Print Show Tips from Ana Romero Monteiro

These beautiful prints are the work of textile designer Ana Romero Monteiro. I was drawn to the natural feel in Ana’s work and the way that they exude a sense of nature, without using obvious elements (birds, flowers, leaves etc..). Ana currently lives in NYC and is represented by Miley Rose (in Australia) and Corio Studio (in London).

In addition to working with representatives, Ana recently started showing her work at both Printsource and Direction by Indigo. She has learned some valuable lessons along the way and agreed to share a few tips you all!

So…without further ado, Ana’s top ten print show tips:

1. If you are going to do it, do it BIG! Smaller booths do not stand out and do not allow for enough room to lay out a majority of your designs. As clients walk by it is nice to have designs laid out on tables so they can quickly walk over and view your work.

2. Many clients don’t actually buy at the show. They are so overwelmed with the quantity of prints that they only select the designers and studios they like the most. Afterwards they may want to schedule private showings.

3. Presentation is very important. Clients appreciate that you go that extra mile. People associate a good presentation with method, creativity, ambition and a professional atitude.

4. Less is more. A harmonious and clean presentation is reassuring. Don’t try to put all of your work on the wall, instead just highlight your strongest pieces. Many clients thought my clean looking booth was refreshing.

5 – Be open to new target markets. I always thought upscale womenswear was my key market, but to my surprise I gained new clients from activewear to menswear. What a pleasant surprise!

6 – Having a personal style is important. Don’t try to target all the markets. If you have a personal style it makes you unique and your clients will appreciate the consistency.

7. Try to follow the trends, but interpret them in your own way! For example, my personal style is more abstract and painterly. If I’m working on a geometric trend I will – at least from now on – try to somehow combine that feel with the trend and incorporate it in all of my designs. That way you will have your own aproach to what everybody else is doing!

8. Multiple Colorways. I use lots of color and – though many clients appreciate that –  I have been told that I use too much for the American market. My solution for this problem is to show a more colorful option alongside a more toned down option.

9. Be prepared! Be prepared and don’t try to take on more than you can handle. My first show at Printsource went swell. Clean and simple was my moto. For my next show – Direction by Indigo – things didn’t work out as well. I switched my presentation style and it ended up being very time consuming. Needless to say I was exausted even before the show began. It was hard to even engage in conversation!

10. Be engaged and learn from others! Doing shows is a very rewarding learning experience. Feedback is very important. I also try to watch the competition, especially the studios that are well established and have been doing this for a long time. I look at how they present themselves, how they aproach the clients, how they organize their collections… everything! It makes the slow times at the shows much more valuable!

Thank you Ana!!!!

At Pattern Observer we strive to help you grow your textile design business through our informative articles, interviews, tutorials, workshops and our private design community, The Textile Design Lab.

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