As Frank Sinatra sang, “If I can make it there, I’m gonna make it anywhere, It’s up to you, New York, New York.”
This feeling resonates through every action leading up to leaving for the infamous New York City. Even more so that this is not the first time we have landed on Manhattan’s shores in the hope of a big break, meeting a buyer that is going to see and feel what Mungo has to offer and spread the word in the vast expanse of the USA. New York is a place of dreams coming true and the feeling that anything is possible, with a new treasure around every corner.
Arriving in mid-August the balmy New York weather hits you as you queue up outside JKF for an often hair-raising cab ride into Manhattan. Last time it was a driver from Pakistan, previously to that an Italian. This time round I got a Russian cabbie. You feel uncomfortable for about the first 30 minutes then once reaching the grid like streets you know exactly how to get to 23rdth and 7th. And you have an opinion on how to do it! A feisty jet lagged South African female versus a 70-year-old Russian taxi driver is a force to be reckoned with. Russia won. But I got there.
I arrived in the west village for a few days of R&R before NYNOW started. Beautiful weather, cobbled streets and leafy sidewalks make you fall in love with New York. Sidewalk cafes, roaming the MOMA, pedigreed dogs and bicycles zoom back and forth in the most carefree manner and life is just great.
Day 5 arrives and I’m headed into mid-town to a smelly damp hotel that I think has seen half of New York’s tourist quota in the last decade. If these walls could talk? I would NOT want to listen. This is when I discovered Walmart was good for two things, room freshener and cheap disposable slippers. Damp smell gone. Tick. Barefoot on sticky carpet, no longer a problem. Tick. Now we’re ready for work. Donna arrives and we get started on our all-female stand building mission. 3 days later, with floors laid, copper frame intact and stock on display we are thrilled with the result. To such an extent that those $16 cocktails are well deserved, much appreciated and price… no problem.
Being in the Artisan Resource sector and surrounded by international talent on all levels is an inspiring place to be. What was more inspiring was the reaction and response to Mungo and our offering. We showcased our brand new Mungo Mali range of cushions, throws and table runners along with our African inspired range. Donna’s stand design was a hit, amazingly thought out and complements the Mungo range beautifully. We made good contacts, great friends and hope to be back again next year. It was a successful 10 days of building, talking, negotiating and pack up. But I feel we conquered. In our own small way, getting a foot in the door is one step closer.