Today I went to Top Drawer, which is a brilliant trade fair specifically aimed at home, gifts and accessories, with some kids items too. I only had 2.5 hours to get around Olympia as I had to get back for the school run, and let me tell you…that is not a very easy thing to do. Especially when there are so many fantastic products on display. I’ve been to Top Drawer many times before for Love Me Again but this was the first time I was going for Home & Kids with my ‘interior, homeware and gifts head’ on. I can quite easily focus on stands that have items geared towards children but I now have this whole world opened up to me and I was like a kid in a sweet shop. My eyes were darting to and fro and my bag was bursting with brochures, leaflets and business cards. I met some lovely people and was once again amazed by how talented the people of Britain are. There are so many makers and producers of beautiful things from right here in the UK. And yes, sometimes they are a bit pricier than some items made elsewhere in the world, but the love and care that goes into crafting these items, often to order, is amazing. The fact that we can tell our customers where or how a cushion, lamp, bag, illustration etc… was made, even the story behind some designs, gives them all a great depth that I feel our customers really appreciate.
On another note, we have a special project coming up in Birmingham. We have been asked by The Mailbox shopping center to set up a concession there for the three months leading up to Christmas. I can’t wait but I’m also slightly overwhelmed by the amount of work and time it’s taking to set up. I’ve been spending a bit of time in Birmingham, checking out the space and interviewing staff and I know that once it’s set up, I will have to go there at least a couple of times a week to check on everything.
We are one of five independent companies who have been asked to participate and will run in conjunction with the celebration of the 10 year anniversary of Harvey Nichols being at The Mailbox and the launch date will also run alongside Birmingham Style Week.
So if you are in Birmingham anytime between the 23 September and the 30th December, then pop in and say hello.