Apart from our main buying trip around March / April time we usually pop over to India (as you do!) once or twice more over the year just to see how things are progressing with our orders. It’s always a good idea to keep on top of how orders and quality are progressing.
This year I managed to coincide one of my trips with the Delhi Gift Fair, a trade show that we’ve never been to but have always wanted to visit.
My trip to get to the fair was eventful to say the least. The free shuttle bus failed to materialise so I had to get on the Delhi Metro, which is usually quite pleasant…….. but this was rush hour!!! I think packed like sardines is the saying, well, the London Underground isn’t a patch on the Delhi Metro!
The show was just outside Delhi, but it was still a 20 mile rickshaw ride from the most southerly metro station. Taxi or rickshaw, I know, I’ll take a rickshaw. Why did I take a rickshaw??
Uncharacteristically for that time of year, the heavens opened and I think the contents of every cloud in the world decided to empty directly onto my rickshaw!! It was so wet the rickshaw driver got lost and we ended up in the middle of nowhere (and a lot of big puddles). I couldn’t speak Hindi and he couldn’t speak English or read a map. I eventually arrived at the show drenched and 2 hours late!
I wasn’t too sure what to expect but was very pleasantly surprised. The quality of the products was excellent and there was plenty there. A bit like the Spring Fair Trade show that takes over the whole of the NEC in Birmingham every February.
I picked up some good leads and saw some interesting new Fair Trade companies, so watch this space for new products soon.
My main aim in India was to visit our leather journal and sari journal supplier, just to make sure everything was on target for our busy Christmas period. I’m happy to say that everything went very well.
I also had to check the quality of our new leather journal designs, our new 3 string journals are sure to be a winner. We are also launching our new range of Celtic range of leather journals and the new Ganesh and Camel leather journal.
We also picked up a new producer last year and we’re really excited to be launching some new leather bags in the next couple of weeks, just in time for Christmas. The leather bags range is going to include satchels, travel bags, laptop bags, and shopping bags. Again, we’re sure they are going to be a winner.
In fact, we’ve just had a photo shoot with all the new products.
So all of that was crammed into 4 days, 2 in Delhi and 2 in Rajasthan with not even enough time to get over the jet lag that I had when I arrived!!
A well worth visit and it’s great just to go back to India every now and again to experience the sights, the noise, and the smells.