Thursday, 7 February 2013

Spring Fair 2013

The Spring Fair in Birmingham at the NEC was an insight for me as a designer to see whats out there this year and what traders are into. I wasn't too sure where to head first as it was a huge event, 100s of stands crammed into each hall, but I had to start somewhere and headed to find my friend Helen over at Mode Information. (They do trend books/magazines/Pantone etc..)
Helen told me about how there was going to be an interview with Kirstie Allsopp starting within the hour, so I thought I would stay to have a listen at what she has to say (love homemade home & her xmas programme). 
Kirstie Allsopp was lovely. Although she did say she dislikes interviews cause she's never sure if she's talking about the right thing! Also what I didn't know is Cath Kidston is her cousin. 
She spoke about how she got into crafting, work experience, some of her favourite designers and her new stationary collection for Blueprint Collections (not 100% sure on the launch). She was also asked a question down the line of "Is the stereotypical crafter a female?" Straight off her answer was "No. There are so many crafters out there, men, women, older, any age, there are so many different kinds of people crafting that there can't be a stereotype." 
A few of Kirstie's favourite designers...
Kaffe Fassett (I hope I've got that right!) who specialises in knitwear, patchwork, needlework. 
Emma Bridgewater pottery, stationary, textiles.
Matthew Rice painter, author.

All in all, an interesting interview. 

I have a huge interest in cute stationary, so I headed to the greetings & stationary hall where I was in my element! I spoke to a couple of people in there which led me on to feeling inspired. 
Obiko - Lovely lady called Linda who hand draws and uses illustrator/photoshop to colour her designs. I love her style. It was simple but still detailed. She was very nice and told me to keep at what I want to do :) 

arthousemeath - very inspiring group of people and i absolutely love the drawings and designs that happen here. They are a social enterprise that works with adults with epilepsy and learning difficulties which through art they can express themselves, create and raise money for charity. 

Gillian Kyle - Lovely scottish lady. Gave me a chocolate tea cake (YUM! - I did enjoy it.) Gillian has a wonderful drawing style, I recognised her work from seeing her tea towels on the To Dry For website. She was also very inspiring and advisable. 

Inspiring afternoon but my toesies needed to be rested from all the walking!

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