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Thursday, 11 February 2016

Why I Visit the Spring Fair at the NEC

Yesterday we visited the Spring Fair at the NEC.

I suppose I ought to tell you what the Spring Fair is in case you haven't come across it before. It's a huge retail trade show with suppliers of almost everything you would want to sell in your shop. Gifts, and homeware and jewellery, to name but a small slice.

We've been each year since my husband took over a small picture framing business, and the chap we bought the business from said the Spring Fair was the place to go to see your suppliers and to discover what is going on in the picture framing world.

 
So dutifully, every February we venture into the great big warehouse that is the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, have a Subway for lunch, and stroll around all the exhibits. Well not all the exhibits because that would be too much, but the ones that interest us.

Spring Fair 2016
So much to see!
When we first started going all our framing suppliers were there and it was a joy to see their full range of products, there were even workshops and demos, but over the years the suppliers have dropped away, leaving the internet as their main showcase.

What we see now is an awful lot of gift ware, so much your head is reeling. We look at trends, white and black frames, very little wood these days, and gold and silver is in short supply too.

I also look at the artists to discover what they are doing. Paintings, prints and cards. I was drawn to very strong colour and imprecise execution. Sometimes I think I would like to take my work there but you need to have a very slick operation which is what I don't have. Ah well.

But our main reason for going every year is the framing.  Sadly this year we left with out placing any orders for supplies, so the only people to benefit from our visit were Subway. Lovely veggie delight on Italian bread!


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