Dinosaurs at the Fashion Show
One of the benefits of running a small business like Everything Dinosaur is that we all get the chance to have our say how the company should go forward. In response to feedback from our customers, it has been decided to extend our range of dinosaur clothing items. We have been working with the Natural History museum in London and we will be able to supply some more T-shirts, sales of which help fund the museum. In addition we will be able to add some new lines in the near future.
However, it was decided at our team meeting Sunday afternoon, (we all met up after attending a school event) and none of us wanted to watch the Mens Singles Tennis final on the television anyway, that one of us should attend a trade fair on children’s clothing.
Since Sue had been helping me at the school it was thought only fair that I should go to the trade fair on Sue’s behalf. So I was packed off this morning to the NEC in Birmingham to see if I could find any dinosaur fashion items. As a team we had agreed to look for dinosaur pyjamas, and more T-shirts plus dinosaur swimming trunks.
Today turned out to be my first exposure to the world of fashion retail. I must admit I felt a bit out of place walking round the trade fair in my hiking boots ( I wear them because they are very comfortable and I take them on digs with me), and my anorak. Dressing as I did I found it very useful to avoid all the show staff handing me leaflets and flyers. This was not a deliberate ploy on my behalf to stop myself being bombarded with information, leaflets and product catalogues, but it certainly worked. I was left very much alone to get on with my mission – to seek out new dinosaur themed clothing.
It can be very easy to get lost in a big trade show. There are so many stalls, and exhibits to view, but I had a plan. Using my palaeontological field training I pretended the trade show was a dig site and one of the first things we do at a dig site is plot it, then plan a route so that the area is thoroughly walked over. I sat down with a map of the exhibition then planned my route so that I would cover all the exhibits on view.
Meticulously, I covered the show, checking my progress against my map and ticking off the areas I had “explored” thus ensuring I didn’t cover the same ground again. I am glad I spent a little time planning before I entered the trade fair as after a while each stall holder with baby grows on it started to look exactly the same as the one I had passed just seconds earlier. How many different types of baby grow are there?
Although I felt a bit like an Eusthenopteron* (get it, my attempt at a weak palaeontologists joke), I began to grow in confidence and I chatted away to a number of manufacturers and I may have unearthed some new leads for our retail team to pursue. We may end up with more dinosaur clothing to add to our ranges as a result of my little expedition.
Working for Everything Dinosaur, certainly takes you to some funny places, one minute I can be at a school, the next I am walking round a big children’s clothing fashion show. Still I suppose that is one of the benefits of working the way we do, everyone gets the chance to try new things.
To view Everything Dinosaur’s clothing range: Everything Dinosaur.
Eusthenopteron* – my joke explanation.
I felt a bit like a fish out of water at the fashion show. Eusthenopteron was a member of the lobe-finned fish group otherwise known as sarcopterygians. These group of fishes were one of the dominant fish groups of the Devonian period (410 to 355 mya). Scientists believe that it was from this group of fish that the first land vertebrates evolved. It has been speculated that the lobe-finned fish could use their fleshy fins to move clumsily around on land – hence my “fish out of water” analogy. Eusthenopteron means “good strong fin” and it may be our direct ancestor. There are still a few remnants of this once huge group of fish around today. The Coelacanth is a member of this group and there are still six species of lung fish around, these too belong to the ancient lobe-finned group.
Frightening to think that basically we are nothing more than highly evolved fish. This is only slightly more unnerving than having to attend a children’s clothing show on your own!