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 latest Dutch and Scandinavian designs have to offer.  With over 300 exhibitors it certainly sounded promising, and I was happy to finally showUP.

Unlike other times, I actually made a list of stands I wanted to visit but – not for the first time – I became a man on a mission.

The first stand was Piet Design. This design agency was founded in 1990 and is specialised in cardboard building kits that you find in many museum-shops around the world. Piet was not the only one who thought cardboard can be well used for building things. All the way from the US via their UK distributor were the animal postcards from Metio Studio. Wild animal cards that you pop-out and bring to life with crayons or markers.

Next stop was the guys from Orange Panda. We have written about them before, and this was a great opportunity to meet up and see their artistic and playful 3D creations in real life.

Just when I thought it was time for me to sit down somewhere and enjoy a drink after all that chatting, I couldn’t help noticing two lovely young ladies speaking English. I decided to approach them and ask where they are from and what brought them to showUP. As it turned out, they are from Hitchin, which isn’t far from where I live, and they decided to go to Amsterdam for the weekend and visit showUP to discover the for the English market unusual gifts. Unfortunately, I did not ask for the name of the shop, but if you read this, please contact us, as we like to do a feature on your shop.

showUP is focused on Home & Gift but from time to time I see some interesting food related businesses at the show. I wrote about cashew nuts in the past and this time I had the pleasure in trying some of the chocolate pralines from Moritz Korner, which are all about macadamia (and of course chocolate). Just like the nuts from Johny Cashew, the macadamia nuts from Moritz Korner are sourced in Africa, shortening the chain and the carbon footprint. I can’t think of a better way than by eating these tasteful pralines to contribute to sustainability, fair trade and responsible business practices.

Talking about sustainability, our local Waitrose the other day had “in season avocados”. Talk about green washing?! This brought me to a small stand with a big poster full of vegies and fruit. Studio Griveau makes timeless calendars with illustrations of vegetables and fruit that are truly in season that month. The calendars come with English, French and Dutch commentary.

Also sustainable are the Busy Bee Hotels from Studio Carmela Bogman. The combination of recycled felt and maple wood make this an attractive gift to get and not just for bees.

Highly noteworthy is the beautiful wooden stool by Chris Ruhe. It has a perfect back brace and was a joy to sit on. It is hard to describe, but the stool’s suspension is made using gaps in the wood. If you ever run into this guy, try it and you’ll understand.

Although not as comfortable as Chris his stool, the products from Werkwaardig are certainly worth mentioning. Through their collaboration with the ‘Waste Free Oceans (WFO)’ organization, they offer a collection of Sidepigs and Whalechairs, crafted from discarded and lost fishing nets, recovered from our precious oceans. The bold design gives it something unique and worth saving.

With that showUP almost came to an end, and it was time for me to say goodbye to the many people who I had the pleasure of meeting over the years, but not before mentioning Alastair Cuttel from Bitten Design. Besides being high energy and very optimistic he is also partly responsible for several unique and iconic designs that can now been seen around the world, including the original Moustache pacifier, the Balloon dog light and the Huggable range.

Last but not least a big thank you to the ladies from Shampoobars for “de gezelligheid” and giving me their complete range of shampoos and conditioner bars that only contain the ingredients that hair and body really need. No water, no plastic, sulphur free and only natural ingredients. A perfect fit with the natural soaps from Foekje Fleur, mentioned in one of my previous showUP reviews and who are looking at exhibiting in the UK.

And did I mention the Trendzone? As usually an arti combination of products and art from both young and established designers. Think of things like “Trashformation”, “Technicolour” and “Craftology”.

I truly had a great time at showUP and spoke to so many interesting people, who I unfortunately can’t all name, but hope to see again at the next event on the 1st and 2nd of September at the Brabanthallen in ‘s-Hertogenbosch.


Leave a Comment

Related Articles

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

Read More »
Latest Stories

We use cookies to improve your experience on our site. By using our site you consent to cookies.
See our privacy statement for more information

Free G-spotted newsletter subscription

By signing up to our newsletter you agree with our privacy policy