INTERIOR JUNCTION, an independent interiors festival
One week ago we took part in Interior Junction. If you’ve not heard of it, it’s an independent interiors festival. Cool fact: It’s the first of it’s kind in the Midlands and we we’re lucky enough to be invited to take part.
This was a big deal for us. although we officially launched in 2015, we’ve only been full time at Haus of Hyde for a short time. We are a really small company, just me (Leah) and Fenton. Haus of Hyde is an online business, so these real life events are slightly intimidating to us. It’s easy to get used to a work environment where you communicate to your customers solely through email and social media. Doing events means talking to people IN PERSON.
Being the first event of this size that we have taken part in, we we’re unsure of what to expect. Everyone wants to be prepared with a great stand etc, however as this was the first Interior Junction it was tough for us to gage how it was going to go.
Would we make enough sales? What should our stand look like? How much space would there be around our stand? (For these kinds of events you are given a pitch size but depending on the organisation of the stands and how many etc the space around these can vary greatly)! How can we attract people to our stand? Will anyone walk to us? Will we stand out as inexperienced?
These were just some of the things we were asking ourselves back and forth before we left. Not to mention the amount of organising it takes to prepare for an event like this, especially for one that is 2 and a half hours away.
With the practical stuff all organised, we left Friday afternoon for Derby. We made the decision to stay in a hotel the night before the event began, just so we could feel prepared and rested ready for the morning.
It was an early start Saturday morning and it was a hub of activity the we arrived at the Roundhouse. It should be mentioned that it was extremely well organised and everything, although busy, was running smoothly. Pitches were clearly marked out, there was an opportunity to unload directly at the entrance closest to your pitch, the lovely organisers were on hand to help with any questions and the atmosphere was really positive.
Such a great start made us feel really positive about the weekend ahead and much less nervous! We we’re pleasantly surprised to find our pitch next to the lovely organiser Keeley of @milkhomeuk. Keeley is honestly mad (and I mean that in the best way possible!) Who else do you know that organises a huge event (the first of it’s kind), launches their own business at the event, created a website the week before, and works full time?! I was super impressed and Keeley had the best energy that put Fenton and I completely at ease. She made me feel so much more confident about what we were doing there and was always there for encouragement and support!
Anyway, enough of the fan-girling. Our pitch had plenty of space and in hindsight we could have been much more creative. The plan was to create a small seating area and design our table with our products so that visitors could access from every side. This is what we went for as it was simple and easy to set up. I was very conscious that we wouldn’t have the experience to execute a more elaborate stand. Our stand worked well and we started making sales right away. It was so lovely to engage with our customers face to face and have the time to chat!
Having two of us on our stand meant we were lucky enough to explore the event. In doing so we picked up some tips from other stallholders for how to create an engaging and attractive stand for visitors. I was so impressed with how creative other brands had been, with the simplest of solutions to displaying their products in a small space. They also had great practical solutions, for example, a wrapping station! Along with our other stall neighbour Kasia @outofinkstudio ,we adopted a motto for the weekend, “you live and learn”. Meaning next year at interior junction we feel much more prepared to execute a stand that feels more “us” and really showcases our items.
Our Saturday highlights were meeting lots of lovely customers, making plenty of sales and chatting to some of our “Insta friends” in real life! It was so fun meeting Sam @eclectic_street who brought some much needed energy during those flagging moments and Peter @thespacemaker_interiors who is frankly the most friendly guy EVER and is so much fun to chat to! FYI: Peter will be hosting a Haus Guest takeover on our Instagram stories v. soon so keep watching!
The lovely Keeley invited us out for dinner and drinks with her lovely gang that evening (honestly she just has endless energy)! For me and Fenton it was dinner at the hotel, getting some work done (it never stops) and then an early night ready for tomorrow! Wild.
Setting up the previous day meant we were able to head to the venue slightly later. Learning from Saturday, and observing that customers were not accessing the stand from all angles, I made the decision to re style the table. By re-positioning all the items towards the front half of the table, visitors were able to see all of our items and also gave us the space we needed for wrapping.
It was a busy day. Loads of visitors were making their way around the venue. Interior Junction wasn’t just about the homewares. Throughout both days were sofa styling sessions in the centre of the venue and organised workshops on various interior related topics.
I finally got the chance to meet and chat to the lovely Julia @juliaalexanderinteriors . If you aren’t already following Julia on Instagram already then I would highly recommend that you do. Her interior tips and discussions are so insightful and really help you to consider the design choices you are making. Julia was a busy bee for this exact reason during Interior Junction, and at some point I am determined to get to one of her workshops or panel talks!
We had lots more sales and loads more fun. It was a great end to the day to see Klaudia @klaudia.ward.interiors during her sofa styling using our Haus of Hyde pieces to finish the look!
Of course the end of the day means packing up, loading the van for the journey home and the goodbyes! We really felt like being a part of Interior Junction was great for us and we loved every second! Massive congratulations to Keeley, Nicky and Emma who organised a fantastic event that generated so much FOMO. Next year is going to be even better and we can’t wait to be a part of it!
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