PHEW!! Well that’s over… Busy old week in Birmingham and it’s lovely to be home in the snowy south. Spring Fair is a 5 day long event at the NEC and it has 20 halls! It’s a giant and it is exhausting, but it was amazing to catch up with and get to know so many other publishers. I had a little change around with my display this time to mark the beginning of my second year of business. So some DIY-ing happened the week before the show making mounts, painting frames and waxing ledges.
Putting-up day was longer than anticipated but made all the more enjoyable as our neighbour had a very snazzy spirit-level gadget that was a lazer 😮 so my shelves went up straighter than in my wildest dreams. I promise the colour of the wall was much prettier than it looks in these awful photos. I have also learnt that you can never have too many lights. Next time I will rock up with 45 lights per square metre 😀
I’d released 22 new designs for the Spring Seasons and these made up lots of the orders that I took at the show which was fun! Mr baboon and Mrs Llama were the winners!
I had so many wonderful visitors to my stand, and enjoyed catching up with customers from all over the world. With more than 40 orders taken last week it has been, and continues to be, a busy weekend of processing and packing.
As always, everyone outdid themselves on their displays! I love to see the variety and creativity at these events as everyone is so skilled at styling their own little world; it’s like walking along a street of lots of different shops. I was lucky enough to be opposite Kate Guest who was not only amazing company (and produced the cutest toddler in the world), but she is nailing it in Card Land. Kate is a champion multi-tasker and got more designing done alongside order-taking and networking than I get done in a week in the studio on my own.
Very sadly and suddenly we lost our little studio cat, Osc, last week. After 16 years of friendship he was my absolute best pal and a world without this smallest-of-cows seems very gloomy.
He was one of my favourite things to draw, inspired multiple card designs was my go-to subject matter if I was in a rut or needed to get the drawing-ball rolling. Osc was a champion relaxer and taught us all there is to learn about sleeping on the job (preferably on a shoulder or laptop).
There may be a little picture book collaboration in the pipeline that Osc has a staring roll in, so I doubt this will be the last we see of my Little Cow.
I’ve just got back from a short but sweeeeet week in Thailand for Boxing Day and New Year after a hectic Christmas period of retail fairs, last minute Christmas orders and commissions.
It was a perfect opportunity to slow down and reflect on what a whirlwind of a year 2016 was for my little business.
I’m very grateful to have such a kind and creative network of stockists around the world that I supply to and an awesome, supportive bunch of sales agents around the UK. I’m also lucky to have welcomed a full-time member of staff to the LMD team – my Dad! It was a big and intense interview process and Osc and I had our doubts, but his spreadsheets are more beautiful than my cards, so he’s here to stay!!
We’ve got 4 trade shows booked up for 2017, with Spring Fair fast approaching – gulp! Shows of any kind test my organisation skills and stress levels to their absolute max, as it doesn’t come naturally to me to plan in advance. Watch this space.
Anyway, Happy New Year everybody! I hope it’s the best one yet!