At the start of this month, I got on a plane and headed to Amsterdam to attend my very first trade show outside of the UK. Read on to hear how it went...
Amsterdam is a design Mekka. Beautiful interiors, architecture and lifestyle. The thing I love most about the style is its no fuss, pared-down nature. The style here is born of love and function, not from following latest trends. This is why I have fallen for Amsterdam and the Netherlands, even more than I ever thought I would.
I've been following the ShowUP trade show for a couple of years. Then, when I started looking up this year's event, an email pops in from the wonderful Tom Pigeon to say that they are going - that must have been a sign! Plus, how crazy is this? It actually worked out cheaper for me to fly to Amsterdam than to get the train to London. So, I thought - sod it - and got tickets booked for me and the boyfriend.
Off we trotted to Bristol airport. I'd found a super nice AirBnB in Haarlem which was a real find. Our place was just 20 minutes from the airport and in perfect situ for the Expo Business Centre. It was also only five doors away from THE most incredible fondue restaurant - cheese heaven!
The Haarlem district is like a mini Amsterdam. My top finds here were, Native coffee shop, In ‘t Goede Uur fondue restaurant , My Deer's shop, Jopenkerk brewery and just generally wandering around the streets exploring.
ShowUP itself was a real breath of fresh air. Trade shows can be tough. I've seen them from both sides, selling my lights and buying for the shop. But, this felt new, different and with zero pressure. Meandering around so many inspiring brands and makers, I was in my element. Some of my faves were... Tom Pigeon (obviously!) &me, Nanami, Puik + Hübsch.
So sadly, our trip had to be cut short due to me and the boy getting poorly, but we will be going back again - very soon! I'd love to return in the summer, hire bikes and visit the beaches, they look so good!
Look out for the new products I hand-picked for the shop arriving very soon - I just know you're going to love them.