New Trade Shows I visited in January

As I mentioned on my last blog post, there are many trade shows I'd still want to visit this year. January and September are usual hot dates for industry trade shows, so this months I visited three, all of them in Germany: Nordstil in Hamburg, Munich Fabric Start in Munich and Ambiente in Francfort.


Let me tell you a little bit about each one of them and also some trends I've seen over and over.


hamburg, germany

This trade show or fair is open to the public, but it is mostly for shop and boutique owners to go and order products for resale. It is beautifully staged, especially the big brands and the main categories are: Home & Garden, Style & Design, Gifts & Stationery, Jewelry & Fashion, and Kitchen & Gourmet.

Since this show is half an hour from home, I took the train on a Sunday and went straight to the Home & Garden section and then to Gifts & Stationery. There were a lot of brands that I had heard of, as well as some that were new to me, so it was great to be there and see their collections in person, all at once, to quickly see if my artwork would be a good fit for them.

Since most of the time the people in the booths are sales reps and not actually from the company, I didn't take my cards this time. They are there to sell their products, not to be sold to, which is important to know. Of course, it's still a great opportunity to see the quality of the products and discover new brands.

The next edition will be at the end of July 2024, if you're interested in visiting.





munich, germany

I had visited this show last year, and since it's mostly geared towards women's wear, I wasn't planning on going this year. But a few months ago a client of mine asked me to go with her to help her with her booth and well, "it was an offer I couldn't refuse".

Even though my young son's birthday was in the middle of the show, we worked it out and I was there for setup and half a day once the show opened to the public. Honestly, it was so busy that I didn't have time to visit the halls. In the morning, I had a bad case of imposter syndrome, but once I was there and people started coming in and asking about the prints, I got over it and really enjoyed the exchange and the conversations.

For me it was a great experience to see the show from behind the scenes, everything you have to consider when having a booth, what everything looks like before the doors open, and seeing my work on the wall and on cards was a very nice feeling too!




ambiente + christmasworld & creativeworld

francfort, germany

Oh wow, what a HUGE show! My feet still hurt 2 days later, haha! There are several fairs in one place, exactly where the Heimtextil takes place. It wasn't clear until the day before whether I would be able to go or not because of the train workers' strike, but luckily everything went well except for some delays on the way back.

So the most interesting ones for me were Ambiente (Interiors & Decoration + Giving - Gifts & Stationery), Christmas World (Christmas & Seasonal Decoration, Gift Wrap) and Creative World (Crafts).

The halls are huge and filled with amazing brands and products. The display of decorations was incredible, sometimes almost like an art museum installation! On the first day, I took a look around and then, after a pep talk from my designer friend with whom we were visiting the show, I started to quickly introduce myself to the companies that I thought would be a good fit for my artwork. I purposely went on the last day of the fair to do this because, as I said, they are there to sell, not to be sold to, but the last day is quieter than usual and many of them were happy to have a conversation and take my card.

My brain was mush after two days of walking and switching from German to English to Spanish or Italian (there were companies from all over the world, of course), but I left super inspired with lots of ideas and some business cards from amazing companies.




Now to the juicy part: trends

Although it's hard to talk about trends when products are already on the market, I think they still count. Throughout the two shows I was able to walk and pay full attention, there were some themes that kept coming up in several brands. Most of the themes we have seen before, but they definitely caught my eye because they were present in a lot of different brands.

animals dressed as humans

(Image only for reference - Image by Vivid Visions Print)


No matter if it was home decor, lamps, wall art, small decorations, for Easter or Christmas, they were EVERYWHERE! Animals dressed as people, but in a more formal, nostalgic way.

neon comeback?

I feel like we had neon just a few years ago, but brands like Werner Voß or pad offered a bright neon line of products. I have seen it not only in home décor, but also in gift wrap and other stationery.

candycore christmas

This one was B-I-G! There were so many brands with this theme, all in pastel colors, including lots of nutcrackers in pastel colors. And candy everywhere: candy canes, cakes, cupcakes, absolutely beautiful - and delicious!

female faces

(Image only for reference - Art & Image by Bjørn Wiinblad)


As plant pots, home decor items or prints, and in many different styles, mostly minimal and illustrative, lots of female heads from many different brands at all fairs.

deer & hare

(Image only for reference - Image by Werner & Voß)


This may be because the main seasons for home decor are Easter and Christmas BUT I just saw them everywhere in all kinds of items, the whole body or just the heads, there was a huge amount of products featuring these two animals.

animals with floral wreaths on

(Image only for reference - Image by Heather Gauthier)


Animals with floral or leafy wreaths as crowns on their heads or collars around their necks, in many different styles and sizes, were also everywhere.

Have you visited any of these shows already? what do you think about the trends? Let me know in the comments below!

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