Ludivine Chu of La La Land explains how AGHA Gift Fairs connect Australian artists with international audiences.
La La Land supports a new generation of up-and-coming Australian visual artists, illustrators and graphic designers by printing their works on greeting cards, gifts and homewares for distribution around the world, allowing them to operate outside the confines of a traditional gallery space.
The Sydney-based business has showcased colourful and vivacious designs since 2009, when co-founders Ludivine Chu and Elie Azzi spotted a strong demand in the market for Australian-made greeting cards featuring the work of local artists.
"Elie Azzi and I had been working together for a few years in the cards and gift industry. We took the plunge and launched our own small range of cards featuring Australian illustrators, and that’s how La La Land was created," Chu told the Australian Gifts & Homewares Association (AGHA).
"At La La Land, we aim to inspire happiness and creativity by bringing out beautiful, unique and sometimes quirky artworks on various products. We support our artists by paying them a commission for each sale of their products sold through La La Land and by offering them exposure through our large network of retailers," she explained.
La La Land’s in-house illustrator, Lilly Perrott, also helps to train new talent and develop their profiles through a dedicated internship program, as well as through an online community of customers, retailers and artists who come together to share their artworks, purchased pieces, tips for in-store merchandising and its latest inspirations and discoveries.
The business has exhibited with AGHA Gift Fairs over the past few years, including the most recent AGHA Melbourne Gift Fair in August. Chu described AGHA Gift Fairs as an effective process to meet new retailers and stockists, with the most challenging aspect being the installation of an inspirational stand display to attract a wider buying audience.
"I would definitely recommend AGHA as it is the most cost-effective gift and homewares trade event in Australia. The biggest perk is seeing our stockists' reactions to new products. It's nice to see firsthand how they respond to a new artist or artwork,” Chu said.
"AGHA Gift Fairs are also an opportunity for us to listen to feedback, which often results in an adjustment to improve processes or products. We can discuss every aspect of the business and brainstorm new products. Finally, it is also a time when we reflect on what we have achieved and we always feel so grateful for the ongoing trust and support of our customers."
La La Land currently supplies to bookstores, news agencies, art galleries, museums, and boutique gift shops, as well homewares and fashion stores.
"Our stockists are as various as our customers! We target buyers that want to stock products with an edge and our ideal buyer is someone that falls in love with the brand and that will promote our products with passion," Chu added.
La La Land is always thinking of new ventures and recently launched a textile range including a co-ordinated tote bag, clutch and coin purse. The range joins an already diverse offering of calendars, notebooks, tea towels, soaps and fashion accessories
"We are very excited as it's a first time for us and we are hoping to expand this particular range more in the future. You can also expect a lot of new product categories and are especially looking to widen our homewares offering in near future."