- Julia Gash CEO
I’m just heading back on the train to Sheffield after a busy day of R&D and meetings in London. I travel to London once or twice a month as quite a few of our customers are based there. It’s important to have the opportunity to catch up with them to discuss bag projects that we’re working on together. Many of our customers don’t realize that we produce such a wide range of cotton or jute-based bags. I remember making a drawstring bag for a funeral urn once.
Being in London also gives me the opportunity to see some of the lovely bags that we have made on sale in some of the nation’s most popular shops. We’ve been busy printing some luscious bags for ethical beauty retailer Lush over the past week and it was great to see them on sale at their new flagship store in Oxford Street, which opened yesterday.
The bright and neon ink colours are a perfect fit with the fresh and fragrant shop décor and lots of lovely smellies. The print is so vibrant and full of life that you can practically smell the Lush shop in its fibres! I was amazed at the number of people buying them at the check out … I spotted at least 5 sales in the few moments that I was in the store.
I also headed down to 116 Pall Mall, which is the home of the Institute of Directors. I am lucky enough to have won a year’s membership of IoD when I became Director of the Year for SME Businesses late last year. The beautiful Regency building, with its high ceilings, grand staircase and majestic portraits is a wonderful sanctuary in the hustle bustle of London and somewhere that I can retreat to in between meetings as I search for peace of mind and wifi.
It was here that I met Mizuho Nishiguchi, my Japanese friend and British Royal Family expert and writer. Mizuho hopes to coincide her visit with the birth of the impending Royal baby, which will surely keep her busy for weeks to come! Mizuho and I enjoyed Afternoon Tea at the IoD and she told me about her recent Pop Up Shop success in Tokyo where she sold Talented Royal themed tote bags.
BIDBI makes tote bags and zip purses for the Talented sustainable bag brand. They represent the creative and cool of the tote world and it’s a thrill to see them selling across the city at retailers such as Joy in Covent Garden and The National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery.
I’m back in London next week when I am presenting Talented Cityscapes to a major British department store as well as supporting my colleague Louisa on the Talented-BIDBI stand at the Museums and Heritage Show. There will be no time for Afternoon Tea sadly but there will surely be lots more treats to stimulate the senses.