I enjoyed my summer trip to Harrogate for the Home & Gift Harrogate. It is such a beautiful town, so a pleasure to walk to the stand each morning and to find restaurants in the evening with colleagues. I did not make the nightclub, but it sounds like Clarion Events were very generous hosts.
Of course, above all, it is fantastic to meet our customers and to hear how they are getting on and their specific interests/feedback. This is so enjoyable and vital for me staying on the pulse and being of some value.
I also love to meet comrades at other suppliers – some veterans and lovely ex-colleagues like Rachel Stables at Jellycat or meeting Andrew McLellan our stand-neighbour at KIKKERLAND EUROPE BV. Our other stand-neighbour was selling beautiful English Delphinium petals grown on LSF farm so we struck up some work related conversations.
My favourite tent was perhaps Design Point 4 with some lovely companies, all my cup of tea and many with various products that complement a gathering or gift. I confess, I am a fan of recycled serving spoons when dishing up dinner at home, so TwoSpoons is a favourite with messages such as “Dig In” or “Elbows Off”!
Whilst meandering, I tuned into several themes and trends: - Made in Great Britain – that is such good news for team UK. And not only made in Britain, but also all the below on top - Recycled materials – from plastic bottles to old tea lights (Recycled Candles UK) or old cutlery (Two Spoons as above). - Personalised messages – perhaps my favourite personalisation is from a stand I have always liked Repeat Repeat Ltd and indeed have in my kitchen cupboard at home (made in The Potteries and able to personalise a mug with say, The Cotswolds or Edinburgh). - Helping those less fortunate – I spotted some soap from Labre's Hope made by people experiencing homelessness. That can’t be easy to orchestrate, so an uplifting concept.