Nirvana

Forget holidays and Christmas. For Nichola Bell, JFS is the most exciting week of the year.

‘Anyone who knows me knows that the JFS is the most exciting week of the year for me. The long days, late nights, stresses and strains of the run-up to it all seem to disappear as soon as the first announcement “The January Furniture Show is now open” is heard,’ says Nichola Bell, Alpha Designs sales director.

‘Despite doing our homework; working hard on sourcing new fabrics; achieving more competitive prices; designing and building a new stand plus presenting nine new ranges, you never quite know if it will be a success or not until you get the first morning over the line. Well, it clearly was worth it as we placed more product than at any previous show.

‘As a long-time Hall 1 exhibitor, it was a joy to see it looking full and back to its former glory, and pleasing to see many exhibitors had also upped their game and presented product beautifully.

‘The reaction to our new products and prices was fantastic. Customers were in a good mood, the buzz of the show was tangible and my team were happy. I’d say that was a success.

‘I never like to guess what the winning product of a show will be as I fear I’ll jinx it, but early on we had a clear runner with Jenson, a fun and funky range of smaller proportions with showwood detailing, shown in on-trend colours and it remained the winner throughout.

‘We soon found that the next two winning products were clearly going to be Caleb and Ava. Both models share the same DNA as our current bestsellers in terms of size and scale, and we added a new “casual” seat interior giving customers an obvious choice of comfort and aesthetics. Caleb has a soft and squishy feel and Ava has a more sophisticated scroll arm shape. Both are understandable, everyday models.

‘The end of day one was topped by a great champagne reception in the new central bar area where Alpha Designs was recognised by winning the Best of British award. We are over the moon to have won this award, up against many well-known and established businesses and us just a young business coming out of Bilston.

‘The rest of the week went by in a haze of frantically writing up orders, great conversations and the obligatory sore feet. I never want the week to end as there are always people that we miss or don’t manage to spend enough time with. But all good things come to an end and now the hard work starts again, making sure we get the product out to the customers and working well for them. Until the next time, thanks JFS.’

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