Have you seen the trailer of “Tut” new mini series with Ben Kingsley playing Ay a father of Tutankhamun? In one scene Ay cuts his hand and asks son “What do you see?” Tutankhamun is astonished and answers nothing then the father grabs son’s face and shouts “Opportunity! Opportunity! Opportunity!” It is a lesson which I take into account and attempt to live each day with it.
I write this article instead of sleeping, because who needs sleep when has a coffee? I’m in Lithuania finally after participating in the Design Week Minsk and Clerkenwell Design Week in London. It was hard and crazy work to do matching everything on time. About the possibility to participate in Design Week Minsk we were informed like three weeks in advance, can you imagine the rush that we were working in to make everything ready? What is more, I was asked to read a lecture about company’s experience in selling Design furniture. “Opportunity!” I told to myself thinking how I am going to make it with my huge stage fright, but I could not miss the opportunity to step out of my personal comfort zone. Only later I was told it shall last for forty five minutes! I was ready for fifteen, or twenty, but to talk all alone in front of fifty people for forty five minutes, that was a real challenge, or opportunity. And actually I think I would have screwed it up! But on my way back to Lithuania after short vacations in Greece on the plane while doing last adjustments a nice gentleman sitting next to me asked what am I doing, and after short explanation declared I am doing everything wrong. I was astonished! I had just about thirty five hours left to my lecture and here an elderly gentleman is telling me that I need to redo everything! After maybe an hour long discussion I decided he is right and I will redo all the presentation as well as do not write any notes, he strictly forbad me to take any papers with notes to the lecture. Luckily, I used his advices and my presentation was good enough, thus about fifty people out there listened to me, had questions and asked me to send them the slides, as they found them useful. The entire exhibition itself was amazingly positive! People were coming to our stand constantly and telling compliments about how nice is to have European Design in Belorussia and that Lithuania is an example to follow! I am really happy we took that opportunity and went to Minsk, to meet all those nice people, share experience and, hopefully, step into Belorussian market.
Another opportunity was the CDW in London. Not less stressful and in a rush as Minsk, but we did it as well! The exhibition places were around the Clerkenwell area: an old and big factory, some small chateau, two churches (!), and old prison, where we as a member of Lithuanian Design Forum together with another three companies had our stand. The place was amazing! The history could be smelled in the air, together with a must, in fact! Despite, it wasn’t cold, but the humidity after three hours of being in that basement started to get inside you and luckily there were six of us at the booth, thus we had a chance to exchange and run away from that prison (literally) to get warm! Nevertheless, it was an amazing place to hold an exhibition! Old mouldy walls, small chambers, arches, altogether created some special atmosphere, and of course, it was a pleasure to welcome all the people finding interest in Design: international visitors as well as Lithuanians living in London! One of them was Dalia Ibelthauptaitė, who recognized our My Writing desk as she saw it in September in 100% Design, it is a great compliment, meaning that years ago when we saw the opportunity to start to work with Lithuanian Design we did the right choice to take it! Furthermore, while being in London we took one more. The e-mail from Vogue UK was received inviting us to be in their three editions in the section “for home”, I was delighted! Also, that the sales person had time to welcome me personally in the House of Vogue and explained everything tête-à-tête. Now our first product will appear in the August issue and we are really glad about that! It’s a great feeling when Vogue journalists find you by themselves and are ready to meet, it is a great encouragement!
All that time I was remembering Ay shouting on his son and could not disagree with an old Pharaoh. Opportunities are to be seen and taken; my intention is to go further with this temper, there are so many ways to reach your goals! None shall ever close ones eyes in front of the new opportunities!