Spring Fair 2019: The girls go shopping!

Spring Fair is the UK’s number one home and gift show for the retail industry. It’s a must-see trade show at Birmingham NEC, that’s spread over five days and visited by 56,000 people. Obviously, Ange and I had to pay a visit.

The show is HUGE and extremely diverse with 2500 exhibitors showcasing everything from kitchen utensils to jewellery. We always make a plan beforehand of who we want to see but end up getting sidetracked along the way when something catches our eye.

We begin our first day by finishing off our Christmas shopping, buying beautiful Christmas fairies from Gisela Graham, silly hats and walking dogs from somewhere else – all the while making sure we stick to the colour themes we picked in Germany.

Spring Fair 2019 - Charnley's Home & Garden Centre Dalton in Furness - homeware and gifts coming soon

With our Christmas shopping list ticked off, we have an appointment with one of our main suppliers for home interiors. The stand is stunning. It’s like walking through the most elegantly dressed house ever! Here we select photo frames and lamps, plaques that make us giggle and pictures that tell a story. We also know a lot of this will arrive at Charnley’s very soon so we are excited, planning where we will display it.

Next, we wander over to the stand of another favourite supplier of Charnley’s Home & Garden Centre who treats us coffee and cake. Here we gather contemporary novelty gifts – think queen bee, drama llama and posh cow and you get my drift. Mermaids and unicorns are definitely still the craze of the year but I predict dinosaurs could be making a big impression soon… ROAR!

Spring Fair 2019 - Charnley's Home and Garden Centre Dalton in Furness Cumbria - homeware and gifts coming soon

As well as visiting brands we know and that you, our customers love, Spring Fair is also the place we hope to make unexpected discoveries. When we first arrived at the show, we had been drawn to an attractive array of cushions and making a note of the stand location, we decide to head back there the next day.

We admire the range of cushions on display, all made and designed in the UK. The quality is superb, the range is unique and tasteful, the price is right and we don’t have to order hundreds. Sold! Thinking back to the sofas we ordered at the January Furniture Show it was important to be selective when choosing which colours to buy. Soft pinks, greys and mustards will complement the suites well. These cushions are so beautiful – we can’t wait for them to arrive in the store!

Later, we browse the candle section. There are literally hundreds of suppliers of candles. We walk past one stand, look at each other and say “Shall we go back and have a look at that one?” Perhaps it is the fact that they are soy wax blend candles that make us want to take a closer look, or maybe it’s their appealing design? We give them a little test (Ange and I have very different preferences) and after much discussion, we decide to go for it. You’ll be seeing these distinctive candles at Charnley’s very soon.

Driving home after two very long but fun and productive days we are still discussing all that we have seen, what will be arriving soon and the suppliers we need to follow up with after running out of time to see them.

Spring Fair 2019 - Charnley's Home and Garden Centre Dalton in Furness Cumbria - homeware and gifts coming soon

Did I mention the ducks, mermaids and rabbits we ordered? Watch this space…

Jules x

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