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Behind the scenes at the Country Living Fair

Behind the scenes at the Country Living Fair

15 January 2020 by Vonnie Conlan

Ever wondered what goes into making this a reality?

 A behind the scene look at setting up a market stall at the Country Living Fair

842 towels
40 hooks and hangers
1 litre of paint
10 sketches of the stall layout
7 team members
38.5 hours speaking face to face with our customers
28 days of preparation time
1 overworked Makita drill

For us the magic number is 38.5. The excitement of meeting our customers face to face made all the months of preparation worth it. So what is involved in creating a stall and how do you bring the vision to life? Here Vonnie Conlan, Arc Lore Co-Founder, explains all that was involved in setting up and running the first Arc Lore stall at the Country Living Christmas Fair in London.

Our journey started with the design. We know how beautiful our towels look in the homes of our customers and we wanted to bring that to life at the fair. We went through 10 or more versions of the design before everyone in the team agreed that the stall looked just right. Next, the procurement team in Turkey hand-selected the right towels to showcase at the fair, carefully taking into account quality, timelessness, beauty and colour.

We then had to organise the logistics of getting team, towels and props to the right place at the right time. Mission accomplished, it was time for everyone to roll up their sleeves. As a small business we orchestrated everything ourselves, from design, making and purchasing props, hiring a van to deliver the products and set, painting the walls, moving furniture pieces into place, decorating the stall, and so much more. We had two days for the set up and the burly Makita drill kit was put to constant use.

After the paint dried and furniture was put into place, we began to dress the stall with our collections. The Active collection: Mydo, Yalo and Hara hung on the rails along the wall. These are perfect for active lifestyles from yoga, to beach visits and international travel. Hanging the towels meant that visitors to the stall could feel for themselves the quality and how soft they really are to touch. Alongside our active towels was our premium towel the Loku, made from half a kilo of organic cotton that features in the Home collection. It is so lush some customers planned to use it as a shawl or a throw. On the ladder we displayed our newest addition, the Aegean bed throw, a sizable organic cotton throw suitable for a queen-sized bed. At the front of the stall, we placed our wide selection of hand towels. These are great multi-functional items that can be used as a hair towel after a shower or swim, a hand towel for the bathroom or kitchen, a baby towel or as a sports towel.

The final design sketch had finally come to life!

Draft sketch of market stall at the Country Living Fair Colour swatches for wall paint

But the best bit really was meeting and chatting with our customers. Our whole team are passionate and proud of our sustainably-sourced, GOTS certified, organic cotton range. And from the feedback we received from our customers it seems like you are as excited about our Turkish towels as we are:

“These are really quality stuff, it’s hard to find quality”
“I love everything in your shop, I want to buy everything”
“It is so soft!!”
“They are really beautiful”
“Towels? Oh, I thought they were scarves!”
“Oh I never knew that about organic cotton”
“Oh wow I can really feel the difference in quality”

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