Simon Gillmeister turned 30 this year and is a passionate artist. His other great passion is entrepreneurship, which he has been pursuing with Schnaud GbR for more than two years now. Schnaud GbR is a young company that wants to help as many people as possible to experience a very personal creative timeout through art.
Schnaud GbR will be a first-time exhibitor at the fifth Insights-X. Why have you decided to exhibit at Insights-X?
Simon Gillmeister: When we heard about Insights-X last year, we immediately visited the expo and were wowed by the contacts and the products on offer. We decided straight after our visit that we wanted to exhibit there. We think that Insights-X offers great opportunities, especially for a young start-up like ourselves. We are really looking forward to the expo and to meeting all of the contacts.
In addition to drawing, acrylic and origami sets, your range also includes what are known as brush pens. What makes a pen with a real brush tip so unique and for which types of artwork is it particularly suitable?
S. G.: The brush pen was our first product at Schnaud GbR. We discovered the product during our research around the time of our foundation and were immediately blown away. As the name suggests, brush pens have a real brush tip. This means that they can be used to create beautiful watercolour drawings and lettering. The line width can be varied very fluently thanks to the flexible brush tip. Paired with our high-quality watercolour pad and water brush pen, you can achieve beautiful watercolour effects as well.
Digitisation is also playing an important role in the stationery sector. To what extent is digitisation having an impact on you?
S. G.: You’re absolutely correct. We consider ourselves to be at the forefront of digitisation. Having started out trading online, we are very familiar with the concepts of marketing and social media and have already been successful many times in those areas.
In addition to our physical products, we will also increasingly offer online courses in connection with our products in the future. When you buy a Schnaud artist set, you will get everything you need to get started – that is our long-term goal. We believe that the right instructions and courses are all part of putting your hand to something new. We will provide these in the form of e-books and video courses, which you will receive when buying our products. If the basic course is not enough, you can then buy advanced and professional courses. We are already working on such projects and are making good progress.
You have decided to not only exhibit at Insights-X, but also offer a hands-on activity in the InsightsArena Atelier. What attracted you to the format?
S. G.: I think the format offers a unique opportunity to illustrate live how a product is used to people who might be interested. You cannot always tell immediately when looking at a product how it should be used. Product features can be wonderfully explained through practical examples in a detailed presentation.
You have named your hands-on activity “Learn drawing with the drawing set from Schnaud”. What can trade visitors expect when they choose to take part?
S. G.: During the hands-on activity, I will use the tools in our drawing set to demonstrate to the trade visitors some interesting drawing techniques that I bet they are not yet familiar with. Beginners frequently don’t know where to start and feel disheartened with their initial attempts at drawing. This is precisely what we want to avoid by including a beginners course with many interesting techniques with our set. The hands-on activity will offer a little preview of the course content.
We love stationery! Do you feel the same? How do you show your love for the stationery industry and drawing?
S. G.: Absolutely. As a passionate artist, I can never enter an art supply store without buying at least one product to bring home with me. I think every artist will appreciate that.
Personally speaking, I work mainly with graphite and charcoal pencils and with oil paints. I am especially into photorealistic portraits. And then I share my journey as an artist on my YouTube and Instagram channels. In addition, a new blog post about art and creativity appears every week on our Schnaud website
Exhibitors can use the InsightsArena Atelier to hold small workshops or creative sessions with visitors. This gives trade visitors insights into how they might perfectly present products and activities for their customers in their own stores.To the InsightsArena