What a few days up at Showcase 23 in Dublin. I met lots of lovely people: customers, potential customers, other greeting card makers, fellow exhibitors and support organisations. My cards for real relationships went down a treat and I'm currently preparing my first shipment to the USA and plenty more interest from local shops and chains right here in Ireland.
A big shout out to Wexford LEO for selecting me as one of two companies to represent Wexford in the Local Enterprise Hall. It's a fantastic initiative to support smaller companies who are not yet ready to invest in a main hall presence. We'll get there. Also big shout out to the Design & Craft Council of Ireland and in particular CEO Rosemary Steen who offered great advice, tweeted out my little cards and even brought some interesting buyers over to meet me. Much appreciated. It was great also to meet Sinead Smith from Enterprise Ireland who was also so helpful and generous with her tips and introductions.
I also met three lovely fellow card makers, Tory from Hue Complete Me, Cait from Yellow Deer Designs and Laura from Pickled Pom Pom who kept me company through the few days and shared their learnings and vast experience of the greeting card market. They've gorgeous cards which are not at all anything like mine, totally different style but fabulous work. It was great also to meet Michelle and Simon from Fox and Bell Goldsmiths whose company I enjoyed enormously.
And finally, last but by no means least, the biggest thank you to Mary from Shape of Things for what I can only describe as her design intervention. When I talked her through my plans for the stand, she said nothing but later emailed me a PDF of a design layout right down to where I should source the shelves and signage. She also ignored my signage brief and suggested larger concepts and that's what we did. I never pretend to be a visual designer, words are my thing but it's great to have someone on board who raises the level so thanks a million.
One major outcome from the event is I can now use a drill.