It's 8.30pm and I am not long home from the Spring Fair at the NEC. I've had a lovely day and, as usual, have come home brimming with inspiration for Cottontails. It does me so much good to get out there and talk to other people, play with the toys, make connections.
Tired as I am, I thought I'd write up my report on the day while it's all still fresh.
My main reason for visiting was to spend some time on the Moulin Roty stand. I look after their UK website for them, and so often I am trying to write product descriptions by peering at photographs and trying to comprehend a bit of French text, so it's a treat to go and spend some time among the toys - ooh-ing and ah-ing, seeing which bits squeak, which bits rattle and so on.
The stand was as lovely as ever:
The highlight was the new 'Aime & Celeste' range - it is exquisitely French in colour and style.
Also lots more of their 'Pretty Ugly' range (that's the translation of Les Jolis pas Beaux).
There are lots more lovely gardening / nature toys to come too, including a selection of flora and fauna themed rubber and ink stamps. Sorry no photos of those - the samples haven't made it over from France yet.
After a happy hour or so with Moulin Roty I wandered around without much direction, just waiting to see what would catch my eye.
I've ordered some lovely Little Red Riding Hood themed toys from RJB Stone (an unusual move for me - I don't normally order from wholesalers, but the range was so sweet and the price was great. And there were rabbits! Who knew rabbits crept into the Little Red Riding Hood story...)
In terms of existing suppliers, it was lovely to put a face to a name and meet Jane from Snapdragon. I placed a little order and have plenty of embroidered goodies coming to the website soon - including these lovely bunny mirrors in a woolly pouch:
Also I've ordered some gorgeous 'make your own' traditional mohair rabbit kits - which I will tell you about in a separate post.
And finally I discovered a gorgeous French stationary company. Old fashioned school style exercise books, blackboards, chalk and rubbers, simple little colouring kits. Nothing is translated, it is unapologetic in its Frenchness, and I love that.
So lots more lovely things coming soon to Cottontails, and, in the meantime, lots of work for me to do on the Moulin Roty website.