Did you ever wonder how and where your favorite gift shop finds all the wonderful products and fresh ideas that you enjoy gifting or buying as a treat for yourself? Good chance the shop owner or buyer comes to the New York Gift Show, known as NYNow in the trade. The show takes place in the Javits Center, an enormous convention center in New York City located mid-town Manhattan on the West Side.
The 840,000 sq feet of convention center (you could put 14 1/2 football fields in this space!) expands over 3 different levels. It is covered, and I mean COVERED, with approximately 2300 ‘exhibitors’ booths, many of which are only 10ft X 10ft. These little booths act as shops for folks like us who ferret around the world looking for amazing, high quality, one-of-kind items. The exhibitors display samples of their products and the 24,000 buyers who attend this show from 50 states and 80 countries come and go throughout the day, hopefully placing some good orders in the process.
These buyers are not only your high street gift shops, but museums, zoos, art galleries, on-line retailers, fair trade supporters, department store buyers, interior designers, wedding planners and the like. We even have a couple of music stores and book store customers that we first met at the show who find our products complement their customers profile.
Becky & I attend this show two times a year, in the depths of the winter in January/February, and the height of the summer in mid-August. We just wrapped up this year’s show, 4-7 February. It’s an exhausting but gratifying time. We spend 4 days, from 9am – 6pm, meeting, greeting, explaining our products to the buyers and telling the stories of the artisans we support. And each time we come to the part about the 500+ lives that are impacted back in South Africa by the work that we do, it brings the effort full circle. It makes us both very proud that in our own little way, a half a world away from New York City, we are making a difference to the lives of our artisan’s, their families and their communities.
This year the tea lights made by Original t-bag design were nominated for Best New Product.