Gifts Today September 2020

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Gifts Today Month: September 2020 Issue: 7 Volume: 31


The UK’s leading supplier of drop ship Personalised Gifts


For Him - For Her - For Children - For The Home For All Occasions

Gifts Today September 2020



Contents Regulars 5 6 14 22

Message from the editor News Exhibition news Cover story Newell Brands – the home of WoodWick and Yankee Candle

New Product Showcase 20 While trade shows have been forced to close their physical doors this season, there’s still plenty of new product for you to discover. We bring you all that’s new, launched across the key gifting categories over 70+ pagess


Gifts Today team


The artist tells us why she opened a gift shop during the pandemic, and how she believes bricks and mortar stores are so important in these Covid-19 times


Sally Norton

48 Retailers’ Panel

Advertisement Manager

In our four-page special, the latest members of our Panel – key gift shop owners around the UK – tell us how reopening went for them, what’s selling well and the ups and downs of the ‘new normal’new normal’

Mark Horsnell


Rick Vickers

Special features

Managing Director

16 The Wheat Bag Company 62 InStyle

Mark Naish

Jewellery and fashion accessories from leading companies in our 8-page special

Production Director

Paul Naish

72 Present Time


Malcolm Naish

38 Meg Hawkins


30 years’ experience in accessories, gift items, clocks, small furniture and lighting, offering an inspirational combination of Dutch and Danish design

88 Charlotte Thomas Boost your interiors offering with quintessentially English designs from the bed linen and accessories brand that works well in the gift shop setting

90 Gourmet Gifts 92 Trade Talk Leading figures talk post-lockdown business, top launches and how they’re preparing for a possible second spike in Covid-19

Lema Publishing Ltd

1 Churchgates, The Wilderness, Berkhamsted, Herts, HP4 2UB Telephone: 01442 289930

Opinion 10 The British Independent Retailers’ Association (Bira) 12 The Giftware Association

Handmade in Suffolk

T 01359 250720

p36 p40

Message from the Editor

Instagram: @giftstodaymedia



realised the importance of a little luxury in the home t’s been fascinating putting like a scented candle, tasteful ornament or stylish together this issue of bedding; we’re looking for products to pamper or to Gifts Today. Ad manager show others we care; we’re looking for little treats Mark Horsnell and I have had to lift our spirits. Well, you can find it all in here. so many incredibly honest We bring you hot trends, new ranges from favourite conversations with all sides of suppliers, some new gems to discover – in short, the the industry over the past few sort of experience you would have at a show, but from months and, while there have the safety of your own home or shop. undoubtedly been some incredible Speaking of new products, turn to page 22 for our highs and lows across the industry, the one cover story from Newell Brands Home Fragrance, thing everyone seems to agree on is that nothing stays home of Yankee Candle and WoodWick Candles. the same from one week to the next. Some great launches to discover. It already feels like an We’re champions of indie bricks age since we published our That’s why we took and mortar gift shops here at Gifts #BackInBusiness July issue the decision to turn Today. We really feel they’re the when lockdown ended. Since then we’ve had ‘eat this entire issue into a lifeblood of our industry. And we feature lots of wonderful businesses out to help out’ and enjoyed New Product special in this issue’s four-page Retailers’ some days of summer freedom as rules were – to get details of new Panel on page 48. And there’s also my interview with artist Meg relaxed. And now here we ranges and launches Hawkins who has so much faith are again with the new ‘rule out to buyers in physical stores that she actually of six’ or face a £100 fine. opened a gift shop during lockdown We decided the best thing – so inspirational! Head to page 38 to read. to do was just get on with it – working away on our As well as product launches, profiles and interviews, new website, posting on social media and creating a there’s still plenty of news, views and opinion. We’re magazine for you to read both in print and digitally. already looking ahead to our October issue and we’d This issue is usually our Autumn Fair and Top love you to be involved. You can ring us in the office, or Drawer Autumn special. When it was confirmed the email us – Mark Horsnell and I are here every working physical shows were closed for business, we quickly day and would love to hear from you. We’ll be taking a realised the real strength of a good B2B magazine. look at some key gifting categories – home fragrance, As Paul Hooker from Joe Davies said: ‘Gifts Today home accessories, InStyle fashion and jewellery, games is a great showcase for our industry. Just staying in & puzzles, and more. touch with positive messages and keeping customers Many retailers tell us they love receiving the print informed of trade in general all adds to the mix.’ edition of Gifts Today through the post, and that’s Mark and I do see Gifts Today as a place to connect why we produce a print edition as well as a digital all sides of the industry, a place to share views and, version, too, on our lovely new website. We try to perhaps most importantly, show new product. engage with our readers through as many touchpoints That’s why we took the decision to turn this entire as we can; we know different people prefer different issue into a New Product special – to get details of platforms, so we try to cover them all. Sign up for our new ranges and launches out to buyers. It quickly newsletter on our website (, follow became clear this was popular with key suppliers as us on Instagram @GiftsTodayMedia or connect with this issue has turned into a bumper one. It’s packed us on LinkedIn. See you next month. full of fantastic product; not just facemasks and hand gels (who could have anticipated that a year ago?!), but home fragrance, home furnishings, jewellery and gifts designed to pamper. It seems many of us have The views of the contributors expressed in this journal are not necessarily those of the publisher. Comments, letters and criticism are welcome.


News Joe Davies ran own

‘At Home’ show

The giftware company revamped their showroom for their ‘At Home’ Autumn Fair show which ran through from 1-11 September.

2020 Best Small Shop competition Celebrating the commitment, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of independent retailers across the UK, the competition highlights their role in building local communities. The judging process is taking place now until mid-October with the Awards’ shortlist announced in late October. Independent retailers from all retail sectors across the UK were invited to enter the competition, with 30 of the most impressive applications shortlisted and invited to attend the Best Small Shops’ reception in November 2020. This year’s competition has been revised to better reflect the current retail climate. Judges are seeking entries from independent retailers that are demonstrating specific innovation to combat the impact of Covid-19 in a new award category. The judges will be looking for evidence of: Specific innovation to combat the impact of Covid-19 and how the business diversified to maintain trading.

Retail’s ‘frontline heroes’ to be celebrated The Retail Week Awards are introducing eight ‘Frontline Hero’ categories for 2021 to celebrate and give thanks to individuals working in retail who have gone above and beyond to help keep the nation going during the pandemic. The eight ‘Frontline Hero’ categories are: Store Manager, Store Colleague, Store Team, Distribution Centre Colleague, Initiative, Delivery Colleague, Head Office Colleague, and Head Office Team. ‘Retail is a huge part of how we live in Britain and the coronavirus pandemic has meant we are operating in truly unprecedented circumstances,’ says Retail Week events director Poppie Mickleburgh. ‘Throughout the crisis, we have all witnessed how vital the retail industry is to our daily lives and been thankful for frontline heroes working in this fantastic sector, from store workers through to the leadership team. We not only want to recognise the industry as a whole, but also spotlight those people who selflessly continued going to work putting themselves at risk to make all of our lives more bearable at a time when many were at their most vulnerable.’ Pictured Steve Rowe, CEO of M&S, and Julian Richer, founder of Richer Sounds, at the Retail Week Awards

6 Gifts Today

Stationery donation benefits vulnerable families King’s Lynn based stationery manufacturer ExaClair Limited, the UK subsidiary of the ExacomptaClairefontaine group, has recently donated over £75,000 worth of products in support of charity initiatives organised by the Norfolk County Council. The donated items included various products, such as

notebooks, pads and craft materials from the company’s Goldline, Rhodia and Clairefontaine brands, which have gone towards creating over 500 activity packs for children aged from under five years to 18 years. These have then been distributed out to families in time for the summer holidays.

London Stationery Show teams with its founder The founder of the event, Chris LeonardMorgan, is collaborating with Ocean Media Group on the show, bringing with him years of expertise and experience. ‘The team and I are so pleased to be working with Chris,’ said Alex. ‘We’re very much looking forward to what the future holds for London Stationery Show and know that Chris’ experience and knowledge of the market will prove invaluable in driving the show forward.’ Chris will work with Event Director Alex Butler as Special Advisor on the future development and direction of London Stationery Show. He is an acknowledged stationery champion, well known in the industry and a Liveryman and guide at the historic Stationers’ Company in the City of London.

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar x Action for Children

Vent for Change collaborates with Zoella in Etsy campaign The sustainable stationery brand worked with the vlogger in a summer campaign with the e-commerce website. With more than 10 million Instagram followers between her Zoella profile and as Zoe Sugg, the collaboration is set to boost the profile of Vent for Change in a way few other collaborations could. ‘As a young business working alongside such a well known vlogger and social media influencer is a significant leg-up in terms of highlighting our social media profile,’ says Vent founder Evan Lewis. ‘We hope this in turn will create more brand recognition when customers shop in-store with our network of retailers.’ Pic credit: Valeria Aksakova, freepikcom

Building on its successful collaboration with the charity that helps children throughout the UK to thrive, Rocket Licensing has launched a new campaign targeting families who sign up to donate to the organisation regularly. New subscribers to Action for Children will receive The Very Hungry Caterpillar growing pack, as well as access to exclusive online activities with the world’s favourite caterpillar. Rocket Licensing already has a successful relationship with Action for Children, having organised popular The Giant Wiggle with The Very Hungry Caterpillar for the last seven years, which has raised in excess of £300,000.

Rocket Licensing signs 80s icon Bob Ross TV painter and personality Bob Ross was the face of popular The Joy of Painting TV show, which originally ran from 1983 to 1994, and is now available on Netflix and Twitch. Its resurgence has sparked a huge interest among millennials and students for its calming, meditative, mindful qualities. A consumer products programme has already been well-established in the US, with products from over 60 licensees over a range of categories including games and puzzles, collectables, partyware, homewares, apparel and more, along with direct-to-retail deals and major retail placement. In the US, the brand has been shown in the inflight entertainment on Delta Airlines, and other airlines. Dubbed the David Attenborough of painting, Bob Ross enjoys a growing following on social media and has over 1.5 million followers on both Facebook and Twitch.

Shoppers intend to spend £965 a head on Christmas The UK looks set for a record-breaking Christmas spending spree as shoppers reveal they intend to spend around 25% more than usual on Christmas presents in 2020, according to recent research by financial comparison experts Highest on the agenda is spending to recover from a year blighted by the coronavirus lockdown, according to the data. In 2019 the average amount spent on a Christmas present for mums was £63, according to the data. But in 2020, that figure is set to climb to £71. The same is true for dads – with 2019’s average present spend on fathers of £51 being trumped by 2020’s average of £63. And the anticipated increase in spending looks set to stay the same across the board with stepmums and stepdads,

8 Gifts Today

mother-in-laws and father-in-laws, partners, siblings, extended families, friends and work colleagues all about to benefit from a higher value Christmas present this year, according to the poll. Even family pets are set to feel the extra warmth of a more expensive present this Christmas – with last year’s Christmas spend on pets’ presents rising from £27 to £31 in 2020. The only exception, it seems, is the nation’s children. While 46% of the nation says that it intends to spend the most on its kids as usual this year – the actual spending value on presents for children looks set to reverse the trend by going downwards, from £129 in 2019 to £116 in 2020.







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‘Give us back our high streets’ CEO Andrew Greenacre from the British Independent Retailers Association explains why the association is calling on PM Boris Johnson to stop unnecessary post-Covid road closures, and to reopen our high streets

Andrew Greenacre

Excess road closures, increased pedestrianisation and the loss of car parking spaces in recent months have become a real blight for independent retailers and their customers

10 Gifts Today


t’s fairly safe to assume that we all accept the road to retail recovery post-Covid will be fraught with uncertainty. There are the immediate challenges of trying to entice shoppers back to our high streets, making them feel safe enough to do so. There is the fear of how we will cope should there be further localised – or national – lockdowns; are we prepared for a second wave? And then there are the longterm concerns of how lockdown has fundamentally changed the way we shop; the rise in internet trade during this period was unprecedented. Some people may decide never to go back to bricks and mortar retail when online shopping can be so convenient. However, if people are going to get back on to the high street and into our independent shops, we need to make it as straightforward as possible. That’s why Bira is making a direct plea to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to stop unnecessary post-Covid road closures, and to reopen our high streets. Road closures and accessibility issues are not new to Bira; fighting for better access to high streets is one of our core values; it’ll be a key feature of our upcoming manifesto. However, excess road closures, increased pedestrianisation and the loss of car parking spaces in recent months have become a real

blight for independent retailers and their customers. Bira conducted an exclusive members’ survey asking about post-Covid road closures, and of those affected 75% said trade had been detrimentally impacted – more than half of those said they’d been ‘significantly impacted’. Eighty per cent of the issues had been identified as happening ‘after lockdown’. Gary Marsh of Papilio at Heritage, a gift and coffee shop in Thornbury, near Bristol, was just one of our members who said post-lockdown road closures had ‘significantly’ impacted trade. His view was echoed by Chris Beards of Mantons Cards in Port Erin, Isle of Man, and David Way of Present Days in Warwick. James Bowden of Clocks Cards, a gift shop in Ware, Hertfordshire, said the High Street had become a one-way system for motorists meaning that passing trade had been reduced because people were not passing through the town. He also reported that the number of car parking spaces had been dramatically reduced. Kate Lacelles of Lavender Blue, a gift and homeware store in Market Harborough, added: ‘Footfall has massively decreased due to road closures. There are no queues in our streets – just very low footfall numbers.’ As you can see, the problem

runs the length and breadth of the country, from Perth in Scotland to Shaftesbury in Dorset, England. I have spoken personally to many members who have expressed huge fears their businesses will collapse if these measures are not stopped and, in many cases reversed. While we want shoppers to be safe, and for there to be quality paths and cycle routes, the high street has to remain accessible to motorists and those using public transport. There needs to be short, and longer stay parking at affordable prices – ideally with periods of free parking. Grant money and governmentbacked loans may have propped up businesses during lockdown but it will all be for nothing if people can’t actually get to the shops that have managed to survive so far. We’ll be continually challenging local authorities who charge ahead with road closures in community high streets, particularly where the correct consultation process has not taken place. Yes, the road ahead maybe full of challenges – but we must make sure that road remains open. If you would like to discuss any of this article with us, or would like to find out more about our association and the support we give independent retail business, then please contact our membership team on 0800 028 0245 or visit

Tel: 01254 300268



GT CONTRIBUTOR: The Giftware Association – Sarah Ward

Finding the positive… While there may be a lot of doom and gloom out there are, there are still plenty of ways to get suppliers in front of retailers, and for retailers to find the next best products, says The GA’s CEO Sarah Ward


Sarah Ward

We are massively excited to see, once again, the creativity and innovativeness of our industry

ith life seemingly returning back to normal, Covid-19 still poses a real threat to the home and gift industry. With local lockdowns returning up and down the UK due to spikes in cases, and the chatter of an impending second wave of the virus, there is still a fear and nervousness about returning to fully staffed offices and stores. A recent study by the BBC revealed that 24 of the largest employers in the UK, including retailers and banking, did not have plans for their staff to return to work, the majority quoting that they had no means of working effectively whilst managing social distancing. This will all have a knock-on effect to our industry and the everprevalent decline of the high street, as will the announcement that the UK is now in recession at the start of this month. With all that doom and gloom out the way, there are some very real positives going on in our world to enable suppliers to get in front of retailers, and retailers to find the next best products to market. The cancellation of trade shows have left giant holes in our events calendar this year, as well as industry events such as awards, education and training, has forced us into an online space where over the last few months we have seen some great initiatives to help aid our industry.

Virtual Trade Shows Many trade show organisers switched to a virtual offering. British Craft Trade Fair was the

12 Gifts Today

first to get this off the ground with virtual chat rooms and product displays The Giftware Association was excited to be part of. Home & Gift Buyers’ Festival then followed in place of its annual summer show. We are excited to see what ‘Autumn Fair @ Home’ and ‘Top

in retail, getting your business online, safely running online and offline events. These webinars are still available to view and are still very much relevant today - if you are interested then please get in touch with The GA.

Save The High Street The GA has been asked to take part in some of the ‘Save The High Street’ events and will be featured on their webinar series covering topics such as ‘Attracting Footfall to your Business’, ‘Developing new products and services for a Covid-19 era’. The GA is massively honoured to be involved in this high street-boosting initiative and it important we can share this information out to as many retailers as possible for them to start taking the steps to rebuilding their business and ultimately the economy.

Drawer OnDemand’ have in store as these events have been great to keep trade running in the industry, retailers finding products and to link up with suppliers and vice versa through virtual connections which is now part of the new normal.

Education During the first few weeks of lockdown, The GA took on a sounding board role to its members and listened to what they had to say and strived to find the answers. At a time where there was a lot of information floating around, we pinpointed what was relevant to our members, what funding or grants were available as well as any training. This led us to create our own training series. We created an eight-week webinar series, not just for members but also for everyone, focusing on what to do after Covid–19 and looking to the other side. The webinars covered health and safety

Gift of the Year Our yearly competition is back, a little later than expected. We have been busy behind the scenes creating a brand-new competition system that will allow us to showcase the winners, shortlisted and finalists even more. The new site will be very visual and features the winners in a new light making it a place for buyers and retailers to browse for the next best things and allowing our entrants the best opportunity to showcase their products. The website launched on 1 September with entries open the same day. We are massively excited to see, once again, the creativity and innovativeness of our industry.

Tel: 01254 300268 *LIWV 7RGD\ LQGG


Exhibition News Top Drawer ‘On Demand’ The design-led retail and interiors show launched this unique digital platform giving retailers, designers and contract buyers unrivalled access to new products from a selection of curated design-led brands, as well as original seminar content from some of the industry’s favourite names. It runs throughout September. Registered buyers can search for products and brands through virtual showrooms, as well as connect with them through a host of tools such as live chat, appointment requests and video calls. Show Director, Alejandra Campos says: ‘In a time when retailers, designers and brands need our support more than ever before, we’re thrilled to be bringing our community a month-long opportunity to make meaningful connections and do business.’

Autumn Fair @ Home

The virtual forum, replacing the live show, took place 8-9 September, providing exhibitors and attendees with the opportunity to showcase and discover new products, engage with suppliers via The Virtual Showroom, and hear market leading content from retailers and trend forecasters on what 2021 may hold for the industry and how they can kick-start their own sales now. Hyve Group, the event team behind Autumn Fair, believes these virtual forums are a key part in their new Refuelling Retail initiative. Julie Driscoll, UK Regional Director says: ‘Our market-leading shows are a vital cog in UK retail, our physical shows are places of discovery and dynamic environments where business is done – we want our virtual forums to offer a similar environment. There is no doubt that Covid-19 has impacted retail this year, however, we believe that now is the time to help refuel retail and help our community to bounce back. ‘We are confidently planning for our February shows, and we look forward to opening the physical doors to our market-leading shows and being able to facilitate business finally being done in person again. What digital has shown us is that whilst it’s a great tool, there is no substitute for face-to-face meetings and being able to touch and feel product again.’ 14 Gifts Today

Christmasworld spots future trends Sustainability and solidarity look set to play an important role in future Christmas decorations, according to a recent web seminar organised by Christmasworld. After their experiences of lockdown in the last few months, people are focusing on what is essential - more time with the family, their hobbies, baking, cooking, making things, creative virtual interaction with one another to bridge the physical distance, and improving the appearance of their own four walls. In addition to this, the latest trend forecast from Christmasworld is the importance of family.’ This personal interaction – both in family and business life – cannot be replaced online. We’ve learnt this from the crisis,’ says group show director Julia Uherek. ‘It will be even nicer when we are eventually allowed to meet up again, surrounded by decorations in our own private homes and city centre shopping streets, which convey a feeling of well-being and a degree of normality and security. No matter what happens, Christmas will take place and certainly provide a traditional place of retreat.’ The webinar touched on a variety of potential trends – mixing old or homemade decorations with new, an increase in popularity of outdoor decorations, and the growth of personalised decorations. Be reassured the show will run with the most stringent distancing and hygiene measures in place. Everything has been considered, from hall ventilation to stand construction, widening of some aisles to disinfectant dispensers. Christmasworld runs along with Paperworld and Creativeworld in Frankfurt am Main exhitbition grounds from 29 January to 2 February 2021.

Tel: 01254 300268 *LIWV 7RGD\ LQGG


Profile: The Wheat Bag Company

In the bag The Wheat Bag Company

The Wheat Bag Company pride themselves on manufacturing quality products in the UK. They have their own in-house designers who design the bespoke fabrics they use to make their famous Microwavable Wheat Bags, PADi Pillows and range of textile products. Check out their brochure that accompanies this issue of Gifts Today. Now the company has added new doorstops and facemasks to their collection, all in a range of attractive designs. There are also some wonderful new fabric designs, including Rainbow, French Lavender and Hummingbird.

Doorstops These handcrafted doorstops are made from cotton, padded and weighted with wheat. Perfect for keeping heavy doors in place, they’re a decorative and practical accessory for the home. Each doorstop is weighted with cleaned English wheat and measures around 14x14cm.

Face masks The Wheat Bag Company’s handmade facemasks are made from two layers of cotton and fitted with elastic and a nose guide. They’re made in the UK using a variety of attractive designs suitable for both male and female. They measure 18.5cm x 10.5cm approximately.

Call: 01747 840 499 Email: Visit:

16 Gifts Today

our showrooms are open 9.00am-5pm (Government guidelines apply)

www. straitstrading. com visit our website to view our full collection.

customer services T: 01254 300260 E: Catalogues available upon request.


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Get off to a flying start and discover the latest trends and top exhibitors of seasonal & festive decorations.

The show must go on While trade shows like Autumn Fair and Top Drawer have been forced to close their physical doors this season due to Covid-19, there’s still plenty of new product for you to discover. Check out the trade shows’ virtual offering, then turn the pages of this edition of Gifts Today to see what’s being launched across all the key gifting categories


raditional trade show season might not be happening this year, but there’s still plenty of new product to discover, companies to connect with and inspiration to be had. With gift shops open and consumers looking for ways for treat themselves and their loved ones, now’s the time to see what’s new out there. Whether it’s the virtual offering created by the leading show organisers, or by browsing the pages of Gifts Today, there’s plenty of inspiration to kickstart your buying season.

Virtual shows Many of the big show organisers responded to the cancellation of trade exhibitions with a virtual offering. Hyve Group launched three virtual forums in September – Autumn Fair @ Home, Glee Gathering and Fashion Together – showcasing over 500 brands virtually. These forums provided exhibitors and attendees with the opportunity to showcase and discover new products, engage with suppliers via The Virtual Showroom, and hear market leading content from retailers and trend forecasters on what 2021 may hold for the industry and how they can kickstart their own sales now. The event teams behind Autumn Fair, Glee, Pure, Pure Origin, Moda and Scoop believe that these virtual forums are a key part in their new ‘Refuelling Retail’ initiative. This brand-new initiative calls for all market players to refuel the retail industry after a challenging first eight months of 2020. 20 Gifts Today

‘Our market-leading shows are a vital cog in UK retail, our physical shows are places of discovery and dynamic environments where business is done – we want our virtual forums to offer a similar environment,’ said Julie Driscoll, UK Regional Director. ‘There is no doubt that Covid-19 has impacted retail this year, however, we believe that now is the time to help refuel retail and help our community to bounce back. We hope that the free forums that we are offering to our customers this September really help to kickstart product discovery. ‘We are confidently planning for our February shows, and whilst Autumn Fair @ Home, Glee Gathering and Fashion Together will offer a brilliant way to connect our community in September, it will also act as a great preview for what our retailers will see at Spring Fair, Moda, Pure, Pure Origin and Scoop in February. We look forward to opening the physical doors to our marketleading shows and being able to facilitate business finally being done in person again. What digital has shown us is that whilst it’s a great tool, there is no substitute to face-toface meetings and being able to touch and feel product again.’ Top Drawer organisers Clarion responded with a virtual show, offering product launches and expert insight ‘On Demand’ throughout September. There are over 300 virtual showrooms for buyers to explore, including the likes of Caroline Gardner, Bronte By Moon and Heaven Scent. There’s also insight from the likes of Sophie Conran, Holly Tucker and interior designer Sophie Stanbury.

‘Gifts Today is a great showcase for our industry. Just staying in touch with positive messages and keeping customers informed of trade in general all adds to the mix’ Paul Hooker, Joe Davies Gifts Today The beauty of a B2B magazine is that it goes directly into the hands of the retailers and buyers who are looking for new product, opinion and inspiration. Even when physical shows are unable to run, we are there to connect all sides of our industry. ‘Publications such as Gifts Today are vitally important for manufacturers like us. From a company viewpoint it offers us an opportunity to continue developing brand awareness and branch out to new retailers outside of our traditional customer groups,’ says Lawrence Savage, UK marketing manager, ExaClair Ltd. ‘For us the trade shows are always a great way to meet new and existing customers,’ says Keren Dicken, sales and marketing director of PMC. ‘So, keeping in touch with customers through publica-

tions like Gifts Today has obviously been a continued priority.’ Wendy Hicks, UK national sales manager for Margarete Steiff, agrees: ‘It allows us to present our brand and product images in front of new customers and just as important, reminding existing customers of our full range.’ The team at Joe Davies, a stalwart of the shows, say they’re ‘sad the trade shows are cancelled, but are adapting like everyone else.’ Says commercial director Paul Hooker, ‘Gifts Today is a great showcase for our industry. Just staying in touch with positive messages and keeping customers informed of trade in general all adds to the mix. It’s important that customers see how resilient our trade is and B2B publications help to do that as well as being a great source of inspiration for many.’

The team at Home County Candle agree. Says commercial director Hannah Spinks: ‘Without trade shows we see B2B magazines being even more important than ever, as we know retailers are still on the hunt for new and exciting products, but are limited on where to look for them. Showcasing our new products in a magazine like Gifts Today is perfect for us.’

like Gifts Today provides the essential element of editing the information so it is presented in a relevant and coherent format.’ Over the following 70+ pages, we’ve worked with a raft of leading suppliers to bring you some of the best products out there. You might be not be at the NEC or London’s Olympia but, in the meantime, you can still stay in touch with all that’s new in our industry.

Gifts Today

Global Luxury Brands’ Simon Willis believes the ‘trade publication will become even more important as a vehicle for communicating,’ He adds: ‘We will very much have to rely on publications like Gifts Today to keep retailers and suppliers connected in the new normal that is likely to be with us for some time yet.’

Month: September

2020 Issue: 7 Volume

: 31

Finally, Charlotte Gillan from Classic Canes, sums it up by saying: ‘People think they can Google whatever they want, but a good trade magazine ( *LIWV 7RGD\ FRY


Gifts Today 21

GT COVER STORY: Newell Brands Home Fragrance

Fragrance every moment with WoodWick candles and Yankee Candle fragrances ®


From seasonal fragrances to a clever way to fragrance your car, there’s lots to discover from WoodWick® and Yankee Candle® this season.

There’s so much newness to discover from WoodWick and Yankee Candle ftagrances this season. There are wonderful A/W fragrances, Auto Reeds for your car and festive scents to help you celebrate Christmas. Let’s take a closer look.

Now available, the new range of Autumn WoodWick candles: ■

Black Peppercorn: The peppery scent of earthy spices surrounded by sweet amber and creamy sandalwood aromas,

Autumn/Winter launches from WoodWick

Lavender & Cedar: Notes of pink pepper and aromatic lavender are layered with sage flower, patchouli and blonde wood scents.

Stone Washed Suede: Fiery notes of pepper, sweet jasmine and enticing amber enliven the familiar scent of stonewashed suede.

WoodWick candle fragrances indulges the senses with new seasonal fragrances, featuring a trend-forward collection of highquality, sophisticated fragrances. From subtle sweet notes of dried fruits, to the spice of peppercorn, or earthy notes of exotic woods and leather, the new collection has fragrances perfect for the change in seasons. 22 Gifts Today

Did you know? WoodWick® is named after the brand’s famous natural wooden wick, which allows consumers to enjoy the soothing sound of a crackling fire.

Launching in October, but available to order now, the new range of Winter WoodWick candles fragrances include: ■ Sage & Myrrh: A revitalising aroma blend of myrrh, incense and bergamot, wrapped in sandalwood and amber notes. ■ Caramel Toasted Sesame: The scent of toasted sesame, pecan and maple layered with toffee, vanilla cream and a splash of bourbon. ■ Velvet Tobacco: Scents of vanilla, tobacco, dried plum and cinnamon are infused with sandalwood and smoky cedar notes. WoodWick candles will also add two new candles to its Seasonal Trilogy Collection – Mountain Air and Holiday Cheer. Each one features three distinct fragrances to create its own unique scent experience as the different layers melt and mingle together.

On the road with WoodWick candles Auto Reeds Fragrance your journeys with new Auto Reeds, an on-the-go solution that marks the brand’s first foray outside the home. Available now, they deliver a distinctive fragrance experience for any journey and the design replicates the iconic WoodWick hourglass silhouette. Offering up to 30 days of fragrance, this premium auto offering features pre-fragranced reeds, a hand-polished metal body and a magnetic connection for ease of use. The new Auto Reeds launch in three starter kits with a further seven fragrances available as single refills, in some of the most popular WoodWick candles fragrances, including Fireside, Vanilla & Sea Salt, Lavender Spa and White Tea & Jasmine.

Yankee Candle gets festive Yankee Candle frgrances is inviting the nation to deck the halls and celebrate the joyful moments experienced at Christmas with its new Magical Christmas Morning Collection. From trees glistening with early-morning snow, to kitchens filled with aromas of scrumptious, freshly-baked treats, each new fragrance is inspired by favourite festive moments, evoking feelings of warmth and comfort with family and friends. With everything from rich and sweet scents, to subtle spice, and fresh air amongst fir trees, the Yankee Candle Magical Christmas Morning Collection includes five warming new fragrances: Holiday Hearth Cosy around the garland-adorned fireplace with loved ones this Christmas and fill the air with fragrances of cinnamon, clove and cedarwood. Singing Carols A harmonious blend of fruit, evergreen and spice notes that create an inspiring Christmas melody, with hints of mandarin and eucalyptus, fir needle and pine. Christmas Morning Punch Bring a favourite festive tipple to life with notes of ruby-red pomegranate,

strawberry and cranberry for a sweet and fruity fragrance the whole family can enjoy. Vanilla French Toast For a taste of something comforting on Christmas morning, the Vanilla French Toast fragrance delivers scents of a sweet treat dripping in sugary syrup, perfect for filling the home with a sweet, warming fragrance. Surprise Snowfall Add a touch of Christmas morning magic to the home with swirling snowflakes and crisp winter air, with notes of verbena, silver spruce and winter fruit.

Call: 0117 316 1200 | Email:

New products Ready for action! Joe Davies

Joe Davies are preparing as normal for the busy trading season and, with over 3000 lines in their 2020 collection alone, there is something for everyone. Making every pound count right now is so important and the company’s low minimum order of £100 and trademark ‘Little & Often’ order system fits the bill perfectly. Key lines for the busy season include plenty from the fashion gift stable, with the company reporting high pre-sales on their snoozies! brand of ‘Cosy Little Foot Coverings’ and their brand new Nuzzles socks.



‘There are so is proving more and more popular with many fantastic our‘Fashion customers,’ says commercial director Paul Hooker. ‘Following last year’s success with our new independent snoozies! Pairables, we’ve increased the range for 2020 and there is an exciting new Sequin Bling retailers out Collection. We have also introduced snoozies face coverings – three-layer quality facemasks in a range there, it’s our of designs, including dressy variants for nights out. Nuzzles is our brand of high quality, super value job to make fleece socks in bright, vibrant colours, pre sales are great and we have a very full order book.’ Both ranges sure they are sit perfectly with the company’s Equilibrium brand of jewellery and accessories with boxed scarves fully supported fashion and gloves hotly tipped for the autumn. with great But it’s not all about fashion - core ranges are also performing strongly. Paul reports: ‘We are doing very service, a varied well with sentiment-related gifts on everything from our Thoughtful Words Collection of plaques and mugs through to sentiment home decor ranges, such product offer as Provence Cool Grey and of course Equilibrium Jewellery. People just want to show and real value Sentiment each other they care and we have the perfect range for that. for money’ ‘Countryside themes have been a developing trend over the year and we have some very strong ranges there too. Village Pottery and Pot Pals fit in perfectly with countryside themes from Leonardo and Bree Merryn.’ When asked about Christmas, the company says: ‘Santa’s not been furloughed! We have heard that some suppliers have cancelled much of Christmas, but our commitments are in place and we are preparing as normal. Customers have already started to request their orders and we have a huge selection. There are so many fantastic independent retailers out there, it’s our job to make sure they are fully supported with great service, a varied product offer and real value for money.’ Joe Davies’ showrooms are spacious and open for trade visitors. The entire collection of around 10,000 lines is on display and easy to shop. The company has one of the easiest to use trade websites in the business, and they know a thing or two about service, being 17 times winners of the Best Service to the Independent Retailer Award.

Call: 0161 975 6300 Email: Visit:

Thoughtful Words 24 Gifts Today

New products Personalised puzzles for Christmas Global Journey

The company have teamed up with Santa to create a stunning range of personalised Christmas jigsaws. Kids will love piecing together their very own puzzle, including Christmas scenes with snowmen, Santa, his elves and reindeer. The beautifully packaged trend-setting jigsaws are environmentally friendly, made from recycled materials and fully recyclable. There are 96 titles/names in the range and a wonderful customised cardboard Christmas tree display. ‘We have sold over 250 units so far. We have sold over £1000 at retail and achieved sales of over £70 per sq m off the spinner,’ says Richard from Vincent Davies. ‘The footprint is great and the spinner is well laid out and easy to shop and keep tidy.’

Call: 0161 872 0333 Visit:

Stylish face coverings Museums & Galleries

Museums & Galleries is proud to announce a brand-new range of face coverings developed in collaboration with its national museum licences and showcasing works of art and design from the museum collections, available for pre-order immediately. The coverings have a suggested retail price of £9.99. These face coverings are only the company's second foray into fabric-based products (after the success of their pencil cases launched at the Spring Fair) and M&G is thrilled with the superb quality of the colour printing and construction of the coverings. The face coverings are made from 100% cotton, pleated and cut for a better facial fit, and digitally printed with a fullcolour design on the front and contrast colour on the reverse and adjustable elastic straps. The coverings have a pocket for filters and come with a matching cotton bag for hygienic storage. They are machine washable at 60 degrees. The range offers 12 different designs, the majority of which come from the national museums. William Morris's 'Strawberry Thief', Edward Lear's colourful 'Birds' and Owen Jones's 'Moresque' all come from the V&A; the Natural History Museum showcases beautiful mineral designs as well as dinosaurs; Turner, Mondrian and Norman Adam's 'Rainbow Painting' come from the Tate Gallery, and 'The Great Wave' and 'Cranes' by Hokusai come from the British Museum. Wild Press's delicate fern fever design, launched on stationery by M&G this spring, makes the twelfth design. All the designs have been carefully selected on the basis of suitability for the product and commercial track record on other products in the range. With coverings now recommended by the authorities in shops and public transport, we will all be wearing face coverings for the foreseeable future. M&G's range offers the chance to do so in style. The full range is available in a counter top display unit.

Call: 01373 462165 | Email: | Visit: 26 Gifts Today

New products

Ashleigh & Burwood

New for AW20, Ashleigh & Burwood present a wide variety of line extensions to The Heritage Collection, including beautifully gift packaged Fragrance Lamps and Reed Diffusers. The Heritage Collection brings the character of a bygone era into the modern age with glamorous Art Deco-inspired designs and fragrances created to bring a sense of pure luxury to the home. The new Fragrance Lamps and Reed Diffusers have a swirling, vintage-inspired design in five shades of the collection’s signature jewel-toned glass. In contrast to the easily personalised separate fragrances and vessels of The Heritage Collection’s existing diffusers, the new Reed Diffuser sets are packaged as a complete item incorporating a matching 150ml fragrance and black reeds for the perfect ready-made gift. The new diffusers and five new Lamp Fragrances are available in the collection’s four existing fragrances as well as new scent Amber & Honeyed Woods. The colourful gift boxes of these Reed Diffusers and Fragrance Lamps have cutaway windows, allowing the eye-catching glass colours to be seen immediately on shelf. The stunning packaging is colour coordinated and features premium gold detailing, complementing the luxurious character of the collection. As well as beautiful gifts, The Heritage Collection has a new fragrance this autumn, Amber and Honeyed Woods, a scent reminiscent of the glow of early autumn sunshine, where sweet, honeyed scents of rich harvest fruits mingle with the earthy fragrance of majestic oakwood and warm amber, transporting you to a timeless forest haven. The new scent is available in a gold-lined, earth-toned Scented Candle, Art-Deco amber glass Decorative Diffuser Vessel, Luxury Diffuser Refill, spiral glass Fragrance Lamp and Lamp Fragrance and Reed Diffuser Gift Set. Completing The Heritage Collection’s new product line up is a new Decorative Diffuser vessel in a royal blue glass design. The latest add-ons will see shoppers through the autumn months with the heart-warming nostalgic scents and vintage style statement of the Heritage Collection.

The new Fragrance Lamps and Reed Diffusers have a swirling, vintage-inspired design in five shades of the collection’s signature jewel-toned glass.

Call: 01932 267060 Email: Visit: 28 Gifts Today

New products A touch of luxury Call: 01234 264500 Email:

Price’s Candles

The Luxury Range is a brand new style for Price’s Candles with four fragrances introduced to coincide with buying for the festive season. With all the high quality you would expect from the company’s products, the Luxury Range has a contemporary, giftable feel. Fragrances include
Snowdrops & Jasmine, Morning Frost, Spiced Cookies and Winter Warmer. The range comes in a beautiful Boxed Jar and an elegant 100ml Reed Diffuser.

Cosy Nights and Moonlight Price’s are adding two new fragrances – Cosy Nights and Moonlight - to their Fragrance Collection this festive period. They are both beautifully scented to captivate the colder, darker months. Both Cosy Nights and Moonlight will come in the Large Jar, Medium Jar, Cluster Jar, Tin and 100ml Reed Diffuser. 
Cosy Nights is the perfect scent for wrapping yourself up in a warm blanket, with soothing notes of bergamot and base notes of white musk and Madagascan vanilla. 
Moonlight conjures the image of an inky-blue velvet sky with top notes of bergamot blended with base notes of patchouli.

Pretty paper – and more! Ambiente Europe BV

Ambiente Europe is a Dutch manufacturer of printed paper napkins and tabletop complementary accessories. They have their own in-house design team and all paper products are manufactured in their factory using FSCcertified tissue on flexographic presses. They can produce designs with up to nine colours, three sizes of napkins and other products, and they offer a very speedy Private label service for your own designs. Each year Ambiente produces two collections that feature a wide variety of designs including flowers/ monotone and 60 plain colours in the Elegance embossed range. There are many matching table items such as paper runners, trays, candles, matches, their ever-popular napkin holders, matches and fine porcelain mugs. The Autumn 2020 collection features over 100 fabulous new napkin designs and they are also featuring some exciting new products - glass candelabras, a new shape of porcelain tea mug and a matching carton of loose-leaf tea in 11 designs. Ambiente Europe offer a seven-day delivery service and quality and customer care is their top priority.

Call: 0203 669 1061 Email Visit:

30 Gifts Today

We have over 3,000 references in stock with low minimum order values and the Autumn Winter & Christmas collections arriving on time and available to order now. Three good reasons to join us :

Simon Pykett Country Manager Mobile: 0044 (0) 7967 209156

New products

Thoughtful gifts Lesser & Pavey

Face time with a new meaning Lesser & Pavey’s facemasks don’t just offer protection – they’re also a fashion accessory. There’s a huge selection, from pink, black and silver sparkle, to floral and pastel shades, from pink and green camouflage and butterflies to the colours of the rainbow and plain. Each mask is well-designed and made with 100% cotton outer fabric and has a removable PM2.5 filter that protects against airborne particles. Each mask comes with three 2.5 filters which provide five layers of safety, anti-stick non-woven cloth layers block moisture and large particles, two electrostatic filters attract stray particles and the inner carbon filter prevents the transmission of microscopic airborne particles. There’s a rubber adjuster on ear loops for a tailored fit, they’re made from natural breathable cotton and come in reusable zip lock storage bag. The facemasks are machine washable at 60o Celsius.

Groovy style Check out this new range, called Groovy Art (above). It consists of sitting and standing bulldogs, dachshunds and French bulldogs, as well as cats and skulls. This Sixties’-inspired psychedelic studies are similar to the highly successful Graffiti range the company introduced last year. The studies are 30-50cm in size with bold colours, and make an eye-catching statement in any room of the home or office.

Fragrance Lamps to purify Fragrance the home, and purify the air from bacteria and viruses such as Coronavirus, with Desire Aroma fragrance lamps from Lesser & Pavey. They have a platinum-coated burner stone connected to a cotton wick that is inserted into the bottle. The platinum coated stone acts as a catalyst. They are easy to fill with Lesser & Pavey fragrance oils – just allow the wick to absorb the oil for around 20 minutes. The wick can then be lit at the top of the stone and left to burn for two to three minutes until the flame reduces. This brings the stone to the optimum temperature for the most effective performance. The flame can be blown out whilst the lamp continues to work, and the decorative silver top can be replaced. They work by a mix of oxygen and fragranced lamp oils that keeps the stone hot. Using the lamp for around half an hour will purify the air and fill the room with a beautiful fragrance. The lamps operate at up to 350O Celsius, at a temperature where any bacteria or virus particles that come into contact with the stone are destroyed.

Call: 01322 279225 Email: Visit: 32 Gifts Today

Strawberry Thief Introducing the new William Morris range that captures the original designs, class and quality of the artwork and presents these desirable illustrations in practical forms for the home. Strawberry Thief covers this new range of fine ceramics, teafor-one, fine china mugs and plates, jug, salt and pepper pots, cold bottle, lunch box, melamine trays and true environmentally friendly bamboo travel mugs.

New products

Glorious gifts Apples to Pears

Apples to Pears have already released many new products in 2020 and there are still more to come. Often known as the ‘Gift in a Tin’ company: they are renowned for placing building kits, wooden play sets, cheese markers, secateurs and so many different clever ideas in tins. The great news is, they’re now launching a brand new Quiz in a Tin game. More than your average quiz, in these sets the roll of the dice dictates the questions - getting a little tougher the higher the number. There are three quizzes: Mega Music, Film & TV, and Our Amazing Planet, each with over 600 questions! Each quiz packs away in the tin making it great for travel as well as playing at home. They also have a new product in the Gifts for Grown-Ups range – Take Your Pick. Abandon your throwaway cocktail sticks for these wonderful stainless-steel picks with a lovely bumblebee atop each one. Perfect for olives, cheeses and well any food you would like to eat with a stick – you’ll want to have these for your next diner party. The four picks store away neatly in their storage tin. In the Gift in a Tin range they have a new craft kit: Puppy in a Tin – it’s easy-peasy! Just add stuffing and a few stitches to sew up the pre-made body and bring this cute little puppy to life. There’s even a puppy blanket to make the tin into a dog bed. Also new to Gift in a Tin is Magical Princess Castle. Children can assemble the pre-cut wooden parts to build their very own castle complete with opening drawbridge door, prince, princess, unicorn and stepping-stone garden. Perfect for little ones who enjoy imaginative play – it will keep them entertained for hours. Have you heard about Build Your Own Bee Hotel? It was launched in January 2020, got to the finals of the Gift of the Year Awards, and was awarded Highly Commended. This wooden kit has quickly become a bestseller for Apples to Pears and their customers. If you haven’t stocked it yet, now it’s time to do so. Liking the sound of this kit? Then you will love their Butterflies & Bees Suncatcher kits too. This set includes wooden shapes and transparent paper for children to colour in to make their very own suncatchers.

Call: 01453 826759 Email: Visit:

34 Gifts Today



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New products

Hand-poured in Hertfordshire The Home County Candle Co

A luxury home fragrance brand, producing delightfully scented soy candles and reed diffusers, all hand-poured in Hertfordshire. Their County Collection contains scents that are each inspired by, and named after one of Britain's most beautiful places. They worked hard during lockdown to launch four fabulous new county scents, and are delighted to introduce: ■ ■ ■ ■

The Lancashire – Red rose & patchouli, inspired by the historic red rose of Lancashire The Northamptonshire – English leather & oak, inspired by centuries of shoe making by world-famous Northamptonshire cobblers The Shropshire – sweet pea, inspired by vibrant flower festivals in the birthplace of the sweet pea The Somerset – apple & fresh fig, inspired by golden sunsets over hazy Somerset orchards

They are also excited to relaunch their popular 'Winter Collection' scents, with three festive fragrances perfectly capturing the essence of a quintessentially British Christmas:

■ ■ ■

The Spices - cinnamon & ginger, inspired by festive treats by an open fire The Pines - pine & peppermint, inspired by winter walks through enchanted pine forests The Mulled Wine - inspired by festive parties with family and friends

At the Home County Candle Co. they’re passionate about the abundance of outstanding natural beauty in the UK, and are committed to producing sustainable products with minimal impact on the environment. Their candles are produced from natural soy wax, that is biodegradable, and vegan friendly, and all of their packaging is recyclable and sustainably sourced. Believing it’s important to support as many UK businesses as they can whilst manufacturing their products, they take great care to select suppliers from exclusively within the UK for every aspect of their manufacturing process.

Call: 01442 502221 | Visit: Email:

Jeans & Cocoa collection ExaClair

Clairefontaine’s new Jeans & Cocoa collection features a unique environmental twist, featuring recycled denim fibres and cocoa shell fibres within the selection of notebooks, pads and filing products. Since 1858, Clairefontaine has created extraordinary notebooks with exceptional paper quality. For over 160 years, their books and pads have featured the iconic super-smooth, brushed vellum satin-finish paper, loved by pen fans globally. This range combines innovative recycling processes with these different materials alongside their high-quality ivory 90gsm Clairefontaine paper. The Jeans selection includes items with a protective covering that’s made from a combination of 50% cellulose-free, FSC certified, sustainable wood fibres and 50% recycled jean fibres. To make these they use offcuts from the denim industry. Similarly, items from the Cocoa range feature a protective covering made from 70% cocoa shells and 30% cellulose-free, FSC certified, sustainable wood fibres. In making these products Clairefontaine use parts of the cocoa bean that are disposed of by the confectionery industry when producing chocolate. Both of these styles result is attractive, on-trend designs that pique the interest of environmentallyfriendly stationery buyers, as well as demonstrating the Exacompta-Clairefontaine Group’s capabilities in forward-thinking manufacturing processes. Lawrence Savage, Marketing Manager at ExaClair, says the collection combines an exceptional feel and appearance with a sustainable production concept: ‘Our range of Jeans & Cocoa notebooks, folders, files, magazine racks and memo pads offer a new and exciting twist for those seeking eco-friendly products that form part of a circular economy.’

Call: 01553 696600 | Email: Visit: 36 Gifts Today

From Charlotte Thomas:- Amelie, available in pink or blue, features an elegant toile design, with edge piping. Kendall features a feminine, Allium flower. Fern, a summery botanical design, all made from high quality, 144 thread count polycotton with combed yarns. Products available include: Duvet Cover Sets (Single to Super King Size), Housewife Pillowcase Pair, Single Oxford Pillowcase Pair, and readymade pencil pleat curtains. Also a range of matching Plain Dyes are also available For more information Visit: Call: 0161 236 10250 | Email: Brian Wilkinson on

RETAIL INTERVIEW: Meg Hawkins, Shrewsbury, Shropshire

‘I opened a gift shop during the pandemic!’ Monday 15 June is a day artist Meg Hawkins won’t forget in a hurry – it’s the day she opened a fabulous new gift shop in Shrewsbury’s Darwin Shopping Centre. We caught up with Meg to learn why she believes bricks and mortar stores are so important in these Covid-19 times Award-winning designer Meg Hawkins is known for her cards, prints and giftware, with over 20 years in creative industries. What you might not know is that Meg and husband Ade also have a bricks and mortar shop of their own, selling directly to the consumer. When the lease on the shop they had opened back in October 2018 came to an end during the first two weeks of lockdown, the couple made the decision to open a new one three times the size in the heart of Shrewsbury. Here’s how it came about…

Meg, how did you start selling your artwork? I began selling at local craft markets, mainly cards and prints I had created. I then took the plunge and booked to attend my first trade show in Harrogate. I came away from it thinking that I’d never do that again - how wrong I was! Not long after this, I had a chance meeting with Sarah Ward, CEO of the Giftware Association. My eyes were opened to a whole new world, and the possibilities of where I could take my work were endless.

‘Preparing the shop during lockdown was easier in a way than trying to adapt an existing shop’

38 Gifts Today

From here I worked hard on creating new designs by season, making sure I had new ranges to launch regularly. We started investigating what we could put my designs onto and learnt so much about the process of licensing and selling to trade. We now have several licensing companies throughout the UK, USA and Canada. We have several different products on the market and are so proud that we are able to publish greeting cards, prints, stationery and other giftware items of our own. How did you come to open a new gift shop straight after lockdown? Lockdown hit us really hard! We opened our first shop in Shrewsbury in October 2018 and it just so happened that our lease on this shop was coming to an end during the first two weeks of lockdown. Honestly, we did not know what the best option was; it really felt like make or break. We had been looking to move shops for a while anyway as we were outgrowing our little space and wanted a more prominent location. So we decided to pursue this. We worked alongside the shopping centre during the strange, uncertain times, still unsure if our decision was the right one but believing we could make it work. We were offered a space three times the size of our existing shop and in a much more prominent area of the centre. Challenge accepted!

Challen ge a c c e pted! ‘It was a ll hand

s on de the sho ck plan p ning step, an . I knew that a s this ne d with t he s xt I wante d it to b pace available e so mu than jus ch mor , t a retail gift shop e ’

It was all hands on deck planning the shop. I knew that as this next step, and with the space available, I wanted it to be so much more than just a retail gift shop. With all the insecurity and anxiety people have been feeling with a pandemic happening, I wanted to create a space where people could feel safe and enjoy walking around and being in. We also began offering QR code scanning for people to quickly find item details online, click and collect and delivery to cater for everyone. Why a bricks and mortar shop? Whilst many businesses move from bricks and mortar to just online, I have always loved the idea of a physical store. You get to meet your customers in person, get to know them and interact with them. Thanking someone for their purchase in person over a friendly conversation, and helping them choose the perfect item is something I don’t think I’ll ever tire of doing. We get to see how customers react to the products and can see their response to new ranges straight away. This all tells us information that an online sale can’t. Having a shop puts a face to the brand. We’re all about the personal touch, we’re a family business and it’s one of the family that they meet in there. For the customer, having their print packaged by the artist gives it real connection. We love building rapport with customers, in the same way that trade shows build relationships with buyers. Our new shop is really beautiful; it’s a space that we see as a shopping experience with a happy atmosphere and somewhere to enjoy and feel inspired in. We even have an area to grab a locally sourced coffee and a selfie wall. These things can’t be recreated online, and so having both options is important to us.

There is also a workshop area ready to go, when it is safe to do so. I’ll be running watercolour workshops and photography workshops for all abilities. We’ll also be encouraging other small creative businesses to use the space to run their own workshops too. How useful was it preparing a new shop for opening during lockdown? Preparing the shop during lockdown was easier in a way than trying to adapt an existing shop. We knew we wanted to create social distancing and sanitising in a way that fits with the brand. Basically, we wanted it to look a bit more appealing than ugly, plain plastic boards. We really considered the layout carefully and with a friendly, welcoming design. For example we created footprints two metres apart for customers to follow, rather than bold, harsh lines. We created signage in our style to remind customers of procedures and of hand sanitising. This gives the information required, but blends in with the style of our shop and hopefully puts customers at ease a little more. Does running your own shop help you better understand the retailers who stock your merchandise? Yes, absolutely. We are able to see what sells well and what customers who walk in seem drawn to. We are able to trial and test products before offering them to trade which gives us a fantastic advantage and valuable market research. It means we can actually offer advice and useful information to our trade customers when they ask about best sellers and new releases.

What range of greetings and gifts merchandise do you offer? We have a vast, ever-growing range of greetings cards and are planning to offer these on a subscription basis too in the near future. We offer exclusive gifts in our shop and online, this range comprises of cosmetics bags, footstools and cushions, all printed and made in the UK. We’ve expanded our confectionery range to include new biscuits and our cheese boards are continuing to prove popular. We have also recently teamed up with a local gin company, Chilton Liqueurs, to design and launch The Country Tipple, a delicious damson gin liqueur. In August we introduced a new range of high quality, UK made bath trays with our designs on. Is it all merchandise featuring your artwork, or do you stock other products? We recently decided to buy some products in as additions to the shop. Around 90 percent of this has our artwork on it still. The items that we now stock from other businesses have been carefully chosen and are complementary to our style. They offer customers something extra generally they like a mix and variation for their homes and gifts! If we can offer them a few options in one place that fit in with our ethos, support other small businesses and are supplied by like-minded businesses, then we think this works well. Gifts Today 39

New products

The Fab Four! The showrooms for Aromatize, Straits, Woodbridge and Village Candle are open for you to visit five days a week and every measure has been taken to offer a safe and enjoyable visit for all customers. If you would like to visit please ensure you book in advance. Catalogues or a sales representative visit are also available upon request.

Aromatize Ltd Aromatize are the leading UK supplier of home fragrance products. With their vast portfolio including brands such as Aroma Accessories, Woodbridge and Village Candle they cover every element that is required in the home fragrance market. No company offers as many designs or variations of electrical wax melt burners, electrical diffusers and nonelectric accessories at the most competitive prices.

Call: 01254 300268 Email: Visit:


Village Candle

Straits are pleased to announce the arrival of many new items including their very popular Christmas range for the autumn and winter seasons. Every home decoration category is covered through their varied and vast collections.

Call: 01254 300260 | Email: | Visit:

Following the sale of Village Candle to Stonewall Kitchen earlier this year, the new US owners very quickly re-appointed the company responsible for originally growing and developing the brand in the UK. Aromatize are now pleased to be distributing this high-quality collection again and have negotiated improved UK selling prices to be even more competitive in this sector. The collection consists of the ever-popular Traditions range along with the Spa and Fantasy collections. Christmas fragrances are also available in the run up to the festive season.

Call: 01254 300268 | Email: Visit:

Woodbridge Woodbridge are pleased to announce the arrival of their new Apothecary Candle Jars and Wax Melt Packs to complement their ever-popular Soy Candles, reed diffusers, essential oils and Ivory Pillars and Tealights. This new range consists of 32 fragrances and is offered with a perfume load that is unrivalled in the market. Noone offers a more competitive, high-quality wax offer. There is also an opening order promotion available on this collection where a 30% discount or free display unit is offered on every ÂŁ500 order placed (please quote the code below when applying for this offer).

Call: 01254 300268 Email: | Visit:

30% Discount Promotion Code: GTWOOD 40 Gifts Today

The finest arts brands. Covered.

The home of the finest arts brands

An exclusive range of 12 licensed Face Coverings – each with matching pouches – for delivery in mid Sept ‘20. Available for pre-order now! View the full range online or contact your local agent for more information.

Home of the finest arts brands E: *LIWVB7RGD\B)3DJHB$GB6HSW LQGG

Tel: 01373 462165

New products Dinosaurs, rainbows & spooky signs

Something Different Wholesale ‘We’ve had an extraordinary period of growth over the past several months and we’re feeling positive about the remainder of the year, too,’ says Something Different’s commercial director Anthony David. ‘We’ve made some improvements to our services such as reducing our carriage paid rates to £50 (+VAT) for UK mainland and offering same day dispatch for orders placed before 3pm. We believe that these improvements, coupled with the ability to order many of our products in singles, gives our customers greater control.’ Enabling retailers to get stock faster, pay less for delivery and order in volumes, the company feels 100% confident it gives greater freedom, particularly for trialling new products, which is so important during this time where consumer shopping behaviour is changing so rapidly. Here’s a taste of what’s new…

Dino Rawr Something Different’s new Dino Rawr collection is sure to be a stomping success with little ones. Designed by the inhouse creative team, the collection features ‘rawrsome’ home accessories perfect for decorating children’s bedrooms.

Chasing Rainbows Bursting with colour and glitter, this fun collection will add some sparkle to the everyday with accessories like hair brushes, hair ties, purses, stickers and even a rainbow umbrella that will brighten up rainy days as we head into autumn.

Spooktacular Halloween Additions The company have developed a range of hanging signs to make Halloween decorating easy and effective. Made from MDF, the signs have been inspired by witches and spells to create magical designs perfect for celebrating this eerie occasion.

Call: 01792 940 288 Visit: (Live Chat on website 8am to 7pm Monday to Friday)

Nice rice Mandarin Arts Probably China’s most famous porcelain manufacturing centre, Jing De Zhen, began producing ‘rice pattern’ porcelain tableware in the late Qing dynasty from about the 1880s. Despite its name, the porcelain does not contain rice grains, but this does not detract from the translucent effect resembling grains of rice when you hold a piece up to the light. The shape, whether a Chinese tea cup, teapot or plate, is made and then allowed to dry out for about a day before tiny kernel-shaped holes are cut in to the surface of the clay. The piece is then dipped into a glaze many times until the small holes are filled. The design on Mandarin Arts’ range is of the superior five-clawed dragon (representing the Emperor) with a pearl, but other designs such as leaves, chrysanthemums and koi carp are also made. Choose from various sizes of bowls and plates, porcelain spoons, lidded mugs, tea sets, teapots and a sake set. For a copy of the latest catalogue and price list, please call, or download PDF versions from the website.

Call: 01873 812255 | Email: Visit:

42 Gifts Today

Christmas comes but 365 times a year

Every day is an opportunity for your customers to buy beautiful gifts when they come at such beautiful prices

Gifts of random kindness

+44 (0)208 746 1700

No minimum order • Free UK delivery when you spend over £200 • Speedy UK dispatch • Order online

New products

Introducing gifts of ‘random kindness’ Rex London

Rex London are the designers, curators and sellers of beautiful of gifts. They call them Gifts of Random Kindness: beautiful products that your customers can afford to give whenever they want. Not only because they’ll bring joy, but because they’ve priced them so beautifully that you can treat your customers with equally beautifully priced products. Here’s what’s new...

Backpacks Now catering to a slightly older audience with a brand new larger size of backpack, as well as expanding the range of prints available in the original mini size, both styles now come in over 20 unique designs, one of which has been shortlisted for the Junior Design Awards 2020/21.

Stainless steel water bottles Following the success of their beautifully designed stainless steel water bottles, Rex London has not only released the original 500ml size in new prints, but also launched a smaller version with a 260ml capacity. Like their larger counterparts, these environmentally friendly bottles keep drinks hot or cool, but are perfectly proportioned for children and are a great addition to any school bag.

Storage bags Renowned for their iconic jumbo bags, Rex London have expanded their home organisation range with new storage bags. A popular function for these is as a stylish way to sort recycling at home, with three separate compartments. Plus, they’re made out of recycled materials itself, so double green points. Other uses for these bags include storage for laundry and toys, and they handily fold flat when not in use.

Vintage style storage tins These add a quirky touch to home organisation. These versatile tins are perfect for storing kitchen utensils, stationery, art supplies, or anything else that will fit! The list is almost endless.

Wooden toys Yoyos in two of their most popular prints, Prehistoric Land and Wild Wonders, are perfect Gifts of Random Kindness - kids will soon be mastering the sleeper, trapeze and around the world in no time. Or they’ll adore the Wild Wonders wooden balance game, ideal for improving little ones’ hand-eye coordination.

Gift wrap No gift is complete without the perfect wrapping. These brand new gift bags come in three sizes - large, small, and bottle - and are available in nine beautiful Rex London prints.

Call: 0208 746 1700 Email: Visit: 44 Gifts Today




creative solutions for tabletop, gifts and accessories.

Exciting launches from Goebel, Kaiser, De Rosa and Fitz & Floyd for the Autumn. All brands that have brands have a proven track record, very exclusive yet commercial product, excellent service and delivery Contact us for further details on these and our other prestige brands.

Email: Telephone: 01538 807 780

New products

140 years of cuddles Margarete Steiff Steiff is 140 years old this year. Whilst their celebratory plans have been marred by lock down, they haven’t lost sight of the fact that they’re the oldest toy company and the inventor of the teddy bear. The company launched a plethora of 140 celebratory Limited Edition pieces at the start of the year (all of which are now sold out), and these have now been enhanced by their new autumn/ winter Collectors’ collection including many fabulous Christmas Limited Editions.

Within the range is the very popular UK Exclusive British Collectors Bear 2020, known as the ‘Jewel in the crown’ of the collectors’ world - the longest running series of limited edition Teddy bears offered by Steiff (Limited Edition size 2000). It continues to grow from strength to strength and is ideal as a celebration gift for any occasion. However, Steiff is not just about traditional, collectable teddy bears. They have a wonderful new range that was launched around 18 months ago called Soft Cuddly Friends and includes characters such has Hoppie Rabbit, Honey Teddy Bear and Ming Panda to name a few. 2020 has seen a huge growth in this range with new characters added including Dinosaurs. It’s a premium plush product at a lower price point, but with all the quality you would expect from a premium brand such as Steiff. There’s no reason why every child shouldn’t own a Steiff cuddly friend, and they’re even machine washable too!

Visit: 50 Gifts Today 46

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Moocow Studios prints and manufactures an extensive range of products. We have a wealth of experience in the giftware industry, all of +DQG PDGH LQ 6XVVH[ which brings something different to the mix. We design and produce our items in our East Sussex HQ and are also proud of our work with local and national charities.


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Gifts Today

RETAILERS’ PANEL In our four-page special, the latest members of our Panel – key gift shop owners around the UK – tell us how reopening went for them, what’s selling well and the ups and downs of the ‘new normal’

Sandra Powell The Candle Tree, Gloucester What’s the story of your shop? Our shop is in a wonderful location on College Street, right next door to Gloucester Cathedral with ample parking nearby. The Candle Tree was created by myself (with support of my husband, Lloyd) in 2015, following a change in my career due to health concerns. I started with a small shop on a Craft Centre in Longhope, and in 2017 moved to a larger store in Gloucester, and we’ve happily traded since. In our store you’ll find a wide range of candles, natural soaps, greeting cards and an array of wonderful gifts. We specialise in candles and soaps. We are lucky to have a rather wide age spectrum of customers, from 20-90, local, national and international tourists. Do you have an online presence? The Candle Tree has an online store ( that generates about 10% of the turnover, but we expect this to increase. Our online store became a rather busy place over the lockdown period, sales increased substantially, however

What are you buying/planning to buy for autumn/winter?

it slowed down since re-opening our bricks and mortar shop back in June.

I’ll be focusing on gift boxes and creating a more personalised approach to gifting. Currently we stock candle and soap gift boxes, and during summer they have been doing really well. So hopefully, with a little bit of imagination, our autumn and winter boxes will also do well.

How have you found the reopening process after lockdown? We worked hard to introduce a number of measures to ensure our store is a safe place for our customers to browse and shop – from a hand sanitiser station to social distancing measures, glass counter screen to a more open, better flow around our store. In June, we introduced a Wednesday by-appointmentonly shopping for those who preferred a more relaxed, slower pace shopping experience. How do customers react to the social distancing/safety measures?

The majority of our customers are delighted to be able to go out and enjoy a little bit of ‘normality’, and for myself, as a shopkeeper, it’s truly wonderful to see our customers returning to our store slowly and safely. I’m delighted to say that all of our customers are happy to follow our set guidelines and are very much courteous towards each other - for example, people will wait by the door and ask if it’s okay to enter the shop. What’s sold well since reopening? We specialise in candles, and stock a large range of St. Eval Candles, and natural soaps such as The English Soap Company, The Somerset Toiletry Co, French Soap and our own brand, beautifully handmade in Gloucestershire. These are our top sellers.

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With autumn trade shows cancelled, how will you make your buying decisions? I managed to get a virtual experience of Harrogate Home & Gift fair, so I will be referring to their online directory for autumn/ winter buying. Luckily, throughout the last five years of trading, we’ve managed to build a fantastic supplier list that provides an exceptional customer service and great products, so can’t wait to see their upcoming collections. How do you feel about the rest of 2020? Although 2020 has brought many challenges, it has given me an opportunity to reassess the business and adapt to the new way of shopping. I still remain positive and hopeful for 2021 to be a better year.

From left: Faye, Todd and Katie Faye Jordan

Faye Jordan Expressions Broadstairs, Kent

What’s the story of your shop? We’re an independent card, gift and balloon shop in the Kent coastal town of Broadstairs. The shop has been established for over 30 years and I’m the third owner, having taken over in 2016. We have a loyal local customer base and we’re lucky that Broadstairs attracts many tourists in the summer months. Do you have an online presence? Social media is an important platform for us, and we use Facebook and Instagram to promote

new products and let our customers know what we have been up to. We always share our latest window creations on social media and it always seems to create a buzz. How did you find the reopening process? It was a busy few weeks but we’ve really enjoyed it! Our customers have been so lovely and complimentary about having us back open and saying how much they have missed us. It’s strange having to work behind screens and follow arrows but the majority of people are happy to follow the rules and adapt to the ‘new normal’ way of shopping. I think they feel safer in a smaller shop where customers

are limited and safety measures are still in place. What’s sold well since reopening? The new Flower Gin Glasses from Joe Davies have been selling exceptionally well. And we find sentiment gifts work well for us CGB’s Sent & Meant range is always a firm favorite with our customers. We have a beautiful crystal display from Wild Things and the new range of birthstone angel wings has been a great addition to the display. We find gifts for an occasion or relation are always a strong seller, and so the new range of LilyFlame Candles - Ages & Relations - has been an exciting addition. Xpressions’ Nordic Lights have also continued to be popular gift. What’s new for autumn/winter? We’ve got some wonderful Christmas decorations arriving soon. We’ve placed our first order with Gisela Graham and can’t wait to turn the shop into a Santa’s grotto. We are also on the hunt for a new male gift range and some gifts for children. With autumn trade shows cancelled, how will you make your buying decisions? We have some wonderful reps/ agents who come to visit us and are great at keeping us in the loop of new and exciting products. How do you feel about the rest of 2020? I am hoping for a good Christmas. I hate to say it but we have already put out a small selection of Christmas cards and customers are already buying them. I am hopeful that we will be able to remain open over the next few months. We’re starting to put things into place in case we have to close again. We are positive and optimistic that won’t happen though.

Gifts Today 49

Gifts Today


Jon May Mooch Gifts & Home Worcestershire What’s the story of your business? We set up Mooch in Stourport five and a half years ago realising there was a gap locally for a specialist card, gift and home store locally; Bewdley followed a year later, and since then we haven’t looked back. Do you have an online presence? We’ve always had an online presence and it’s served us well. During lockdown it provided us

a lifeline and provided many hundreds of customers with a valuable service. How have you found the reopening process after lockdown? We’ve seen an increase in average spend in both our stores, and trading is up year on year even with our reduced opening hours. There’s been an increase in footfall locally with the obvious shift from customers from large cities and shopping centres to their local towns. What’s sold well since reopening?

Products have been selling well across the board but in particular, Inis, East of India, Moorland Pottery, Sweet William Designs, Shoeless Joe, Rainbow Designs’ Classic Winnie the Pooh and Joma have sold very well. Cards, too, have proved very popular with people buying 10 or more at one time, cards from designers such as Wendy Jones-Blackett, Rosie Made a Thing, Paper Salad, Louise Mulgrew and Louise Tyler.

a number of suppliers and will continue to add with existing suppliers as they launch. We buy direct with our suppliers and via our lovely agents either online or via Zoom meetings. We won’t take on many new suppliers unless we know of the quality of products as we always like to touch and feel products before buying.

What are you buying for autumn/ winter?

While we’re nervous of a second lockdown, we’re confident our online store’s strong enough to ensure the final quarter of 2020 is strong. We’re looking forward to a very busy final quarter.

Most of our A/W ranges were purchased at Spring Fair. We’ve placed additional orders with

How do you feel about the rest of 2020?

Kate Doughty Apples & Pears of Horsell Surrey What’s the story of your business? Our shop has been established for over 55 years in the small Surrey village of West Byfleet, Surrey, and is owned by my parents Christine and John Morrison. We recently relocated in early 2019 to Horsell village due to redevelopment. Our customers vary from young children buying the Beanie Boos to yummy mummies buying Jellycat and mature ladies buying ponchos, scarves and jewellery. Do you have an online presence? We have a Facebook and Instagram page that works really well for us, as we get messages everyday when we post new products. Most people ask us to put things by and will collect from us later on. How have you found the reopening process after lockdown? Re-opening was nerve wracking, as we didn’t know if our customers would still support us as online shopping has become more popular, but our customers love to shop local. We have hand sanitiser as you come in the shop and markings on the floor with a one-way system round the shop. We have also fitted plastic screens to protect us and customers at the till point.

50 Gifts Today

Do customers seem as keen to shop now? Most customers come in when they need something rather than a browse.Horsell village is full of independent businesses so people like the fact that they can go to the butcher, greengrocer and post office within the village rather than going to a big town. What’s sold well since reopening? Mainly face masks, which was expected, but also little pick-up gifts items like Wild Olive Bath Bombs, candles by Best Kept Secrets and earrings by Crumble & Core. We are still treading carefully with stock and are reviewing week by week. We’ll be buying ponchos, scarves and bamboo socks ready for winter. We mainly rely on reps/agents keeping us up to date with new products. Feelings about the rest of 2020? We are still nervous but hopeful things will get better the closer we get to Christmas.

Carolyn Smith Burley’s of Southwell Nottinghamshire Carolyn, what’s the story of your shop? Burley’s of Southwell was the baby sister of our then Nottingham city centre store. I opened in Southwell in June 1997, just before the arrival of my daughter, offering a gorgeous selection of award winning greetings and gifts. Do you have an online presence? With more people turning to the internet through necessity over the last months, an online presence is now vital. I’m working to get online as soon as possible and hope that it will reflect ‘brand me’ and all that it is that customers love about what I do. How have you found the reopening process after lockdown? I spent a week preparing for reopening, deep cleaning and following Government guidance on risk assessment and safety systems. We had great back up from our local district council who supported us through the process, and customers are extremely considerate and value the effort that we have gone to. A huge shout out to one of my super suppliers, Five Dollar Shake Designs, for supplying me with fabulous posters, making the use of hand sanitiser and safe distancing all the fashion. Footfall has increased steadily since reopening on 15 June but the mandatory wearing of facemasks in shops has really helped. What’s sold well since reopening? Face masks! Customers love our Liberty of London Tana Lawn cotton facemasks made locally by Elizabeth E Designs. Also selling well are products from another small local business, See Greene - her aromatherapy ‘Aroma Rolla’ can be used with the face masks, rolled onto and delicately fragrancing the disposable filters that sit inside the ‘pocket’.

What are you buying/planning to buy for autumn/winter? I will be sourcing items with longevity, items that will have a life beyond Christmas. Items that will add a little luxury to our new normal - beautifully fragranced hand-care for example. Some of my super suppliers have been a part of my shop story over the past 25+ years - Emma Bridgewater, Jellycat and Caroline Gardner. With autumn trade shows cancelled, how will you make your buying decisions? I have great relationships with my suppliers, their brand reps and agents who are working hard to keep me up to date with new launches emails, online catalogues and zoom rooms! How do you feel about the rest of 2020? Never has spirit of community felt more vital and as we all stay closer to home that spirit of community more evident than ever. It’s been incredibly heart-warming to see new connections being forged for the first time in a generation with the independently owned shops and businesses on our doorstep. It sometimes takes a disaster to make us understand what is, and what’s not important in our lives. I’m also very realistic, as I know it’s not always possible to shop small, but whenever we can, we just should. It’s transformative, it’s powerful and it has to be the future.

JOIN OUR RETAILERS’ PANEL! Fancy having your say about the gift industry? Want to share news about your business? Just drop editor Sally Norton an email at and you could see your business featured in the pages of Gifts Today! Look forward to hearing from you. Gifts Today 51

New products

Family Tree

Stepping into spring Richard Lang & Son

Brighter days are coming, lots of fresh new home décor and gifts will be launching soon. Richard Lang & Son launched their A/W2020 Collection at the end of May, and it was well received by their new and long standing loyal customers. It’s all available to view online. One of their clients’ favourite new collections is Family Tree – perhaps because these difficult times have reminded us just how important the love of a family is. Another popular range is Country Home that gives you a mix of animals, soft colours and a rustic feel with many useable items. Langs are happy to announce they’ll soon be ready to launch their next phase for pre-order for 2021.This forward planning is key as it enables them to have the stock when customers need it. They’ll be launching their 2021 collection as an e-catalogue with various support tools to share with customers. And now for a quick look at some of the new collections. There’s hand-painted artwork of Buds & Blooms over textiles, greetings cards, wooden and ceramic materials. The overall look is stunning and will definitely bring the fresh days of spring to your shops. From The Heart is a beautiful simple collection using soft tones, with wording very fitting – this range already looks set to be extremely popular. Langs are well known for their humour and they have some great new pieces to offer - along with ‘It’s a Mum’s Life’, these will ring so true with all of those fabulous mums out there. Langs have many fantastic new collections coming, all designed in Derbyshire by their team. Their customer service team is always at the end of the phone to help, and their agents are out and about and happy to call. The team’s also happy to work in a way that is suitable for you, using videos or Zoom. Their motto is: ‘We are with you’.

Call: 01332 340927 Visit: Follow: Instagram: @lang_and_son 52 Gifts Today

Country H


From Charlotte Thomas:- Salcombe a contemporary, nautically themed design, Sheridan, a romantic trailing floral design, Carson, a crisply styled modern check design, Ashton, is a striking retro design, all made from high quality, 144 thread count polycotton with combed yarns. Products available include: Duvet Cover Sets (Single to Super King Size), Housewife Pillowcase Pair, Single Oxford Pillowcase Pair, and readymade pencil pleat curtains. Also a range of matching Plain Dyes are also available For more information Visit: Call: 0161 236 10250 | Email: Brian Wilkinson on

New products

Christmas licences Puckator

Finding the perfect Christmas gifts can be stressful. Knowing which products and designs are going to be popular can seem like an impossible task. Puckator is on hand to make your life easier this year with a whole host of licensed gifts. Combine trendy design with wellestablished fan bases and sales are sure to follow. Simon’s Cat has already proven a huge success for Puckator and they’ve added to the range with exciting new designs for Christmas 2020. This fresh look at Simon’s Cat and his friend the kitten has a bold colour palette of reds, white and golds, evoking holiday feelings from first glance. Have a Meowy Christmas, with an assortment of homeware products like tea towels, aprons, mug, and coaster sets. Beauty treats include lip balms (a winter essential) and compact mirrors. The hottest novelty for that perfect stocking filler has to be the adorable Christmas Solar Pal with the cat sporting a Santa hat, wagging his tail in anticipation of his gifts. If you’re a feline lover, Kim Haskin’s cats have proven very popular for Puckator again this year. Capitalising on the seasonal success they have expanded the range to include Christmas. Whether you’re looking for chocolate coin purses, mulled wine mugs or gift bags to pack up all of your presents, Puckator has things wrapped up. If you’re more sci-fi than kitty kitsch, Puckator have gifts that are quite simply, out of this world. This Earth Christmas they are debuting their Original Stormtrooper range in conjunction with Shepperton Design Studios. It features everyone’s favourite intergalactic enforcers getting into the festive spirit, sporting reindeer antlers and Christmas jumpers – sure to be a hit at office parties. If saving planets is your bag too, the bamboo fibre used in the travel cups is a great place to start. They are made from the recycled offcuts of chopsticks and can be used time and time again. Bamboo is one of the fastest growing renewable materials on the planet and, with over 500 billion coffee cups discarded each year, every little change counts. Spread some galactic cheer this Christmas and end 2020 as we mean to go on, protecting the environment and supporting innovative ways of making sustainable giftware.

Call. 0800 011 6969 | Email. Visit:

First discoveries Mary Meyer

Part of Baby Einstein First Discoveries, Cal’s Chime Ball packs a lot of play and imagination in a sweet and easy-to-grab package. Babies can explore colours, textures, and both crinkle and chime sounds, all while interacting with Cal’s expressive face. Cal’s chime ball is 15cm wide. Sweet Soothies are little blankets with big personalities, with a range of six blankets to choose from: latte, rainbow, pineapple, ice cream cone, watermelon, and cactus. Each Sweet Soothie has a sewn-in soft toy with an embroidered face and the blanket features fun, original illustrations. Each blanket is 25.5cm square. Tinsel Toes Unicorn is ready for the chill of winter with a knit scarf and warm coat of silver-highlighted plush. Dapper details include a (perhaps magical?) spiral horn, glittering hoof pads, and shimmer in its scarf. This 35.5cm toy also has weighted limbs so it sits and flops easily.

Visit: 54 Gifts Today









New products

Dare to be different Global Luxury Brands

‘The past few months have been challenging for everyone involved in retail but a good number of us have come through it and will emerge stronger I have no doubt, says MD Simon Willis. ‘But the world has changed. While the shops may have been closed many of our partners have been busy developing new products and ranges ready for when some sort of normality returns. Without the trade shows in the summer and autumn we have not had to opportunity to showcase these new ranges but with the help of Gifts Today we hope that you will be excited by what we have to offer.’ When GLB first launched De Rosa back to the UK almost five years ago, they could not have predicted the success they would have. With a tight control on the distribution and plentiful new launches, this range has gone on to be a favourite for many retailers who were inspired enough to try it. With prices from just £32 all the way up to £1000 there really is something to fit every pocket, and style. This year the company has seen a huge increase in business on the high-priced limited edition pieces from both stores and specialist online retailers. As a result De Rosa have spent a huge amount of time working on three new prestige pieces and the first delivery sold out within two weeks. The Cheetah has proved very popular and more are on their way. As well as the high-end pieces, the Mandarin Duck is one GLB are sure will be a winner. The Goebel brand has been well known all over the world for many years and today has a huge and varied range of gift and collectable items. Last year Global Luxury Brands had particular success with the Christmas ranges, the Britto Pop Art collection and the Kaiser range of bisque porcelain. There are exciting new pieces in all these ranges. They are delighted to be continuing their partnership with Fitz and Floyd after a fantastic start in 2019. This range of Christmas figurines exceeded all expectations and, with new additions this year, they are excited to build on that success. Herend has become a firm favourite with Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton. He now has a fine collection of Herend vases, given as the prize for winning the Hungarian Grand Prix. One year they tried to substitute a silver trophy but there was uproar. As well as the spectacular prestige pieces the factory also takes the same amount of care and attention to detail on the smaller and more affordable figurines. New additions to the range are available to order. GLB’s collection of prestige brands offers something that is different to the mass-produced ranges that dominate much of our high street and on line. Still highly commercial and with the type of service you would expect from a family owned and run business but with the added appeal of exclusivity. Dare to be different!

56 Gifts Today

Call: 01538 807 780 Email: Visit:






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New products

Have a personalised Christmas Personalised Memento Company The Personalised Memento Company (PMC) may not be at a trade show this year but they have a jam-packed website full of new and exciting products for AW20 and beyond. PMC have launched a brand new collection of wooden decorations for Christmas 2020. Their new additions have been designed and manufactured exclusively in-house, using their cutting edge laser technology. Each decoration is personalised and comes as a complete mini-kit to be made by you, including all the personalised components, string, and instructions. The range of three-dimensional decorations includes hanging baubles and ornaments, a decorative rocking horse, and a specially designed advent calendar to count down the days to Christmas. A Christmas tradition for over 40 years, The Snowman and the Snowdog is a firm family favourite with an expanded range of new personalised gifts from PMC this year. There is a huge array to choose from including baubles and decorations, nightlights and LED lamps, a mince pie plate, Christmas Eve box, advent calendars, sacks, and stockings. Hotly tipped as a bestseller is the stylish nightlight LED candle featuring The Snowman and the Snowdog personalised with the child’s name. With a gentle flickering light, it’s sure to help any excited little one get to sleep this Christmas Eve. PMC have been personalising gifts for over 16 years and are leading the industry with their personalisation, production and drop shipping service. With huge investments into production capabilities and operations they are able to adapt effortlessly to seasonal peak demand. This reliable service ensures that orders are fulfilled quickly and accurately, leading to an outstanding customer experience. What’s more, there are many ways to make personalised gifts work for your business. You can get started with a handful of products on your website or completely integrate multiple categories. There are options for personalisation ‘preview’ meaning you can convert even more sales by the customer adding their personalised message and then hitting the preview button to see their unique gift come to life. Visit PMC’s trade website to discover how personalised gifts can work for your business.

Email: Visit: Follow: Instagram: @¬personalisedmemento 58 Gifts Today

Natural & Nordic Illume x Bloomingville

Diffuse natural and Nordic scents to evoke a soothing ambience. They introduce two gorgeous collections of scented candles and reed diffusers. The Essential collection comprises six Essential lines and the Seasonal collection offers a selection of three lines produced in collaboration with highly esteemed European fragrance houses. The quality is impressive and the design is stunning. Illume x Bloomingville is the perfect add-on to any home interior assortment. Within an instant, you can evoke the freshness of the garden, infuse the surrounding with a zesty breeze; indulge in herbal notes, or seek warm comfort through the aromatic beauty of pine needles and spices.

Email: Country manager Simon Pykett on Call: 07967 209156 Visit:

drive sales by developing your in store craft offer with dĂŠcopatch


To find out more please contact us: 01553 696600

Gifts Today 59

New products

Best of British Moocow Studios

Moocow Studios print and manufacture an extensive range of products. They have a wealth of experience in the giftware industry, all of which bring something different to the mix. They design and produce their items in their East Sussex HQ and are also proud of their work with various local and national charities. Moocow Studios obtained the licence for Dick Twinney’s Know Your Dog range earlier this year, with the launch delayed until now due to Covid-19. The range has 50 dogs, from old faithfuls to breeds that have become extremely popular over the last few years. Moocow also offers a wide range of impulse buys for the Christmas period and beyond. Check out their festive range of wooden Christmas cards and wooden tree hangers. There are also some great 3D wooden fridge magnets that are 100% recyclable unlike the resin variety. UK manufacturing at its best, available in low quantities. Be also sure to check out their two ranges that are ideal for Christmas – Sue Podbery Country Artist and Mike Jackson’s Quirky World. Sue’s paintings are a reminder of the farming that many people grew up with – featuring barns, cart sheds, hedges and day-to-day farm clutter that she knew well. She paints in watercolour and gouache, with lots of pen work. Mike Jackson’s illustrations are now available on bespoke coasters and fridge magnets, textiles, pens, key rings and more for the tourism, souvenir and promotional industries. Moocow Studios offer UK manufacturing at it best – not relying on overseas imports and available in low quantities. The company is constantly developing new products and is reactive to customer needs.

Call: 01424 310057 Email: Visit:

60 Gifts Today

“At Present Time, we pride ourselves on bringing the trends in to the home décor world. Our roots in design are Dutch, however as our Managing Director is Danish, this brings a combination of Scandinavian design in to our collection, which makes the relationship between Dutch and Danish design very unique.”

If you are interested in stocking Present Time, please contact myself below Luke Felton Country Manager UK & Ireland | 07975597855

We have recently launched our new AW20 collection with over 350 new lines. All of this can be viewed on our website – ■ 10% off all new AW20 lines up until 31st October ■ £300 minimum order ■ £1,000 carriage paid until end of 2020 ■ 5-7 days delivery


Fashion & fragrance Discover Katie Loxton’s home fragrances designed to pour a touch of calm into each and every home, creating heavenly retreats and little moments of rest and peace. Beloved Reed Diffusers come with thin reeds to bring longer-lasting scents to all those seeking relaxation, each beautifully boxed with metallic touches to their packaging to create the perfect gifting opportunities. Bestselling Sentiment Candles continue to surprise and delight with sweet sentiments such as ‘Wonderful Mum’ and ‘Happy Birthday’ and with luxe fragrances such as Pomelo and Lychee Flower or Cinnamon and Nutmeg Chai.

Fashion style - with a bobble on top! The season is started in style with Katie Loxton’s collection of womenswear and accessories. Chunky knit accessories including bobble hats, scarves and gloves have been introduced by Katie Loxton this season in a collection of versatile colours, while glimmering gold-tone logo plaques add the perfect touch of luxe. Wrap up warm with even more Katie Kapes featuring exciting and flattering two-tone colourways. Sumptuously soft, the Katie Kape returns to the brand with more gorgeous, wearable shades to embrace the winter season. Crafted in a close-knit with the highest attention to quality, each Katie Kape is finished with chic tassel detailing and can be reversed

for two luxe looks in one. New season Freya Crossbody Bags are complete with sweet tassel detailing and chain shoulder straps, resulting in the perfect little gifting surprise. Perfectly compact, the new Taylor Phone Crossbody Bags are ideal for popping inside a stocking this Christmas, while the brand new Tori Tortoiseshell Crossbody Bags create the perfect opportunity gift something special underneath the Christmas tree this year. Showcasing vegan leather materials and with a high attention to quality, the gifting opportunities are endless.


Spotted! Personalised gifts We all love a personalised gift and there’s plenty to choose from with Katie Loxton and Joma Jewellery. Katie Loxton is a brand founded on sweet sentiment and thoughtful gifting, creating the perfect personalised moments. Each gorgeous product has been designed with the cosy touches of the new season in mind. Pretty little gifts are waiting to be discovered, such as boxed porcelain mugs, sweet stationery sets and Perfect Pouches featuring sentiments such as ‘Mum In A Million’ and ‘Fabulous Friend’. Joma Jewellery is a brand founded on creating the perfect gifting opportunities filled with sentiment. There are now more special bracelets in their much loved ‘A Littles’ collection than ever before, with a charm for every and any occasion. The sweet stretch bead designs are perfectly suited for every wrist. Glistening charms hang beautifully from each bracelet holding their own sentiment such as ‘Live Love Sparkle’ and ‘Lovely Mummy’, while sweet poems adorn the packaging to make each design truly unique.

Visit: 64 Gifts Today

To celebrate the most exciting time of year, we’ve designed ‘With Love This Christmas’, one of our most magical collections yet to create festive cheer at a time when it’s needed the most! Wrapped in a festive colour palette inspired by icy mornings, each piece has been designed with festive spirit and loving sentiments to encourage gift-giving – perfect for popping in a stocking or placing under the tree. DISCOVER OUR WORLD AT WHOLESALE.KATIELOXTON.COM | WHOLESALE.JOMAJEWELLERY.COM

instyle style

Colours to lift your mood

Spotted! With the Autumn Fair now cancelled for this year, here is a chance to see some of the current new designs that Alexander Thurlow have been working on. We love the poppy designs that are part of their wonderful range of commemorative jewellery. They have even produced a beautiful blue poppy that is especially popular in Scotland. Also new that you don’t want to miss are great sunflowers and fuchsias to complement their ever increasing range of flower jewellery. If anyone knows of a flower that they think they are missing, do contact them with ideas as they’re always keen to offer bespoke designs.

Miss Milly brings colour and style at affordable prices. If you haven’t yet stocked this range of jewellery, scarves and accessories, try it out now with a low £100 minimum order and easy online ordering. Agents are available in some areas. The brand is expecting a mix of caution and joy with the shopping revival and is accordingly stocking both the traditional autumn/winter jewel palette alongside fuchsia pink, startling orange and vivid purple to create a spark and lift our moods. There’s an innovative launch of magnetic pendant gift sets. Two beautifully gift-boxed sets each contain three interchangeable pendants in resin or metal with snake chain. The new resin cufflink range, featuring eight different styles and colours, is Miss Milly’s first accessories for men, presented in an attractive silver gift-box. And there are also new additions to the highly popular magnetic brooch collection alongside new winter weight scarves.

Call: 020 8766 6466 Visit:

Call: 01905 622509 Email: Visit:

1, 2, 3 from Lime Tree Design 1

Check out the enamel charm necklace range made from solid sterling silver, gold vermeil and enamelled in UK. All necklaces come boxed and there is no minimum order. For a more minimal look the medallions are available in silver or gold vermeil only. The charms are also available on a bracelet.


With Christmas on our minds, the boxed hankies, lavender sardines and bird sachets make ideal pick up gifts. New designs in Liberty of London Tana Lawn and now the company’s own cotton block print fabrics.


New Facemasks made with their own designs of cotton hand block printed fabric. Three-ply and lined using soft cotton, they’re washable and re-useable so better for the environment. They come with ties, so kinder on the ears and ideal for longer wear when travelling. Adjustable for a better fit, comes in cello bag, units of 12. Also available in floral block print designs.

Call: 01636 894043 Email: Visit: 62 Gifts Today

Over 700 models in stock. Please contact us for a trade catalogue: Tel 01460 75686


Reading ready!

Opticaid UK

We love... Life Charms

Life Charms is a UK jewellery brand dedicated to designing and creating beautiful jewellery for the modern-day woman. Featuring innovative designs for gifting and unique fashion pieces, there is something for every occasion and every budget. 2020 sees this rapidly growing jewellery brand celebrate their fifth year and, as lockdown life slowly becomes a strange memory, Life Charms is coming out the other side with new ideas and a determination to make the end of this year as positive as possible. They have been busy, designing new lines and increasing some of their most popular ranges. Ready to order now, and already flying out the door, 16 exciting new lines have been delivered for the sought after #JustBecause collection. The new bracelets include a stunning Robin charm on a card that reads ‘Robins Appear When Loved Ones Are Near’ with other new charms for this range including an Elephant, a Forget Me Not flower, and a Champagne bottle. More cards have also been introduced for 15th – 20th birthdays to fit in with the current #JustBecause collection. The end of summer brings two exciting new Christmas collections to Life Charms. The first is a time-proof range of pretty glitter Christmas design sleeves with the signature Life Charms’ beaded bracelets and gorgeous charms. The sleeve is removeable so, when Christmas is over, it can be taken off and sold at any time of the year. The second beautiful collection for Christmas sees the super cute Rosey Rabbits range get some festive additions. With autumn here and Christmas now in our sights, it’s time to start putting in those festive orders.

Opticaid UK have just launched their latest collection of Remaldi Ready Reading Glasses and Gifts. Among the many new reading styles are Matera Fuchsia, Salento Kingfisher Blue and Kew Leaf. All are eyecatching fashion frames in on trend colours and come in six reading strengths from +1.25 to +3.50. The glasses are great value at £14 retail and are suitable for a number of sales outlets. Also likely to appeal are the contemporary frames of Tenby Black and Grey. Each pair comes with a quality storage pouch. The team can also provide display stands to suit a variety of spaces. Opticaid have added to their fun spec holder range with the arrival of Maurice & Mae – cute elephants that hold your specs when not in use. Maurice & Mae join the company’s best selling range of Snozzles, cats, dogs and hippos and make ideal gifts for Christmas and anyone who doesn’t look after their specs. They come gift packed and retail at £10.

Call: 0113 239 1400 Email: Visit:

Call: 0203 488 2656 | Email: Visit:

Make a style statement Classic Canes

As the swallows depart for Africa, Classic Canes ensure we can still enjoy them all winter long with this glamorous folding cane featuring stylish gold swallows on a black background. Managing director Charlotte Gillan says: ‘We are seeing more and more demand for top-of-the-range fashionable walking sticks for cane users who want to treat them as style statements. Being heightadjustable, folding canes make great presents. They are easy to display in store, photograph well for the internet and are convenient to despatch by mail order so they suit all types of retailers. We have over 80 designs from the classic to the seriously flamboyant, so there is one for everyone.’

Call: 01460 75686 | Email: | Visit: 66 Gifts Today

$OLFH :KHHOHU / 21'21

Welcome to Alice Wheeler LONDON and our latest Autumn/Winter collection of beauty and fashion accessories. Our design team inspire to create luxurious must haves for yourself and the perfect gift. Our products are vegan friendly and manufactured using materials that contain no animal by-products.

For more information contact T: 0121 459 9777 | E: Simon Carswell | E: Oli Woodyatt


Meet Alice Wheeler!

If you’re looking for beautifully designed beauty and fashion accessories, check out Alice Wheeler London, inspired by the designer’s creative eye for fabulous finds inspired by her travels. We caught up with Oli Woodyatt and Simon Carswell from FMG who supply this fabulous collection.

What’s the story behind Alice Wheeler? Alice Wheeler is a new brand created and inspired by Alice Wheeler and her family – dad, mum and brother. Alice has always been drawing and sketching and this was the basis for her ranges. Paul Woodyatt (Oli’s dad) has worked in the beauty accessories’ industry for 44 years and has the knowledge and experience to bring Alice’s design to life. Fancy Metal Goods (FMG) manufactures and supplies many beauty accessories across many categories including premium magnification mirrors both metal and acrylic designs.

How did the collaboration with Alice Wheeler come about? Our business has been successful for many years in both design and manufacturing, and we also import a wide selection of beauty accessories. Alice Wheeler is the beginnings of re-establishing FMG as a brand-led business with much more focus on brand development. We don’t compromise on quality, and manufacture a great product at a great price.

Are bags a new development for you? The team behind Alice Wheeler have been selling cosmetic bags and fashion accessories for four decades! Utilising this experience and capturing Alice Wheeler’s new designs has led to the creation of our fantastic new products.

Key products in this range? Alice’s range has many key lines and the latest autumnal collection has a beautiful vanity case in our new PU quilted leather fabric, a lovely addition to the range. We have used our expertise in mirror design and combined a PU leather travel case with a full-framed metal X7 magnification mirror and true image on the other side; it’s a unique product line and offers something new to market. We like points of difference. We are really excited with our fashion-inspired ranges, especially our handbags, backpacks and accessories. This has opened up a totally different market. Small details are so important and we have spent hours deliberating over every aspect of our designs to ensure they are fashionable and easy to use.

What’s so special about these ranges? When piecing together a collection, we strive to find the best materials that complement each design, every product line is considered before finalising a definitive collection, and we believe in what we do. Our quilted range is very unique and feel it won’t be long before our designs are being seen all over the UK.

Typical consumer you are aiming these ranges at? We see Alice’s designs in out of town retailers such as garden centres - Alice’s Honeybee logo resonates with this customer. We were surprised to see such a wide customer attraction at January’s Top Drawer show, with new customers varying from boutique/fashion retail through to events organisers and many fabulous gift retailers. We aim to design great gifts to add value in any retail business. We are open for business, have good stock levels across many categories and provide a great service. We’re also looking at men’s wash bags in future - watch this space.

Call: 0121 4599777 | Email: Visit: 68 Gifts Today



Buy online at or call: 01905 622 509

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Greengate – Sales Agents Required Established in Denmark in 1991, Greengate has grown into one of the most recognised Nordic quality brands in Europe, trading in the trendy homeware and kids home sector. It is now time to bring our inspiration to the UK and Ireland, so we are seeking well connected commercial agents to assist us in this task. Working with our Country Manager, James Gittins we would like to hear from commercial agents who: Are professional and performance driven Have an eye for design and an appreciation of great quality ● Are well connected with retail buyers and decision makers within the Homeware, home accessories and kids home sectors. ● Are ready to show their customers an amazing new 2020 Winter collection, Including Christmas. If this is you then please make contact with James today. ● ●

If you join us in our mission to grow in the UK and Ireland, then you will be supported with: ● ● ● ● ● ●

ǻsĶ ˟ˠˠˢ ˡˢ˨ ˠˣ˟˟ ǣ Ķsǣ˔ŸƼǼÞO Þ_ʳŘsǼ ɠɠɠʳŸƼǼÞO Þ_ʳŘsǼ

A beautiful stock assortment Great customer support through our partner portal A professional back office Ipad based sales app Regular repeat business A growing income

James Gittins Country Manager Mob: 07735 11 56 90 | Mail: Web:

New products On the ball Emma Ball

The team have been extremely busy throughout lockdown and beyond over at Emma Ball, with many tasks juggled between Emma and Lucy before all staff members returned back to work. Social media was a game changer for them in lockdown. Emma spent hours upon hours building up a collection of daily ‘things to do’ posts along with online jigsaws, which helped promote the brand well as allowing followers to have a daily fix! ‘Since lockdown was lifted, the daily posts have become a blog about our stockists, posting pictures of their shop, more about the brand, and where our followers can find them if they would like to shop local,’ says Emma. ‘The response from our following has been fantastic, and it has been really lovely to see comments of people actually going to visit after seeing our post.’ So, what’s new? Emma’s just signed off a range of six face-coverings, featuring her most popular designs with an RRP of £8.95. They have three cotton protective layers (but are light so you don’t feel there are there) and have a shape to them that doesn’t make you feel like you’re being smothered. Most importantly, these are handmade in the UK, and the packaging is fully biodegradable. These will be in stock within the next few weeks and pre-orders are coming in thick and fast. Another design that came about from lockdown is the new Menu Planner - an A4 tear-off weekly pad with an incorporated shopping list for you to become more organised when doing your weekly shop. They also launched a rainbow magnetic notepad, which has been popular with both stockists and online – this range is being expanded over the next few months. Emma Ball’s Bauble Cards are back in stock over the next few weeks, having originally sold out quickly. These cards make the perfect Christmas wishes for someone special, with a detachable melamine bauble gift to hang on a tree. These have an RRP of £4.50, and are also manufactured in the UK. Christmas packs are in stock too with a great RRP of £2.95. Tins came in stock in June and have been working really well - they make fantastic stocking fillers and, well, who doesn’t love a nice tin? Lastly, their award-winning Cornwall and Coastal calendars are now in and selling fast. These both tend to sell out by the end of October, so please get in touch to avoid being disappointed. ‘Just to finish on sending an absolutely huge thank you to our stockists’ continuous support, it means the world to us,’ says Emma.

Call: 0115 985 8081 | Email: | Visit:

Perfect skin Bettyhula

Looking for something that’ll stand out on shelf? Bettyhula’s eye-catching vegan, natural skincare range could well be the answer. With great price points from £4.99 stocking fillers like their award-winning natural antibacterial hand cream, this collection comes in three tropical Hawaiian scents. They do a starter pack that comes with its own hardwood stand, plus branded gift boxes ready for customers to make their perfect gift. Bettyhula also has its own face and body oil range. The Secret Wonder Oil comes in handy pick-up gifts like bath salt teabags, facial masks and, their hero product, the rollerball-on-the-go. The oil is a multitasking 100% natural oil, including frankincense, neroli, mandarin essential oils to name a few. It smells divine. They are launching a massage candle in the Secret Oil range in November. Housed in a bronze ceramic jug, it will make a beautiful pamper night-in present.

Call: 01943 880296 | Email: Visit:

70 Gifts Today

New products

Present Time

Fact file 10% off all new AW20 lines up until 31 October 2020 £300 minimum order £1000 carriage paid until end of 2020 5-7 days delivery

Present Time has 30 years’ experience in accessories, gift items, clocks, small furniture and lighting, offering an inspirational combination of Dutch and Danish design.

With an HQ based in the Netherlands, Present Time is active in more than 80 countries across the world, where you can find their products in the world's most famous department stores and exclusive gift shops. ‘At Present Time, we pride ourselves on bringing the trends into the home décor world,’ says Luke Felton, Country Manager UK and Ireland. ‘Our roots in design are Dutch, however as our Managing Director is Danish, this also brings a combination of Scandinavian design in to our collection. It’s quite unique. ‘We have been active in the UK market for over 25 years and pride ourselves in ease of use and great customer service, whether it’s from our agents on the road, myself, or our back office support in Almere, Netherlands. ‘We work with international designers to create inspirational designs aimed at the mid-market. Our creative department

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‘We have been active in the UK market for over 25 years and pride ourselves in ease of use and great customer service’

travels the world to surprise everybody with new collections twice a year: the spring/summer collection comes out in January and the autumn/winter collection is launched in August. ‘We use 10-20 Pantone colours for each season, and this is used throughout our entire collection of Karlsson clocks, Leitmotiv furniture and lighting and Present Time home décor items. The relationship between all categories allows us to tell a story and bring beautiful lifestyle images that excites the market. ‘We have recently launched our new AW20 collection with over 350 new lines. You can view all of this on our website.’

Call: 07975 597855 Email: Luke Felton Visit:

New products

Q&A with Edge Sculpture

Matt Buckley, sculptor and creative director

We catch up with Matt Buckley, sculptor and creative director, to discover how the company’s coped during recent months and plans for the future. Matt, how has the year been so far for Edge? Despite the obvious, the wheels of industry have not ceased moving with Edge Sculpture and we have been trying our level best to maintain a sensible structure to the business to provide our customers with pieces however we can, despite the necessary changes to everybody's work environments. My brother Dan and I

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have been continually forward thinking to hopefully best place ourselves in order to continue to release new and engaging product going into the festive season and certainly it is no different from any other year from this perspective.

How are you keeping in touch with customers? We have already launched our Virtual

Presentation for Autumn 2020 on YouTube – it’s always available to view from our very own Edge Sculpture YouTube Channel. We felt that this was a totally necessary exercise following the cancellations of trade shows, but hope we can achieve a decent second best with this approach. Dan has worked magnificently utilising editing software to allow us to bring more films into the future and allowing everything to be created in house. We have also been working exceptionally hard to promote our online Trade Only website that enables customers to concentrate on their orders when it is convenient to them. Paul, our in-house IT technician, is constantly available to make sure folks can create and access it, which from a new piece and pre-ordering perspective we feel is vital.

clay sculpture within our YouTube presentation. This is a French Bulldog bust and, depending on how well we can cope, we may very well also be able to start sending some pieces out towards the end of the year.

New releases?

Plans for 2021?

Personally I have been continually sculpting to the extent that we have three definite new releases going into the autumn. The first piece is a Brown Bear Cub that has been in constant demand since our very successful Facebook polls. Similarly an Octopus seemed to be a very much-desired subject and hopefully will make for a very unique looking interior piece. Finally we have a ‘Staffie’ Bust that we are making available in five colourways. Furthermore, being a very different year I also thought it best to follow suit with another surprise piece, which was also revealed as a completed

I am already now sculpting for 2021 and let’s all just hope that the world can get back to some sort of normality and most importantly we all look after our families and ourselves stay well.

Call: 01952 884804 Email: Visit:

New products

In heaven Heaven Scent

Making natural products for over 25 years, family-run Heaven Scent make natural plant wax candles in over 80 different beautiful fragrances, as well as organic soaps and plant based reed diffusers. A specialist in ‘Own Label’, create your own beautiful labels and make their products your own. Heaven Scent is the home of natural plant wax candles, organic soap, natural base reed diffusers and body products made with natural ingredients. The company has done well during lockdown with no direct impact, reporting they are just as busy. There are plenty of new launches this season:

Hand Sanitisers A natural Hand Sanitiser using Tea Tree in an Aloe Vera base with 70% alcohol to cleanse and protect. Check out the handy little bottle to put straight into your handbag or pocket with no fuss.

Happy Christmas! D&J Glassware

As thoughts turn to the festive period, D&J Glassware is delighted to present its Christmas Collections. The adorable Snowman, complete with colourful scarf and carrot nose and Father Christmas, in his red coat and flowing beard, delight all ages. Other designs include Christmas Trees, Robins and Angels. New for 2020, is a Robin Coaster to go with the attractive Robin Plates. But the Company’s offering for the holiday season doesn’t stop there. Launched at the Spring trade shows, the new Woodland Delight is a stylish and fragrant mix of pinecones, berries and citrus slices and complements the popular Scented Pine Cones, Reed Diffuser, Christmas Pot Pourri and Room Spray.

Call: 01953 450280 Email: Visit:

76 Gifts Today

Wellbeing Boxes The company noticed customers wanted 'self care' and ‘wellbeing products'. Their Wellbeing Boxes fit the brief perfectly. Their Sleep Well Wellness Box contains lavender soap, essential oil, soy wax candle, Dead Sea Salt Bath Soak and Body Oil Dropper Bottle. The Bathe Wellness Box contains Himalayan Salt, Bath Crème, Soap, Glass Tea light and Exfoliating Bag.

New Essential oil Candle range Soothe and unwind with a natural candle containing pure essential oils.

Call: 01225 868788 | Email: Visit:


New products

Carry on regardless!

Wild Things Gifts

‘If you are in business you just ‘get on with it’ – so, Covid-19, Brexit – all we can do is carry on making the nicest products we can at an affordable price and deal with whatever comes our way,’ says Jules from Wild Things Gifts. ‘We are very lucky in that we sell a lot to the USA and Europe, so despite UK sales falling off a cliff, we have been able to keep on going with a bit of help from the furlough scheme. ‘The forced inaction – especially at the beginning of lockdown – gave us all a chance to think, to notice the everyday around us, see the things we normally take for granted. Our main business is making Rainbow Makers, so it didn’t take an Einstein to figure out that we should really be making a Thank You Rainbow Maker in honour of all the NHS workers, carers and those whom we have come to collectively call Essential Workers. We thought long and hard about which of so many deserving charities to support. We sell all over the country, so we decided it had to be national – hence NHS Charities Together. I don’t think we will raise as much as Colonel Tom, but every bit helps. ‘We like to do our bit for charities here at Wild things, either by setting up standing orders or by getting all members of staff to choose a charity for the company to donate to at the end of the year. Our ambition is to link more products to specific charities. One product we already link is our Crystal Fantasy Bee that helps support Bees Abroad. ‘We read that future trends involve people buying less but better quality goods, so we hope that by focusing on quality, using only the best quality crystals and designing everything ourselves we can stay ahead of our imitators. ‘Meanwhile some recent launches have been selling fantastically well despite it all, in particular our Summer Tree of Life suncatcher, with its confetti colourway – reminiscent of romance and weddings – and our Elephant Crystal Fantasy, a surprise hit with its ultra-vivid colours. ‘A special mention for our Chakra Heart of Hearts – which, amazingly, is second only to our Tree of Life crystal fantasy in turnover. Both the Heart of Hearts and the Summer Tree of Life incorporate jewellery-quality Swarovski crystal hearts, and can truly be regarded as window jewellery. ‘Finally, how to display these sparkly crystals? Just take advantage of our free brilliantly lit and compact booth display, which shows off 132 best selling items in a display that is only 76cm wide. We have a new catalogue supplement available, and all items are shown on our website.’

Call: 01392 211268 Visit: 78 Gifts Today

New products Cornish fragrance St. Eval


Nestled on a farm in the heart of North Cornwall, St. Eval are proud to use traditional, artisan methods to craft high quality candles by hand, perfecting the art and science of candle making for over 25 years. Each candle is carefully crafted using sustainable energy from wind, solar and biomass and inspired by the beautiful Cornish countryside. Bringing the natural character and charm of St. Eval to the fore this winter, they present three new collections inspired by the enchanting autumn and winter seasons, as well as spectacular pillars, majestic multiwicks, scented tin candles, tealights and more - Christmas truly begins with a St. Eval scented candle.

Folk Collection Inspired by the magical beauty and folklore of Cornwall, discover rich, warming Oak, fresh, crisp Moss and honeyed Amber. This trio of evocative fragrances will engender great folk stories and awaken imaginations, from the origins of the stone circles to giants, piskies and saints, combining the beauty of nature with tales of enchantment. Complement the home with rustic coloured pillars and scented tins adorned with an intricate folk-inspired design.

White Christmas

Folk Winter Woodland

Inspired by snowy landscapes and the magic of Christmas, their elegant White Christmas Collection features pretty white pots with brushed gold detail and matching twinkling tealights. The perfect cosy addition to the home this winter, complete the collection with the soft glow of matching twinkling hand-poured tealights. Available in three comforting festive scents; spicy Inspiritus, zesty, warming Orange & Cinnamon and earthy, herbal Winter Thyme.

Winter Woodland Collection From the snow-covered footsteps of reindeer in December, to the sweet call of the red-breasted robin and playful leap of an arctic fox with its beautiful ice-white coat, this heart-warming collection is home to three loveable characters inspired by winter wildlife. Discover festive cheer with rich, warming fragrances in soft grey pots complete with a dazzling gold inner rim. A charming trio to add a festive touch to the home. Available in three comforting festive scents; spicy Inspiritus, zesty, warming Orange & Cinnamon and earthy, herbal Winter Thyme. If you would like to become a St. Eval stockist, please complete their online form, email them or call their team. They would be delighted to welcome you on board.

White Christmas 80 Gifts Today

Call: 01841 540 850 Email: Visit:

NEW GIFT IN A TIN NEW GIFTS FOR GROWN UPS NEW QUIZ IN A TIN To ďŹ nd out more contact us on 01453 826759 or or head to our website

New products White Forest and Winter Spice Sandy Bay London

Sandy Bay London White Forest The perfect fragrance to transport you to magical wintery woods. A green woody blend with fresh pine needle top notes infused by sparkling tones of mandarin and bergamot. An elegant aromatic heart is composed of fir balsam, eucalyptus, geranium, armoise and rosemary resting on the bed of fine cedar, patchouli and a hint of white musk. Presented in stunning white silver glassware, and available in 30-hour and 200-hour candles as well as a reed diffuser and room spritz, this is a must for any Christmas home.

Sandy Bay London Winter Spice Christmas all wrapped up in one glorious scent, Winter Spice, An aromatic spicy accord opening with citrus orange and lemon followed by rich warm cinnamon and clove, with hints of floral jasmine and fresh pine resting on a base of sensual woods and musk. Presented in stylish black and gold glassware, and available in 30-hour and 200-hour candles as well as a reed diffuser and room spritz, this will create a perfect cosy atmosphere for the winter home.

Call: 01992 579949 | Email: Visit:

Christmas starts early Manor House Home Fragrance Manor House are currently in the midst of Christmas production. It started slightly later than usual - in July compared to normal late May - but orders are looking great. Earlier this year they launched many new fragrances, which has increased their amazing British home fragrance collections to the widest-ever offering – all combining Pot Pourri, Scented Botanical Candles, Candles in Glass, Diffusers and Room Sprays along with Drawer Sachets, Liners and more. They have have gained many new clients – at home and overseas - since lockdown finished, many of whom they met at Spring Fair. Manor House pride themselves on producing all their products by hand in Suffolk, England, using mainly British packaging and fragrances. They use the finest botanicals from around the world, recyclable packaging, fabrics, hand woven silks from Suffolk silk mills and ribbons mainly from British companies, thus creating a true Handmade in

Call: 01359 250720 | Visit:

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Great Britain Home Fragrance Collection. They offer Pot Pourri and Scented Pine Cones, Scented Botanical Candles, Room Diffusers and Sprays, Drawer Liners and Sachets along with Advent Candles, Luxury Hand Washes, Scented Fabric Bags and Cushions. They have a Facebook page (Manor House Home Fragrance Ltd), a Twitter account @ ManorHouseHome1 and Instagram @Manorhousehomefragrance to link their business with their final end customers. They gain many followers and numerous positive comments. They are currently working with more and more leading retailers to produce Private Label collections incorporating clients’ thoughts and ideas, fragrances and branding to offer bespoke and unique one-off collections.

Baubles are English Bone china and Handmade Transparent box available for English Bone China Baubles All items are exclusive to us and are produced in the UK tel: 44(0)141 339 4927


New products Magic Marmalade Marmalade of London

One of the fastest growing home fragrance brands in the world is about to get a lot bigger with the building of a new state-of-the-art eco-friendly UK factory, showroom and product research centre in the heart of the Cotswolds. Plenty of new launches too.

Marmalade Mosney Mill – Winter Fir With top notes of snow capped fir, pine needles and crisp eucalyptus, middle notes of leather and smoky woods, base notes of musk. Available in medium tin, glass candle and diffuser.

Marmalade Coastline This fragrance contains a beautiful blend of top notes of pomelo, pepper and red fruits, middle notes of rose petals, marine notes and incense, base notes of musk and sandalwood. Available in small tin, medium tin, glass candle, diffuser and refill.

Marmalade Sage & Elemi This fragrance contains a beautiful blend of top notes of sage, camphor, bergamot and fig, middle notes of rose, jasmine, mint and elemi, base notes of musk, patchouli, cedar and guaiac wood. Available in small tin, medium tin, glass candle, diffuser and refill.


What a drama!

JH Designpoint With Jane Austen adaptations being shown in a special series on the Drama Channel, it’s a great time to stock up on Jane Austen giftware from JH Designpoint. There are baubles, vases, mugs and lots more. The company specialises in designs for heritage, museums and highend retail. Baubles can be supplied in high quality transparent boxes made from recyclable material and fully recyclable. Any colour ribbon supplied.

Call: 0141 339 4927 Email: Visit:

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Time for Smiles.



Reach out to your local Mary Meyer agent or contact us at

New products

Don’t be a dope, use soap! Heyland & Whittle

‘Their Rainbow Soap is a shining example of the wonder of teamwork - a colourful blend of their natural, handmade soap offcuts with an olive oil soap base to gently cleanse and moisturise’ 86 Gifts Today

Heyland & Whittle, award winning luxury soap and home fragrance manufacturer, share some wise advice to help us all through these challenging times. Husband and wife team Paddy and Ursula Heyland know a thing or two about soap. Today Heyland & Whittle are one of the largest manufacturers of handmade, British, coldprocessed soap and their teams have been very busy on the production line over recent months to help keep us all safe. The Victorians recognised the value of soap way back. Physician William Osler wisely summed it up with his now famous words: ‘Soap and water and common sense are the best disinfectants’. Today scientists are telling us that nothing beats soap in destroying the Coronavirus - not even alcohol gels. Soap dissolves the weak fatty bilayer around the virus, thereby inactivating it. Regular washing with soap will help protect you and yours. It is an absolute must. Heyland & Whittle soaps can be ordered in pound-saving bricks to slice, as well as individual bars boxed or unboxed, saving waste and packaging so good for the planet too. An added bonus are the glorious Heyland & Whittle fragrances - there are thirteen to choose from - that turn a very necessary chore into an enjoyable ritual. The Heyland & Whittle olive oil-based soaps are handmade with only the very best natural ingredients, including essential oils, herbs, spices and pure colourants like madder root and turmeric. Most are vegan, all are paraben and sulphate-free and not tested on animals. Their Rainbow Soap is a shining example of the wonder of teamwork - a colourful blend of their natural, handmade soap offcuts with an olive oil soap base to gently cleanse and moisturise. As always paraben and sulphate-free and never tested on animals - only the grandchildren! And, naturally, there is a pot at the end of this Rainbow, as 10% of profits from the sale of this soap will be donated as a thank you to the great teams that make up our amazing NHS. The Heyland & Whittle Gold Classic collection features ten of their most popular favourite fragrances for the home. There is one for every occasion and every room - choose from sweet Neroli Rose, soothing Citrus Lavender, smoky Earl Grey, exotic Sandalwood Oud and more. Each of the generously sized candles and reed diffusers features etched glass containers and is beautifully boxed, making the perfect gift. Order now for October delivery and reap the benefits of the pre-Christmas 25% discount, an early Christmas gift for all their stockists.

Call: 01293 525825 | Email: Visit:

Ask about Special Offers Christmas ¡ Autumn ¡ Everyday 2020

Nutcrackers Decoration

Rocking Horse


Bird on Poinsettia

Merry Little Christmas


Ask about our choices of NEW WOODEN DISPLAY Starter Kits. Quote GT and get a free ‘Secret’ gift with all enquiries.

Handmade in the UK • Natural vegan friendly ingredients Exotic Hawaiian inspired scents

Ornaments All Over

Ambiente has a sparkling new 2020 Christmas Collection with many new concepts and products. One hundred new napkin designs with complementary table items including Matches, Table runners, Tissues, ever popular Napkin Holders, Porcelain Mugs, Candles and brand new Glass Candle Sticks. Please contact Richard Weitzkorn to receive our new catalogue or a link to our web shop. 07956 424482

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Profile: Charlotte Thomas

Meet Charlotte Thomas! Amelie Blue


Boost your interiors offering with quintessentially English designs from Charlotte Thomas, a bed linen and accessories brand that works beautifully in the gift shop setting. We catch up with commercial manager Brian Wilkinson to learn more


Anelie Blue

‘Classic English elegance, made with love’


Brian, what’s the story behind the Charlotte Thomas brand? Charlotte Thomas evokes the styles and palette of quintessentially English design. The Charlotte Thomas brand can trace its roots back to the heart of the UK’s textiles heritage, and the visual styles reflect that depth of presence. Classic English elegance, made with love.

It’s quite a comprehensive offering. What does it cover? The Charlotte Thomas range covers bed linens and accessories in timeless designs that sell year after year and coordinate with the ever-changing design themes of all types of interiors.

Why should retailers carry bedding? The interiors segment is growing at a rapid pace. Even through lockdown we saw a significant increase in orders from our eCommerce and independent retail customers. Consumers are increasingly interior-aware, and this trend- combined with social media - means that people want their homes to look as beautiful as possible, and we help them do just that. Bedding is a great core product, and also a successful complement and adjunct to many others.

What makes the brand stand out? Since 1968, Swiscot Group (who own Charlotte Thomas) have supplied textiles to retail and contract markets around the world. We work with some of the best designers and have highly developed quality and ethical assurance processes in place. The size of our business also means that we are able to work at a volume that ensures that the commercials work for our customers.


The Charlotte Thomas brand has significant market pedigree, and we’re able to therefore benchmark and price ourselves competitively to help our retailers get the sale. We have always ensured Charlotte Thomas products are manufactured at a consistent quality level, for the discerning consumer.

We feel there is value in having a smaller solid performing collection. We work to keep the Charlotte Thomas range quirky and boutique in style and feel. Watch this space for our forthcoming launches!

Bestselling ranges?

We work with a wide range of retailers from small indie stores to eCommerce and multiples.

Currently our prints range is enjoying a very buoyant period. Our Amelie, in blue and pink colourways ‘has been a solid seller’ since we launched it back in 2015, along with Kendall from the same collection. The collection we created in 2017 is still extremely buoyant; Fern and Salcombe are extremely popular, while the more masculine Carson and Nevada are finding more and more favour.

Latest launches? We tend to bring in a new range as and when we feel it is right, with intelligence and feedback on style and colour from the market. We keep an eye on the catwalk for emerging seasons’ colours, and respond with collections when we feel we will not be diluting our range or design handwriting.

What’s the range of retailers you supply to?

Support you offer retailers? Our designs look great on shelf and on-display, and our sales-team are able to work closely with customers of any size to ensure that we are delivering a range that will work for their customer base. We can support our customers with salesteam, training, catalogues, website listings and more and can also hold showcase events at our showroom in Manchester. For larger retailers we can also create exclusive ranges, and even work on coordinates. The Charlotte Thomas brand is loved by customers and has had success at all levels of retail.

Contact details Call: 0161 236 10250 or Brian on 07920 094 640 Email: Brian Wilkinson on Visit: Gifts Today 89

A Gift From The Gods launches chocolate bar range Chocolate is a gift from the gods and we can all agree on that, so it was only a matter of time and good common sense before lifestyle and accessories brand A Gift From The Gods launched their own range of chocolate bars. As a go-to gift brand with popular gifting products such as stationery, gift wrapped sleepwear and jewellery, a chocolate gift makes an ideal addition. All four bars fit into one of their brand Design Stories for opportunities to cross-sell.

Why chocolate?

Focus On

Gourmet Gifts

Brand founder Jane Reucroft says: ‘Confectionery has always been an attractive option for us as a brand extension and our growing list of stockists has asked for it to merchandise with our other products. In light of Covid-19 and the subsequent disruption to international supply chains, we’ve reviewed our product portfolio and decided this was the right time to launch the range. Sourced and manufactured in the UK, we’re proud to be supporting a UK supplier and benefit from shorter lead times. Independent gift retailers are adding artisan confectionery to their offer and there’s a demand for new brands with a fashion connection.’

Flavour favourites The capsule collection is made up of four best-selling flavours including must-have A Gift From The Gods Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate, Lovely Milk Chocolate, Seek Your Own Odyssey Mythical Mint Dark Chocolate and Get Your Goddess On Inspired Dark Chocolate.

Product credentials Each bar is a manageable 90g, protected in silver foil packaging and wrapped up in a colourful branded wrapper that are both recyclable. The chocolate is palm oil free and suitable for vegetarians. The dark chocolate is suitable for vegans. The chocolate bars RRP is £3.25 and are sold wholesale in packs of 12. A Gift From The Gods is distributed in the UK by My Gifts Trade.

Call: 0161 946 1234 Email: Visit:

Delicious gourmet popcorn Popcorn Shed Wild and popular flavours such as Salted Caramel, Chocolate, Rainbow, Cookies and Cream, Goats Cheese, Cherry Bakewell and more. From Advent calendars to gourmet gift jars, gift tins, popcorn boxes, and more. It’s not Christmas without popcorn to enjoy. Popcorn Shed’s humble beginnings began in 2016 when founders and cousins Sam and Laura started experimenting with popcorn recipes in Laura’s mother’s kitchen. As recipe development continued to create the perfect tasting popcorn, so did the mess and they were banished to the garden shed in Laura’s mother’s back garden. The family started referring to the shed as the ‘Popcorn Shed’, and that’s how they stumbled upon a name for their burgeoning business.

Email: Visit: 90 Gifts Today

Commercial Agents Established in Denmark April 1987, Lauvring has grown into one of the most respected Nordic brands trading in the trendy and inspiring home and garden arena. It is now time to bring our inspiration to the UK and Ireland so we are seeking well connected commercial agents to assist us in this task.

Working with our Country Manager, Simon Pykett we would like to hear from commercial agents who: ■ Are professional and performance driven ■ Have an eye for design and an appreciation of quality ■ Are well connected with buyers and decision makers within the garden centre and florist retail arena. ■ Are ready to show their customers an amazing new 2020 Christmas collection! If this is you then please make contact with Simon today. If you join us in our mission to grow in the UK and Ireland then you will be supported with: ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Excellent Nordic design Good customer support A professional back office IT support Regular repeat business A growing income

Chocolate Gifts 0161 946 1234

Simon Pykett Country Manager Mob: 07967 209156 | |

Ace Tea

The company love tea and take it seriously, so much so that they have curated a range of Tea Dunkers to complement the exceptional teas they produce. The range includes Butter Crunch, Lemon & Stem Ginger, Chocolate Chip, Royal Ginger, Cracked Walnut, and Chocolate Orange and comes beautifully packaged.


Check out British chocolate Christmas stag range Hames Chocolates

Hames Chocolates, the experts in high quality chocolate and confectionery production, has launched a new British chocolate range designed especially for the festive season. The Hames Chocolate Christmas Stag range is made with sustainably grown cocoa from Cocoa Horizons and milk from cows that graze in British meadows and is made in the company’s factory in Lincolnshire. The new range, which consists of three variants - Rich Dark Chocolate, Salted Caramel and Irish Cream - comes in a 50g pack and was developed with the British palate in mind. With its own design, printing and packing facility in house, Hames Chocolates offers bespoke gifting and confectionery solutions and with an option for express delivery, businesses can also place last-minute orders. Alongside the Christmas Stag range, Hames Chocolates also manufactures truffles, filled chocolates, chocolate bars, chocolate Neapolitans, Easter eggs, private label chocolates, bespoke chocolates, cake domes, moulded chocolates, hollow chocolate figures and chocolate boxes, which make ideal business gifts. To find out more about Hames Chocolates or to order its delicious new chocolate range, visit their website.

Email: Gifts Today 91

Trade talk

Gifts Today loves to hear your views

Leading figures talk post-lockdown business, top launches and how they’re preparing for a possible second spike in Covid-19. Trevor Cash

Director Mad Beauty

How’s post-lockdown business? Business has been very strong to be honest. A lot of what we do is geared to the Christmas season and we have been working towards that with as positive an attitude as possible.

Top launches this season? Festive Feast, Disney Cruella & Pop Princess have fantastic appeal, but especially our Warner Bros Friends collection - we showcased at Spring Fair and it went down a storm.

Are you prepared for a possible second spike in Covid-19? I’m not sure any business can fully prepare for this situation but we are hopeful that business, especially around gifting will stay strong even that is mainly online.

Feelings about the rest of 2020? Very positive, also for 2021. Our expansion plans continue strongly.

Keren Dicken Sales and Marketing Director

Personalised Memento Company How’s post-lockdown business?

Lawrence Savage

UK Marketing Manager ExaClair Limited How’s post-lockdown business? We have seen some rapid developments during the past few months, both internally and from an overall industry perspective. In terms of changes in the stationery and gifting markets, there has been a significant uptake in home schooling and people remote working, which has driven an uplift in online demand for items that can aid home-based learning, as well as keeping both children and adults occupied whilst within the home environment. We have also adapted to current market demands and launched the ExaScreen range of PPE products, alongside the new collection of Clean’Safe Antimicrobial filing and desktop accessories.

How are you staying in touch with customers? We ‘ve expanded our available online collateral and developed other point of sale materials. This includes a range of new in-store display systems for our premium stationery brand Rhodia and developing a variety of new social media packs covering a number of our ranges.

Top launches this season? The Jeans and Cocoa range from our Clairefontaine brand has made a big splash and the Herbin refillable brush pens have been a real hit. 2020 marks the first centenary of G. Lalo and 350 successful years of Herbin, marked with some fine writing sets.

Top launches this season? Our wooden ‘Make It Yourself’ Decorations are manufactured exclusively in-house, using cutting-edge technology. The Snowman And The Snowdog remains a long standing Christmas staple and we have more products added to the range.

Are you prepared for a possible second spike in Covid-19?

Some categories have suffered for example Weddings and Christenings have seen sales drop, but other areas of gifting have done very well. As our gifts are personalised, we see a lot of messages of sentiment and lots of socially distanced gift giving for Birthdays and Congratulations. We certainly feel there is bumper Christmas on the horizon this year.

We’ve invested £250,000 to accommodate social distancing and put in place measures to maintain safe working conditions for seasonal peak order volume. We’ve already become accustomed to virtual meetings and working from home so, if the worst happens and we are hit with another spike, we can continue to operate reliably.

How are you staying in touch with customers?

Feelings about the rest of 2020?

It’s really easy to see all of our gift ranges online and we regularly update customers with newsletters. We also plan to introduce video as part of our product launches so customers can get a real feel of our gifts. We also have the option to open up our showroom virtually and of course our phone lines are open.

Gift sales for this Christmas are forecast to be huge. We have everything in place to cope with the demand, including staffing and have focused heavily in the last few months on our supply chain and securing stock levels.

92 Gifts Today

Charlotte Gillan MD, Classic Canes

How’s post-lockdown business? After a bumpy few months, business is picking up well with garden centres and gift shops we hadn’t heard from since March feeling confident to stock up now. We are fortunate to have a lot of export customers who sustained us when we heard very little from much of the domestic customer base.

How are you staying in touch with customers? We will have a gorgeous new range of folding canes in time for Christmas. These will be promoted directly to customers, on the website, through social media and trade magazines such as Gifts Today.

Top launches this season? Our new folding canes will provide exclusive new patterns designed to appeal to particular interests, but they’re top secret for now!

Are you prepared for a possible second spike in Covid-19? We’re well stocked and, being a family business, there are plenty of us to ensure orders are despatched promptly even if the paid employees have to go back into lockdown. I would dearly like to thank my mother, Diana. Her plans for semi-retirement took an abrupt change in March when she found herself in charge of the despatch department once more, having relinquished it some decades ago! She has worked exceptionally hard and been a tower of strength.

Feelings about the rest of 2020? Bring it on, nothing scares us now!

Paul Hooker Joe Davies

How’s post-lockdown business? We returned with reduced staffing in May to support our garden centre customers and trade slowly started to return through June and July. By the end of August most of our staff were back and we ran our own At Home Trade Show.

How are you staying in touch with customers? We’re taking advantage of every means we can - we have overhauled our email content to make it relevant, posted on social media and even printed messages on the bottom of customer statements and invoices. Our field based sales team has also been visiting customers since June.

Top launches this season? Top launches for Joe Davies include Equilibrium Fashion Jewellery and we have some great new additions to the range for the busy season including a fantastic

Midnight Collection. Some of the ranges we launched in Spring that were delayed due the crisis have now landed and are repeating well, these are still effectively brand new and there’s a huge amount to go at. Key seasonal lines also include our 2020 snoozies collection of foot coverings, snoozies face coverings and Nuzzles socks.

Are you prepared for a possible second spike in Covid-19? Our business has learnt a lot from this year so far and will implement the lessons learned should there be a second spike. The key is being able to react quickly as the situation changes, whether that’s in social distancing or dealing with a localised lockdown.

Feelings about the rest of 2020? We are all so happy to be back and we are very positive. We are working differently in some areas such as buying, but it really is business as usual as we gear up for the busy season.

‘The key is being able to react quickly as the situation changes, whether that’s in social distancing or dealing with a localised lockdown’ Gifts Today 93

Trade talk Sarah Watmore Owner, Miss Milly

How’s post-lockdown business? Customers seem more positive and determined to get on with refreshing their ranges and preparing for Christmas. Many have fed back that ‘shop local’ is definitely working well and Christmas shopping has started in force. We have also had some great new customers join us after using lockdown to research new brands and products.

Tiffany Bayliss Sales & Marketing Price’s Candles

How are you staying in touch with customers?

How’s post-lockdown business? Business is doing great overall, and we’re happy to be continually delivering to our customers smoothly and safely. It is lovely to have all our customers open again.

We don’t have a showroom but are trying to engage through as many touchpoints as possible – you really do have to try them all.

How are you staying in touch with customers? We’ll be showcasing our autumn deals as usual, albeit virtually, which will give customers the chance to grab a great deal even if the Autumn Fair isn’t running.

Top launches this season?

Top launches this season?

Colourful jewellery, such as the pictured Colour Clash Necklace, new magnetic brooches, gift-boxed sets, resin cufflinks, and super soft winter scarves.

Are you prepared for a possible second spike in Covid-19? All our stock is here, the warehouse and website are working well, and if it happens we will deal with it as best we can.

Feelings about the rest of 2020? The last two weeks have proven that our industry is pretty resilient and people, on the whole, have a positive attitude.

‘Customers seem more positive and determined to get on with refreshing their ranges and preparing for Christmas’

98 Gifts Today

We’re so excited to be launching our seasonal range. This range consists of five fragrances: Cosy Nights, Moonlight, Seasonal Delights, Gingerbread and Enchanted Forest. These fragrances are perfect as the nights get longer and the cooler weather swoops in. They are beautifully coloured with a great range of bold, bright colours and deeper darker shades.

Are you prepared for a possible second spike in Covid-19? Although a second lock down is a daunting thought for everyone, we will be there to fully support all of our customers to reschedule and postpone orders when things are safe and ready to go again.

‘Business is doing great overall, and we’re happy to be continually delivering to our customers smoothly and safely. It is lovely to have all our customers open again’

Feelings about the rest of 2020? We are feeling optimistic and excited for our Christmas period here at Price’s though, admittedly, we are more than ready to cheer the New Year in and we’re looking forward to starting fresh in 2021.

Hannah Spinks and Oli Gaundry

Simon Willis

MD, Global Luxury Brands

Home County Candle Co How’s post-lockdown business?

We have been busy since our retailers have reopened their doors. It has been amazing to see local communities rally around their favourite retailers, and also to have seen some of our stockists diversify to include an online offering to their business.

How are you staying in touch with customers? We’ve pushed ahead with a really exciting new Trade Catalogue, which we’ll be getting into the hands of our favourite retailers shortly, and taking the time to reach out to our existing retailers for catch-ups as normal.

Top launches this season? We are delighted to have added four new counties to our County Collection – the Lancashire, Northhamptonshire, Shropshire and Somerset. We have also rebranded our popular ‘Winter Collection’, renaming the three festive fragrances to The Spices (Cinnamon & Ginger); The Mulled Wine and The Pines (Pine & Peppermint).

Are you prepared for a possible second spike in Covid-19? We’ve taken a close look at our supply chain this year, and I think we’re lucky to have always chosen to work with UK-based businesses, so we like to think our manufacturing process is robust and future proof.

Feelings about the rest of 2020? Optimistic! Whilst we appreciate there is a lot of uncertainty, we are confident that customers still want to shop for more unique and personal gifts, and we feel that our products, which celebrate everything that is great about the UK, are perfect to fulfill that need.

How’s post-lockdown business? It has taken some time for things to come back to life and for retailers to feel they can have the confidence to start ordering again, and I don’t blame them. We’ve seen a steady increase in orders but with many of our retailers located in areas highly reliant on International tourists a full recovery will take some time.

How are you staying in touch with customers? We’ll do more advertising and will be mailing details on new ranges to our customers. We’re working on a new B2B website to make the ordering process as easy and convenient as possible for everyone. Times change and some ways of working become obsolete so we have to find new ones.

Top launches this season? Overall we think that prestige and Christmas will be the big themes for us. Highlights include the De Rosa Cheetah, Fitz & Floyd Santa, Goebel Snowman, and Herend Octopus.

Are you prepared for a possible second spike in Covid-19?

‘We’ll do more advertising andwill be mailing details on new ranges to our customers’

We are as prepared as we can be. We have good stocks and more on the way. Our warehouse is as Covid-safe as it’s possible to be. Our customer service will do all they can to make business straightforward and efficient.

Feelings about the rest of 2020? It is going to be challenging but we’ll get through it with, and sometimes in spite of, the chaos that seems to surround us.

Wendy Hicks

UK National Sales Manager, Margarete Steiff How’s post-lockdown business? It wasn’t a case of reverting back to normal service straight away and we’ve worked with retailers in either delaying shipments or just delivering what is necessary. Two months in and I’m pleased to say that nearly everyone is back to normal and we are seeing a growth in business.

Top launches this season? From our Soft Cuddly Friends range we have our wonderful Forest & Meadow friends, including an adorable hedgehog and our Dinosaur friends are all flying off the shelves.

Are you prepared for a possible second spike in Covid-19? We are very lucky when it first happened and managed to maintain the high level of service we’ve always provided. Given that our company is based in Germany and they had their own lockdown restrictions, it was a remarkable achievement. We don’t envisage any problems should there be a second spike - it’ll be business as usual.

Feelings about the rest of 2020? It’s going to be tough, there’s no doubt about that. However, I do believe that Christmas trading will be good with people wanting to spoil their loved ones after spending many months apart during lockdown.

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