If you follow our tweets, you may have noticed I mentioned we stayed at the Hudson Hotel. We couldn’t have picked much better, both for practicality and design indulgence.
We like to walk pretty much everywhere, so location is extremely important. The Hudson is very central, near(ish) to the show we attended, and handy for everything else we did.
Design-wise, it’s stunning. Unassuming from the street, just subtly stylish, it gets grander on the inside. Dual lime escalators provide a sleek funnel, opening into a lavish expanse.
Once you’re in, there’s an abundance of facilities, with multiple bars, restaurants, nightclub and a gorgeously green Sky Terrace, providing a welcome haven from the bustle below.
Impressive city views can be seen day and night, as you peer through the foliage and sip moderately priced (for NYC) drinks from outdoor seating with varying comfort scores.
We visited when last in town and said we’d come back. I’m glad we stayed. The rooms are rather compact but overall this Starck-designed boutique hotel is great value.
Everyone’s heard of Giggle, right? They’re a big deal, with more shops than you can shake a stick at. They’ve got three on Manhattan alone, including this one in SOHO…
…and the one below on the upper-east. They’ve also got an upper-west shop so they have it covered. All well thought out, including their ethos; the ‘giggle criteria’. We like.
We took time out to visit this beautiful Bobby Berk Home store in SOHO. They don’t sell kids products here but do online, including our stuff. Plus you can order in the shop.
Babesta also sell our products, from their shop in Tribeca. They also have a threads outlet across the street. They’re a cool kids brand who do things in their own way.
A name we didn’t know before this trip is Yoya, they run this cool West Village store, along with Yoyamart, just around the corner, technically in the Meatpacking District.
I have to admit, we didn’t go into this next store. I just had to share because I love the name, Pumpkin, a cute little children’s clothing store we spied on Bleecker Street.
Clearly Manhattan has masses of kids stores. This is just a smattering of some we know, or that took our fancy. If you’ve discovered any others you’d like to share, do feel free.
No, not some tech-speak acronym to decipher. It stands for the New York International Gift Fair; the main reason we came to NYC this time. It’s held here. And it’s pretty big.
It’s not focused purely on kids, clearly, but there was a big children’s brand presence, including many of our competitors plus some reps, distributors and obviously buyers.
One slight issue with the event, as we’d heard from contacts prior, is the layout can be confusing. If we exhibited, as we might next year, we could be in one of three areas.
Very useful to attend though. We got a good feel for the event and what people are up to. It’s also given us some reassurance ahead of our first appearance at ABC later this year.
Oh, special mention for Randi Mohr, who gave us both free passes to walk the show. Mine didn’t even say ‘Olli & Lime’, making me less worried about spying on our competitors!
I mentioned that most of our sales come from the US. I think we’ve subconsciously made this happen by the way…due to our [very obvious] obsession with America.
During our interactions, visits, and all-round familiarisation, we’ve come across lots of differences – between the US and England – which I thought it’d be fun to share.
So, over the coming weeks and months (until I get bored or run out of material!) I’ll be highlighting some contrasts, some connected to our business, some plain random.
To kick things off, how about flags? Anyone who’s visited will be struck by the sheer volume on display all-year-round; so not just when the FIFA World Cup is on!
Maybe it’s ‘cos America’s history is so recent? Maybe because being American signifies freedom and opportunity? Maybe Americans are just happy to be American?
There’s even a designated ‘Flag Day‘ (14 June) within ‘National Flag Week’, when the president issues a proclamation urging U.S. citizens to fly the flag for the week.
Whatever the reason for this flag passion, you see it everywhere! On houses, public buildings, store fronts, cars, boats, clothing, the list goes on…and on…
Americans also sing their national anthem prior to every sporting occasion. Is this because their anthem is better than ours – and it is – or some other reason?
All the same, it’s refreshing to see people behave so passionately about their home nation. Not that we’re all unhappy being English of course! We’re just ‘different’.
Another retail update. I’d like to introduce Bobby Berk Home, the store that promises to help “bring your child into the world in style”.
We’ve agreed terms with this NYC store – with a Soho showroom – to stock the Olli & Lime range. Look out for our products in the coming weeks.