Today we were lucky enough to attend the first of two Collector’s Days the Emma Bridgwater Factory is hosting for members this summer. I’ve been to a Sample Sale before, but this was the first Collector’s Day I’d attended and it was pretty massive! There were twice the number of guests (I heard 200 people) and a Christmas preview, as well as the 1/2 Pint Figs jug collector’s piece and special products on offer. We finally got to put some faces to names as we met some of our EB friends from social media and we had a lovely day with our like-minded ‘potty’ people.
For recent events, the EB team have asked guests to pick a ticket from random to draw your place in the queue for special pieces. Unfortunately, the ticket I drew put me at the back of the 200 attendees and the room was only open to people when their number was called – I didn’t even get a look at the goodies on offer until most were gone, so I’m afraid I didn’t manage to get any photos of that part of the day. While I understand the drawing of numbers is fair and avoids a mad rush for pieces, I didn’t even see what the special one-off pieces were until I got home and saw everyone’s posts on Facebook. I did get one of the beautiful 1/2 pint fig jugs which were available for the event only, and a starry bowl from the specials table when I finally did get into the room, but I do hope that the EB team rethink how they control the sale of goodies at these events – perhaps the special products being spread over multiple rooms or tables, or with a ‘refresh’ of the table half way through so the choice isn’t limited to only the last few products for those of us not lucky enough to get first pick.
Lunch (anyone who knows me will know what an important part of the day this is for me!) was a lovely picnic-style event in one of the newly refurbished rooms upstairs in the factory. Being an old factory, the building is beautiful and full of original features – they’ve done an amazing job to create such a special place for events within the factory. We had pastries, wraps, mini-quiche bites and strawberry tarts, placed on Emma Bridgewater comports on top of flower adorned tables. Lunch was really pretty and team EB never fails to impress with their event hosting!
After lunch was the Christmas preview and this was one of the most exciting parts of the day for me. As I’d been a little disappointed with how the sale of the special pieces had be arranged in the morning, the Christmas preview really redeemed the day. Lots of Christmas Rose, including cats and terriers, new Joy pieces, mini mugs and jugs for Christmas decorations and even some sweet halloween pieces!
We also had a lovely stroll through the garden and met the chickens roaming through the flowers. Matthew and Emma mentioned at lunch that the new gardener, Arthur, had greatly improved on the already-beautiful garden, and they were right! Lots of garden inspiration was taken home to try to recreate in our own gardens.
I hope everyone who went had a lovely day and got something wonderful from the shop! Day two is tomorrow and I’m looking forward to seeing the photos on social media to see what goodies the second group of collectors bring back. I’m hoping that there are improvements to the way the special pieces are sold in the future as judging by the photos from collectors on Facebook and instagram today, there were so many really beautiful pieces the rest of us didn’t even get to see.
For anyone who’s considering going to an event in future, I’d definitely recommend it if you can go! You can find all the events listed in the member’s area on the Emma Bridgewater website if you’re a member of the collector’s club.