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Craft fairs have become a popular platform for talented individuals to showcase their handmade goods and reach a wider audience. From traditional folk art to contemporary pieces, these fairs are a melting pot of creativity and a source of inspiration for many.

For those who are passionate about creating and want to turn their hobby into a business, craft fairs are the perfect place to start. Itís a great way to test the waters and see if there is a demand for your products. You can also receive valuable feedback from customers and make valuable connections with other vendors and artisans.

Craft fairs also provide a supportive and inclusive environment for entrepreneurs, whether they are just starting out or are well-established in the industry. The sense of community is palpable, and vendors often form lasting relationships with one another. This camaraderie is not only beneficial for business but also provides a boost to the morale of the creators themselves.

For customers, craft fairs are a treasure trove of unique and original items that cannot be found in the high street shops. Not only can they purchase one-of-a-kind products, but they also have the opportunity to meet the makers and learn about their inspiration and processes. This added personal touch makes the shopping experience even more memorable and special.

There are several reasons why an entrepreneur might choose to go to a craft fair:

1. Testing the market: Craft fairs provide a low-risk opportunity for entrepreneurs to test their products and see if there is demand for their goods.

2. Building brand recognition: Craft fairs give entrepreneurs the chance to showcase their products and build brand recognition. They can connect with potential customers and start building a loyal following.

3. Networking: Craft fairs are a great place to network with other vendors, suppliers, and customers. Entrepreneurs can learn from others in their industry and make valuable connections.

4. Receiving feedback: Craft fairs provide a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to receive feedback from customers and make improvements to their products and business.

5. Building community: Craft fairs foster a sense of community and support for entrepreneurs. They can connect with like-minded individuals and gain inspiration from others in their field.

6. Increased exposure: Craft fairs attract a large number of people, providing entrepreneurs with increased exposure for their products and business.

7. Personal interaction: At craft fairs, entrepreneurs can interact with customers directly, creating a more personal shopping experience and building relationships with their audience.
The power of optimism on successTaking a quick look at Pluchikís Emotion Wheel gets us the formula, Anticipation + Joy = Optimism. Anticipation is looking forward with expectation and prediction, whilst joy is a feeling of happiness. An optimist is therefore someone that predicts a happier future. Both anticipation and joy are considered positive emotions and so optimism is positive.

Now that we have a perhaps simplistic definition of optimism, it is a little easier for us to define if we are an optimist. An optimist can of course have moments of doubt. That feeling of uncertainty, ďam I doing the right thingĒ, perhaps a lack of conviction.

The likelihood of you being an optimist is high, because you are choosing to read this. We have a tendency to be attracted to subjects we already agree with, as they validate our understanding of the world. Neurologically, if you were not already an optimist, you would have already switched off or you would be thinking about arguments to prove this wrong.

Two further words are in the Emotions Wheel that add up to optimism, are serenity and interest. Serenity is a nice emotion to have, being a combination of calm, untroubled and peaceful. Interest is to be curiosity, wanting to learn more. These emotional states can anchor optimists in reality, which is important. At the end of the day ask yourself a couple of questions, what did you learn today and what did you enjoy today.

How an optimist measures success
If you have a predefined set of criteria that can be measured, you can accurately say how successful something was. It is a good idea, to set goals that are possible to meet. You may have been way off, near, met or exceeded a goal, but how do you view the result?

The reasons for that success, may be more subjective, which is where an optimist will always win. That is because the optimist will be more likely to view the reasons it succeeded being down to things that they did, rather than luck or things in the world around them, like an upturn in the market or other favourable conditions.
This positive reenforcement will feed back into a more optimistic view of the future.

It is a really good practise to imagine how you would feel, once you have succeeded and write it down, then compare that to your actual feelings in the future.

Why are optimists more likely to succeed
This is another self fulfilling positive reenforcement for optimists. It is the simple fact that, if you anticipate success, you are more likely to start. When you start something, you believe in its success and it succeeds, it reenforces your belief in yourself.

When you make a decision to start something, it is a positive choice. You will then focus your attention on making it a success. This focus will peak your interest. As having a sense of purpose is often believed to be more important than happiness. For example, you may not enjoy your job but if it gives you a real feeling of purpose and vocation that may be more important than happiness.

Are some people naturally more optimistic
Yes, although it is not all genetic. We can shape our minds, changing the chemistry over time. If it is about 25 percent genetics then, 75 percent is up to you to affect.

Foods that can make you more optimistic
It appears that sugar may be able to block or suppress optimism. There have been many studies on mood where reducing or removing sugar from a diet can improve mood. As optimism is a positive state, it makes sense that there is a correlation.

Good nutrition, healthy, varied, fresh, organic etc. If you are looking for numbers, thirty different fruits, vegetables, nuts and seasonings per week equals varied.
HedgehogsWe do not want to imagine a future, where a young British writer and illustrator looks around them for inspiration from the animal world but there is little to see. When Beatrix Potter created a character called Mrs. Tiggy-winkle she based it on her pet hedgehog. However, these popular native creatures are struggling to survive and have declined by about 50 percent in the last thirty years.

Are we doing our bit to make life a little easier for them? Instead of using slug pellets (which can be dangerous for lots of wildlife, pets and children), its much better to encourage slug eating wildlife, such as birds, frogs, toads, hedgehogs, slow-worms and ground beetles. If you have a garden with new or strong fencing, make a small hole (15x15cm) for them to travel between gardens. A hedgehog can climb, swim and run at 6mph, travelling a mile a night to find food, shelter and a mate. They hibernate alone between November and April, so should be active now. Having a large series of connected gardens to roam through at night, will help.

If you can, visit a local British wildlife centre to learn more, face to face.

The stats: 1950s 30 million, now 1 million, urban extinction predicted by 2025.

- Leave drinking water for a hedgehog in a shallow bowl, refill daily.
- Cut a hedgehog size hole in the fence to help them travel.
- Make your pond hedgehog friendly, they can swim but need a way out.
- Buy or create a hedgehog house, in case one comes to stay.
- Check for hedgehogs before gardening, twice when using power tools.
- Pick up litter, especially tin cans that can injure or trap an animal.

Also, do not feed them milk and bread as it is not good for them.
Tiny HabitsHappy New Year. Our biggest intention this year is to help provide the craft community with more via the site. More can be limitless and so may never be reached but we hope you will enjoy the many improvements to come.

To help us achieve our intentions, we will be implementing tiny habits by BJ Fogg PhD, into our daily work. Here is a quick overview of how you could use tiny habits too.

1. Clarify an aspiration or intention.
You may want to look after yourself better, you may want to become more financially secure or learn something new. Write down what you would like to achieve.

2. Explore behaviour options
Be very optimistic and think of some life changing goals that fit with your intention. So that could be to become debt free, able to run a marathon or perhaps to be fluent in French.

3. Match yourself with specific behaviours
These are your golden behaviours. Matching yourself to something you know you can easily do that will also have an impact relating to what you want to achieve.. Make a debt payment, walk, use a language app.

4. Start with tiny habits
Once you know the golden behaviour you can start tiny. Pay under £10 off of a credit card. Walk, Spend five minutes learning a language.

5. Find a good prompt
It is important to think about a good prompt. This is something that you already do each day. After making lunch, sit down and make a small payment to your credit card. After getting dressed in the morning, go for a short walk. When you first get home, make a cup of tea and then spend five minute learning a language.

6. Celebrate success
Perhaps one of the most important parts of developing a new habit is to celebrate each time you complete your tiny habit. A little dance, punch the air, say well done out loud etc. This little reward will train your brain to want to do the tiny habit again and again. It is not the repetition that builds and neuters the habit, it is successfully completing the tiny habit. Which is why you start small.

It is easier to build a new positive habit to replace an old habit than to just give something up.

We hope this year will bring you everything you aim for and more.
7 tips for a prosperous New YearNow that the New Year is upon us, we a raring to go. We are actively looking for new events to attract to the site, promoting members and coming up with new functionality and services. As always, if you have something you would like to say, we are here to listen, just use the site contact us form for a quick response.

Here are our seven tips for making this year a better year than last year.

1: Get tidy. You do not have to wait for Spring. Now is the time to have a clear out. Sell or give away things you do not use or need. Through away anything broken or damaged. Tidy up what is left. Replace the things you need.

2: Get organised. This is not far from getting tidy, but it is perhaps more about a little change in behaviour. Let us say for example you do online banking, but you also receive paper copies of your statements. Perhaps going paperless will save you time and effort. That you could use for checking items rather than just filling them.

3. Prepare. Think about your year ahead and set yourself three realistic goals. Write them down, so you can look at them every day. It takes a while for a habit to form, so repeating an action each day will burn them into your memory.

4. Act. You know, those little jobs that only take a few minutes to fix but have been bothering you for ages. Removing a distraction or irritation will help you focus.

5. Look forwards. Occasionally the past can be a bit of a burden. You need to be mindful of your current position and where you want to be. Your idea of prosperity may be smiling more often, feeling well and enjoying yourself. This may require more effort than just making a few additional pounds. Just remember you must earn two pounds for every pound you spend. So, going forward, try to reduce your outgoings to increase your disposable income.

6. Be wise. Wisdom is not an easy path. You need to reduce impulsive behaviours and replace them with thoughtful contemplative positive actions. We all make mistakes, some of which we may regret for a long time. However, look at tip five and move on. The mistake may have been a loan or credit card, if could have been signing up for the three-year contract because it seemed reasonable or important at the time. What is important is that you act and do not keep making the same mistakes again and again.

7. Learn to delegate. If like Atlas the world is on your shoulders, it is more than likely that you put it there. If these words sound familiar to you then you need to make a change - it is quicker it I do it myself, I know I will make a better job of it myself, the only way I know it is right is if I do it myself. Delegation can be hard, it can mean compromise and having to repair mistakes. However, without delegation you cannot grow beyond your own abilities.

One extra thing to look at is routine. It is important to most people to create a positive routine that helps you attain your goals. Removing negative habits is a positive step.

Happy New Year.