As a designer, printer, and lover of all things paper I knew as soon as I first heard about Paperfest that it was my kind of event. Organised by the super talented Abigail Warner, it's a one day extravaganza aimed at bringing together designers, printers and makers, inspiring their minds and rocking their socks off.
Unfortunately I found out about Paperfest just days after last summer's event. Sigh. After kicking myself for missing out I had to (not so) patiently wait for a year for the big day to come around again. Finally, last Friday the wait was over and I hopped on a train from Birmingham to London for Paperfest 2015. Yay!
I'll admit that heading to the event on my own I was a little nervous. Working alone in my studio it's easy to get used to my own company, and my own stupid shyness and lack of confidence can make me feel super awkward in a room full of strangers – social butterfly I am not. But as soon as I arrived at Paperfest I felt at ease. The atmosphere was welcoming and friendly and it felt great to be in a room with so many other creative people who share many of the same joys and challenges of running a business.
There were so many highlights that it's hard to pick just one or two. And even though it's been three sleeps since Friday I feel like I'm still processing all that I saw and heard!
My favourite moments from the day? Well, hearing one of my design and business inspirations, Cath Kidston, talk about her creative process, starting out and building the Cath Kidston brand, and the constant challenges that come with running your own business was a great start! Also, Geraldine James (head buyer at Selfridges) gave some fantastic insights into working with the one of the biggest names on the high street, and a panel with Belinda Love Lee, Emily Quinton, and Sara Russell, shared a whole lot of great tips onto how to step up your social media game (I'm already working on my plans!).
There were also Creative Sessions where you could try your hand at screen-printing and calligraphy, and Clinics where you could chat about trade shows and accounts (and so much more!). And this being Paperfest the fabulous GF Smith were on hand with some stunning paper samples. Swoon.
This was my very first Paperfest, and I know it won't be my last! It was such an amazing and inspiring day. Overwhelming, but in the best possible way. I left at the end of the day with so much more than a (jam-packed super adorable) goodie bag. I have a head full of ideas and a whole new energy for my business. And some new creative friends!
I'm sure I'm not the only person sending out huge thanks to Abi for organising such an amazing event. I already can't wait for next year! Hurry up 2016…
Oh and for loads more photos from the day, check out #paperfestlondon on Instagram!