Favourite emerging brands at this year's Top Drawer (all on Insta), as chosen by the founder of The Bird Box.

In this day and age, social media is almost always the first place to discover new brands, latest collections and product releases. Instagram, for one, has doubled in the last two years and over 80 million photos are shared daily. Even the smallest of retailers are wising up to the platform to build communities of loyal custom.

Last month, at Top Drawer, scouts and buyers were hunting for up-and-coming brands to follow on social media. One of these is The Bird Box, a Berkshire-based startup selling organic soy candles created only with pure essential oils.

This year was founder, Sophie Clarkin’s debut at Top Drawer and her eyes were on stalks. ‘It was my first time exhibiting at Top Drawer and I wasn't disappointed. It was an amazing event filled with extremely talented and creative people and businesses. The range and diversity amongst the stalls was outstanding. I wouldn't miss it again for the world to either showcase my products or as a buyer. There is definitely a big 'Skandi' feel this year and lots of colours - which I love! ‘ Sophie relies on social media to spread the word and says, ‘I really love using Instagram to connect with my customers and to visually connect with people in the here and now.’

Follow The Bird Box on Instagram, @thebirdbox_.


Here, Sophie shares her favourite five brands at Top Drawer 2017.

@saintaymeschocolates


Saint Aymes are the most beautiful couture chocolates I have seen, the women behind it have created handmade beautiful chocolates based on icons. My favourite is the Mae West chocolate. I’m so excited about this brand.

@thebramleyman


John Starkey created ‘The Bramley Man’, a fantastic healthy alternative juice box for children. It has no added sugar, is delicious and my children love it. The best thing about it is its comes with the straw inside! - No more juice box spillages! It is made in Nottinghamshire.

@carolavandyke


It was great to discover Carola van Dyke who sells amazing bespoke pieces of fun objet ‘d art. She has some really unique pieces of artwork, that will look fabulous in any home. Her textile taxidermy, ceramics and prints sell in Anthropologie, Abigail Ahern and Liberty.

@misterberwyn


Mister Berwyn sells beautiful British made cheerful pieces of homeware. Check out their Mole plates, Circus print cushions and whimsical lampshades. They are all really colourful and would look great in any home.

@somervillescarves


I stumbled upon the stall for Somerville Scarves, a family-run business specialising in silk scarves, screen printed pashminas and hand stitched cushion covers. A great find for affordable luxury pieces.

January 2017