Inspired by... blog

23 September 2014

Meeting design businesses at Top Drawer

One of my colleagues, Christina Murphy, recently went to check out retail event Top Drawer at Olympia. Top Drawer showcases over 800 suppliers in the gifts, lifestyle and fashion sectors.

She met some of the businesses that have used the British Library, including our Innovating for Growth programme, and to also find new ones who might be interested in taking part. Our programme offers free, bespoke support for growing London businesses to develop innovative products and services.

Here are her highlights from the show:

Thabto close up

Thabto (which stands for ‘two heads are better than one’) make quality, quirky and original lifestyle items for those who seek something different. It was set up in 2008 by British designers Steven Smith & James Wosiek. Today, from their base in Notting Hill, London, their young creative team produce a range of award winning items that can be found in design stores around the world.

Founder James Wosiek took part in the Library’s I4G programme’s April 2013 cohort, and says, “I4G could not have come at a better time. The advice we have received and the exercises we've carried out/yet to carry out will give us the foundation to grow faster and with a more managed approach had we not have done the course!”

Victoria Eggs fa2r

Victoria Eggs designs and manufactures premium quality, brightly inspired, home ware and gifts, all handmade in Britain. Its strapline is “proudly saluting all that makes Britain British.” Founded by its namesake in March 2011, her premium quality homeware, gifts and greetings cards that are all made in Britain.

Owner Victoria Eggs took part in the April 2014 cohort of Innovating for Growth. The programme gave her access to branding and marketing experts, which helped her to refine her brand, design and build a new website. Victoria says, “It's allowed me to take a step back and really look at the business and what's working and what isn't.”

Rose Hill Designs

Rose Hill Designs is a creative independent illustration based company, with a British Pop Art trademark for greeting cards, stationery, artworks and commissions. Rose has worked with ZSL London Zoo, Ted Baker, Harrods and Rockett St George.

She used the Business & IP Centre databases and resources to research her markets and develop her business plan. She has taken advantage of many of the free or low-cost workshops and events that the Centre runs, including the Spring Festival, Inspiring Entrepreneurs and Speed Mentoring.


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