Life as we knew it has completely changed and OnlyWillow is adapting as best we can.

Kirkby Stephen Market Street April 2020
Kirkby Stephen’s Market Street April 2020.
Any other sunny weekend you would see a lot of locals and visitors alike strolling along.

Normally this time of year would be when tourism in our little corner of Eden valley really starts to step up. Who didn’t take the advantage of the Easter break and nicer weather to get away and break the monotony? But not this year, and that has a weird impact on a little village like ours. It’s a little heart-breaking to see our high street in bloom but deserted, with the shops closed and dark.

Altrincham Market craft fair Oct 2014
One of the very first craft fairs we attended, Altrincham Market October 2014

Usually the craft fair circuit is well under way by now and this is where OnlyWillow began. It is where many of you might have first found us, as we developed our product and sense of self, creating our brand and growing our business. One of the most beneficial aspects of joining these fairs was having that direct interaction with people, be it our fellow crafters or customers. Discussing the methods and finished products with a creative community can be so invigorating and a great way to learn a variety of techniques or improvements. Seeing that delighted smile when someone discovers a piece they love, just as you have loved it during the making process, is a magnificent feeling.

OnlyWillow craft table setup
OnlyWillow at Lawther Craft Fair August 2017

That is why making the move to our shop premises was such an important step, combining both the studio and the customer interaction into one place. It created a separation of work/home life and it gave stability to the online side of the company too. Yet this year, through necessity, we are missing that personal element.

The shop may be closed, but the webstore is still available!

Of course, the online orders are still flooding in and that is greatly appreciated! A lot of people seem to be very on the ball this year and preparing birthday, even Christmas gifts, well in advance, in the aid of helping small businesses like ours survive in these uncertain times. Keeping this busy does help avoid thinking about all the things we are missing, so thank you.

Stay Safe and Shop Local where you can.

For even more OnlyWillow, visit our Instagram and Facebook

Written by Siobhan Green