Trade fairs and exhibitions offer a great opportunity to test a product. We were positively surprised by the reaction to Kimono Lamps lampshades. Especially the warm reception from the Japanese visitors has been as marvellous as unexpected.
We talked to visitors from all over the world – from Norway and from Kuwait; from Germany and Hong Kong and we felt we provided a competitive product to other lighting solutions present and that we fitted in with our original offering. That bit of confidence gained in a hub of European design was priceless for a small creative business that we are.
Big thanks to all the kind bloggers who wrote about us!
Short YouTube video showing at Kimono Lamps stand:
Apart from being included in the official 100% Design guide book, website and social media, in the run up to the event, Kimono Lamps were also featured in Scottish and Russian press.
We are looking forward to the printed interior magazines editions as these take longer to turn out – recently we were contacted by an Australian magazine editor for product images as a result of their colleague seeing our London stand.
While in London, every evening we had dinner in a different restaurant, so plentiful around Earl’s Court. While sampling Japanese, Indian, Thai and Italian cuisine we discussed the events of the day, before heading back – exhausted – to our hotel situated just minutes from the Earl’s Court 2 pavilion, its very tall windows overlooking a strange mixture of green and industrial space inhabited by a bunch of hyperactive English chipmunks.
Would I do it again next year? I’d love to. But yet I know I won’t. Partly because it was so perfect due to – no doubt – beginner’s luck, which may not be there next year. But another, more important reason will unravel shortly in the coming posts.
We stumbled upon this scene (a wedding fair? a rehearsal?) in Kyoto and were so hooked we forgot all about the Ginkakuji Temple and other things we were to see that day.
Here are some lampshades I made with wedding kimonos.
If only these embroideries could speak!– Would look fabulous on a crystal lamp base, don’t you think?
The bride shook her fringe – ‘Yes, it would’ – she said and for a moment immersed herself in the memories of that day – with guests arriving early and the butterflies in her stomach when he looked at her, painted white from head to toe, as was the custom 30 years ago, wearing that bridal kimono her father spent a fortune on – she knew it was worth it.
Had a great experience on the radio for the first time in my life yesterday, interviewed by Ian Noctor, on WLR fm – local Waterford radio station.
I didn’t realise just how nervous I was until I actually heard myself later that day.
After the interview, Ian Noctor showed me the consoles and explained a little bit about the process. He also switched the ‘On Air’ button on my request while I was documenting the experience. A radio lover like myself enjoyed it all thoroughly. I couldn’t stop looking around, peeping into each little studio as I walked along the corridor, carrying the lampshades in a bag.
What’s all that about ‘not having a telly at home’ I stumble on in the first sentence – you want to ask? – I just wanted to say not having a telly (though being internet dependent to the core), I listen to the radio all the time instead.
But I panicked when I saw the giant microphone in front of me and only gradually regained composure in the process.
Still, I’d love to do it more often!;)
Oh, and thank you for all the texts, phone calls and Facebook likes and comments afterwards!
At the start of Spring this year I met Tanya Colclough of Eden Photography and approached her about having some photographs taken of the lampshades I made to date.
Couple of emails and texts later Tanya and I met in the Waterford Book Centre new cafe upstairs and discussed the issue further while devouring the divine cheesecake they serve with raspberry sauce and best in town flat white (a version of macchiato). Needless to say the author of this blog gorged the most.
All in all it has turned out to be a very fruitful photoshoot. The green lampshade above has been favourited by 8 Etsy users and has made it to 2 treasury lists so far. More images feature prominently on Kimono Lamps website slideshow (although slightly cropped there) and full size in our facebook page album.
Tanya did a great job and Kimono Lamps will be shown as part of the exhibition on kimono art in Japan later in this month. I wonder what will the Japanese think of them…
But that’s not all!
The best shots I’ve sent to the Dara Flynn – the editor of Ireland’s finest interiors magazine – House and Home. And guess what! – They’re going to be published in the next July/August issue!
Last week I met him in B&Q garden centre. His name is George Henry Kern and it was love at first sight. I introduced him to my husband Adam and it was agreed he’s going to move in with us right away. Our lovely neighbour Barbara kindly agreed to look after him using her green fingers. He mightn’t have survived long otherwise.
Apparently Magnolias were on the planet millions of years before us. There are many varieties but George Henry Kern is going to grow as high as 3 metres. It will look more and more splendid every year in our little cul-de-sac against the listed stone wall. This way I can look at him every time I look out of the window while working on another kimono lampshade upstairs
And you know what? – It’s native to sunny slopes in damp areas of central Honshu, Japan!
I love magnolias and the movie, too. The director, Paul Thomas Anderson is said to admit this: “I really feel… That Magnolia is, for better or worse, the best movie I’ll ever make.” – I think that’s quite a statement from someone who had only been 29 at the time and a whole career ahead. He then went on and filmed ‘There Will Be Blood’ amongst other things.
Still a student, I remember leaving the cinema in Krakow one evening having seen Magnolia first time. It was early spring 12 years ago. I started crying uncontrollably in the street for no good reason other than something in the story just touched me unexpectedly and caused this catharsis.
I suspect Aimee Mann’s songs for the film must have had something to do with it too: