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  • Samantha Sweet

London Design Festival 2021

Updated: Feb 1

Shows don't always go well. Footfall can be low, sales can be non existent, and during these times we rely upon our fellow exhibitors to keep us going. Makers are generally a nice crowd, but the everyone involved with the Makers Market at the Royal Exchange went above and beyond to make being part of the show so much fun.


The London Design Festival marked the return to in person events for the design world and being selected for the Makers Market as part of the LDF at the Royal Exchange was a great honour. I jumped at the chance to spend a week in such an incredible building in the heart of the city, showcasing my cut crystal collection and my fibre optic lighting. Each maker answered a series of questions about their practice beforehand for the Royal Exchange website, you can read mine here


The Makers Market featured 8 design lead brands. Being such a small, select bunch meant we got to know each other well and it was a real pleasure learning about my fellow exhibitors and their work, so much so that we were moved to take this group pic to celebrate it. I came away from the show with a warm glow from having enjoyed their company, I'd like to encourage you to read a bit about them all here

The Makers Market at The London Design Festival
The Makers Market at The London Design Festival

The Royal Exchange was officially opened on 23 January 1571 by Queen Elizabeth I who awarded the premises its royal title and a licence to sell alcohol and valuable goods. ‘The building has a rich history as a destination for handmade products and luxury collectibles, and The Makers’ Market will be drawing on this tradition,’ - director and co-founder of LDF, Ben Evans.


This year it also hosted the London Design Festival Medal award ceremony, a lovely evening and only the second event to be held at The Royal Exchange post lockdown. It was great to see the design community coming together again to celebrate the achievements of Mac Collins, Eyal Weizman, Ilse Crawford and Michael Wolfe.




The Makers Market has room to grow, hopefully it will become a bigger and regular part of the London Design Festival as The Royal Exchange are brilliant hosts. All the staff there, from security to waiters, also deserve a mention. They were very welcoming and made a big effort to signpost visitors (even those planning to shop at Tiffanys) to our show. Visitors are always about quality not quantity, and the people who came to the Makers Market were fantastically supportive. Above all it was brilliantly promoted by the London Design Festival and The Royal Exchange, thank you!