To the shops!

After good constructive feed back Blue Glimpse was sent to London on the mission to see how shops display kitchenware products in the similar category as Jabels.

Before heading to London, we were confused if we should consider Jabels as a kitchen gadget or utensil.

After walking around the kitchenware sections in stores we quickly learned that our Jabels are more in the gadget category and not utensil category. We decided that utensils are kitchen products that have more of a direct contact with food such as garlic crushers and bowls. However, we found that Jabels would suit the gadget category because they do not necessarily have a direct contact with the food products for example corkscrews and digital scales.

Jabels are positioned around jars, bottles, and small tupperware boxes, they do not have a direct contact with food products.

One of the criticism for our display table of Jabels at the first trade fair was that it was not displaying the proper function of the product. Jabels wasn’t presented in a way where people would look at the product and think ‘kitchen’ or ‘food’. It is important that at trade fairs that customers can find the direct link between your product and function quickly. If this connection is not clear then it is possible that customers will avoid visiting your stall. This connection is important in big kitchenware stores and departments because there might not be anyone around to explain the full function of the products. On the other hand, this confusion may be a benefit at trade fairs because for those who are curious and confused about the function of your product may still visit your stall and ask you directly about your product.

 We found that the kitchen gadgets and utensils display areas in the stores so colourful and eye catching. We saw brands such as Zeal, Copenhagen, and Joseph and Joseph.

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Image ZEAL

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                                                   JOSEPH AND JOSEPH

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NORMAN COPENHAGEN

We thought our colourful dark blue and white Jabels would fit into the display area quite well. However, for the future we do want to look into more bright colours for Jabels as well as manufacturing bigger size Jabels to fit over tupperware boxes.

In the store there was a display table in between the kitchen gadget display and kitchen utensil display with jars of condiments such as mustard, pickle, olivers etc. I thought it would be perfect if not only could we get jables displayed on the hanging displays against the wall but display their function by having them position on these jars of condiments displaying the expiry dates, ‘Eat Me by’, ‘Opened On’ written on the Jabels.

Our next trade fair table displayed Celia Small’s, Manager of Blue Glimpse, fridge creation. She converted a small wooden box into a fridge by painting the box white and sticking a picture of the inside of her fridge to the back so when you open the door it looks like a mini fridge. Inside the mini fridge we placed jars and bottles in the fridge with Jabels displaying their expiry dates.

We were all proud of Celia’s fridge and it helped the customers make a quick connection of our Jabels to its function

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Overall, we were glad that we went on our mission to London as it was extremely helpful in  determining what category of kitchenware our Jabels are and it gave us an important insight in how we should display our Jabels so that the function is clearly evident.

As a reward, after our mission we took ourselves to Byron Burgers to have lunch. It was a successful day out with Blue Glimpse.

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Classes at the V&A

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For the past 5 weeks we have been having our MA Museum and Galleries classes at the Sackler Centre at the Victoria & Albert Museum with various Education staff.  We had the great opportunity to meet the museum’s artist residents. The residents apply for a 6 months placement with the museum. They work on projects and utilise their access to the museums archives and collections.  One of the residents is a costume designer. As we entered her studio we were memorised by the pieces of clothing, sketches pinned all over the walls, and unfinished costumes on mannequins scattered around the room. The other resident was a ceramic artist in the studio on level 6 the ceramics floor. Surprisingly, the resident wants to attract audiences that like to listen to rock music and skateboard users to visit his art exhibitions. These are considered new and not conventional V&A audiences, but a risk that the artist and the V&A are willing to experiment with.
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These classes at the V&A have been extremely useful and has given us an insight to potential museum career paths we may want to pursue after our masters degree. We have gained an understanding of what happens behind the scenes in the museum that a normal visitor may not have knowledge of. There is something thrilling about knowing how a museum operates behind the eyes of the visitor. Many museum visitors tend not to think about what happens behind the scenes in a museum but just focuses on what the museum wants them to see. For example, the staff is constantly designing and planning new exhibitions, organising restoration plans of the building and art collections, coming up with new methods in attracting new visitors etc. It was a surprise to learn that the ‘Hollywood Costume’ exhibition was planned and over 7 years, which means most of the exhibitions opened for the public this year were planned and made official years ahead. This suggests that it takes years of planning and organisation to keep the museum functioning and constantly offer something for their audiences. I can understand why the V&A museum is one of London’s top attractions.
It has been a great experience at the V&A and opened our eyes to potential career paths in the Museum industry. Having only experience in galleries and small art organisations to have the insight to the organisation of a large art and cultural institution has been a great opportunity. 
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Victoria and Albert Museum
Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7 2RL

V&A