Exhibiting surface design in Australia
I never expected showcasing surface design at Design Made Trade would have been so successful. When I decided to exhibit earlier this year, I did so with a casual ‘why not – lets give it a go’ attitude, and I am so glad I did.
Design Made Trade is a great exhibition of emerging independent Australian design, and I have to say that the organisers curated the show brilliantly. A beautiful mix of textile design (my little corner of the world), fashion, homewares, furniture, industrial, stationery and jewellery design, all nicely slotted together in one gorgeous venue, the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton, Melbourne.
With lots of room to move, visitors openly communicated their enjoyment of the exhibition, and their appreciation of the calibre and variety of design available for their viewing and buying pleasure. I’m not entirely certain how successful the show was for other designers, but I have to say that I did quite well, and not just from a financial perspective.
Visitors and their feedback on surface design
The concept of surface design, although very common in the US and UK, is still relatively new in Australia, and my visitors loved it. I honestly believe that with a little pioneering, and a little bit of courage from other surface designers in Australia, we can build an industry here that is equally as sustaining as it is in international markets. I have to say I was very excited to see Belinda Christie’s stand ‘Surface‘ at the show, not only is her work insanely beautiful and progressive, it was just another little tick in my box of ‘Australia is moving forward’.
I think trade shows are alot more than just sales. As a veteran designer with an emerging label, the most important thing is exposure to the right community, and the establishment of a strong community of peers who are interested in, or working within related and relevant industries. It is only with this kind of support that a business can grow and expand, and meet the changing needs of the commercial world it services. I personally, was very rewarded by the experience. My label is now stocked by 6 retailers in 3 different states, along with a couple of online stores. The visitors (trade and public) who came to view the range, not only served us with wonderful feedback about the product, I was overwhelmed by the feedback I received (and purchases I might add) of surface design prints.
Not only was feedback rewarding, it also validated my months and months of long and hard work to get to launch stage so I wanted to extend a huge thank you for every little comment, every little smile, every little nod of the head, and of course, every person who took a little piece of my efforts home with them. I hope that your purchases, as they were intended to do, add a little more love and beauty to your world.
In future weeks, as I consolidate my experience at Design Made Trade, I will share more information about my process, my challenges and meltdowns, my preparation, the little muck ups, things I could have, should have but didn’t do, and anything else I think could be helpful for anyone else embarking on this journey. In four short days I learned an exceptional amount to help me move into future exhibits.Though all in all I would have to say I’m extremely happy with my end result.