Bubble London Exhibition
As part of the launch of Little Lulu’s I planned to exhibit at a trade fair specialising in kid’s fashion. It gives a new brand like mine a perfect opportunity to meet with buyers from established stores and press alike. It is a costly event but one that has turned out to be well worth every penny for us here at Little Lulu’s. The fair that I chose was Bubble London. It is held at the Business Design Centre in Angel, an old stomping ground of mine, back in my student days. I had visited the show last season to get a feel for it and see what other brands show there. It is a lovely show with seminars from industry specialists and lots of top brands. I thought this looked like the one for me.
I managed to get my application in for the show by the skin of my teeth. Luckily it was just in time to get all my info across to the organisers and crucially in time to get my application in for the Rising Star competition. This is a competition open to any new brands that are showing their debut wholesale collection at the show. It is judged on innovation, quality, originality and commercial appeal. The prize is a free stand at next season’s show. I was excited that I could be in the running but doubted I would be selected. I had seen the quality of the other brands at this show and they are all brilliant! I was thrilled when they contacted me to say I had been shortlisted!
I got on with preparations for the fair. Organizing how I would display the shoes, getting flyers and business cards printed and writing a presentation that I had a chance to do. They put on a presentation called “The Perfect Pitch” that gives brands like my own an opportunity to pitch to the buyers and put some personality behind it all. I was very nervous about this but I thought it was a good opportunity not to be missed and a chance for me to push myself and get my business head back on after time out having Layla.
The time for the fair came and me and my husband, Luay headed down to London to get everything ready. We left our gorgeous Layla in Sheffield with her Nanny. It was hard to say goodbye to her for so long but she was going to have a whale of a time so we knew she would be happy.
Building the stand was fun and I was thrilled with the finished look. I had invested in a small area, just 2mx1m so using the space to show the shoes off to their best potential was crucial. I opted for box shelves scattered in an asymmetric pattern. Balancing shoes on mini cupcake stands and merchandising the whole lot with old-fashioned sweets. When the samples had first arrived back from the factory I was so happy with them, I was describing them to my brother, as sweeties of the shoe world so I thought this might be a nice way to display them.
The show was a great success for us. We met some great retail contacts and we had a wonderful response from the press. Magazines I had on my list to contact came to my stand to check out the shoes! Brilliant! My presentation went well. I was nervous but people told me you couldn’t tell so I felt relieved and it was a good boost to the confidence. But the icing on the cake (with a cherry on top) was winning the Rising Star award. They announced it at the end of the first day. Luay and I were feeling shattered and ready to go home. They announced the two runners up and I thought, “That’s it. What a shame.” Then they called out our name. We both were delighted. Luay cheered like a man watching football while I did a little happy dance! What a wonderful end to the first day?!
We were presented with the Rising Star, which we nailed to the stand for the second day and is now in my office in pride of place, as well as a lovely bottle of champagne. That night we celebrated with our friends who we were staying with and we were back again for the second day.
All in all it has been a great success! I think it will help to open many doors for Little Lulu’s and I feel a real kick as I think about how we can better that next season.