Tuesday, 22 May 2012
Nottingham based firms at a recent show in Paris.
Success by Design
Seizing an opportunity to build on the emerging interest in sustainability in the creative sector, Christine Johnson from UKTI East Midlands and Sophie de Bodisco from UKTI Paris organised a market visit to France for East Midlands companies specialising in eco-design. An event would also be hosted at the British Embassy to display their cutting-edge creations to buyers from across Europe.
Three designers from Nottingham were amongst the first to book their place. Jayne Childs of JC Middlebrook, specialises in lace textiles inspired by original Nottingham lace designs; Debbie Bryan creates individually crafted and distinctive scarves, brooches and gloves designed with a nostalgic influence; and Hannah Lobley from Paperwork recycles paper and using traditional wood working methods produces innovative interior pieces.
Sophie de Bodisco, the creative lead for UKTI in Paris, visited the region to meet with companies with an Eco Design focus at an event hosted by Future Factory, a Nottingham University led project which supports sustainable design in the region. A pre-visit workshop followed at UKTI’s offices in Derby to help with visit preparations.
Companies were also able to commission an OMIS (Overseas Market Introduction Service) which meant they could use the services of UKTI’s team in Paris to work on their behalf. Their OMIS provided help with initial research, the production of a database of over 800 contacts and enabled the group to use the British Embassy facilities for the event itself.
“The whole visit was project managed by UKTI in France,” explains Christine. “The creative and the fashion leads in the Embassy in Paris worked together to find potential buyers to invite to the event. By thoroughly researching the sector they built up the database. They also compiled and translated biographies, producing an exhibition brochure showcasing our designers.”
Hannah not only secured a new distributor in France but was able to use her new connections with UKTI commercial officers in Germany for another international project. Debbie was able to research new sustainable products to augment her range and Jayne took orders on the day and now has a wealth of new contacts.
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