hotels, piers and ornate rooms for tea dances. 

As policies changed within our factories, requiring employers to give their employees a holiday entitlement, the annual trip to the seaside often became part of the fabric of our nation. Factory doors would close, and families would pile into trains which took them to such resorts as Scarborough, Blackpool, Weston Super Mare and Weymouth. Beach huts, donkey rides, fish and chips and ice cream all became synonymous with a good old British summer holiday. 

Seaside holidays reached their peak in between the wars, and then gradually started to decline in popularity post the Second World War as air travel became more affordable and the package holiday rose in popularity. Thus, many of our once thriving seaside towns became run down and a shadow of their former bright and sparkling selves. More recently, however, funding has been put into restoring many of these towns, and they are again beginning to flourish with a new, twenty-first-century set of visitors. Probably for a few reasons families are beginning to trickle back towards a holiday by the sea in Britain, whether this is in holiday parks, campsites, Airbnb’s or even hotels and guest houses, and it is good to see the donkeys plodding the sands yet again and ice creams being consumed with relish.

So, what is it that makes us think with such nostalgia of those seaside holidays of yesteryear, and how can we, as crafters, capture that in our products?  Maybe it is partly a sense of stability. In our highly unpredictable world now, the concept of a regular annual holiday to the same place, doing the same things can seem inviting. As humans, we like variety but also generally thrive off familiar rhythms; thus, an annual holiday by the sea offers just enough variation to be exciting but enough consistency not to be too challenging. 

Maybe it’s the sense of family and community these holidays encapsulated. Our world is changing so fast, yet these were times when family and the local community were the cohesion of society. Times were not as rosy as we may fondly like to think, but family ties of loyalty were strong and local communities helped each other out. Maybe too, in a fast-paced world, looking back to how previous generations lived offers a sense of stability and rootedness. We have a history; we have both rich and quirky traditions and a heritage we can learn from and build upon. Looking back may give us strength and inspiration to move forward. Or maybe it’s simply the stunning scenery, the colours, the smells, the textures, and the sounds which are evocative of sunshine, slowing down and rest.

Whatever fires our imagination for seaside holidays, it is certainly worth riding on the wave of this and producing some seaside-themed products. We are also in the season of outdoor craft venues at festivals, shows, fetes and fairs, so there are plenty of opportunities to sell your beautiful crafts. If this is your first season of selling in person to the public, you will need to have insurance for crafters in place. This will probably include public and product liability insurance which covers you for any unforeseen mishaps while selling, demonstrating, or teaching your craft, at any outdoor or indoor event. There may also be some regulations around your craft product, e.g. handmade toys or consumable products. These can seem a bit confusing at first, but as a family firm with many years of experience, we can help you find the best insurance for crafters. Pick up the phone and have a chat with one of us; either Samantha or Naomi will be here to talk it through with you.  We will sort out an individual insurance package which fits your unique needs and circumstances, giving you peace of mind and the time to get on with what you do best, creating beautiful craft products. 

The warmth and blue skies of summer often lend themselves to a little extra spending, even in these financially challenging times. As our collective mood lifts and customers wander around the numerous outdoor crafting and countryside events, there is a lure to splash out on a special item that reflects the season. This could be something useful like a beach bag or sun hat, something which will evoke memories of the sea like sea glass jewellery or something practical but with a touch of luxury like bath products. Or, what about a ceramic mug, decorated in the hues of the sea, which will bring back memories of sunshine on dark winter days as hands are warmed, and hot tea is sipped? Whatever your craft, give us a ring to ensure you have insurance for crafters in place and get crafting some products which will bring joy, beauty and memories of summer into our homes.