Our Story | January 2019
Top Drawer remains at the forefront of the retail trade industry, 30 years after its inception. The show’s mission is to make it easy for retailers to discover the best design sources. Displaying some 700 brands in six buying zones – but who was at the top of our list:
Clive Walker talked with great pride about his days at Tisserand and was absolutely charming when we invaded the Blend Collective territory. Zeke even got to sample (literally first hand) some of their rich, indulgent creams. My paws remained soft and supple all the way home to Bristol despite the icy conditions on those underground platforms. Clive and Pippa have brought together a team of leading aromatherapy and perfume experts, combined all this expertise to make the collective a real success.
Irish owned Max Benjamin, is run by brothers Mark and David Van den Bergh. Our paths have crossed before and most notably with Mark at a combined Press Day at the Savoy Hotel in 2011. The business has been producing high quality fragranced candles since the early 1990's – from the original Oberg range of hand poured pillar candles right up to a full spectrum of 15 luxury fragrances now. Within a relatively short space of time the Max Benjamin brand had become the choice of fragranced soy candles around Ireland and the favourite of its kind amongst the country’s top retailers.
Originally operating under the brand name of Jersey Cow we were treated to a brief audience with the new Canadian owners of this brand, who having recently having taken over the company have big plans for building on the firm foundations already in place. That thorny subject of brand naming (and IP issues surrounding it) have clearly caused a degree of pain at Seascape in the past but we were pleased to hear that’s all behind them now. The seahorse motif will provide powerful equity going forward – so we’ll watch for future developments on the coming tide!
Purity and provenance ooze from these botanical products for bath, body and home. Whilst we didn’t have long to dwell on the stand we could fully appreciate how these guys are positioned and what the brand promise for Pure Light looks like in terms of its aim to help nourish and nurture, calm and soothe, renew and restore.
A real passion for wax was tangible on this stand (or should we say Shack). The roots of Candle Shack go back to 2010 farmers markets, where it all begun, and have really defined the products as well as establishing some core founding principles. Whilst the company has clearly grown quickly it was evident that the same care and attention to detail that was in place. Today the special packaging options and white labelling seems to offer huge potential for development.
It was good to meet John and Elaine – even more surprising to learn that we share a professional involvement with BSQ (where they had been advising, consulting on sales strategy and supporting our clients NPD team). Now Made in Heaven bring something quite different to the bath & body market. We found out that the name was chosen to reflect both the nature of a perfect working partnership AND the quality of the products! These are premium toiletries, designed to appeal to lovers of our glorious land and fresh air. Zeke certainly found the approach fresh and loved the pack styling!