Hello, Spaulding here (aka the Dear Handmade Life Operations Director)! I recently did an Instagram story takeover for Dear Handmade Life while I was traveling abroad to Frankfurt, Germany. We were invited by the marketing folks at Messe Frankfurt to experience the annual trade show, CreativeWorld: International Trade Fair for Hobby, Arts and Crafts Supplies. There was so much awesome that I couldn’t possibly have shared it all in our stories, so I’ll give you all the details here.
Messe Frankfurt is a unique event space with over 400,000 square feet to explore. It is thoughtfully designed to give attendees a fun and comfortable experience. On every floor and all throughout the lobby areas there are cafes, juice bars, coffee and snack spots (my favorite was the ice cream stand, even though it was freezing winter outside). Convenient benches and cozy sitting areas provided a welcome space to take breaks. There were three trade shows simultaneously happening while I was there: CreativeWorld, PaperWorld (all things office supplies), and ChristmasWorld (Christmas decorations and gift products). Each show was designated with its own bright color carpeting so one wouldn’t get lost. Or at least so you could find your way back after intentionally wandering through the amazing things going on.
CreativeWorld is an international trade show focused on the latest products for everything art and making related. It’s basically DIY heaven. We’re talking oil, acrylic, and watercolor paints, yarn, natural dye for textiles, canvases, markers, kits, paper crafting, new tools and machines, leather goods, embroidery supplies, and on and on and on. I took notes on a few things that tickled my fancy and that I thought you would be excited about too. The Glass Etching Dremel tool that won first place for Creative Tool of the Year is so fun! An artist was demonstrating the tool by creating a 5’x3’ panel of glass that said “Make More.” Watching her in action was inspiring. A German product called Lieblingsfarben (translation: Favorite Colors), from the wool shop called Myboshi, won first place for Creative Product of the Year with their gorgeously branded natural dye kits. Samples of yarn using each kit was on display. If you know me (my Instagram handle is @yarn_monster if that gives you a clue), you’ll know that I was swooning over them and wanted to take home every single kit. Another fun discovery is from Polaroid. Yep, the camera company! They released a new plug and play 3-D desktop printer that is simply incredible! Their booth display had about 10 printers all creating a different color 3” T-Rex which was cool because I was able to see the printer doing its thing and… well, dinosaurs!
There was a moment during my first full day at CreativeWorld when I stopped for a coffee break. I wanted to pause and soak up the experience. I was tucked into a comfy corner smelling, sipping, and observing all the excitement when I realized that I was surrounded by no less than fifteen different languages. And everyone was talking about different aspects of making! It made my heart swell with pride for this incredible community connected through creativity. A pride I often feel in my daily life because I choose to surround myself with people who are committed to cultivating their own creativity in a multitude of ways. Sitting there in that moment I could feel my heart get bigger and fuller. In a few short days my making community expanded past the borders of my imagination and I doubled down on my dedication to cheerleading creativity.
If you own a business in our industry and you’re looking for products to stock your shelves with, either for selling or making yourself, I highly recommend this trade show. Plus, if you’re like me and love to travel then it’s a win-win because the city of Frankfurt is charming even in the dreary, grey, snow sleets of Winter. It’s the business and financial city of Germany but still has some small town feels. Altstadt (Old town) is a wonderful place to walk around and experience some German flavor. Some highlights were the Whisky shop on Berlinger Strasse called Die Whisky Kiste, the local yarn store up the street called Wolle Roedel, and the adorable (and delicious) bakery called Brot und seine Freunde (Bread and his friends).
Overall, this experience was wonderfully exciting. Send me mail here using the “general question” option and with the subject line CreativeWorld if you have more detailed questions. I’m happy to chat about it any time!