I have been reading Design Sponge's blog posts about The International Contemporary Furniture Fair for years and dreamed about one day doing it myself, so when Jill and David visited Hebden Bridge last summer and invited me to come and stay with them in New York I immediately saw an opportunity.
I got in touch with British European Design Group who take a group of exhibitors there every year and applied for a stand. There take a few rows of exhibitors from the UK.
I was lucky to secure some funding from UKTI who have a Trade Show Access Programme for first time exhibitors which helped a lot.
It was in this enormous shiny building called the Javitts Centre which was hosting three huge trade shows all at the same time.
I really didn't take enough photos inside the show as I was busy on my stand but you know how for years whenever I go to a trade show I am always drawn to lighting...well I seem to have had a shift. It's all wallpaper wallpaper wallpaper now!
This was my dear stand neighbour Camilla Meijer, who's work I have admired from afar so it was nice to make friends.
I find her drawings exquisite.
We all followed the story of Camilla''s beautiful cupboard that she bought from the Salvation Army Shop for not many dollars and dragged along the streets of New York on a trolley (I admire her). After a few days on her stand she couldn't bare to be parted with it and had to have it shipped home!
I have also admired Abigail Edward's wallpapers so it was lovely to meet her in real life too.
I love her Seascape wallpaper.
She had the clever idea of covering some Ikea furniture in her papers. It looked great.
Me and Tanya from Quirk & Rescue had been giving each a bit of other moral support online before the show as it was their first overseas exhibition too so it was lovely to see them and their stand looking all striking and colouful.
And this sweetie is Avery from Juju Papers.
She's from Portland Oregon and we had a good natter about the joys of wallpaper....to keep it in stock or not to keep it in stock that is the question.
A slight deviation back to the lighting. I found Graypants. I wrote about these amazing guys from Seattle in Illuminate so it was very good to meet (one of) them in person.
They have lots of new shapes since I wrote the book.
And look at the awesome stand of Deborah Bowness. I thought I'd be a bit star struck. She's one of the queens of contemporary wallpaper but her and her sister was soooo nice.
Deborah has just moved her studio to Hastings. It's a really beautiful space.
The show was mostly visited by interior designers and architects. There weren't that many retailers there and I didn't find any stockists for my lamps (yet) which was a shame as maybe three times an hour I was asked 'where can we buy these in New York?' I really do need to find one!
But I did find a distributor for my wallpaper which is exactly what I hoped for - not in the U.S but in Japan! That is lots of prayers rolled into one. If you've been reading my blog for a while you'll know how much I love Japan. I'll tell you more about that soon.
I had a fabulous time. I had lots of great conversations. I have a book full of interesting business cards and leads to follow up. It's always great to chat with other exhibitors and share and learn. My opposite neighbour Helen from Space 1A Designs was super helpful with ideas for my fabric development so I have lots to think about. Oh and last week my work made morning TV in Canada.
I'm sure it's just the beginning of lots of good things :)