Christmas Fair in the Cotswolds
The camaraderie and teamwork that contribute to the success of The Christmas Fair in the Cotswolds
The Christmas Fair in the Cotswolds is a widely anticipated event which celebrates the beginning of festive preparations here in the Cotswolds. With over 200 stalls, in three magnificent marquees, the fair boasts an inspiring range of unique products. In addition to ticket sales, 10% of all purchases are donated to Wellchild, the national charity for seriously ill children. The enthusiastic customers who visit the fair to source original Christmas gifts for friends and family, can be relieved of any consumer guilt happy in the knowledge that every penny spent will help benefit this important charity.
As with any successful business, Lucy Greaves, director of the fair since 1985, modestly attributes the success of this incredible festive event to her dedicated committee members.
Sal Godman, a founding member of the committee, who helps with every aspect of the fair including assisting with the champagne draw and organising the complicated rota system for helpers, recalls attending one of Lucy’s first home sales in the 1980s: “It consisted of a rail of oversized
cashmere coats with big shoulders – irresistible! The leg warmers were also a must!”
The fair has grown considerably since these early days but the style and quality of the event continue to inspire numerous skilled professionals to dedicate their time and expertise to assist with various different aspects of this important annual event.
Josephine Rossi, an interior designer who is based in the Cotswolds, exhibited at one of Lucy’s first events and now lends her professional eye to help select the most- high quality, desirable products from the thousands of applications made each year for one of the much-coveted stalls. Josephine’s aesthetic vision has been intrinsic to developing imagery for the brand and styling the event. “We pride ourselves on the creativity and quality of the products which are sold at the fair so it has always been essential to ensure that the branding and aesthetics of the event reflect this sense of style. Josephine’s background as an interior designer has been invaluable in achieving this,” explains Lucy.
Although Lucy has been managing events for over 33 years, the camaraderie and support offered by committee members with shared experience of the events industry has been a huge support. “There are several members of the committee who come from an events background. To be able to share our knowledge and advice is hugely reassuring.”
Carole Duckworth balances the demands of young children with a high-profile job working in events sponsorship and partnerships for Deutsche Bank Wealth Management. She was so inspired by the quality of the event that she was happy to offer her invaluable support; “I love the energy of Lucy Greaves and the other committee members and am proud to support such a deserving charity. Lucy’s eye for interesting new exhibitors means I also manage to do almost all of my own Christmas shopping at the Fair too!”
Running an event of this scale requires a vast range of different skills. Lucy is always grateful for the diverse talents shared by her enthusiastic committee; Helen Priday runs her own marketing business and has been involved with the House & Garden Festival as well as launching the Spirit of Christmas event. As such, she has
been well positioned to advise Lucy on all aspects of marketing strategy and communications for The Christmas Fair in the Cotswolds. Similarly, Vix Vennnovissimo runs Cotswold Consulting and assists her clients with social media, direct marketing and business operations. Her support and guidance in assisting Lucy with the social media aspect of the fair has been vital.
As well as the vast range of professional experience shared by committee members, the real success of the team is their willingness to ‘muck in’ and help with all aspects of the event. Laura Grive has been on the committee since 2003 and often persuades her daughters to help stuff envelopes for the invitations and has even bought her husband a high-vis jacket so that he can assist with parking duties on opening night. As Debbie Marks explains, “The Fairs are always hard work but great fun. I feel very proud to be part of a great team that raises such a lot of money for a worthwhile cause.”
“I feel incredibly lucky to be supported by such an incredibly dedicated committee,” explains Lucy. “It is their enthusiasm and shared commitment to the charitable ethos of the event which creates such an inspiring atmosphere at the fair. Ultimately, the Christmas Fair in the Cotswolds is all about raising money for Wellchild. I am so grateful to all of my committee members and volunteers that share their time and expertise for such an important cause.”
‘I feel incredibly lucky to be supported by such an incredibly dedicated committee’
Dubarry of Ireland
Wellchild Christmas Fair at Daylesford Farm