11 Feb Some trends to watch out for
I felt somewhat wistful for my interior design days attending #springfair2018 ….but loved the atmosphere and thought it would be fun to explore a little bit of what’s up and coming in #gifts #crafts #interiors #fashion and what could make you stand out on your market stall.
First up are the inspiration rooms that may give you a glimpse of where the colours I chose for the launch of the website came from. Working in partnership with companies such as Pinterest, global trend forecasters WGSN and One Click Retail the first room shown here on the left depicts ‘The Present’, current trends with lots of life left in them yet that include dusky pinks combined with petrol blues, mixed metal finishes such as copper and silver put together with lots of velvet, tweed and some lacquer ware.
The header image and the one on the right below is ‘Common Ground’ which explores the theme of going local, to re-establish what brings people together, what makes a community and what unites rather than divides us…sounds a lot like a market to me but that aside, the strong yellows, mixed with leafy greens, clays and soft aquatic blues are set to trend in Spring 2019. While it may not be entirely possible to bring these looks together on a stall, elements of them are useful to draw in customers and the use of structure, height and balance in colour are useful tricks when attracting a new customers base.
But onto the exhibitors. On my walk around Spring Fair so many fantastic stalls just jumped out and I’m going to be sharing some of them with you below looking at themes around trends for the Summer, handbags to look out for this year, health and beauty products and some great toys for the kids that would sell like hot cakes on your stall.
The first exhibitor I wanted to share with you though is a Devon based artist Michelle who goes by the name of Dollyhotdogs. The stand beautifully showcased her passion for still life and food illustration in the stunning range of kitchenware, home furnishings, textiles and giftware and would look brilliant alongside any fishmongers, butchers or fruit and veg stall looking to make additional income, as you can see from the pictures below.
The second row of products came from Sunnylife, a brand inspired by the lifestyle on the beaches of Sydney and conceived with the goal of sharing Australia’s authentic summer style with the rest of the world. The colours on the stand just popped and the range was vast with the variety on offer featuring every must-have summer item imaginable. From pool and garden umbrellas, to beach bags and fun radios, cocktail sticks and water flasks stocking Sunnylife on any market would make an instant impression and definitely caters to a younger, more urban demographic. You should check them out.
I have a thing about bags….and to be fair, lots of women do so I could be onto something. Back on the summer tip, Basket Basket boasts an extensive range from Madagascar, Morocco and Ghana and falls right into dealing with my drive to promote #plasticfree markets. Owner Virginia fell in love with baskets during a spell living in France and the first product she sold back in 2007 was in the couffin style, known as the French market basket. What better way to promote sustainability on markets in the UK….every one could do no better than hosting a stall selling these wonderful items and being supplied by Basket Basket will ensure talented artisans can continue the ancient tradition of weaving whilst being paid a fair wage. Another sustainable option for going plastic free are the lovely foldaway shoppers from Eco Chic (bottom row right) which come in a fantastic array of colours and patterns that are lightweight, waterproof and don’t cost the earth.
Tweed continues to trend strongly in the interiors and accessories world, showing little sign of diminishing and Glen Appin of Scotland are known around the world for their high quality clothing, textiles and gifts but it was their range of stunning Harris Tweed bags and accessories that really caught my eye and potentially that of any passing trade this Autumn. On a slightly more practical level for the everyday commuter, Roka London’s super lightweight Bantry bags (bottom row left) are cool while being extremely tough and durable. Available in a wide range of colours, the bags have a great price point and would sell well to young professionals looking for something bright and easy to maintain.
The last photo in the bag range (bottom, centre) is the dim sum bag from Julia Gash, who offer so much more than just bags (though this one is pretty cool). Supporting a green and clean supply chain, the Julia Gash range offers everything from tea towels, keyrings, mugs and a host of other items in her distinctive Cityscapes, featuring key landmarks and local culture. If you are looking to start a new market business or are a market organisers wanting to promote the market and local area, then Julia’s prints can be commissioned to put together a sustainable souvenir range that celebrates your city or town. The photos I took on the day don’t really do the range justice but it would be so cool to see markets or traders earning some income from these brilliant designs, so don’t just take my word for it. Head over to their Instagram for a better look where they already feature designs made for Harpenden, Scarborough, Portsmouth and Exmouth.
Health and beauty products that look good and are good for the environment are sure to be compelling to customers as pressure on environmental services becomes ever apparent. With all the news about microbeads being banned this year, attention has turned to other harmful products and glitter is coming out topping the list, so it was great to catch up with biodegradable glitter co, Eco Glitter Fun (top right) at the NEC. Cruelty free and vegan, the company’s mission is to bring responsible sparkles and plastic pollution awareness to the world for guilt-free sparkles. If you sell glitter on your stall or run a business supplying face painting services in towns and city centres, get ahead of the curve before the sparkley stuff is banned and get on the supplier list with these guys. If you also stock hair dyes to cater for the ever increasing trend for crazy hair colours, then look to Manic Panic who stock a dazzling array of vegan dyes (bottom right). I am yet to try out the Candy Pink that I was given as a sample as I haven’t yet found an excuse to go to a party where my hair glows in the dark but my time will come….bring on the summer that’s what I say.
The trend for men’s grooming and barbershop products, inspired by the hipsters of Hackney, appears to be continuing to grow in what is already a booming industry. Of the many represented at the Spring Fair I thought the product range, price point and merchandising presentation of London start-up Norse was bang on trend and would make an awesome display on any market stall. For consumers wanting to cash in on a life less throwaway, the Norse double edge razor might seem to have a hefty price tag at £40 but with 200 replacement blades costing just £20 for 200, the comparison over a ten-year period saves consumers £715 compared to other brands over the same life span. Now we all know that repeat customers are the best kind of customers, so creating a subscription box for your bearded customers will work in your favour if you can add in items such as beard oil and hair wax at the same time and the model works just as well online to make those all important sales when you’re not on your market stall.
Talking of grooming, I’m going to round of this section by just quickly going through some of the other brands that really jumped out at me. If you have managed to read this far you won’t be surprised to know by now that I was really drawn to natural, sustainable products including the lovely scents from The Saltworks Company from Ramsgate. A niche perfumerie with over 60 fragrances in two ranges, the companies product range is split into seven formats that include perfume soap, lotion, body mist, candles and Eau de Parfum. The packaging is stunning (top middle right) and would make any bathtime special. If bath products are your thing then the biodegradable and eco-friendly loofah’s from Guasti & Co piled high into wire baskets on your stall would look stunning and come in ten different sizes including facial discs, exfoliating mitts and a kitchen loofah. Our last stop in the section was NK Imports who natural Thai soaps (bottom left and bottom middle right) include fantastic POS display boxes which each order and come in a range of fantastic smells.
Our final section is on toys for the young’uns. I wasn’t too impressed when my eldest came back from his first ever Christmas shopping trip solo, having spent money he had worked hard to earn in the local pub and having proudly told me he had bought all the items down at our local market, when his brothers toy didn’t even lift off on Christmas Day before it broke.
We need more robust, value for money and imaginative toys for our kids and the photos in the top of this section fit that bill completely. The Vintage Model Co didn’t impress my Dad too much, who’s response was to regale us with stories of how he used to go down the craft shop in the 50’s and buy balsa wood to make up wonderful planes from patterns out of specialist magazines but as those places don’t really exist any more, the variety and reliability from the range offered by The Vintage Model Co are wonderful and sure to keep many a small boy, and a fair few of the bigger ones I dare say, entertained for hours.
My final stop at the fair was in the craft section and with this industry continuing to excite people old and young across the country, the folks at Toft offer luxury British crochet kits based on the best-selling crochet book: Edward’s Menagerie by the company’s founder Kerry Lord. With 40 animal kits to choose from including lions, teddies and even gorgeous little Schnauzer’s, the kits come in handy little plastic pouches, perfect for keeping stock dry on your stall. From crochet to needle felting, I also fell in love with Heather the Hare from the Crafty Kit Company who also do a fantastic range of kits in a tin which are also handy for handling stock in combination with weather issues experienced by working outside. Putting these products together, it is worth noting that running workshops and kids clubs on your stall is a great way to earn additional income and foster a community of loyal followers….as I’ve already covered, repeat custom is the best custom and customers are also looking for experiences these days rather than just pure retail.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little run-down of the Spring Fair. It was fun going, though having taken so long to write this article maybe I will cover a few less subjects next time, or not attempt to tackle them in just one blog. I’ll definitely be heading to the Autumn Fair later in the year and if anyone would like to come with me, I can arrange to get a ticket for you…..just drop me a line.
If you can think of any areas of the exhibition stands that you would like to see covered for the Autumn edition, then feel free to send me an email.