At every Formex we premier unestablished designers at the area Design Talents. One of the talents from august, Ted Lidgard, has with his brand ROKA Stonewear got the honor of displaying his products in the shop at Nationalmuseum. The museum, which is Swedens biggest art- and designmuseum has re-opened again at October 12 after being closed for 5 years of renovation. We have asked Ted a couple of questions regarding this collaboration.
How did you get in touch with Nationalmuseum?
- Three people showed up at my stand and I started talking about RÔKA Stonewear. Two sentences in to my pitch they interrupted me and said: ”It’s really nice, but we want to place an order”…
It turned out they represented Nationalmuseum. They had been to Formex Pop-up shop were the packaging to the HOMAGE-collection caught their attention. They then took a closer look at the collection, read about us on our webpage and made a decision before even meeting me.
What will your collaboration imply?
- Nationalmuseum will sell the homage-collection in their carefully handpicked shop. I’ve also been asked to visit the museum and talk about the collection, design and vision at a later occasion.
What has exhibiting at Formex Design Talents meant to ROKA Stonewear?
- First and foremost, a platform to showcase our brand and then a chance to meet people from the industry. Furthermore, it has been a big confirmation that our design is appreciated. It’s a good imprint for our brand to be able to communicate Design Talent 2018. It’s also a confirmation for customers that our business is serious. The fair has also recruited potential customers that could lead to sales. To exhibit at Design Talent is a great way to practice your elevator pitch. It gave me the opportunity to explain the core business in 30 seconds.
What tips would you like to share to other Design Talents exhibiting in January?
I would like to share 6 tips.
1. Be prepared. A majority of the people visiting your stand has never heard of your brand before. That’s why you have to make sure your image is distinct. If they are seeing your stand from a distance it should be clear whether you are designing lamps, rugs, jewelry or clothing.
2. Showcase your USP visually. If you have a specific product you want to visualize, make sure it gets a clear focus. All ideas must be based on the thought: “Does someone understand this without getting an explanation?”
3. Seek contact. Talk to everyone within your reach. Ask if you can show them your design. Even if the person doesn’t have a store that’s suitable for your brand they can lead to potential customers and ambassadors. Several of the contacts that I approached weren’t interested in my product, but after a while they came back with a friend or colleague they thought would be. Don’t let anyone pass you by without seeking contact.
4. Be humble and honest. Don’t try to adapt your product and story to fit everyone. Have faith in your idea and stick to it. It you try to bend it by making it suitable for every retailer you’ll both end up being disappointed.
5. Talk to your neighbors – especially those close to your product. This is great way to find collaborations and to help each other out.
6. Make a plan on how to attract visitors. Competitions, giveaways and other incitements that represent your brand is one way to attract visitors.