Shoppe Object Presents Reimagined Home and Gift Trade Show

August 15, 2018

Many attendees of NY NOW at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City made their way north to West 46thStreet, where a new home and gift event with a fresh approach was launching at the Metropolitan West. 

Shoppe Object is a new semiannual home and gift trade show created by Jesse James, founder of the showroom and agency Aesthetic Movement, and Deirdre Maloney and Minya Quirk, two founders of the apparel trade show, Capsule. 

The event is intended to be a well-curated, stand-alone showcase for the gift market. 

“It felt like it was time to create a smaller, elevated, hyper-edited showcase for the home, gift and design market in New York, so I teamed up with Minya and Deirdre,” James told Business of Home prior to the event.

He continued, “Their expertise in having created an alternate showcase in the apparel space, coupled with my vision for something needed in our world, made the timing feel just right to launch Shoppe Object.” 

The style of Shoppe Object is purposely “un-trade show.” Contained on two floors of a small event space, 100 exhibitors showcased a curated collection of items including housewares, jewelry and books. 

Walking through the boutique space, one felt the calm of browsing a chic home showroom all while buyers and exhibitors were getting down to business.

Shoppe Object organizers invited brands within the Aesthetic Movement showroom to exhibit first and then offered the opportunity to other brands that James admires. This method created a community of merchants that embraced the fresh format for exhibiting their lines. 

Isabel Halley, designer at Isabel Halley Ceramics, explained the appeal.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to be in a curated setting – less is more,” she said. “Buyers are only coming here if they have a specific idea in mind or know what they want.”

Alice Heinz at Sibilia noted that her warm prospects were in attendance.

“Here they have access to the line – it’s really visible and they’re seeing it in a new way,” she said. “It’s really easy to talk to people.”

Christine Visneau, director of retail and sourcing at Makeready, said she and her colleagues were looking for items in several lifestyle categories that were handmade, ethically made and had a story.

“We’ve been buying from Aesthetic Movement for years and we used to see them at NY Now, so we’re happy to see them break out,” Visneau said.

She continued, “This is a beautiful environment and we don’t say that often about a show, but it’s nice when they are curated.”

Exhibitors also appreciated the autonomy they had at Shoppe Object.

Heinz said the variety of booth formats was unique.

“Every line looks individual,” she explained. “Each exhibitor got to do what they needed for their products.”

Halley says the autonomy was freeing, especially in terms of labor.

“This is a relief – you can use a ladder without filling out a form!” she exclaimed.

With many of the burdens associated with traditional trade shows lifted, exhibitors said they were free to focus on their brands’ needs and do business.

“We want brands to feel a part of a community of like-minded makers and instead of a massive, stressful, intimidating burden, we want them to have a positive, easy experience while interacting with the best retailers in our market – ones they’ve heard of or already work with, and new ones that they’ll be very pleased to meet,” James told Business of Home.

Judging from the feedback exhibitors provided of the inaugural event, the organizers’ objectives for Shoppe Object had been met.

Next, the organizers are focused on creating an “open-to-the-public holiday sale featuring the community of designers offering the best excess stock, samples and seconds” in late 2018.

Plans are currently underway for the next edition of Shoppe Object in Feb. 2019, according to show officials.


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