Visitors – and celebrities – have been out in force at this week’s Spring Fair, co-located with MODA and Source Home & Gift, with exhibitors highlighting a busy two days.
“It’s a very, very busy show for us,” said Vanessa Curry, managing director of Best Kept Secrets. “We took our first order at 9.15am on the first day – Sunday 4 February – and that buzz has continued. We’ve seen a lot of new faces and opened lots of new accounts, with two of our most popular ranges being Just Because and Luminescent.”
Continued Vanessa, “We have also been blown away by the number people who hunted us down after visiting the Gift of the Year stand and seeing our products, which have been shortlisted in several of the categories. It has definitely helped to drive business onto the stand.”
Stephen Illingworth, ceo of Widdop & Co, said that the show has been “fantastic, like the Spring Fairs of old. The whole event has been a busy, buzzy, exciting environment. We’ve launched a lot of new product and, most importantly, we’ve had a very good result.”
Also reporting a very positive show was Kate Winch, marketing manager at Candlelight. “We’ve seen a lot of new customers and had a very good response to our ranges, especially our new Olive range of tapas dishes, which has been a main attraction,” she stated. “Overall, the show feels busier than ever.”
It was a similar story from Jed Kenrick, ceo at Ashleigh & Burwood: “We’ve seen lots of both new and regular customers, and opened a lot of new accounts – it’s been good to have quality time with everyone,” he confirmed. “Our stand has had a complete re-design, making it more open, and it’s been great for customers to be able to see our whole display.”
On the celebrity front, celebrated British fashion designer Jeff Banks made a personal appearance on the Candlelight stand to launch four new, distinctive ranges of candles and reed diffusers in the Jeff Banks Home range. “The inspiration has come from my travels around the world, and my own Ports of Call collection, with the orange fragrance for example, inspired by the abundance of oranges I saw in Seville, and the new mimosa design inspired by travels to Kyoto.” There are also two ceramic ranges – one in pink – reminiscent of the sort of products grandmothers had on their dressing tables back in the day, and coloured glass vessels – to include sage green.”
Meanwhile, designer Laurence Llewelyn Bowen visited the Febland stand to unveil his new collection. “Febland definitely have the cutting edge in the ‘Mob Wife’ trend – leopard print, long nails, big hair, growly, like Lady Gaga, and all of that is encapsulated in my decorative home accessories range for the company,” he told GiftsandHome.net. “It attaches a bit of emotion and passion to the things that people want to buy.”
Elsewhere, the latest key fashion trends as well as this season’s newest collections came to life on the Moda Catwalk. Powder celebrated their passion for the exotic, with pyjamas, gowns, dresses and kaftans, adorned with flora and fauna, with the motifs taking centre stage in a tropical colour palette. Meanwhile, Goose Island defined ‘dreamy fashion’ with their everyday wearable pieces.
In addition, Spring Fair has, once again, partnered with The Giftware Associationto showcase the shortlisted companies in the Gift Of The Year Awards.
“Being able to hold the judging at Spring Fair is excellent exposure for all shortlisted companies, not only in terms of the judges but the many Spring Fair buyers who view their products,” explained Sarah Ward, ceo, Giftware Association. “What has been clear is that buyers are doing their homework before they get to the show and have made sure they look at the Gift Of The Year shortlisted products before they buy. Therefore those entrants who also have a stand here have benefited from our showcase, with buyers going on to see them at their stands.”
The show runs until close of play on Wednesday February 7 at the NEC. Visit www.springfair.com
Top: Among the busy aisles at Spring Fair this week.