Wow !! I have had an amazing 2 days, The show is a massive event in the calendar for retailers, with companies big and small showcasing their new ranges, designs and concepts. There is a chance to meet designers, make contact with local reps and strike deals. This year many of the companies are still so large they are out of reach for small retailers, but its great to see their trends and ideas, scattered across the show were a handful of companies that I have agreed to work with and place orders this week! The next month is going to be so exciting with deliveries including books, cotton, bamboo, merino blends, accessories and tools.
Sunday lunchtime I journeyed up to the NEC with mum, luckily the trains ran up straight there with just a slight delay, we checked into the show a bit late but with enough time to have a quick browse. I wish I had taken photos so that you could see it, but I was too caught up with being there. I have met some lovely small producers including Toft who were showcasing their stunning crochet toy kits, and Rooster yarns who make smooth blended yarns.
We stayed over night and started again first thing Monday morning, I met up with a few existing suppliers : James C Brett and Artesano, its great to look at their new ranges, colour ways, and place orders. We also met with a range of publishers for books and magazines, so hopefully I will be able to offer them in the next month or two, quite a few magazines offered us samples so pop into the shop next week to have a browse – if you spot something you love it would be great to know, I can aim to tailor orders to what we interested in.
Even with having a focused plan of which suppliers to look at and find out more about I still managed to run out of time. We completely missed the chance to see the product demonstrations and workshops, with just a short glimpse of the fashion show at lunch time. – Next year I will go for 3 days and hopefully have time to see everything ! We arrived back in Devon at 10.30 last night, tired but very hyperactive, buzzing with ideas and wanting to knit. I have to admit though I was still pleased to be home, after 2 days in Birmingham crowds opening the shop this morning and saying hello to a few regulars reminded me of how lovely it is to be in Devon and how lucky we are that we live by the sea and enjoy life 🙂