P R E P D A Y

As I have rattled on about for a while now, I will be exhibiting as part of One Year On at New Designers this year! I can’t tell you how excited I am to be returning to this amazing event 4 years after my graduate show there.

For anyone who isn't aware of the event, New Designers is a huge deal! It is a pretty much a massive celebration to recognise the best up and coming designers.

One Year On (OYO) is a small area of the exhibition which is dedicated to designers and makers, 1-3 years into their practice and business. I am right at the beginning of that time frame, actually launching myself and my work, with the intent to sell, at OYO.

All OYO exhibitors have been selected from a large pool of applicants. It is such a wonderful feeling being asked to exhibit along side this year's designers and craftspeople.

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Monday of this week (08/05/17) OYO Class of 2017 had the chance to finally put faces to Instagram accounts and twitter feeds. It was overwhelming the the best way (for updates of all OYO exhibitors across twitter and Instagram see #OYOMakerSpotlight)

The day, known as Prep Day, took place in the exhibition hall itself, The Design and Business Centre in London. It was a weird one, at first I felt lost. Not being able to find the bathroom is never a good sign, but later on as I explored a little more I felt very nostalgic. Exhibiting in the same environment four years’ prior and feeling very proud of myself in how far I have come.

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The day was amazingly organised, as we walked into the conference room we were stickered up with name tags and handed out ND17 guide. Which included our complementary tickets, floor lay out and handy tips about exhibiting. A massive thank you to who put these together, especially for the key words/ phrases document.

Prep Day had a range of speakers, all of which held our attention solidly. We were very lucky to hear from an OYO expert, exhibiting herself two years before and fully developing her brand and design focus since then. Emily Skinner (of  Even James Design) was not only so lovely to listen to, she was honest and super relatable. I really enjoyed hearing her first hand account of the whole event.

After Emma, we heard a wonderful photographer Yeshen Venema . Interestingly I have loved the work of Yesehn for some time now, a devoted Instagram follower of his product photography. I have never been confident with photography,  especially now as my designs are becoming actual products. I want to do them justice but have always worried about my skills with the camera. I can not describe how evidently needed his talk was. The thing I loved most about Yesehn’s talk was how open he was about his work and his craft. Yeshen has something, a skill which is in very high demand yet shared the ins and outs of it with us. I took so many notes and actually can’t wait to give it ago myself.

Following Yesehn was Patricia van den Akker the Director of The Design Trust, now this is the talk I was waiting for and Patricia did not disappoint. Brutal honesty and just great advice. Direct and informative, the best kind. I am so excited to have the opportunity to experience two of Patricia’s webinars as part of OYO.

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After a short break and interesting talk by James Douglas from Four Colman Getty, we had the chance to hear from the main woman herself, curator of OYO Rheanna Lingham. Rheanna gave us a comprehensive run down of the event procedures and encouragement to be true to our brand when planning our stand design. It was really great to hear about past experiences and hopes/ expectations of the event itself.

I am mid way through planning my stand and will share the sketches as soon as it has been tweaked and approved.

More than anything, the prep day created a really nurturing community between the exhibitors and I am more excited than ever to be apart of it all!

C.