Saturday, August 21, 2010

part one: melbourne. chai. trade fairs.

I have recently returned from melbourne and after being stuck in bed “sick as a dog” since I returned I thought while im not up for doing much “actual work” I thought I would blog a little about my adventure and re:live some of it. Share with you guys a few important & prob no so important bits.

Half work/half play? To me this type of trip is all play...specially while getting inspired by melbourne, its sites, surrounds, visiting trade fairs and going to seminars on design.

So firstly...Lets have a chai! If you live in Melbs already or are visting and love a nice spicy chai head to Baker D Chirico on 149 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda...OMG best chai ever soooo deliciously spicy (I was told the lemon donuts are a big hit too (but they were all sold out by the time we arrived tho at 10:30 am)

I visited the LifeInstyle/KidsInstyle/FirstInstyle Trade fair. Twospoonfulsofsugar took part in the “new designers section” of Reed Giftfair last year and I wanted to compare the 2. We were meant to be in KidsInstyle this year but due to circumstances we were unable to attend. However I still wanted to go along and absorb the atmosphere and chat to other industry professionals.
So LifeInstyle is great for designers wanting to attract the boutique giftware retailers. I personally love the vibe of LifeInstyle and think its a great step forward if your ready to take your: jewellery, t-shirt, art, design, product, fashion, accessories, stationery, toy, craft, giftware business into the retail market!
Doing trade fairs - It's a great step for any new or existing business, to reach out to your designated retail outlets and customer base across the country and aboard. A trade fair is designed for designers to be in one location and the retail shops come to you. You have your “product on show” but dont sell off your stand - you do take orders (wholesale) directly off your stand tho, but dont sell directly to “public” say like at markets.

From experience: It truly opened my eyes and emerged Twospoonfulsofsugar into a whole new platform.
If your interested in doing a trade fair have a look at Lifestyle and Reed to pick which one is best suited for you and your business. They are run twice a year in the major cities in Australia (Sydney and Melbourne) one at the beginning of the year around Feb/March and one in August/September (for buying for christmas) I highly recommend doing them.

Some of my fav things from the Melbourne LifeInstyle/KidsInstyle/FirstInstyle show were:
# Furry Monster bags and DingaRings (as pictured) for kids by O.B Designs

# Very funky Paperself eyelashes (as pictured)' how fantastic are these designs” I was like “you should be wearing these, im sure the sales person would of tripled her orders if she was these are so cool!

# Funky Stools from Ici et La

# I have a soft spot for typography and there was a few stands with some fab typography products PonyRider had these fab Players Welcome cushions (as pictured), quilts etc .. For some other very cool type related products check out Make Me Iconic

#I defiantly had my “I want-I want-I want” down to a fine t at the Pigeonhole stand, so many great products “everything is awesome”! Special love goes out to Pigeonholes; Louwellyn, Lou Mini and Richelle Bags, WoodLove Cards, Crumple Cups & those oh so cute dimple rings (even the name sounds cute)

# Design products with clever, quirky ideas behind it go to check out DesignforUse - I still cant decide what my fav thing is but the flower nails are a pretty cute idea, and the drip drop hanger and I did love those wine lights (as pictured).

I could go on and on actually so im just going to list a few other websites to checkout but there were oh so heaps more incredible/ talented designers I just can not list the whole lot or I will be here forever; Loop, (Fav Bags) Louenhide, Little Lamb tales, Tmod, Fermliving

The Reed Giftfair in Sydney is coming up in September 11th-14th so if your thinking about doing a trade fair next year I highly recommend registering and going along for a nosey.

Ok I got a little carried away and side tracked but after a day of being inspired by all the great “designers” who would not get carried away? I hope I shed some light for any newbies thinking of doing a trade fair.

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