Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Harrogate Gift Fair

My Mum and I spent yesterday looking around the trade Gift and Design Fair at Harrogate.
The day was hot - the trains were delayed both ways due to hot signals and the air conditioning in the marquees wasn't working.
It was a long day but I have come home with lots of catalogues to work my way through - I am looking for good quality, good value, unusual vases and planters - and I think that I have come away with some good contacts.
The problem with relying on the main florist wholesaler - Country Baskets at Blochairn - is that every other florist in central Scotland is doing exactly the same and I do not want to be the same as every other florist!
That said - it would be very, very easy to buy the same as everyone else at Harrogate - many of the stalls looked the same - lots of repro french style enamelware and cheap gingham matress cushions, lots of goggle-eyed santas and snowmen, lots of hanging garlands .
The worst product that I saw was a bag that looked like a ready meal or cat food sachet - one of those foil ones that you rip the top off - filled with compost and a packet of seeds. The idea was that you tear off the top, sow the seeds and then water, waiting for your amazing crop. Firstly the look of the thing (off the shop hanger) was horrible, who wants to grow plants in something that looks like a cat food packet? Secondly the varieties thay had chosen - e.g. strawberries - don't grow well from seed. Thirdly, even if you do get your seed to germinate, it will need to be moved quickly from the small foil container, pricked out, potted on etc.and this is not mentioned on the instructions. I hate this type of product, people buy it for the £4.95 RRP and then give it a go, deciding that when it fails it is because thay can't grow things, rather than the dreadful design. What is worse, it will probably be a success and will be stocked in garden centres because it is a "gift product".
Seethe over - photo today is of Jasmine and Minou, now best friends and sharing a basket.

1 comment:

Heather said...

I have to say I have become very very cynical since starting to 'trade' because it never fails to depress me what will sell and invariably its not a quality product. Richard calls it 'tat' and he's right - people love novelty tat.

The other killer is trade from china and india - people like the idea of natural or homemade or something that looks extra special but want to pay tesco prices - handmade here in the UK is priced out of the water - I had a local high quality guest house wanted my stuff in their rooms - they love my stuff - but were hoping for 20p a bar of soap?????? Which is what they had been quoted at a trade fair.

I do soap boxing quite well too!