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Independently audited, ABC circulation of 6,076

The impartial voice of the greetings card industry ?? 2016 2018 Issue ?Issue Volume ? February 04 Volume 19

Ideas and Wisdom to inspire your days Open your mind to positive thoughts and spread joy throughout 2018! To see our new ranges please visit published by

www danilo com

Spring Fair, Hall 3 - M16


Independent retailers contact Is It Art on 01926 747 935 12/01/2018 16:18


REGULARS 05 Leader We struck a chord with last month’s rant – and who’s up for making recyclable glitter?

06 News Rounding up the month’s happenings, with more online at

the team

22 Retail Advice Finding additional products that your customers will buy is good news, says Henri Davis.

24 Talk Of The Town Greetings retailers on the subjects of the day.

26 It’s All About Sales

10 Spotlight A selection of this month’s latest releases.

14 Ward’s Words With Giftware Association CEO Sarah Ward.

16 On The Shop Front Guest columnist Mike Hampson took the plunge to become a greetings retailer just a few months ago.

18 John Ryan Themed displays and good signage helps make sense in a retail environment.

Just A Card makes a difference for Ian, and guest columnist Alina reflects on how life changes.

86 Four Corners East, south, north, west, this quartet of retailers know their business the best.

88 On The Line Chris Fox’s online insights for retailers.

89 Step Back In Time MD Malcolm Naish delves into the archives.

The eco-friendly printers get on board with Britain to offer a UK-sourced sustainable price-neutral basic.

20 Paperworld Preview

Advertisement Manager Simon Davis 01442 289940 (direct)

Group Editor Mirella Anstey Publisher Mark Naish Production Director Paul Naish Managing Director Malcolm Naish Circulation Manager Robert Thomas

FEATURES 19 Windles Company Profile

Editor Tracey Bearton

30 Spring Fair Preview The largest UK trade show for gifts and greetings definitely warrants a big preview - all 56 pages of great product and info!

Keep in touch - follow us: @greetingstoday

UK Greetings and BrownTrout are making the trip to the specialist Frankfurt trade fair.

28 Cover Story greetingstodaymag

It’s all positive for 2018 and 2019 at Danilo where they have a raft of fab new licences.


Go to our website – – for all the up-to-date news and new product information plus our Facebook page carries more photographs from shows and events.

HOTSPOT New ranges abound but here Greetings Today feature some of the many long-standing collections that are always hitting the hotspot.

KNIT & Purl is the longest-running range from Mint and a favourite with Paul Hobbs, of Fresh, in Witney, Oxon: “Knit & Purl I’ve stocked since I opened which is 7½ years ago, so it certainly shows its longevity. I would say it’s a pioneer in its class, Mint were pioneers of the pun, which has been jumped on by a lot of greetings card companies since. Where we’re able to, we talk to the customers about the knitted items because I think most people are appreciative that it’s a hand-knitted piece, not computer-generated artwork – and they’re astounded when we tell them it’s been knitted by the director of the company. The range appeals across the ages too.” @greetingstoday


Lema Publishing Ltd 1 Church Gates, Wilderness, Berkhamsted, Herts HP4 2UB

Telephone: 01442 289930

At the heart of retail Greetings Today is independently audited with an ABC circulation of 6,076 (July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017) Subscription per annum: UK £60 (free for people in the greetings industry), Europe £80, ROTW £100 A member of the Audit Bureau of Circulation 3

s a m t s i r Ch Boxed Card Collection

UK Greetings have a wonderful selection of Christmas Boxed Cards and classic cello packs, once again this year. The range features an array of classic and contemporary imagery plus the very popular Snowman™ License, a favourite of all ages.

12 Cello Packs of Cards. 16 Boxed Cards. RRP from £1.50- £5.

leader Editor Tracey Bearton

● CoCo by Rachel Hare at Belly Button Designs T: 0161 902 0200


OOHH! I struck a chord with last month’s “we're not sending cards” rant!

We had quite a few responses, all just as annoyed as me by this replacing of the Christmas card ritual by Facebook posts and promises to send money to charity. With Spring Fair around the corner, one of the major festive buying events, maybe someone will come up with a poster for card shops to download that they can use to shame persuade people that it’s a tradition worth sticking with. After all, there are so many fabulous charity cards around that everyone can ease their social conscience while keeping in touch with friends and family and, if they forgo the glittery ones or the industry can find an recyclable version, their environmental fears will be eased too. Actually, that’s something the boffins will presumably be getting down to very quickly given that dredged-up-from-the-archives story in the news after the festive break about the woman who got glitter in her eye from a Christmas card, and the current concerns over the amount of plastics clogging

up the oceans and the Prime Minister’s declaration of Send your war on the stuff with the threat of taxes and levies. views and I wonder if the extremely clever Bruce Podmore submissions for has any thoughts on the subject? With his expertise in the magazine to: invention at Windles printers and background in tracey@ ensuring everything they do is environmentally lemapublishing. friendly – just take a look at their company profile on page 19 – he’s got to be one Tel: 01442 of the best men for the job! 289930 Talking of Spring Fair (we were, a few paragraphs back, honest) one of the big releases Want to appear in ? at the show will be Coco from Belly Button Designs under MARCH FEATURES: their new Rachel Hare brand. Calendars And that’s definitely worth being our Front Feature image Wedding & Anniversary for this month. For more on Humour Cards what can be seen at the NEC event, turn to page 30 for MARCH COPY DATE – FEBRUARY 9 the start of our huge 56-page Spring Fair Preview – APRIL FEATURES: there really is so much to see at the UK’s biggest British Craft Trade Fair Preview greetings and gift trade show. And finally, do remember the annual Greetings (Apr 8-10) Today Golf Classic on Tuesday, June 26, at Puckrup London Stationery Show Preview Hall, near Tewksbury, Glos. To take part in this industry (Apr 24-25) networking event with plenty of bacon rolls, a threecourse dinner, and new team comp, email malcolm@ Gift Wrap, Bags & Accessories APRIL COPY DATE – MARCH 8 or

LARGEST WHITE & COLOUR GREETINGS STYLE ENVELOPE MANUFACTURER POPULAR SIZES IN STOCK FOR IMMEDIATE DELIVERY. Pe be rfec an spo t bo hig d av ke to und h e ail c no nd abl usto teb fin e in me ook r ish . es a w spe Full . m ide cif y ad ra ica e i ng tion nt e he of s UK

Enveco Ltd Sunrose Place Michigan Drive Tongwell Milton Keynes MK15 8HQ 01908 378866

Visit us at Spring Fair – 4th to 8th February 2018 018 / Stand 3T64 4 / Hall Halll 3-3A 3-3 3A @greetingstoday


inthenews All in a flitter about glitter RADIO 2’s Jeremy Vine jumped on the story about a woman who ended up in hospital after glitter from a Christmas card got stuck in her eye – but sales agent Steve Rodrigues is among those in the industry questioning the tale. Steve, who has been in the industry for more than 30 years, said: “What frustrates me is that I’m selling greetings cards for Christmas, and what are my customers going to say when they see stories like this? ‘Oh it’s got flitter/glitter, I don’t want that now.’ “And the public are influenced by what they see on the news so they won’t buy glittery cards but I bet they still have glittery decorations and make-up – it’s just been blown out of all proportion.” The article surfaced on Sky News after Christmas, with Metro and other newspapers also reporting that a 49-year-old woman in Swansea had been “nearly blinded” over the festive period when what doctors thought was a lesion in her eye caused by the cold sore – herpes simplex – virus, turned out to be a clump of glitter. However, Greetings Today found it’s actually a fouryear-old archived British Medical Journal Case Reports study which said the patient’s sight in the affected “painful red eye” had been reduced by the infection, that was treated by topical antibiotics after the glitter was removed. The 2013 study, with accompanying image (above), said the problem was thought to be a lesion on the cornea caused by a cold sore infection but a second high magnification examination detected a shiny surface, and the woman remembered coming into contact with glitter from a card. On his January 5 show Jeremy Vine repeated the claim that it happened over the 2017 Christmas holidays and used the story to lead into a discussion on how glitter and sequins should be banned because they are made of plastic and filter down into the food chain. Steve, who currently represents Noel Tatt, Splimple and Jean Barrington, added: “I don’t understand why this story has come out now – it’s from way back in 2013 but Sky and the other press have jumped on it to bash the greetings industry again. I couldn’t believe it when I saw it come up on the news. “I can see the problem with the plastics so we should be looking at ways of making glitter and flitter more environmentally-friendly, but as an industry we’ve got enough hassle as it is fighting changing trends with younger generations going online for their greetings, without people making it worse with stories like this.”

Who’s a GOTY finalist? A VERY busy day saw the Gift Of The Year judges back in action whittling down the shortlisted products to the finalists in each of the 15 categories. And Two Little Boys, Peace & Blessings, I Am A, and Go Stationery have made it through for the Greetings & Stationery award, while greetings publishers also did well in the other categories. Paper Mirchi are finalists in Design & Craft, while Wrendale are through in Fashion Accessory, I Drew This in Home, Roger La Borde in Festive & Seasonal – and designer Sara Miller, who licences cards through The Art File, is a double finalist in Kitchen & Dining and Fashion Accessory. Judges from across the industry, including retailers, buyers, suppliers and press, congregate at The


News knitwits monster Mint PaperAwards winners picked THE public votes have been counted and Sadler Jones, The Curious Department and Hotchpotch Cards have come out top in the latest PaperAwards. Top Drawer organisers Clarion Events run the awards to support and recognise the creativity and innovation of the greetings and stationery industry at the London show. The result of the public vote on the six finalists in each category was announced on January 10, just before Top Drawer opened, and the trio immediately took to social media to shout about their triumphs. Hotchpotch won Exciting Use Of Colour, Sadler Jones came top in Emotive Design and Engaging Print went to The Curious Department. In addition to a prize each worth more than £1,000, the winners’ work was showcased at Top Drawer, along with the other 15 finalists.

Cardgains tick all the he boxess CARDGAINS are aiming to tick all the boxes for retailers as their continuing diversification has seen new members joining from a variety of sectors, so they now have two new promotional images. And with suppliers from many different categories a number of new ones, including Brainbox Candy, Stone Marketing and Unknown Ink, have been revealed as joining the group’s portfolio. The first of the new promotional tick images shows Cardgains’ mascot Cyril Service with some of the store categories, including greetings, gift, party, and candle shops along with garden centres, while the second includes the types of products available such as cards, gifts, chocolates, plush, partyware and candles. Cardgains’ joint MD Chris Dyson said: “The idea is, of course, that the products match up with the retail

Button Factory in Birmingham for the January 11 live judging event of the awards organised by the Giftware Association. PR and marketing manager Chris Workman said: “It was a really good day, loads of good products and some really good feedback from the judges.” The winners of both the product categories and new retailers awards will be revealed at Spring Fair, during a special ceremony hosted by celebrity compere Rory Bremner at The Vox on the opening Sunday, February 4, just after the halls close, and one product will be announced as the overall Judges’ Choice winner. The full list of Gift Of The Year 2018 finalists is available on their website.

store cat categories atego egories to offer offer indepe independent endent retailers access to preferential trading terms across many brands, ranges and products.” Cardgains have also added Creativ Co, Eco Chic, King Cole, and Shearer Candles, to their list of suppliers, and Chris added: “We believe they will add to the current portfolio and bring a new point of difference and choice to our members.”

MINT are the latest greetings publishers to be monstered by the Mail with the newspaper lambasting their Knit & Purl gentle humour range for “pulling the wool over our eyes”. Following on from their regular rants about rude cards, greetings stores putting children’s innocence at risk, and not enough cash from charity cards being handed over, the knitwits at the newspaper had a pop at co-owner Debbie Williams for saying the props for the designs are: “Lovingly hand knitted for you by Avis and Aileen and all the girls from the Harborough Ladies Knitting Circle.” The story on December 17 claimed an Australian woman had been trying to get hold of the patterns from the circle and ran the story under the headline: “They've pulled the wool over our eyes: Knit and Purl novelty cards are ‘lovingly produced by a small town knitting circle’ that does not really exist.” Debbie said: “I knit all the creations and when we first started I enlisted the help of my mother-in-law, Aileen, and her best friend Avis. “When the creative team heard about Avis and Aileen they couldn’t resist putting something on the back of the card, but they no longer help me with the knitting as they’re quite elderly now.” She has built up the business with husband Alan over the past 11 years and they now also own both Real & Exciting Designs and Museums & Galleries – which they rescued from administration four years ago – and employ more than 30 people. Debbie added: “It was a shock to see the story – they’d contacted me and I explained that it’s true we all did the knitting, sitting together at home in Harborough, but they just went with their version anyway. “I went on Radio Leicester because they asked me for our side of the story, they wanted to know if we’ll take it further after being misquoted but I said I’m too busy knitting a gin bottle and chameleon for the newest designs. I’ll just keep knitting!” @greetingstoday


inthenews Search on for stationery dozen

Ling aim for younger audience

LING Design are launching a new standalone brand with The Curious Inksmith, an in-house project expanding their portfolio and aimed at attracting a younger audience. Buyers will get the chance to see the imaginative first 48-design range of everyday cards at Spring Fair along with collections from Ling and their other brands Talking Pictures, Velvet Olive and Penny Kennedy. Ling MD Alessandro Arosio said: “The Curious Inksmith has been really exciting to work on. They’re the kind of cards you’d like to share on Instagram – and so with this range we hope to enable our customers to attract more young consumers in store.”

Shuna joins Art Nouvocative ART Nouvocative had their refreshed website https:// up and running in time for the new year, with the home page showing a selection of card designs and information about the publishers. Featuring their three main artists, including the latest signing of BAFTA Award-winning designer Shuna Harwood with her Fashion Sketch range, the new website allows people to register for an account to stock the cards – a five-mile radius exclusivity is guaranteed – and order product.

Design Group buy Biscay

IG DESIGN Group have almost doubled their market share in the Australian value channel by acquiring publishers Biscay Greetings for £5.16million (A$8.9m) in cash via their joint venture Artwrap. The Bedfordshire-headquartered global gift packaging, greetings and partyware organisation financed the deal through local debt facilities to increase their portfolio with Biscay, who provide cards and related products to almost 2,000 customers through regional, wholesale distributors, and independent retail channels across Australia and New Zealand.

Season’s micro-greetings

BRITISH scientists have created what they believe is the world’s smallest Christmas card, a seasonal greeting so tiny more than 200 million of them could fit on to a standard postage stamp. The National Physical Laboratory, the UK’s national measurement standards laboratory, used new battery and semiconductor technologies to create the 15x20 micrometre – a micrometre is one millionth of a metre – card that has to be held by tiny tweezers to be photographed. Made from platinum-coated silicon nitride, a focused ion beam was used to illustrate an etching of a snowman on the front, above the words “seasons greetings”, as well as a seasonal message inside.

James slams ‘unfair’ rates

THE boss of Waterstones has called for business rates to be axed, saying the tax is “hollowing out” High Streets and shifting work to “God-awful” warehouses. On January 2 MD James Daunt told the Times newspaper VAT is a fairer tax as “the more you spend the more you pay. With business rates you end up with these hollowed-out High Streets which were once providing really good, local, flexible jobs. Everyone can work on a High Street and instead we have turned those into God-awful jobs in these huge warehouses with people bussed in to work at them. The Government has never addressed it.”


THE search is on for the new designers of tomorrow with entries now being sought for the third edition of LaunchPad at the London Stationery Show. Show organisers Ocean Media are after 12 individuals or companies for LaunchPad London who have new ideas for products or services for the stationery industry – and the dozen selected will get a free stand at the show that runs over April 24-25. Run for the first time by the London Stationery Show in April 2017, and again at the inaugural Manchester Show in October, the LaunchPad initiative has so far showcased 18 new hopefuls, and there’s a month to get your entries together for this competition, where the closing date is February 9 – the entry form and full details are available on their website. The annual specialist trade show attracts the UK’s biggest retailers, influential buyers and brands in the stationery sector, and event manager Hazel Fieldwick said: “This is an opportunity to encourage new blood into stationery, we’re after those with innovative ideas and enthusiasm. “The two trade shows are currently the only dates in the stationery industry calendar where so many key suppliers and retailers come together, so they’re the

perfect platform for this type of initiative. We’re looking forward to reviewing all the entries.” The show at London’s Business Design Centre will feature two previous LaunchPad winners who the show team felt deserved further support – Frankfurtbased wrap and writing company My Pretty Circus run by Maythe Stavermann, and luxury giftwrap supplier sPaper Mirchi, run by Rani Moochhala, who launched her range at the Manchester Stationery Show and has just been shortlisted for the Gift Of The Year 2018 Awards. LaunchPad is open to any company or individual who haven’t exhibited the London or Manchester Stationery Shows, have the rights to sell the featured product, range or service, and doesn’t currently sell it through any UK national retail accounts or distributors in the stationery retail sector. Prizes will include a free display space at the show and the opportunity to enter the Stationery Awards 2018, and Hazel added: “All the winners will get great exposure to all the UK’s leading retailers and suppliers visiting the show and will receive PR and marketing support from the London Stationery Show team.”

Licence to laugh with Helen

Queen decorates Premier founder

ILLUSTRATOR Helen Russell has been signed by Natural Partners to feature her comic characters as their latest licence for fine art greetings cards and prints. Inspired by her popular homewares collections, the pair have joined forces to launching a range of cards featuring Helen’s wonderful world of characters from her Blob Birds, Little Bean Critters and Puffin Cove ranges. The cute creatures have found their way on to her ceramic tableware, kitchen textiles, illustrations and sculptures and now they’re set to spread their cheer to an even wider audience with the launch of an initial range of 30 cards. Helen’s first card collection with Natural Partners will be shown to the trade at Spring Fair.

T: 07714 768956

Sally joins Hannah WRENDALE Designs are branching out by adding work from Sally Swannell to their collections, producing greetings cards, prints and stationery. “I’ve always been a huge admirer of Sally’s work,” said Wrendale founder and creative director Hannah Dale, “and I think it complements our own collections perfectly.” The initial collection of 57 card designs will be launched at Spring Fair, along with a stationery range, with plans for further product categories over the next year, including mugs and textiles.

T: 01652 680253

T: 020 8462 0721

PREMIER Decorations MD John Athwal has been honoured by the Queen in the New Year’s Honours List, having been made an OBE for his services to business and charity. The Order Of The British Empire recognises John’s outstanding to the British economy for his thriving Christmas supply business, now employing 84 permanent staff and 250 during the delivery season. Having been named Asian Of The Year in 2010, this latest decoration also recognises John for his philanthropy, helping UK charities including the Make A Wish Foundation which grants wishes to youngsters with life-threatening conditions, the toy industry’s Fence Club who help sick and disadvantaged children; Action For Children who help the 100,000 or so youngsters sleeping rough every year, the Loomba Foundation, Children With Cancer, and diabetes charity Silver Star. John said: “Receiving an OBE is a fantastic tribute and I’m overwhelmed to have been recognised and nominated by colleagues and peers. “Life has not always been as easy as it is today – having arrived at the age of eight in the UK in 1961 with my parents from very humble beginnings in Punjab, I have embraced the opportunities this country has offered me, and it only feels right to give a little something back to society.” This year, Premier celebrate their 30th anniversary, while John celebrates his own 65th and is still an ever-present figure in the company, supporting his staff and guiding the company strategy. He added: “Professionally I think I have achieved most of my ambitions – and receiving an OBE really has capped it all. “

T: 020 8624 5555 @greetingstoday

A board that helps save the world, by not travelling around it.

Incada at Windles




Transport via shipping costs our environment dearly owing to the CO2 created, and highly polluting sulphur from ship fuel. Incada is made locally at the Iggesund mill in Workington, which has its own self-generating Bio-mass plant.Willow is grown to fuel the plant which also brings prosperity to local hill farmers. The British paper and board industry is making a huge difference to increasing forestry in the UK. Incada as your preferred one sided coated board will have positive impact on carbon footprint and the environment.

Incada Silk is one of the premium one sided coated boards. It is considered one of the whitest in the market, with the smoothest surface, and with the recent development work at the mill, it’s rigidity is like no other. A designer’s dream, where compensating for yellow shades of board will no longer be an issue. Incada brings high quality and consistency of product which is on the doorstep.

There are huge benefits to using a UK manufactured board. British publishers pride themselves on knowing their product inside out, from start to finish, something simply not possible when made in another country. Uptake of Incada will enable you to proudly brand your product Made In Britain.

spotlight A selection of the latest greetings, gift and industry services releases

WENDY JONES-BLACKETT THE award-winning Paper Diamonds Deluxe range by Wendy JonesBlackett has 68 gorgeous new designs for those extra special occasions – wedding, baby, 2018, milestone ages, relation, relation age, anniversary and open birthday. Hand-finished in their Yorkshire studios, the cards are 210x210mm, printed in the UK on to British-made 450gsm pearlescent board and retail at £6.99.

T: 0113 288 8468

PORTFOLIO SELECT THE artists at well-established art licensing company Portfolio Select have been busy over the festive period, creating new designs ready for the new year ahead. Karen Tye Bentley, Sam Rudd and Enrico McGarrigle bring contemporary Christmas designs to their portfolios, and Heather Rivers and Caroline Mills have the more traditional festive scenes covered. Portfolio Select’s everyday artwork will be sure to catch your attention, with Louise Welsh’s stunning animal portraits and Nikki Golesworthy’s floral captions. All their artists’ portfolios can be viewed online where the artwork is keyworded for easy browsing. Customers can create multiple lightboxes to save designs they’re interested in for their campaigns. Portfolio Select pride themselves on friendly customer service, and are ready to assist with new or ongoing projects.

T: 01442 833458


REDBACK CARDS MY job is top secret. Sometimes even I don’t know what I’m doing! From Redback’s award-winning humour range Cloud Nine comes a delightful collection of melamine coasters and magnets. Featuring bestselling designs from the range (as well as some new funnies) these gifts are designed to complement the fabulously-foiled cards.

T: 01803 712793 @greetingstoday



CATH TATE CARDS CATH Tate Cards have gone all cosmic and Nordic with the Northern Light new range that’s a collaboration with Swedish artist Elisabeth Fredriksson. Elisabeth hails from the northern wilds of the Scandinavian country where the aurora borealis are visible throughout the winter. Inspired by her love of nature, Elisabeth’s striking geometric designs have been paired with captions to create a cutting edge range of cards. The designs have an art deco feel, mixed with textured colour and gold foiling make this range both stylish and contemporary.

THE Eco-Friendly Card Company Glebe Cottage have added to their range of fine art greetings cards with designs from three members of the Royal Institute Of Painters In Water Colours – Shirley Trevena, the late Michael Morgan RI, and Mike Bernard whose Trafalgar Square image is pictured. A new art brochure for 2018 is to be launched featuring 14 different contributing artists offering traditional, contemporary and sentiment greetings cards, notecards and Christmas cards. All products are made from either 100 per cent recycled or 50 per recycled coffee cup board, with 100 per cent recycled envelopes and compostable bags.

T: 01626 369269

T: 020 8671 2166


KATIE PHYTHIAN DESIGN SAY hello to Pattern Boutique, a beautiful collection of more than 76 bright and happy patterns from Katie Phythian Design. Printed on textured FSC-approved board, sprinkled with sparkles and hand-finished with twinkly gems, happiness is here for 2018. The 145x145mm cards are cello-wrapped with a pastel grey envelope.

T: 07780 470457


LEADING stationery suppliers Maped Helix have expanded their licensing portfolio in 2018 to include new ranges by top brands Pepsi and Jelly Belly. The Pepsi collection features the original Helix Pepsi stationery from 1982, plus fresh Pepsi and Pepsi Max designs including pencil cases, erasers and pencil sharpeners. And Maped Helix have developed their first scented stationery set. featuring a Jelly Belly jelly bean-shaped tin containing two pencils, eraser, ruler, pencil sharpener and four -olour pen, with the scent of Very Cherry, one of Jelly Belly’s most popular flavours. Additionally, the bestselling Pringles pencil case range has been extended to include matching erasers and pencil sharpeners, each featuring designs from the UK’s favourite flavours including Original, Salt & Vinegar and Sour Cream & Onion.

T: 01384 286860 @greetingstoday

Unit 8, Archers Park, Branbridges Road East Peckham, Kent TN12 5HP Email: Tel: 01622 871449 @greetingstoday 13


Mental wealth

Wellbeing is high on the agenda in business these days, with companies determined to look after their staff so boosting their health, both mental and physical, will bring a wealth of advantages, as The GA’s Sarah Ward explains.


S WE enter the busiest part of the year for most of us, we’ve all hit the ground running (again) after a busy Christmas period and January sales. And it’s time to look after ourselves as many of our new year resolutions have probably fallen by the wayside already, it’s also important not to let this slip when it comes to the health of your workforce too. As 2017 has put mental health and wellbeing well and truly on the map, in 2018 it will become a boardroom priority, as well as a key differentiator for employer branding. Most companies are looking at providing a business culture where people thrive so acknowledge the priority of mental and physical wellbeing. Patrick Watt is head of wellbeing at BUPA, and believes small businesses are at the forefront of this movement – so that includes a large amount of our members at The Giftware Association. With many companies offering weekly yoga sessions and free healthy breakfasts to rewards for cycling to work and carers leave, smart employers are placing wellbeing at the heart of what they do. “There is a huge emphasis on businesses focusing on mental wellbeing as physical wellbeing,”

Patrick said, “this agenda has now cascaded across organisations of all sizes.” Businesses with a social conscience will stand out in 2018 in terms of attracting and retaining talent and, with Brexit looming ever closer, it may take its toll on the modern workplace, so it’s important we look at what we can offer our staff to make them feel comfortable with the changes and disruption such future events could cause. As Brexit does indeed creep ever closer, with still no resolution on trade negotiations at time of print, there is still a lot of uncertainty, which is why The GA are working closely with our international department to promote the overseas trade shows such at Paperworld, Ambiente and Tendence. These exhibitions can be an advantage to many businesses with the fluctuating price of sterling, and they can also be quite lucrative, as well as helping build up a new and different customer base. For such events The GA’s international department can help out with the running costs as well as providing a pavilion for companies to display together. If you are exploring new export potential for your business, attending these shows is one way to test the opportunities available and start getting exposure.

Businesses with a social conscience will stand out in 2018

Sarah Ward is Chief Executive of the Giftware Association which is at the heart of the gift industry supporting members by offering invaluable advice and assistance. Coming originally from a retail background she then worked at Penny Kennedy gaining extensive knowledge in the card, wrap and stationery sector, and now utilises these skills across a broader environment. T: 0121 236 2657


International exhibiting tips Check it’s right for you It’s important to do your research to make sure which are the right shows for you, It could also be cost effective to exhibit at an event that covers more than one market. Cost the opportunity Calculate the cost of attendance, stand fees, accommodation, travel, etc, against the potential return on investment. The GA’s international trade pavilions can help with this. Have clear expectations of what you expect to take away from the event. Be In it for the long haul We recommend a three-year plan for a new event. If you’re serious about growing your business in a particular market, attending once isn’t enough. It’s rare you’ll sign any deals the first time you exhibit at a show in a new market as it takes time to gain trust and credibility. Language matters Unless your target event is aimed solely at English-speaking clients, you’ll need to adapt your stand, materials and presentations to appeal to local and international visitors. Ideally you should learn some conversational phrases in the local language to break the ice, and have materials, packaging and business cards translated, as well as hire a translator to answer questions on the stand. @greetingstoday

Christmas Charity Collection 2018

Featuring beautiful new designs plus laser die cut and innovative packaging our Christmas Charity collection is one of the strongest in the market. We are proud to offer our Christmas collection in conjunction with some of the leading charities in the UK, supporting good causes both at Christmas and all year round. This collection really makes a difference to the lives of people and animals in the UK.

Our Sponsored Charities Thanks to your support we have donated over ÂŁ3 million to our charity partners in the last 10 years


What if…? A

FTER coming up for 30 years working for a large independent bookstore, I decided to make the move into doing something for myself rather than work for someone else all my life.

A brave decision maybe, but I didn’t want to look back after another 10 years and say: “What if…?” And that was how Holly Blue was born. But setting up a new business takes thought, especially in the modern age of internet sales and High Street difficulties so I did my homework on my chosen area. Saltburn-by-the-Sea in North Yorkshire, is a nice Victorian seaside town with some small card and gift shops, but nothing quite on my scale – and I joined Cardgains buying group which is a great help with ordering. Of course, what you call a shop is important and, rather than go down the general card store name route, I wanted it to mean something to me. Since being knee high to a grasshopper I’ve had a real passion for butterflies so I opted for a butterfly, Holly Blue – looks good on the shop stationery. I already knew the type of publishers I wanted in my plan, a nice choice of Noel Tatt, Paper Rose and Woodmansterne along with a mixture of wild pockets, and I opened Holly Blue in the summer of 2017 in time for Saltburn’s food festival weekend. We’re situated in a disused gym on Milton Street and with books – of course – among my non-card products, I’ve already held lots of book-signing sessions with local authors. Among the bigger names we’ve had so far was Gervase Phinn, who attracted quite a crowd with his Dales series of memoirs, but even he couldn’t beat Yorkshire Vet Julian Norton who proved very popular with customers. We have children’s books mainly, an Usborne spinner does very well for us, and I’ve started introducing more books because they’re selling really well. Other add-on products include stationery, Gibsons jigsaws, Orchard Toys, calendars, diaries, mugs, balloons, and vinyl – jigsaws and toys have been fantastic, the people of Saltburn do love their jigsaws! Back with the cards I do well with local scenes from Mark Denton, Beachcomber, and Joe Cornish to name a few, while Alex Clark Art are going very well from a spinner, and I have Whistle Fish, Country Cards and Bug Art in my blanks and birthday section. Would I recommend it? It’s hard work, with not many days off, and there’s stress – but of course I would, though it is a risk and I do think my experience in these products has stood me in good stead.

New blood is always needed so how do greetings retailers get started in the business, and make themselves stand out from the crowd? Guest columnist Mike Hampson explains the story behind opening Holly Blue just last summer.

Would I W recommend it? Of course rse I would!! I’ve come from a standing start, not buying a readymade business, and my takings speak for themselves but it is still early days though the people of Saltburn are a friendly bunch and I already feel like a native. As to the future, it’s only been five months so far but I do have my first Christmas is under my belt, which I think has gone quite well, and I now know the strengths of being in a seaside location. The spring season cards should do well as there are lots of spring and summer visitors to Saltburn, I have a feeling Easter will be strong this year. The sea front can be packed at times with an uphill walk to the shops, I’m not on the main drag of shops but am already building up a good loyal local customer base. And there’s a caravan park down the road that will ensure plenty of passers-by with their holiday spending money in hand. My loyalty card system has proven popular, so has the quarterly draw I run – customers who spend £5 in store can enter the free raffle for a hamper of goodies from the shop. I’d recommend these to any retailer as we all like getting something for nothing so I’ll be keeping them.

Philip Downer is MD of Calliope Gifts, owner of Front Of Store retail consultancy, an experienced public speaker and the former CEO of Borders bookstores. He writes bi-monthly for Greetings Today with guest retailer columnists taking up their pen in between. T: 01306 889914


● Author, author – Julian Norton, Gervase Phinn and Frank English are among the literary visitors Mike, pictured at the shop opening, has welcomed so far

We also keep in touch with customers through our Facebook page, and our children’s Christmas colouring competition was popular. It’s good to find your own niche so I’ll continue to promote the shop through book signings, my intention is to fill the Saturday slot as often as possible and, with the books side growing, I’m hoping to build up this part of the business up. Usborne cover a lot, children’s classics like The Very Hungry Caterpillar and the Gruffalo are already in stock – with cuddly toys to match which I get through my book wholesalers Gardners and Bertrams. Bargain books are an avenue I intend to tap in more. I already have adult fiction at £2.99 or two for £5 and children’s picture books on a BOGOF offer. As for cards, well, I’m happy with my suppliers and I’m going to play with the plan during the new year. Humour, from Icon, Woodmansterne and Paper Rose, has been popular so I’m going to introduce more. I’ll find some more gift suppliers to complement the others though, with Salmon Calendars closing, that could cause a headache but I’m up for the challenge, and Letts diaries have sold well so I’ll have more diary space next year. Long term, well, maybe there’ll be a string of Holly Blues flying high, even if it’s just the one at least I’ll be able to look back and think: “Blow ‘what if…’, I went for it!” @greetingstoday

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● Hearts and flowers – themed displays at Calliope Gifts in Dorking, Surrey, and Skinny Whistle in Quorndon, Leics


Variations on a theme

Make the M business of getting to where you need to be in store simple

Making sense of the world around us sees people using themes, and this is a good way of presenting product, as John Ryan explains.


OW good are you at theming? We all tend to think thematically, it’s the way that we make sense of the world

around us.

The best retailers understand this and arrange their stores accordingly – and when it comes to the matter of a card to mark an occasion there are few things that tend to be more themed as far as the shopper is concerned. Yet, walk into a good number of greetings card stores and this may not be immediately apparent from the way in which the offer is merchandised. There may be sections that say 30th, 40th, Thinking Of You and Congratulations, but these aren’t themes in the way that, say, Birthday or perhaps Invitations might be. What theming should be about is providing shopper milestones and making the business of getting to where you need to be in store simple and straightforward, especially for busy people short of time. Supermarkets are good at this sort of thing,

they spend a great deal of time and money creating signposts so customers can easily find their way around their relatively large and complex spaces. It’s tempting to think at this point that by comparison a greetings card shop, inevitably very much smaller, is a much easier proposition but this isn’t the case. People often squeeze in their trip to buy a card between visits to other shops so they need to be able to find what they want rapidly. There’s also the point that, while card designers may imagine their creations stand out from the crowd, when grouped together there may be a remarkable sameness as they all tend to be roughly the same size and shape. For a clue about what should be done, it’s a good idea to leap the digital ditch and take a look at the online operators. Moonpig are one of the most well-established players in this market and they grasp the need to theme as it’s what any good homepage is about, helping the visitor dive down deep into the site and – hopefully – make a purchase.

John Ryan is Stores Editor at Retail Week where he’s worked for more than a decade covering store design, visual merchandising and what makes things sell in-store. In a previous life he was a retail buyer. T: 07710 429926 twitter: @newstores


Moonpig keep things simple with All Birthday Cards, Photographic and, somewhat improbably, Concertina Cards, but you know where you stand with this mob and each category, aka theme, is ready for inspection. In effect, what the Moonpig customer is presented with is a shop window, where they tempt you in to take a look around, and store interior, where all the different parts of the offer are clearly signposted, rolled into one. This is broad brush stuff, with the finer detail awaiting those prepared to take a look at a couple more pages – mind you, if the visitor has got as far as the home page of a greetings card website, the chances are pretty good that a purchase will follow. The same should be true of your store, theme the window effectively and the deal may well be a foregone conclusion. Of course, you may well be thinking you already do theme and, with Valentine’s Day around the corner, doubtless your window and store interior is awash with hearts, red roses and suchlike. But the challenge is to think about how to theme your store when major card-buying occasions are not on the horizon. If you can still say you do this as a matter of course, then you’re a good merchant and success should be yours. If not, then it’s time to do a little rethink! @greetingstoday

On board with



Known for their eco-friendly credentials, Windles have taken the recent issues with the drop in the value of sterling and supply chain difficulties as the impetus to find a more-sustainable British-made coated board, keeping jobs in the country and helping the environment while also providing a better service to customers.


ELEBRATING great British successes is good business and for Windles Group that means helping the £7billiona-year UK greetings industry by finding ways to keep as much of the work in the country as possible – while also being cost-effective and environmentally-friendly. So they have decided to get on board with Britain by offering a price-neutral greetings card product that helps save the world, and doesn’t need to travel around it in the process. The crunch came with the recent uncertainty in the paper and board industry where the falling value of sterling coupled with inconsistent quality and supply chain issues led Windles MD and founder Bruce Podmore to seek a more permanent solution. And the man who built his new Thame factory to meet the most stringent eco-friendly conditions took the opportunity to help the planet as well as keep both jobs and money in the country by choosing the Incada Silk board made from UK-sourced pulp at Iggesund’s paper mill in Workington, Cumbria. “We faced a big decision of which direction to take,” Bruce said, “as printers, we see it as our responsibility to offer a staple one-sided coated board to our customers – chopping and changing boards as to what’s available on the day is not an ideal scenario for their beautiful greetings cards. “We offered Ensocoat for ages, and then it was Performa Alto for the past 15 years but pricing and accessibility means we can no longer guarantee longevity of product supply so it’s been our intention to find the next long-term solution. “And by long term, we mean working with a material offering optimum price stability as well as being high quality, fit for purpose and accessible. “We’ve listened to

Our integrity O has dominated – Bruce visiting our decision ● Impressive Iggesund’s mill to stock our customers and extensively researched options – I Incada Silk thoroughly enjoyed visiting the

mill near Cockermouth, where they’ve run a biomass boiler for four years, so it’s a completely carbon-neutral operation, powered 100 per cent on bio-energy. “After much debate, learning and product trials, our integrity has dominated our decision to stock Incada Silk as our one-sided coated board offering. It’s one of the whitest one-sided boards on the market with an impressively smooth surface. “Printing will be dreamy where you don’t have to think about the yellowness of a board when designing. Glossy and matt finishes and true baby blues and pinks are achievable without compensation – and there’s a huge improvement in lead times, fantastic service from the mill plus we can guarantee the quality.” The Iggesund mill has brought employment

and prosperity to what was a relatively isolated area of the country, and even growing the willow for the £110million biomass boiler is good for local hill farmers as the plant helps with ground water control, a huge concern locally following the devastating floods of 2015. The mill needs 150 megawatts of power per year – Windles’ print plant takes just ¾ megawatt – so turning it into a self-generating operation has seen a drop in carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to taking 65,000 cars off the road. Before the Second World War, forestry accounted for 40 per cent of the land in Britain but it then dropped to just five per cent. The paper and board industry has been central to bringing this back up to 15 per cent, and that figure is expected to continue increasing. Choosing a British-manufactured product over one from a foreign country can be of major benefit to the environment because of the impact from the CO2 created by shipping goods from around the world – ship fuel still contains sulphur and is highly-polluting. Bruce added: “Given that the UK government has pledged to reduce our carbon emissions by 80 per cent on 1990 levels by 2050, it’s important we all play a part and try to be that little bit more green – and buying British is one way you can do just that. “The most exciting thing for us is that Incada is made in Britain. It’s a local product and we believe that, if more people support UK manufacturing, we could make a big difference. “If we can use a higher percentage of boards made here in the UK, we don’t have to rely so heavily on importing from other countries, and our economy will be more sustainable and better able to grow. “There’s also the issue of patriotism, it’s good to feel pride in this country and the products we create. We’re hoping more people will use Incada to support the environment – and then they can stamp their product proudly with Made In Britain.”

T:01844 201683

www.greetingstoday www. 19


Perspectives on paper A comprehensive complementary programme is a boost to the Frankfurt show’s position, with three trend world presentations daily, as UK Greetings and BrownTrout join the exhibitors list for this year.


EW perspectives on the future of the paper, office supplies and stationery sector will be introduced in Paperworld’s comprehensive complementary programme. “We are investing in a very varied, high-quality supplementary programme,” said Michael Reichhold, director of Paperworld, “in order to establish the event’s position as a networking and training platform, and also to give the sector new impulses and bring supply and demand even closer together.” On all four days of the fair at organisers Messe Frankfurt’s showgrounds in the German city, visitors will experience exciting special presentations, trendorientated events, specialist lectures and high-calibre awards ceremonies. Hall 5.1 is the greetings hall where more than 140 exhibitors will be showing their products, including UK Greetings, BrownTrout, Turnowsky and Dutch distributors Orange Papers who look after Mint, Museums & Galleries and Real & Exciting Designs. There are 43 UK companies exhibiting out of the 1,600 at the show, with James Cropper paper mill, Eurowrap, Go Stationery, Portico Designs, and Write Size among them. The Greetings Card Competence Centre in Hall 5.1, C81, sees the collaboration with the Working Group Of Greetings Card Manufacturers And Publishers and the Café Card with a special exhibition of the 10 best designs chosen by an expert panel in the greetings cards competition. All in all, more than 400 cards were entered by German students and designers and, during the fair, visitors will be able to vote for their favourite to choose the overall Card Award winner, which will be presented on Tuesday, January 30. Participation in the complementary programme is included in the cost of the ticket for the show that runs from Saturday to Tuesday, January 27-30, co-located with Christmasworld, Floradecora and Creativeworld. The digital events calendar is already available on the Paperworld website, giving visitors the ability put together their own personal programme so they can


make more efficient use of their visit to the fair. Paperworld is clearly structured into two product areas – The Visionary Office for Trends for commercial office supplies and equipment, and Stationery Trends with products relating to school, giving, writing and lifestyle – to make it easier for trade visitors to orientate themselves around the eight hall floors and more than 1,500 exhibitors. The Trend Show is in the foyer between Halls 5.1 and 6.1, showcasing trends for the 2018/19 season er and providing retailers with ideas for putting together ps, their product ranges and designing their retail shops, while the industry will also be able to benefit from valuable innovations and the latest design trends for developing their products. ora. On behalf of Messe Frankfurt, style studio Bora. n trends Herke.Palmisano’s designers are picking up on in fashion, architecture and art and adapting them for the paper, office supplies and stationery products world. her ideas for For Visionary Office they have put together ery Trends the Work + Challenge trend, while Stationery has two style worlds, Minimal + Excellent and Spirit + Ambition. The three trend worlds will be presented in s, at 11am and in informative guided tours and lectures, w and at 11am 3pm on the first three days of the show only on the final day. In the BMWi promotional area in Hall 6.1, D80, wcase their fresh young start-up companies will showcase ideas and unconventional products, and in Hall 5 C100 Wrap Up! will see giftwrapping expert Ulla Büning demonstrate step by step how, even in a retail shop, unique presents can be created with relatively little effort. The Oriental Culture exhibition – Hall 5.1 A21, B04 and C09 – will showcase a piece of the Orient with sophisticated arts and crafts, paper, office supplies and stationery products that combine traditional design and Far Eastern features. And, in addition to the Card Award, the fair sees the announcement of Product Of The Year, Industry Face Of The Year, Specialist Retailer Of The Year, the ISPA product award and the Office & Environment Awards. @greetingstoday


BROWNTROUT PUBLISHING BROWNTROUT have worked with Graphique de France in the USA to completely revamp the Graphique Stationery line which they distribute exclusively across the UK and mainland Europe. In effect, the company will be totally re-launching the line at the major January and February trade shows, including Paperworld. The new look collection will consist of 15 different products and more than 100 new titles. BrownTrout are adding such things as beautiful journals, list pads, tumblers and the new De-luxe range of special items among the new releases. In addition, the new catalog catalogue will be showing a range of Christmas gift tag tags and gift bags. Hall 5.1, stand C14 – T: 0117 317 1880

TURNOWSKY HOUSE Of Turnowsky will celebrate their timeless style at Paperworld with an inspirational licensing portfolio and collection of luxury paper products. The iconic design house will introduce a total of 25 collections featuring more than 200 new designs. Turnowsky will join forces with long-time German partners Kunst Und Bild presenting 13 ranges of lavish, design-led greetings cards, calendars, and stationery and gift bags, complemented by 12 new licensing collections. For the first time they will also create an integrated 3D merchandise presentation demonstrating how Turnowsky work with licensees to develop the brand presence at retail level. It will incorporate a wide variety of Turnowskydesigned gifts including decorative mugs and ceramics, novelty notebooks, photo albums, gift bags, chocolates boxes, and fashion backpacks. Hall 5.1, stand C14 –

UK GREETINGS AS THE largest direct-to-retailer publishers of greetings cards, gift wrapping and social expressions products in Britain, UK Greetings’ brands include Carlton Cards, Gibson and Papyrus. They publish cards in 20 languages and distribute products in more than 70 countries. Part of the American Greetings family, together they have one of the largest and most talented creative teams in the world. The International Division is responsible for leveraging this combined asset across the globe. UKG offer value-adding services and solutions based on licensing, export and bespoke production, and they can advise partners in many fields, such as consumer research, category management, retail presentations and branding. They are keen to work with international partners who share their passion for the greetings card category. Hall 5.1, stand E13 – T: 01924 465200 @greetingstoday 21



● Berni Parker

● Ohh Deer

Every little helps Adding products to your offer is a surefire way to add extra sales – but you have to get the ranges right for your customers, as Henri Davis explores here.


NYONE involved in retail knows just how hard it is to maintain sales at the moment.

Now more than ever, every little bit helps and offering relevant and related products to supplement your card selection could be one way of increasing sales by driving up your average transaction value. For me stationery is a great fit because the bulk of design-led and gift stationery purchasers are female, as are card purchasers, but there are lots of other types of gifts that can add real strength to your card offer. Publishers often include stationery in their offer because both product areas are paper based so they understand the mediums being used, their card designs will reproduce well on stationery and if the subject matter is relevant they should sell well too. Some card publishers offer other gift formats too, allowing retailers to stock whole ranges which create strong impactful displays when merchandised together so they can really change the way your shop looks – and there’s a breadth of styles and genres available. Ohh Deer launched their new stationery range Palm Springs at aunched the Top Drawer S/S18 which graphically is quite different for them and is very fresh and on trend. It covers several stationery formats, greeting cards sev and cushions with RRPs starting at £3.95 an (top right). Berni Parker’s heart-warming and massively popular Ladies Who Love Life range has a broad coordinating range Lad from small gifts like magnetic bookmarks retailing for £1.99, £1.9 up to larger items such as mugs, glasses and cushions retailing from £10 to £24.99 (top left). reta Wrendale’s A Dog’s Life started as a card range featuring different breeds, all individually depicted in watercolour, diff and this is now supported by a broad selection from keyr keyrings to the gift book, and there’s now a pet collection ● Wrendale too with pet beds and coats just launched (left). Combining gifts and greetings from the same people brin financial and practical benefits because retailers brings are oonly dealing with one supplier for multiple product types which makes it is much easier to manage stock

Merchandised M together they can really change the way your shop looks

● Rachel Ellen

levels and reach minimum order or carriage-paid order values on smaller repeat orders. There’s a lot of talk about the current unease consumers are experiencing which is limiting their spending – and we saw this coming through in the reduced consumer spending over Christmas – but we’re all still spending some money and a retailer’s challenge is to make sure they’re getting their share of the money being spent. At times like this keeping in touch with friends and family increases in importance and this may mean writing letters, sending brief notes and postcards or making the effort to send a thank you card for a gift or a happy day together. Rachel Ellen are good examples of card publishers who offer a broad range of stationery, and some of their designs are particularly suited to children’s stationery where Thank You cards are an important part (above). In the past we’ve seen periods of uncertainty lead to increases in spending on certain types of products including items linked to celebrations such as birthdays, weddings and anniversaries. Keeping memories of these events also increases in importance and, while many

Henri D Davis is an independent retail advisor to businesses in the cards, gifts, stationery and heritage industries, combining 30 years of retail experience with her knowledge of trends and consumer motivation to analyse markets and identify new opportunities. Having worked at Habitat, Next, WH Smith and the National Trust, she now works with many small and medium-sized businesses, including multi-site retailers, national and international manufacturers and suppliers and is currently the first retailer chairman of the Giftware Association.

22 @greetingstoday

● Widdop And Co

24-25 APRIL 2018

Inspire your customers by browsing fabulously fashionable stationery and gifts at this year’s London Stationery Show. Fill your shelves with great gifts, irresistible treats and smart essentials that will add style, colour and plenty of reasons for customers to visit again.


of us keep thousands of pictures on our phones, it’s not the same as being able to see them around you and sharing them with friends so printing photos and having them in frames and albums is seeing a resurgence in popularity at the moment – stocking a small range of frames and photo albums is worth considering too. Amore is one of Widdop And Co’s flagship wedding brands, with the focus on three key price points £5, £10 and £20 for frames, albums, pairs of mugs, champagne flutes, etc. Their broad range allows retailers with regular custom to keep their range looking fresh throughout the year and the collection covers greetings cards and gift bags too giving the retailer three bites of the cherry – card, gift and gift bag (top left). It might be that a guest can’t afford to buy a gift in which case they will make sure that those celebrating know you have remembered them and might buy a special, more expensive card instead perhaps printed on a heavier weight board, maybe embossed or hand finished with crystals ensuring that the recipient feels extra special. If money is tight, one of the last things to suffer is events linked to children because parents and relatives try to protect the little ones from their own worries and concerns. As retailers, you can help them with this by making sure you have a good range of well-priced gifts available when they’re in your shop looking for a card. If you don’t have the space to offer a full range of children’s gifts, then make sure you have a strong kids’ card offer supported by matching giftwrap and bags. Deva Designs have an adorable Bunnies By The Bay plush toys and gifts collection priced from £12.99 to £24.99 RRP and, new for spring 2018, they have introduced luxury foil-finish giftwrap, medium gift bag, and carrier-size gift bag RRP £2.50-£4.50 (above right). And a small range of fun party lines could make an interesting addition too –I’d suggest selling slightly higher-priced items rather than £1 packs of balloons and candles. Most little girls want to feel like a princess and NPW’s bright pink crown from NPW makes it official, and with a £4 RRP it’s still very much a pick-up line (above left). If you are thinking of introducing other product categories into your greetings shop you want to know they have a good chance of success, with the space in-store being well used and your money isn’t wasted, so here are 10 things to consider: ● Is the product relevant for your customers? ● Does the new brand reflect the same qualities as your shop? ● Are the retail price points right? ● Do you have space to display this range? ● Do you have the right fixtures to display this type of product effectively? ● Check the suppliers allow a small initial order, so you can run a trial. ● Confirm with them the best time to trial the range so, if it’s successful, you can have a full range in-store for the peak sales period. ● Ask the suppliers to recommend a few bestsellers for your test order. ● If your local competitors are stocking a similar product make sure your offer is distinct, different and better. ● Be clear you know how you’re going to let customers know you have a new range in stock. @greetingstoday

Make it a date and register now @StationeryBytes @stationeryshowsUK @stationeryshowsUK 23


Talk of the town The voice of the people who matter, greetings retailers tell it like it is.

Sandra Powell, The Candle Tree, Gloucester

In a nutshell, what’s the story behind your store? I opened in June 2015 in Harts Barn Craft Centre in the Forest Of Dean. I’d been in banking for 10 years but got really poorly with carpal tunnel syndrome so for health reasons I needed to have a non-office job. I thought I would avoid computers and feel better, so set up this eclectic gift shop emporium. We have an extensive range of candles, hand crafted soaps, home fragrances, luxury bath & body treats, creative lighting and accessories. It was sad to leave Harts Barn as that was where we started but I moved here in October and it’s a lovely picturesque street on the way to the cathedral with historic buildings around, we’re so lucky to have this spot. Looking back to when you started, do you have any advice for yourself? Just go for it, don’t worry too much. It’s not easy when you start but don’t be scared to make mistakes because you learn from it and get better. With Spring Fair coming up fast, will you be attending and what will you be looking for, and what do you like about trade shows in general? I’m hoping to go but, as I’m in the shop on my own, it will mean tight planning – I’ll try to escape there on my day off. This time around, because I moved premises and have more space, I’ll be going with an open mind to see what stands out. I don’t have a preset mind, I want to explore to see what Spring Fair has to offer. It’s the same with greetings cards, I’m looking for anything different, anything new that will excite customers. What’s the product that you think customers might find the most surprising to see in your store. People say that all the time about the shop because they come in with the expectation that it’s a candle shop and we have so much more. They walk round and say ‘oh, I didn’t realise you sell lighting’ or jewellery. The shop is full of my favourite things so people walk in and don’t know what we’re going to have, it’s not just candles and soaps.

Which is your current top-selling design, publisher or genre? They all sell well, Jo Scott Art are very popular, Martin Fry photographic cards sell well, local artists Emily Johnson and Valerie McLean, and The Handcrafted Card Company. I can go back to Jo Scott Art all the time because she changes constantly and customers love that. They love finding something different by an artist they know. How do you balance needing to get as much product in front of your customers with displaying it nicely? It’s the flow of the shop, I now have twice the space, and I go with the flow, fit things in with the area, what customers would like to see with candles, or lights. And it tends to change, if not daily at least weekly, I do like change. Of all the publishers in your shop, which card would you like to receive? That’s not easy to answer – if I could have one of each that would be lovely!

Tina Botterill, Cool! Cards And Gifts, Skipton, North Yorkshire

In a nutshell, what’s the story behind your store? My husband and I were agents in gifts and cards for many years and started retailing as a concession in a mill in Lancashire. We were there for 12 years and then came to our own shop in Skipton. We’ve been here for four years and also as a concession in Park Mill in Helmshore in Lancashire.

What’s the product that you think customers might find the most surprising to see in your store. Our mugs – we have them made especially for us by Character Shop and we make customers laugh with a lot of them such as Keep Calm And Don’t Kill the Patients and I Am Silently Correcting Your Grammar!

Looking back to when you started, do you have any advice for yourself? if you have a good idea, go for it! I regret not having my own shop much earlier.

Which is your current top-selling design, publisher or genre? Rosie Made A Thing. I discovered them at PG Live two years ago and they’ve gone from strength to strength.

With Spring Fair coming up fast, will you be attending and what will you be looking for, and what do you like about trade shows in general? I’ll look at the new lines my existing suppliers have brought out, mainly Jellycat, and I’m looking for new companies and products for this year. Magazines like Greetings Today are invaluable and I make notes of anything that grabs me so I can go and see them at the show.


How do you balance needing to get as much product in front of your customers with displaying it nicely? Being a really small shop a lot of my stock has to be in my windows so it has to look good from both outside and inside. I have five windows so I can theme them. Of all the publishers in your shop, which card would you like to receive for your birthday? One of our personalised cards from Jola Designs from Cheshire – Tina, you are simply perfect at 73! @greetingstoday


Kevin Taylor, Taylor’s Cards, Debden, Essex, & Perfect Presents, Sudbury, Suffolk

In a nutshell, what’s the story behind your store? I was made redundant from Clinton Cards in 2012 so decided to open my own business as I really wanted to create a good honest, family-run shop offering good value-for-money products. It’s been an interesting journey, especially since Card Factory opened up nearby – but we’ve just started a second shop, Perfect Presents, in Sudbury, and that’s going really well. And we’re about to have a makeover at Taylor’s Cards to give the shop a more modern look. Looking back to when you started, do you have any advice for yourself? Yes, don’t be too hard on yourself, you can’t do everything, and learn from your mistakes! With Spring Fair coming up fast, will you be attending and what will you be looking for – what do you like about trade shows in general? With Perfect Presents as our sister company now, we want to source some really good gifting. I love seeing all the new trends at the shows,

especially Spring Fair where all the suppliers show off their new products, so we can place our orders. What’s the product that you think customers might find the most surprising to see in your store. Bomb cosmetics – but the smells are amazing! Which is your current top-selling design, publisher or genre? Almost anything by Noel Tatt. How do you balance needing to get as much product in front of your customers with displaying it nicely? We take great pride in our displays by creating stories, using props and regularly introducing new lines to keep customers interested and coming back. Of all the publishers in your shop, which card would you like to receive for your birthday? Definitely Five Dollar Shake, they are beautifully handmade cards that are made in Britain.

Glenn Ford, Papa Luca, Lyme Regis, Dorset

In a nutshell, what’s the story behind your store? Our family-run business offers a personally-chosen mix of high-quality gifts, fashions and furnishings, ranging from brand-new through vintage to antique. The shop has been trading since around 1990 along similar lines, Papa Luca being the third name on the fascia board.

Looking back to when you started, do you have any advice for yourself? Trust your own instincts and buy stock you like personally, not what you or others think customers will want. With Spring Fair coming up fast, will you be attending and what will you be looking for, and what do you like about trade shows in general? We’re not attending this one, but the value of shows is that they’re an opportunity to find new suppliers, especially those just starting up. What’s the product that you think customers might find the most surprising to see in your store. At the moment, that would be a pair of art deco cinema seats Which is your current top-selling design, publisher or genre? Art Nouvocative, especially the Mo Welch designs. How do you balance needing to get as much product in front of your customers with displaying it nicely? Our policy with cards is not to have card racks but to punctuate the other stock with them. The Art Nouvocative designs enhance the bags, furniture, ceramics etc and many customers enjoy the challenge of following a trail of greetings cards until they find their favourite designs.

Of all the publishers in your shop, which card would you like to receive for your birthday? My personal choice would be Art Nouvocative’s Grand Prix 1933. @greetingstoday 25


All change! I

CAN’T believe it’s been nearly two years since I wrote my last column – it was the April 2016 issue where I hung up my It’s All About Sales writing pad (well Microsoft word document actually, but pad and pen sounds better!) and boy, hasn’t life changed since! It was that same month my son Ruben, pictured with me here, was born and turned my whole life upside down. Anyone who has experienced being a first-time parent will know how mind-blowing this experience is. Being fully responsible for this little person’s needs and wants was overwhelming at times and like having to learn a whole new job or career very quickly. I did wonder in those early days how I was ever going to go back to work, everything just seemed different. After the initial shock and a period of maternity leave, the day soon came when I had to be back out on the road. How was I going to feel? Could I still do this? Had I lost my brain entirely? The answer was, everything was fine and, as soon as I set off from home, I felt back in the driving seat and relieved that nothing had really changed at all, I was still me and hadn’t lost my marbles completely. Customers were really happy to see me again, keen to get ordering and coo over my heap of baby photos. Now nearly two years have passed and I find life has really settled down and I have a far better life/work


S THERE such a thing as “just a card”? Well, not in my view there isn’t – every time a greetings card is sent and received it’s been through a marvelous journey. Firstly, it is designed with emotion and passion, then printed and often hand-finished too. It’s picked and packed then delivered to retailers. Next it is selected by the sender from a myriad of alternative designs and styles. This is full of emotion too – the sender wants to pick a card that will reflect their personality and, more importantly, hit the spot with the recipient. Cards make people smile, laugh, happy, excited, cry and much more too. I often see people choosing cards when I’m out and about. They can be so focused that a whole shop full of cards may not contain the right one for the specific purpose and person they’re buying for. On a different scale, the buying and sending of greetings cards supports many people in many businesses, from the designers and publishers, through printers, paper and envelope makers, and the cello bag suppliers to the lovely shops selling them to their fabulous customers. It’s quite a complex and intricate series of events that brings the humble greetings card to the hands of the recipient. Just A Card is also the name of the campaign – www. – started by Sarah Hamilton to encourage people to buy from designers, makers and independent galleries and shops. When I first read the quote that inspired her – “If everyone who’d complimented our beautiful gallery had bought just a

balance than ever before. I love my days at home with my son but then it’s great to have those hours back at work, not just for the civilised grown-up chat, but to keep in touch with the industry, keep the business growing and not spend the day with tuna or jam sandwich smeared down my front and endlessly picking up toys off the floor. Sales have improved and I find my time is so much more productive too, I think one can almost have too much time which can be counterproductive. When it’s a work day that’s what I do, focus on work and make sure everything is completed and finalised. On a toddler day I focus on him – apart from when he naps and I sneak in a few phone calls! Having great childcare and support at home is important, and customers and the industry as a whole have been brilliant as most retailers have been in this situation themselves and understand what it’s like. I’ve heard so many memories about “when the kids were little” or I have retailers going through the same experience and it’s great to share stories. Most of my retailers and companies are keen to see photos of how Ruben is growing and changing and I’ve felt really supported by their interest. Although I keep getting asked to bring him along to appointments I’ve not yet dared! He’s like a Tasmanian devil whizzing around everywhere so, although my

retailers don’t seem at all bothered, I’d be on edge thinking about the chaos he might cause in one of their beautiful card and gift shops! However, when he’s a little older and understands better I’ll be taking him to work with me – you never know, there could be a future agent in the making. Now I have bump number two on the way I’m set for double the trouble but double the fun! It’s great to still be a part of such a dynamic industry and see how the trends change over the years. I’ve noticed over the last 12 months that there are more wordy products and cards on the market – not sentimental as such but short phrases that make you go “ahhhhh”. Also bold colours, clashing shades and patterns and the tropical theme still seems very on trend with flamingos, bright birds and cacti. – Alina Clarke

Makes you think

card we’d still be open” – on an A4 poster in one of my customer’s shops it struck a chord immediately. Not only are cards a very important addition to gift shops and galleries, they also provide a very reasonably-priced item which can be bought with pocket change. Single sales of cards soon add up so are as vital to the business as the higher-priced gifts and pieces of art. Years ago, a customer told me that browsers often end up buying a greetings card if nothing else. They may not always find the right gift or artwork but there would inevitably be a nice selection of cards to buy at the £2-3 mark.

I’ve never forgotten this tale – on occasion I visit a shop only to be told it’s been quiet day “except for cards that is – they’ve kept the till ringing”. So, I asked a few people what Just A Card means to them: “To send a card to someone, intention is the important thing,” – Anne, customer. “It shows that someone is thinking of you. I’m passionate about cards. I’m excited to receive them and they make me smile,” – Carlys, retailer. “To send a card is more than sending ‘just’ a card. It’s a special thought process from choosing which card the recipient would like, to writing a personal message and sending it on to make someone’s day when they open it,” – Megan Claire, publisher. “I’m thinking of you. I wish we were together, I miss you and love you,” – Steve, customer. “Cards to us are full of smiles and kindness! To think someone chose that card with you in mind and took the time to write and send it to you, it creates such a nice feeling. That’s something we both also feel when we choose a card to send someone or even when we’re choosing what cards to buy for our shop. Smiles all round!” – Lucy and Heidie, Little Paperie (pictured), retailers and publishers. What does Just A Card mean to you? Makes you think doesn’t it! – Ian Bradley

Ian Bradley (Midland Card Agencies, T: 07905 597498) is an experienced independent greetings industry sales agent in the Midlands. Each month he shares experiences of life of the road, along with a guest agent, this month it’s the north-east’s Alina Clarke (T: 07906 792420). 792420).

26 @greetingstoday

greetings cards and retail packaging Tel: +44 (0)1622 795000 Email:

Polypropylene & biodegradable bag specialists Over 40 years quality service to the trade Hotfoiling also available



T 01206 396209 E

Positively promising


PETER RABBIT THE MOVIE From the creators of Lego Movie, Captain America and The Great Gatsby comes the live-action film with animated animals to be released on March 16, 2018. Based on the adventures of Peter Rabbit and his encounters with Mr McGregor, and set in the Lake District and London, this film will be full of edgy humour, action and adventure, with a primary audience of girls aged five to 12. Danilo’s card designs include a mix of relations and age including granddaughter, birthday girl, birthday boy, with ages five, six, and seven captions, as well as general birthday, plus a 2m rollwrap and medium gift bag.

After a fantastic 2017 2017, the same positive theme is A promising to continue for Danilo across 2018 and 2019 – and retailers can find out all about it at Spring Fair. They have ranges launching for exciting new movie titles such as Peter Rabbit, Jurassic World and Avengers: Infinity War, and will be showcasing their new licensed greetings cards, wrap and calendars ranges at Birmingham’s NEC, giving retailers and consumers alike even more choice of attractive, commercial and compelling Danilo product. Featured here are just some of the licences to look forward to.

ACTION MAN Based on the US action figure GI Joe, Action Man was launched in Britain in 1966 but the iconic boys’ toy reached his peak in the seventies and eighties – and has a strong retro appeal among adult males. The range will consist of iconic card designs with strong humour elements aiming directly at a male audience. General birthday, ages 40 and 50, as well male captions for brother, husband, dad, and boyfriend have been designed for this range.

28 www. www.greetingstoday.

PETER RABBIT TV SERIES This CGI-animated TV series is shown daily on CBeebies and has a different style to the movie. The show has a primary audience of boys and girls aged two to four, and follows the adventures of Peter and his pals Benjamin, Lilly and Squirrel Nutkin as they encounter challenges and fun events in their woodland home. The Danilo range consists of a wide variety of relation captions – son, daughter, brother, sister, grandson and granddaughter – ages two, three and four, plus general birthday and a money wallet, and there’s also rollwrap and a gift bag available. @greetingstoday



LOL SURPRISE Aimed mainly at girls aged six to nine, LOL Surprise is the latest toy phenomenon based on collectability, dolls and unveiling with new waves of toys released regularly – more than 2.5million units were sold in the first five months. Series 1 ranked no1 among all toys sold for three months’ running in the UK and Eire (source: NPD June, July, August 2017). Awareness of LOL Surprise has been driven by the vlogger unboxing phenomenon. A fantastic new range of designs is available from Danilo, including badged cards with pink foil finish, pop-ups, fold-outs and cards with accessory sheets included. There is also a selection of LOL Surprise rollwrap and gift bags available.

HEY DUGGEE Narrated by comedian and TV presenter Alexander Armstrong, Hey Duggee is a CBeebies show about the Squirrel Club leader with a primary audience of three-year-old boys and girls, and a wider secondary appeal for those aged two to five. Tales of the loveable, cuddly dog in charge of the Squirrels have taken the Hey Duggee TV series to number one in the time slot for kids aged four to six and the series two premiere reached more than 480,000 viewers – over four times that of its nearest pre-school rival. The upcoming new card range will focus on ages one to three as well as a selection of boy and girl captions. @greetingstoday


JoJo Siwa Is a dancer, singer, actress and online phenomenon with more than 5.1million YouTube subscribers. She’s set to star in a new TV movie called Inside Voice in 2018, to the delight of her primary audience of girls aged six to 10. Following on from the success of her Official 2018 Calendar, Danilo have published a JoJo Siwa card range including ages six to nine, female captions such as sister, niece, daughter, granddaughter and general birthday including fold-out, badged and stickers-included designs. Rollwrap and gift bags are also available. ● ©Marve

One of Julia Donaldson’s bestselling children’s books, The Gruffalo is loved by young and old alike, and was initially published in 1999. The story of what happens when a quick-thinking mouse comes face to face with an owl, a snake, a fox and a hungry Gruffalo has sold more than 13million copies in 59 editions worldwide, won several prizes for children’s literature, and been developed into plays for both the West End and Broadway, as well as a delightful animated short movie. Danilo have a wide selection of Gruffalo card designs including ages one to five, relations such as son, daughter, brother, sister, grandson and granddaughter, as well as pop-up and height chart cards, all pitched at a primary audience of boys and girls aged three to six.


THE GRINCH This iconic tale from the top US children’s author Dr Seuss is making a return to the big screen on November 9, 2018 with How The Grinch Stole Christmas, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the voice of the Grinch. This will be the third feature-length computer-animated film based on a Dr Seuss book, following 2008’s Horton Hears A Who! and 2012’s The Lorax, and is the second to be produced by Illumination Entertainment. In this very exciting new brand for Danilo, their offer will include a fantastic Christmas range featuring cards, wrap, bags and Christmas crackers – a first for the company.

CALENDAR RANGES Danilo have a fantastic number of hot properties for their 2018/19 calendar portfolio, including some much-anticipated movies: ● Jurassic World 2 is due for release at cinemas on June 8, 2018, as the follow-up to JW1 where the island had become overrun by dinosaurs and evacuated. The Jurassic Park franchise celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and iconic consumer products will be launching across all categories. ● New Marvel additions are on the way including Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther, Ant-Man And The Wasp, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse ● Other fantastic Disney titles being released in 2018 include A Wrinkle In Time, The Incredibles 2, a live-action Mulan, Wreck-it Ralph 2, Mary Poppins Returns and Han Solo: A Star Wars Story.

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EWNESS is the order of the day at Spring Fair as more than 70 fresh publishers are lined up for the Greetings & Gift Hall, giving buyers plenty to see – along with all the latest products on offer from established exhibitors. s ation str

SHOP TALK “Spring Fair has to tick the Christmas box for me so initially I’ll be doing seasonal product, after that it’s summer gifts and summer home, then greetings cards. Those are the things I major on. I look to spend a minimum of two days there and, if it’s good and I don’t get round, I’ll go for a third day. Spring Fair is an important one for us.”

p Illu Jupp Illustrations, Flying Teaspoons, ● Jup Dilly & Pink, 1790 Cards, Chau Art and Brainbox Candy’s new sister company Unknown Ink are among newbies taking Paul Hobbs, Fresh, Witney, Oxon the greetings and gift exhibitor tally to “We’re looking for more unusual more than 280, making it the UK’s largest products that the bigger retailers ● Fly event for the industry. ing T around here haven’t got. It needs to e a spoo Everyone who’s anyone will be at the ns be on-trend and can be any type of NEC from Sunday to Thursday, February product, homeware, jewellery, it just 4-8, including UK Greetings, Belly Button needs to be unique and different. Designs, Danilo, Grass Roots International, With cards we’re always looking for Ling Designs, Abacus Cards, Tomcat Cards, nice greetings cards, we like them to LS20 Letterpress, Mint, Jonny Javelin, Paper be a little bit edgy but it’s hard because Salad, Rosanna Rossi, and Handcrafted we have to have a variety and we’re so Card Company. limited on space for them, we try to get a And all eyes will be on The Vox on the opening good mix in a small amount.” evening of the show, which runs from Sunday to Thursday, Katie Kouzaris, Skinny Whistle, Quorn, Leics February 4-8, as the venue at Birmingham’s NEC plays

host to the Gift Of The Year Awards, where there are three retailer categories for the first time. Two Little Boys, Peace & Blessings, I Am A, and Go Stationery have made it as finalists for the Greetings & Stationery award, while greetings publishers also did well in the other categories. Paper Mirchi are finalists in Design & Craft, while Wrendale arethrough in Fashion Accessory, I Drew This in Home, Roger La Borde in Festive & Occasions – and designer Sara Miller, who licences cards through The Art File, is a double finalist in Kitchen & Dining and Fashion Accessory.

Awards organisers the Giftware Association are going bigger and better this year with the winners to be revealed during a special ceremony hosted by celebrity compere Rory Bremner at The Vox on the opening Sunday, just after the halls close for the day. The winning and finalist products will be on display throughout the show, and the winner of the overall Judges’ Choice award receives a free stand at Autumn Fair 2018. Back at the show itself, The Atelier is the latest feature for Spring Fair, an all-new interactive immersive

trends showcase set to bring the world of home, gift and greetings to life like never before. With big-screen videos showing visitors to Birmingham’s NEC what’s new, what’s hot right now, and what exciting trends are ahead for 2019 and 2020, the idea is to help them make it work for their business. Spring Fair organisers Ascential Events are planning the new immersive showcase to inspire and guide show visitors through the top trends set to influence their businesses. The series of exclusive films are based on insights from industry-leading trend forecasters and platforms WGSN, Pinterest, One Click Retail and Coloro, and will present details from a raft of product categories while highlighting future colour trends. The Atelier will be brought to life by four walk-in installations featuring real store interiors using products from Spring Fair exhibitors, curated by the show’s expert visual merchandiser into interactive sets to inspire retailers, designers, installers and specifiers helping them keep their fingers on the pulse with all things new. Sophy Searight, Spring Fair’s head of content, said: “This is one of the most daring and exciting features we have ever launched at Spring Fair. The Atelier will give our audience the confidence that what they’re purchasing at the show will be on-trend in the future. It will also present great examples of how to diversify into new categories and make their businesses more profitable.” Two installations are to be created at the show with visitors able to travel through time in Hall 20, learning about home and gift trends through four different room settings, each focusing on a different time frames, from now to 2020. Meanwhile, The Atelier in Hall 17 will focus on jewellery and watch products, and will cover trends from 2018-2019 in two displays. splays.

Sharks and pasties Wh ’ new ffor the What’s h G Greetings i Hall H ll at Spring S i Fair F i 2018? We’ll have 74 brand-new exhibitors showcasing their latest products at the show for the first time and many will feature in our popular Debut Area. There will be a hive of newness at Spring Fair and we’re delighted that some of the world’s most exciting and innovative greetings card suppliers will make their debuts this year, including 1790 Cards, Bexy Boo and YTR Design. Have you made any changes for this year based on feedback from the 2017 show? Visitors told us that they find Spring Fair a great source of inspiration for trends and insights, so we’re launching a brand-new interactive feature in 2018. The Atelier will enable visitors to fully immerse themselves in visually-merchandised rooms that showcase

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Ascential Even Events’ en nts ts’ ’ Alison Graham looks oks after the Greetings & Stationery hall at Spring Fair, here she talks about what’s new, what’s hat’s happening and lets slip a guilty secret! current consumer trends and predict what will be hot all the way through to 2020. How long have you been with Ascential Events and how did you arrive there? I joined our gardening show Glee initially as account manager 17 years ago and, prior to that, I was at DMG Media where I worked on the Ideal Home Exhibition. How long have you managed the Greetings Hall and

what’s changed since you started working there? I’ve managed the Greetings Hall for nine years now. The first thing I did was implement smaller stands to help the smaller publishers that only need wall space, and, with greetings companies now diversifying into gifts, I’ve also helped make sure the hall reflects the current trends. What does the job entail? Planning the hall, speaking to ● TURN TO NEXT PAGE @greetingstoday

SPRINGFAIRPREVIEW ● FROM PREVIOUS PAGE new and existing companies, going to see our customers and understanding their business needs and market trends.

doing this, all under one roof. Naturally, as we facilitate the largest gathering of retailers in the UK, our exhibitors are meeting the people that matter – the buyers.

website beforehand to find a complete list of exhibitors, products and hall maps that will help them plan their way around the show.

What’s the most surprising request you’ve had from an exhibitor? To have a live shark on their stand – it was a baby shark and in a tank though!

Are there any trends that you’ve spotted on the greetings front ahead of the show? Consumers in the UK purchase an average of 33 cards each, every year. If you add all those cards together, it means that more than £1.7bn was spent on greetings cards last year. The Everyday category continues to account for the largest share of sales, with ages, occasions and relations showing the fastest growth. And, despite fears that there would be a boom in e-cards, it’s clear that people enjoy the feeling of writing and posting paper-based cards. One of the main trends is that it’s not just about cards. We’re seeing designers experiment by bringing their traditional card-based designs on to a plethora of other merchandise, including cups, calendars, wrapping paper and stationery. This marks an exciting new era for the greetings sector and we’ll see a lot of suppliers displaying a whole host of products that feature innovative designs.

What kinds of visitors are you hoping to attract to the show this year? Export customers, as this is traditionally a very strong area for the greetings market, as well as retail visitors from gift shops, multiples, independents and garden centres.

What are you most looking forward to about the upcoming Spring Fair? Seeing the stands come to life and what new products there are going to be. How many miles or steps do you walk during the show? On average, around 19,000 steps a day – it is the UK’s largest trade show after all! What’s the most exciting part of your job? Opening the doors to Spring Fair after a whole year of planning. Do you get to go to any other trade shows to have a look around? Yes, I do. It is important to keep up with trends around the world and also to see our exhibitors and how their businesses are evolving outside of Spring Fair. Why do you think greetings exhibitors find Spring Fair such an important event to exhibit at? In 2017, the show welcomed more than 58,000 visitors, covering the entire retail industry – from large multiples to smaller independent stores. Spring Fair is perfectly timed and retailers of all sizes come to the show to find next season’s bestsellers, learn about the latest trends and garner valuable business advice from leading industry experts. But, most important of all, is the scale of Spring Fair. Retailers come to this show because of the diversity on offer. It’s important that they expand their product ranges to bring in new customers, who are increasingly choosing to shop online, and we provide them with a unique way of 1790 Cards –3K36 NEW 2ToTango – 3X21 A Made Hand – 3U52 AB Gee – 3L10-M11 Abacus Cards – 3L10-M11 Alex Clark Art – 3S32 Alison Gardiner Designs – 3L54 Alljoy Design – 3W39 The Alternative Image Co – 3V11 Ambiente Europe – 3K01 Artebene – 3Q20-R25 The Art File – 3S07 Artige – 3S38 Artoz – 3Q31 Artpress Publishing – 3N19 Assaf Frank Photography – 3P56 Avonside Publishing – 3M02 Barley Bay – 3J35 NEW Beardsalls – 3L44 Belly Button Designs – 3S08 Belly Button Bubble – 3S08 Berni Parker Designs – 3U15 Bexy Boo – 3J29 BGC Studios – 3M14 Bird – 3V10 Blue Eyed Sun – 3X31 Blue Phoenix Distribution – 3J36 NEW Bluebell 33 – 3S09 Blueprint Collections – 3P10-Q11 Brainbox Candy – 3T19 Bright Art Licensing – 3Q52 Browntrout Publishers – 3M22 Buddy Fernandez Card Co – 3V65 Caltime – 3N10-P11 Cardgains – 3L10-M11 Cardmix – 3N10-P11 Cardmore – 3L47 NEW The Cardy Club – 3H35 NEW Carousel Calendars – 3Q30-R31 Carte Blanche Group – 3U02-V03 & 3K10-L11 Caspari – 3S58-T59 Catherine Kleeli Cards – 3L40 Celebration Crackers – 3H01 Charlie Foxtrot – 3L50 Chau Art – 3V61 NEW Cherry Orchard Publishing – 3L10-M11 Chic.mic – 4A01 Clare Maddicott – 3L10-M11 Clear Creations – 3J47 NEW Club Green – 3J23

If you were a greetings buyer, how would you plan for the show to find the right ranges for your shop? For those that have visited Spring Fair before, they know it’s a large-scale show that means you’ll want to leave enough time to explore new products and source inspiration. This is a great USP for buyers who are looking to diversify their offering, but it also takes some planning to get the most out of your visit. To help buyers use their time at the show more effectively, we developed an Appointment Planner tool to enable both buyers and exhibitors to pre-arrange specific meetings. Another tip for visitors is to head to the event’s

For new greetings retailers, or those that haven’t visited Spring Fair before, why should they ensure 2018 is their first time? This year’s Greetings & Gift sector will see the largest number of publishers in one place as no other show in the UK provides this on the same scale as Spring Fair. We’re excited to welcome so many new and established publishers to the show. There is no better place to source unique and exciting designs from around the world and, with 13 other show sectors providing a huge assortment of home and gift products, there is a great opportunity to cross-sell to customers. And what would you say to persuade previous greetings visitors to keep the 2018 show in their plans? Spring Fair never stands still. We’re always looking for newness and it’s this ethos that keep the show fresh every year. In 2018, we’ll have dozens of new suppliers, many of which will be exclusive to the show, and that’s just in one hall of 13. We strive to deliver a fantastic show every year and the next edition is certainly not to be missed by anyone serious about expanding their greetings business. Do you have a guilty secret about the show? The Cornish Pasty Shop outside Hall 4. My weakness when I’m on site at the show!

GREETINGS & GIFT EXHIBITORS’ LIST Colcards – 3W32 Collective Inspirations – 3Q01 NEW Country Cards – 3N21 Creation Express – 4B21 Creativ Company – 3L10-M11 Creative Party – 3L10-M11 Dandelion Stationery – 3U51 Danilo Promotions – 3M16 Davora – 3W40 DazzleWrap – 3G36 NEW Dean Morris Cards – 3V64 Deckled Edge – 3V17 Deva Designs – 3P16-Q17 Dilly & Pink – 3K34 NEW DKL Marketing – 3V20 Dotty about Paper – 3U53 NEW Draenog – 3K42 NEW Dyson Design – 3V52 Emma Ball – 3S03 Enfant Terrible – 3T15 NEW English Graphics – 3J31 Enveco – 3T64 Envelopes Ltd – 3X10 Eurowrap – 3J10-K11 & 3J15 NEW Ezen Designs – 3T23 Fay’s Studio – 3W50 Filthy Sentiments – 3U62 Five Dollar Shake – 3T11 Flame Tree Publishing – 3N31 Flickers – 3H47 NEW Flying Teaspoons – 3K45 NEW Folio – 3K43 NEW Folk It! – 3V15 Forever Cards – 3R30 Furry Stars Design – 3H36 NEW Furzedown Gallery – 3W21 Gemma International – 3L10-M11 The Gifted Stationery Co – 3L21 Giftisimo – 3T17 Ginger Ray – 3S19 Glasgow Packaging & Print – 3H50 Glebe Cottage, The Eco-Friendly Card Co – 3U60 & 3U61 Glick – 3R08 Go Stationery – 3L20-M21 Grass Roots International – 3L16-M17 & 3L10-M11 The Great British Card Co – 3P22-Q23 & 3L10-M11

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Hammond Gower – 3S27 The Handcrafted Card Company – 3W30 Have Ewe Herd? – 3J34 NEW Hazel Bee – 3W53 NEW Hearts Designs – 3T13 Heritage Cards & Souvenirs – 3M37 NEW Holy Mackerel – 3U11 Hype Associates – 3S60 I Ended Up Here – 3L45 NEW IC&G – 3L10-M11 Ice London – 3L30 Image Plus – 3V21 Image Source – 3R60 In Through The Art Door – 3W52 Intelligent Retail – 5B94 & 3L10-M11 Ivorymint – 3K31 NEW Jackson’s CRS – 3L10-M11 James Ellis – 3X51 Janie Wilson – 3T30 JellynBean – 3T50 Jemimasara – 3W60 NEW Jennifer Rose Gallery – 3V13 NEW Jessica Hogarth – 3L42 Jo Stockdale Animal Images – 3T14 John Austin Postcards – 3T36 Johnsons of Nantwich – 3J42 Jonathan Glick Designs – 3X63 Jonny Javelin Card Co – 3R38 Jupp Illustrations – 3L33 NEW Jusna Ahmed Designs – 3K46 NEW Just Gemma – 3Q50 Kate Guest – 3V51 Kingfisher Cards – 3K20 K-Paper – 3V41 Lady Lexington – 3U21 The Lang Companies – 3Q30-R31 NEW Lanther Black – 3U32 Laura Darrington Design – 3U30 Laura Sherratt Designs – 3J44 Laura Truby Designs – 3L29 NEW Lee-lu – 3K44 NEW Leonard Smith Publishing – 3U31 Lesser Spotted Images – 3V34 Linda Minto’s Real Life Greeting Cards – 3H44 NEW Ling Design – 3Q18-R21

The Little Dog Laughed – 3S10 Little Fingy – 3W11 Lizzie Chancellor – 3W37 Lola Design – 3K49 Lora Verner Designs – 3J40 Louise Mulgrew Designs – 3V50 Louise Tiler – 3V30 Love Country – 3J50 NEW – 3K40 NEW Lowland Studios – 3P30 LS20 Letterpress Studio – 3M47 Madame Treacle – 3V12 Maranda Ti & Arabesque – 4C01 NEW Marina B Designs – 3K29 NEW Megan Claire – 3V40 Meraki – 3M43 NEW Mint Publishing – 3N16 Mirrorpix – 3J46 NEW Molly Mae – 3U40 MollyMac – 3X15 Moongazer Cards – 3W51 Morrigan – 4B01 Museums & Galleries – 3P17 My World – 3W66 Natural Partners – 3V31 Neviti – 3K21 Nigel Quiney Publications – 3L10-M11 Noel Tatt Group – 3K14-L15 Oh My Designs – 3J41 NEW Old English Prints – 3V53 Olivia Goddard Designs – 3W38 Otter House – 3Q30-R31 Out Of The Blue Studios – 3M17 NEW Pabuku – 3V32 NEW Paper Art Viet – 3X41 Paper Rose – 3M10-N11 Paper Salad Publishing – 3U10 Partisan Products – 3N30 Peartree Heybridge – 3L10-M11 Penfold Card & Gift – 3T20 Penny Kennedy – 3R20 Penny Lindop Designs – 3J30 Periodic Society – 3W62 Peter Pauper Press – 4A20 Petra Boase – 3M33 NEW Piccadilly Greetings Group – 3S50 Pickmotion – 3X19 NEW

Shantou Honesty Trading – 3H28 Silk Hat Greetings – 3W20 Simon Elvin – 3N15 Piet Publishing – 3Q16-R19 NEW Simply Special Handmade Cards – Pigment Productions – 3R26 3K30 NEW Pink Pig – 3L32 Southfield – 3X11 NEW Pioneer Europe – 5H110-H111 & Special Editions – 3L10-M11 5G110-H111 Special Impression – 3S20 Plano/Creative Options – 3J19 Star Editions – 3K16-L17 NEW Stormy Knight – 3W33 PMS International – 5H90-J91 & Stripey Cats Cards – 3W61 12D10-E11 Styleboxe – 3T58 NEW Poet And Painter – 3M41 Sue Fenlon Art – 3W14 Popshots Studios – 3U14 & 7G35 Susan Entwistle – 3W63 Portfolio – 3Q08 Suttons Packaging/Seaman Paper Premier Stationery – 3K02 Co – 3J17 The Proper Mail Co – 3R02 Sweet Design – 3L31 NEW Proud Couture – 3M35 Tache Crafts – 3X39 Pulp Cards – 3Q02 Talking Tables – 3Q10-R11 Putinki Oy – 3T52 NEW Tattersfield Designs – 3J33 NEW Pyramid International – 5J66-5J71 Temporary Measure – 3U50 NEW Quire Publishing – 3P20-Q21 Tess Cards – 3K41 NEW Quotable cards – 3W10 Thorntons – 3M01 Rachel Ellen Designs – 3R07 Tillovision – 3M45 NEW Rattycatcat Cards & Prints – 3L43 Tomcat Cards – 3W31 NEW Totally Creative Group – 3L36 Real & Exciting Designs – 3M39 Tracks Publishing – 3P31 NEW Trodat – 3M50 NEW Really Wild Cards – 3T62 Tulip Studio – 3M20 Reason To Send – 3H30 NEW Twizler – 3V63 NEW Redback Cards – 3U41 Two Bad Mice – 3L58 Regal Publishing – 3R58 NEW Two Little Monkeys – 3V14 Regent Envelopes – 3L16 UK Greetings – 3L10-M11 The Ribbon Printing Co – 3H16 Under One Cloud – 3L35 NEW Richard Sellmer – 3H32 Uniquely Yours – 3L41 NEW Rico Design – 3K12 Unknown Ink – 3T21 Robert Frederick – 4A21 The Robert Fuller Gallery – 3T40 NEW The Unique Paper Co – 3P40 UWP Luxe – 3V35 Roger La Borde – 3T51 Veb Company – 3J32 Roman – 4J03 WaggyDogz – 3X13 Ros Laidler Photography – 3H34 Waverley Books – 3L34 Rosanna Rossi – 3W15 White Cotton Cards – 3W13 Rothbury Publishing – 3P52 Wildcards – 3K47 NEW RSW International – 3H10-J11 Winged Hat – 3R10 NEW Rush Designs – 3V60 S.E.Simons/May Arts Ribbon – 3K18 Woodmansterne – 3N10-P11 Words ‘n’ Wishes – 3L10-M11 Sabivo Design – 3W18 Wraptious – 3T10 Saffron Cards & Gifts – 3L10-M11 Wrendale Designs – 3S18 Sandscript Cards – 3U20 Xpressions 4U – 3L10-M11 Santoro – 3S02-4A11A Yellow Publications – 3J52 Sarah Kelleher – 3K32 NEW Yorkshire Envelopes – 3J43 Second Nature – 3P50 YTR Design – 3L56 NEW Sensations International – 3N50 @greetingstoday


THE HANDCRAFTED CARD COMPANY IN 2017 The Handcrafted Card Company launched their introductory range of giftware specifically to coordinate with their gorgeous Confetti-themed greetings card range. As they’re based in The Potteries, the world capital of ceramics, only the best fine bone china would do, decorated with real platinum and rose gold. The mugs, tea-cups and saucers celebrate all things wedding, special relatives and quirky themes – mainly alcohol! Stunning sparkling, beautifullyscented tinned candles and fabulous handmade soaps, all with hand-glittered labels complete the current range with more, including Christmas candles to come this year. Handcrafted’s customers have loved the fact their cards coordinate with the gifts and, with small minimum order quantities, they’ve been able to showcase the products without a huge outlay. Stand 3W3 – T: 01782 639733

PAPER SALAD THERE’S a nice surprise awaiting visitors to Paper Salad’s stand at Spring Fair – but you have to rearrange the letters in the words Nig Rab to find out what it is! And they’ll also be launching more than 80 new designs covering everyday and occasions. There will be 12 additions to Paper Salad’s ever-popular Gold Dust range, and 32 captions added to the Whisper range launched at Autumn Fair, these will include male and female adult ages too. Most exciting is a new children’s range that involves screen printing and three special extra colours, the 27 designs in the collection cover boy and girl ages from one to nine and some generic ones too, The cute character-based imagery covers all the popular favourites such as unicorns, superheroes and pirates, and they even have a pink dinosaur. The cards come with a very special envelope featuring rainbows and will be packed so it can be seen on display, adding that extra special Paper Salad twist. As a special offer, all orders placed at the show will get free delivery with no minimum order value. Stand 3U10 – T: 0161 427 0001

34 www. www.greetingstoday @greetingstoday


the little dog laughed

proud to be supporting the


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t.01332 290605

563&$QDPHDQGORJRDUHWUDGHPDUNVRI563&$XVHGE\7KH/LWWOH'RJ/DXJKHG/WGXQGHUOLFHQVHIURP563&$7UDGLQJ/WG563&$7UDGLQJ/WG ZKLFKSD\VDOOLWVWD[DEOHSURƂWV to the RSPCA, Registered in England and Wales Charity No. 219099) will receive a minimum of 10% of wholesale price from the sale of these product lines. © RSPCA 2017


THE ART FILE FOR Spring Fair 2018, The Art File will be showcasing their recent new launch of more than 400 brand-new designs across 14 everyday greetings card collections. Including the launch of the newly-acquired licence for the unique and popular I Like Birds brand. Alongside the new collections, there are a host of range extensions from the popular Sara Miller London collection, Natural History by Ben Rothery, new designs from the Henries Best Male-winning Geronimo range, and much more. The Art File are also launching new gift bag and wrap designs and, finally, their Christmas 2018 collection will on show, giving customers the opportunity to see the collections in their entirety. Stand 3S07 – T: 0115 850 7490

HOTCHPOTCH LONDON BRAND-new greetings card collections can be seen on the Hotchpotch stand, with Plastic Fantastic, Iron Man, Shake Your Pop Poms, Typo, and their Summer Daze wrap, bags and gift tags range. Add a touch of sass to your outfit with these super-cute necklaces on the 12 Plastic Fantastic cards where each design comes with a neon pink cord and rose goldcoloured, nickel-free lobster clasp. There are real iron-on, sew-on or glueon patches in the 12-strong Iron On range, and there are mini pom poms or tassels on the Shake Your Pom Poms designs that have eye-popping neon pink or lime ink, and all three are printed and hand-assembled here in the UK. Summer Daze is new for 2018 with oversized tropical leaves, cactus prints and flamingos splashed with Hotchpotch’s signature neon pink. The flat sheets of wrap are printed in England on the highestquality 115gsm uncoated paper. Typo has a classic and cool letterpress style with a hint of nostalgia in the debossing and gold foil, and the look continues with four sheets of wrap.

MORE than 60 designs have recently been added to Dandelion Stationery’s Henries award-winning Words Of Wisdom collection. Each card is hand-finished with subtle sparkle, supplied with a rustic brown kraft envelope. The family-run business gets everyone involved with inspiration, design, printing, hand-finishing, packaging and distribution. Everything is designed, printed and hand-finished in Derbyshire.

Stand 3K10-L11 – T: 01243 792600

Stand 3U51 – T: 01332 864990

36 www. www.greetingstoday



SECOND NATURE AS LEADING publishers of design-led greetings cards and other paper products, S Second Nature are a family-run business who have been based in the heart of b bustling London for more than 30 years. Recognised for their leading design and innovation, i they follow the latest trends and fashions with creative flair in order to t support independent retailers with fresh and diverse products at competitive prices. p They have full sales coverage thoughout the UK and Ireland, in addition to t a full online catalogue and reliable customer service. At Spring Fair this year they th will be launching their exciting new Christmas 2018 collection, including the luxury lux Sparkle boxed cards and signature Second Nature Pop Ups, using complex and a jaw-dropping paper engineering as well as new display solutions, bound to m make any shop window pop! Second Nature will also be launching new everyday ranges, ran including their stunning Irresistible collection which is truly handmade using a wide variety of materials and beautiful embellishments, in both open birthday a and captions. So why not tap into Second Nature’s extensive range of products and an expert advice, discuss bespoke projects or enquire about their manufacturing services – they’ll do it all for you. Or just pop by the stand to say hello. Stand 3P50 – T: 01983 209590

CATHERINE KLEELI CARDS IT’S ALL winged and wonderful at Catherine Kleeli Cards where they are continuing on the animal and wildlife theme by enhancing their popular Henries-nominated Stick And Stitch art card range with more four-legged beasts and a number of beautifully-crafted winged insects. Eight new designs have been added to Stick And Stitch derived from Catherine’s hand-crafted, stitched collages, Printed on 177x127mm heavyweight board and supplied individually-wrapped with a complementary brown ribbed envelope, the cards are left blank for your own very personal greeting. Stand 3L40 – T: 07814 293155

TOMCAT CARDS TOMCAT Cards are looking forward to their first trip of the year up to Birmingham for Spring Fair. Owners Lynne and Merv Thomas enjoy meeting with both existing and new customers and fellow publishers to catch up on their news and gossip. For their part, following a very successful 2017, they are further expanding their extremely popular and successful Vicky Mount and Kim Haskins ranges with more crazy cats. They look forward to seeing you at the NEC – oh, nearly forgot! If you haven’t already done so you can sign up for a trade account on their new website where all Tomcat’s ranges are on display. Stand 3W31 – T: 01242 837300

38 www. www.greetingstoday @greetingstoday


BLUE EYED SUN BLUE Eyed Sun have launched a gorgeous new range of hand-finished greetings cards called Daydream. Based on original handcrafted artworks by award-winning artist Jo Corner, these 60 new 160x160mm designs are all foiled and embossed then hand-finished with jewels and retail for £3.25, trade price £1.35 each. The range includes all bestselling everyday captions and occasions as well as Mother’s Day. Sold in sixes to trade buyers only, the cards are blank inside, barcoded and cello-wrapped with a coloured envelope. All are printed on board from sustainable sources. Blue Eyed Sun’s cards are available to order through their easy-to-use, trade-only website, their brochures and team of sales agents across the country who can come in to see you with samples and help you choose the right look for your shop. Stand 3X31 – T: 01273 823003

REAL & EXCITING DESIGNS ALWAYS at the forefront of contemporary and trend-led design, Real & Exciting Designs’ products for 2018 are no exception. Designer Sarah Curedale is innovative and forward-thinking, producing some of the most exciting greetings card ranges in the industry. The stunning Moonlight range is hugely popular, receiving an excellent reception at the launch at PG Live last year. The collection has now been expanded, with 25 new everyday designs including age, relation and love titles. Each card is finished with a matte silver or dark gunmetal foil, embossing and embellished with glittering hand-adhered crystals. A bespoke illustrated envelope completes the gorgeous look. Moonlight is also available for Christmas 2018 in a gorgeous collection featuring festive imagery in a unique and contemporary style, surrounded by shining foil stars and delicately embossed snowflakes. The range includes 13 captioned and eight general titles, featuring the same quality finishes as their everyday counterparts. Also new for 2018 is the lovely Christmas Is Coming range. Real & Exciting have listened to their customers, adapting their best-selling advent images into a collection of 12 general Christmas designs with a shimmering gold flitter finish. Stand 3M39 – T: 01223 207 080

40 www. www.greetingstoday @greetingstoday

4-8 FEBRUARY 2018 Hall 5, Stand D50/E51 Over 2500 brand new gifts 10,000+ lines to choose from Only £100 minimum order ‘Little & Often’ ordering system FREE next day delivery Award winning customer service

Harbourside Houses

Equilibrium Druzy Bracelets

Bug Art Owls

Equilibrium Guardian Angel

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Star and Heart Christening

Kerala Diamond Cats

Progressive Gifts Greats Awards 2017

15 times winners


Equilibrium ‘Roses’

Pebble Art

Joe Davies 149 Broadstone Road, Reddish Stockport SK5 7GA Tel: 0161 975 6300 Fax: 0161 975 6301 Email:

The h ‘Little l & Often’ f giftware f supplier *UHHWLQJV7RGD\-DQLVVXHIS6SULQJ)DLULQGG


LING DESIGN LING Design return to Spring Fair this year with a gorgeous selection of traditional, hand-painted greetings cards for Christmas 2018. The much-loved Ling range will feature a variety of cosy Christmas scenes, charming wildlife, bright colours and quality finishes which are bound to bring joy to festive shoppers. As well as a wide range of choice in single cards and packs, Spring Fair attendees can look forward to seeing the publishers’ stylish new charcoal grey boxes, which have been redesigned with an eye-catching gold foil leaf pattern for the first time this year. Ling Design will also launch three luxurious Christmas boxes for 2018 to raise funds for leading national charity Children With Cancer, following the success of two boxes launched in 2017, which raised several thousand pounds for the charity. And their first-ever range of 12 advent calendars will be on show, to help people count down the days to the 2018 festive season. These December must-haves feature a range of traditional, beautifully hand-painted designs including Bethlehem, The Nativity, Snowman and Reindeer, Santa’s Visit and more, to really capture the spirit of Christmas. The calendars are available in three different sizes across two price points, from £2.99 RRP, which are competitively priced, with a package incentive for retailers to buy all 12 for the price of 11. Stand 3Q18-R21 – T: 01892 838574

MINT PUBLISHING THEY take a great deal of pride at Mint Publishing in developing a range of innovative, fun and contemporary products for the UK and overseas markets. At Spring Fair this year, they will be exhibiting fresh and exciting collections of new products for 2018. New is the fabulous High Street, a gorgeous range of greetings cards based on interesting shop windows, pub and cafes, illustrated by industry-favourite Lucy Grossmith. The collection features both general birthday and captioned designs, including friend, new babies and get well. The detailed illustrations are embellished with matte silver or gold foil and embossing for a special finishing touch. Also new is the colourful Pun-tastic, a contemporary illustrated range with pun-based captions. These quirky illustrated cards are fun, eye-catching and feature line-drawings with limited colour on a bright background and hand-drawn text. The unique and fashionable Patch cards come with a removable sew-on embroidered patch aimed at a young and trendy recipient, following trends for embroidery and customisation. Also following trends are the fantastic Tropical Tweets, a tropical-themed Sweet Tweets spin-off with fun new characters, bright colours and gorgeous pale gold flitter finish. The classic Knit & Purl collection has been given a fresh new look, featuring their brilliant knitted characters with a colourful new photographic style. There are 30 new designs in the everyday selection, in both general birthday, occasions and relations. There are also new designs in Glitterati, Knit Wits and the 3D Collection. Stand 3N17 – T: 0116 230 4197

42 www. www.greetingstoday @greetingstoday


The Calendar Company





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04/01/2018 15:32


GLICK At Glick they believe their Christmas 2018 collection is their best yet with new ranges designed by award-winning illustrator Stephanie Dyment, along with fun and vibrant designs from Paper Salad with plenty of red flitter and pom poms. Wendy Jones-Blackett doesn’t disappoint with her fun penguins, Santas and festive tree designs and they have some beautifully-illustrated traditional gift bags, wraps and tissues from Nigel Quiney’s Pizazz collection. New to Glick’s everyday range for 2018 are colourful, bold and beautiful designs from Think Of Me, comprising seven gift bags, four flat wraps and two tissue paper designs. They will also be introducing some brand-new products to their range so do go along to their Spring Fair stand to see samples while enjoying a glass of fizz. Stand 3R08 – T: 01274 655980

MUSEUMS & GALLERIES Museums & Galeries have a box full of spectacular delights for 2018 having reached far and deep to bring customers a selection which should please all fans of the fine art-based publishers’ card and gift stationery products. There are two major card range launches for 2018. First up, M&G are hugely proud to announce a ground-breaking partnership with Transport For London, with a range of 20 branded cards launching in January and gift stationery products to follow later in the year. The card collection draws on the Transport Museum’s iconic and extensive collection of transport posters, exploring the sights, locations, and festivals of the great metropolis of London and the world’s oldest metropolitan transport system. TfL’s design heritage extends to their world-famous Tube map, roundel logo, typeface, station names, Tube line colours, and seat moquettes – not to mention the iconic Routemaster buses. This year the Natural History Museum released an innovative and eye-catching digital collection re-imagining their wondrous exhibits for the contemporary marketplace. Strikingly graphic and very now, M&G have translated this stunning look on to capsule collections of Everyday and Christmas cards, plus boxed notelets, journals, notebooks, gift wrap, magnetic memo pads, and bookmarks, all available now. M&G’s long relationship with the British Museum has blossomed for 2018 into a full-blown branded stationery collection. The world-renowned museum’s branding is distinctive, bold, and classic, making for a stylish collection focusing on bringing out hidden commercial gems from the museum’s capacious archives. Products include boxed everyday notelets, journals, bookmarks, giftwrap and a magnetic memo pad. This year is the 60th anniversary of Paddington Bear, and M&G celebrate by

44 www. www.greetingstoday

launching a collection of cards and stationery products featuring original illustrator Peggy Fortnum’s classic artwork for author Michael Bond’s iconic character. The cards feature in M&G’s Illustrators range, accompanied by giftwrap, a notebook, magnetic memo pad, boxed notelets and bookmarks. There is also a Christmas theme box of Paddington Bear’s winter frolics. Also in their Illustrators range, M&G have released the hugely-loved Quentin Blake illustrations from the Roald Dahl children’s books, and Dick Bruna’s iconic Miffy. M&G are introducing a new-format journal this spring, especially designed to coordinate with their new gift stationery spinner. With soft and textured covers, featuring foil and other special finishes, the journals will showcase designs from M&G partners Matthew Williamson, V&A, British Museum, and the Natural History Museum. And the hugely successful 2017 launch of gift ballpoint pens for the V&A has been extended for 2018 with a Matthew Williamson version featuring gold-effect metallic trim gilding his inimitable and spectacular printed patterns. M&G have extensively added to and refreshed all their existing card ranges, including the V&A collection, launched only eight months ago while other highlights include delights from the British Library and distinctive British designer Cressida Bell, whose first Christmas collection for M&G was widely praised and made a big impact in sales. Other notable refreshes include Art Of Print and the bestselling Mezzanine, which have been rejuvenated with fresh and contemporary looks from new artists as well as existing stars. Stand 3P17 – T: 0116 230 4197 @greetingstoday

JAN 18 Advert Doc.qxp_Layout 1 05/01/2018 14:41 Page 1

from the


in Traditional Words and Sentiment

Words Of Love

Come and see us at the NEC Spring Fair 4th - 8th February 2018, Cardgains Village Stand, Hall 3 Stand L10/M11

Colour Me Happy

For further details, please contact your Representative or our friendly Customer Service Team.

Tel: 0151 541 0448




THE LITTLE DOG LAUGHED HEADING into 2018 and their 20th year, The Little Dog Laughed hope they know a thing or two about greetings cards and gifts. The Derby-based company were founded in 1998 by Anna Danielle and her brothers Gavin and Nathan Smith and, having worked with both local and national charities, they wanted a benchmark collaboration for their big anniversary. Their newest It’s A Good Sign range will kick off an exciting and well-placed partnership supporting the RSPCA for the next three years. For every product sold the RSPCA will receive 10 per cent of the wholesale price so the greetings cards, glasses cases, mint tins, china mugs and keyrings all contribute to the charity’s animal welfare work, no matter where the consumer buys them. Gavin said: “The Little Dog are always keen to continue their charitable work. Following on from a conversation with Ellen Camillin of the RSPCA at Autumn Fair, both sides felt like it was a great fit and, indeed, a good sign. We’re excited as a company to be supporting the RSPCA and all of the outstanding work they do.” RSPCA licensing manager Ellen Camillin added: “We’re really pleased that The Little Dog Laughed are supporting the RSPCA with their beautifully-illustrated products in the It’s A Good Sign range. The money raised will help the RSPCA continue our vital work rescuing and caring for animals who have suffered from cruelty and neglect.” Stand 3S10 – T: 01332 290605

LAURA DARRINGTON DESIGN THE ever-popular Halcyon collection from Laura Darrington Design is being extended by 24 new everyday cards in time for Spring Fair. The range features a subtle palette complemented with a softer, more designled approach and the 24 new floral-infused designs include captions such as Graduation, Good Luck, and Thank You Teacher plus wedding and anniversaries. Each card is packaged complete with a complementary bespoke envelope at £2.99 RRP – pop by the stand for a closer look. Stand 3U30 – T: 0116 284 9660

46 www. www.greetingstoday @greetingstoday


ROSANNA ROSSI A NEW year brings lots of exciting new additions to Rosanna Rossi’s popular ranges and they are excited to launch further special titles to the Enamel Rose collection with its enhanced gold foil, exquisite emboss detail and hand-embellished sparkling gems. Alongside this are further titles within the Debonair male collection including anniversary, sympathy and Father’s Day titles. At Spring Fair Rosanna Rossi will also be showing their brand-new Champagne Sparkles Christmas collection of 40 cards covering an array of relations and general titles for 2018. Stand 3W15 – T: 01386 839531


UNKNOWN INK UNKNOWN Ink will be launching two brand-new everyday humour card ranges, including Good Times, as well as loads of new range extensions – so get along to the stand to see them in all their glory.

WITH a new variety of notebooks being introduced at Spring Fair, there’s plenty for visitors to see on the Enveco stand – and three will come away quids in as they’re running their annual competition. Entry is by completing a golden envelope and posting it in the box on the stand and this year, once the winner has been drawn, they can choose between having £300 off their envelope order, or their notebook order, while two runners-up will receive £100 off their order. Enveco are are also bringing back the £7.50 cello bag offer, which is always a favourite with customers. Stand 3T64 – T: 01908 378866

Stand 3T21 – T: 01702 815016

48 www. www.greetingstoday @greetingstoday


Printed on textured board and complemented by intricate foil details These cards are presented to 137mm square format and include blank and birthday captioned designs.

To see the entire range please contact your local sales UHSUHVHQWDWLYHRUFDOORXUVDOHVRIÀFHRQ 01638 569050.

01638 569050



REDBACK CARDS GORGEOUSLY foiled greetings cards that come with enamel keepsake pins, that’s the newly-launched Pinata range that Redback Cards have kicked off this year with. Visit their stand at Spring Fair to see this fun range in all it’s glory of rainbow cakes, dancing sloths and pins that make you feel well old! They also have some great new additions to the ever-popular Cloud Nine, Good Things and The Little World Of Liz collections. Cloud Nine is delighting everyone with new funnies such as “Somebody cares, not me but somebody”, while The Little World Of Liz never fails to warm hearts with the witty and unique illustrations such as slipperwearing bears and playful sharks. Stand 3U41 – T: 01803 712793

NATURAL PARTNERS ART QUALITY fine art blank greetings cards, prints and new lines of giftware, reproducing original works by 48 talented artists and photographers is the offer from Natural Partners Art, and their ranges now include occasions and humour with more than 100 fresh designs on show at Spring Fair. Illustrator Helen Russell is their latest signing, with her comic characters to be featured on cards and prints. Inspired by her popular homewares collections, the pair have joined forces to launch a range of cards featuring Helen’s wonderful world of characters from her Blob Birds, Little Bean Critters and Puffin Cove ranges. The cute creatures have found their way on to her ceramic tableware, kitchen textiles, illustrations and sculptures and now they’re set to spread their cheer to an even wider audience with an initial 30-strong range. Blob Birds are small, bulbous playful little creatures that enjoy making people laugh, while Little Bean Farm can be found high up on the Pennine hills and the animals that live there can be a bit pesky – it could be something to do with the strong winds that regularly blow through there! Meanwhile the Puffin Cove penguins and Professor Gumme are based at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station where, suitably clad in their designer knitwear and winter accessories, they are on the serious mission to save the world from the dangers of Peoplenotsmilingitus. Stand 3V31 – T: 07714 768956

50 www. www.greetingstoday @greetingstoday

Visit us at the Spring Fair 2018 to see this new collection! Stand 3N17, 3N177, Hall 3 (t) 0116 230 4197 (f ) 01536 401 031 (w) Leonardo House Fawkes Avenue Questor Dartford Kent DA1 1JQ

SPRINGFAIRPREVIEW EMMA BALL LTD THERE are new clocks available from Emma Ball as they’ve started ed working with a new supplier, so no more wondering just what the time is. With six new ew designs and bespoke options available including works by Emma herself – pictured is her Animal Magic favourite – Abigail Mill and Caroline Cleave. They’re e manufactured here in the UK from laminated melamine and measure 18x 8cm m at £20 RRP. Emma has added to her very popular Animal Magic range with 19 9 new designs – not including six each for Valentine’s and Mother’s Day – with an n age 100 and a larger format You’re Leaving card. Measuring 6x6in and presented with a matching coloured envelope, they are cello-bagged at a £2.55 RRP. She loved ved her fishes for the 2018 calendar so much that she’s turned them into a gift range e that’s a surefire winner for fishermen and foodies alike. Launching at Spring Fair the collection of fish is available on tea towels, oven mitts, gloves, melamine trays, ys, coasters, and placemats. Also launching at Spring Fair are three lovely mugs designed esigned by Shelly Perkins for Emma Ball Ltd at £12.50 RRP. Produced in the UK and using Shelly’s most popular designs there’s not really much more to say except they’re really rather lovely. And adding to the ever-popular Abigail Mill range, Emma Ball Ltd are launching a new Tweedie By Numbers, which features two colour-themed sets of the most popular ages – 30 to 100 and two age ones. There are also six new 6x6in art cards with one, The Barge, featuring on other products such as a tea towel, melamine and coaster sets. Printed on a lovely watercolour style board and presented with a vanilla envelope, the 6x6in designs have an RRP of £2.25. Stand 3S03 – T: 0115 985 8081

ARTEBENE ANYTHING but ordinary – the new Artebene Spring Collection 2018 offers exotic elegance and a courageous blaze of colour, a hint of Hollywood nostalgia, and accentuated gold embellishments. The lavish paper range Finest is brought to a new level of impressive elegance as designs trigger memories of the chic Hollywood of the 1940s with fine dots, exotic cheetah prints and shimmering peacock feathers. Soft shades with shimmering gold details dominate the stylish design world of Tres Chic where the combination of atmospheric motifs such as balloons and little foil-embellished hearts supports a transition from discreet and subtle colours to bright shades for the spring season. A cheery world of insects makes Powerful Spring the most colourful theme within the collection. Resembling a butterfly garden, enchanting dragonflies, butterflies and brightly-coloured bumble bees come to life after a long winter. The popular New Stationery assortment has been extended with more journals in several innovative designs. Graphic elements and beautiful cheetahs in gold adorn the new soft covers, and the Black Edition is aimed at male consumers.

52 www. www.greetingstoday

New hand-embellished bags, printed with animal motifs or sewn with shiny sequins, have been added to the enchanting We Love range, and the versatile cosmetic bags, entirely sewn with beads, and are also suitable as a clutch bag. Artebene have also developed new ranges for Valentine’s Day, weddings, new baby and back to school. The theme world Love was created for all matters of the heart with gift bags, boxes, paper and gift envelopes, designed in a modern interpretation of classic heart motifs in saturated shades of red and pink. The new Wedding Collection boasts young and modern designs with fine effects in mother-of-pearl, silver and gold and a Just Married garland is a pretty accessory. For Back To School, dinosaurs and unicorns can be found on gift bags and gift envelopes, and also on strong impulse purchase items such as bookmarks, pencil cases and pencils. Ideas on creative product presentations and the entire Artebene collection can be found in their virtual showroom on the website. Stand 3Q20-R25 – T: 020 8588 9510 @greetingstoday

We can’t wait to show off our brand new collections for 2018 at Spring Fair! Not only do we have our best ever Christmas collection but we also want to wow you with some completely new products.

on Visit us 3R08 STAND for o Prosecc ! es k a & cupc

New from Think of Me are these colourful, bold designs comprising 7 gift bags, 4 flat wraps & 2 matching tissue papers.

Visit us at

4th–8th Feb 2018 Stand 3R08 01274 655980 Unit 1 Allenby House, European Ind. Park, Knowles Lane, Bradford BD4 9AB



JOE DAVIES THE team at Joe Davies will have numerous new ranges to showcase at Spring Fair, a highlight of which will be the Equilibrium collection featuring stunning fashion and sentiment jewellery. With Mother’s Day fast approaching there will be many new sentiment pieces designed with heartfelt messages especially for mum and nan, helping to make their day special. Joe Davies pride themselves on being quick to adapt their collections to meet current trends in the marketplace and their fabulous Softee Unicorns do just that. Cute plush unicorns and handbag charms pick up on the current craze for all things mystical. Wish Boxes are another fashionable trend to hit the gift industry, these stylish gold-foiled boxes collect kind wishes in the form of inspiration and advice written on to hearts and placed into the box by friends and loved ones as a truly wonderful keepsake. Joe Davies have something for everyone and, if you’re looking for quirky, then look no further than their contemporary Glamour Puss collection of plaques, photo frames, coat hooks and much more, each piece has a funky cat illustration and caption perfect for those feline lovers. Occasion gifts are dependable sellers for the gift retailer and the forthcoming wedding season is an important feature of their calendar. The stylish Bands Of Gold collection from Joe Davies features beautifully foiled and embossed wedding albums and photo frames as a fabulous addition to any wedding display. Customer service is always at the heart of everything Joe Davies do, whether it’s their trademark little and often ordering system, their amazing minimum order value of just £100 or their welcoming staff who eagerly look forward to unveiling their many new collections to you on their spacious Spring Fair stand. Stand 5D50/E51 – T: 0161 975 6300

WRAPTIOUS WRAPTIOUS are excited to be attending Spring Fair again this year with six of their best-selling artists. Among them is Olivia Hicks and her beautifully-painted animal portraits. Olivia joined Wraptious after winning on of their artist competitions, and her traditional yet stylish work has been an instant hit with customers. Incredibly, Olivia is also a full time vet, and uses painting as a way to unwind at the end of the day. This will be the first time Wraptious are showcasing Olivia’s 12 greetings card designs as well as her other awesome gifts at Spring Fair, including her stunning Highland Cow and Swaledale Ram. They’ve also been busy expanding some of their main ranges, including the award-winning Splatter series by Katherine Williams. Stand 3T10 – T: 0161 430 2310

54 www. www.greetingstoday om o m/g /grre eet eet etin ing gssto tod da ayym ma ag g @g @greetingstoday @ reetingstoday

GT Ling Feb 18 Advert.qxp 08/01/2018 12:17 Page 1

made with great


Discover a world of inspired designs...

Find us on the Ling Design stand at Spring Fair 2018, hall 3-3A, stand 3Q18-R21


JONNY JAVELIN CARD CO THEY have extensions to two existing ranges coming out in January at Jonny Javelin, plus the release of a brand-new range. The Fudge And Friends ange is being increased by a further 54 titles with four at code 135, four code 125, 13 code 75 and the bulk of the 33 code 60 designs being occasions to boost this under-represented area. There’s all-new artwork and they’ve gone for a new shapes to these everyday cards to match their Christmas Fudge style. Towards the end of January, Jonny Javelin will have a further 67 Velvet titles – 3 code 150, 45 code 75, and 19 code 60 – including a whole new batch of relations and anniversaries. These are the popular main relations so should give customers a great new collection to choose from within this ever-increasing range. Graffix is Jonny Javeline’s new male range with nine code 70 titles (£1.89) and 12 code 55 (£1.59) finished in satin foil and virko, without inserts. MD Jonny Spears said: “It’s a graphic, graffiti-sh, grungy style using the main male images, so it’s a bit of a new look for us, but we’re confident it’ll be well-received because of the mock-ups and samples we’ve shown to agents and customers in 2017.” Christmas will be another major part of their business in 2018, and will take their most popular Velvet Joy festive range to 147 titles, Under The Mistletoe has 55, the slim tradition Magical Moments is now 34 titles, while Figgy Fudge Pudding has 61 gorgeously cute designs. Jonny added: “We’ve developed four ranges based on the popular collections we’ve enjoyed success with over the last 12 months. Our customers and agents report back that our Christmas portfolio is a perfect blend of traditional and cute and we should stick to this mix as much as possible!” Stand 3R38 – T: 01423 563740

PYRAMID INTERNATIONAL WITH 2018 shaping up to be another excellent year for the entertainment industry, Pyramid are proud to be supporting the fantastic new movie releases – such as Avengers: Infinity War, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and Solo – with a great line of products, some of which will be on display for the first time in the UK at Spring Fair. Alongside these big film events, Pyramid have also invested in their evergreen licences includes innovative products for the likes of Marvel, DC Comics, Game Of Thrones, Rick And Morty and, of course, Harry Potter, providing retailers with opportunities across the year. Pyramid will also be presenting a multitude of new products in the UK for the first time. This exciting medley includes shaped mugs, newly-designed heat change mugs, unique A5 flexi-cover notebooks and a fabulous range of gift sets, all of which are sure to help retailers tap into evolving customer demands. These new products will be shown alongside Pyramid’s display concepts further amplifying sales opportunities while considering space issues in store. Pyramid international’s range of products and licences mean they can offer a solution to almost any retailer, allowing them to capitalise on the fabulous plethora of opportunity. Stand 5J66-5J71 – T: 0116 284 3640

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Spring Fair - 3U60 / 61

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Advert_Greetings Today_Quarter Page_2018.indd 1

02/01/2018 10:28


BELLY BUTTON DESIGNS WITH the bestselling and award-winning Paloma collection still going strong, Belly Button are branching out by creating Paloma Ladies – and Spring Fair visitors can also view the newlylaunched eponymous sub-brand from company founder and creative director Rachel Hare. The Paloma collection has always been a collection they’ve been immensely proud to show at Belly Button. From the original designs to the present, they’ve followed current trends and styles to keep a contemporary collection flowing. Paloma has always centred on a luxurious style with beautiful foil emboss and deluxe crystal hand finishing, and this award-winning collection builds on firm faves for a brand-new, inspired 2018 look. Paloma has developed throughout the years to grow in context as well as in colour, expertly changing the palette to fit inline with current fashion trends and inspired styles. Rachel said: “This size of greetings card and price point is at the very heary of Belly Button, and something we’ve been doing for neary 25 years.” The Paloma Blue collection was created as a result of customer demand fed back from our agents. The clear male icons of big adventures characterised by bold accents of blue deliver a vibrant new look of colour and freshness specifically for men in mind – 2018 reaches for the stars in the designs to be launched at Spring Fair. The Paloma brand gives customers the confidence in sell through and quality, and for 2018 Belly Button have taken elegance, style and luxury one step further with the creation of Paloma Ladies. Looking to fashion for direct inspiration they celebrate women and their sense of style with these truly distinctive and gorgeous birthday sends specific to female relations. The Rachel Hare sub-brand was only launched this year and has been so well received already that Spring Fair see 12 more designs in the CoCo range for female relations. Conceived in response to the requirements of Belly Button’s agents and independent boutiques, the upmarket sub-brand allows for greater creative freedoms to explore and push design trends. This is a show stopper of a greetings card collection, full of elaborate colour to present a mystical menagerie of loved and rare cultural nostalgia, beautifully illustrated in a vibrant palette to evoke pure delight. It reflects the consumers desire for escapism into the whimsical and fantasy, a trend reactionary to a current political reality. Expect to see unicorns, mermaids, angel wings, flamingos and many iconic favourites. Stand 3S08 – T: 0161 902 0200

BERNI PARKER DESIGNS BERNI is adding a new Country Collection of cards to both her Ladies’ and Men’s Loving Life ranges with 12 fresh female and six male designs. Many country pleasures being shared by friends are shown in Berni’s unique style with her added subtle humour to make everyone smile. Also to be released at Spring Fair is a new range of wedding cards called Happy Ever After, with 14 designs to include engagement, wedding and anniversary printed on a beautifully-textured board with selective foiling and silver text all individually cello wrapped with an oyster white pearlescent envelope. Stand 3U15 – T: 01299 406098

58 www. www.greetingstoday @greetingstoday


PIONEER EUROPE THERE are two stands for Pioneer Europe at Spring Fair, one predominantly predominanttly l featuring their Qualatex balloon ranges and the other foc focusing on the Pioneer eer Party Collection. The show will be o one of the first opportunities for customers to see the brand brand-new patent pending Chrome Balloons range on display, manufactured using breakthrough technology. Pioneer are also exhibiting their new balloons collection for Q1, including a Microfoil vintage airplane range, perfect for younger boys. On the partyware side – available for sale in England, Scotland and Wales – Pioneer are thrilled to announce the addition of Paw Patrol licensed products to their partyware category, with plates, cups, napkins, table covers and loot-bags available to order from February. The new designs further bolster their popular licensed range that includes a wide Disney offering and the Minions and Trolls properties that were so successful in 2017. In addition, Pioneer have a whole new Disney Premium Party line featuring seven new ranges in striking new designs. As well as fresh new takes on the ever popular Mickey, Minnie and Disney Princess brands, the company are also offering clean, bright new Avengers and Star Wars designs that offer party props within the line-up for the first time. Also new to Pioneer are the premium Bambi and Little Mermaid designs – perfectly in-sync with the latest fashion trends for younger girls and adding cupcake stands to the Pioneer range, too. The mermaid theme is echoed on the Qualatex stand where the team will show more than 90 new balloon lines, including a new mermaid-shape Microfoil balloon. Stand 5H110-H111 & 5G110-H111 – T: 0800 281215 or 01279 501090

LAURA SHERRATT DESIGNS NEW for 2018 and debuting at Spring Fair, Cute Cuttings is a brand new and innovative collection of occasion cards from Laura Sherratt Designs. These handmade 120x170mm designs and cover 16 occasions. The cards are all handmade in the UK, and the embossed newspaper-print collage is then lovingly embellished with cut fabric pieces, shell buttons and gems by their team of Staffordshire finishers. They are the most hand-finished cards Laura and the team have done, even hand cutting the fabric to make a very special design. All Cute Cuttings cards come complete with a bespoke, coordinating newspaper print envelope and are amazing value at £1.25 trade. With her small card range Favourite Things shortlisted in the Gift Of The Year Greetings & Stationery category, Laura has extended the 120x120mm collection to 55 designs featuring a luggage label and cord string bow, and there’s a special spinner deal available plus the facility to create designs in various languages for export. Stand 3J44 – T: 01538 384566

60 www. www.greetingstoday @greetingstoday



CAROUSEL CALENDARS CAROUSEL Calendars’ range of regional calendars is set to become the largest available in the UK market in 2019, with the addition of all new products and the acquisition of an exciting licence. Already offering a collection that covers the major English counties, notable UK cities and key regions around the country, Carousel have added more than 30 new titles including the Yorkshire Moors, Shakespeare’s Country, the Wirral and Shropshire Hills to produce the most comprehensive choice for customers. Also new for 2019 are some Wales-focused products that feature dual-language captions and dates for Welsh speakers. As a further addition, Carousel recently signed a three-year deal with the National Railway Museum to use their archive of beautifully nostalgic poster artwork to create new titles celebrating the heyday of rail travel. These will also cover major UK regions such as the South West, Yorkshire, Wales, North West England and more. Regional calendars are a popular purchase, appealing to customers by showcasing familiar sights and favourite locations from where they live. As all regional products come with an envelope included, they are also an ideal gift, bought by those looking to post a little slice of home to friends and family elsewhere. With a new look for 2019, more modern, clean and functional but still providing the well-loved beautiful photography and helpful location captions, Carousel’s regional calendars are sure to appeal to new and old customers alike. Stand 3Q30-R31 – T: 01392 826482 @greetingstoday

Our NEW catalogue is available now. See the full collection at Spring Fair:

STAND N16–P17, Hall 3 Tel: 01373 462165

www.greetingstoday www. 61

SPRINGFAIRPREVIEW BROWNTROUT PUBLISHING MOVING to a prime location directly opposite the busy Cardgains Village is a great way for BrownTrout to show their raft of new calendar licences signed for the coming season. These include the artist Ben Rothery, whose work is already seen on cards and stationery with The Art File and on tableware with John Lewis. BrownTrout will be producing a square wall and a slim calendar in the first year. Everyone knows and loves the brilliant street art created by Banksy throughout the world, having signed the licence from Full Colour Black, BrownTrout will be producing five different calendar formats for this property, including a collectable poster calendar in a printed envelope. The original Fred Bassett cartoon was created by Scottish cartoonist Alex Graham and published first in the Daily Mail on July 8, 1963, where it has appeared ever since. This title was a mainstay of the J Salmon range of calendars for many years and BrownTrout are keen to maintain this iconic product. There will also be line extensions of existing top calendar licences. Game Of Thrones will expand to five formats this coming season, including the new poster calendar format featuring the stunning Beautiful Death art that’s so sought after, plus there will be an A5 Diary/ Desk Planner for the first time. The success of the I Like Birds licence is well documented and, after a great first year with the calendars, BrownTrout will be introducing a stunning A5 Diary/Desk Planner. Fans of the popular Disney Dreams calendars by Thomas Kinkade will be delighted with the new additions for 2019, which include a Monthly Pocket Planner, a Diary and a Mickey and Minnie Mouse Collectible Print included with a calendar that celebrates their 90th anniversary. BrownTrout have worked with Graphique de France in the USA to completely revamp the Graphique Stationery line which they distribute exclusively across the UK and mainland Europe and are totally relaunching it this year with 15 different products and more than 100 new titles including journals, list pads, tumblers and the new De-Luxe range of special items, plus Christmas gift tags and gift bags for the first time in the UK. Another exciting new development at BrownTrout is the launch of the full FranklinCovey range of time planners and organisers, using the Better Balance Planning System, to the retail market. Long a staple for business people in the USA this new association with BrownTrout has allowed it to be available to retail customers across the world. In the two most popular sizes, these annual planners, with fashionable and executive-style contemporary designs, include daily, weekly, or monthly planning pages with monthly tabs. Stand 3M22 – T: 0117 317 1880

DECKLED EDGE ARTIST Janna Cossettini of Deckled Edge will be launching Natural Wonderland at Spring Fair, exquisite new fun greetings cards which feature the natural essence of an English Christmas. The designs feature doves, squirrels, field mice, holly, robins, and festive woodland bushes and berries as well as horses in fields and donkeys – everything people love about Christmas. The 150x150mm cards come with natural eco-kraft fleck envelopes, and all are individually cellowrapped. Natural Wonderland consists of 28 entirely British-made designs, which include relations, and are printed on lovely, thick, tactile Callisto board. All illustrations are drawn by hand by Janna who will be launching Christmas singles at the show, plus lovely festive boxed sets and boxed note-sets. The boxes are packaged in Janna’s own box design, which are printed to match the cards within. Stand 3V71 – T: 0800 771 0771

62 www. www.greetingstoday @greetingstoday



GRASS ROOTS INTERNATIONAL EVERYBODY at Grass Roots is really excited about Spring Fair as it’s such an important date in their calendar, giving them a great opportunity to meet up with customers and also to meet lovely new people. They have lots of fabulous and exciting new product to showcase, and are really looking forward to hearing customers’ feedback. Grass Roots have new ranges incorporating traditional verse and sentiment but also a brand-new collection with a more contemporary twist on sentiment, so they are offering a variety of styles on sentiment with something to suit everyone – they’re looking forward to seeing everyone at the show. Stand 3L16-M17 & 3L10-M11 – T: 0151 541 0448

HOLY MACKEREL CORNWALL-based textile artist Sarah J Perry has been stitching away in her Aladdin’s cave of a workshop, to bring you a gorgeous new birthdays and occasions range from Holy Mackerel. Featuring vintage linens and fabrics, and showcasing Sarah’s inspirational embroidery skills, these cards are a great new addition to her collections of cards, minicards and gift products. See them alongside some of Sarah’s amazing original artwork at Spring Fair. Holy Mackerel will also be featuring their brand-new bespoking service for their bestselling One Lump Or Two range, and Erica Sturla’s brilliant clay characters can now also be found on Polish cards. The bespoking gives retailers that local touch in their card display and with low minimum orders it’s a great low-risk way to dip your toe in the water of bespoke products. Just choose an existing design from the range, and Holy Mackerel will take off the text and replace it with your choice of words – what’s more, there’s no charge for the service, you just need to order 30 cards (five packs) per design. Stand 3U11 – T: 01395 578571

64 www. www.greetingstoday @greetingstoday


ABACUS CARDS FRESH and extended ranges can be seen on the Abacus stand, with Blooming Botanicals contemporary florals and the luxurious text-based Lux being newly-released, while their popular BBC Countryfile, BBC Springwatch, and Frank By Name have additional designs – and let’s not forget Christmas 2018! Blooming Botanicals has colourful illustrated 5x7in birthday designs that are as pretty and feminine as the name suggests, greeted inside with front captions and elaborate hot foil details. Lux is specially designed with females in mind, as a contemporary 5x7in range of birthday and blank designs featuring striking inky watercolour backgrounds combined with intricate metallic foil and emboss finish and accompanied by lavish metallic gold envelopes. The Abacus 2018 Christmas collection includes a selection of charity cello pack designs, available in three different sizes and price points with each pack containing eight cards of one design plus envelopes. For each pack purchased a contribution from the retail price will be donated between the nominated charities Marie Curie and British Heart Foundation. They also have a large selection of single captioned cards, including male, female and general relation titles as well as special captions. Cards can be ordered by design or via one of the many Christmas packages available in different sizes to suit all types of retail outlets. Stand 3L10-M11 – T: 01638 569050

RUSH DESIGN EVERYTHING keeps on sparkling at Rush Design – with another fabulous year all done and dusted they have lots of exciting plans for 2018. For starters, they’ve added more than 80 new designs to the Everything Sparkles range. Hand-finished with glitter and diamantes for a fresh sparkly look and matched with a kraft envelope, trade price for Everything Sparkles is £1.25. The range includes juvenile ages one to five available in grandson/ granddaughter, son/daughter, and open ages plus niece and nephew in age one. There are also new female relations, open female, wedding, anniversary, baby and occasions. New female and male ages are next in the pipeline and they are also working on a larger 175x175mm card range for very special occasions. The 2018 Christmas collection is ready too with new catalogues about to go out to all Rush’s lovely customers. If you would like one, just get in touch – and check out the new website, launched in September, which is getting lots of great feedback as it’s so easy to use. Stand 3V60 – T: 01788 521745

66 www. www.greetingstoday @greetingstoday

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BELLY BUTTON BUBBLE SINCE launching a year ago at Spring Fair, Belly Button Bubble have become adept at delivering high-quality design-led giftware, and delighted retailer posts on their social media are really encouraging, showing their belief in the company’s vision. Belly Button founder Rachel Hare’s inspiration behind setting up the sister company was to fill a gap for inspired, trend-driven collections where they could tap into their own knowledge of producing and licensing their own product. One of the strengths of the venture has been to partner with a UK-based third party who have all the production facilities in China. Belly Button Bubble draw on Belly Button Designs’ 25 years of experience to create irresistible collections, taking colour and trends from their award-winning card collections, which inspire the whole range to make it totally unique. Bubble will be exhibiting new additions and ranges to an impressive popular portfolio at Spring Fair. The collections offer extensive variety, which will appeal to a wide customer base. The large polka dot and multi coloured stripe are the bold graphic additions to a curated collection, while confetti balloons, sausage dogs and flamingos are proving highlyfavoured iconic designs among their offering of gift bags, bottle bags, roll wrap, tissues, china mugs and albums. Expect to see nine new designs for the 2018 100-page notebook collection bringing this up to a total of 16. Strong graphics, sophisticated colour palettes and their distinctive illustrative style find new form, combined with the format, are proving hugely popular with agents and buyers already – John Lewis have picked up six designs. Stand 3S08 – T: 0161 902 0200

DAVORA MOST card shops know the value of stocking and selling greetings cards tailored to their local demographics. Age, race, language, religion are all factors to be taken into account when making sure the return on retail space is maximised. But how do you sell cards for ethnic occasions, such as Eid, Diwali or Hanukkah with confidence? Davora, the specialists in ethnic cards have published a set of Cheat Sheets with all the information required, condensed down to an A4 page! To get your set of Cheat Sheets visit their stand. Stand 3W40 – T: 0161 641 0653

68 www. www.greetingstoday @greetingstoday

T. 0115 850 7490 F. 0115 941 3411 E. sales@thear


Come and see this and all our of new collections including the launch of our Christmas 2018 collection at





PIGMENT A BRAND-new year means brand new products for Pigment, and 2018 is going to be bigger than ever for this great little card company! There’s lots of newness to get excited about on their this year. As well as the fresh open and integrated lines Pigment have waiting for you to see, there’s tonnes of new stuff in their classic humour ranges and the bestselling, multi-caption phenomenon that is Happy Jackson has had a design overhaul with a bright, new fluoro colourway! With all this and more on they can’t wait to see you at the NEC! Stand 3R26 – T: 01423 520098

FLAME TREE PUBLISHING FLAME Tree are delighted to be showcasing their new range of beautiful Artisan Notebooks at Spring Fair. These gorgeous new journals come in a range of hues – pink, red, turquoise, black, orange and purple plus Spring Green from February – to suit the mood and the moment. They’re handcrafted with decorated edges overflowing with petals and teasing vines, a unique blend of the practical and beautiful, with two ribbons and lined pages. They are also introducing four new sturdy, square-box, high quality 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzles, including Gustav Klimt’s iconic The Kiss and Three Ages Of Woman, Alphonse Mucha’s Reverie and John Tenniel’s Alice In Wonderland to add to their expanding range of puzzles, which already includes Moomin and the Bodleian Libraries High Jinks Bookshelves. Flame Tree’s established range of foiled notebooks, pocket books and sketch books will be further expanded, with new titles including beautiful fine art designs such as Charles Coleman’s Apple Blossoms, Vermeer’s Young Woman with a Water Pitcher and Aimee Stewart’s Museum Bookshelves, and their gothic and fantasy art journals will include Anne Stokes’ Once Upon A Time, Joseph Sankar’s Dragon’s Eye, and Josephine Wall’s One Hundred Years. Their mini wall calendar collection also continues to grow, with new titles including Anne Stokes: Spirit Guides, Chris Pendleton’s Birds and National Portrait Gallery: Tudors and for 2019 Spike Milligan, Ivory Cats and Eden Project return. In 2018 they will also be adding many new fine art licences to their notebook range – special mention to the National Gallery with Bosschaert The Elder: A Still Life Of Flowers In A Wan-Li Vase and Wilton

70 www. www.greetingstoday

Diptych, National Galleries Scotland’s Samuel Peploe: Pink Roses, Chinese Vase and Ashmolean Museum with the beautiful Embroidered Hanging With Peacock. It’s an even stronger year for Flame Tree’s diary ranges, with the return of their bestselling Royal Ballet, L.S. Lowry and National Galleries Scotland desk diaries – but it’s their foiled and embossed pocket diary series that sees the biggest change, growing from eight designs to 20. New titles comprise Moomin, Bodleian Libraries Bookshelves, Nel Whatmore: A Million Shades, Anne Stokes: Once Upon A Time plus Leonardo Da Vinci: Vitruvian Man and Golden Buddha. As the range expands, they are also introducing for the first time counterpacks and counter spinners for merchandising these foiled and embossed diaries. Flame Tree’s extensive list of wall calendars grows every year, and for 2019 they are very excited to include new licences such as the Science Museum’s Inventions & Discoveries That Changed The World, and William Morris Gallery. Additional new calendars include the colourful Aimee Stewart Bookshelves, Mary Cassatt’s impressionist art, The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz and Thomas Cole. And their bestselling titles are back, including The Calies 2017 winner Angela Harding, while their relationship with numerous museums and galleries remains strong, including the Tate, V&A, National Gallery, Imperial War Museum, Ashmolean and Fitzwilliam Museum. Stand 3N31 – T: 020 7751 9650 @greetingstoday

Feb Issue GT Christmas Full Page.pdf




from Jonny Javelin

Velvet Joy is one of our 4 brand new ranges for Christmas 2018. Customers will be coming to your shop expecting the best! We wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to disappoint them. Velvet Joy is the same fantastic formula, but with dozens of magical new images across 147 titles. Magical Moments - 34 titles Fudge Pudding - 61 titles

Tel: 01423 563740

Under the Mistletoe - 55 titles


WORDS ’N’ WISHES THE team at Words ’n’ Wishes have been busy creating some outstanding new designs which will all be on show on Cardgains Village at Spring Fair. These consist of additions to current ranges as well as standalone designs and new cute designs. Their popular Blossom range sees another nine designs added bringing it up to 28 in total, all of which combine beautifully-painted artwork with stunning fluted foil finishes across a mixture of sizes and price codes 50, 70 and 100. Loving Thoughts has had a face-lift and is now in a Z-fold format with updated artwork style that still encompasses a lovely heartfelt verse, all in a code 75 (£1.99) format. Also on show will be Words ’n’ Wishes’ new code 200 designs. There are eight designs in this initial release, including Christmas, covering major relation captions. The beautiful watercolour artwork has been created in-house and all designs feature luxurious emboss and foiling as well as a scaled-down multi-fold inserts. All this is on top of the 100-plus designs they’ve released since October. Other new products include stunning new Christmas 2018 designs, personalised chocolates as well as an exciting mix of Quitting Hollywood designs exclusively for the independents. Stand 3L10-M11 – T: 01942 233201

LESSER & PAVEY WITH a royal wedding planned for May, memorabilia is among the latest product from Lesser & Pavey with the Royal Heritage collection marking the upcoming nuptials for Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle. With a proven track record of marking royal occasions, Lesser & Pavey’s products show the happy couple in a loving pose on china, coasters, trays, bags and magnets, and all come presented in photographic gift boxes. Lesser & Pavey are also introducing new Gin Glasses for lovers of the spirit, part of gold and silver edition glassware range which also features prosecco, Champagne, Martini and beer slogans on glasses, flutes, wine glasses, stem-less glasses, tankards, cocktail shakers, drinks dispensers and ice buckets. In their new Shine Bright collection, each item makes for a perfect Mother’s Day, feminine gift, as it will last much longer than a bouquet of flowers, with fine china mug, notebooks, clutch bag, purse and cosmetic bag, while the everyday range extends into a black and white colourway that includes handbag, passport holder, wallet, compact mirror and drinks flask. And following on from the Lesser & Pavey sequin cushions with changing pictures, they have launched sequin notebooks in gold and black, silver and black, multicoloured, champagne and cream, pink and silver, and turquoise and silver, plus there are clutch bags and purses as well as additional cushion designs. Stand 5D10-E11 – T: 01322 279225

72 www. www.greetingstoday @greetingstoday

Spring Fair, Birmingham 04.02.-08.02.2018, Hall 3 Stand Q20-R25

new 130 how r e Ov s on s r ign Fai des pring at S d 3V31 Stan Quality fine art blank greeting cards and prints reproducing original works by 48 talented artists and photographers. Our ranges now include occasions and humour. Contact us to request our current greeting cards trade catalogue or register as a trade visitor on our new website to see our full range of products, including new lines of giftware. Email:

Tel: 07714 768956


UK GREETINGS VISIT UK Greetings on the Cardgains Village where they’ll be showcasing a carefully selected display of greeting cards and gift dressings, including male relations, Thinking Of You and Collage. Male – UKG’s male relations offering features something for everyone, with a great mix of heartfelt and emotive designs from the Gibson Brand through to concise and contemporary product in Carlton. TOY – From its heartfelt editorial to its classic designs, their Thinking Of You brand represents the best in traditional greetings cards. And for 2018, UKG have given it an exciting refresh while still focusing on the conventional elements that make it so cherished. Collage – The Collage collection comprises of a mix of high-quality product including gift bags, giftwrap and accessories to make your gift look extra special. Collage offers something for everyone, from beautiful classic designs to contemporary key trends. Stand 3L10-M11 – T: 01924 465200

DKL MARKETING DKL Marketing are returning to Spring Fair to showcase their quality ranges, with products to suit all stores. Highlights include Scentco Scented Stationery, offering a large range of licensed and generic lines of pencils, pens, notepads and more. Each colourful product features a delicious scent guaranteed to last a minimum of two years. Keep an eye out for Scratch Lifestyle Toys, known for their charismatic and fun designs – new 2018 products include new Puzzles In Circular Boxes, and fun wooden letters for sticking on a wall. DKL’s fastest growing brand Plus-Plus Construction is a unique concept of building bricks to make 3D and 2D designs, while Hama Beads offer the largest range of sets and accessories in both generic and licensed. New ranges to DKL this year include Bloco, the softer side of construction where children can make fully-poseable animals, dinosaurs, and monsters. Also new is Escabbo bath toys, plus fresh Breyer and PlayMais products. Stand 3V20 – T: 01604 678780

74 www. www.greetingstoday @greetingstoday

7RPFDW&DUGV Ó ¯ ™ +44 (0)1243 837300 Random, off-the-wall humour

Cat portraits with a humourous twist

Beautifully created folk art

Bold graphics with a retro feel

Cats mostly, all wonderfully observed

We’ll be at Spring Fair 2018, stand 3W31 With 5 great artists and 5 unique styles, which will you choose?


PMS INTERNATIONAL PMS International, importers and wholesale distributors for toys, games and novelties, will be attending Spring Fair 2018, showcasing their exciting new additions to the best-selling Elves Behavin’ Badly range, giving trade customers plenty of time to plan their lines and place their orders before the busy pre-Christmas countdown. Last year, PMS International’s exclusive Elves Behavin’ Badly range proved a huge hit with customers and consumers. With unique branding and eye-catching packaging, this cost-effective Elf line was a bestseller with PMS trade customers. Sales in 2017 exceeded all expectations and the distributor had to re-order many popular lines over and over again to keep up with demand. The 2018 range comprises all the popular and core lines including the Elfie and Elvie dolls. And there are many new innovative and bespoke accessories and products in the new collection to help Elfie and Elvie go about their mischief making and enable even more exciting scenes to be created. Stand 5H90-J91 & 12D10-E11 T: 01268 505050

GEMMA INTERNATIONAL FOR 2018 Gemma International are launching two new partyware ranges at Spring Fair – Stormtrooper and Miraculous Ladybug – on their Cardgains Village pod. Based on Andrew Ainsworth’s iconic Stormtrooper design, the range includes a special-shaped plated, cups, napkins, and invitations, while Miraculous Ladybug partyware will be on display alongside new designs of their licensed cards and wrap, plus Gemma’s other party success stories PJ Masks and Care Bears, and bestselling Peppa Pig. In addition, their award-winning studio have been updating the popular official Emoji cards and wrap with unicorn and mermaid designs. Gemma are also including female captions within the PJ Masks range, while other developments include specific juvenile captions for Stormtrooper and a new premium po portfolio of cards aimed at the nursery market. Stand 3L11-M10 – T: 01264 388400 www.gemma-internationa

FLYING TEASPOONS HENRIES-nominated Flying Teaspoons released some fantastic new spring season ranges in January all ready for their appearance in the GCA Debut Section at Spring Fair – and there’s free delivery on first orders made by visitors to their stand. These welcome additions are created with hundreds of magazine cuttings which make up the standout distinctive imagery. New characters feature two dancing hares, loved up puffins and an oh so fabulous chicken, and the 150cx150mm cards now include an explanation of how each design is made. Stand 3K45 – T: 07975 940194

76 www. www.greetingstoday www ww w.fa w.fa fac ceb ceb ce bo @greetingstoday


Launching new christmas 2018

Natural Wonderland Luxury singles and boxed sets!

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s 0800 7710771 Finalist of License This! Competition at London Brand Licensing Europe 2017



Artof Fine Gifts

CALENDARS, DIARIES, STATIONERY, JIGSAWS Stunning Social Stationery from FLAME TREE. See us at the Spring Fair, Hall 3, Stand N31


PINK PIG PINK Pig’s little trotters have been very busy creating new ranges for 2018. There’s their gorgeous new Cutie Crew collection in a pretty soft pastel palette with textured kraft envelopes complementing the pretty designs – first responses from stockists confirm it definitely has the Aaaah! factor! There are also new designs in Pink Pig’s male range; a re-vamped age range, and lots of additions to the massively popular Scottish Havers and Hootenanny collections. There’s lots to see at Spring Fair so pop along to pick up the new brochure. All Pink Pink Pig cards are printed in the UK on FSC-certified high-quality card. The 150x150mm cards are all cello wrapped with envelope and sold in packs of six. Size 150mmx150mm Stand 3L32 – T: 07583 088596

CARDGAINS BUYING GROUP CARDGAINS’ Casino is a new attraction for 2018 at Spring Fair where members and visitors can spin the roulette wheel to win various prizes from the buying group and participating suppliers. The specially designed roulette table will see Spin To Win at the Cardgains’ Casino open Sunday to Wednesday with money-off vouchers to be used against orders from participating suppliers and a month’s free management charge from Cardgains among the prizes. Jojnt MD Chris Dyson said: “The strength of product by quality and design has never been as strong. As with all exhibitors, the suppliers have been planning Spring Fair for many months and all look forward to a bumper visitor year. We’d love members to come and play Spin To Win and see what the Cardgains and the Village exhibitors suppliers have for members to win.” Once again, a fantastic and eclectic mix of suppliers will be exhibiting including AB Gee, Abacus Cards, Boxer Gifts & Boxer Books, Cherry Orchard, Creativ Company, Creative Party, Gemma, Grass Roots, The Great British Card Company, IC&G, Intelligent Retail, Jacksons, Nigel Quiney, Peartree Heybridge, Quitting Hollywood, Saffron, Sarunds, Special Editions, UK Greetings, Words ‘n’ Wishes, Xpressions 4U and Xystos. The mix offers great brands and great products across greetings cards, gifts, candles, party, chocolates, epos solutions, crafting, toys and wholesale solutions. On Monday, February 5, at 1pm the Cardgains team and many other loyal fundraisers will be presenting a cheque to their charity of the year 2017 – Guide Dogs. They have sponsored Cyril the puppy (pictured), named in honour of company mascot Cyril Service. Fingers crossed Cyril will be at the presentation if he hasn’t already started his puppy training. The Cardgains team will be on hand throughout the show welcoming existing members and independent retailers wishing to join the buying group and find out about the many benefits of their system. More than ever, the Cardgains’ model and supplier mix is something for every independent card shop, gift shop, garden centre, candle shop, post office or party shop. Many other Cardgains suppliers can be found in and around the Spring Fair halls, a checklist will be available from the team on the Village. Stand 3L10/M11 – T: 0845 166 2045

78 www. www.greetingstoday @greetingstoday

SPRINGFAIRPREVIEW @greetingstoday 79


GLEBE COTTAGE, THE ECO-FRIENDLY CARD COMPANY THE Eco-Friendly Card Company Glebe Cottage will be exhibiting at Spring Fair with two stands, one featuring photographic collections including spring floral designs and the licensed collection in support of The Wildlife Trusts, and opposite the publishers will be showcasing their art ranges, including new fine and contemporary artists and a new collection from best-selling artist Kate Andrew. In addition to greetings cards The EcoFriendly Card Company also offers notecards, charity Christmas packs, and calendars, as well as their Calies award-winning bespoke publishing service for charities and attractions. Stand 3U60 & 3U61 – T: 01626 369269

BRAINBOX CANDY BRAINBOX Candy are rather excited to be launching a big bag of exciting new product at Spring Fair. The show sees the official launch of the David Shrigley licensed range for greetings cards and gifts, in addition there will be circa 100 new card and gift designs in existing ranges, plus a brandnew humour card range that will be unveiled at the show. The stand will be full of newness (apart from Mark and Ben who are not so new) so come along to see the new ranges and have a drink with them at their new bar. Stand 3T19 – T: 01702 716643

80 www. www.greetingstoday @greetingstoday

















LS20 LETTERPRESS STUDIO AT LS20 Letterpress Studio, they are continuing to extend their offering by introducing six new tropical-themed designs for Spring Fair 2018. The range includes a sprinkling of flowers, flamingos and fruit! All the contemporary 160x160mm designs are traditional letterpress-printed in-house featuring neon inks. LS20 also have an Easter offering of six fun cards printed using traditional antique wood-block lettering giving the print a unique look and depth. The 111x153mm cards are printed with bright yellow and, of course, chocolate-coloured ink on 300gsm GF Smith textured embossed board complemented with a matching yellow envelope – it’s not too late to stock something unique! Stand 3M47 – T: 07850 539568

CLARE MADDICOTT YOU can giggle with Harold’s Planet on the Care Maddicott stand as the bestselling humour range reveals new designs, while there are also fresh colourful florals, butterflies, and exotic birds in rich hot shades and intricate foil details as their Lemongrass collection is extended with blank and birthday captions. The aim of the Clare Maddicott Christmas collection is to capture the magic and it once again features the striking work of illustrator Reuben McHugh with four distinctive looks. There are 12 packs of 137x137mm charity cards all with foil or flitter finishing and greeted inside, supporting the children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent. In addition, there are four single 160x160mm cards available with an array of finishes. Stand 3L10-M11 – T: 01638 569050

82 www. www.greetingstoday @greetingstoday


THE ALTERNATIVE IMAGE COMPANY AN OUTSTANDING range of 48 message cards covering all main occasions is included in the Alternative Image Company’s packed new catalogue for the first time. Added to this, and complementing their already-expansive bestseller range, are more than 100 new blank all-occasion black and white photographic cards featuring a classic mix of nostalgic good humour and vintage fun. All cards are printed on FSC board, measure 5x7in landscape or 7x5in portrait and are sold in packs of six, individually cello-wrapped with grey envelopes and are sold in packs of six. Stand 3V11 – T: 020 3478 4804

PENNY KENNEDY PREMIUM gift packaging specialists Penny Kennedy are launching a range of vibrant and elegant designs for SS18 at this year’s Spring Fair. The range includes the highly sought-after collection from Sara Miller, with exotic and enchanting patterns inspired by the designer’s travels, including flamingos, giraffes, leopards and birds. Packaginglovers can also look forward to an energetic array of choices from Harlequin, Scion, Emma Bridgewater, Alice Scott and Louise Tiler, as well as the return of many other favourites from within the Penny Kennedy portfolio of licences. Stand 3R20 – T: 01892 838574

84 www. www.greetingstoday @greetingstoday


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Four corners North, south, east, west, wherever you go, retailers know their business the best. Four shop owners from the corners of the UK give their opinions on this month’s Greetings Today features.


NORTH – Jenny Morrison, Top Drawer, St Andrews, Fife

It’s that time again for the spring trade fairs. I’m hoping to head down to Birmingham for Spring Fair, although my mum turns 60 that weekend, so I’ll be off up to Aberdeen first. I’ll be armed with my list of suppliers that I want to see and where their stands are located, this saves so much time as Spring Fair is vast – it’s easy to get waylaid! There’s nothing quite like seeing products in the flesh and getting a feel for what trends are coming forward for the year. I’ll be looking for new gifts and cards, at a good price point for our customers and with a focus of being designed or made in Scotland. I really enjoy springtime, when the shop goes from being awash with the green and red colours of Christmas and Valentine’s Day, into the pinks and yellows of spring. Spring Fair always gives you that fresh vibe and makes you excited to get some new cards and gifts into your shop and when those deliveries start arriving in February, you start thinking about what lovely items to put in the window display to entice customers in to have a proper ● Widdop look. And Co With some of our gift suppliers, their websites are so up to date, we can see what’s coming forward for spring. Widdop And Co are one of those suppliers who have a great choice of product, often licensed from some of the card publishers we stock. Every year, I stock up on baby and wedding gifts at the beginning of the year, specifically from them as their choice is fantastic – our customers keep coming back for more! ● Retreat

E EAST – Caron Naylor, The Gift House, Blacker Hall Farm, West Yorkshire

Fab Feb means we’re looking forward to Spring Fair! Although Top Drawer is always a great event, spring signifies the start of something special and new, love is in ● Devine the air, so off we start with Valentine’s Day. A few years ago Deli it wasn’t such a big occasion for us but, as we’re next door to a florist, it helps us both promote the event. Our aim this month is to increase the stationery ranges – we did extremely well at Christmas with notebooks, pencil cases, etc – this seems to be a strong line as pick-up gifts for last-minute birthdays are a must. Everyone runs out of time, especially to order online, so this is where we fit in nicely. We now have our own-label chocolate and quite a few good food companies are offering this service. We make up gift hampers too, which customers love as they haven’t had all the wrapping. It takes a bit of promoting but if you start early, you can build up for Christmas and they’re perfect for a birthday, new baby, anniversary etc. It takes no time at all to put together instore but the finished product is great and the customer will return too. As February ends, off we go into preparations for Mother’s Day and Easter, although the cards are all out anyway. We will carry some chocolates for both occasions and increase gifts such as frames from Retreat, pottery from Devine Deli and handbags from Katie Loxton, but I’m still hoping to find some special surprises at Spring Fair.

86 www. www.greetingstoday

SOUTH – Hannah Plant, Honeybourne’s, Ladywell, London

I have a confession – I’m not going to any trade fairs this year. That’s probably not what any companies who’ve just spent ages (not to mention a lot of money) creating beautiful displays for their upcoming show stands want to hear. But my new year’s resolution was to have a better work-life balance and, since I’m in the shop six days a week, I can’t justify being at a trade fair on the seventh. e Quite honestly, and this is totally my fault, I’ve ● Onlin r y fo struggled at trade fairs in the past – I rush around trying is knen Ha ah to get a glimpse of everything and then have to leave earlier than intended as I can’t see the wood from the beautifully handcrafted cards. It’s not that I don’t like seeing new things, I really do and, like any gift shop owner, I know that new lines are incredibly important. It’s just that I think this year I can keep an eye on what’s going on at events like Spring Fair from their beautifully-curated Instagram feeds, and, what’s more – I can do this from the comfort of my own home!

WEST – Alison Allen, Conway Cards, Garstang, Lancs


As a small card shop, we have limited room for gifts both on the shop floor and in the stock room! So we choose gift lines very carefully and tend to play safe as mistakes can be very costly and quickly have a negative effect on cashflow. We’re very much led by the popularity of our greetings card ranges, and have had hugely consistent success with gifts from Wrendale Designs, Alex Clark Art and Santoro London – while all three continually grow and develop their giftware, we’re also able to keep our selection varied and fresh on a very regular basis. Wrendale tinware has been particularly popular. The recipe tin with blank recipe cards inside is a great gift all year round as the neutral colours make them extremely appealing, and the latest design of biscuit barrel has sold well too. gs strin eart Alex Clark Art have been one of our bestselling card ranges for more than H ● eight years now, and their range of stationery and gifts is ever-expanding. There are hard and soft-backed notebooks, magnetic to-do lists, notecards and stick-it notes, and the latest additions of resin-domed keyrings and lightweight viscose scarves have been very well received and were extremely popular as Christmas gifts. They even came supplied with a free gift bag, which adds to the perceived value for customers. In addition to their ever-popular Gorjuss range, Santoro London’s new ● Aur Statement Pieces collection has striking zip purses, glasses cases and ora accessory cases in brightly coloured or neutral tones, and are all adorned with glittery text and a have a luxurious suede-feel. We also like to be able to offer our customers a personalised gift service. Heartstrings are the perfect solution for new babies, weddings, christenings and birthdays. They’re quick and easy to do – I’m lucky we’ve all got nice handwriting – and with three sizes available, the different price points suit everyone. Customers are coming back to add new events to their collections. Baby gifts are always a sale where the customer is prepared to pay for quality. The best nursery range of plush is from Aurora, with whom I’ve dealt for almost 10 years. Their teddy bears, comforters and rattles continue to sell well in traditional pinks and blues, and with the baby shower trend on the increase, neutral designs are selling well too. Plus their new range of unicorns is ● Sant oro proving to be our next big success – everyone is unicorn-crazy at the moment!


t lark Ar @greetingstoday Alex C

●● Wrendale


To encourage the golfing crème de la crème of the greeting card industry to get involved in a day of golf and essential Networking. The team four-ball has always been closely fought and up until now each team member has received a handsome memento of a great day’s golf.


For full details contact Malcolm or Simon on 01442 289930 or email to book your team’s place.


● Wonder of Wishes – Shoebox Appeal, Dalek teapot and a Tardis Christmas jumper

Vworp vworp vworp T

HERE’S an element l t off ttime i travel when writing these articles. I travel back into the shop’s past, report on the present before jumping in my stolen Tardis to take a peek at the future. For example here I’m in December writing an article that won’t be read by you, my greetings card friends, until 2018. It’s like an episode of Doctor Who set in Yorkshire. To quote the 10th Doctor, this column is “a big ball of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey stuff” and, in today’s episode, I’ll be traveling back to the distant past of 2017 before looking forward to our shop’s new adventures in time and space. THE PAST – 2017 “Vworp vworp vworp” – that’s my best attempt at writing a Tardis noise – we arrive outside Wishes careful not to cross the timelines as 2017 Chris is inside the shop doing some Facebook photos with Julia. Ah, yes, I remember this moment well. We’d just received a big bundle of shoeboxes for the Barnsley Homeless Shoebox Appeal from a local nursery. It was great to be able to highlight this local charity and we even had emails from Bradford asking about the project. Social media is a powerful tool, which can be used for good – no really, it’s not all Trolls, Trumps and Terrible Things. It can help create small ripples of social change and make the world a better place. The one thing that really resonated with me last year was to put a greater emphasis on working with our local community, the shop is known as Wishes Of Cudworth after all, and our simple goal is to get people both into the shop and on to our High Street. Now, this more localised focus doesn’t mean we’ll neglect our digital marketing as a strong online presence is more important than ever. However, we want Cudworth to have a healthy High Street so are working on

ti nott jjustt us but b t the th whole h l village. ill W ’ seen a promoting We’ve couple of shops close recently and that can quickly lead to a Quagmire Of Doom – which sounds like a lost episode of Doctor Who. Clever scientist types will tell you humans have evolved to have a negativity bias. If we used our Tardis to go back to prehistoric times we’d face a very different world. The distant past was a scary place for early humans, where anything dangerous would have to be acted on immediately for survival. Thus, even now in slightly

You’ve got to keep Y moving, so long as you remember all the people you used to be e

more civilised times our attitudes are more influenced by downbeat news than positive news. Ok, this may seem beyond the remit of a little greetings shop in Barnsley but I really do believe in trying to send out a positive message, after all, a card is a message of love and support. With this in mind I feel it makes sense to look at how our shop can support and help our High Street, to make the word a better place and wait, what’s that? Exterminate! Oh no, quick, it’s a trap, that’s no rubbish bin, it’s a Dalek – back to the Tardis.

Chris Fox is digital content manger for greetings card and gift shop Wishes of Cudworth owned and run by partner Julia Keeling as well as the online resource for independent shops, small businesses and artists. Having learned how to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the internet and social media, he aims to pass on online tips he’s discovered so far to help independent retailers boost their bricks and mortar businesses in the digital age.


“V !” Phew, Ph i h th ith “Vworp vworp vworp!” we escapedd with the added bonus of not changing the past and creating a terrible alternative reality where Donald Trump is US president and Brexit actually happened. Now let’s set the Tardis’ console to the futuristic year of 2018. THE FUTURE – 2018 To echo the last words of the 11th Doctor: “Times change, and so must I… We all change. When you think about it, we are all different people, all through our lives and that’s okay, that’s good! You’ve got to keep moving, so long as you remember all the people that you used to be.” The Doctor is right. Change is good. Much like the early humans I referenced earlier, at Wishes we’re looking at evolution not revolution. We’re going to be streamlining the Wishes website giving it a fresh new look and jettisoning some of the junk. I’m taking my own advice and dropping our Wishes blog and instead will look to build traffic through social media and links from our affiliate websites. As for my other projects, after much soul searching I’ve decided to continue my retail blog Gift Shop Hub for a while I toyed with the idea of merging it with Wishes but decided it could only weaken each brand and potentially make the shop’s new site confusing for visitors. I’m also the Master behind new website www. which will have shop listings, events and community news about our village. I’m sure this new website will pop up in future GT columns so keep reading to keep updated with progress of this exciting project. I’m also diving head first into online crowdfunding to raise much-needed funds for our local projects and hope to get involved with Blue Eyed Sun MD Jeremy Corner’s video Greeting Card Project, which will become community based in 2018, with contributors from all over the country. There will be Spring Fair shenanigans, and I might even look into Pinterest again – which I said I’d do last year, but didn’t. Some things never really change. Like the Doctor, Wishes will change while remaining true to our values. The shop will hold on to the attributes that make it great while regenerating into a better version of itself. And yes, thanks to some clever displays by Julia, Wishes really does look bigger on the inside... @greetingstoday


Celebrating 25 years of printing Greetings and Greetings Today, here Lema Publishing MD Malcolm Naish steps back in time each issue to five, 10, 15, and 20 years ago in the greetings card industry.

February 2013 ● Boy band One Direction are very hot at the moment and Danilo take full advantage of this with cards, calendars and stationery. ● I loved my editor Tracey’s story of a Spring Fair card exhibitor who took an order from a Nigerian lady at the show and was presented with full payment in cash – quick visit to NatWest in the foyer proved it was genuine. ● Royal Mail research proves that mothers far prefer a hand-written Mother’s Day card than social media messages. This was part of a YouGov online poll. ● Clinton’s new chief executive Dominique Schuman has five minutes of publicity on Sky News, telling them that the company she took over had a lack of infrastructure and investment and the business had become too big and lost its way. Perhaps that’s why so many of their stores had to be closed down with Clinton’s then reduced to 500 stores? I wonder what Don, Clinton and Miss Debbie might have thought? ● Asda honour UK Greetings’ Chris Barr, nominating him for their Account Manager of the Year. More than a thousand suppliers enter and, while Chris didn’t win, it did prove the growing importance of greetings cards to the Asda product mix.

February 2008 ● John Charlton, senior VP international at American Greetings and chief executive UK, presents a twopage overview of the market. It is a most interesting read and John ends his article stating that, in his opinion, the UK still leads the world in terms of innovative card design and tells us that environmental issues will only become more pressing – he was right on this one! We must convince consumers that the sending of greetings cards is an effective and thoroughly satisfying way of communicating and celebrating birthdays and other social occasions. Hear, hear! He concludes that this can only be achieved if both retailers and suppliers receive a satisfactory return on their investment and that successful trading relationships can only be achieved long term if both parties are happy. ● There’s a protest at Spring Fair by certain exhibitors who are peed-off at the organisers making a £250 charge for their online services such as listing companies in the show catalogue, etc. At the time tempers got very heated and it took their MD Allison Jackson’s intervention to calm things down and I thought we suffered enough aggravation publishing magazines! Of course, 10 years on and all this is completely forgotten, but back in 2008 it was a hot discussion point.

February 2003 ● Our editor 15 years ago was Vicky Denton and, back then, Vicky pointed out the perceived difference between a guy choosing a Valentine’s Day card and a girl. This had been the subject of a Budweiser advert that showed a girl in a lovely specialist card shop agonising on what card to buy, the camera then switches to a fairly grotty convenience store and a young man with a basket full of Buds chucking in the nearest card at the checkout counter without a single thought for the card or its sentiments. Can this possibly be true? ● Our Spring Fair Preview was a healthy 140-page edition crammed with all the latest cards to be viewed at the show. ● Gemma graced our front cover with their range of Thomas & Friends, proving the successful longevity of good character-related cards.

February 1998 ● Hanson White celebrate 40 years of greetings card publishing and 20 years ago employed more than 200 people with a turnover in excess of £20million. Boss John Charlton joins the celebrations at their Hull factory where 21 of their staff were honoured with long service awards for 15 or more years of service. Those long-serving staff between them amassed a staggering 402 years. ● American Greetings are chosen for the fifth consecutive year to produce the First Family’s Christmas cards. I wonder if any publisher will own up to supplying Donald’s Christmas cards for 2017? ● It would appear that, during Spring Fair, rumour was rife as to which British card company were American Greetings going to buy? Camden Graphics were the publishers eventually purchased by AG. – Malcolm Naish @greetingstoday 89

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Greetings Today  

February 2018

Greetings Today  

February 2018