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Summer Trade Shows: Reflections from a first time exhibitor

Trade shows are a great opportunity for us to show off new products, spread the HA word and meet some great design clients and manufacturing peers. In June Handmade Alliance were very pleased to have exhibited at both Meet the Manufacturer (3-4th June) and Best of Britannia (26-28th) aka BoB.

Meet the Manufacturer was impeccably managed by Kate Hills and her team at Make it British. The show saw a range of textiles and apparel manufacturers from around the UK descend on the Tobacco Dock in Shadwell.

Simultaneously they ran a two day conference to promote British Manufacturing and Ethical Fashion.  Guest speakers included the likes of Caroline Rush (British Fashion Council), David Suddens (Chairman Dr Martens) and Patrick Grant (Norton & Sons/Great British Sewing Bee), plus a further variety of fashion influencers and business exemplars sharing their knowledge and inspiration.

Handmade Alliance were positioned next to our friends at Creative Skillset and not far from collaborator Rosy Lee tea. We showcased client work including: Dandy Star, The Dark Room, Another Country and CleoB as well as a small selection of our own range. Happy to say we got a lot of attention and the team barely stopped talking to interested designers for the duration.

With all the hard work done by the end of the third day we were more than happy to give in to the offer of Pimms and a very extravagant spread on the terrace overlooking the canal.

Down on Shoreditch High Street BoB was located in a beautiful red brick, industrial era warehouse.

It was a buyer’s show, so we saw quite a range of products from other designers; from pink gin to dog bandanas (which we are now making), bespoke shoes and leather satchels.

Our own display highlight included new tote bags, fresh from production, co-designed by a colleague from Heal’s, lined with Fox flannel and featuring our new woven labels.

My personal show highlight (other than the pink gin) was the Miniature Pekinese 4 week old puppy at the stall next to ours.

As a result of the clients we met at these trade fairs we have had a busy summer with a variety of items coming through production.

Don’t forget to check out our Twitter @HandmadeAlly to see these production updates.

Watch this space for info on other events coming up in September.

 

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