WHO REALLy is…
TREND ANALYST and PROJECT MANAGER @ Bluezone
We were able to catch the “heart and head of BLUEZONE” Theresa for a short interview and we can’t wait to hear more about what the Blue community means to her and to discover her secret passion. What we already know is that Theresa lives in Munich, Germany, where she has been working for Munich Fabric Start for 6 years. Her role is actually quite tricky to define as she is on one hand a trend analyst & fabric specialist, responsible e.g. for the conception of the trend forums at the fair. On the other hand, she is a project manager for several areas at Munich Fabric Start, one of them being BLUEZONE. So for now, please start telling us all your secrets, Theresa!
What does a Project Manager do at Munich Fabric Start?
Theresa: The most important part of the job is to support our exhibitors with the registration process, the stand concept creation and the technical equipment. I am basically the contact person for every enquiry that might occur from the exhibitor’s side before the fair and on-site. As well, the acquisition of new innovative companies and suitable projects for future exhibitions is another responsibility in my role. What I really enjoy is to working closely with such a diverse group of clients in tasks which can be very multifaceted and demanding. Of course, processes are repeated, but no season is completely the same: there are always new ideas, new tasks and a lot of flexibility and improvisation needed down to the very last moment before the show. It definitely never gets boring.
What makes BLUEZONE special for you? And what is your favourite moment or highlight from previous BLUEZONE editions?
Theresa: BLUEZONE feels more like a family than a business platform to me, everybody knows each other very well and the interaction is super personal and fun. We know each face of our exhibitors and pay attention to their unique quirks, I guess that is what really defines us as BLUEZONE. My highlight at every show is the morning of the first show day, everything is set up, all problems solved, smiling exhibitor faces and the first visitors are entering the hall – that’s pure excitement and anticipation.
How is it to work with exhibitors coming from so many different nationalities?
Theresa: I enjoy being in constant exchange with so many different people from various backgrounds – this is one of the best parts of the job. Of course, there are some regional characteristics, but I think it is much more the individual than the nationality that makes it special. Having said that, a very German trait that I can’t quite shake yet is punctuality and a kind of blunt certainty so I am really grateful that over time my dear exhibitors have taught me to be more relaxed and take it easy, even in the most stressful situations. Something which is definitely on my bucket list is visiting some of the factories in person, I have already received some invitations and am looking forward to discovering the facilities who are showcasing at BLUEZONE.
The exhibitors at BLUEZONE are denim manufacturers, trim makers, laundries, etc. What kind of feedback did you receive from them during the pandemic?
Theresa: I feel like the community has been growing even closer together. Talking from my home to the homes of my exhibitors, improvising workspaces, hand written contracts – a very special time. Everybody had different problems from confinement till delays of raw materials, everybody struggled with the situation but there was always a sense of community. “We are all in this together.” I had much more feedback of support and commitment than people talking about their problems. Therefore, I am very thankful and proud about our Blue Community.
How do you imagine the future of trade shows?
Theresa: I imagine that the next real Munich Fabric Start along with BLUEZONE, under safe conditions of course, is going to be a real blast and very emotional, since everybody is longing for physical meetings and real life exchange. I think during the pandemic, it became clear that not everything can be replaced with a zoom conference. The textile and fashion sector really needs the touch and feel of the product. But I also believe over the past few years we had time to realise that traveling and visiting events has risen to a peak and for the future we might focus ourselves on only the important and necessary travels which also includes trade shows.
What is your very personal passion and why?
Theresa: WD-40 and sandpaper, I love to repair or restore used things and bring them back to life.
If you had to stay on an isolated island and you could only bring 5 items with you. What would they be?
Theresa: 4 friends and family members, plus my toolbox. If I have learned anything in the last months, which kind of felt like being on an isolated island: it is that friends and family are most important to me, that time passes fast and that I am happiest when working with my hands.
How would you describe your personal style? Is denim an important part of it?
Theresa: In the past years I have concerned myself a lot with my own consumerism and sustainability, which is why I have been trying to reduce my wardrobe to the essentials, focusing on quality and sustainable production. You could say I am trying to build a capsule wardrobe where everything can be combined very flexibly in combination with some eye-catchers.
Definitely more denim pieces have entered my wardrobe since I have been working at BLUEZONE and now probably almost half of my clothes are made from denim.