In August I travelled to New York to exhibit at the New York Now trade show for the second time. I took my daughter Megan with me to help on the booth, as she loves New York and was at the tail end of her gap year. It was nice to get to spend some time with her before she flies the nest.
We flew via Iceland with Wow Air, quite surreal. “Oh wow, party town” said Meg as we flew over it’s desolate landscape to land at Reykjavik, it really is bleak!
Landing at Newark airport around midnight we made our way to the New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan, it’s a very glitzy old Art Deco Hotel, apparently haunted, but we didn’t get spooked.
The next morning we headed out for coffee at the nearby Liberty Bagel, somewhat lacking in charm, and also struggling to understand our British accents, they made up for it with their Tofu Scallion (spring onion) Bagel and a decent cup of coffee to perk up our jetlagged bodies
We the headed to the Javits Centre by cab, with our 3 boxes of stock, to find our booth and say hi to Becky, who organises the British Pavilion that we are part of.
Memories of last years chaos came flooding back as we struggled to get down any of the ailses that weren't completely blocked with shipping pallets and fork lift trucks bleeping everywhere, it's mental! We then headed off to Metropolitan Timber, to get our wooden shelves cut. This is an experience! I felt very 'female' in a very masculine world, but they accommodated my cutting lists with reasonably good humour, and all was done and dusted in half an hour, we also got our paint around the corner, so all went very smoothly compared to last year where I didn’t know where to go or what to do, and spent most of day 1 running around all over the place including going all the way to Brooklyn Ikea for shelf brackets! (not much fun)
We headed back to the show and got cracking painting the walls green below and cream above a mid line. Then we set about drilling the shelf brackets and positioning the shelves, we got most of this done in one day and limped back to the hotel totally filthy and shattered!
We celebrated our successful day 1 with a vegan dinner at a burger place called ‘By Chloe’, and a beer went down well too. Walking through New York via Times Square and up 6th Avenue, you get a feel for the craziness of the place, all bright lights, big city, and blistered feet.....
Day 2 was spent finishing putting up the shelves, unpacking our three boxes that we had shipped out to the hotel, and adding the final touches. I always see things I wish I had done differently, but I was pretty pleased with the overall look of the booth. It's an odd narrow size, but it worked! So we were all set for Sunday, day 1 of the show.
We left the Javits centre and decided to walk the High Line, a disused railway line that has been turned into a nature trail with sculptures and other public art, surrounded by some pretty amazing architecture, such as a Zaha Hadid apartment block still being finished, but looking pretty tempting as a NY residence.
We made our way to Greenwich Village by foot, more ouch, and yes, you guessed it, another Vegan Dinner (Megan the Vegan) in Urban Vegan Kitchen, a place so cool it hurts, with a cocktail bar, resident DJ playing Madonna etc and a TV in the corner silently screening ET! The cocktails were amazing.
We then ventured down Bleeker Street and saw some interesting sights, hipsters walking their pigs, you know, average New York stuff.
The Trade show started the next day, and we had a great time, what I love about the New York shows is the enthusiasm of the visitors, they really go for it and it makes it worth the effort of flying over and all of the hard work setting up. We had 4 days of the show and took a good amount of new orders and some repeat orders from existing customers. I was very pleased and will be back again next year. I also got to meet some other lovely stall holders from the UK – And Mary – and US - Gama Go, and here is a picture of my favourite jokey product, some Bob Ross plasters! They even gave me some freebies for my kids, they love watching Bob Ross doing his paintings, check him out!
I would like to say a massive thank you to everybody that visited us, placed orders, left details or just oooh'd and aaah'd about our products. We will see you all again next August.