In this series of blog posts we caught up with previous One Year On exhibitors to see where they are now in their respective careers and how exhibiting in One Year On influenced their creative path. We spoke to Charles Dedman, Furniture Designer and Maker who exhibited in 2016, Surface Designer Katie Gillies who also exhibited in One Year On in 2016 and Furniture Designer and 2013 One Year On exhibitor Nicolette de Waart.
Do you have any particular memories from the show you would like to share with us?
Charles Dedman: Sitting down with the renowned journalist Barbara Chandler to discuss my work and design approach. She kindly featured my Turner Carver in the Evening Standard a few weeks before the show opened. The range was also featured in the Daily Telegraph and plenty online blogs and listings.
Katie Gillies: The first and second day of the show were pretty memorable… especially the opening night! It was really great to be talking to so many people from different industries on the opening night. It was so busy! That night really gave me a lot of confidence for the rest of week too.
Nicolette de Waart: After my years in Singapore it was a fantastic opportunity to launch my brand in the UK with other designers who were all exhibiting for the first time. It was a good bonding experience and it was very exciting to get my products in front of a large ‘European’ audience.
What opportunities did exhibiting at New Designers give you?
Charles Dedman: At One Year On I launched the Turner Range, a minimal furniture range designed by me and now in production. As an emerging designer, it was the perfect show to expose my brand and work to retailers, galleries and journalist.
Katie Gillies: It really started my career. I honestly don’t know where I would be without it. It gave me so many opportunities and the confidence to push forward with my business. I gained many contacts from the show, one of them being the contemporary watch company, Larsson & Jennings. A week after the show, they got in touch and I was commissioned to produce a series of surfaces for their new store on Regent Street. They were at the show looking for a new Junior Graphic Designer and just happened to come across my stand at One Year On. It’s really crazy how things can turn out. I have received a lot of private commissions from the company too.
Nicolette de Waart: As the Show was so well organised, after the Show I felt even more confident and was ready to exhibit immediately after that at London Design Festival in September. Also the contacts I made during the show with professionals, press and other designers were really most useful.
What advice would you give to those preparing to exhibit in One Year On 2017?
Charles Dedman: Factor in time to promote your work leading up the show. And have all your marketing / press pieces together. This includes business cards, press release, price list, terms of buying, postcards, hi-res images. The organisers do a fantastic job at putting your work out there, so be ready to build on any enquiries. They may not come so easy next time.
Katie Gillies: Prep and plan well in advance of the show, making sure you utilise the space at the show as well as you can. Rheanna and the rest of One Year On gang do an amazing job of curating the show. I am so grateful of all the help and support that they gave me in preparations before the show, its invaluable information that no one else in the industry will help you with.
Nicolette de Waart: Be ready to launch your brand or yourself as designer so something basic as have your website ready. When you exhibit your products are featured on the New Designers website. If people click on your website it is not very professional if it says ‘coming soon’ or ‘under construction’. Just bear in mind they only click once and it would be a missed opportunity to be seen.
What are you up to now in your career? Do you have any exciting plans or projects you’d like to tell us about?
Charles Dedman: Following a pretty successful 2016. I am looking to expand the Turner range and get it into a retailer. Work has also begun on the Zapotec range. This will be a range to accompany the cabinet shown at One Year On. I am exploring an emerging field within design and making. The use of modern tooling to update traditional techniques, I call it Crafttech. Using a laser cutting CNC machine, I cut dyed veneers to 0.2mm accuracy into geometric Mexican inspired shapes. These are then pieced together in the traditional marquetry way. This updated technique means I can be much more responsive to trends and create pieces which are much more competitively priced, due to the sped up making period. I have taken a stand at London Design Fair this September to launch the range.
Katie Gillies: After the show I exhibited for the first time LDF with Designersblock and supplied all the surfaces for Dezeen at Designjunction. That was a great start after One Year On, I knew I needed to look for a bigger space to work in at that point as commissions where getting larger in scale, so I’ve moved into my own studio in Nottingham. I’m also currently on a residency at Leeds College of Art where I am able to use the facilities that I don’t have in my studio to produce work more quickly and efficiently during this stage of my business. I’m very lucky that my business has become my full time profession, something that I could have only dreamed of this time last year. Currently I am working with independent brands, making collections of surfaces exclusively for them. I have just set up my online store too and now I am prepping for the Surface Spotlight at the Surface Design Show in February, something that I am very excited about.
Nicolette de Waart: My Leaf Seat is continuing to go from strength to strength, both in the residential and office/hospitality sectors. My Leaf Seats are an important feature in the interior of a European Headquarter of a very large Digital company. We delivered almost a 100 Seats for a hotel in Birmingham and we are also selling more in the US and continental Europe. Design by nico is about to launch a few new products which will be shown in Milan and New York and at the moment I have some exciting collaborations with brands and upcoming projects.