This Autumn the Top Drawer trade only buying fair for the retail industry buzzed with 1000 design-led brands. Promoting their wares and showcasing their best collections these stylish suppliers filled the grand and voluminous London Kensington Olympia exhibition centre with the all latest products.
The small and home based businesses creatively made the best use of every meter of space that they were allocated for their temporary pop-up shops. Setting up in good time they presented themselves ready to secure their next big order, from well known high street retailers and luxury boutiques.
There were some cool companies from Europe, America and beyond at Top Drawer. However the overwhelming majority of companies were from the UK. Innovating their way through Brexit and beyond these entrepreneurs were positive about the future and sure that they would find a way to develop their businesses and increase their turnover and profits, regardless of whether we are in, out or somewhere in between with our European Union neighbours.
Just taking the food and drink section of this commercial marketplace event as an example we found some talented British professionals displaying their quality items.
Undeterred by the uncertain economic environment a local young man named Jonathan started Cult Vinegar in his kitchen in Battersea south east London. A connoisseur of fermenting, Jonathan confidently demonstrated his healthy vinegar tonics to buyers keen to find unique Christmas stock for their stores.
The Aelder Elixir stand was beautifully styled and selling an distinctive elderberry liqueur made in Scotland. Perfect to take to any festive gathering or as an unusual winter gift we are sure many bottles will have been snapped up by the experienced buyers present after tasting a delicious sample.
The Hawkshead Relish company produce over 100 relishes, pickles and preserves in their rural farmhouse premises and were looking to send their delicious jars all over the country and beyond this season. The ladies were keen to talk about their Lake District based venture and their traditional chutney making techniques and life cooking up treats in their specially converted barn.
This hard working group of industrious individuals and mini teams are keeping retail on UK shores exciting and new. Selling fresh and original collections to a design savvy public who care more about the heritage and the story of their purchases than ever before.
With Brexit on the horizon and jobs for life but a dim distant memory, many people are choosing to perfect their craft and talents and forge ahead with entrepreneurial zealor into international trade. Leading a diminutive sized organisation can be an advantage in difficult times. Startups are more able to change course and introduce new procedures, branding, products and services quickly than its slower more ‘gigantian’ established competitors.
Exporting a path through the economic roller coaster of a storm that is forecast by many experts will be challenging. Whatever the outcome of Brexit this group of creatives shows great attention to detail and determination to take the changing landscape in their stride. They will undoubtedly continue to produce outstanding and covetable food, drink, gifts, home furnishings as well as our favourite cool accessories, for many generations to come.
Aelder Elixir http://www.aelderelixir.com/
Cult Vinegar https://www.topdrawer.co.uk/exhibitors/cult-vinegar#/
Hawkshead Relish https://www.hawksheadrelish.com/