And then there were more….photos

Mark Henderson (our super talented photographer) and Team Purvaai spent a gruelling day of filling cushion covers, climbing on boxes to hang curtains on trees, and talking to Farmer James and his dog for permission to use his farm gate, and side stepping Thames Valley Police while we played around with a bench by a roadside! Yes, we were on our latest photo shoot and what a day it was.

Phew…now we have some cracking shots of our latest hand crafted products including cushions, throws, tote bags, curtain panels et all. With our focus on texture and detail at Top Drawer this year, this new range coming soon to our website will be spot on if you care for the craft while glamming up your home. Stay tuned to our website and in the meanwhile enjoy the photo journey of our latest shoot here…..

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Home textile design competition announced for UK design students and recent graduates

Purvaai announces a home textile design competition for all students living in the United Kingdom who are either pursuing a design degree or diploma or have recently (in the last 3 years) graduated from a UK-based design institute.

Purvaai’s ‘Textile Design Competition 2012’ entails designing a range of table linen including runner(s), napkin(s) and table cloth(s) OR designing decorative cushion cover(s) and throw(s) based on the theme “Reminiscing the Raj”.

“The days of the British Raj evoke nostalgia for the royalty of yore”, says Toolika Gupta, Creative Consultant and Competition Lead for Purvaai. “Those luxurious palaces and gardens, full of exotic Indian riches and a blending of the Mughal and British styles are full of inspirations. The beautiful chintz, Kashmiri shawls, miniature paintings, carved wooden boxes with secret compartments, the rich carpets or kaleens as they were called, and the dazzling white marble walls with semi-precious stone inlay in floral motifs- these were the reasons India was called ‘a jewel in the crown’ of the British Empire.” she adds.

Priya Raghavan, Co-founder and Director of Purvaai says “With this competition we hope to offer young, talented designers a platform to reinterpret this nostalgia in their very own special way.” Applicants may choose to design prints or embroidery and suggest base fabrics, colour-ways and finishing techniques.

Applicants must register by completing the competition form, which may be downloaded from the website www.purvaai.co.uk. They must also submit a concept note of about 150 words. Competitors can send in detailed inspirational pictures and notes along with fabric choices with each design, if they so desire, however this is not mandatory.

Learn more about Purvaai’s Textile Design Competition 2012 here.

The Stand at Top Drawer/ Home 2012

Top Drawer/ Home 2012 has concluded and we were lucky to have the help of a few good people* as we set up our stand at Top Drawer/ Home 2012.

Thought we’d share with you some of the images; before, during and after, so that you can all see how we got there too.

Shankar putting up the rails to showcase our throws

Almost done- L to R - Sonali (seated), Shankar, Priya (with back to camera)

Putting on the last few touches to posh it all up

The stand finally all set up

*A big ‘Thank you’ to Shankar Raghu (Sonali’s husband), Isabel Costa Lucio (Our stand designer) and Sandra Vollrath (an Event Manager in a previous life, friend, adviser and sounding board.)

Learnings from participating in Top Drawer’s Home 2012

Getting selected to participate in Home 2012 at Earl’s Court, London, a brand new trade show spun-off from Top Drawer, featuring some of the best Home Décor sellers and brands, was a high! The reality set in later as we worked against time to get our stand just right- to make it attractive and accessible to all.

Now that we’ve been exhibiting there for two days (today is the third and final day of the show), we thought we’d share some of the lessons we’re taking away from this, the first of (hopefully) many trade shows we’d like to participate in.

1. Which Trade Show?-Although Home 2012 is a first, in that there has never been a separate Home show under the aegis of Top Drawer before- the response has been  excellent. When we were debating whether or not to participate in such a new trade show  seeing as we’re so new, what tipped the balance in favour of participating was the brand association with Top Drawer, which we knew to be a very popular, established and well organized show. It’s evident that those who attended Top Drawer, have come to Home 2012 too, expecting the same high level of creativity and novelty.

2. Feedback; especially if you’re new– Our brand philosophy has been validated several times over during the course of this show, as we see the typical attendee of Top Drawer – Home 2012 exhibiting a healthy interest in preserving the past and keeping handicraft traditions alive and well. The footfall at our stand, Aa 36, has encouraged us, as have the many enquiries. Trade Shows are a great way to get your ideas and your products validated. If they work, great, if not, go back to the drawing board with the suggestions you got there.

Our advice to others in our position would be, go with established trade shows, or even newer ones promoted by the same organisers as celebrated ones.

3. Location, location, location– At any trade show, as with property assets, the most important mantra is ‘Location, location, location’. Where your stand is located could be the difference between success in the form of several leads versus a boring three days standing around twiddling your thumbs or drinking coffee by the gallon. If you have a choice, plan ahead and try to get a spot that sees a lot of traffic and is easy to reach.

4. Whither Stand Design?– Next to location, perhaps the most important thing is the design of the stand itself. Ensuring that your stand is uncluttered, logically laid-out, and offers easy access to your products, so that visitors can touch and feel them, is imperative. We were lucky to find a gifted and cooperative stand designer who totally ‘got’ us and our brand.

5. Judging Interest– How do you know if someone at the trade show is serious about wanting to do business with you at some point? The dating principal applies! If they give you their contact details as well as taking yours, you can be fairly sure they’re interested in hearing from you. And after all, isn’t all business a bit like dating? Buyers and Sellers, if their interest in each other is mutual, only then can business take place and grow.

At trade shows, it has also become the norm to sweeten the deal a little bit by offering a raffle prize; for e.g. in exchange for putting business cards in a fish bowl, or filling out a feedback form with a section asking for contact details, your visitor may win a gift of some description. At our stand, Aa36, at Home 2012, we’re offering a goody basket filled with gorgeous yet utilitarian Indian handcrafted products.

We hope this post has inspired you to participate in trade shows and we’d love to hear your views on it.