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On The Cards At a point when the well-worn phrase ‘a week’s a long time in politics’ has never been truer, this last few weeks have been peppered with celebrating both the greeting card industry’s last year (with publishers feted for their ranges at The Henries) as well as its last 100 years (with the GCA’s Centenary AGM and Conference). Add to that the judging for The Calies (our awards for 2020 dated calendars and diaries) and that covers next year too! Time and its passage is a complicated concept. We never seem to have enough of it, that’s for sure, something I know chimes with the indies I have spoken to recently as they juggle taking in Christmas stock with ensuring they make the most of this all important run up to the festive season. What is reassuring though is, that while we cannot fight against time, there are so many great examples of retailers, publishers and suppliers who are embracing the passage of time; pre-empting the changes, be it through going all out on their displays (our interview with South Kensington indie Medici Gallery as a case in point - see pages 30-31), publishers collaborating to offer new solutions (read what Chris Houfe and six leading publishers are up to with Tailored Planning Solutions on page 10) or THE HOME OF MARKET LEADING TRADE MAGAZINES



Above: One surprise at the GCA AGM and Conference was the presentation of two framed prints to PG’s Warren Lomax (left) and Jakki Brown by David Hicks (Really Good) as thanks for running the GCA for the last 22 years from the Max Publishing offices. Warren’s was a special Bright Side design and Jakki’s was created by Belly Button. Left: PG’s Warren Lomax in George V mode with (left) Jonny Spears, md of Jonny Javelin in 70s garb and Words ’n’ Wishes’ joint md Carl Salt at The Henries. Below: No one was quite prepared for how the Brainbox Boys Ben Hickman and Mark Williams came dressed as for The Henries, not to mention their antics!

suppliers working with publishers and retailers to come up with more environmentally-friendly options (as was discussed at the recent GCA Centenary gathering - see Viewpoints pages 27-29). At the gathering I loved listening to former GCA president Julian Royle recounting just some of the challenges and achievements that the forefathers of the trade association had to contend, plus reveled in the somewhat nostalgic reliving of the events Paul Woodmansterne recounted of the last 22 years (since the GCA has been run from our offices), bringing back the memories of discussions with Royal Mail on why square cards should not be penalised and countering unfair criticism on the amounts raised for charities from the sale of Christmas cards. Geoff Sanderson (of Celebration Nation) then took us on a journey back in time looking at how greeting card design has changed over the last 100 years and what we could expect from the greeting cards of the future. I would tell you all the secrets but, right now, I just don’t have the time!


Max Publishing Ltd, United House, North Road, London N7 9DP Tel: 020 7700 6740 Fax: 020 7607 6411 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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What’s Inside? 87

Within This Issue:


31 10-19 News



Retailer Spotlight


Insider Information PG goes on an independent retailer reconnaissance at London’s Medici Gallery.

20-21 The Calies 2019

The Finalist Of The Calies 2019 This year’s Calies Awards calendar finalists.

80-81 Jeremy’s Journal

Au Naturel Jeremy Corner of publisher Blue Eyed Sun takes a look at ‘naked’ cards.

32-35 Henries In Pictures

Celebrating Henries History

22-23 Over The Counter

Going To The Chapel David Robertson, co-owner of JP Pozzi in Scotland, spotlights the similarities between marriage and running an independent business.


Behind the scenes party pictures of this year’s ‘100 Years of the GCA’ themed Henries awards.


What’s Hot? 37-75

The Henries 2019 Winners The winners of this year’s Henries awards.


Art Source

86-88 Focus On Animal Cards

The Prowl Of The Big Cats


Thinking Strategically


Cardsharp muses over topical events happening in the industry.

How the wild big cats are getting their claws into card designs.



27-29 Viewpoints


Scoring A Century


PG reports back from last month’s GCA Centenary AGM and Conference.

Subscribe to Progressive Greetings from £60 (UK) to £90 (International). You can organise this quickly and easily online at our secure site: For assistance, please email maxsubscriptions@marketingreinforc or call 0207 700 6740.

Tracey Arnaud

Jakki Brown

Warren Lomax

Gale Astley

Ian Hyder

Editor/Joint Owner

Joint Owner

Deputy Editor

Joint Owner

Sales Manager

Use your smartphone app to scan the QR code to visit our website.

Copyright© 2019. While every effort has been made to ensure the information in this magazine was correct at the time of publication, the publishers cannot accept legal liability for any errors or omissions, nor can they accept responsibility for the standing of advertisers nor any organisation mentioned in the text. Views of contributors do not necessarily reflect those of the publishers.

PG is the official magazine for the Greeting Card Association GCA: Amanda Fergusson 020 7619 9266 Email: PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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Chris Houfe At Centre Of TPS A six-way greeting card publisher collaboration Experienced industry exec, Chris Houfe, is at the centre of a six-way greeting card publisher collaboration that is to operate as Tailored Planning Solutions (TPS) to provide a viable greeting card planning and supply option for retailers that is not brokerage. Abacus, IC&G, Paperlink, Pigment, MGML/Mint Publishing/Real & Exciting Designs and Second Nature are all equally involved in backing the new initiative, which officially launches this month. “TPS will be all about providing retailers with an easy solution of a strong plan of great selling greeting cards, into which they have total input, with the simplicity of being paid by a single invoice if they so wish,” said Chris, whose industry expertise spans over 20 years, with a career that has involved him working for Emotional Rescue, GBCC and CCA, among others. He is now working as a consultant for all of the six card publisher partners. The idea for TPS was sparked by a conversation between Chris and Simon Wagstaff, md of IC&G. “We both agreed that a group of like-minded publishers with complimentary product portfolios working together could really help retailers looking for a topnotch greeting card display, planned to totally focus on their customer requirements, but without any one

publisher having a dominating interest,” said Chris. Highlighting the strong publishing attributes of each of the six parties, Chris summed up: “Pigment and Paperlink are incredibly strong in humour and contemporary design; Abacus and MGML/Mint/Real & Exciting offer great art, photographic and licensed ranges; Second Nature is an expert in handfinished and 3D lines, while IC&G’s core is in traditional captions. Of course if a retailer wants to include other publishers’ designs in their plan we will be only too willing to accommodate their wishes and can liaise with those publishers.” TPS’ planning will be undertaken from IC&G’s Dorset premises, but publishers will be dispatching from their individual warehouses unless a retailer requests otherwise. “The last thing we want to be is prescriptive. TPS is about providing a helpful solution to retailers, while bringing them a potent mix of greeting cards. We are all very excited,” added Chris. Top: The logo fanfaring the new collaboration. Above: Chris Houfe will be at the centre of TPS

John Lewis’ card replan sees 65% ‘newness’ John Lewis & Partners has finalised the greeting card selection for its next replan, which will see “around 65% of newness,” according to Lisa Rutherford, John Lewis & Partners’ buyer of cards, stationery and seasonal events. The replanned displays will be installed in the department store group’s shops in February. “The biggest changes in our new selection are in humour and photographic,” Lisa revealed. “We are bringing in several publishers who we have not stocked before, including those we discovered at PG Live and the GCA’s Speed-dating with Dragons event,” Lisa added. Of these she highlights Lottie Murphy and Wendy Bell Designs, that were both sourced from PG Live’s Springboard section, while Penguin Ink came about as a result of Lisa’s participation in the GCA’s Speed-dating with Dragons event in February. Brainbox Candy and Sooshichacha designs are also joining the JL&P line-up for the first time in the refreshed selection. The grand overhaul - for which Lisa and her team worked closely with Woodmansterne on the card design planning - covers JL&P’s entire everyday, occasions and relations selection as well as tweaks to the online portfolio. Above: John Lewis & Partners’ Lisa Rutherford at The Calies judging day last month.

Bang on A Clintons clincher? At the time of PG going to press there had been no official news about the potential sale of Clintons, the UK’s second largest specialist card retailer, which trades from 334 stores. Following the announcement in the middle of September that Clintons’ owners (the Weiss family) would consider offers for the business, serious contenders were urged to submit their bids for the business Inset: No news from the Clintons’ quarters. by October 4. While NDAs (Non-Disclosure Agreements) precluded interested parties from openly declaring their intent to acquire the specialist retailer, bids are understood to have hailed both from expected and unexpected suitors. The plan was that once these bids were digested the KPMG team was to pursue the likely buyers to submit serious offers of intent to acquire the business. Assuring the trade that it is very much “business as usual”, Eddie Shepherd, ceo of Clintons said that he anticipated the process to have been concluded in 12-20 weeks, which would mean by mid February. (See Cardsharp pages 24-25)



John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners have confirmed that this will be the last Christmas that they will sell Christmas crackers with plastic toys inside (below). Instead, crackers will be filled with toys made from recyclable materials such as metal and paper games, and decorated with techniques such as embossing, rather than plastic glitter. The decision has been made as part of the Partnership’s plans to cut down on single use plastic products.

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Treasured Moments Tom Allen went down a storm as The Henries’ host It was certainly a memorable Henries greeting card awards event last month, not just for the worthy award winners (see pages 37-75) but for all the 700 attendees who surrendered to the uplifting vibe of the gathering. Getting their arms round the ‘100 Years of Greeting Cards’ theme, which tied in with the GCA’s centenary celebrations (headline sponsor of The Henries), many guests elected to come attired in keeping with any of the ten decades of the GCA’s heritage. Comedian and television star, Tom Allen, brought the house down with his quick-witted responses as compere. In her welcome speech, Amanda Fergusson, ceo of the GCA, highlighted the wonderful heritage of the UK greeting card industry: “Aren’t we privileged to be involved in a product that articulates emotions and feelings, spreading joy and happiness. Greeting cards bring people together and foster relationships.” In addition to revealing the award winners of the best greeting card ranges of the year, the ceremony also saw the presentation of the prestigious Best Service to the Independent Retailer trophies. UK Greetings was presented with

Lonely at the top

the Bronze service trophy, Woodmansterne the Silver and IC&G scooped the top Gold award. Providing a fitting crescendo to the awards ceremony, Simon Elvin, the inspirational managing director of Simon Elvin, was presented with a special GCA Outstanding Contribution Award in recognition of his extraordinary achievements, passion and commitment to the sector. Each of the attendees received their own piece of greeting card history to take home - as the placecards were real vintage greeting cards, a special keepsake sponsored by House of Cards. Above: Dressed as the Queen, Brainbox’s Ben Hickman shows some leg while his business partner Mark Williams adopted a Frida Kahlo look as they collected their award for Best Contemporary Words & Sentiments Range for Quotish. Left: Tom Allen, host of The Henries with Kate Jamieson, creative editor of Icon, which won the Best Photographic Range award for its Wavelength collection.

Cardies save lives Do you have a charity that is close to your heart? If so, then urge them to put forward a project to be considered being funding by The Light Fund, our industrywide charity. With the £6,000+ raised by the raffle at The Henries joining the other sums from other fundraising activities, The Light Fund will have well over £100,000 that can be used to fund many charity projects in 2020. Registered charities have until November 15 to submit their proposals via the designated website ( In her speech at The Henries, Jakki Brown, one of The Light Fund co-founders and trustees said: “I so love hearing how so many of the projects The Light Fund has financed have come about through connections with those in the greeting card industry.”

Card Factory’s ceo Karen Hubbard has been championed as the only female head of a FTSE 250 retailer business. “It’s very lonely,” Karen confessed to The Times’ retail editor Ashley Armstrong recently, who had picked up on the little known fact that the head honcho of the UK’s largest specialist card retailer is the sole female chief executive of any large, listed retail business in the FTSE 250. “There is certainly not a lack of talent… The biggest issue facing women is confidence,” Karen told the newspaper when she was presenting the retailer’s recent interim results last month. As Karen told PG: “It is not just about having more women in the boardroom, it’s having more women talking about business. Often the articles are more skewed towards ‘how did you get here?’ rather than just discussing general business issues.” She is somewhat surprised that there are not more females heading up large retail businesses, especially given that an estimated 80% of purchasing decisions are made by women, and even more on the card front. Not just that, but just under 60% of the near-three million retail workforce is female. Karen concurs with much of what Mary Portas has to say in her recent book, Work Like A Woman, in which the ‘Queen of Shops’ champions the power of women in business, lies in their values - their softer attitude, their kindness and their sensitivity. Karen describes Portas’ new tome as “a sensible book” and says that not only has she read it thoroughly, but bought several copies of it to give to her Card Factory colleagues of both sexes. Above: Karen Hubbard, ceo of Card Factory. Below: Card Factory now has 1,000 stores.

Above: Last month, as one of The Light Fund projects from New Life (charity founder Trevor Goodall pictured here), a ‘hot bed’ incubator was installed in The Singleton Hospital in Swansea.



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Hallmark’s Trial In Lidl Publisher invites voluntary redundancy applications “Our business is really healthy, but we need to ensure we stay competitive,” Amanda Del Prete, managing director of Hallmark UK told PG as news broke that the Bradfordbased publishing giant has invited staff to apply for voluntary redundancy. “To compete as a global business in a tough retail environment we’re continually reviewing our operating model and cost structure to ensure we’re focused on the most important work of delivering to our consumers and partnering with our customers, as well as building a sustainable business model for our future,” was the official announcement from the company. Hallmark UK currently employs in the region of 2,000 people. No indication has been given as to the extent of the job losses or the areas in which these are likely to be. As Amanda said: “Decisions like this are never taken lightly and this approach has

been done in earnest as we work to drive efficiencies and results for our business.” This news comes three months into a trial with Lidl to supply a distinct range of greeting cards into all of the value grocer’s 99 stores in Scotland. “The first three months of the trial have gone very well and we are now in review,” confirms Amanda. The trial involves a range of 60 cards, branded as Simply for You, all of which retail for £1.00. From working with its Gold Crown members to retail multiples across the retail landscape, Amanda reinforces: “Our focus has to be on partnering with our retailers to enhance their individual strategies, drawing on our product leadership and consumer insights.” Above: Lidl is trialling a range of cards in its Scottish stores that have been developed by Hallmark. The value retailer has just invested in a £70m warehouse in Motherwell. Left: Amanda Del Prete at the recent Gold Crown Owners seminar with colleagues Ciaran Leonard (left) and Graeme Francis (far right) which saw Bob McGhee of Hallmark Newark win himself a free store refurbishment as the winner of the Big Prize Draw which all attendees were entered into.

A Thinking of You Week card-sending crescendo Clintons, Paperchase, Funky Pigeon, Moonpig, Belly Button, The Art File, UKG and Royal Mail were among those who really got behind the recent Thinking of You Week. “From retailer promotions, activities in schools and hospitals, millions of stamp cancellation messages and a social media frenzy, there was a lot of more than just thinking going on to mark the 2019 Thinking of You Week,” highlighted Amanda Fergusson, ceo of the GCA, of the card sending initiative which ran at the end of September to highlight the positive power that sending unexpected cards can have. While Royal Mail branded millions of pieces of franked mail to highlight the Week (as well as some inventive social media activity), Clintons did a chain wide promotion, Paperchase embarked on designated email campaign to its impressive fanbase, Funky Pigeon ran daily competitions on its Facebook page, while Moonpig partnered with Samaritans to create a special collection of cards. Meanwhile on the publisher front, members of the Belly Button Design team had a busy week with a dedicated Thinking of You Week activity happening every day. Above: Millions of items of post included the Thinking of You Week stamp cancellation mark. Below: Belly Button’s Michelle Hindle (second left) and Emma Maclean with some of the pupils of St Agnes School, Manchester, during the Thinking of You Week visit.

Bailey’s Cards & Gifts’ winning streak Having won a Retas’ award in July, Bailey’s Cards and Gifts (in Ainsdale and Crosby) now has another trophy to add to the collection as owners Penny and Simon Bailey were pronounced Hallmark Gold Crown Retailer of the Year at the Gala Dinner which took place in the evening of the recent annual Gold Crown Owners Seminar. At the same event, which took place in Oulton Hall, just outside Leeds, the Outstanding New Gold Crown Retailer Award was presented to Laura Houlston who owns Hallmark Gold Crown stores in West Kirby and Prestatyn, while the Outstanding Loyalty to Hallmark Gold Crown Award was given to Aidan Masterson of Hallmark Card Gallery, Dublin. The Outstanding Store Development Award went to Hallmark QLM, in Leeds, owned Maurice Esofsky and Debbie Zoltie. The event also saw the Hallmark Gold Crown Outstanding Area Sales Manager of the Year Award be presented to Sue Strong who manages the North-West and Cheshire Territory. Bob McGhee of Hallmark Newark was the lucky winner of the ‘Big Prize Draw’, his prize being a Hallmark-funded store refurbishment in 2020. As Graeme Francis, Gold Crown business manager summed up: “This year’s Gold Crown seminar and gala dinner had a very uplifting feel. The theme was very much Future Focused, with Hallmark totally committed to supporting our Gold Crown store owners, partnering together to ensure their businesses are stronger.” Right: (Second right-left) Penny and Simon Bailey of Bailey’s Cards & Gifts with their Gold Crown award that was presented to them by Hallmark’s Amanda Del Prete, Ciaran Leonard and (far right) Graeme Francis.

UK Greetings’ week-long programme of Thinking of You Week engagement reached far and wide, as well as close to home. As part of its social media activity it ran a consumer competition furnishing the winners with plenty of cards appropriate for Thinking of You Week. In addition, the publisher created a Thinking of You Week display in its Dewsbury HQ, encouraging staff to select and send cards. The Art File, another longtime supporter of Thinking of You Week, built on its relationship with Nottingham Children’s Hospital at the Queen’s Medical Centre (QMC) as well as charity, CLIC Sargent.



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Garlanna Launches In Leekes Irish publisher joins Second Nature to supply dept store group Garlanna, the County Wicklow-based greeting card publisher, has long had aspirations to move into the UK greeting card market - well now it has, with major installations now up and running in several of the Leekes department stores in the group and others to follow. The family-owned greeting card business, headed up by Alan and Jackie MacNamee, has installed a huge card ‘department’ in Leekes’ flagship store in Melksham, Wiltshire, which followed on from the inaugural sizeable installation in its Cross Hands store, with the Llantrisant store next on the list. Garlanna’s products account for around 75% of the displays of cards and wrap in Leekes’ new look department, with Second Nature providing the remaining 25% of skus. “It is great for us to be able to properly show the Garlanna look and feel, with our friends at Second Nature adding a more hand-crafted element. This is an exciting and important deal in the UK for us, it is an extension of what we are really good at in Ireland, showing that we can supply a complete solution for retailers, giving them another choice.” said Alan MacNamee, md of

Garlanna. “The Leekes team have been so lovely to work with and we are pleased to say it is all going very well!” Adding Leekes’ endorsement, Amanda Reed, the retailer’s buying controller said the team were “absolutely delighted” with the installations. “The range is comprehensive and the shop fit is of the highest quality. We are certain that Leekes’ customers will enjoy shopping the new collection and we look forward to continuing to grow our business with Alan and the rest of the team at Garlanna in the years to come.” Established in Rhondda, Wales, in 1897, Leekes trades from six department stores in South Wales, South West England and the Midlands. Above: The new look card ‘department’ in Leekes’ Melksham store which includes 24 metres of cards and wrappings. Left: (Left-right) Garlanna’s md Alan MacNamee, Leekes’ buying controller Amanda Reed and Second Nature’s head of sales and business development, Tim West.

Windles’ win in PrintWeek Awards Specialist greeting card printer, Windles Group, was crowned Social Stationery Printer of the Year in the prestigious PrintWeek Awards at a lavish event which took place recently. The printer’s entry submission, which wooed the judges, included cards Windles has printed for The Art File’s Form collection, Janie Wilson’s Macaroon range, Paper Salad’s Jamboree range and Santoro’s First Class Lounge launch. “This is a truly proud moment,” said Bruce Podmore, md of Windles, addressing his workforce at the Thame-based printing group the day after the awards ceremony. “This award is not just down to those in our team who take the orders from our publisher customers, it’s down to the individuals who prepare the files for print, to those who ensure the presses run smoothly, to others who oversee the finishing, right through to those loading the vans for delivery and invoicing for the job. This magnificent achievement is down to each and every one of you in our team,” added Bruce. The Sherwood Group was highly commended in this award category, while Loxleys also featured in the finalist line-up for this award. Windles also received Highly Commended recognition in the Best Environmental Printer category in the awards. Left: Windles’ md Bruce Podmore (left) with the prestigious award, presented by comedian Rich Hall, host for the event.

Cards to care homes initiative News is spreading fast about a bighearted gesture from newbie publisher, Greyling Post, which has pledged that for every pack of cards bought, it will donate a pack of its cards to a residential care home. Artist Mia Hague, who has been designing for card publishers under the Mia Hague Illustration brand for some time, decided she “wanted to do something a bit different” so set up Greyling Post, not only as “a platform for artists to design planet-friendly cards”, but also one which helps those in residential care homes draw on the therapeutic benefits of sending cards. Once 20 packs are bought (from the Greyling Post website, an equal number are packaged up with some pens and sent or delivered to a care home. Below: The Greyling Post initiative is growing.

Worry Less Design’s full speed US launch Having started their card and gift business, Worry Less Design, out of frustration of not being able to find suitable products for their cyclist friends, twin sisters Christie Page and Caroline Adamthwaite are now stepping up a gear with the launch of their sportsrelated products into the States. Taking a somewhat different tack to most card and gift companies, the Hampshire-based publisher will debut Stateside in a few weeks time at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Health & Fitness Expo in San Antonio, Texas. This two-day health and fitness expo (which takes place in December) is attended by all 25,000 participants of the San Antonio Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon. Following the initial exposure at the Expo, Worry Less Design will then officially launch its full collection on Etsy in the US, but with some ‘muscle’ behind even this. Nicky Mckerlie, a personal trainer and fitness expert with a background in business management, who is based in Round Rock, Texas, is to head up Worry Less Design as the brand’s USA Etsy store manager. Above: Worry Less Design has products for cyclists, runners, golfers, swimmers, triathletes and lovers of all sorts of other sports.



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Non-Plastic Solutions

Words ‘n’ Wishes Thanks Indies Publisher team earned their Spurs at its Annual Conference Words ‘n’ Wishes held its 8th Annual National Conference recently at the spectacular new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, adopting the club’s motto, To Dare Is To Do, as the theme for the day. As a former professional footballer and football manager himself, Rod Brown, joint md and co-owner of Words ‘n’ Wishes, knows a thing or two about adopting the right tactics, maintaining a strong team spirit, putting in the ground work and pleasing the fanbase. When put on the spot for his sports report, Rod told PG: “Over the course of any ‘season’ there are constant ups and downs, you need to be solid at the basics with the ability for a bit of flair to master the challenges and see you over the winning line.” Words ‘n’ Wishes’ 29-person strong sales team all attended the Conference, which involved discussions on the successes and challenges of the past year, plans for a fruitful coming 12 months, the unveiling of a raft of new products, crowning of key sales people, as well as the launch a Thank You Rewards Scheme for retailers. “We’re giving something back to our loyal customers, a token of our appreciation for their continued support. Customers can choose between luxury food and drink hampers or high street gift cards - which are a

welcome addition during this build up to the festive season,” said Rod Brown, joint md of Words ‘n’ Wishes. Taking place a year after Words ‘n’ Wishes took on the distribution of Danilo products for the independent sector, the Conference also provided an opportunity for Danilo’s md, Daniel Prince, to thank the Words ‘n’ Wishes team. The event saw the unveiling of over 140 new everyday designs, including new ranges from Danilo and Quitting Hollywood (which Words ‘n’ Wishes also distributes into the independent channel). The day saw a number of the publisher’s agents being rewarded in a series of awards. Scott Gibson received the coveted Salesperson of the Year accolade, Neil Pearson won the Development Agent of the Year award, while Tony Hart was fanfared as having achieved the Highest Spring and Highest Christmas Sales. Above: The Words ‘n’ Wishes team at the new Tottenham Hotspur ground. Left: Scott Gibson (left) received the Sales Person of the Year Award from Words ‘n’ Wishes’ joint md Carl Salt.

Bookings rack up for The Ladder Club

Below: The Ladder Club will be staged at the BDC on November 28.

With a great line up of speakers and an agenda packed with info, a host of newbie and emerging publishers have booked themselves in to attend The Ladder Club seminar, which will take place for the first time at London’s Business Design Centre, on Thursday 28 November. “By attending The Ladder Club seminar I learned how to do everything properly - not just winging it!” was Emma Bryan of Emma Bryan Designs’ summary of the benefits of attending The Ladder Club seminar last year. For Sarah Burman of Burman Designs it was the “wealth of information, the little tit bits you wouldn’t think of or have any idea of where to find out about them,” that stood out from her Ladder Club experience. This year’s speakers include retailer David Robertson, md of JP Pozzi, in Buckie and Elgin; sales agent, Rose Trow; The Art File’s co-founder Ged Mace; Megan Purdie, the founder of Megan Claire and Andy Paterson, sales director of Woodmansterne. The cost of attending The Ladder Club is £90 (+VAT), which includes refreshments and lunch. Bookings can be made online (, or by contacting Clare Hollick of Createvents/Keystone Communications on

Continuing its campaign to reduce the environmental impact of greeting cards for publishers and retailers, Sheffield-based greeting card printers, Loxleys, has come up with a packaging alternative for charity Christmas multi-packs, which supercede the need to use plastic. In addition, it has also made a breakthrough with a design for a nonplastic euro-hook that can be used for single cards as well as multipacks. Above: Loxleys’ paper band solution for multicard charity packs can be branded with publisher’s and/or the charity’s logo.

WHS’ card commitment WHSmith has reinforced its commitment to greeting cards and stationery within its High Street retail shops. As part of his statement which coincided with the announcement of the group’s preliminary results for the retail group (which covers the 12 months to August 31), group chief executive, Stephen Clarke said that “Stationery”, of which WHS includes greeting cards as a part, remains a “key area of investment” for this part of the group. This is reflected in the ‘new look’, which gives greater prominence to cards and stationery being installed in more of its stores.

The group revenue (which includes its UK High Street and Travel businesses) was up 11%, with like-for-like revenue up 1%. Once again its Travel division performed ahead of the High Street, the former being up by 22%, driven, according to Stephen Clarke, by “UK store investment programme and our expanding international business.” Profit for the year, in its Travel side, was up 14%. “In our High Street business, we have delivered another good performance,” said Stephen, who handed over the reins as group ceo at the end of October to Carl Cowling. He added that the ‘Back to School’ period saw “good growth across many product categories”. That said, WHS High Street turnover and like-for-like sales both dipped by 2%. In keeping with WHS’ international growth spurt, the retail group announced its intentions to buy Marshall Retail Group, a US equivalent of WHS travel business, for £400 million. Once the deal is completed the number of stores WHSmith has in the US will double. Above: WHS is committed to cards.



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The Calies’ 2019 Finalists Publishers galore feature in the UK calendar awards’ line-up Buyers from Calendar Club, Waterstones, John Lewis and House of Cards joined the other members of a Judging Panel to arrive at the finalists for The Calies, the UK calendar, diary and Advent awards 2019. “In what is only the third year of The Calies, testament to the strength and diversity of the sector, we received well over 450 entries from 40 different publishers this year, each and every one a good reason to mark time!” stated Warren Lomax, md of Max Publishing, which owns and organises The Calies. Publishers Abrams & Chronicle, Alison Gardiner, Allan & Bertram, Andrews McMeel Publishing, Art Angels, Avonside Publishing, Brainbox Candy, BrownTrout, Carousel, Castelli Milano, Danilo, The Eco-friendly Card Company, English Graphics, Flame Tree, Graphique de France, Hallmark Cards, Ling, Pomegranate, Portico, Pyramid, Quadrille, Really Good, Roger la Borde, Rose Calendars, Seedlings Cards and Gifts, teNeues Calendars, Woodmansterne and Wrendale all have calendars, diaries and Advents which feature among the contenders for this year’s prestigious awards. All Calies 2019 winners will be announced at an awards event, which will take place on Tuesday 19 November at Stationers’ Hall, in the City of London (5.15pm - 7.45pm).

Below: Some of the Festive Friday livery.

The event will be hosted by top comedian Stuart Goldsmith, with Hazel Walker, senior buyer of Waterstones, among the preawards speakers. The ticket cost is £60 + VAT. This includes a drinks reception and canapés, talks and award ceremony, with networking continuing post-awards (paid bar available). You can book tickets for The Calies online via or contact Clare Hollick on 01733 294524 or by emailing (See pages 20-21) Top: The Calies judging panel and organisers. (Left-right bottom row to top row) Lisa Rutherford (John Lewis), Miles Robinson (House of Cards), Nick Henry (Gould), Jakki Brown (PG), Becky Salter (Calendar Club), Beth Adams (John Lewis), Iain Bullock (Renz), Tim Reynolds (Medici), Claire Quinn (Waterstones), Warren Lomax (PG), Hazel Walker (Waterstones), Mark Grayson (Max Publishing), Rob Dand (Calendar Club), Nigel Williamson (House of Cards) and Dermot Callaghan (Renz). Above: Comedian Stuart Goldsmith is to host The Calies.

Bianca Mastrodomenico appointed Waterwells’ head of brokerage Former WH Smith and National Trust card buyer, Bianca Mastrodomenico (right) has joined GBCC taking up the role of head of brokerage of its Waterwells side. Two months after GBCC and Waterwells' acquisition by Swan Mill, Chris Wilcox, continuing managing director of GBCC, has made contact with all Waterwells' retail customers to thank them for their “patience and ongoing support” while “we have been finding our feet following a period of business changes.” Apologising that some Christmas stock took a little longer to dispatch than had been hoped, Chris said that this was “due to legacy issues with logistics”, but assures that these have now been resolved. The letter also details how Waterwells has secured the ongoing support from 25 different card publishers willing to be part of the brokerage operation. In addition to Ling (a sibling to GBCC), these include The Art File, Blue Eyed Sun, Laura Darrington, Paper Rose, Paper Salad, Rachel Ellen and Portfolio. “We are also really excited to be bringing in publishers that are new to Waterwells, such as Emotional Rescue, Danilo and Henries’ award winner, Louise Tiler Designs,” said Chris. Chris ends the letter with: “We know that retailing is hard and we thank you once again for your on-going support. We are now confident that we can supply you both the product and the service that you require in this tough market.” Left: Waterwells is run from GBCC’s Gloucester premises.



l Everyone in the industry is urged to get involved with Festive Friday (November 29) by sending their Christmas cards on that day. There are posters and flyers for the GCA initiative to kick-start Christmas card sending available to download on the GCA website (

l John Lewis & Partners’ Lizzie Batchelar (right) has moved on as assistant buyer of cards, giftwrap and seasonal events to her new role in the company as assistant buyer for gift food. Lily Starling becomes the new assistant buyer for cards, giftwrap and seasonal events on November 11.

l Brainbox Candy cards and plenty of Danilo calendars feature in HMV’s new flagship store, The Vault, that opened in Birmingham in the middle of last month. Above: HMV’s new Birmingham store.

l Matt Denton (right) has joined Widdop and Co. as territory manager for the South-West of England. Matt joins from Baker and Taylor selling books and gift stationery into the garden centre and gift sectors. Matt takes over the area from Bob Morgan who will be focusing his efforts on the South of England.

l Last month, envelope company, Blake, supported From Me To You in its Big Letter Write, a campaign which encourages everyone to group together - whether it be with friends, neighbours, or work colleagues - and write letters! The company is also continuing in its support of The Jolly Postman Learning Programme with the Postal Museum with an aim of raising the literacy attainment of some of the most deprived children in London. Above: Blake is getting behind encouraging people to put pen to paper.

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NEWS BBC interest in #cardtokeep


Uplifting Presidential Address Belly Button’s Rachel Hare becomes GCA president Safeguarding creative integrity and pushing the industry forward on the environmental front were two of the main priorities Rachel Hare, md of Belly Button Designs, cited in her first speech as president of the GCA. Addressing a packed audience of publishers, retailers and suppliers at last month’s GCA centenary AGM and Conference (which took place at Westminster’s Central Hall), Rachel highlighted how, when it comes to card design “Some icons never go out of fashion and the trends we all follow will come and go, but it is how we apply our own branding and handwriting to these which we must hold precious and respect those of others. This in turn will keep the vibrancy and creativity of our industry bubbling away.” Officially taking over as GCA president from UKG’s customer and channel director, Ceri Stirland at the gathering, Rachel shared her journey from art student to setting up and developing Belly Button Designs into the muchrespected design-led publisher which next year celebrates its 25th anniversary. The company also owns three card and gift shops under the same brand. As to Rachel’s expectations for the two years of her presidential reign, she is in no doubt that the environment will continue to be dominant.

“Two years ago at Belly Button we began the process of trying to reduce the amount of plastic that we use. I do champion naked cards. In our own shops we have been displaying cards this way for 18 months with no issues at all. In fact the opposite they look and sell better,” stressed Rachel. She however acknowledged that it does bring production and logistics complications as well as increased costs, but these, in her opinion, are worth absorbing. “It is important we continue to have dialogue and work with retailers and brokers together to allow change,” stressed Rachel, saying that this push from within the industry will be more than matched by demands from the consumer. Ending her speech on a poignant high, Rachel drew on the inspiration from something Mary Portas said during a BBC Radio 4 programme recently. “A phrase she used which stood out for me was ‘purpose is the new luxury’. We must keep creativity and originality at the heart of what we do, and bear our purpose in mind.” (See Viewpoints pages 27-29)

The BBC has shown a serious interest in the GCA’s #cardtokeep initiative with a view to playing a key role in its launch onto the consumer level. The campaign, instigated as part of the GCA’s centenary celebrations, highlights the emotional connections greeting cards make through individual stories of cards received and treasured. Responding to an invitation from Amanda Fergusson, ceo of the GCA, Kathryn Morrison, a senior producer for the BBC, came to Central Hall Westminster at the end of the GCA Centenary AGM and Conference to discuss the #cardtokeep initiative as well as learn more about the industry. Kathryn, who works across projects and programmes on the 40 BBC local radio stations, regional television and online, met up with Amanda as well as Sarah Seltzer, director of PR Direct (a leading PR

The Queen gave her approval on a special collection of postage stamps, all of which feature greeting card designs from six UK greeting card publishers. Christmas card designs from Belly Button Designs, Cath Tate Cards, Carte Blanche Greetings, Ling Designs, Marina B Designs and Peartree Heybridge star on the 10 different stamps that form the Isle of Man Post Office’s The Spirit of Christmas collection that launched at the end of last month. The stamp collection is the result of a collaboration between the Isle of Man Post Office and the GCA, with independent card retailer Chris Beards playing a part in putting the two parties together. The GCA AGM saw cardies being treated to a sneak peek of the stamps, with Isle of Man Post presenting the GCA with a special framed set.

consultancy with whom the GCA is working) and Geoff Sanderson (of Celebration Nation), who curated the GCA’s 100th anniversary exhibition. Up until now the #cardtokeep initiative has focused on encouraging those in the trade to share their stories about cards they have kept that mean something special to them, but now the plan is to extend this to the general public, hopefully with the BBC’s backing to launch it wider. “It was great that Kathryn was able to see our exhibition and get a feel for our industry,” said Amanda Fergusson. “What we now need are more stories and pictures from those in the trade of special cards people have received, kept and treasured,” added Amanda, encouraging cardies to look at the GCA_UK instagram feed to read the ones that have already been shared and be inspired to share their own. “The more stories we have from the trade, the more likelihood we have of the BBC wanting to help launch this to the wider public,” says Amanda. l Email:, post on Instagram account and tag @GCA_uk including the hash-tags cardtokeep and gca100.

Left: Enlargements of all the stamps were shared at the GCA AGM. Above: Three Ling designs were selected by IoM for its festive collection.

Above: BBC’s Kathryn Morrison (left) with PR Direct’s Sarah Seltzer in front of part of the GCA’s 100th Anniversary exhibition that was launched at the association’s recent AGM and Conference.

Top: Incoming GCA president, Belly Button’s md Rachel Hare, championed the need for publishers to safeguard their creative handwriting and show mutual respect for other publishers to maintain the industry’s vibrancy. Above: Amanda Fergusson, ceo of the GCA, at the recent gathering with Olly Tress, founder of Oliver Bonas who was the keynote retail speaker at the event.

Queen approved card stamps



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The Calies 2019

The Finalists of The Calies 2019

Well over 450 calendars, diaries and Advents were entered into The Calies calendar and diary awards this year, with each and every one going under the scrutiny of a Judging Panel made up of retailers and industry experts. Here the finalists are revealed… (In alphabetical order):

Best Animal Kingdom Calendar l Deluxe Wildlife Edition Seed Calendar from Seedlings Cards & Gifts l I Like Birds’ Birds & Blooms Limited Edition from BrownTrout Publishers l Marine Conservation Society Sea Change from Carousel Calendars l National Geographic Tigers from Carousel Calendars l Seven Worlds One Planet from Danilo Promotions

Best Corporate (B2B) Animals or the Natural World Calendar l Deep Blue from Rose Calendars l Face 2 Face from Allan & Bertram l Nature’s Architecture from Allan & Bertram l Untamed from Allan & Bertram

Best Transport Calendar l England by Rail from Pomegranate Europe l Fiat 500 from Avonside Publishing l Haynes Classic from teNeues Calendars l Spitfires from Avonside Publishing l Trevor Mitchell’s Vintage Tractors from Carousel Calendars l The VW Campervan from Danilo Promotions

Above: House of Cards’ Nigel Williamson (second left) and Miles Robinson with John Lewis & Partners’ Lisa Rutherford (second right) and Beth Adams at The Calies judging. Below: Calendar Club buyer Becky Salt and Max Publishing’s creative director Mark Grayson consider some of the entries.

Best Scenic Calendar l Earth + Space from Chronicle Books l London Calling from teNeues Calendars l Lunar Glow-In-The-Dark from Universe Publishing l Moon Landings from Flame Tree Publishing l National Trust Seasons from Carousel Calendars l Vintage Travel Posters from BrownTrout Publishers

Best Corporate (B2B) Scenic Calendar l 360 Interactive from Rose Calendars l Colin Prior Elementals from Rose Calendars l The Grand Tour from Allan & Bertram l On the Wing from Allan & Bertram

Best Art, Illustration or Design Calendar l Ben Rothery Illustrator Natural History from BrownTrout Publishers l Darth Vader and Son from Chronicle Books l Field & Fur by Jane Bannon from The Art Group l Frida Kahlo Wall Art from Flame Tree Publishing l The Paintings of Eric Wert from Pomegranate Publishing l RHS Plant, Grow, Harvest from Carousel Calendars

Best Corporate (B2B) Contemporary Calendar l Art from Allan & Bertram l Ethos from Rose Calendars l Iconic Structures from Rose Calendars l Swarez from Allan & Bertram 20


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The Calies 2019

Best Charity Calendar l Battersea Here For Every Dog And Cat from Portico Designs l Greenfingers International Garden Photographer Of The Year from BrownTrout Publishers l Marine Conservation Society Sea Change from Carousel Calendars l National Geographic Great Mountains from Carousel Calendars l The Wildlife Trusts from The Eco-friendly Card Co

Best Corporate (B2B) Special Interest, Bespoke or Humorous Calendar l Eagle Speedsters (bespoke) for Eagle Speedsters produced by Rose Calendars l Flying Legends from Allan & Bertram l The Lost Gardens of Heligan (bespoke) produced by The Eco-friendly Card Co l Maritime Gallery from Allan & Bertram l Strongman (bespoke) for Giants Live produced by Rose Calendars

l Winnie the Pooh Official Family Organiser from Danilo Promotions l Winnie the Pooh Organiser for M&S from Hallmark Cards

Best Advent Calendar l The British Isles at Christmas from Caltime at Woodmansterne l Christmas Procession from Ling Design l Coppenrath’s Vintage Gramophone from Alison Gardiner l Gardeners’ Seed Advent from Seedlings Cards & Gifts l The Met Toy Shop Pop-Up from Abrams l The Night Before Christmas from Roger la Borde l Pantomime from Art Angels l Sally Swannell Father Christmas and Friend Advent Calendar from Wrendale Designs

Best Diary - Generic l The Bright Side from Really Good l Busy Bee from Graphique de France l Desk Diary from Wrendale Designs l Eden Lily Weekly Diary from Castelli Milano l One Line A Day from Chronicle Books

Best Diary - Licensed l Blue Planet II from Danilo Promotions l Floret’s Farm’s Cut Flower Garden from Chronicle Books l Happy Jackson from Danilo Promotions l I Like Birds from BrownTrout Publishers l Oliver Bonas from Quadrille Publishing l Winnie the Pooh A5 from Danilo Promotions

Best Desk Calendar Above: Waterstones senior buyer Hazel Walker (left) and buyer Claire Quinn considering the art calendar contenders.

Best Music, Talent or Sports Calendar l The Beatles Abbey Road from Danilo Promotions l David Bowie The Man Who Sold The World from Danilo Promotions l Liverpool FC Collector’s Edition Box Set from Danilo Promotions l The Modern Mamil from Portico Designs l Royal Ballet from Flame Tree Publishing

Best Entertainment or Humorous Calendar l Hurrah for Gin from Portico Designs l Peaky Blinders from Danilo Promotions l Pun-ny Calendar for M&S from Hallmark Cards l Spike Milligan from Flame Tree Publishing l We Rate Dogs from Andrews McMeel Publishing

Best Family Organiser or Planner l The Country Set Family Organiser from Wrendale Designs l Natural History Museum Dinosaurs Family Calendar from Portico Designs l Stick Man Family Planner from teNeues Calendars

l Dog Lovers from English Graphics l F In Exams from Chronicle Books l Friends Everyday from Danilo Promotions l Modern Toss Work from Brainbox Candy l National Geographic Photo Of The Day from Carousel Calendars l TRUMPisms from Andrews McMeel

The Calies’ Calendar Ambassador 2019 No finalists are announced for this award.

The Calies awards’ event All Calies 2019 winners will be announced at an awards event, which will take place on Tuesday 19 November at Stationers’ Hall in the City of London (5.15pm-7.45pm). The event will be hosted by top comedian Stuart Goldsmith, with Hazel Walker, senior buyer of Waterstones, among the pre-awards speakers. The ticket cost is £60 + VAT. This includes a drinks reception and canapés, talks and awards ceremony, with networking continuing post-awards (paid bar available). You can book tickets for The Calies online via or contact Clare Hollick on 01733 294524 or by emailing



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Going To

The Chapel Independent card and gift retailer, David Robertson, coowner of JP Pozzi in Scotland, highlights the parallels between marriage and running your own business. As I write this column I am literally a month away from one of life’s major events. No, not the opening of another store or the picking up of an award, but the event of tying the knot! Yes, at the grand old age of 45 I will finally cross the line and get married after previously being engaged once or maybe twice! I have been very lucky to have shared three distinct stages of my life with three exceptional women, and the reason I was not married previously was because of me, not them. Why now? Well quite simply I have changed and I am with someone who really understands me and the way I am in terms of

my work and things I love to do. Having someone that understands is very important. With things as tough as they are you need someone to not let you get totally caught up in the whirlwind of Clintons for sale, Links going bankrupt, Mike Ashley closing all House of Fraser stores, or worst of all, the possibility of Pizza Express going under… and that was all in one week! Business, as I have said many times, is all consuming. In the bustle of it all you tend to lose focus of what is really important, and friends that have ‘normal’ jobs will never understand the buzz or indeed pressure of 22


making a living and paying your mortgage from a business that you have created. You could be an artist, a publisher, a retailer or in fact the window cleaner, what you do is irrelevant, being your own boss and in love with your business is one of the most challenging relationships you will ever enter. Spend too much time with it and other things suffer. Not enough time and the chances of it surviving and thriving lessen. Take time away and you feel guilty. Do something else and you feel like you are cheating on your true love. In fact, running and making your own business a success is no doubt as challenging as making a marriage work. Neither of them is guaranteed, and the failure rate is interesting. The latest figures from 2017 show around 42% of marriages end in divorce, while around 30% of new businesses fail in the first two years and approximately 50% in the first five years. So if you were looking at those odds I am not sure you would take the bet, but many do and of course statistics can only tell you so much. One of the key things that is helping the divorce rate actually fall is that people are getting married later in life and are often living together first. In this respect they are investigating the market and deciding if this is really where they want to be and that it will work for them.

Times and life, are a-changing One of the problems of business is that no matter how much you research or look at things it can change. Retail is changing beyond all belief. We now hear that there are 10% less people visiting the High Street than seven years ago.

Top: Marriage and running your own business are very similar. Above: In a few weeks David will be tying the knot. A card from Louise Tiler. Below left: Pizza Express has made losses for the last two years as its operating profits were offset by high interest payments on its £1.1bn debt pile. Below: Selfridges in Oxford Street is soon to open a three screen cinema instore.

Shopping and the traditional Saturday visits to the town centre are disappearing. My mum’s friend went to visit her daughter and grandkids. She got all ready on the Saturday to head into the main city to find all her family in their PJ’s on various devices. She was told, “Granny we don’t go to shops anymore”, and this is indicative of what is happening. Yet, when retail is done well it can pay off, although these days it’s all about the experience - whether online or in store.

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OVER THE COUNTER Recently we’ve had a lot of bad retail news, yet Selfridges lodged record profits which were based on bricks and mortar sales as well as online clicks. Next month Selfridges launches its own cinema, which will join its skateboard park and many other unique and quirky elements instore. It is the benchmark for department stores. But, while it is flying, a tired Debenhams has had to secure an extra £50 million just to get through the key Christmas period. So what do we take from this? Well, some people will do what is needed to make it work. Many key indies are like this, with good promos, great instore/window displays and a service that is above and beyond. We all need to be that little bit more inventive, that little bit more understanding of what people want, and once you have it figured out accept that within quite a short period of time it will all change again. Marriage, like business, is a fluid thing and people change in a relationship with time and personal challenges. Learning to live with someone else is half the battle they always say. That sense of when you need to be there or help your partner is a bit like judging your customers - do they need/want your help?

Long term goals, short-term accounting Another big stumbling point is that once the wedding is over and the first flush of love has past do you want the same things? Have you talked through key things? What kind of house? How many kids? You would hope that these conversations would have taken place, but then again you are never sure. In business having a proper thought through plan is crucial. Many people have an idea, but can they sustain it? What is their next idea and where will they be in five or ten years time? Dreams without goals are just dreams. You need to have things that you are striving for. A proper business plan, while never set in stone, should be broadly adhered to.

Wrong place, wrong time In terms of some of my previous relationships, I believe it was quite simply the wrong place or wrong time. And in that respect, where and how people start their new business is crucial.

Some locations are expensive but can guarantee footfall, but can you cover the cost? Other locations are tertiary and are affordable but could you get enough customers to discover you and keep them coming back? Location is a key consideration, as is the market you are catering to and who will use the business and keep its doors open. A bargain basement store will not be needed in Knightsbridge for example. You have to consider where you and your business fit into the retail landscape. There are many examples of businesses that are formed too late or too early, or were actually ahead of their time. Sometimes too, like marriage, it may just not work.

Lack of cash One sure-fire thing to put marriage or business, or indeed anything else, in trouble is lack of money. While the Beatles may have said ‘Love is all you need’, I am afraid that in the modern world we all expect and want more than that.

Rigidity The secret of every marriage is apparently the ability to give and take, to compromise and find solutions that will work for both parties. In business this is probably easier than in life if I am honest. Being able to see, listen and react to another person’s point of view is key. In marriage and business stubbornness and a lack of compromise can end things before they have begun, and when it comes to relationships, these are key problem areas. In life there are many other emotions mixed in, where, as in business, it should be held on a more professional level. That said, the emotional attachment to a business can be exceptionally personal and hearing or taking on any criticism can be difficult. It is essential though, to allow you to grow, that you do listen to others and take on board what they say.

Running before you can walk Again the magic rule book says that you need to give yourself time to adjust to marriage as it is just not a piece of paper, it does change things. This is very true with business too. In the past I have found that it is easy to expand too fast. You have to give yourself time to settle in and get the profitability behind you again. I am guilty of the ‘where is the next project?’ scenario - what can I do next? This has meant that I have always been on the edge for the last number of years and have made many mistakes that, while not fatal, have caused me problems.

Above: As in business, it takes time to adjust to marriage. Left: Good wishes to David and his soon to be wife - a

I speak to so many businesses that don’t look at the long-term planning of the cash flow or the expenses, and at the end of the year they are shocked. Now in my case I look probably too much, and in some ways I let the numbers rule me a bit. That doesn’t mean that I get it right, far from it, but it does mean I know exactly where I am. The old adage of ‘don’t wait for the roof to start leaking before you mend it’ is very true, and as with everything proper consistent planning is the best way to manage money, either in business or in a relationship.

Work at it I am currently experiencing a bit of selfdoubt, not about my bride to be but about the choices I make, and continue to make, relating to the challenge of business at the moment. The only thing that is predictable is that things are unpredictable and there is no consistency on the High Street. There are many of us small traders that will rely on our partners to lift us in those days when sales are in a slump, and I know that the new Mrs Robertson will be fed up listening to all my tales of woe. But actually maybe I won’t be too bad at this marriage thing at all. It really is just like running a business it seems. Working hard, being passionate, being reliable and honest are all basic expectations in business and certainly in marriage, and I hope to prove to be a better husband than I am a businessman. To contact David email: PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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Strategically How the mighty have fallen, mused Cardsharp. Clinton Cards, once almost a generic name for card retailing, has allegedly been taken off the market after failing to attract a buyer. Well, anyway that is the word on the greeting card street, or should that be the ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’?

Clintons, the UK’s second largest standalone specialist greeting card chain, was put up for sale a couple of months ago. The Weiss family who own the 334-store chain had appointed KPMG to oversee ‘A review of strategic options’ which is ‘City speak’ for ‘looking for a buyer’, thought Cardsharp. But the gossip is that a suitor has not come forward who is prepared to pay the sort of sum the Weiss family were hoping for. Cardsharp can’t say he is surprised. In fact, he was surprised that the Weiss family decided to potentially put Clintons on the market in the first place, as it is hardly the ideal time for a potential sale.

Getting a decent price for any retail chain at the moment in the UK is asking a lot. Bricks and mortar retail chains without a decent web presence (an area Clintons has never really invested in) are not exactly in high demand. Even Card Factory, which in Cardsharp’s view has performed miracles to achieve and sustain great profits in such a difficult environment, is distrusted in certain City circles. And marketing it while the



whole country is in a state of uncertainty with the Brexit D-day looming was hardly likely to make potential suitors rush in. And with a distracting general election looming retail faces a challenging Christmas. Add to that an annual loss of £14 million in the last set of financials, which followed on from big losses in previous years, and on the surface Clintons doesn’t look a very attractive proposition. While there has been some canny ‘tidying up’, most notably moving out of its expensive and now outsized HQ in Loughton, if it were not privately owned by such wealthy private owners Cardsharp wonders whether it would have gone bust by now. How things have changed. Clinton Cards started in 1968, when Don Lewin opened a single shop in Epping. He named it Clintons after his son Clinton, who in later years would become its chief executive. After slow and steady growth, the business really took off when Clintons became a publicly-listed company in the early 1990s and then went on an acquisition trail that would see it acquire a host of specialist card chains in the UK. But hubris got the better of the directors when they bought the ailing Birthdays chain, not for sound financial reasons, but in order to top the ‘not so magical’

Above: Clintons’ owners, the Weiss family, has appointed KPMG to oversea 'A review of strategic options’ for the retail chain. Below: Clinton Cards first opened in 1968. Below left: Don Lewin, founder of Clintons.

1,000 store mark. This was one acquisition too far. Having acquired Birthdays, the management seemed to have little idea what to do with it. And they ended up putting Birthdays into administration in an attempt to slim it down to size. From then on it was all downhill from there. The management had no idea how to deal with the threat of the vertically integrated value chain that Dean Hoyle was building so adroitly and it all culminated in a sad end seven years ago when AG acquired the debt from the banks and put the whole group into administration and acquiring the chain. This could have led to a fresh start. With the Lewin family out of the picture, and the portfolio drastically slimmed down, there was in hindsight, Cardsharp reflects, still an opportunity to turn things around. But sadly the American management team AG initially brought in to run Clintons (while also keeping their hand in on the US side too) didn’t come up

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CARDSHARP trumps on UK card retailing. Clintons’ then prime top selling plush gift line, ‘the Grey Bear’ aka Me to You from CBG, was virtually kicked out in favour of gift lines with a distinctly American flavour. Greeting cards were moved to the back of the store in many refits, and traditional card racks were replaced with trendy modern feet to head racks that did not prove conducive to greeting card browsing. Even the famous Clinton Cards fascia that was a strong beacon on so many high streets was replaced with the single word ‘Clintons’. The American management team was replaced a couple of years ago with the present head honcho, Eddie Shepherd, but by then some damage had been done. In February 2018 the Weiss family sold their majority shareholding in AG/UKG to private equity group Clayton, Dubilier Rice (CDR), but retained full ownership of Clintons, presumably because CDR didn’t want the loss making chain, and including Clintons in the deal would have depressed the amount the Weiss family received from the sale. Moving on to this year, Clintons has really expanded its own in-house studio dramatically in an attempt to partially emulate the so successful vertically integrated Card Factory model. It is probably too soon from the outside to see how successful this has been. And Eddie Shephard, traditionally one of the most low profile of chief executives, has actually been talking to the media. Which brings Cardsharp to where we are now with KPMG looking at the options for the Weiss family. Cardsharp had heard rumours that there were four players that had expressed an interest in the chain. How serious their intentions were Cardsharp doesn’t know. One does not have to be a brain surgeon to suspect one of that quartet would be Card Factory. As a Plc, the senior management there would have a duty to its shareholders to at least look at it. And the other major player, the expanding and profitable Cardzone group, would surely have had a look, especially as it was rumoured that it was close to a deal to acquire Clintons four years ago, before AG/UKG, the then owners of Clintons, lost the massive Tesco account to Hallmark. As for the other so-called suitors, Cardsharp can only speculate on their identities. The Works, of which Dean Hoyle (founder of Card Factory) is a major

shareholder, is a name that has cropped up, and the company is certainly agile and hungry for growth, but Cardsharp does not see the middle market slot being one that would appeal to Mr H. Cardsharp wonders if Mike Ashley of Sports Direct, renowned for his aggressive acquisition approach, has had a look, but somehow Cardsharp can’t see the big burly macho man getting his head around something as fluffy as greeting cards, but who knows.

WHSmith has been mentioned, but, while it has some money in its piggybank, it has now closed down Cardmarket (a dalliance into value end) and has not really developed its Funky Pigeon side as much as it could have. From what Cardsharp has read its recent acquisitive action has been targeted at growing its international presence, notably on the travel retail side. Throwing another name in the ring as a peruser (and Cardsharp has no evidence to know whether they did have a look) is Edinburgh Woollen Mill (EWM). Phillip Day’s sprawling retail empire growth has been

Above: When AG took over Clintons it refreshed the shops’ facia and in store look. Below: Dominique Schurman took over as Clintons’ CEO when AG took the chain over in 2012.

fueled by a certain type of ‘financial engineering’, or ‘bottom feeding’ as some commentators have unkindly put it. Certainly, EWM has a penchant for acquiring distressed retail chains, Bonmarché being the latest in a long line. Up to now EWM has mainly gobbled up fashion brands and chains, but who knows? After all greeting cards is a fashion industry in many ways. Whatever the long-term outcome for Clintons, let us hope for all of us it turns out well. Paperchase’s very civilised Creditors Voluntary Agreement (CVA) earlier this year, where suppliers were paid to terms with rents and leases renegotiated, would be a good template. But Cardsharp thinks the last thing our industry needs is bad publicity. When Clintons went bust seven years ago, it was claimed in many inaccurate press articles that it was caused ‘By a failure to adapt to the threat of cards from the internet’, when we all know it was caused by the rise of Card Factory, the recession, rents that were far too high and bad management decisions. And indeed, seven years down the line the online share of the market has only increased by a couple of percentage points and is still only a tiny 6% at best. Although the time when Clintons had 800 shops seems an age ago, even with the 300+ stores trading now, it is still a key greeting card presence in so many of our shopping malls and high streets. Cardsharp thinks we should all pray for a successful outcome to this ‘strategic review’.



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Century “Central Hall Westminster is renowned as a place to bring people together, in 1946 the first meeting of the United Nations was actually held in this building,” said Amanda Fergusson, ceo of the GCA, in her welcome speech at last month’s GCA’s Centenary AGM and Conference. It certainly was a powerful gathering, which saw well over 160 members of the greeting card community - publishers, retailers, trade suppliers and affiliates - enjoy all the treats the packed agenda served up, and who made the most of the networking opportunities. PG relives some of the highlights of this milestone event. Reinforcing the appropriateness of the Central Hall Westminster as the venue for this year’s GCA AGM and Conference, the association’s Amanda Fergusson highlighted that the GCA’s centenary celebrations coincided with the 100th anniversary of Nancy Astor becoming the first woman elected to take the oath and sit in the House of Commons, pointing out the increasing role of women is also very evident in the greeting card industry today, with many card publishers and retailers headed up by females, certainly a big change from the GCA’s earlier decades. “We didn’t factor in the Extinction Rebellion currently taking place outside, but this of course also links into our agenda as we review what we can do to improve our environmental footprint later today,” said Amanda. Amanda’s whistlestop account of the GCA’s activities since she took over as the association’s ceo at the end of last year included how membership has been built to close to 500 members (including representing over 15,000 retail rooftops), maintained a high profile in the media, forged ahead with

Above: Central Hall Westminster hosted the GCA’s Centenary AGM and Conference last month. Below: Past president Julian Royle double handed with Paul Woodmansterne to sum up some of the key issues and achievements of the GCA over the last ten decades. Julian was also delighted that several Royle designs were included in the exhibition, including a floral one based on a painting by his mother. Bottom: (Left-right) GCA ceo Amanda Fergusson, Geoff Sanderson (Celebration Nation who curated the 100th anniversary exhibition), outgoing president Ceri Stirland (UKG) and new president Rachel Hare (Belly Button).

initiatives including Festive Friday, Thinking of You Week, a transportable exhibition celebrating 100 years of greeting cards and how it is now set to leverage the Cards To Keep campaign to a consumer level. “The UK card industry is vibrant and varied; we’re living through challenging times but with so many young innovative publishers building successful businesses it’s an exciting time. We estimate that GCA members turning over less than £3m contribute £250m to retail card sales, and that is without including the many large GCA members taking UK designed cards into retailers throughout the UK and across the world. We should be very proud of our industry and its world-leading status,” said Amanda.

Ceri’s passionate swansong In her swansong speech as president of the GCA, Ceri Stirland, channel and customer director of UKG, did not hold back, with her punchy delivery gaining the attention of the packed audience. Acknowledging the progress that has been made by the industry on the environmental front, a key mission when she took over as president of the trade association two years ago, Ceri shared her delight that “the majority of retailers and publishers have made a stance and decided to ‘Go Naked’. My estimation is that by January 2020 the amount of cello-bagging on everyday cards will have reduced from 64% to 32% of the volume, a reduction of 438 Above: With single-use plastics seen as causing unnecessary tonnes - which is significant - a big damage to the environment, Ceri highlighted how by thank you to everyone.” January 2020 only a third of all That said, she urged the greeting everyday cards in the UK will be sold cellowrapped, half the card community to work to making number of the year previous. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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VIEWPOINTS further improvements, broadening their gaze to sustainability. “As an industry we now need to do more and think about how we reduce waste further. Can we remove plastic from outer packaging? Do we need to use as much cardboard? - Yes, it can be recycled, but it is still waste. Can we reuse FSDUs or are there reusable alternatives? Is it right to have such high seasonal waste? As retailers and publishers, how do we do things differently?” prompted Ceri. While acknowledging that the card trade is “a small part of the problem but we need to take our responsibilities seriously and lead from the front. I want us to be a better industry and contribute to a better world.” Presenting the findings from the GCA’s recently published UK Greeting Card Market Report, which showed the British public spent £1.7 billion on greeting cards in the last year, Ceri stressed that “Despite this being a time of unprecedented change and uncertainty for the UK, our industry has remained resilient and shown remarkable strength.” While there has been a slight dip in value and volume overall, this is against a backdrop of a drop in retail footfall and zero industry inflation. She picked out how Spring Seasons grew for the second year in succession and how relations and occasions card sales were also up.

“Christmas sales continue to be a challenge for our industry we need to work together to turnaround the decline,” said Ceri. Most encouragingly were the graphs she shared which demonstrated how greeting card engagement remains incredibly high, with well over 90% of the entire UK adult population buying cards. “This high participation is across genders and ages,” reassured Ceri, with Gen Z and Gen Y on course to further increase their engagement on the card front. “Despite the acceleration of social media, we are still seeing participation in greeting cards holding strong – proof that the British public are continuing to love our category.” Ceri was followed by an eloquent speech by Rachel Hare, md of Belly Button, as incoming GCA president, in which she shared her story, added her endorsement to the need to keep up the environmental pace and also urged all to keep creativity at the heart of our world-beating industry (see news section). Top: GCA’s immediate past president Ceri Stirland with her colleague James Conn, ceo of UKG at the event. Above: Most encouragingly, consumer participation in greeting cards is very strong.



Sainsbury’s, Waterstones and House of Cards speak out “Two years ago we had no idea we would all be here talking about this, but Blue Planet made the nation really wake up to the urgency of reducing plastic waste,” stated Adam Osborne, Woodmansterne’s director of operations and IT, who was on the panel for a dedicated environmental discussion at the GCA Conference. “The thought of going unwrapped was very scary at first, but now we wish we had done it sooner!” admitted Adam, who has been instrumental in driving the development of Woodmansterne’s Close Seal label which holds the card with the envelope. Fellow panelists included Sainsbury’s buyer Carly Pearson, Waterstones’ senior buyer Hazel Walker, House of Cards’ coowner Miles Robinson and The Art File’s md Ged Mace. “The packed room, as well as engagement prior to and during the discussion, reflects how high up the agenda the environmental issues are for those in the greeting card industry. It is vital that we share our views, experiences and solutions in order that myths are debunked, concerns are taken on board and progress is made,” said GCA ceo Amanda Fergusson. As Sainsbury’s Carly Pearson quantified, the grocer’s decision to ‘go naked’ from April 1 (on all cards other than those which require extra protection) has resulted in “77 tonnes of plastic being saved,” with the added bonus of resulting in increased sales. “We have seen the average selling price of cards increase and experienced minimal damaged stock,” revealed Carly. The addition of Point of Sale reminding shoppers to remember to pick up the appropriate envelope has also gone down well with Sainsbury’s customers. “We are now exploring non-plastic options for card packs and working with UKG on alternatives for FSDUs to Top: The Environmental panel at the GCA Centenary AGM and Conference. (Left-right) reduce waste,” added Carly. Amanda Fergusson (GCA), Ged Mace (The Art File), Hazel Walker (Waterstones). Carly Pearson Hazel Walker, senior (Sainsbury’s), Adam Osborne (Woodmansterne) buyer of Waterstones, shared and Miles Robinson (House of Cards). Above: Woodmansterne’s director of operations that its more “cautious, and IT, Adam Osborne (right), and House of co-owner Miles Robinson were more than measured approach” on the Cards’ happy to share their views on the ways the industry could further improve its environmental environmental front was credentials. progressing well. “Now, 20% of our new card designs are being supplied naked or with a paper clasp,” said Hazel, who expects this percentage to grow for the retailer.

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VIEWPOINTS Having recently undertaken a survey among its customers and staff of its six stores, Miles Robinson, co-owner of House of Cards, made no bones about what he sees as a “no brainer” - to go 100% unwrapped. The Home Counties retail group favours a ‘nested’ approach, with the envelope slotted inside the card, preferring this to the card clasp option which has resulted in some damages in House of Cards “as some shoppers break the seal to look inside the card,” according to Miles. Ged Mace, managing director of The Art File explained how the publisher has taken the decision that from the beginning of December all of its new ranges will be going ‘nested’ as a matter of course, unless there is a need for additional protection. In the case of the latter the publisher will continue to feature the wording ‘I am wrapped for a reason’.

Oliver Bonas boss thanks “brilliant” publishers “I love greeting cards, I absolutely adore them,” Olly Tress, owner of the lifestyle retail group Oliver Bonas confessed at the start of his quirky, honest and insightful keynote speech at the event. Paying tribute to greeting card publishers, the respected retailer said how “it is an incredible skill to be able to sensitively capture a relationship in words and pictures or maybe even just a graphic on a card. Thank you for being so brilliant.” While Olly acknowledged that while “retail has been up in the air,” including for Oliver Bonas, card sales are more than holding their own. “Our card sales are up 11% like-for-like, which for a mature category is impressive,” revealed Olly. “We have sold 1.5 million greeting cards in the last year, so we are happy!” Olly shared the retailer’s top selling card design of the last 18 months. Giving it the big build-up, he prefaced its showing by saying that it was a “mixture of philosophy, psychology and great sentiment” before revealing a print out of the Lucy Maggie Designs card, a simple graphic with the message ‘Shake your tits, it’s your birthday’. “Well done to Lucy Maggie for digging deep into the human psyche!” quipped Olly. Providing inspiration to the many entrepreneurs in the room, Olly recounted the company’s humble beginnings from a small shop in Parsons Green in London, selling handbags that Olly had imported from Hong Kong, kitting out the shop with secondhand equipment. “I knew absolutely nothing,” confessed Olly, whose nervousness on the first Saturday when the shop opened turned to euphoria when he counted up that it had taken £1,100 in sales. “I remember thinking, thank goodness, I have a future!” He relayed how things really started to improve once he heard about trade shows. “Someone said to me: “Are you going to Birmingham?” to which I replied “I hadn't intended to, why

“It will take us a year or so to work through our back catalogue of ranges,” said Ged. Following the panelists sharing their views, Amanda tasked the speakers and associate GCA members at the conference to answer questions from the audience, which covered glitter (a breakthrough on fully plastic-free flitter is expected in nine months); independent retailers’ reticence to move to unwrapped for practical reasons (multi-pocketing of designs), as well as whether foiled cards can be recycled (yes they can, as long as the foil does not equate for more than 25% of the cards’ coverage). The GCA has undertaken to update the Environmental Guidelines that will be hosted on the association’s website. Above: Sainsbury’s Carly Pearson with The Art File’s Ged Mace

Birmingham?” They then explained that the major trade show took place there, to which I replied: ‘What is a trade show?’ I immediately liked the idea of them; places you go to buy things!” confessed Olly. Olly says that the eclectic mix of Oliver Bonas was sparked by his own “magpie personality”, but admits that the retailer’s selection is far stronger these days now he has a team of buyers. In the early days Olly would meet with London card agents, including Niall Robson and Fiona Lychenhan, and he would make his own selection and decide on the quantities. “They would tell me that I had not ordered the best sellers, but I thought I knew what would sell. I was a total pain in the neck and of course learned to listen to them!”

Above left: Olly Tress, founder of Oliver Bonas speaking at the recent GCA AGM and Conference, with the retailer’s top selling card design by Lucy Maggie Designs. Above: Oliver Bonas now trades from 80 stores, has an online presence and is due to open in Dublin shortly, its first ‘overseas’ store.

In the ensuing 26 years, Oliver Bonas has grown to trade from 80 stores as well as an impressive online presence, with its first ‘overseas’ store due to open in Dublin. As to the ‘purpose’ of the business, Olly said its remit is crystalised in part of the quote from Hans Christian Andersen: “Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.” To his mind, you do not have to be biggest or everything to everyone, but aim to be the ‘little flower’, translating this into its company motto of ‘Work hard, play hard and be kind’.



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Retailer Spotlight


Information Tucked among the smart cafes, French Embassy and the infamous Daquise Polish restaurant, a meeting spot for spies in the Second World War, is the Medici Gallery in London’s South Kensington, a greeting card shop that opened its doors in 1938, a stone’s throw from the city’s largest museums on Exhibition Road. But it’s no secret that the Medici Gallery is thriving today under the ‘surveillance’ of shop manager Tim Reynolds. With a Retas 2019 accolade pride of place in its window, hailing it the Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer - London, PG met up for a retailing reconnaissance at this historic shop. Surrounded by some of the world’s greatest institutions of art, design, natural history and science, the Medici Gallery, near to London’s South Kensington Tube station, first opened its doors in 1938 selling its own Medici colour fine art reproduction prints, art materials, a huge amount of postcards and a framing service. “Because we are so close to the Natural History Museum, the V&A, Science Museum and Royal Albert Hall there has always been this sort of big art hub going on,” explains Tim Reynolds, manager of the independent greeting card store located in one of the most prestigious, culturally rich and wealthy areas of the capital. And it’s against the odds of sky-high retail rates and rents, the changing retail landscape, internet shopping and shop closures that the Medici Gallery is thriving, as testified by it being crowned Best Independent Card Retailer - London at The Retas 2019. “We’ve got a kind of anomaly here really. We’ve done very well in the last decade, not just because we’ve worked hard and made the shop work with the stock and the window displays, but because the museums have 30


really upped their game,” says Tim, citing how the V&A has opened up new galleries and it’s had huge exhibitions, including on Versace, Vivienne Westwood, David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Christian Dior and Frida Kahlo. “And then there’s the ice skating rink at the Natural History Museum in winter, and the butterfly tent in the summer, the list goes on and on,” adds Tim. Top: The Medici Gallery team: (Left to right) Elizabeth Curtin, Matthew Huggett, Tim Reynolds, Charlie Wheatley and Agnieszka KielakMahood. Above: In its early days the Medici Gallery sold its own Medici colour fine art reproduction prints, art materials and postcards. Right: The Medici Gallery’s 2019 Retas trophy sitting in the shop window on a plinth, with a tinsel Shirley Bassey curtain.

In addition, the large number of Blue Plaques on buildings in the area also attracts visitors too. “Many artists used to live in the area, such as Francis Bacon and Irish painter John Lavery,” reveals Tim. The area has an artistic history, that, and espionage. Tim reveals: “There was a spy drop off behind the nearby Brompton Oratory, and they used to meet at the Daquise Polish restaurant nearby. In fact, the bookshop two stores away has a bookshelf in its downstairs stockroom and behind it is a little hatch, and that’s where the spies used to meet. The chap who took over the shop said he found some papers referring to the Second World War, which are now with the Imperial War Museum.” Tim became part of the Medici Gallery’s ‘history’ when he took on the responsibility of running the shop in 2001, “and from day one we were pretty much left to our own devices to run the shop.” And he has a great closeknit team of staff working alongside him, including assistant manager, Charlie Wheatley, who started in 2011. “In the interview the light came shining through

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Retailer Spotlight

the window!” jokes Tim. “Yes, rather similar to one of those pictures of angels with the halos,” laughs Charlie, whose previous job was making gold, silver and platinum music awards for the industry. Together, it was Tim and Charlie who accepted The Retas Award last July when the store won its second accolade for Best Independent Retailer of Greeting Cards London. “She’s in pride of place. The Retas trophy has been sitting in the window since July on a plinth, with a big frame around it and a Shirley Bassey curtain, and we had a large printed banner, shouting about our win, especially made to set right across the length of the shop window” says Tim. This was the shop’s second Retas Award, but there is a third, one for Best Retail Employee awarded to Tim in 2017, the first man ever to win the award, in recognition of his hard work and dedication. “Basically Tim lives for this shop. The most important thing is that Tim is very friendly with his employees, very sympathetic and understanding, and makes you feel comfortable, and at the same time everyone knows their role. He can be quite a diva, but everyone respects that,” explains Charlie. “He makes all the agents feel at home. It’s a lovely characterful shop because of what Tim’s done,” says Charlie, as Tim jests nearby, stroking a toy white fluffy cat like a Bond megalomaniac, quoting: “Mr Kessler, I’ve been expecting you!” However, it’s not just the convivial atmosphere and friendly service that attracts customers into the shop, Tim and his staff are a creative bunch, often going to great lengths to create window displays that are themed to coincide with one of London’s museum’s current exhibitions, such as the Van Gogh show at the Tate Modern or its bold and eye-catching Frida Kahlo inspired window. And the shop’s small back yard is a riot of colour, inspired by Charlie’s visit to The Majorelle Gardens in Marrakech. The store can also claim Maggie Smith, Darcey Bussell, Neil Tennant and most of the cast of The Real Marigold Hotel, as just some of its celebrity greeting card shoppers, but it doesn’t stop there. “We have a great variety of customers. Being close to all the museums we get quite a lot of tourists from all over the world. Also, in the school

holidays it’s pretty ram-packed with UKbased young families. Then there are the European locals who have lived in the area for years”, says Charlie, adding, “but we also have a very strong client list of loyal customers who have been coming to the shop from nearly the beginning over 80 years ago. And then there are the local employees from the museums, offices and cafes.” With complete freedom and responsibility for the buying, Tim deals with close to 50 or 60 card publishers, either through ordering at trade shows or through his agents, only ordering in 6’s, sometimes 12’s if a range is really popular. “I’ve always felt that you have to give the customer choice and don’t put all your eggs in one basket”, he says sagely. Both Tim and Charlie feel that consumers are currently quite bored with what the retail chains have to offer and like to buy from an independent shop. “We make a point of selling different products and our agents help with that. We’re also competitive on our pricing. If we know that another store is selling the Top: The stunning Medici Gallery ‘yard’ inspired by the Majorelle gardens in Marrakech. Above: As well as a front part to the store, there is a back that’s currently offering calendars and Christmas items. Left: Tim in Bond megalomania mode, with his white fluffy cat.

same thing we will either price match it or go below,” adds Tim. The shop also does very well in the run up to Christmas. “People tend come to us to get all their Christmas bits, including calendars and Advent calendars. People come far and wide as we have a great variety of calendar titles, and the traditional German Advents which we import especially,” says Charlie. There’s no denying that the Medici Gallery is doing extremely well against the odds. Yes, its location and footfall is a dream, but it’s also due to Tim and his team’s proactive approach in this current difficult retailing climate. “There’s no doubt the evergrowing problem of rents and rates. Our profit margin is pretty small to be honest, we’ve got to sell a lot of cards to break even, and if we are selling the amount we do and are just getting through, then it must be very difficult for other shops,” highlights Charlie. However, while other retailers are suffering from a drop in footfall, the Medici Gallery store has something of a unique battle on its hands. Ironically, the whole area around the store has become so busy that

Transport For London (TFL) has stated that South Kensington Tube Station isn’t equipped to cope with the number of people, resulting in plans to revamp the station. So sadly, the shop, which sits to the side of the station, may be under threat. “The shop is one of those hidden gems, well not that well hidden, but it’s one of the reasons people like this road. There’s a lot of local love towards this shop, and we know that TFL realises that as we have a lot of influential neighbours who are wellconnected and are making their views heard,” Charlie says positively. And with ‘double-agents’ Tim and Charlie running the store, the independent Medici Gallery has a strong chance of surviving and thriving well into the future. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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The Henries In Pictures


Inset: All The Henries 2019 winners took to the stage of the Royal Lancaster Hotel, London, which was attended by 700 publishers, suppliers and retailers. Below: (right-left) Alpha Colour Printers’ Amy Muldrew, Maggie Williams, Luke Ostie and Tracey Knox in Peaky Blinders/Art Deco mode.

Henries History

Inset: The ‘placecards’ were actual historic greeting cards, there were props to tie in with the eras (both elements sponsored by House of Cards) while the menu took on an inventive ‘time machine’ design (designed and produced by Windles).

“Greeting cards may not be able to cure all the ills of society, but conversely no one would dispute the positive role that the greeting card sending habit, perpetuated by the GCA, has played in increasing human happiness through this special form of social communication… It is certainly a centenary worth celebrating,” said Jakki Brown, editor of PG in her welcome speech at The Henries awards event last month, which was themed around the 100th anniversary of the GCA. Here’s just a flavour of the historic Henries 2019…

Above: In keeping with GCA’s centenary, Max Publishing’s (right-left) Warren Lomax, Gale Astley and Jakki Brown, adopted 1919 garb. Left: Comedian and TV presenter, Tom Allen was spot on as host for The Henries. Right: (left-right) Jo Sorrell and Andrew McReynolds (Cardies), Sally Wyles (Cardzone) with Andrea Pinder (Presentation).



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The Henries In Pictures

Below: Windles’ md Bruce Podmore (second left) and his team celebrated the company’s history as it also toasted the GCA’s milestone year with its traditional pre-reception reception that was attended by publishers and suppliers galore.

Above left: The 12th Street Swingers in full flow in the reception. Above right: (left-right) Cardzone’s Claire Hall and Paul Taylor with IC&G’s Ian and Ursula Wagstaff. Right: The ever elegant Amanda Fergusson, ceo of the GCA, touched hearts and minds with her speech. Left: Legends in their own lifetime, the Brainbox Candy boys, as ever, were ‘in the frame’ to stand out, with Ben Hickman coming as The Queen and Mark Williams adopting a Frida Kahlo persona. Bottom left: Tesco buyer Anna Rogers won the fun ‘Higher or Lower’ elimination quiz at the start of the evening. She was presented with her prize (a magnum of champagne, vintage-style champagne glasses and an antique print of Sir Henry Cole (namesake of The Henries), by Steve Baker, sales and marketing director of Pigment, sponsor of the warm-up game.

Below: There was much fun to be had with the Magic Mirror photobooth (sponsored by House of Cards).



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The Henries In Pictures Left: (right-left) Mark Janson-Smith (Postmark), Natalie Morphet (Portfolio), Ged Mace (The Art File) and Jayne Diggory (Portfolio). Below left: The charity raffle raised well over £6,000 for The Light Fund. Current GCA president (and UKG customer and channel director) Ceri Stirland (centre) and incumbent president, Rachel Hare, md of Belly Button Designs shared the responsibility of picking the winning tickets, helped along by Winston Churchill (aka PG’s Jim Bullough). Below: The Windles pre-reception got things off to a great start. (right-left) Fi Burge (Really Good), Amanda Fergusson (GCA), Lisa Shoesmith (Really Good), Miles Robinson (House of Cards), Liz Ellis (Abacus) and Bev Cunningham (Ginger Bee).

Left: (right-left) Waterstones’ Claire Quinn and Hazel Walker with UKG’s Matt Stringfellow, Ben Whittington and Sandi Parisi. Inset: Simon Elvin’s Alex Lambrechts getting in on the creative action. Below: Attendees enjoyed looking at the finalists featured on the display boards, created by The Sherwood Group. Below left: In keeping with the historic theme, everyone’s placecard was an actual used greeting card, sourced from auctions, which made for a special keepsake for attendees.



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The Henries In Pictures

Above: It was (far left) Joe Guest’s first Henries as Paperchase’s senior card buyer, something he was happy to share with colleagues (right-left) Cleo Harper, Grace Storr, Megan Douglas, Emma Clooney, Gemma Parris and Daisy Enticott.

Above: Award-winning face and body painter, Zoe Thornbury-Phillips (of About Face) and her team got ‘skin deep’ in the Belly Button Designs-sponsored Adornment Station, with Tache’s Pennie Bryant among those to enjoy the artistry. Below: PG’s Gale Astley hits the dance floor with Ezen’s David Wertheim. Left: (right-left) Bex Hassett (Bexy Boo), Rosie Harrison (Rosie Made A Thing), Lucilla Lavender and Anneke Driscoll (both of Lucilla Lavender) and Thea Musselwhite (Bold and Bright). Bottom right: Blue Diamond’s Angie Goosen (left) with Wrendale’s Lisa Marcuccio. Below right: Hitting the dancefloor. (right-left) Ilona Drew (I Drew This); Megan Purdie and Jill Purdie (both of Megan Claire); Abbie Ross (GF Smith) and Jo Wilson (Dandelion Stationery). Bottom left: They’re not just good at cards! (right-left) Paper Salad’s Claire Williams and Karen Wilson with Belly Button’s Rachel Hare making some shapes. Left: Five Dollar Shake’s Jack Burton was the lucky winner of £500 of Alistair Sawdays vouchers in The Henries’ Light Fund raffle, that had been donated by Eurowrap. PG Live’s Jacqui Parr presented Jack with his prize.



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Henries Winners pages A4 USE.qxp_Layout 1 30/10/2019 13:59 Page 1


The Lynn Tait Most Promising Young Designer Or Artist Award

Above: Amy Eastland, senior designer of Woodmansterne, is delighted to accept this esteemed trophy for The Lynn Tait Most Promising Young Designer Or Artist Award sponsored by Paperchase. Frances Burkle, product director for the company, presented the award. Comedian and television star, Tom Allen (left) compered the Henries event.

Initial Reaction: “I was overcome with immense pride… quickly followed by sheer terror at the thought of having to walk up to the stage without pulling a ‘Jennifer Lawrence’ and falling over! Big congratulations to all the winners and thanks to everyone for what was an especially magical Henries 2019.” Amy Eastland, senior designer of Woodmansterne


Amy Eastland senior designer of Woodmansterne and The Proper Mail Company

Right: Amy is thrilled with her Henries accolade.

Above: Frances Burkle, product director for Paperchase, category sponsor.



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Best Children’s Range

Initial Reaction: “We were over the moon when we heard our name called. It was a total shock and a great achievement as the other nominations in our category were all very strong!” Karen Wilson and Claire Williams, directors of Paper Salad

Above: Karen Wilson (second right) and Claire Williams, directors of Paper Salad, enjoying the moment, having been presented with the trophy for the Best Children’s Range by Tony Loriman, managing director of Loxleys, the category sponsor.

Winner Jamboree from Paper Salad

Below: Claire and Karen clasping their gleaming new trophy.

Below: Tony Lorriman, md of Loxleys, category sponsor.



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



T 01206 396209 E


Our innovative greetings card finishes include: Thermography Foil Intense Glitter Snowraise Liquid Metal Blended Glitter Embossing Textured Foil Laser Cutting

ask about our ‘Mr Abbot’ sample pack

To discuss your next greetings card range call us on 01797 223355

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Best Christmas Counter Range Winner

Pinata from Redback Cards

Initial Reaction: “Wow! I didn't expect to win that one. Couldn't wait to tell the design team back at HQ!” Chris Stanley, co-owner of Redback Cards

Above: (Second left) Chris Stanley, co-owner of Redback Cards and (second right) Sean Edwards, the company’s sales and marketing manager, were presented with the trophy from Bruce Podmore, managing director of Windles, who sponsored the Best Christmas Counter Range category. Below All smiles, Chris (left) and Sean clasp the festive trophy. Far left: Bruce Podmore, md and owner of Windles, category sponsor.



INK PRESS FROM THE ART FILE W i nner o f t he p re s t i g i o u s H e n r y C o l e C l a s s i c Aw a r d 2 0 1 9 . A c o l l e c t i o n o f 2 0 t i me l e s s d e s i g n s .


T. 0115 850 7490

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Best Christmas Box or Pack

Above: Karen Mace, director of The Art File, proudly accepts the company’s Henries trophy for the Best Christmas Box Or Pack category from Gould Paper’s managing director, Nick Henry the award sponsor.


Luxury Christmas Box from The Art File Initial Reaction: “Wow, to win this category for the third time! Fantastic.” Karen Mace, director of The Art File

Right: Karen clutches her shiny award.

Above: Nick Henry, md of Gould Paper, category sponsor.


Prohibition Era Style Gin Bloom Glasses • 2 X GENERIC TITLES • AGES 18 - 70


Come over to our gin joint at the Autumn Fair,

Hall 7 E60

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Best Traditional Words & Sentiments Range Winner

Follow Your Dramas from Hallmark Cards

Initial Reaction: “It was a fabulous night and we felt so honoured to have won. Thanks to everyone involved in making Follow Your Dramas a winner.” Ruth Turner-Blood, writing studio manger, and Emma Long, designer, for Hallmark Cards.

Above: (Second left-right) Hallmark’s Ruth Turner-Blood, writing studio manager; Dan Payne, designer; Emma Long, designer and Natalie Goodridge, head of creative – brand & own brand are over the moon to accept the Henries trophy for the Best Traditional Words & Sentiments category from Paul Hornby, managing director of the award sponsor, Foilco. Below: (Left to right) Natalie, Emma and Dan are very pleased with their Henries trophy.

Far left: Paul Hornby, md of Foilco, category sponsor.



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Best Contemporary Words & Sentiments Range Winner

Quotish from Brainbox Candy

Initial Reaction: "We were so chuffed to win the Best Contemporary Words & Sentiments category. It’s amazing to be nominated for a Henry, let alone to win. It’s a lovely accolade from retailers and one that we're most grateful for innit." Mark Williams, co-founder of Brainbox Candy

Above: As ever, the Brainbox Boys, Mark Williams (second right) and Ben Hickman (second left), co-founders of Brainbox Candy came unforgettably attired! They were presented the award for the Best Contemporary Words and Sentiments Range category, presented by Adam Short, managing director for The Imaging Centre, the category sponsor. Left: Adam Short, md of The Imaging Centre, category sponsor. Below: ‘The Queen’ and ‘Frida’ aka Ben Hickman and Mark Williams.



on to Su lin the bs c e at new rib PG s e Bu flas zz h .n et

PGBuzz Advert 99 x 210_Layout 1 16/05/2017 12:00 Page 1

From the team behind Progressive Greetings Worldwide, PG Live, The Retas and The Henries, has launched as the new online central resource for the greeting card sector online... l Twice weekly newsflash delivered to over 9000 inboxes l Regularly updated jobs-board l The very latest news, views, articles and analysis THE GREATEST COLLECTION OF GREETING CARDS IN THE WORLD l Digital issues of Progressive Greetings Worldwide l Resource pages for The Ladder Club, GCA,

PG Live, The Retas and The Henries. THE GREATEST COLLECTION OF GREETING CARDS IN THE WORLD News, Editorial and Advertising, Recruitment and Content Opportunities: Sponsorship Opportunities: Jakki Brown Joint md & editorial director Michelle Board News editor

Warren Lomax Tracey Arnaud

News • PG Worldwide • Interviews • PG Live • Newsflash Events Gallery • Jobs • Ladder Club • GCA



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Best Contemporary Trend Range Winner

Shine from Redback Cards

Above: Picking up their second trophy of the evening, (second left) Chris Stanley, co-owner of Redback Cards and sales and marketing manager Sean Edwards were thrilled to receive the award for the Best Contemporary Trend Range category from Alice Buck, marketing manager for Digital Hub, sponsor of this category. Below right: ‘Shining’ with big smiles, Sean (right) and Chris. Below: Alice Buck, marketing manager for The Digital Hub, category sponsor.

Initial Reaction: “Amazing! Two awards in one night. Huge thanks to Kate (my wife and business partner) and the creative team for making this range happen... 18 months in the making!” Chris Stanley, co-owner of Redback Cards



Year of the rat!

e s e n i Cwh Year 2020 Ne

2 5 t h JA N


h a k k u n a H

22nd DE

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Best Handmade or Hand-Finished Range Winner Modern Missy from Tache

Initial Reaction: “It was just complete disbelief. We’ve been nominated many times previously without a win, so to hear our name finally called out was a complete shock. Apart form being speechless, we were completely over the moon for the rest of the night (and still are)!” Frank Nicholls, director of Tache

Above: Tache’s co-owners Pennie Bryant and (second left) Frank Nicholls receive the award for Best Handmade or Hand-finished Range, presented by Simon Woolridge, divisional manager for EBB Paper, sponsor of the award category. Below left: A very happy Frank and Pennie and a lovely new trophy. Below: Simon Woolridge, divisional manager for EBB Board, category sponsor.




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Best Photographic Range

Winner Wavelength from Icon

Initial Reaction: "Ecstatically thrilled, both on our Henries award for Best Photographic and meeting my favourite comedian... I'm pretty sure we're BFFs now!"Â Kate Jamieson, creative manager for Icon

Above: Kate Jamieson, creative manager for Icon, accepts the trophy for Best Photographic Range from Jessica Dawnay, event director for Autumn Fair, the sister show of Spring Fair, the category sponsor. Below: Jessica Dawnay, event director for Autumn Fair and Spring Fair, category sponsor.

Right: The lovely Kate is over the moon with her trophy.



Crowned Best Humour Range at the Henries

Not just a one trick pony.

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Best Humorous Range

Initial Reaction: “Jamie and myself were pretty shocked to be honest as we were ready with our runners-up claps! We were definitely over-excited and tried to take the moment in but it all went very quickly! Meeting Tom Allen, one of my favourite comedians, was the icing on the cake!” Mark Callaby, managing director of Ohh Deer

Above: Ohh Deer’s co-owners, Mark Callaby (second right) and Jamie Mitchell went on stage with Emma-Louise Allen, key account manager of Windles (centre) to receive the trophy from Amanda Fergusson, ceo of the GCA, sponsor of this award. Below: Mark (right) and Jamie with their shiny Henries award.

Winner Twin Pines from Ohh Deer

Below: Amanda Fergusson, ceo for GCA, category sponsor.



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Best Art Range


Above: Roger la Borde’s production director Julie Hadingham (second left) and operations director Michaela Vrabelova, were delighted to be presented with the trophy by Marcus Fenner, sales director of Fenner Paper, which sponsored this award. Below: Marcus Fenner, sales director for Fenner, category sponsor.

Scissors Paper Tree from Roger la Borde Initial Reaction: “We’re thrilled to have won.” Tim Solnick, partner of Roger la Borde Below: Julie (right) and Michaela are delighted with their trophy.



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Best Licensed Range

Winner Above: Emily Coxshead (second left), founder of the Happy News is all smiles as she collects the trophy with (second right) Sam Wilson, senior designer for Pigment, for the Best Licensed Card Range award from John Skeet, director of Skeet Print, sponsor of this category. Below: John Skeet, director of Skeet Print, category sponsor.

The Happy News from Pigment

Initial Reaction: ‘Eeeep, ducking hell, I was not expecting to win at all’. Emily Coxhead, creator of The Happy News

Below: Emily (left) and Sam are overjoyed with their Henries trophy.



We are thrilled to win a Henries Award for Best Gift Wrap collection with our fabulous Paper Salad designs!

You can now order online. Go to to register. 01274 655980 Unit 1 Allenby House, European Ind. Park, Knowles Lane, Bradford BD4 9AB

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Best Giftwrapping Range

Initial Reaction: “Shocked and thrilled to hear our name, WOOHOO!” Becky Dobson, director of Glick

Winner Paper Salad from Glick

Top: Glick director Becky Dobson (second left) and export/key accounts manager Michelle Airth (third right) went on stage with Paper Salad co-owners Karen Wilson (second right) and Claire Williams, to collect the award presented by Simon Boyd, operations director of Progressive Greetings Live, the category sponsor. Right: Simon Boyd, operations director for Progressive Greetings Live, category sponsor. Below: All smiles, (left to right) Becky, Claire, Michelle and Karen.




25. – 28. 1. 2020 Frankfurt am Main

The home of the finest arts brands

The stationery trends.

Take part in a future-oriented dialogue with the entire industry Paperworld presents all the latest products, provides a meeting place for a who’s who of the industry and also offers a huge wealth of inspiration and knowledge. Gain access to the trends and product assortments of tomorrow – at the leading international trade fair for the entire range of stationery, office supplies and writing materials for the home and commercial sectors. Book your ticket now! Tel. +44 (0) 14 83 48 39 83

70112-018_PW_Allgemein_Progressive_Greetings_91x271 • FOGRA 39 • CMYK • es: 16.07.2019

DU: 24.08.2019

The visionary office.

From world-renowned arts and character brands to the cutting edge of fashion, the Museums & Galleries collection has everything a smart retailer needs to stand out from the crowd. Please contact your agent or request a brochure for more information.


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Tel: 01373 462165

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Best Male Range


Gin & Frolics from Rosie Made A Thing

Above: Rosie Harrison, director of Rosie Made A Thing, receives the Best Male Range award from Tony Myers, account manager for Slater Harrison, the category sponsor. Below: A jubilant Rosie Harrison!

Initial Reaction: “Yaaaay! Followed swiftly by a quick check that my dress wasn’t tucked in my knickers.” Rosie Harrison, director of Rosie Made A Thing

Right: Tony Myers, account manager for Slater Harrison, category sponsor.



Follow Us On

‘Best Wholesale Range’ 2019

500+ Everyday Products Available & ‘IN-STOCK’ throughout the Year

Our ‘Superb’ Christmas 2019 Counter and Boxed Cards are Available in all Leading Wholesale/ Distrubutors throughout the Uk & Ireland Visit Our Website for your Local Stockist at 64_PG_November 2019.indd 1

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Best Wholesale Range


Everyday and Relations from Out of the Blue Studios

Above: Pete Rawlingson (second left) and Clive Rubin, co-owners of Out of the Blue Studios, are proud to be presented with their Henries trophy for the Best Wholesale Range from Lynda Raymond, partner of LB Warehousing, sponsor of this award. Below left: (left-right) Out of the Blue Studios’ design manager Bobbie Mulkerrin, area sales manager Martin Sanderson, co-owners Peter Rawlingson and Clive Rubin with design manager Colleen Whittaker.

Initial Reaction: "Amazing!!! To have achieved this accolade in such short space of time (almost three years!) is testament to our great design team and staff, and support from our fantastic customers! Thank you.� Pete Rawlingson and Clive Rubin, co-owners of Out of the Blue Studios



S/S 2020

12—14 January Olympia London

Ola Studio


About Face Illustration

Studio Pens


Like you, we live and love design and that is why each season we search the globe to bring you a unique GREETINGS & STATIONERY edit of the latest design-led ranges from the very best publishers and new designers.

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Best Relations &/Or Occasions Range

Above: Jo Wilson, creative director for Dandelion Stationery, is elated to receive her Henries award, the trophy for the Best Relations or Occasions Range, from Nick Rowley, business development manager for Fedrigoni, sponsor of this award. Below: Nick Rowley, business development manager for Fedrigoni UK, category sponsor.


Words of Wisdom from Dandelion Stationery

Below: Jo and her fabulous Henries trophy.

Initial Reaction: “Over the moon – absolutely chuffed to bits!” Jo Wilson, creative director of Dandelion Stationery



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Best Spring Seasons Range

Winner Above: Steve (second left) and Wendy Jones-Blackett, directors of Wendy Jones-Blackett, collect the award for Best Spring Seasons Range from GF Smith’s paper consultant, Mark Jessett. The paper company was the sponsor of this category.

Initial Reaction: “I was so shocked, I genuinely thought we wouldn’t win as I know most of the other companies in this group and had my money on one of those! Shocked and extremely delighted!!” Wendy Jones-Blackett, co-owner of Wendy Jones-Blackett

Hey Fresco Mother’s Day from Wendy Jones-Blackett

Below: Wendy and Steve beam with delight. Below left: Mark Jessett, paper consultant for GF Smith + Son, category sponsor.



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Best Cute Range

Above: (centre) Louise Tiler, director of Louise Tiler Designs and partner Gavin Nicholas were delighted to receive the award for the Best Cute Range trophy from Amy Muldrew (right), managing director, and Maggie Williams, operations director, for Alpha Colour Printers, category sponsor. Below: Louise and Gavin with a sparkling Henries award. Below right: Amy Muldrew (right), md, and Maggie Williams, operations director for Alpha Colour Printers, category sponsor.


Initial Reaction: “We were shocked and delighted!” Louise Tiler, director of Louise Tiler Designs



Tiny Sparkles from Louise Tiler Designs

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The Henry Cole Classic Award

Winner Ink Press from The Art File

Initial Reaction: “We are absolutely thrilled to receive the Henry Cole award for Ink Press, which is such an iconic range for The Art File. We knew from day one that the cards were going to be popular because they appealed to both male and female customers, and it was evident the range could sell equally as well across the globe.” Ged Mace, managing director of The Art File

Right: The Art File’s managing director, Ged Mace (second left) and sales & marketing manager James Mace (second right) were delighted to be presented with the trophy for this Henries award that recognises card ranges that have stood the test of time - The Henry Cole Classic Award. The Sherwood Group’s ceo, Jeremy Bacon, presented the award as sponsor of this category. Below: Ged (left) and James tightly hold their Henry Cole Classic Award.

The award is for ranges that have stood the test of time. All winners of this award enter The Henry Cole Hall of Fame. As the 2019 winner, The Art File’s Ink Press range joins previous winners, which are: Bestie from Paperlink; Eric the Penguin from GBCC; Forever Friends from Hallmark; Giggles from UKG; Me to You from Carte Blanche Greetings; Medici Cards Blue Label from GBCC; On The Ceiling from Emotional Rescue; Pizazz from Nigel Quiney; Pop-Ups fron Second Nature; Quentin Blake from Woodmansterne; Rainbow from Ling Design and The Bright Side from Really Good.



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e th to e ic v r e S t s e B e z n o r B Independent Retailer

The finalists in this category were arrived at as a result of an exhaustive poll involving over 1,500 independent card retailers. The retailers were invited to nominate which companies they considered to be their top three card suppliers on the service front over the last year. The response was amazing - service being a key issue to retailers. The responses were then correlated, awarding three points to all first choices, two points to those mentioned as second choices and one point to all third choices. These points were then totalled up to arrive at the 10 finalists. The three trophies in this category, the Gold, Silver and Bronze awards were presented to the top three scoring suppliers in the retail poll.


Winner Above: UK Greetings customer and channel director Ceri Stirland, accepts the Bronze Best Service To The Independent Retailer award from Richard Campbell, managing director for Herbert Walkers, sponsor of the whole of the Best Service category. Right: Ceri with UKG’s Henries Bronze trophy for Best Service To The Independent Retailer. Below: Richard Campbell, md of Herbert Walkers, category sponsor.

Initial Reaction: "The 2019 Henries was one of the best ones yet, everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves and Tom Allen was very funny, charming and friendly. We were proud to receive the Bronze Award for our Best Service to the Indies, an important sector for UKG. Roll on 2020!" Ceri Stirland, customer and channel director of UK Greetings



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Silver - Best Service to the Independent Retailer



Above: There was no missing Woodmansterne’s director of operations and IT Adam Osborne’s glee as he clutched the Silver award that had been presented to him by Richard Campbell, managing director of Herbert Walkers. Below right: Adam clasps the Best Service Silver Henries trophy.

Initial Reaction: “Having been so close (in the top 12) every year since 2013, when I heard Woodmansterne’s name get called out for the Silver Award this year, in the space of about five seconds I was: 1) shocked (I admit I nearly choked on my drink), 2) delighted that our retailers had recognised us being ‘up there at the top of the industry’, and 3) super proud of everyone at Woody – an amazing achievement and a testament to their hard work.” Adam Osborne, director of operations and IT for Woodmansterne



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Gold - Best Service to the Independent Retailer

Above: IC&G’s managing directors Simon (third right) and Ian Wagstaff went on stage with the company’s creative director Amanda Miles (second left) and financial controller Sue Cox to collect the coveted Gold trophy from Richard Campbell, managing director of Herbert Walkers, sponsor of this award. Below: Simon (right) and Ian with their Gold Service trophy.



Initial Reaction: “Wow! That’s amazing!! We’re so humbled to be part of this amazing trade! To win this award is unbelievable and one we will treasure forever! What a great team of people we have working in the business! Our customers are fantastic and we hope we can continue to provide the best service for years to come! Thank you, it means the world to all of us!” Simon and Ian Wagstaff, co-managing directors of IC&G



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n o ti u ib tr n o C g in d n ta ts GCA Ou Award 2019

With this year’s Henries coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the GCA it called for a special one off prestigious accolade in the place of the usual Honorary Achievement Award. While so many people have contributed to the evolution of the GCA over the last centre, this award was given to someone who has not only been a member for over 50 years, but remains wholly committed to the industry and the association.


GCA Outstanding Contribution Award 2019

Right: Simon Elvin, owner of Simon Elvin, was presented with a very special trophy – a GCA Outstanding Contribution Award - by UK Envelope Centre’s managing director Joanne Davis, who sponsored this category. Bottom: Simon with the Simon Elvin team. Below right: Simon is presented with the GCA Outstanding Contribution Award.

Simon Elvin An excerpt of the speech given by PG’s Jakki Brown at the awards ceremony: “The Honorary Achievement Award is a very special accolade, one that recognises an individual who has contributed greatly to our industry. With this being the centenary of the GCA we felt it was appropriate to take this up a notch further in this milestone year and so tonight will be presenting the GCA Outstanding Achievement Award to a truly extraordinary individual. We honour someone who has whizzed past their half century of working in the card trade and has no intention of slowing down. Their passion for product knows no bounds, having been involved in personally approving well over 25,000 different greeting card designs that have been lapped up by card buyers all over the world. Their dedication to detail on the design front is unusually matched by their ability to also see the big picture, reflected in the formidable group of greeting card businesses that span the market, which they now head up. The real measure of the person we honour tonight can be traced back to the 1960s, when, as a newbie publisher they recognised that if the few publishers that were around back then took steps to grow a healthy industry then all of those within it would have a better chance of prospering, so they joined what was then known as the Greeting Card and Calendar Association and has been a valued member, council member and former president of the Association ever since. They have, over the years, been involved in spearheading so many inventive marketing initiatives to promote card sending, from major consumer PR stunts to far-sighted retailer promotions. As they told me a few weeks ago: “The essence of the association today is the same as it was 50 years ago and probably 50 years before that. It is all about us as businesses putting our competitive nature to one side and thinking of the greater good of the industry.” I have had the very good fortune of knowing this special individual for over 30 years and they have made a big impact on my life and our business. When Warren and I had just taken the decision to stage an MBO and acquire Progressive Greetings back in 1990 we asked for their advice. “Just do all the little things well. They may not seem much individually, but somehow they all add up.“ He was so right. Thankfully they ignored the advice given to them back in the 70s to: “Get out of the card trade now. This industry is going nowhere” and instead has given it their all and, even at the young age of 78 still goes into the office every day together with his right hand woman who has been by his side since the start. Your signature has graced billions of cards, your personal signoff of excellence. Well tonight your name appears on this special one off trophy. It gives me absolute pleasure to present the GCA Outstanding Contribution Award to Simon Elvin.”

Initial Reaction: “I was completely bowled over and left virtually speechless. There were a lot of Thank Yous I should have said, especially to my wife Janet, but also to all our wonderful team at Simon Elvin and to all our customers who have given us such fantastic support over very, very many years.” Simon Elvin, owner of Simon Elvin



SE Award GPG A4 Ad AW 10.19.pdf




Thank you...everyone! When you find yourself totally unexpectedly called up on stage, to be given the ‘Outstanding Contribution’ Award at our industry’s ‘Oscars’ – The Henries, the first thing your mind does is go blank. And then pretty much stays that way!








So it wasn’t until I stepped down again and reality set in,


that I realised I hadn’t truly said what I had wanted to say. And that was a huge ‘Thank you’ to all the people who really won this Award. You! Our loyal customers and suppliers... my great team of designers, writers, production and distribution staff... my all-important sales and admin people. My directors and, of course, my business partner and long-suffering wife of over 50 years, Janet! It was down to your enduring hard work and support that I found myself, tongue-tied, on stage at The Henries. This Award was truly yours. I simply had the enormous privilege of collecting it for you.

Thank you all!

SIMON ELVIN LTD • SPECIALIST CARD PUBLISHER Wooburn Ind. Park • Wooburn Green • Buckinghamshire • HP10 0PE T: (01628) 526711 • F: (01628) 531483 • W:

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PG showcases a selection of new product launches

Let It Snow Tigerlily has combined its love of wildlife with festive joy in it First Snow Christmas collection. This luxury sparkling Christmas collection features 3D animals, including squirrels, polar bears and stags, in snowy settings. Each of the designs comes with a diamond white envelope. Tigerlily 07835 893775

Shaggy Dog Tails There has been some enthusiastic tailwagging at Deckled Edge as the publisher has expanded its Eureka blank art card collection to include canines. Birthday Dog! (featured) is just one of the 12 illustrative designs by Janna Cossettini in the range. Suitable for any age or gender, the cards, printed on thick tactile FSC 350gsm board, measure 124mm x 178mm and come with a sparkly metallic gold envelope.

Spring Energy UKG’s new Mother’s Day range is bursting with energy with floral designs that play with scale and colour palettes to create some impactful twists on favourite classics. The typography is clean, loose and free, featuring an array of modern calligraphy.

Deckled Edge 0800 771 0771

UK Greetings 01924 465200

To The Letter From bold fonts, to the hand-scripted calligraphy, The Noted Collection from Laura Darrington Design is a typographic treasure of a range. Covering 16 modern captions in a diversity of styles, this capsule collection covers established sending occasions (such as wedding, thank you, new home) as well as general uplifting words. Retailers have the option of the cards being ’naked’, with the card and envelope held together with a Kard Klasp. Laura Darrington Design 0116 2849660

In The Frame Cinnamon Aitch has added a further 14 cards to its sensitive Framed range, bringing the collection to 22 designs. Coloured illustrations – including of a leopard, bee, penguins and giraffe peek through a window which are ‘framed’ by monochrome pen and ink artwork, enhanced by foil elements and text.

One In The Eye For Love

Cinnamon Aitch 0121 773 6833

Stripey Cats 07866713826

Stripey Cats’ new googly-eyed Valentine’s range for 2020 welcomes a new format – 11cm x14cm. Rainbow Cat (featured) joins swans, foxes, ghosts, lobsters and frogs in this Valentine’s googly-eyed menagerie! Each card comes with a white envelope. See the full range at



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PG showcases a selection of new product launches

What Is Normal? Kiss Me Kwik is never known for taking the ‘normal’ route, well this time it sort of has! The publisher has collaborated with the every flamboyant artist, activist and Labour councillor Philip Normal on a range of cards and coasters featuring some of his silly and smutty phrases. Kiss Me Kwik 01273 571757

Alchemy In Action Wendy Jones-Blackett is releasing 120 new designs into its Henry Colenominated Quicksilver range this month. Covering a variety of styles, captions and images, each of the designs are hot foiled in two colours and embossed onto board made at the James Cropper papermill in the Lake District. The cards are 125mm square and can be supplied naked.

A Feather Cut Flights of Fancy is a brand new collection of fashion-led greeting cards from Five Dollar Shake. The 18 lovingly handmade designs each feature delicate real feathers and are finished with a liberal sprinkling of genuine crystals.

Wendy Jones-Blackett 0113 2888468

Five Dollar Shake 01424 434062

Your Number’s Up With A Twist Citrus Twist is a colourful new range of birthday and everyday greeting cards from 1790 Cards. The citrus-inspired shapes, font and colour palette bring a mid-century vibe to the 16 launch designs. Printed on 300gsm FSC board, the cards are 150mm square and come with a kraft FSC envelope. The cards can be supplied naked or in cellos. 1790 Cards 01904 448130


Poet and Painter has been ‘hard at play’ to come up with its first children’s age range, Numero. Designed using collage, the off-beat, non-stereotyped colour palette results in a joyful a non-gendered offering. The cards, in Poet and Painter’s usual 150mm x 150 mm format, are printed on heavyweight FSC stock with a matt finish. They are available totally naked, with eco labels or cellowrapped, according to customer needs. Poet and Painter 07779 064894

Absolutely Fabulous Sarah Kelleher's Fabulous foils range has been so popular that she's added a whole load of sparkly new designs covering Valentine's Day, Mothering Sunday and some big bold birthday ages. Guaranteed to put a smile on the face of the recipient, the cards are printed in the UK on FSC card and come with recycled envelopes. Sarah Kelleher 07768 123957

PG Innovations Nov 2019.qxp_38-39/40-41 31/10/2019 11:28 Page 3

PG showcases a selection of new product launches

Culture Club The sharp eye and wit of illustrator and graphic artist Martynas Juchnevicius is very evident in the Modern Pop Art Icons range from GroovyART. The collection of 25 designs taps into well-known films and music personalities combining art with humour. The cards 179mm x 129mm or 150mm x 150mm in size - are printed on textured board and come with a coloured envelope. GroovyART 0741 2050478

Caught On Camera Feeling Impish?

Abacus Cards’ new collection of notecards and wallets spans three popular BBC brands, Countryfile, Springwatch and Gardeners’ World. As plastic-free packaging continues to gain momentum, Abacus has developed an attractive new cardboard hanging-style wallet to protect these lovely new photographic designs. The packs contain six cards and envelopes, three cards each of two designs.

Pixie is Paper Salad’s brand new occasions range. Featuring twotone colours, beautiful embossing, bright neon inks and great foiling, the 11 designs really pop! All the cards are in a super cute 155mm x 120mm size and each is paired with a grey envelope. Paper Salad 0161 427 0001

Abacus Cards 01638 569050

Making An Impact Impeccable by Impact Studios is a brand new card collection that is only available from The Impact Group of Wholesalers. This premium in-stock everyday range spans 96 skus, in Code 50 and Code 75. The cards feature innovative three-folds, foiling, flittering, diecuts and full wrap-around designs. The Impact Group 01274 870020

Tropical Vibes Ling Design is launching 200 vibrant new greeting card designs available to pre-order for January 2020 delivery. This mammoth release features several never seen before ‘blue sky’ ranges – including a licensed Morris & Co collection - as well as fresh additions to current faves. Cocktail Hour (pictured) uses rich gold foil and delicate embossing to create an elegant and opulent new look. Ling Design 01892 838574

Pencil You In Fairlight is a brand new birthday collection from International Cards & Gifts. The range features delicate pencil illustrations, beautiful foiled borders and artwork and coloured inserts. These code 60 designs cover 13 female and 13 male open birthday designs, including those depicting golf, yoga, shopping and rugby. International Cards & Gifts 01202 897494



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JEREMY’S JOURNAL Business blogging by publisher Jeremy Corner of Blue Eyed Sun.

Au Naturel Jeremy Corner, owner of greeting card publisher Blue Eyed Sun and distributor of BambooCup, looks at going au naturel. For over 30 years greeting card publishers have been proactive with ensuring the board they use comes from sustainable sources that are, in a sense, farmed crops of trees that are replanted in forests which are managed mindfully. FSC and PEFC accreditation both provide reassurance of this for consumers. With the widespread consumer backlash against plastic, many publishers and retailers alike have been unsure how best to proceed. As with climate change,

some are still in denial about whether a problem even exists or anything needs to be done at all. The fact is plastics and microplastics do damage our environment, harm wildlife and pollute the food chain. The legislation change that led to the 90% drop in single-use carrier bag use shows how government and multiples can produce the biggest plastic-free wins. With most national retailers ‘going naked’ with their cards, cellowrapped cards will soon account for less than a third of all UK greeting card sales. 80


Not all retailers want unwrapped cards though, as many worry about damaged stock, which is also wasteful and environmentally unfriendly. For publishers, handling two different sets of wrapped and unwrapped cards is problematic as it essentially doubles stock holdings and ties up cash. The over-riding concern is that people could give up on sending cards altogether.

The way it was Traditionally cards were sold unwrapped with the envelopes nested separately behind the cards in the card pocket in store racks. You selected your card and grabbed an envelope. If the envelopes were missing, you could borrow one from a nearby pocket. Well-merchandised displays meant that cards and envelopes were quickly and easily replaced. You still see this set up in stores like WHSmith and of course many indies. As more specialist cards came into the market and the diversity of retailers grew, wrapping in polypropylene grew in popularity because it’s transparent, protects cards, gives a feeling of ‘newness’ and keeps specialist envelopes with their cards. Top: There is a wide-spread consumer backlash against plastics to help protect our planet. Top right: Caroline Gardners’ ‘fantastic no plastic’ peel away seal on its cellowrap-free cards. Above right: Stormy Knight has used its cute branding on its cards’ seal. Above left: James Ellis is going completely recyclable on its cards, using paper confetti instead of glitter in its Shakies cards.

Plastic alternatives Previously seen as a signifier of ‘newness’, plastic is now starting to be seen as a signifier of ‘environmental damage’. Many consumers are beginning to demand change. In certain instances, where the cards are intricate and may be damaged if they are not wrapped, we are seeing a distinction being made between necessary and unnecessary plastic wrapping. Some publishers have opted for ‘topless’ cello bags that don’t have the extra fold, nor the plastic ‘peel and seal’ strips attached to them. There are alternatives like oxodegradable plastics and plant-based PLA (polylactic acid). The former, which have been found to break down into environmentally damaging microplastics, are set to be eliminated by the end of next year. PLA is growing in popularity as it is biodegradable in the right composting conditions and has a lower carbon footprint

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JEREMY’S JOURNAL than PP. Nativa bags and Clarifoil machine wrapping are two options available. You must ensure that they are clearly labelled. Compostable materials can have recycling problem though. Currently in the UK we don’t have the infrastructure in place to handle identification and separation, so both PLA and PP are being combusted or going to landfill where the conditions aren’t suitable for composting. Because of the current structure of local government responsibility for waste, long investment time frames for new systems and lack of infrastructure for dealing with either type of film. The most eco-friendly option is cards with ‘nested envelopes' that have no film packaging or labels.

cuts corners by using a poor quality label that damages the consumer’s purchase, then it won’t be long before all labels are viewed with suspicion causing an insidious problem for all card sales over time. There are early reports of a few being ripped by shoppers wanting to see inside the card. Plus, they are printed on silicone coated glassine-based rolls of tape that (like baking paper) you cannot recycle at home, but can be recycled commercially. Woodmansterne has recently developed a stronger seal and is conducting trials on a new way to apply its Smart Seal, allowing the card to be opened.

Pushing the envelope Nested envelopes can separate from cards. Not a massive problem when envelopes were mostly the same sort of quality and size. Lately, some publishers have pushed the proverbial to create more special envelopes costing more to produce. It’s not hard to envisage publishers with beautiful envelopes having to merchandise more often than others because theirs get half inched by consumers wanting something nicer. With the need to keep envelopes together with cards, and to keep displays looking more tidy, a variety of approaches have been taken so far. Museums and Galleries developed its ecoBand packaging for its BBC Earth licensed range of cards. Caroline Gardner has created an InFold, which is affixed to the envelope and card on the reverse using a plastic-free peelable label. Both companies have patents pending on their systems. Woodmansterne has developed its own peelable label system, Smart Seal, with innovative printers, Windles, who has also launched its own commercial version, called Kard Klasp. Woodmansterne, who handles greeting card brokerage for John Lewis, has led the charge on committing to the peelable label solution and have supported other publishers needing advice to make the change. Not every labelling solution appears to be working ‘snag free’ yet. If any publisher

Above and left: Printer Windles’ Kard Klasp and Woodmansterne’s Smart Seal were two of the pioneering ways to keep the card and envelope together. Below: The world is demanding we take better care of our planet.

Labels For those that are making the shift to label clasps it is very important that the correct adhesive is used. It needs to hold the board and envelope well enough so it does its job of keeping envelope and card together. It also needs to be easy for consumers to peel off and not damage the product in the process. Ultra low tack options apparently work well on uncoated boards. Cards printed on lick coated boards with harder, less waxy inks, UV inks, along with more drying time, all work well with the right labels. Some adhesives react with the ink, varnish or sealant combination on the board. Some leave traces of adhesive on the board or pull bits of it off. If you imagine just five different label types, five boards and five inks, you have 125 combination variations. With so many different combinations available, the quickest and simplest solution is for publishers to use the tried and tested solutions on offer. These have been extensively tested on a variety of boards, coatings, inks, and so on. It is mind-

boggling the level of detail they have gone into to create these labels. Age testing, pressure tests and environmental impact are just some examples. The aforementioned labels are long horizontal strips that wrap around the front and back of the card. Some, like Louise Tiler and James Ellis, have gone for wider labels with a greater surface area of attachment. Aside from Windles, other label suppliers worth talking to include Wrapid, Loxleys, Skeet Print and Label Express.

How to apply You can either apply labels by hand or source a machine to help. Woodmansterne uses a benchtop ALS 4310 machine, which, after being slightly modified by ALS, can label up 1,800 cards per hour. The cost of the machine is £6,000 and operator training time is negligible. It is ideal for embossed cards or those with embellishments as they don’t go through any belt feeders. You can also buy manual labelling dispensers from Office Depot for as little as £30 that can label up to 300 cards per hour. Useful if you work with outworkers or don’t have access to capital to finance an ALS machine. Make sure you build a jig or template so that the label goes on straight every time. After this, publishers can also purchase a paper bander which can band 25 batches of six cards per minute, meaning you can ditch your plastic outer bags that group the cards in sixes. Prices start from £3.5k for a cheap Akebono to £5k for a fast, re-liable bench-top version from Jenton or ATS Tanner.

Cards do look good ‘naked and with Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion dominating our headlines this year, it’s easy to see that the world is demanding that we take better care of issues affecting our environment. With the law soon to be introducing Extended Producer Responsibility schemes (essentially meaning the polluter pays), now is the time to act. Before it’s too late. Read more on Jeremy’s blog at PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE



Our innovative greetings card finishes include: Thermography Foil Intense Glitter Snowraise Liquid Metal Blended Glitter Embossing Textured Foil Laser Cutting

ask about our ‘Mr Abbot’ sample pack

To discuss your next greetings card range call us on 01797 223355



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Art Source PG helps to paint a pretty picture of freelance artists, designers, verse writers and photographers’ worlds in order to promote their talents to publishers and, conversely, make it easier for publishers seeking artists.


Clare Davis I have been in the greetings and giftware industries for nearly 25 years. You may know the name from my hugely successful range of glitter champagne flutes. Having sold my business to Simon Elvin, I then spent the next few years developing my own style of glitter handwriting onto greeting cards, but my real passion is illustration, and I now spend my days drawing cute animals in the snow! Christmas is all year round in the studio, but I love it! I really enjoy creating the depth and I suppose almost a sense of a story within the scene of the card. I love what I do and feel so lucky to have this as my full-time job. All my children have grown up in my studio, either covered in glitter or in front of a drawing pad! They’ve all gone on to do either creative degrees or art-based subjects at school. I have a real passion for what I do, and I really hope it shows in my work! I have designed for High


Street clients, as well as one off commissions for my local community. In order for me to develop my style, and keep my designs moving forward, I am currently studying for a Masters in Illustration through Falmouth University. It’s amazing, it’s all online and we get to have a face to face twice a year, meet our fellow students and interact with our tutors. I can usually be found in my studio by the picturesque River Thames probably with a sprinkling of crystalina glitter somewhere about me! l Instagram: @the_real_clare_davis l Email: hello@therealclaredavis

If you are an artist, photographer or verse writer and would like to be considered to appear in Art Source, please contact PG’s Emma Cain on This is an editorial feature and as such is free of charge. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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PG asked a selection of card retailers for their ‘hot’ card sellers. Janey and Will Apps, owners of Paper Turtle, Lewes, East Sussex A medium shop in a historic town with a loyal locals and town visitors customer base. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range



Alljoy! Designs

Message In A Bottle

Judy Lumley


Roger la Borde

Scissors Paper Tree


Rosie Made A Thing

Gin & Frolics


Cardmix Woodmansterne Louise Mulgrew

Irene and Gladys Hysterical Heritage Across The Board


Paper Bird


Handmade/ Hand-Finished

English Graphics

Across The Board

These have been fantastic sellers and basically sell themselves from our window. Laser cut and beautifully intricate, there is a huge selection to choose from. These are new this month and are we've had to order again - beautiful designs from original lino-prints, they have made an amazing autumnal window display. Detailed and eye-catching, the range was extended over the summer and beautifully captures and translates the work of Su Blackwell onto a card. These are consistently great sellers for us with their really modern, 'of this time' humour - the range is always being refreshed too, with new titles being added regularly. It's always great when customers laugh out loud reading a range and struggle to choose just one. We absolutely love Louise's original artwork, which we have stocked right from the beginning. They are quirky and unique and carry much personality. My current favourite is the elephant and elephant calf from the new Africa range. Such a great range of modern, fun designs printed on lovely quality board with clever detail - you can make a bookmark from the rear section of the card. Beautiful illustrations, printed on lovely board and finished with biodegradable eco-glitter.

Right: A gorgeous design from Judy Lumley.

Olivia Dackombe, owner of Down Swan Street, West Malling, Kent A small shop in an historical town with a loyal locals and tourists customer base. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range



Belly Button Stop The Clock Design

Elle General


Paper Plane Brainbox Candy

General Across The Board


Fay’s Studio


Dry Red Press



Raspberry Blossom Lagom

General Hanna Werning

Handmade/ Hand-Finished

Lucy and Lolly



Tache Redback Luckies

Across The Board Shine Beer Socks

For everyday cards we love the Belly Button Elle range or Stop the Clock for pretty floral age cards. Paper Plane and Brainbox Candy do really well for us. Really funny and lots of different ranges from one place makes for easy ordering. Fay’s Studio is our favourite arty card brand. She designs such pretty cards with a little bit of shimmer. We also like Dry Red Press for its high quality range of landscapes, animals and paintings of florals. We love Raspberry Blossom and the Hanna Werning range from Lagom. Mainly because we like looking at them lined up on our shelves! One of our customers’ favourite card brands is Lucy and Lolly who we found on Etsy. The cards come with an embossed bean that the receiver can grow. Our customers love cards with something to keep. Iron on patches, pins and necklace cards have been doing really well for us. These are amazing pick ups, especially on the run up to Christmas. They also now come in a set, which have been flying out.

Above: A design from Fay’s Studio’s 'In The Wild' collection. Right: A Lucy and Lolly design complete with plantable bean!




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Paul Gibbs and Neil Burden, owners of Humbugs of Towcester, Northamptonshire A medium shop in a small market town with a loyal locals customer base. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range



Cherry Orchard

Sherbet Fizz, Heartfelt and Ooh La La

Noel Tatt



Across The Board

Nigel Quiney



Words ‘n’ Wishes UK Greetings


Cherry Orchard Abacus Abacus

Pinata Giggles and Out of the Arc Wot A Mug Frank By Name Countryfile and Springwatch Cube Across The Board Velvet Moments Magical Wonders

A great choice of cards for everyone. Bright bold colours for all age groups and great value! Male cards covering a whole range of hobbies and lifestyles. Small blank card that say so much from inspiration to birthday. Many of our customers buy a few at a time. We stock both the male and female ranges - the designs appeal to a wide age range. Fresh, modern great looking designs at great value. Humour is a really good seller for us.

Right: Tickling the funnybone, the Frank By Name range from Abacus.


Noel Tatt UK Greetings Jonny Javelin IC&G


Noel Tatt Budget Greetings


East Of India


Patches Xquisite and Wraptastic General

Great images on cards that are blank inside to suit many customers’ needs. A great range of cards covering florals, cute and humour. A vast range to suit all our customers’ needs and different price points. Tasteful designs with a modern look. From llamas to monsters, bright and bold designs ideal for customers who forget the age of the child they are buying for. Cute and bright, a great range for the younger generation. Bright and bold colours in bags and wrap - a huge range with great prices. Easy pick-up gifts for friends and family and a great last minute gift too.

Jodie Hatton, general manager for The Alphabet Gift Shop, Burton-On-Trent and Mickleover, Midlands Two large gift, card and coffee shops in historic towns with loyal locals customer base. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range



Stop The Clock Design

Burst My Bubble


Mill Lane Cards

A Touch Of Sparkle


Rosie Made A Thing

Across The Board


Arthouse Unlimited

Across The Board


Lola Design



Dandelion Stationery

Words Of Wisdom

Handmade/ Hand-Finished Giftwrap

Ruth Jackson

Pencil Shavings Range

Deva Designs


We had this range for a couple of years now and whenever we get them in, they fly back out. They brighten up our card racks and our customers (and staff!). Love the animal doodles and puns combined with the bright colours and patterns of the balloons. The staff at Mill Lane always kindly hand deliver our orders as we’re so local to them! They’re nice and simple cards, with adorable images and cover all occasions. A firm favourite for our customers. We have a spinner in both our shops and often find customers chuckling away while browsing them. I think that people love them because they’re so funny and relatable! We love Arthouse Unlimited and everything the company is about. The cards are designed by adults with both physical and learning difficulties so have something extra special about them. The Rocky male range has a strong colour theme of bright red, blue and gold and we loved the imagery on them. Lola Design also gives you the option of going plastic-free when ordering, which we loved - something we’re trying to be more conscious of. We have the range across most occasions, but particularly love them for children’s age birthdays. They cover from young ages to teenagers, which we find is rare when looking at children’s collections. The cards are simple, but the pencil shaving aspect of them is so effective and customers comment on how clever they are! There’s a variety of patterns, and its partnerships with card publishers means we can group them together with cards, giftbags and flatwrap.

Right: A particular Arthouse Unlimited favourite at The Alphabet Gift Shop, this New Home card. Below right: A lovely design from Mill Lane Cards.



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Focus On Animal Cards

The Prowl Of The Big Cats Currently prowling all over cards, giftwrap, and anything else they can lay their big untamed paws on, are big cat illustrations and prints of their beautiful fur markings. Part of the tropical trend and the Frida Kahlo influence, these majestic, powerful and dangerous predators featured on the BBC’s Big Cats TV series last autumn, which highlighted some species depletion, with footage of Mountain lions, Iberian lynx, Spanish tigers, larger versions of our own furry felines at home, rarely seen in the wild. And their beauty and fierceness have made the big cats the go to symbol of female empowerment. A ‘clowder’ of card publishers purr their thoughts on this big cats trend.

Emma Pearce, designer for Hotchpotch: Roar of the wild: “We LOVE the big cat trend! We’ve seen the trend rise through fashion - we’ll all be wearing leopard and animal prints well into autumn. Lions, tigers and leopards regularly appear on our cards as the big cats capture tropical vibes, the heat of the summer and represent a fierce feminism. We’re also working on lots of animal prints and big cat designs for our new launches in January!” Above: A design from Hotchpotch’s Sticky Toffee kids range, with foam stickers.



Clare Twigger, head of design for Ling Design: “There are big, important discussions about wildlife, nature and the environment taking place on a global scale at the moment, so we’re bound to see that reverberate through to greeting card design.” Roar of the wild: “We love celebrating animals and nature through our designs and big cats are beautiful in structure and shape and their inquisitive and exploratory nature through their habitats. We have integrated these features into our handmade Talking Pictures range Havana. They also tie into the jungle trend: vibrant big cat colours and bold tropical leaves can create a really strong and appealing visual combination, which you can see across our collaborative range between Penny Kennedy and Creative Lab Amsterdam.” Big cat purrfection: “For us there’s a huge appeal around what big cats represent - strength, power, beauty, being wild and freedom. We can’t help but feel there’s a link between their symbolism and the trends surrounding female empowerment too, which are also very current and resonate strongly with the team here.” Above: Bold tropical leaves and wild beautiful big cats on a collaborative range between Penny Kennedy and Creative Lab Amsterdam.

Left: Bold and beautiful, a tiger on a design from 1790 Cards. Right: This Paper Salad ‘Wife’ design features an appreciative leopard.

Frank Nicholls, co-director of Tache: Roar of the wild: “We create a LOT of cat designs, mainly because we just love cats, big or small (our brand is even named after our pet cat, Tache)! Big cats though are awe-inspiring in themselves, which is why we keep coming back to them time and time again. They are likely trending because of the whole tropical trend, but for us they will never go out of fashion!” Right: A design from Tache’s Henries award-winning Modern Missy range.

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Focus On Animal Cards

Sally Anson, owner of Sweet Design:

Rachel Warrell, director of Belly Button Designs: “Our consciousness has been significantly moved by the BBC productions involving David Attenborough regarding our planet. Not only has he brought the beauty and wonder into our homes, he has highlighted the devastation we’re causing and the depletion effects it’s having on species, including the big cats, stirring a mass movement to reduce plastic and carbon emissions. The need to act is fuelling the desire to heighten this awareness by whatever means necessary. The other influencer to this trend is fashion. Fashion has always had a long existing love affair with prints from the formidable big cats. I recall Bet Lynch in a leopard print faux fur coat on Coronation Street, my own mother and grandmother would have had something equally extravagant in their own wardrobe, just as I’m wearing and adore my own red leopard print asymmetric tulle skirt - it’s relevant and transcends time.” Roar of the wild: “We care passionately about the environment in our studio, and it feeds into our business decisions. It’s what inspired us to create ‘Wild Thing’ - a considered greetings range in the materials sourced and every aspect of its design, highlighting wildlife under threat to inspire us to care more. Lovers of fashion too, we can’t help the desire to indulge in this trend and inject it into our own collections. It is chic, fierce and feminine. Mixed in with a bit of ‘sass’ from the right caption you can create a positively strong image for women, especially important today with all the attention around pay equality and the #MeToo campaign.” Top: Captioned on the reverse of Belly Button’s leopard Wild Thing design (altering for the cat featured): ‘Hand illustrations capture species under threat, such as the graceful and agile leopard, a big cat most elusive and secretive.’

Roar of the wild: “I think a lot of the big cat trend on cards is down to hearing how critically endangered the tiger and snow leopard are, and the recent 80% reduction in lion numbers in such a short space of time. And while tiger numbers have increased very slowly due to protected areas in India where poaching has been controlled, we need to continue this good work for all the big cats. With the younger generation taking on the mantle of ‘saving the planet’ there has been a huge surge on social media platforms about endangered species, climate change, saving the rainforest - all of which is making the world sit up more and take notice. Prince William and Harry have also had a lot to say about protecting our African animals and cats from extinction. We would not want to be the generation that wiped them out, and for our children to never see them roam free in their natural habitat.” Big cat purrfection: “Big Cats are my favourite thing! I’ve always been mad about big cats, hence why I’ve painted so many of them! Somehow they look so soft, fluffy and gorgeous that you just want to hug them! It’s only when they bare their teeth you realise that they are a far cry from the cat in your home!” Above: A baby lynx illustration from Sweet Design, which focuses on all endangered animals, raising awareness of their plight and donating to WWF.

Far left: ‘Jungle Bells’ from Fasanian Artistry. Left: A commanding stare on a Life design from Paperatzi. Right: A hipster lion from Lagom. Below right: A Mungo & Shoddy design from Tillovision. Bottom right: Soul giftwrap from its Brush & Moon Range.

Linzi Russell-Watson, director for ArtPress: “As apex predators, big cats are indicators for their ecosystems. If they’re doing well, the ecosystem is doing well, and vice versa. As a whole, big cats are under increasing threats from poaching, habitat loss, and other environmental factors, and people are now waking up to the stark reality that these majestic animals could disappear.” Roar of the wild: “The need to protect our rainforests and animals has entered the national psyche and is currently expressed in fashion and home interiors. The tropical look is literally flourishing, and ArtPress is proud to be a barometer of wider trends.” Big cat purrfection: “Big cats’ behaviour and looks are uniquely familiar, as many of us have cats in our lives who think they are really tigers, the main difference being that they purr…and the big cats ROAR!” Left: An Inamals by Inaluxe ‘Jungle Kitty’ design from ArtPress.



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Focus On Animal Cards

Dominic Early, co-owner of Earlybird: “Like a lot of trends in the card, stationery and the giftwrap industry they filter down from fashion. Leopard and animal print has been around in the fashion industry for a while now so it’s no surprise the actual big cat itself has made an appearance!” Roar of the wild: “We started using big cats in our cards when we commissioned two illustrators Bex Parkin and Elena Essex to design ranges for us. We loved their botanical, jungle type way of painting and big cat featured heavily in their artwork already. So it was just perfect timing.” Big cat purrfection: “We were also inspired by an unexpected family trip to the Isle of Wight Zoo, where six of its magnificent tigers (saved from a circus’ mistreatment in Asia) stole our imagination and hearts. We were just bowled over how awesome these animals are close up. Plus delighted they had a large, safe and happy environment after their years of unhappiness. Big cats can be seen as fairly cool, aloof characters, from black panthers to cheeky cheetahs, I think this is because they have lots of different identities and quite a lot of scope to explore.” Above: Bex Parkin designs on giftwrap from Earlybird.

Above: A lounging leopard on a laser-cut card from Forever Handmade. Above middle: A majestic beast on a Portfolio card. Above right: Stunning animal prints feature in Sadler Jones’ collection.

Below right: New for 2020, a Father’s Day card from Hallmark. Bottom right: Adorable feline, a card from Rachel Ellen.

Helena Maratheftis, social media & digital marketing coordinator for Roger la Borde: “Animal print never goes out of style… but the majestic creatures themselves are sadly disappearing from the wild. In the context of a rapidly growing mainstream environmental movement, it seems we are all looking beyond the aesthetics of animal print, and appreciating the animals as the incredible beings they are! Voices like those of David Attenborough have absolutely helped bring this subject to the fore, and imagery depicting wilderness and wild animals - as seen with the botanical and tropical trends as well as the big cat trend - has found its place on greeting cards. It is wonderful to see.” Roar of the wild: “Here at Roger la Borde, we have always incorporated animals into our designs. Nature as artistic subject matter is something that has captivated us for decades – from bears in woods, to swans on lakes, honey bees, tropical reefs and, of course, beautiful big cats!” Big cat purrfection: “Animals on cards can be so wonderful at conveying a mood! Like their domesticated cousins, big cats communicate elegance, majesty and mystery… but also strength and a touch of unpredictable wildness. Big cats lend an undeniable air of style to greeting cards, what with their fabulous printed coats - we get the sense that our artists enjoy painting them as much as we love to look at them!” Above: A design from the Glass Menagerie collection, illustrated by Anne Bentley for Roger la Borde.

Dan Kane, co-owner of Think Of Me Designs: “We have used an image of a big cat, a tiger, on our male range Zephyr, for one main reason - they’re just so damn cool! When we think of a big cat like a tiger certain attributes quickly spring to mind. We all have an immediate idea of what these animals are like. They’re strong, confident, handsome, powerful, sexy... these are qualities that many men would consider complementary. As such, the imagery is very suited to a male card.” Roar of the wild: “I’m sure David Attenborough and nature documentaries have played a part in educating us regarding the behavior of these big cats, but I think it goes deeper than that. It’s more animalistic. We get what these animals are like from a very early age. We have all been to zoos, we see the way these beasts behave, the way they walk, that frisson of danger. They’re just so mesmerising, and mirror certain characteristics that males traditionally like to see in themselves. As an example, I’m sure there are many men who remember being young boys and finding out what their Chinese Zodiac animal was. There weren’t many of us who were thinking ‘Oh, I really hope I’m a rooster!’ No, we all wanted to be tigers.” Left: Wild and dangerous, a Zephyr design from Think Of Me.



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To appear in the Product Directories contact


č,č -+1

Warren Lomax

020 7700 6740 or email or contact

Tracey Arnaud

07957 212 062 or email


+-*878379-8%003''%7-327 =)%63*&-68,+6))8-2+'%6(7 )0)+%28 '328)1436%6= %2( 6)863+-*8;%6) %'')7736-)7


To appear in the Product Directories contact

Warren Lomax

020 7700 6740 Abacus Cards Limited t: 01638 569050 e: w:

or email or contact

Tracey Arnaud

07957 212 062 or email

01565 830 546 | @BexyBooLtd





89-97_Product Directories_v2016.qxp 31/10/2019 12:02 Page 90




To appear in the Product Directories email


Warren Lomax or

Tracey Arnaud

Witty, gritty, switched on humour. Cards and gifts with a real difference.

Beautiful, Soulful Cards

Unit 1, 45 Morrish Road London SW2 4EE Tel: 0208 671 2166 Fax: 0208 678 1119


AGENTS WANTED Caspari Ltd Linden House, John Dane Player Court

East Street, Safffrron W Waalden Essex, CB10 1LR Teel: 01799 513010 T Faax: 01799 513101 F Email: ww ww

Products: Everyday cards - birthday, blank & occasions, charity Christmas cards, gifftt wrap, bags, tissue, ribbon, hankies, napkins, paper plate, candles, placemats, crackers,invitations, placecards, notecards,diaries, address books, journals, advent calendars and bridge gifftts.

Method of Sale: Direct to Retail

Publishers of quality blank greeting cards made with great imagination

Tel: 0115 929 4776


01892 838 574

Order Online One of the UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading suppliers of Greeting Cards since 19995 Products: High quality greetin ng cards with superb finishes. All maajjor and minor titles, covering traditio onaall to the latest in innovative design, n both Everydaayy and Seasonal. Providing an all NEW selection of Muggs and Notebooks. k


Brands Include: Down Memory Lane, W Wo ot A Mug and T Tw wist & Shout Methods of Sale: Direct to retail Desiggners welcome contact

Unit 10 Duddage Business Park Brockeridge Rd Twyning Tewkesbury GL20 6BY 01684 295500



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Welsh and English cards

Innovative high quality gift wrap, gift bags, tissue paper and accesssories galore for all seasons and occasions. frrom the

0127 74 4 655980

07815 153 582

agents wanted

Including firm favourites and brand new designs Brands include: Keepsakes, Words of Love, Jelly Beans, Bella Rose, Champagne and many more


Glick, Unit 1 Allenby House, European Ind. Park, Knowles Lane, Bradford BD4 9AB



â&#x20AC;˘ UK Market leaders with humour, art, photographic, contemporary and traditional occasions & relations cards, plus seasonal. â&#x20AC;˘ 2Î?HULQJDIXOOSODQQLQJVHUYLFH with merchandising and retail development opportunities.

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A w o n d e rf u l

Tel:: +44 (0)115 986 0115 Te customer t ser vices@paper i @ www.writefromthehear

â&#x20AC;˘ Specialists in garden centres and the independent trade.



High Quality Greeting Cards, Gift Bags,

Ch C hin nese ese

Gift Wrap & Ta Tags for every occasion.







*GCF1HĆ&#x201A;EG +353 (0)404 20528 Email

Find The Great British Card Company on:


Polissh Po h

Te T el: 0161 16 64 41 06 0655 Email: m sales@da sales@d av 135 Hea 13 135 eaton Moorr Rd | Stockp ock kpo port ort SK4 4H 4 4HY HY Waterwells Drive, Gloucester GL2 2PH Tel: 01452 888970



89-97_Product Directories_v2016.qxp 31/10/2019 12:03 Page 92





CHARITY GREETING CARDS One of the UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading publishers of Charity Greeting Cards. Impress offers a wide collection of images, including fine art, graphic, photographic and cute. We also offer a bespoke design service for bulk orders and/or mail order fulfilment.

60 years

Your Number One Supplier of Numerals, Name, Relation & Age Labels for Greetings Cards.

Impress Publishing Appledown House Barton Business Park New Dover Road Canterbury, Kent CT1 3TE Tel: 01227 811 611 Fax: 01227 811 618 email:

Huge selection with immediate deliveryy.. Buy direct or from your wholesalerr.. Listan Labels 3 Isis Court, Wyndyke Furlong, Abingdon Business Park, Abingdon, Oxfordshire OX1 5JN Te T el 01235 465489 Fax 01235 532118

New Cardiff designs at

.6-5*3"$*"- and -(#5(3&&5*/($"3%4

To appear in the Product Directories simply contact

Warren Lomax on:

020 7700 6740 Hue tribe t: +44(0) 7943416562 e: facebook:


or email on or contact

Tracey Arnaud on:

07957 212 062 or email on



89-97_Product Directories_v2016.qxp 31/10/2019 12:04 Page 93





Marina B Designs from me to you with love


â&#x20AC;&#x153;Art that tells a storyâ&#x20AC;Śâ&#x20AC;?

Love Country by Sarah Reilly


Tel: 07735 918118


Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not a Birthday without bubbles

Great brands, Great service Bespoke planning Agents wanted

We can help with all your bespoke planning requirements. From smaller displays to redeveloping complete card departments

Silk Screened Retro, Pop & Classic Cards

01892 838 574

Inspired by Music and 1960â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s American Advertising.For all Vinyl & Rock nâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Roll lovers


@NoelTattGroup 01227 811 600

For further details please get in touch.

+44 (0)7779 578340



    ĆŤ   ĆŤÄ&#x2018;ĆŤ    ĆŤ        ĆŤÄ&#x2018;ĆŤ   ĆŤ        ĆŤÄ&#x2018;ĆŤ    ĆŤÄ&#x2018;ĆŤ  

The UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading privately owned publisher of Greetings Cards and Stationery. ...The home for and


An exciting and innovative range of quality Birthday, Relations, Special Occasions, Handmade, Art and Humorous greeting cards. Full range of Christmas and Spring Seasons merchandise.

Products: Greetings cards for all occasions, Christmas and Spring Seasons cards, gift wrap and bags, charity cards, social stationery. Bespoke service for charities and other fundraisers. Ling Design Ltd 14-20 Eldon Way, Paddock Wood, Kent TN12 6BE Tel: 01892 838574

B rand N ames a Pizazz, Pizazz Gallery, G Pizazz Limited Edition, E Pizazz for Men, Doodle, D A of Nature, Whatt a Picture, Art Designers Corner

TRADE WEBSITE:                 Ä&#x2039;   ÄŽ    Ä&#x2039; 01780 763 368

Cloudesley House, Shire Hill, Saffron Walden,, CB11 3FB

T: 01799 520200 F: F: 01799 520100 www.nigelquiney.c w ww om



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Design-led Stationery, Gifts, Calendars, Diaries and Cards

Brands Laura Ashley, Roald Dahl, Lily & Val, Vintage Ladybird, Caroline Gardner, Monsoon, Born to Shop, Flash Gordon, Boofle and many more.

All our cards are supplied on consignment, so you only pay for what you sell.

Our In-house design studio and established supply chain enables us to offer bespoke services.

We also supply card fixtures and spinners free-on-loan.

tel: +44 (0) 1225 329494 email: website:

We replace slow sellers and damaged stock free of charge. We merchandise regularly, so you don’t have to. THAT’S WHY WE’RE ORIGINAL!

01932 267 300 Exquisite Designs Beautiful Cards Key br ands include: Wr ite from the Hear t Ar tisan, Marzipan, Capisco Designer s Guild, Clare Tupperr Lucy Ledger plus man y more

Tel:: +44 (0)115 986 0115 Te customer ser vices@paperrose www.paperrose

Greeting cards & gifts designed with awesomeness in mind

p p paperlink... the home of fabulous cards!


To appear in the Product Directories contact

Warren Lomax

020 7700 6740 356 Kennington Rd London SE11 4LD T 020 7582 8244 k Paperlinkcards


@ @paperlinkcards


or email or contact

Tracey Arnaud


01892 838 574

07957 212 062 or email

89-97_Product Directories_v2016.qxp 31/10/2019 12:04 Page 95



Uk publisher of Greetings Cards with an extensive range of quality Birthday, Relations, Occasions and Seasonal product... available from


6 Heron Trading Estate Alliance Road, Park Royal, London W3 0RA T: 0208 385 4474 F: 0208 385 4471 E:



PRODUCTS: World’s leading publisher of high quality plastic greeting cards. Also an extensive range of quality greeting cards covering Everyday, Occasions, Christmas and Spring seasons. BRANDS: Cherished Thoughts, Sweet Sentiments, Buddies Always, Symphony, Thinking of You, Style, Special Wishes, Special Times, Young Editions, Groove Sensations, Forever Blessed, Grey Skies, Classics.

Our Brands: Laughter with Animals, Sporting Fun The Funny Side of Life.

METHOD OF SALE: SENSATIONS – Direct to retail XPRESS YOURSELF – Now one of the leading wholesale publisher suppliers in the UK

Method of sale: Direct to Retail 14-20 Eldon Way, Paddock Wood, Kent TN12 6BE Tel: 01892 838574

To appear in the Product Directories contact

Warren Lomax

020 7700 6740 t. 07779 654 694 e.

or email or contact

Tracey Arnaud

07957 212 062

raspber r

or email 020 3723 5405

Products: Greetings Cards, Gift Wrap, Gift Bags, Social Stationery, Partyware

Brands: Blossom & Bows Card Essentials Greetings Impressions In Touch Isabel·s Garden Planet Happy Sentiments With You In Mind Word Play



Method of sale: Wholesale Distributors

Simon Elvin Limited greeting cards & contempoRary gifts e: t: 01752 830482

Wooburn Industrial Park, Wooburn Green, Bucks HP10 0PE Tel: 01628 526711 Fax: 01628 531483



89-97_Product Directories_v2016.qxp 31/10/2019 12:06 Page 96




7RPFDW&DUGV To appear in the Product Directories contact

Warren Lomax 020 7700 6740 or email or contact

Tracey Arnaud 07957 212 062 or email

The UK’s leading publisher of highest quality handmade Greetings Cards.

Products: Greetings cards for all occasions, Christmas and Spring Seasons. Spinners and other retail displays available. Talking Pictures Cards Ltd 14-20 Eldon Way, Paddock Wood, Kent, TN12 6BE


Tel: 01892 838574

2@= 29KL= M<K Just food and their friends....

view by rufus designed in thames ditton

... so when I said .. “I’m dating Ian with one i”, what exactlly y were you thinking ?


TEL: 01480 435562 FAX: 01480 450599

5=N= ?GF= ?J==F

All greeting cards printed with vegetable inks on recycled boards/envelopes, including biodegradable packaging...





topdog@view by 020 8972 9706

register fo for a trade account: www w..viewbyrufus i b f .com/b2b /b2b

89-97_Product Directories_v2016.qxp 31/10/2019 12:06 Page 97



& entimen

an extensive range of superior quality,

design-led Greeting Cards for all occasions, Spring Seasons & Christmas.

Method of Sale: Direct to Retail

Orders can be placed on our trader site

or call our customer services team on

+44(0)1243 792600

Art Cards eA Botanical Fine

Market Leaders in



Vibrant and nd elegant gree greeting cards A freshly fr modern perspective on nature

BESCOT CRESCENT, WALSALL, WEST MIDLANDS. WS1 4NG 01922-646666 MON,WED,FRI 8.00am-4.45pm TUES,THURS 8.00am-7.45pm SAT,SUN 8.00am-1.45pm

Call Now 075 7700 1145 info@

To appear in the Product Directories simply contact

Warren Lomax: 020 7700 6740 or contact



98-70_Classified 2019_v2016.qxp_Layout 1 31/10/2019 12:12 Page 98












Polypropylene & biodegradable bag specialists


Over 40 years quality service to the trade Hotfoiling also available

T 01206 396209 E








01773 5378 810






Largest range of in-stock colours


0122 1228 228 2 28 8 56 5605 60 052 26 6 www.fful ulcrumfilms. ulcrrum mfillm ms s uk

Over 400 Bespoke Envelope Sizes 8 Sizes Permanently in Stock RECYCLED


100% Recycled Paper Av Available Stock & Bespoke Cello Bags Peel & Stick Envelopes p Bespoke Service on Request



01 90 83 78 86 6 01274 583000

We’ve been producing p bags of high clarity and high quality q for over 30 years. 01274 220 220 www




‘we we make Envelopes and Stationery’



98-70_Classified 2019_v2016.qxp_Layout 1 31/10/2019 12:12 Page 99












SPECIALISTS IN SHORT RUN MULTI IMAGE PRINT s Foiling Services without the need for dies s Wiro bound notebooks, no minimum quantity s In House Fulfilmment Services

T 01274 305832 E

The simplest way to order your greetings cards


ABL Foil Ltd Unit 1, Industrial Estate East Hanningfield Chelmsford Essex, CM3 8AB

Contact DAVID JIGGINS Tel: 01245 400104 Email:

Powered by

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

we print

we ďŹ nish

we pack



98-70_Classified 2019_v2016.qxp_Layout 1 31/10/2019 12:12 Page 100











Your saf ep ai

cturing ufa an m

ds for Far E as han f t ro

Outstanding, cost effective and efficient production of Greeting cards, Packaging and Social stationery, ideal for intricate and hand finished products. • Over 15 years experience providing high-quality printed products direct from the Far East • Trusted and financially stable, UK owned by The Sherwood Group • Socially responsible manufacturing: SMETA, ISO9001, ISO14001, FSC certification • Full product prototyping in the UK for competitive speed to market requirements

To find out how we can benefit your business, contact Derek Lam +00 (852) 3527 3471 / or The Sherwood Group Head Office Hong Kong Office: 13/F, Kam Chung Commercial Building, 19-21 Hennessy Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong



PJ PRINT LONDON The Capitals Only Specialist Greeting Card Printer All Industry Finishes Available In-House Including Laser Cutting

Social Sta tationerry Printer of the Year

Award winning U UK & Global specialist manufacturer ffor the greeting card industry fo or over 40 years The Print Works Colville Road, Acton, London, W3 8BL E-mail: Tel: 020 8993 5160 100


To discuss how we can worrk together, contact Richard Bacon: Tel 0115 928 7766 Email ric Hadden Court, Glaisdale e Parkway, Glaisdale Drive West, Nottin ngham NG8 4GP

98-70_Classified 2019_v2016.qxp_Layout 1 31/10/2019 12:12 Page 101











YOUR MANUFACTURING PARTNER FOR VALUE ADDED PRODUCTS English speakingproduction team,pricesquoted insterling...andonly 3daysdelivery toTHEUK...

Really... andtheres noVATtopayor customsprocedures either...that'sa greatdeal!

• Hand made and hand finished greeting cards • Boxed sets and acetate packs of cards / envelopes • Giftwrap and tag packs • Individually open and closed wrapped cards • 'Pop up' and cardboard engineered products • Notelets and social stationery • Specialised printing on plastics & lenticular



Digital Print






Tel:0127 e 4 4531828 Email: info@herbertw o uk

For production enquiries, estimates etc., please contact our UK Agent:

Rob Pearson 07710 132 232 FSC accredited (BV-COC-002485). Audited member of SMETA. Printing to ISO12674-2 standard.



Glitt i Glittering

** ** ** **

Offset ff t PPrinting i ti

Sh Show Room R

Facto ory Outlook

Established in 1997, headquarters in Hong Kong 600,000 Sq.fftt of modern production facility ouse production Ensure complete co ontrol from start to finish with our full in-ho ng in people, equipment, technology and the Continually investin t planet

TERRY JOHNSO ON PO Box 1600 Hemel Hempstead, HP1 9SR Mobile: 07773 389784 Email: terryjohnson@ve Website: PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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IBC_Appointments_2019.qxp_Layout 1 31/10/2019 12:14 Page 71






Greeting Cards Displa ay y Solutions

We also d do: ࠮ Cartons s ࠮ Boxes ࠮ Diecuts s

C R E AT I V E D E S I G N E R •Excellent illustration skills & a passion for design •Knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite •Responsiblity for developing concepts and artwork and creating finished print ready files •Experience of working in a studio environment

D I G I TA L A R T W O R K E R •Recognised knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite especially Photoshop, Illustrator & Indesign •Experience in creating marketing material to promote product, brochures, advertisements and POS •Must be able to meet deadlines and multitask

Call: 0121 557 7 1891

Part time hours would be considered for both these roles

email: sales@nsmithb

If you believe you have the right attributes for either of these exciting positions, please send your CV and digital portfolio to

web. www.nsmithbo n.smith, Haing ge Road, Tividale, Oldbury, West Midlands s B69 2NZ OVER 115 YEARS OF MANUF FA ACT TURING IN THE UK




Units A & B High h Road, Deadmans Cross, Haynes, Shefford, Beds SG G17 5QQ T: 01234 381214 E: info@pineapplep www.pineapplepa

Sales Agents with great noses. Scotland Cheshire / Merseyside

Happy Birthd ay to you... Happy Birthd ay to youu...

Over the last 17 years we’ve learnt that our most successful Sales Agents have great noses for new business. They are also conscientious account managers who instinctively know how to retain and develop customers.


Distributors wanted for vacant areas within the UK and overseas. We do not charge a franchise fee, we would rather r you invest in your own business or develop your existing business b further. 1 1 1 1 1

Fast & efficient despatch of orders Over 300 designs to choose from Gift Wrap Major seasons catered for New designs available every 6-8 weeks

EST 1993

For details please contact Sally or D Deb on 01234 381214 or email

We’re currently looking for two such people to inject some fresh energy, ideas and stockists into a couple of our most under-developed territories – one being Scotland, the other being Cheshire / Wirral / Merseyside / Manchester. Splimple is widely known for our Alison’s Animals greetings card and small gift range, which performs reliably year after year in garden centres, country stores, farm shops and other gift outlets. We provide plenty of marketing support and regular sales initiatives, as well as a steady flow of new designs and ipad-based ordertaking.

Like to stick your nose in? Speak to Stuart Caldwell. 01386 872752 –



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Profile for Max Media Group

Progressive Greetings November 2019  

Progressive Greetings November 2019