There are many perks to working with Kempton. Her beaming smile, her deep love of a Cornish pasty (“not this week dahling, juice only”) and her ability to sing out loud pretty much anywhere – Leeds railway station was a highlight for me! She also has a knack for ‘transport planning,’ which came into its own last week when we needed to get from Hampshire to Harrogate for just a few hours.
With the dawning realization that the most direct option was a non starter, Kempton fired up a gazillion timetables and devised a schedule that would make the fainthearted clench but we were determined to reach the British Craft Trade Fair on 12th April.
Despite being shrouded in fog, we took off from Southampton Airport bang on time and headed to Manchester! A quick jog to the station saw us board the right train from the right platform and off we went to Leeds and then on to Harrogate. Seamless timing, no coffee, but truly seamless timing and the event courtesy bus was even poised and ready to transfer us to the event on our arrival.
Because we find ourselves straddling the buyer / styling – er, horse (?), we were intrigued and encouraged to meet and chat with some exciting new designers and makers. It reminded me a bit of my final show at Art School, a good few years ago and it was a joy to be surrounded by fresh vibrant colours, fabulous and fun stationary, textiles crying out to be touched and ‘heaven scent’ fragrances. Not to mention some of the most exquisite jewellery we have come across!
Completely buoyed up by the exciting new products we’ll be using in styling, and stocking in the pop ups A|W 2016 and strong coffee, we embarked on our return journey in a state of mild hysteria (the 0430 start was also beginning to take it’s toll) which culminated in us singing heartily on Leeds station to Take That, Huey Lewis and Wilson Philips #careerhighlight. We chortled pretty much all the way through two train journeys, 2 hours in the airport lounge, the flight and the car journey home. We are nothing if not dedicated.
Today we start the www.kemptonbranson.com refresh, while the office notebooks continue to fill with ideas, plans and schedules. There is still some tussling over glass snowflakes but hey, I can’t have it all my own way!
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