Bert and Gert’s is run by Birmingham based brothers Mark and Jason Wilkes and have seen real success at our One Big Show. Having showcased their craft market they now work really closely with Create and Craft supporting the TV craft retailer at their Crafting Live events across the UK. We caught up with them to find out how they benefited from last year’s One Big Show and how you can benefit from attending this year!
Tell us a bit about Bert & Gert’s?
“Bert & Gert’s is a traditional craft market which we started back in 2012 through a love of arts and crafts. Bert was our grandfather and Gert our grandmother! This makes us a family business with a family name and our aim is to support, encourage and promote other small, local businesses and to bring arts & crafts to a wider audience.
Our craft events have a community feel where all the traders are supportive of each other. We want to give them the opportunity to grow their hobbies and passions in to successful sustainable businesses”.
Our partners include Create & Craft TV’s Crafting Live events, shopping centres and local authorities where we work together to the benefit of the venues, traders and the local community to bring new opportunities to the High Street and beyond.
We launched Bert & Gert’s Merchant Stores in 2013 as an offshoot to our events, working initially with Personal Impressions and later launching independently in our own right.
Our stamp range is all designed by Jason and manufactured in the UK. It brings full circle for Jason, having started the business as card maker, being able to produce his own designs for other card makers and paper crafters. Our stamp range can be found on our website and exclusively on Create and Craft.”
You exhibited at last year’s One Big Show, what did you get out of it?
“The One Big Show as with all AFCI events is a great way to meet like-minded people within the craft industry. The more you meet and interact with other people, the more you learn about the industry. It’s a great way to make friends and more importantly make great business connections. We attended last year’s One Big Show and previewed some of our new stamps designs, as a direct result we received several wholesale orders and workshop bookings.”
The One Big Show is an opportunity to network with other businesses, have you seen a positive effect for Bert & Gert’s?
“In the last 12 months we have begun working closely with Create & Craft TV on their Crafting Live events, offering opportunities to small and micro craft businesses to sell their work and promote themselves at larger events.
Jason has also recently begun appearing on Create & Craft TV to sell our stamp designs and we are excited about the opportunities to expand our range and grow our brand working in partnership with them.
This relationship with Create & Craft was directly forged through networking events at ACFI events.”
What advice would you give a craft business who is thinking of joining the AFCI?
“Our advice would be go for it, you have everything to gain. Come along to an event, talk to people and join the ever growing community of people just like you who want to work in the craft industry.”
The One Big Show is the ‘Go To’ event for supporting businesses in the creative product industry and to meet, network and learn new skills. There will be key note speakers from the industry, educational sessions to increase product knowledge and promote best business practices plus space for manufacturers and designers to showcase their work.
To get your tickets for this amazing event just go to https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/one-big-show-inc-creative-exchanges-tickets-26604046419
About the author
Michael O’Connor is a partner at Grey Sergeant and specialises in marketing communications and PR in the craft and hobby industry. Grey Sergeant provides strategic advice and planning and promotes businesses through integrated marketing, media relations, social media, digital marketing and events. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org