Born's MD and all-round trend-spotter Becky Ward spent last weekend in Cologne, at the big Nursery Industry trade show of the year, surviving off nothing but her wits and several packets of Haribo. Here's how she got on...
The Kind & Jugend Trade Show is held every September in Cologne, where the European nursery industry all gather to launch new items, catch up with their clients, and make new contacts. Cologne is a beautiful city, which unfortunately I never get to see much of as most of my time is spent inside the Kölnmesse – an enormous collection of halls, all linked together like a rabbit warren for giants. It can be very disorienting, and the affect of no natural lights, lots of people, and loud music makes it all very intense!
However, it is always lovely to catch up with our suppliers, and very exciting to see the new products they are planning to bring to the market. At Born, we try to source our products as ethically as possible, so I have a narrower buying range than our competitors, but this is actually quite nice for me, as I can be very focused. We are also known for our specialisms – babywearing, breastfeeding, and cloth nappies – so our opinion is often sought out by suppliers launching new products in these areas. I saw MANY new carriers this weekend, and we really look forward to working with manufacturers, both existing and also new to Born, to bring you some great new slings.
I was invited by Bugaboo to an offsite visit, which was held in a suitably stylish warehouse event location. They have a very interesting new product which will be launching in the new year. It was also great to get to play with the new limited edition Diesel collaborations, and see all the new Bee3 combinations in the flesh. I was nicely surprised at how well the Off White hood looks with the Khaki carrycot. Afterwards, it was off to another offsite visit with Phil&Teds/Mountain Buggy, who have a really exciting new product which will hopefully be launching in the new year – watch this space.
|Bugaboo Cameleon3 by Diesel and Bugaboo Bee3 in Off-White & Khaki|
The rest of the visit was in the main show halls, where I caught up with the lovely distributors of Ergobaby in the UK, and saw the shiny new Orbit Stroller, as well as the as yet to be launched three-wheeler Orbit have produced. It features, as you would expect, lots of interesting design features. Ergobaby have brought out some changes themselves, including a lovely purple version of the Ventus Performance Carrier, which we will have in stock as soon as we can.
The exciting bits of the show, for me, were seeing new brands, many of which are not yet available in the UK. Hopefully we will have some of these arriving in the shops and online soon. And we will be working more closely with some of our existing suppliers as well, so expect to see more from brands such as Lässig – a fantastic German accessories manufacturer, whose ethics match ours really nicely. Updates on new products will come through on the blog.
|Lässig Vintage Metro Changing Bag|
All in all, it was a very productive visit and I am really excited about bringing lots of lovely new products in to the shops for you to enjoy.