WINK Gala Dinner & Shopping Event
13 Jul, 2019

Before I start, this is going to be a long post.

So much happened over the course of two days this will be like an essay.

Don’t worry, there will be pictures to break it up.

Plus, I will allow you to pause, put the kettle on and to get biscuits (tee-hee)!!

*Update: It has been a week since this event. A week!! My, how time flies…


This was a long day. I was up at 6am and got ready for work, like I always do (I am a teaching assistant). The thing is, it froze during the night, so I had to de-ice my car. This is now 7am. I then loaded my car up with my jewellery stock and went to ASDA to fill my car up and made my way to work.

I actually start work officially at 8:30am, but I like to get there early, so it is usually after 8am when I arrive. Not today. There wasn’t much traffic and the traffic lights were in my favour. I arrived at work at 7:35am. I didn’t go in, I listened to the radio and waited until 8am.

I finished work at 1:15pm which is when I made my way up to The Villa and their Pavillion, where the WINK events were taking place. I stopped off at Aldi in Carnforth to get my lunch too.

The weather was appalling. It began raining just after 12:30pm and didn’t stop. To top it all off, the wind really got up and driving home when it’s tipping it down and blowing a gale on a main road with not much street lighting is fun. NOT.

Anyway, I got to The Villa just before 2pm when I wolfed down part of my lunch and began to set my stall up. It took me 30mins (just like last year), by then I needed to get back to my other job (After School Club assistant). I arrived at work between 3:15-3:30pm, thankful again for the traffic and traffic lights (including roadwork traffic lights) being in my favour.

My colleague knew that I was attending WINK’s Gala Dinner and was OK with me to leave slightly earlier. I got home, showered, dressed and by 6:45pm I once again made my way to The Villa.

Gala Dinner

The Pavillion at The Villa is a beautiful building and it was set out wonderfully. The stalls looked amazing (I got plenty of compliments on the look of my stall, both Friday night and Saturday) under the purple lights and one of the organiser’s husband played his guitar in the corner of the room, which gave a relaxed atmosphere.

We sat for our meal at 8pm. With all this travelling, yes by this time I was getting tired and ready for something to eat. The meal was great. Apart from one thing…

The starter.

I ordered leek and potato soup as I didn’t want the tomato and goat’s cheese salad. When our soup arrived, it was red. Now, I am no culinary expert, but I know that leek and potato soup isn’t red. A fellow diner asked one of the waiters what the soup is: tomato and roasted red pepper. I enjoyed it, but it would’ve been nice to have been informed of the change of the starter.

The rest of my meal was delicious. For my main I had roast pork with cider apple sauce, roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables. My dessert was lemon tart with cream. As I was driving, I had the smallest glass of wine imaginable, along with elderflower fizz (non-alcoholic I may add!) and a coffee after my meal.

The WINK after dinner speaker this year was Dianne Hannah of Herdy UK. She explained to us WINK ladies how they came up with the brand, the logo, where they are business wise, what their future holds and how they put back into the community. They help a lot regarding sheep farmers. Well, when your brand is based on the Herdwick sheep it’s best that they do isn’t it?

By this time, time was ticking on and quite a few on the table I was sat at had just as long a day as myself and with the low purple lighting, we were all beginning to yawn.

Then, the lights went up and we were invited to explore the stalls and buy as many raffle tickets as possible. It was at this point that myself and few others from my table decided to call it a night, as we all had to drive home.

I arrived home about 11:15pm. Ready for bed.

WINK Shopping Event

Wink Logo

Please be aware, that I am currently in my PJ’s laid in bed typing my latest blog.

It’s because that the event is fresh in my mind.

And if I type it now, I won’t find it a struggle later in the week.

The last time I look at my bedside clock it was 12:30am. I slept well, but woke feeling a bit ‘ugh’. I don’t know whether it was the wine (I don’t really drink it), the elderflower fizz, the coffee or the fact I ate quite late in the day. Nevertheless, although I should have done, I didn’t feel like eating during the day. A few popcorn bars, a packet of crisps, one cup of tea and the rest of the time drinking water isn’t enough I know.

Once again, the weather made an appearance. I wasn’t sure if Noah was turning up, it was raining that hard. 8:45am, guess what? I made my way up the The Villa. Third time in two days. It’s a nice drive up, via the A6. I prefer it to the motorway.

9:20am (I know, precise) I arrived for the WINK shopping event and made the last few adjustments to my stall. Saying that, I spent most of this morning under the table, trying to figure out how to place my stuff so it was in easy reach.

I also decided to take my boots off. I’ve worn this particular pair at fairs before and my feet hurt, so I opted for comfort. In my stegosaurus socks. The other stall holders and fellow WINK members found it amusing.

We had 27 stallholders this year. An increase from last years event:

Myself (Emaz Beadz)

The Little Studio

Zest Skin & Bodycare

Becky Coates @ ENJO UK


Bespoke Aroma

Melissa Tullett, Painted Furniture

Mad Hatters

Katie Edwards – Artist

Astro Innovation

South Lakes Fitness/Cycling

Just Company

Horsley Couture

Reiki with Clare

Debbie Thwaites @ Park Lane Jewelry

Wardrobe Wake-Up

Blue Moose Kitchen

Oubas Knitwear

Sew Homely

CA Creations

Debra Walker @ Nu Skin

Palanquin Flair

Lucy Paterson @ Utility Warehouse

Quite a few of us, isn’t there? Although, I think I may have missed some. I’m not sure.

It was a great day. I made my first sale an hour into the event and after that, I did really well. I made my stall fee back plus a profit. I’m thinking that it will go towards a branded table runner for future craft fairs/events, to make my stall look even more professional.

A couple of friends/colleagues came as well. I’m not sure they knew what to expect, but I think they were pleased. Certainly a conversation starter when I see them at work on Monday.

We were not allowed to pack up until 4pm. That is the end time of the event and we were not allowed to start sooner. Fair enough.

We all pretty much began taking down our stalls soon after 4pm, everyone very much in high spirits. We raised an amazing £530 for the Bendrigg Trust ( through our two raffles; Friday night and today.

Considering the weather was dreadful this morning, it turned out really nice in the end. A bit cool but the sun and blue sky made an appearance! Then we were all packing up. Typical. It started raining when we were all traipsing back and forth to our cars. Well, we can’t have it all can we?

I was about to set off, when another organiser of WINK knocked on my window. Turned out that the winner of today’s raffle and my donation to it, lived not so far from me. So I made a slight detour and dropped her prize off on my way home.

Around 5pm I got home. My parents helped to unload my car and I had my tea (chicken burger, with a few chips). Sorted my stock out once again, got ready for bed, poured myself a good helping of vodka (I think I deserve it) and, like I said at the start of this blog, led in bed with my laptop, typing up today and last nights events.

I hope you have stayed with me through this little adventure, even after a cup of tea (or whatever beverage you prefer) and biscuits.

I don’t think it was that long, but the pictures tend to make it look longer than it actually is.

The WINK Shopping Event was well attended and I am sure that is down to all the amazing stallholders who promoted it via their social media pages and word of mouth and I am hoping that next year will not only be bigger, but better too.

It just shows the power of a well refined networking group.

Until next time…