Of course, there was no need to worry; our first visitors arrived in the first few minutes. They were a local couple who had seen our ad in their village newsletter and were very keen to take a look around. The trickle became a flood and we had a steady flow of visitors all afternoon. Most of the team had volunteered to give up their Saturday afternoons to help out and everyone was kept busy answering questions and showing our visitors the mysteries of curtain making.
Of course, our doors are actually open every day but I was surprised how many people said they were intimidated by the idea of visiting a commercial unit on a site like Water Hall Farm. They said they were never sure if such units were trade only and whether the public would be welcome and they really appreciated the open invitation.
We had made a lot of new displays in readiness for the open day including some lovely Harlequin fabrics and James Hare silks and we did our best to make the place look its best. The reaction of our guests was terrific but they seemed most interested in the work in progress around the room. One lady, who we had made a blind for last year, said how surprised she was by how much work went into everything.
Some visitors bought our handmade scatter cushions and other items that the girls had made in the weeks running up to the open day; Others sat and asked technical questions about how we make the things we do; While others just leafed through fabric books from suppliers like Villa Nova and Swaffer while drinking our champagne and enjoying the company. I spent my time rushing around trying to spend a bit of time with everyone.
Finally it was all over and we were able to relax and get things straight again. I’m delighted that we have found some new clients as a result of the day and am very pleased to have renewed friendships with a number of previous customers. I think that the Open Day will become an annual event but it was nice to get things back to normal on the Monday!