What happens when you are asked at the last minute to please take on a premium stall at Australia's most prestigious trade fair? Why, you accept of course & then work like CRAZY to make it happen!
Wednesday 31st July.
The day before the market began. Jo's alarm was set for 3am. Prepared a breakfast of champions (a banana and a packet of Twisties - gross!) and hit the road. The 8 hour drive from Adelaide to Melbourne was made bearable by the fully loaded iPod and some weird and wonderful country talkback radio.
By lunchtime, she'd arrived at the beautiful Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton, Melbourne.
The rest of the afternoon was spent setting up the stall. Sounds fun, and some parts are... But if there are any fellow artists/designers who are reading along, you know how totally gruelling and completely unglamorous this part is!!
Called it a day at 10pm & headed to an old & dear friend's house for a cup of tea, toast & a catch up. Slept like the dead.
Thurs 1st Aug and Fri 2nd Aug
The first two days were insane. Jo was totally bombarded with stockist enquiries & the response to Such Great Heights was overwhelmingly positive. Such an amazing feeling! Our stall sat amongst some of the best kids' labels around & to be honest, it was a bit daunting meeting the captains of industry. Although, our experiences were that everyone was so generous with their time & knowledge. Special mention to Bonnie & Neil, Beci Orpin, Incy Interiors, Love Mae, Lucky Boy Sunday & Gather Kids. These guys are all so well respected & were just really genuine, helpful & encouraging!
Jo caught the last flight home to Adelaide on the Friday night and fell asleep before her head hit the pillow.
Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th August
Then it was my turn to wake up at some ungodly hour & head off to Melbourne, this time by plane. I flew in, caught a cab to the venue, found the stall site & still had 3 minutes to spare! Too easy!!
Another great couple of days ensued, meeting & greeting such an amazing bunch of retailers, media reps, stylists & designers. I managed to sneak in a beautifully rustic meal with close friends on Saturday night, before wrapping the market up on Sunday afternoon with a book full of orders and an enormous feeling of elation.
But before I could relax, I had to get myself and the car home. Now, Jo will tell you that I'm not that great with directions and I'm not really a fan of driving at night (dodgy eyesight)... It took me about 2 hours to find the right highway to get me out of Melbourne city and heading towards Horsham - you don't even want to see the Toll bill :/ Let us never talk about this again!!
Pulled into Horsham way later than anticipated and woke the motel manager, who was less than pleased to see me at 2am in the morning, standing there in her dressing gown. After 4 hours sleep, it was back on the highway, only to get to Adelaide and pull into the day job car park, for a full 8 hr shift. Yep, crazy in the coconut!
But what an amazing experience it was!
Fortune favours the brave & Such Great Heights has most definitely taken the next BIG step.
Here is what a few of the industry heavyweights had to say about us after seeing us at the trade fair.
Papier Mache Magazine - 'Oohh & Such Great Heights, you were the stand out of the show!'
Inside Out Magazine - Listed as one of the trade fair highlights on their HomeLife blog
Kids In Style Blog - These are the moments from Kids In Style that triggered the childhood spark for us...Slight genius by Such Great Heights.
x Ryan & Jo