Products to showUP for

Roving reporter, Denre Bruins writes: Once again this year I drew the long straw and was the lucky person  dispatched to the Netherlands to review showUP, the contemporary home and gift exhibition inspired by Dutch and Scandinavian design. This time was even more enjoyable because there were no clashing shows and therefore Charlotte joined me for the first time.

There was a strong icy cold wind in Holland on 29-30 January and we were happy to enter the well-heated hall and see that so many had turned up for the 20st anniversary edition of showUP. I was ready for the party and looking for the champagne bar, but it was business as usual.

You never know what to expect from showUP (other than that it’s always worth your time) and soon we were roaming the isles admiring the beautiful products on display. As always, I saw many familiar faces and made new friends on the way. The layout of the halls had slightly changed to accommodate a bigger show which welcomed well over 300 exhibitors.

Besides my normal criteria that products should in some way be refreshing and preferably eco-friendly and/or fairtrade, we shifted our focus a bit more to crafts (and there was plenty of it).

One of the first products that got my attention were the tiny paper houses made by Jurianne Matter. Made from eco-friendly paper, the set is a village of 12 highly diverse houses: traditional, rural, cosy and old but also contemporary urban and modern. They are genuinely prefab: pre-punched, pre-creased and with windows that have already been broken out.

Just as simple to put together and also beautiful are the origami vases by Oribon. The paper used is made from limestone with biological additives, making it waterproof.

Staying with the Oriental theme, but much closer to home, the Bonsai cups from lilibo in blue printed on white cups. Each set is an item as such, giving that little bit extra.

Totally different and refreshing are the fairtrade baskets from Soohme. Made in Nepal from small wool balls in beautiful colours. A real eye-catcher!

Although I did not get that glass of Champagne on entrance, I did run into VINOOS who offered me one of their sparkling rose wine gums, which I have to say was a grape experience and somehow made up for my appetite of Champagne.

Although there was no alcohol in the wine gums, I somehow felt refreshed and ready to continue my journey in search for new products. It wasn’t long before I noticed the soft coloured cards with a difference by Jessica den Hartog. Jessica makes graphic objects from waste. Colourful products to inspire and inform the viewer/user about the value of waste.

Another artist worth mentioning is Studio Mabelle, who makes beautiful prints on homemade paper. The paper is made of collected old paper from little local companies (used white office paper, blue tax envelopes, boxes) and from their own kitchen (green egg boxes coloured wrapping etc.).

They also make or collect the ingredients (confetti, lavender and other flowers, dune grass) and strive to make and wrap everything as environmentally friendly as possible. Their prints come in biodegradable plastic and if you order from them, you probably receive your order in a used box.

Talking about used boxes, the Netherlands have a lot of bikes and when you buy a new one nowadays these are packed in cardboard boxes. Normally that cardboard goes into the skip, but Ucci Designs have found a new destination for them, by developing the “Cat Dune”. It has a comfortable shape for the cat to rest in and use as a durable scratch pole. The model we saw also had a cover with a hole in it, so the cat can take shelter. A really great way to please your cat and stop the waste of cardboard.

With so many, sometimes almost mind blowing ideas and concepts, it was time for some relaxation and that is when we run into Printherapy. Mindfulness meets creativity. They create D.I.Y lino sets with practical audio exercises. A great idea for all those busy people out there who want to be creative and learn how to relax at the same time.

The one thing missing during relaxation was the smell of scented wax, but luckily T Candles was there with their handmade, eco-friendly and just as importantly non-toxic melts and diffusers. The scents are lovely but not overwhelming. Not that English is a problem for the Dutch, but Tahnee, the founder of the company is original from Australia but lives with her partner in the Netherlands. She still has an outlet there but now also sells to the UK.

Being completely relaxed now after my therapy and aroma sessions I noticed Myloveforwomen, something I thought we certainly had in common. Getting closer I rapidly got the point that I did not belong to the target group, but nevertheless I decided to walk over to the stand to have a closer look at the adult artwork. I’m glad I did as it was great to see products which celebrated the lesbian community with artistic flair, that also has wider appeal.

With that a successful showUP was almost at is end, but not before mentioning the beautiful porcelain collection by Saudade Collective. Unique in shape, material and creation, a true joy for the eye.

Last but not least I also want to congratulate artist Amber van Rangelrooij, who was one of the newcomers last year and has further strengthened her position to become one of the world’s most seductive brands.

With that said, this edition of showUP had really come to an end and it was time for us to go back to the hotel. This time we booked an hotel in Haarlem and decided to stay a bit longer to visit the historic city, where we saw some fantastic craftsmanship, but that is another story.

The next edition of showUP will take place from 3-4 September 2023 in the Brabanthallen – Den Bosch. The nearest airport is Eindhoven Airport and from there you can take the train to Den Bosch.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

showUP to succeed

Roving reporter, Denre Bruins writes: The suitcase is packed, my boarding pass printed and I’m ready for two days of fun and discovering what the

Read More »
Latest Stories

The Scent of Happiness

As the wellbeing market continues to boom, with scented candles and diffusers, aromatherapy oils and natural skincare in great demand, the importance of scent to

Read More »

Free G-spotted newsletter subscription