Brightening up the holidays

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2009/12/06/brightening-holidays.html

Sara Veal

Christmas has come early for Jakarta’s shopaholic trendsetters. Brightspot, the temporary market of all things cool, returns Thursday, Dec. 10, to provide a dose of holiday cheer and sparkle for up-and-coming independent retailers and discerning consumers alike. Sara Veal talks to Chris Kerrigan, half of husband-and-wife conceptual design team C&C Projects and one of Brightspot’s founders, about the story behind the quarterly retail event and what to look forward to with next week’s Xmas Edition.

What is Brightspot?

Brightspot was created by Future 10 Productions, Leonard Theosabrata Designs and C&C Projects. The Brightspot partnership just kind of came together. Future 10 is a party promotion and event company, C&C Projects is involved in fashion and art curation, and Leonard Theosabrata is a furniture and interior designer. We have all worked together on other projects before, so it was quite natural.

The main thing is to promote the local designers, and do something new for Jakarta. We want to help develop the ready-to-wear fashion industry in Indonesia. The brands and the ability to sell their stock at Brightspot create both money and a demand for new collections. The ultimate goal is to give these brands and Indonesia positive international recognition. It’s already happening for several brands, and the market itself.

How did you come up with the concept for it?

It’s something we’ve been thinking about for a couple years. We noticed that there are quite a lot of great independent local designers. The only problem is that they are spread out throughout the city, and many don’t have showrooms. The community that knows about them is very small, and their exposure is quite limited. We were approached by a mall to come up with some sort of event in a 600-square-meter empty space, so we decided to bring these designers together to present them to a larger audience.

We were trying to come up with the name for a while. We decided on Brightspot Market when we were watching CNN on Obama’s inauguration. They were talking about how Obama merchandise was the bright spot for retailers in an otherwise dim market. This connects to our other goal, which was to create some excitement in Jakarta retail. There’s so much focus on international brands, but there are so many great ones right under our nose.

Has Brightspot changed since its inception?

Not really. Since the beginning we had a pretty good idea of where we wanted to go with it. We’ve had chances to go in other directions, but we’re sticking with the original idea.

How do you let people know about Brightspot?

I’d say that most of it is word of mouth. Facebook and Twitter have been great tools. The participants also help spread the word to their circles. We also do posters and flyers, but not that many. We are trying to be conscious of the waste factor, and the Internet reaches people faster anyway.

The other thing is that we get a lot of walk in traffic from the mall, which is exactly what we want. There are tons of people who go to big name stores like Forever 21 or Topshop in search of cool clothes. We want them to find us by accident and discover a whole new world of unique products.

How much planning and work goes into each Brightspot?

The first one was quite fast. We had the general idea for a while, but the actual planning was only about one month. It was possible to do it so quickly because of Future 10’s experience in event planning, and Leo’s experience with trade show interiors. Since the first one, we’re constantly working to plan the next events and for the future.

What was the response to the previous editions of Brightspot?

People were skeptical about the first Brightspot Market. Most people thought it was just going to be another bazaar. What we wanted was for the brands to be creative with their booths and show their uniqueness. In the end, people were excited and felt like they had discovered something new.

That first event brought about 6,000 people over the four days we were open, and we kept getting questions about when we were going to do it again. We were expecting the second event to be better, with a goal between 8,000-10,000 visitors. We ended up with 12,000, including many heavy hitters in the retail business and several international buyers.

How has the response been to this edition?

People have been talking about it since the last one. Somehow it was all over Twitter before we had even confirmed the date.

What have been your favorite stalls so far?

We don’t have any one favorite. Every time we have a contest for the best booth design, and the winner gets a free booth at the next event. The first time we chose the booth by 16 DScale for the professional feel. The second Brightspot winners were a booth by Kle and a table by Poei Oei. It’s always a hard decision. We’re excited to see what happens at the Xmas Brightspot… we’re encouraging Christmas decor.

What stalls are you most looking forward to?

This time we have a bunch of new tenants that we’re looking forward to. Nikidee is a new women’s clothing line that’s joining. We also have Scooter 99 in this time. They customize vintage vespas and make sidecars. Of course, we will also have a bunch of the vendors that have been with us from the beginning. I think the most anticipated part of Brightspot may be the infamous bake sale.

See http://www.brightspotmarket.com/ for more information.

Brightspot: Xmas Edition
Plaza Indonesia, 3rd Floor
Opening Party: Dec. 10, 5.30 p.m. – 11 p.m. (invitation only)
Public: Dec. 11-12, 11 a.m. – midnight, Dec. 13, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Entry: Free for al

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