A delegation of local craft businesses from Derry City Council’s Craft Development Programme have been inspired by a fact-finding trip to a prestigious trade event in London.
The visit to Top Drawer, London’s largest design-led gift trade event, was organised by the Craft Development Programme, which is part funded by Invest NI and the European Regional Development Fund under the Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland.
Top Drawer brings together an inspirational showcase of thousands of carefully selected national and international suppliers and designer-makers twice a year in January and September, providing the opportunity to stay ahead of the latest trends and launches, restock and refresh your store, and meet a line-up of expertly hand selected exhibitors.
Deirdre Wild, of Derry’s new Fashion and Textile Design Hub, who travelled as part of the delegation to Top Drawer, said: “The event was amazing. I had never been before and was keen to experience all that it had to offer. I made a few contacts and gained valuable knowledge in craft presentation and trade show procedures.”
Kevin McGrellis, of The Stone Art Gallery and veteran of the Guildhall Craft Fair who won Best Display Stand at last year’s event, also enjoyed seeing how Top Drawer likes to do things in London. He said: “A large percentage of exhibitors seemed to be aware of the need for good display and there were a large number of reasonably minimalist stands where the products could easily be seen and understood.”
Jewellery designer Natasha Duddy, added: “It was excellent to see ideas on stand merchandising first hand from participants selling similar products to myself.”