We're back after a long and tiring week at Spring Fair International. It's always such a demanding week and usually by 10pm Mum and I are dropping off to sleep. This year we were lucky as we managed to find somewhere to stay, just a 3 minute train journey from the NEC, with a great friendly pub just a short walk away for our evening dinner.
We arrived on Saturday, by train, my boyfriend brought all of the heavy stand material, we needed extra muscles. It wasn't long before I was putting the stand together with my trusty spirit level.
I was really pleased with the new shelving and my logo which I had printed onto canvas. In comparison to past shows, it looked neater and visitors were able to handle the products too.
I had over 300 cards to display, but I had to narrow it down as we ran out of space.
It's always great to have Mum's support, her ideas, company and enthusiasm at the show.
The week got off to a great start, meeting distributors from America, France, New Zealand and Germany, taking orders from Japan and catching up with my fantastic Australian distributors. This is why I love to do this show, as it brings so many opportunities to export my cards.
I even met my long distance friend, Shannon, owner of 'Kwilla' all the way from Kilkenny who has been a stockist of my cards for a couple of years. We didn't meet last Spring because of the snow and cancelled flights, so it was fantastic to finally meet and take a moment for a photo. The pencil necklace I'm wearing I bought from Shannon last year, as she knew I would love it (it matches my logo!).
It was also lovely to see some of my other regular buyers who have been so supportive over the past few years. The response to all of the new cards was really good. I have lots of contrasting styles, from very contemporary to more traditional, so my order forms were very varied.
I'm delighted to now be exporting to Japan, this is something I have wanted to achieve with my products for a long time. Much of my work is inspired by Japanese art and I have even been trying to learn some basic Japanese, in the hopes that one day I might get to go there.
I also have some other exciting prospects to work on over the next few months, but like a lot of new leads from the shows, you have to continue to put the work in to make sure opportunities happen.
I am really happy with the way the show went this year, and I am already signing up for the next one (with a larger plot). I am now in the process of fulfilling my orders, and preparing stock for further distribution. There is not a moment to rest, but I wouldn't have it any other way.