How I grow business – recession to pandemic 5 – Getting recognised

Gilded Washi Wallpaper Collection 2011

I was still struggling in the third year into the business in 2011 and could no longer afford Hugo after he put me onto the right track.  However, I was extremely fortunate that Biden’s products were featured pretty regularly in some famous magazines such as the World of Interiors and Homes and Gardens despite me doing DIY PR trying to mimic what Hugo was doing.  The magazine which featured Biden Design the most was How To Spend It by The Financial Times.  Biden appeared in the May 2011 and 2013 issues as well as October 2011 issue.  One of them was in my most favourite column by Lucia van der Post.  I was thrilled to speak to her in person.  I also very much appreciated that some interior magazines were kind enough to offer me a bargain price for advertorials at the last minute when, I guess, they had to fill a spot.  I hope it was because they liked my unique collection, but they also knew I could not afford full price.  

How To Spend It Press Coverage
How To Spend It Press Coverage

 

Building up to Decorex was always extremely intense and was the focal point of the business in every aspect.  I had one shot a year to showcase my products.  I literally gave everything for the four-day event; money, energy and I would even think twice to have a bathroom break during the show.  I would give free tickets to my friends to cover me for lunch.  It was a one-man van stand; I strongly believe I was the best person to convey the passion and knowledge for the products.  My goal was to appear in five consecutive years and I always wanted to be on row A where lots of exciting up-and-coming companies were exhibiting.  I changed position within the row, however, I was always there and made my goal.  Designs of the stand changed every year and reflected where Biden was going. 

 

 

 

Decorex 2011
Decorex 2011

 

I always wanted to have a stand with white background since looking for a photo shoot location in 2009.  The six out of seven locations were all in stark white.  In 2011, I eventually designed a stand all in white.  It was successful and also, saved me painting as stands are provided in white!  

Biden Designs was one of a handful of stands which Michelle Ogundehin mentioned in a foreword of Decorex show catalogue that year.  She even visited the stand in person.  I was just over the moon; that definitely showed how far I came.   One afternoon, I noticed an elderly man was crouching down for a long time at my stand to look at a lamp.   So I approached and he slowly turned around.  It was Nicky Haslam!  My voice turned hoarse with excitement when I introduced myself.  That year, it was thrilling and exciting that I started to meet famous designers who were casually browsing through stands often after giving lectures at the theatre.  I had a great chat with Staffan Tollgard, Mary Fox Lynton, Jenny Weiss and Helen Bygraves  to name a few.

 

Decorex 2011
Decorex 2011
Kuniko Thompson

Kuniko Thompson

Founder of Biden Designs established in 2008. She is passionate about creating beautiful interiors working with designers, architects and Japanese craftsmen.

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