Cowhides, cushions and scaffolding...

9/16/2015 10:49:00 pm HELEN STILES 0 Comments

Cowhides, cushions and scaffolding...
So, I've had another first this week - I've exhibited at an event as a business owner/designer. It wasn't quite London Design Week - it was a small networking event in Soho, London. But it was a good start, and at this point in my business journey (i.e. not actually launched yet) it's all about getting the brand out there, generating some awareness and networking.

So, with that in mind, I headed into central London yesterday afternoon with a car full of cowhides, cushions and scaffolding! The experience of setting up for an exhibition is basically the same whatever the size - it's all about getting the right stock in the right place at the right time, then making it look good without being totally stressed out by the time you have to actually talk to any potential customers. I think I just about pulled it off...the champagne helped! 

I always like a deadline to focus the mind...and it certainly provided the impetus to finally get some collateral printed and think about presenting the brand visually (quick smart-phone pic above of some of the branding in action). It was also my first opportunity to really stand in front of a room of people and talk about my new boutique interiors business - Hide & Seek. It forced me to describe it to people and explain the concept behind it (providing natural, handmade, timeless designs for the home - luxurious, but laid-back) and to share my enthusiasm. And although I was nervous about it in advance, I actually enjoyed myself in the end. The last time I was standing up talking at any sort of exhibition I was probably discussing wifi, data centres and telecoms. I can assure you that talking about something I am passionate about (interiors) comes a whole lot more naturally! 

So what did I get out of it? Well, I signed a few people up for the mailing list, and got some great feedback on the brand, the stock and the concept. I tried out my scaffolding display stand for the first time! (Thank you dh for the idea and the implementation!) I met some other business owners and picked up some great tips from their experience (including the lovely Emma Hunt who designs amazing, bespoke, little black dresses). Oh, and I got to practice my golf swing...although I have to say, I think I'll stick to the interiors!