원석이에요 These Are Raw Stones

This was my first time participating in Seoul International Handmade Fair at COEX Convention & Exhibition Center. This building is connected with COEX Mall, known to be the largest underground shopping center in Asia, and is located in the basement of Korea World Trade Center. There are 4 main halls inside the exhibition center and our activity was held in Hall D, lv.3.

A day before the fair began, all of the exhibitors were busy unloading stuff and finding our booth location. It didn’t take very long for me to set up my equipment, as I could only bring important saleable items and not so much on the props.

Over the next 4 days, I came to the site as early as possible to open my booth, so that I had time to look around at other participants’ works before the fair opened to the public. There were many kinds of craft items to see (and shop!), including ceramics, wood crafts, illustrations, pop-up cards, paper garden postcards, miniatures, plush toys, jewelry, calligraphy, felt garland, and more.

원석이에요” (won seog yi e yo / these are raw stones) – I think this is the most time repeated sentence I used during those 4 days to introduce my items. Haha!

Besides customers from Korea, I also met other people from France, the UK, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan. I guess I’m the only one from Indonesia! 😄 Many people are interested in my Druzy Festive collection for its uniqueness. They told me they’d never seen such gemstone jewelry in Korea. And that’s why I came here to present my work! Yippie! XD

Not only introduced my creations, but I also met so many great artists and friendly people during the fair! It’s really exciting to make new friends and to exchange our contact.

A calligraphy writer – Lucia Choi, whom I met last year and still keep in touch until now. We have similar characteristics towards our goals and we give support to each other. Her work was recently featured in K-drama: Temptation. She also introduced me to many (read: a lot) of her friends!
Lucia says, that one day she wants to hold a fan meeting with people around the world, in Seoul. How cool! 😎
We had dinner together for 4 straight days after the fair ended. Oh~ I’m gonna miss those moments!

My kind neighbour who does pop-up cards and books – Hur Ra Young, with her brand 호도나무 (Ho Do Na Mu). She was an illustrator before doing these manually cut pop-up cards 3 years ago. Her WHY was because her son loves robots and paper toys, so she made him a robot pop-up card back then. As time goes by, she keeps on experimenting and loves this path.

After all, Ra Young unnie is the best neighbour I’ve ever had! She bought me coffee, lunch, cake and macaroon, and looked after my booth when I left for a while. She also bought one of my bracelets (she said she fell in love at first sight and wore it every day during the fair! ❤️‍), moreover, gave me one of her lovely cards as a present. I hope we can be neighbors again at the next fair!

Pretty Kwon Mi Jeong with her brand Lappez.
She is an illustrator with her work inspired by warmth feelings and nature, also some illustrations with beautiful scenery were sketched when she was on her trip to Spain. I love her doodle kind of watercolor paintings and the colors she put in her works. I bought some of her lovely creations and they are now pinned on my working desk board. 🙂

Portable Lollipop and B.rgds,
They’re a group of nice people! Ohsang and Hoya are a sweet husband and wife couple from Portable Lollipop. They love cats and most of their works are made from wood by themselves, or in collaboration with other artists. Their cat figure plush toys were made by B.rgds, the team that specialized in making fabric-related items and of course, plush toys as seen attached on the wall.

A few days after the fair, JC and Noa from B.rgds, brought me to visit a Portable Lollipop country-style shop with so many hidden treasures from Japan, as well as their office studio. We had a nice 뽀뽀치킨 dinner together and played a random fun quiz. Hope to meet you guys again soon!

Bhavishya team members. I met Min on the first day during lunch break in the cafeteria. He has good English, so we can communicate smoothly. 😆 Along with the other six members of Bhavishya (Hindi language means: future), they make classic luxury unisex stone bracelets with owls as the mascot. They managed Bhavishya very well and they have stockists in both online and offline shops in some well-known department stores in Korea.

On the last day, Min brought his team members and introduced them to me. They helped me greet Korean customers in my booth. How fun! 👏 I even received a bracelet gift from Bhavishya at the end of the fair! Thank you!

PMQ from Hong Kong. There are 4 brands from Hong Kong invited to this fair with pretty leader – Joyce Chiu. She introduced her company and the brands who participated in this fair. Two of them are FlowPlusLiving – ceramic ware uniquely inspired by food, and Be Candle – a vegan, natural and sustainable candle brand by designer Xavier Tsang. Next time I go to Hong Kong, I’ll visit you guys!

Two girls who’s working hard for the fair, Hye Min – who’s in charge of the stage and performance activity, and Hee Won – who managed the cafe from opening until the fair’s closed. Both of them were extremely busy during that week! They said, it was like a war… 수구했어요~ ^^

I appreciate every moment I had, and every person I met during the fair. It was truly a fantastic experience for me. And a big THANK YOU to everyone I mentioned above! Whether you realize it or not, I received your help in some way. 🙂

Last but not least, I’d like to express my gratitude if you’ve been following my Instagram posts while I was in Korea. Thank you! 🙂

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