Back in February 2020 we attended our very first Annual Spring Fair at Birmingham NEC. As an Artist more used to paintings this was a whole new world. We went with the objective to find out a little bit about the greetings card market, and whether or not we had a product that would fit in. Armed with a list of questions and ideas longer than our collective arms, we ventured into a vast expanse of stands, not knowing what to expect.

One item on our agenda was to talk with umbrella manufacturers. The idea of adding our popular range of Seagull Art onto merchandise had been an ongoing discussion at Cherry Parsons Art HQ. Many of our followers were keen on the idea and suggested they would buy them if they were available.

After a visiting lots of stands, and having great conversations with many experienced people, we were directed to a different hall, and were instantly drawn to the Soake stand. First impressions did not disappoint. Both Anthony and Sarah were incredibly welcoming; they filled us both with confidence from the outset. No question was too daft, and they gave simple but thorough explanations of their production processes.

Initially we ordered two samples and were so impressed with the quality that we decided to proceed with an order. At this time, we also entered into the complex world of licensing our product, meaning our umbrellas can be purchased and sold through many different outlets around the UK and across the world.

We even have video footage of the grand unveiling (or grand releasing) of our first prototypes!

Press this link to go to Video

We went on to order four different designs, with help from Graphic Designer, Dominic Simpson at Good Egg Design, and we have made them available to purchase on two different frames (one compact design, and one on a cane) Cherry Parsons Art Shop

Not only did Soake guide us through every step of our order, but they also introduced us to SquareMorph, who have taken on our website design and upkeep.

The journey with Anthony and Sarah has been a simple and painless one, and we would now consider them both friends as well as business contacts. We hope to do more business with them in the near future, as we have plenty more design ideas in the pipeline.

Hopefully if the lifting of restrictions goes to plan, we will all meet again at the Spring Fair 2021, if not before!