Chewy Jewellery time!
Chewy jewellery table set-up at Kidz to Adultz
It’s a grey Wednesday afternoon, the day before the Kidz to Adultz Wales and West show and I’ve just pulled up to CIC centre in Newport, with my hatchback crammed full of chewable goodies.
There’s a bit of a wait, with all the other exhibitors queued up in their vans, but half an hour later we’re waved in to the loading area and I can start to unload my chew toys.
I have the smallest stand available, good old H11, but I’m also using a rather large (6 foot) table which fills the entire width of the stand, as I have a LOT of chewy jewellery to display. This means when I need to exit or enter my stand, I have to do a rather undignified commando crawl under the table. Needless to say, I tried to just stay behind the table as much as possible.
Three trips later with my trusty camping trolley and I have all my wares piled up and ready to lay out. I set up a time-lapse of my table and get to work.
I find setting up for exhibitions/conferences quite stressful and can get quite anxious about it. Frequently the set-up time is fairly short, an hour or less and it can take me over an hour to set-up. If customers/other exhibitors come over to chat while I’m rushing to get my chewy jewellery laid out, I can get a bit overloaded and anxious.
I often email the staff organising these events with a barrage of questions about parking, unloading, set-up times, amount of space available and so on, so I know exactly what to expect and can plan around it. The more I can envisage and have planned, the calmer I can be. Sometimes I even use a picture of a my last table to set-up the next table and lay out my chewy jewellery without having to think too much.
Kidz to Adultz is a well oiled machine now and I was provided with a huge amount of detail and ample set-up time, so I’m feeling fairly calm, plus there are no customers yet as it’s the day before and it’s beautifully quiet!
An hour and a half later, I’m all done and rather tired. I head to my hotel (I was very excited about staying in a hotel! A kid-free night!) to rest and relax before the big day. Although, I ended up spending over an hour trying to edit my time-lapse for social media. Not very relaxing. Please do check out my time-lapse of my set-up at the Wales and West show and see my range of chewy jewellery.
It’s Thursday morning, bright and early and I’m back at the CIC and excited to get started. Opposite my stand is Framerunning dragons Cardiff. I’d never seen a framerunner before, they’re an amazing piece of kit for people who may struggle with walking. The framerunner is made up of 3 wheels, a smaller at the front and 2 larger racing wheels at the back, which means very little friction. There is a saddle, which can be raised and lowered for easy entry from a chair or wheelchair. Framerunning is now becoming a paralympic sport.
My table is all set-up and I’m feeling good and ready to meet some new people!
The first few hours are fairly quiet, but around lunchtime it gets a lot busier and soon I’m getting lots of visitors, meeting families and professionals from all round Wales and talking all about chewy jewellery and how it can help.
I get chatting with many other exhibitors, like Kate from Meru, a charity who provides assistive equipment for disabled children and young people. They are home of the Bugzi, a very small powered wheelchair suitable for children under 5 that they loan out for free across the UK.
Ashleigh and her team from Building Bridges Monmouthshire come to have a chat and invite me to have a table at their event at Caldicot Castle in a few weeks! The project is based within the Bridges Centre in Monmouth, but is a countywide project. Their aim is to support and encourage young people to engage in their local communities; broadening their social networks, making friends, confidence building and learning social skills.
I meet Ramsey, from Innova Care concepts, at a stall round the corner from Oojamabobs. We talk about my chewy jewellery and how we could possibly work together. Innova Care Concepts are a healthcare equipment and furniture provider with a huge range of products from hydrotherapy pools to hoists and lifts.
Lauren from Mobility in Motion came over and we had a great chat about how my chewy jewellery could be useful in helping customers stay calm when using their equipment. Mobility in Motion aim to improve people’s lives by improving their mobility. This includes looking at vehicle adaptations and driving aids for people with disabilities and trying to meet the needs of all drivers, no matter how complex the disability.
Heather from Newlife came over and we spoke about their sensory boxes which they loan to families and how we might include some chewy jewellery for families to try. Newlife is a disabled children’s charity, providing life-changing and life-saving equipment to thousands of families with disabled and terminally ill children across the UK.
Last but not least, when things finally quietened down, I was able to escape long enough to meet Mel from AP CYMRU. I admired Mel’s rainbow infinity lanyard (FYI I sell a similar one!) and we talked about how we might work together. AP CYMRU are a neurodiversity charity, supporting families going through the diagnostic process. They provide some amazing services, including Parent Support & Wellbeing Services and Family Activity & Wellbeing Programmes, which include workshops, training courses and family fun sessions.
It was a long day but I met so many fantastic people and made some great connections. Lots and lots of new customers went away very happy with their new chewy jewellery and I was thrilled to be able to help. If you would like any help choosing a chewy necklace, just contact me and ask! I love to help, in person or online.
Very tired, I crammed everything into the car and headed home.
Till next year! I hope to see you all again then!