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Leader

On The Cards It’s festival season - no, I am not referring to Glastonbury, I am of course about talking about the biggest greeting card extravaganza that is about to take place in a few more sleeps! Progressive Greetings Live will take place Tuesday 4 June and Wednesday 5 June at London’s Business Design Centre and I can't tell you how excited I am, really, it's embarrassing! I know how Glastonbury’s Michael and Emily Eavis must feel when they secure the fabulous ‘headline acts’ for their ‘mega fest’ or they discovers some super new talent that are certain to win everyone over. Well, PG Live has a jam-packed line-up, with 230+ publishers, all with stunning new material to share. And the food is not only great at PG Live, but free - and moreover there is no mud to wade through! I did confess that I am rather overexcited, it is just that Warren, Gale and I have lived and breathed all the new ranges that are readying to launch, spoken to so many retailers who are planning their trips and been in dialogue with our chums from overseas who are packing their bags for their annual visit to be part of it all. Business at the moment is tough for most, but what better antidote to feeling somewhat despondent is to get out there, be with those in your tribe and be inspired by the amazing products from our industry that binds people together. If you are a retailer and haven't yet registered to come to PG Live, then please do so (www.progressivegreetingslive.com). If you would like me to do it for you, ping me an email (jakkib@max-publishing.co.uk) and I can do it for you. You won’t regret it - and you won't need your wellies! It has been wonderful to have been caught up in the whooshes of joy of The Retas 2019 finalists (announced in last

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Above: Card Factory’s ceo Karen Hubbard (left) and PG’s Jakki Brown (see pages 75 and 77). Left: We still won’t be surprised if (left) Alan Holmes, who recently retired from Icon pops into PG Live to see his muckers, including PG’s Warren Lomax. Below left: Lagom Design’s Kelly Hyatt (centre) and Michelle Porter at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew with PG’s Jakki Brown (see pages 79 and 81).

month’s edition). Going by the inventive promotions, PR and celebrations that are already underway is testament in itself of the tenacious retailing mettle this year’s finalists have for their respective businesses. The winners will be unveiled at what looks set to be a truly memorable Frida Kahlo-themed Retas Awards event on July 10 (to be held at the Grosvenor House Hotel on London’s Park Lane) which will be another great fixture on the greeting card industry ‘festival tour’! And you publishers out there, be sure to enter your ranges for The Henries awards (entry form with this issue as well as on the website). Just think how you will feel if you are on that stage at The Henries award event in October holding your shiny winning trophy aloft to the cries of adoring fans… I think I had better go and have a cold drink and a lie down, it is all getting too much!

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PG Live /stand #208 Tuesday 4th & Wednesday 5th June

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Contents

What’s Inside?

Issue:

This Within US ON C

FO S CARD CUTE

Below: From Laura Sherratt, PG Live stand 502.

39-45

91

PG Live 2019 – Springboard Spotlight

Branching Out Newbie card publishers at PG Live reveal their ‘germination’ into cards.

47-73

PG Live 2019 Innovations Some of the lovely new product launching at this year’s PG Live.

75-77 Retailer Face To Face

The Krypton Factor(y) Card Factory’s ceo Karen Hubbard shares how the retailer is scoring points.

101-103 In Conversation With… Emily McDowell

The Empathy Pioneer

9-23

79-81

News

Meet Emily McDowell, trail-blazer of the empathy card send.

Face To Face

Form A Kew

26-27

Founder of Lagom, Kelly Hyatt, reveals the publisher’s new Kew range.

Over The Counter

The Retail Endgame David Robertson, co-owner of JP Pozzi in Scotland, compares Marvel’s recent movie, Avengers: The Endgame, to superhero indie retailing.

28-29

105-107 International Spotlight

An Emirate Expansion 83-85 Retail Commentary

The Retailing Drama Michael Weedon, md of Exp2, shares his take High Street retailing.

Yasmin Rahmatullah-Jones, founder of YTR Studios, reveals her opportunity to distribute British publishers’ cards to Dubai’s vibrant retail base.

109

Cardsharp

Art Source

87-89

Hitting The Back Of The Net

Retailer Face To Face

Cardsharp muses over topical events happening in the industry.

31-33

Utility Billing

111-113

Retail group Utility talks about its new Manchester store and expansion plans.

What’s Hot? 115-116

91-93

Viewpoints

Jeremy’s Journal

Up Close And Personal

Undressing The Nakedness Issue

Brand New

The Colour Queen

Industry discussion about the cost savings of naked cards.

Dame Zandra Rhodes discusses her recent greeting card collaboration with Museums & Galleries.

35-37

95-99

PG Live 2019

Spotlight On Cute Cards

PG Live Landing The starry nuts and bolts of PG Live 2019.

Jeremy Corner of publisher Blue Eyed Sun discusses building a successful brand.

117-130

Classified

News, views and aah-mazing new ranges from the cute card market.

131

Appointments Subscribe to Progressive Greetings from £60 (UK) to £90 (International). You can organise this quickly and easily online at our secure site: Max-Subscriptions.net For assistance, please email maxsubscriptions@marketingreinforc ements.co.uk 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

jw@max-publishing.co.uk

warren@max-publishing.co.uk

galea@max-publishing.co.uk

ianh@max-publishing.co.uk

traceya@max-publishing.co.uk

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: gca@max-publishing.co.uk www.greetingcardassociation.org.uk PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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NEWS TOP STORY

PG LIVE NEWS IN BRIEF

It’s Almost Here! PG Live 2019 readies to open its doors There are now only days to go before Progressive Greetings Live 2019, the world leading dedicated greeting card trade show, which takes place Tuesday 4 June and Wednesday 5 June at London’s Business Design Centre. Thousands upon thousands of brand new greeting card designs from a wealth of leading card publishing names and talented newbies are almost ready to meet the people that matter - greeting card buyers and overseas distributors - at the two day show that will be a bustle of business meeting pleasure. “PG Live is our industry in a lovely bubble, of great people and fabulous new products,” is how Amanda Oscroft, coowner of award winning retailer Love It in Bury St Edmunds and Stamford sums up the show. “Cards mean so much in uncertain times and the very act of sending one, whether for heartfelt friendship, humour or any other occasion, really can inspire and make a difference. Thank goodness too for the free hearty lunch and the champagne at The Retas/Greats reception, which are greatly appreciated as our energy levels will need to stay high with all the beautiful stands and tempting show offers!” There will be 230+ amazing companies exhibiting at PG Live (June 4

l Rocket68’s London Calling greeting card range caught the eye of TeNeues, resulting in a licensing deal to produce a 2020 calendar featuring the distinctive artwork depicting the vibrancy of our capital’s architecture, communities and history. Rocket 68’s London Calling card range reached the finals in the Gift of the Year awards this year. (PG Live Stand 97) Above: The London Calling 2020 calendar from TeNeues, licensed from Rocket 68.

Above: It won’t be long before the Business Design Centre will be full of cardies! Above right: Amanda and Will Oscroft of Love It at last year’s PG Live at The Retas/Greats ‘Wall of Fame’ champagne reception, showing the press coverage from the shops’ Greats award.

and 5 at London’s Business Design Centre) on the main Mezzanine, Village Green and in the Springboard area. PG Live’s online registration works really well (www.progressivegreetingslive.com), as does registering via social media channels, but if you would just rather speak to someone in real life, call the PG Live show team on +44 (0)1635 297070. l Take a look at just some of the new launches that will be at the show in the extended Innovations section (see pages 47-73); Lagom Design will also be unveiling its new Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew range (see pages 79-81) while Dame Zandra Rhodes will be at the show on the Wednesday to launch the Museums & Galleries’ collection based on her designs. (See pages 91-93).

The Art File’s massive mid-year launch The Art File is pulling out all the stops for PG Live and gearing up for its largest ever mid-year launch of new products. The Nottingham-based card publisher has collaborated with high profile designers, including Heather Flynn (creator of Alice Scott and cocreator of Happy Jackson), award-winning illustrator Emily Brooks and paperfold maestro, Paul Jackson, as well as drawing on the talents of the company’s own in-house studio to create a super strong show line-up of over 100 new designs. The Snap to Grid collection (created by Heather Flynn) debuts with 18 birthday and open designs, as well as 11 occasions designs and seven age cards. Commenting on what sparked Snap to Grid, Heather said, “I love watching how the cultural references and language we use change and evolve, today more rapidly than ever. I'd begun writing and storing ideas for a youthful, fresh editorial range over the last year, waiting for the right time to work it up into a collection.” Emily Brooks has brought her own brand of illustration to The Art File. Known for her block colour, engaging illustration and popular social media content, Emily, who launched her own greeting card company at the start of last year, is now broadening her brand’s presence by working with licensee partners, such as The Art File, who is launching 24 of Emily’s bestselling designs, as well as three exclusive new designs. Above right: Emily Brooks is now expanding her brand with collaborations and licensing deals. Left: The super talented Heather Flynn.

l Papagrazi is launching a new collection of designs at PG Live (Stand 89) in its LIFE range in support of The Brighter Times’ campaign to raise funds for the World Wildlife Fund. The12 new designs by The Brighter Times’ designer Lydia French are based on art prints that are being sold via www.thebrightertimes.com with 5% of the proceeds going to the World Wildlife Fund. Above: One of the new designs in Papagrazi’s LIFE range.

l Street artist and poet, Angry Dan, has been painting limericks all over the walls in London, gaining a massive following for his incredible spray, brush and pen work. For the all the hours each one takes, street art by its very nature has little permanence, but inspired by the artwork, CardMix is launching a licensed Angry Dan card collection at PG Live (Stand 317). Above: One of the Angry Dan artworks.

l There is an extra reason to ‘trot’ over to see Deckled Edge at PG Live (Stand 124). The publisher is offering the chance to win an amazing A4 framed picture of a racehorse created by artist Janna Cossettini, founder of the company. The names of everyone placing an order at the show will be in with a chance of winning the A4 framed art. Above: Janna Cossettini is a very talented equine artist.

l Having appointed This Is Iris as its UK licensing agent, Pabuku’s brand prominence looks set to grow. The card publisher who is exhibiting at PG Live (Stand 123) is already licensing its designs to Austria’s Mapbagrag for bags, Germany’s PPD Paperproducts Designs for napkins and Athesia Kalenderverlag for birthday calendars. Above: A Pabuku design on a Mapbagrag bag.

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NEWS Pet Paw-traiture

TOP STORY

Matalan’s Greetings Card Factory opens concessions in two stores Card Factory has opened concessions within two Matalan stores as a trial with the value clothing and homewares retailer. Commenting on this recent development, Karen Hubbard, ceo of Factory told PG that this is in line with its “strategy of trialing new routes to market for the Card Factory brand.” Card Factory’s preliminary trial in Matalan, which has been running for less than a month, involves a branded ‘store within store’ concession in Matalan’s store in Cortonwood Retail Park in Barnsley as well as within its store in Wavertree, Liverpool. “Although this is very early stage, we are pleased to be working with Matalan, a brand which shares our focus on quality and value,” added Karen. This trial is the latest example of Card Factory flexing its retailing activity, both in the UK and overseas, as part of its ambitious expansion plan. “As we get closer to our goal of 1,200 stores, we are exploring different ways of growing Card Factory by looking to work with retailers whose values are similar to ours,” says Karen. Karen told PG that the business had learned a lot about the “power of the Card Factory brand” when it ran concessions in six Office Outlets stores. “We picked the locations that were not near to an existing Card Factory shop, and feedback we received was that our brand drove customers into the store”.

Below: Matalan now has Card Factory concessions in two of its stores.

Trials are also underway in Australia where Card Factory has installed concessions in eight of The Reject Shop’s 350 stores. The Australian value retailer has openly staked its ambitions to be a ‘disrupter’ on the greeting card front offering the Australian public quality cards at value prices. While the Card Factory trial is confined to eight stores, the remaining estate is supplied with greeting cards by Artwrap, part of the IG Design Group. Closer to home, a franchised Card Factory store has just opened in Guernsey. This follows on from one that opened under a franchise agreement in Jersey at the end of last year as well as one in the Isle of Man. Card Factory is continuing its trial to supply 112 Aldi stores with a selection of cards, but while the displays and the cards themselves do feature the Card Factory logo these are not concessions.

UKG’s Mind’s on mental health Wellness is a theme that will be evident right across all the brands that UKG will be showcasing on its stand at PG Live (June 4 and 5). UK Greetings has pledged its support to help raise awareness of mental health issues through a new male card collection, which is to raise money for mental health charity, Mind. In addition, the publisher is also instigating a whole programme of initiatives for its staff to support wellbeing and general health. Coinciding with Mental Health Awareness Week (13-19 May), organised by the Mental Health Foundation, UKG was active both externally and internally. UKG is to donate 20p for every card sold in its new Mind collection. The range comprises seven male greeting card designs supported by PoS which explains the donation to the charity. Running until the end of June UKG’s People First campaign is a two month programme of activities with the aim of helping to improve the general wellbeing and mental health of those who work at its three sites in Dewsbury, Yorkshire. As Sandi Parisi, creative director UK Greetings summed up: “Wellness is a trend that is all pervasive that underlines how wonderful this industry is. After eating and sleeping, the need to feel safe, loved and cared for are our key needs and greeting cards help in this.” (PG Live stand 240) Above: UKG retail customer Clare Lewin, from In Time in Hazelmere, applauds the launch of the new Mind collection.

Doris, a Bedlington Terrier/Whippet cross, the pooch of Harriet and Adam de Wolff, owners of London card and gift retailer The Indigo Tree in Streatham, has been immortalised as a Stripey Cats' Googly Eyed card design. Doris is the star of the shop and all the children come in on their way home from school just to see her, so Harriet and Adam decided to celebrate her local celebrity by asking Stripey Cats’ director Jonathan Crosby if he could create a Doris design for them from a photo. “So I had a go and they were over the moon with it,” says Jonathan. “They chose the background colour to tiein with their shop logo and have decided to sell the ‘Delightful Doris’ design in their shop.” l Stripey Cats’ brand new range Animal Racket will be making a noise down on Stand 94 at PG Live this June. Above: Doris, star of The Indigo Tree and Stripey Cats’ Delightful Doris design.

Chocs away for Rosanna Rossi’s 10th Rosanna Rossi has come up with a ‘sweet’ way of marking the card company’s 10th anniversary. The first 10 buyers to place an order on the publisher’s stand at PG Live will receive a presentation bag of gorgeous handmade chocolates specially made by a chocolate shop in the Cotswolds close to where the publisher is based. (PG Live Stand 431) Above: Rosanna Rossi’s co-owners Anna Nelson and Troy James in the chocolate shop.

Richard Partis goes it alone Having been a well-known artist in the greeting card and gift trade for over 30 years, Richard Partis is going it alone by launching his own card publishing company. The talented artist has seen his artwork published for years on greeting cards from Clanna Cards and on mugs from Dunoon, as well as on textiles and jigsaws, but is now to front his own work at PG Live. (Stand 724) Above: Among the greeting card designs Richard will be showing at PG Live.

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NEWS Heaven sent

TOP STORY

Whoops From Retas Finalists The good news spreads for greeting card retailers The good news travelled fast following the announcement of The Retas 2019 finalists at the end of April, released through the PG Buzz enewsletter. “Wow. I actually cried when I saw on PG Buzz that we had made it to The Retas finals,” confessed Carl Dunne, co-owner of Cards & Gifts in Sheffield (feted in the Best Greeting Card Retailer Newcomer North category). ”It’s been a hard year so reaching the finals makes you realise all your hard work is so worth it.” Another worthy indie finalist, Beverley Heyworth, owner of Blue Rose Cards and Gifts in Heywood, didn’t waste anytime in sharing her delight in reaching the finals of the Best Greeting Card Retail Initiative category for its Make A Pudsey activity this year. ”Hip hop hooray, I’m in the finals!” exclaimed Beverley, who was “bursting with excitement” as soon as she heard the news. “This means so much to us, not just as owners and staff, but the customers too who get just as excited. In the volatile state that retail is in at present, it is a massive achievement to be a finalist in a national award. The Retas is a brilliant way to promote the industry’s finest and we are very, very proud to be part of it.”

Meanwhile in Petworth in Surrey there were audible ‘whoops’ when Sally Matson, owner of Red Card discovered that her shop had reached The Retas’ finals in the Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer - Home Counties category. Sharing her thoughts and feelings, Sally said: “Firstly, it’s hugely positive thing personally, as it is an endorsement of what my team and I do, from people who are at the heart of the industry. It is one thing to receive positive feedback from your customers, but as proprietor of a small independent business, we never really get a report card or an appraisal, and so this kind of competition gives real support and encouragement to small independent retailers across the country.” Sally also feels that the recognition extends beyond the Red Card team and its customers, to its suppliers. “I have received a huge number of congratulatory messages from my suppliers and they are very much part of this too.”

Finding out that her shop In Heaven at Home in Market Harborough is a Retas’ finalist could not have been a better-timed fillip for independent retailer Anne Barber, who wasted no time in instigating a greeting card promotion to reward loyal customers. “I had such a tough two weeks from 16–30 April as these two dates are the 10 year anniversary of the death of my husband on 16th and his funeral on 30th,” shared Anne. Earlier in the day of The Retas finalists being announced, Anne had walked to the woods to take flowers to the place where her husband Julian had taken ill. “I talked to him and told him that all I wanted to do was make him proud of me and I prayed that he could send me a sign that he could see me and was watching over me,” said Anne. Then, she received the news that In Heaven at Home has reached the finals in the Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer - Wales and the Midlands category. Above: Anne Barber, owner of In Heaven at Home, Market Harborough.

Designer Greetings acquires Palm Press

The Retas winners will be unveiled at a lavish afternoon Frida Kahlothemed event on Wednesday 10 July, which will take place at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London’s Park Lane. The talented Paper Rose design team once again took on the challenge to create the stunning keepsake ticket, with the full blessing of The Frida Kahlo Foundation for use of the authentic artwork. To secure your wonderful Retas ticket to this great networking event at which the top retailers will rub shoulders with publishers and trade suppliers, contact Clare Hollick on clare@keystonecomms.co.uk or on 01733 294524 or 07769 905959.

New York-based major greeting card company, Designer Greetings has acquired Palm Press, the well-known photographic greeting card publisher. Palm Press was founded in 1980 by Liz Bordow and has gained respect over the years for its collection of greeting cards based on exceptional photographs from around the world, with a quirky, humorous twist. Designer Greetings, now one of the largest publishers in North America, have grown organically as well as through acquisitions. Palm Press marks the 12th acquisition since 2006. Commenting on the latest addition to the Designer Greetings’ fold, Steve Gimbelman, president and ceo of the group explained: “Liz Bordow built an incredible company, starting in her house in 1980. Palm Press is now one of the leading photographic greeting card companies in the world. We look forward to building on the success that Liz forged.” The addition of Palm Press means that Designer Greetings’ portfolio now spans over 22,000 greeting card designs.

Right: The wonderful Retas ticket that has been designed by the Paper Rose team.

Above: A flavour of the Palm Press portfolio.

Above: Beverley Heyworth, owner of Blue Rose Cards and Gifts in Heywood with her Retas finalist logo. Left: Red Card’s owner Sally Matson (right) with assistant manager Karen West.

Invitation to treat

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Quality Greeting Cards

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NEWS TOP STORY

GCA’s #cardtokeep Campaign Association’s Centenary reason to share special card memories The GCA has launched an initiative, which champions the importance of greeting cards in all our lives. Having just launched on Instagram, the GCA #cardtokeep campaign forms part of the association’s centenary celebrations by encouraging people to post pictures of treasured cards they have received and sharing the stories behind them. “What better way to celebrate the GCA’s centenary than by celebrating special greeting card memories that have added meaning to our own lives,” explains Amanda Fergusson, ceo of the GCA. “While the campaign is kicking off with those within the industry, we do hope that it spreads and becomes something of a movement with members of the general public, celebrities and those overseas,” Amanda adds. Getting the campaign off to a good start, Amanda shared her own greeting card memory, a card she received from her best friend back in the 1980s with even a diary entry to

prove how taken she was to receive the card and how it was a spot on choice. “In the 1980’s I worked as a Saturday girl in a card shop that was owned by Andrew Brownsword’s mum. My diary entry explains that my favourite card at the time was the panda design from the Andrew Brownsword Dino range. I could not believe it when my best friend sent it to me without realising how much I loved it. Discovering that I had kept it safe in my diary for over 30 years is a lovely reminder of the time when I first fell in love with greeting cards and appreciated the connection they bring.” Everyone is now being encouraged to post an image of their respective #cardtokeep and the story behind it on Instagram. #cardtokeep, #gca100 and tagging in the GCA on @GCA_UK who will then repost submissions. Above: Amanda Fergusson unveiling the GCA 100th anniversary logo at the Speed-dating with Dragons 3 event recently. Left: GCA’s ceo Amanda Fergusson shares a special Andrew Brownsword card from her formative years.

Giles Andreae speaks out for cards There were no dry eyes in the Ballroom of the Hilton Park Lane after Giles Andreae, creator of Purple Ronnie, Edward Monkton and co-creator of Happy Jackson, delivered a poignant speech at the B&LLAs (Brand and Lifestyle Licensing Awards) to a room full of retailers, publishers, licensees, top brand executives and members of the licensing fraternity recently. Delivered with his own brand of humour and impeccable timing, Giles’ speech was an engaging ‘no holds barred’ account of his personal journey into the greeting card, licensing and book publishing worlds, a Above: Giles Andreae in full flow. tale, which proves that good things can come from adversity. There cannot be many successful greeting card brands that have evolved as a result of a visit to an agricultural bull semen collection facility, as Purple Ronnie did, or another that burst onto the scene due to severe depression, as Happy Jackson did. Despite having authored over 70 books (including the all time fave, Giraffe’s Can’t Dance), it is still greeting cards that have a special place in Giles’ heart and he was only too willing to share the important role they play in connecting with people and telling them you care. “All I was trying to do was to express and share - in my own very simple way - the strange and beautiful experience that is just being human together,” said Giles of the creations of Purple Ronnie, Edward Monkton and Happy Jackson. “I find greeting cards a wonderful, populist and inexpensive medium for self-expression.”

Streets ahead Ilona Drew, the founder of I Drew This greeting card company, is seeing her artwork reach great heights as she was commissioned to create a series of massive street banners in her home city of Brighton. This is all part of the Brilliant Brighton initiative, the name given to the Brighton BID (Business Improvement District) which is in place until 2021 in an area of the seaside city. “The brief was just 'COLOUR' which is right up my street!” said Ilona of the summer banners that are now dressing the city. Above: Some of Ilona Drew’s artwork that is dressing the city of Brighton this summer.

Naughty but nice Postmark is delighted with the bespoke Naughty Box that the fine fellows at Brainbox Candy have made for the London retailer so that it can still stock risqué cards without fear of offending customers. Right: Nathan Dampier, sales assistant in Postmark’s East Dulwich store with the Naughty Box.

Bunch of five The UK’s largest greeting card wholesaler, Budget Greeting Cards, has confirmed it is aiming to open an additional five branches. Nottingham has been confirmed as one of the locations, with an opening planned for this summer, while the other likely spots are being kept under wraps. This news comes less than three months after Canadian private equity company, Ardenton Capital, acquired 51% of the company that was co-founded by brothers Paul and Martin Lavery. While Martin has now retired from the day to day running of the business, Paul remains very much involved with the scouting for new branch locations among his priorities. Paul confirmed that Budget now sells almost 100 million greeting cards through its eight branches annually, accounting for 49% of the group’s turnover. Below: A trio of the 1,300 greeting card designs BGC Studios creates.

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The industry’s favourite show just got better! 4 7

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For more information and to register today visit homeandgift.co.uk/PG

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Out of the Box Cards Cards that expand horizons We’re at PGLive — Stand 830 in Springboard

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NEWS The Works scores goals

TOP STORY

Stationery’s Export Success Blue Eyed Sun’s Jeremy Corner becomes DIT export champion ‘Increase in global exports for UK stationery’ was the headline of an official press release sent out by the Department of International Trade (DIT) timed to coincide with National Stationery Week (which ran until Sunday May 5, instigated by Ocean Media, which owns and runs Stationery Show London, that took place over the same week). ‘National Stationery Week is in full swing, and recent statistics show that global demand for UK stationery is high as exports of British-made notebooks alone increased by 20.6% to £23.62m in 2018’ began the upbeat announcement that was hosted on the GOV.UK news site. The release then highlighted the success of Cheshire-based greeting card, stationery and gift company Chase and Wonder, for whom exporting now accounts for 45% of the business’ turnover. David Aspinall, who cofounded Chase and Wonder with his wife Faye in 2010 said: “Our products are full of British personality so

exporting seemed like a logical step. It’s a big world out there, full of great opportunities, and overseas sales have really helped us to grow as a company. DIT provided a number of really useful resources for us, and I would certainly recommend their services to other businesses looking to explore opportunities to export.” l Blue Eyed Sun md, Jeremy Corner, is among the chief executives, managers and directors that have been recognised as Export Champions by the DIT and he features in its marketing.

Dean Hoyle, chairman and major shareholder of The Works (founder of Card Factory) has had something of an emotional time of it recently. The value retailer (which includes greeting cards in its product mix) revealed an impressive set of results, which showed revenue was up 13.2% and a 3% increase in like-for-like sales. The Works now trades from 500 stores but has its sights set on growing the estate to 1,000 stores. Dean received a standing ovation from the crowd at Huddersfield Town’s football stadium at the start of last month in tribute of his leadership as owner of the club for the last decade. Dean has sold his controlling interest to fellow supporter Paul Hodgkinson. (See Cardsharp 28-29). Below: The Works is now trading from 500 stores with its sights set on reaching 1,000.

Above: Export sales now account for almost half of Chase and Wonder’s turnover. Below: Blue Eyed Sun md, Jeremy Corner, is a ‘poster boy’ for the Department for International Trade (DIT).

Paperchasers embraced lists love

Stationery Week hits the airwaves While multiple retailers, including Paperchase and Ryman banged the drum for Stationery Week (which ran April 29-May 5) on social media and instore, it was independent retailer, Sarah Laker, owner of Marple-based Stationery Supplies who reached the ears of millions by appearing on Radio 2’s Drivetime programme, presented by DJ Sara Cox. Plucky Sarah was at the hairdressers during the show when she grabbed the opportunity to get on air and promote National Stationery Week, notably, the inaugural Stationery Shop Saturday on May 4, instigated by Sarah to encourage people to shop indie for stationery. She didn’t let the small matter of wet hair and the fact that she was still wearing a hairdresser’s cape stop her as she grabbed her phone and ran out of the shop to get a decent phone signal. Sarah bonded with Sara over their mutual love of stationery. “My customers were delighted to see me heading up a national campaign and putting Marple on the map,” Sarah told PG. “Being on the Sara Cox Drivetime show was simply amazing - my social media went crazy that night! I got a message from a stationery shop in Scotland, which said: "I literally screamed when I heard you!" And to me that is just amazing to be reaching out to and inspiring indie stationery shops all around the country, and for them to be joining in with #sss, perfect! Exactly what I hoped to achieve.” Sarah was also touched by one young family who went into the shop after seeing a post on the local community Facebook page. “They'd never been in before, and left after spending £30 on stationery saying 'we'll be back, we didn't know how lovely your shop is!'” shared Sarah.

The nation mobbed Twitter and Facebook in a lovefest of stationery recently, marking a stonking start to #NationalStationeryWeek. Showing how the virtual and very tangible can work together, social media channels were so busy with activity in celebration of stationery products that the campaign trended across Twitter three times during the first day of Stationery Week - a position earned by over 2,600 tweets being sent. On the opening day of the campaign #NationalStationeryWeek, #natstatweek and #WritingMatters ranked first, second and third in the list of UK trends, which is astonishing given all that is going on in the world. As a key sponsor of #NationalStationeryWeek this year, Paperchase was instrumental in raising awareness, tapping into one of the nation’s popular reasons to use stationery - to write lists (below). It offered a 10% discount for anyone to confesses “I love lists” in its stores or uses an ‘Ilovelists’ code when placing an order online for the duration of National Stationery Week.

Above: Stationery Supplies Marple had loads on the ‘menu’ to promote Stationery Shop Saturday. Left: Radio 2 DJ Sara Cox admitted on air that she is a stationery addict to Sarah Laker, owner of Stationery Supplies in Marple.

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NEWS PEOPLE

TOP STORY

Sunshine Kept Shoppers Away High hopes for Easter sales were scorched Following on the back of a decent Valentine’s Day and marvelous Mother’s Day, the trade’s hopes were pinned on it being a cracking Easter. While the run-up to the Easter weekend proved lucrative for many, in some quarters the soaring temperatures on the actual holiday weekend quashed the appetite for shopping as customers chose to lap up the rays away from the high streets. “Our Easter card sales ended up on a par with last year, which was not bad considering the drop in footfall over the Easter weekend,” confirmed James Taylor, director of Cardzone, which trades from 100 card shops. Echoing the views held by many indies, Fiona Trees, owner of Memorable Moments in Ripon, said: “Easter was disappointing to be honest. The couple of weeks leading up to it were quite busy but the actual Bank Holidays were poor. The weather definitely played a part, it was glorious. The tourist attractions round us were rammed but the town centre was quiet.” That said, Easter card sales in Memorable Moments have “been steadily growing over the last few years.” Fiona, a finalist in The Retas 2019 awards, believes “younger people are now buying Easter cards, whereas it used to be the older generations. Some commented that it was a nice excuse to contact somebody who they don't see very often (similar to Christmas).” Easter trade painted a similar picture for Olivia Reilly, owner of Little Boat

l Windles has welcomed a wellknown face to its team. Nicky Marshall, previously of The Sherwood Group has joined Windles as key accounts manager to provide the printing company with greater coverage in the north of England. Above: Nicky Marshall (second left) joins other members of the Windles’ sales team. (Left-right): sales director Andrea Norcott; Michelle Mills, business development and marketing manager and Emma-Louise Allen, key accounts manager.

Gifts in Brightlingsea (another Retas’ finalist), Essex, who said: “We had a good lead up to Easter with many of our Easter decorations selling out. Easter cards too are definitely becoming more popular. We added a mixture of ranges this year, with a focus on blank cards, as we know many people see it as another opportunity to drop loved ones a note. However, a mixture of sunshine and us being by the coast meant that the actual Easter weekend was quieter than normal as people headed to make the most of beach!” Jo Webber, owner of Jo Amour in Tiverton (which recently won a Greats gift retailer award) was certainly a ‘happy bunny’ with her shop’s Easter trading, rewarded as she was for her #bunnyshopping campaign that she ran on Instagram and Facebook in the two weeks leading up to the event, that featured the wide selection of cards, gifts, books and fashion in fun and engaging ways. Top: A portion of a Wendy Jones-Blackett Easter card, one of the top selling publishers for Memorable Moments in Ripon. Above: Some of the great Easter marketing from Jo Amor.

Share the Happy News Widdop and Co is urging retailers to share some of their own happy news - and will be in the chance of winning over £250 worth of The Happy News giftware. The online competition (left) invites retailers to share uplifting news, be it about the business, staff, charity events or retail initiatives. Emily Coxhead, founder and creator of The Happy News is to select the winner, with both Widdop and Emily sharing retailers’ happy news stories on social media. Products in The Happy News collection from Widdop include jewellery, mugs, photo frames, candles, storage tins, purses and travel accessories. The range complements the cards published by Pigment.

l ‘I never thought I would live long enough to send this email out, but there you are, I was clearly wrong,’ was the message Alan Holmes, longtime executive of Icon Art sent out to announce he was ‘retiring’ on May 7 after 24 years in the greeting card industry. Alan plans to spend the next chapter in his life taking off on his Harley Davidson motorbike, going fly fishing, travelling, honing his photography and writing skills - as well as being ‘the tea boy’ at his wife’s Lindsay’s office furniture business. Above: Alan suitably attired for the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride in Cambridge, an international ride for Men’s Health and Prostate Cancer.

Sad loss of David Tallentire The wholesale greeting card sector is still reeling from the terribly sad news that David Tallentire, who has been a leading figure in the Simon Elvin sales team for the last 30 years, died suddenly of a suspected heart attack recently. “We are all in a state of total shock as David was such a larger than life character with an irrepressible sense of humour and zest for life, we thought he would go on forever,” said Simon Elvin, founder of the publishing group, sharing his grief. Never known to be without his cheerful Geordie chuckle, David’s uplifting personality, love of people and strong sense of loyalty earned him the affection and respect from all those who had the good fortune to come to know him. Having covered the north of England as the sales executive for Simon Elvin group for the last three decades, and was with former wholesale publisher Kingsley Cards prior to that, David was very much a leading figure in the wholesale card sector. Above: David Tallentire at last year’s Henries with Simon Elvin colleagues (left-right) Sarah Weston-Mouse, Eleanor Allen and Sarah Evans.

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DOWN MEMORY LANE WITH DANILO TAKE A STEP BACK IN TIME WITH DANILO AT PG LIVE THIS YEAR, WITH THEIR FANTASTIC ARRAY OF FAMILIAR RETRO HUMOUR GREETINGS CARD AND GIFT WRAP RANGES. Building upon the previous success of Ladybird Books for Grown Ups and Enid Blyton’s Famous Five, Danilo are showcasing some new additions this year at PG Live. Targeting the ever-popular retro market, new card and wrap designs have been developed for nostalgic British comedies such as Dad’s Army, Allo Allo, Are You Being Served as well as for hit sitcom Friends and popular doll brand Sindy. These licensed ranges allow you take a humorous trip down memory lane with prevalent TV Shows and Toy brands of the 1970’, 80’s and 90’s.

DAD’S ARMY

Voted as one of Britain’s best sitcoms, this classic comedy series based on the Home Guard ran for nine series between 1968-1977, gaining audiences of 18 million viewers and it is still shown worldwide today. Dad’s Army has a fun and cross-generational appeal that has been key to its popularity and longevity. Danilo are excited to be adding this renowned title to their greetings card collection.

Launched in 1963 as the main rival to Barbie, Sindy was the bestselling toy in the late te 60’s and early 70’s. Now it is a popular nostalgic brand and recently featured in the “Thelma and Louise” uise” inspired Money Supermarket Advert. Aimed at adult females, the new card range will feature a selection tion of humorous captions and classic Sindy imagery. gery.

IT AIN’T HALF HOTT MUM

Set in India, this BBC television sitcom follows a Royal Artillery concert rt party during the last few months of thee second world war and was broadcast on BBC 1 between 1974 and 1981. Incorporating rporating fun catchphrases, characters and nd imagery from the show, It Aint Half Hot Mum will be another entertaining taining addition to Danilo’s range.

ALLO ALLO

Running from 1982-1992, Allo Allo was a popular TV show set in a small-town all-town café in Nouvion, German-occupied upied France during the Second World rld War. This laugh-out-loud British comedy edy lends itself well to a humour card range, ge, due to its playful accents, distinctive catchphrases atchphrases and notable light-hearted entertaining rtaining nature. The humour greeting card ard range will feature the ever popular characters haracters from the show such as Rene, Yvette vette and Officer Crabtree.

HIDEHI

ARE YOU BEING SERVED?

Developed by the same producer of Allo Allo and Dad’s Army, Are You Being Served was a popular TV show which ran from 1972-1985 and follows the misadventures and mishaps of staff in the clothing department of the ‘Grace Brothers’ London Store. Renowned for strong key characters such as Mr Humphries and Mrs Slocombe, the new greetings card range will look to incorporate the cheekiness and parody the show was famous for.

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Set between 1959 and 1960 inn Essex, this TV series immortalised ed the popular British Holiday Camp mp culture of that time. Winning a BAFTA, gaining huge audiences es and even becoming a stage show has seen ‘Hi-de-Hi’ become ome one of the most popular, loved British TV properties. Danilo’s new range will feature the iconic ic characters, catchphrases and imagery magery associated with this comedy hit.t.

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HAPP PPYY BIR HA BIRTHTH- Y

ay !

Created in 1974, this famous Japanese character has become a global marketing and merchandise phenomenon. Targeted at adult females, Danilo are looking to bring a fresh and stylised new look to this official greetings card range.

5

In recent years, there has been a resurgence of the hit sitcom Friends, which first became popular back in the 1990’s. Following the misadventures of pals Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler & Ross as they navigate the pitfalls of work, life and love, Danilo’s new greetings card range will feature iconic imagery and well-known captions from the show.

In addition dd to these h ffamiliar l and d comforting f heritage brands, Danilo also have some fantastic new ranges featuring some ome of the latest hot properties from the world orld of entertainment:

JOY PIXELS

With over five billion sent every day, emojiss have become a global phenomenon in online ne communication. With over 2,800 unique and nd trademarked JoyPixel emojis available, Danilo’s nilo’s upcoming greetings card range will target boys and girls ages 6-10 as well as adult users, and will reflect reflect this growing trend for communicating sentiment via icons and imagery.

In 2018, The Baby Shark YouTube dance video had over 2 billion views and became a phenomenal hit amongst children and adults alike. This year, Danilo has introduced a range of vibrant cards, gift bags and wrap. The range even includes a sound card featuring the renowned Baby Shark Tune associated with this hugely popular brand.

MOON & ME

From the creator of highly successful shows including Teletubbies and In The Night Garden, comes the latest CBeebies hot hit ‘Moon & Me’. Expected to see the same levels of success as Teletubbies and In the Night Garden, Danilo will be publishing a greetings card and wrap range aimed at children from 2- 4 years and will reflect the sweet and traditional feel of this amazing new kids TV show.

RAINBOCORNS

Rainbocorns is a brand new toy propertyy combining the hottest trends in Girls Toys into a unique and adorable plush set. Everyy Rainbocorn hatches from its bright mystery egg gg and has a reversible sequin heart that reveals a magical surprise when swiped. Targeting girls ages ges 3-10, Danilo’s official greetings card and gift wrap ap designs will reflect the sparkly and magical nature of these cuddly cuties.

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published by

01992 702 900 | SALES@DANILO.COM | WWW.DANILO.COM Independent retailers contact Words & Wishes on 01942 233 201

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OVER THE COUNTER

The Retail Endga m e

Independent card and gift retailer, David Robertson, co-owner of JP Pozzi in Scotland, compares Marvel’s recent movie, Avengers: The Endgame, to superhero indie retailing. I am a geek! Now that is a statement that a few years ago I would not have been comfortable writing, but it is very true. As a child I loved movies, cartoons, superheroes and wrestling! I loved making up stories and reading comics. I was also a collector of toys and stickers, and in truth not a lot has changed. I am still very much a big kid, using all of the above to escape reality, but that is another story. Watching films in the cinema is still one of the few ways that I properly switch off from business, and I find that the shared experience and the anticipation of watching someone’s vision on the big screen is exciting. Fast forward quite a few decades from that young boy, and I was one of the first to book tickets to see the blockbuster Avengers: The Endgame. In fact, I will have seen it three times by the time you read this! Last year’s Avengers: Infinity War was such a big and epic adventure that it was split into two, and so this column is also going to straddle two months as well as there are just too many issues to cover in just these two pages. So Infinity War and The Endgame are what they call ‘event movies’. They appeal to many, from the hardcore geek, such as myself, to the more casual movie goer, and it is the culmination of a new way of filmmaking. Marvel Comics decided back in 2008 to start making its own films and to take control of its characters. For those of you unsure 26

PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

about Marvel, it created the likes of Hulk, SpiderMan, Thor and Iron Man. Previously, it used to simply licence the characters and take a fee, but after many poorly received films it decided to do it themselves. This is what we are doing as indie retailers and card publishers - we are controlling our own destiny and making our own way. Under the guidance of Kevin Feige, (head of Marvel Studios), Marvel worked with different film directors who would each be given scope to shape their ideas of the characters. The directors were all given clear starting and end points for each film, with elements that had to happen within the story, but the film’s writers and directors could create the tone, style and look they wanted. Each film would then build over the 11 years to climax in Avengers: The Endgame, which references to what had gone before. This has resulted in combined box office takings of over $20 billion and the smashing of every box office record - both in the USA, UK, China and indeed the world. It was, without a doubt, the most successful gamble, and with each success Marvel could reinvest in the next film. I have been fascinated looking at the Marvel Studio. What it has done is basically

Above: Avengers: The Endgame has smashed all box office takings. Left: Thor is one of Marvel Comic’s superheroes. Below: Thanos proved himself the villain to beat in Avengers: Infinity War. Will indies win the fight against their ’villains’?

rewritten the rules in terms of film. It makes me think that to succeed in modern business you need to constantly challenge the norm. Just as retail has changed so too has TV media. Now you have YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime and many other streaming services that allow us to watch TV channels that satisfy our desires when we want them. Later this year, Marvel and Disney will enter that fray, bringing classic and new media for us to enjoy. So what can we take from all this? Well nothing is the same anymore, whether it is film, TV or retail. What we thought we knew we don’t anymore. OK, you have got to this point and thought where on earth is he going with this, but quite simply I want you to think what is your ENDGAME? When my parents bought their business 31 years ago it was a different world. The blueprint was a simple one. Work hard, possibly own your building, grow your business, sell it and retire or start another business. In these last 30 years the world has been turned truly on its head. The simplicity of setting up and running a business has


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OVER THE COUNTER changed and is continually moving so that we simply don’t know where we are anymore. Questions arise, such as: ‘Are our businesses going to be worth anything?’, ‘Will commercial property hold any value if it is not in prime areas?’ or ‘Will the high street survive and if so in what form?’ The world in which many of us started retailing has changed as the evil supervillains continue to throw new challenges our way. We may be the directors of our own movie but while the set, props and actors can be worked on we cannot be guaranteed an audience like we once had. The internet has of course changed a great deal and we can use that as an excuse for the footfall issues we all face. That may be the easy option, but the truth is that customers have changed what and how they do things, and even certain internet companies are not finding it as easy as they perhaps once did. Social media has also altered what people want, expect and to a certain extent what they buy. We have all seen the huge amount of established retail players that have floundered this year, and this is not finished yet. And indies face many of the same problems, the only difference is the scale. So where are we going as indies? Some indies are deliberately in denial, and I know that people don’t like to admit that they are struggling, but with every problem admission of concern is the first step. What is happening is interesting though as you are really playing with a live situation which makes looking back and comparing very difficult. Looking forward and knowing what is going to happen is almost impossible, yet as indies, we still have to figure out our way forward. The average retail price of cards is perhaps the same or slightly higher, but on the gifts front, which many of us sell, the prices have dropped. Scarves and fashion jewellery have replaced ornaments and soft toys to a great degree so the average sale price is getting increasingly difficult to keep at the level we need. It is a problem, and the approach which has worked for many years, that of a segmented offer (a brand leader and then also a cheaper alternative) is proving difficult to maintain these days. Plus, the difference in quality between the two is perhaps not as

obvious as it was before. This is also the reason that the super brands are still flourishing, as the Guccis of the world are deliberately raising their price to make their products even more aspirational. I see social media posts all the time from many stores where they appeal for customers to support them. They open themselves up by admitting that it is tough in the hope that people realise that comments such as ‘We love this shop’, ‘I see things in here that I don’t see anywhere else’, and ‘What a great selection of cards!’ is not enough to actually keep the doors open. Nationwide Building Society, Barclaycard, American Express, to name a few, are getting behind the High Street and highlighting the need for customers to support it, but this is being counteracted by so many decisions that are being made at local and government level. A clever song by Nationwide or one off days from the credit card giants will not solidify our future as retailers. In some respects it is just them paying lip service to the problem, and also trying to say ‘look we are here’. Nationwide has said they will not

shut any more branches in the next two years, but after that who knows? They used to say that the high streets were full of phone shops and bookies, and while that is true, I do wonder for how long for?, as again these businesses are finding much easier and cheaper ways to connect with their audience than through traditional bricks and mortar outlets. Coffee shops and barbers are perhaps the last great bastions of hope on the high street, but even they must come to saturation point - even some Tesco stores have a barber in there now! And how long before other out of town places realise that having an instore nail or barber would be a quirky attraction to take more people to their destination. Back to the one of the real ‘super villains’, the government.

Above: Gould barbers has opened a number of its stores in Tesco outlets. Below: American Express has used the ‘support your local indies’ concept in its advertisements.

Increases in rates, living wages, car parking, insurance, pensions are all adding significant costs to our bottom line, and most of us as small stores do not have the margin or cannot add it to the selling price of our goods to stand still, let alone grow our profits. Basically the government is passing the buck to the middle ground again. The big boys will find ways to get round things and the tiny businesses at the bottom will survive as they perhaps are one person operators. As always, the middle ground is the most dangerous place to be and we will be expected to pick up the costs. The continuing challenge of employing people is also a stress that many small businesses find challenging. In the old days staff tended to stay with you and became part of an extended family, now things are much more transient and people’s expectations of work and to what they are entitled are changing as well. At this point in my column I would normally put a spin on it and say that the product - the cards and gifts - that we buy have never been better, and while that is perhaps true many card companies are also scared to step too far away from what they do and a lot of innovation in the gift section has gone. We are all looking for that next big thing, that gift that drove customers into the stores, and it has been a while since we have had that. For a time it seemed that everything was gin, prosecco or unicorns, or maybe all three in one, and that was because it was selling and everyone simply jumped on that white horned horse. So should we all just close our doors and give up? Should we have, as Thor said at the end of Infinity War, ‘gone for the head’ and simply killed off the classic superhero indie store? To be continued… To contact David email: jppozzi@btconnect.com PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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CARDSHARP

Hitting The Back Of The Net Cardsharp mused that despite all the discussions on Brexit, the UK rules Europe big time! Amazingly, four English Premier League soccer clubs - Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Arsenal - occupy the four finalist positions in the two massive European Club Cup competitions. JeanClaude Juncker must be crying into his super strength Luxembourger beer, thinks Cardsharp. And not only that, the upcoming PG Live exhibition will also demonstrate to the head of the EU that we also lead Europe (and the world!) when it comes to greeting cards too. Cardsharp demonstrates his footie skills with a strong left pass on Premiership Football club ownership, an impressive dribbling trick round multiple specialist value retailer Card Factory, and then a header off wholesale group Budget Greeting Cards to score a blinder! Last month Cardsharp was totally moved by the emotional half-time speech made by exCard Factory mogul, Dean Hoyle at Huddersfield Town’s FC’s last home match of the season against Manchester United, which was viewed on television by millions of people. It was here that Dean announced his decision to sell his controlling interest in the club to fellow supporter and businessman Paul Hodgkinson, and leave it in safe hands for its loyal fans.

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Huddersfield drew this game 1-1, and the team has only managed to win three games over the course of this season (and two of those were against the same team, Wolverhampton Wanderers) being relegated with a record low points total, but that’s not the point. Under Dean, Huddersfield Town FC achieved a minor miracle in not only getting

Above: The John Smith’s Stadium. Left: The four English football teams who have reached the finals of both of the European Club Cup competitions.

promoted from the Championship via the play-offs (the first time ever do so with a ‘negative’ goal difference), ‘Town’ went on to somehow survive its first year in the Premiership on an annual wage bill that was lowest in the division by far. Dean, who unfortunately has not been well, suffering with pancreatitis, received a standing ovation at that Man United game for what he has achieved in a decade of ownership of the club, a decade that has seen him put Huddersfield on the map, as a soccer team and as a town itself. Such is the huge esteem that Dean is held by Town fans, there is a campaign to have a stand named after him, and have a statue of him erected outside the main entrance. When he bought the club, the average attendance was around the 8,000 mark. Now, the John Smith’s Stadium is rammed to the rafters with 24,500 at every home match. He must be very proud of his hometown football club ownership, and he bows out with his head held very high. How did Dean do this? To Cardsharp’s mind he did this by approaching ownership of his hometown football team by many of the same principles that served him so well at Card Factory, and indeed is doing the


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CARDSHARP same at his newer business retail interest, The Works - keep things cost effective (that’s ‘cheap’ in old terms!). Huddersfield Town’s total 22 strong squad’s annual wage’s bill is lower than the annual salary of just two of the top players at Manchester United, the team that it was unlucky not to beat in Dean’s last home hurrah at the John Smith’s Stadium. And look after your customer. Dean used to visit all the soccer pubs in the Huddersfield area after a game, just buying rounds of drinks for supporters. Can you imagine the Glazer family, the American absentee owners of Man U, who have milked their ‘brand’ dry, doing that? They probably would know, from its annual accounts, who their far eastern toilet roll sponsor is, but would not recognise a pint of John Smith’s if it was thrown in their face!

Meanwhile, Dean’s retailing, as opposed to footballing, magic touch continues. The Works chain that sells stationery, toys, cards, books and a whole host of bits and bobs - and which he is a major shareholder and chairman - reported its eighth successive record Christmas performance. The Works now trades from 500 stores, and has plans to increase to 1,000 stores. The chain’s revenue for the year increased by an impressive 13%, incredible in the present difficult market. True, observed Cardsharp, the share price has had a bit of a wobble recently when, in common with most retailers, the chain reported a retail slowdown in the first quarter of this year, but it remains a formidable beast. The share price was down by a fifth, but Cardsharp muses that this is probably just a natural re-adjustment to the positive take up to the IPO (Initial Public Offer of Shares) launch that The Works underwent last summer.

Of course, the success Dean enjoyed when he built Card Factory from nothing to the huge force it became was (and still is) based on its vertical integration model. When Card Factory really started to motor was when Dean instigated that Card Factory design and print the vast majority of the greeting cards it sold in-house, losing none of the margin down the line. It was (and still is) this business model that means that Card Factory can sell greeting cards at such rock bottom prices. But Dean didn’t deliberately plan this business model. It was a case of necessity being the mother of invention. It was the refusal of most UK card publishers to supply Dean, because they felt he was selling too cheaply, that he exasperatedly did a deal with Stuart Middleton, to acquire publisher Excelsior Graphics, and the rest they say is history. Cardsharp was reminded of this story on reading the interview in last month’s edition with Paul Lavery, joint founder with his brother Martin of wholesale chain Budget Greeting Cards, as he had not quite appreciated the extent of the similarities, and how in effect Budget is providing a way for retailers to compete with Card Factory. Having reached a certain level, the Lavery brothers have cashed in some of their chips, recently selling 51% of the group to Canadian private equity company, Ardenton Capital. Like Card Factory, greeting cards have always been a key part of Budget’s business, accounting for 50% of its turnover. But more interestingly, its vertical integration model really mirrors at wholesale what Card Factory does at retail. Some 70% of all the 100 million cards it sells are created in Budget’s own studio.

Above: Card Factory still designs and prints its own cards. Below left: Dean Hoyle. Bottom: Budget’s Paul Lavery.

But the difference between the Budget story and the Card Factory one was that it wasn’t necessity that was the mother of invention, but opportunity; namely the demise of renowned wholesale card publisher Kingsley Cards over 10 years ago. The shrewd and quick acquisition of the stock, designs and assets of Kingsley meant Budget boosted its own studio, gaining the margin that previously went to other wholesale suppliers. And obviously, just as an injection of outside finance enabled Card Factory to grow rapidly, so Budget is looking for Ardenton’s capital to help the company grow from its current eight branches to a nationwide network of cash and carries around the UK as well as invest in a decent ecommerce platform. The success stories of both Card Factory and Budget stand a lot of conventional business wisdom on its head, that it is not wise for a retailer or wholesale to be a manufacturer as well. Both probably would have been well aware of the mistakes that the big high street multiple shoe retailers made in the 80’s when the tail ended up wagging the dog, and the manufacturing side was producing what it could, rather than what the customer wanted. And to Cardsharp’s mind it is that kind of ‘out of the box thinking’ (just like our top Premiership Football clubs) that will help ensure our UK greeting card industry remains a world beater in many areas however this endless Brexit saga plays out. No one knows what the final score will end up being, but this is certainly a beautiful game.

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VIEWPOINTS

Undressing

The Nakedness Issue

Inset: The Naughty by Nature range by Tracks celebrates the freedom that nakedness can bring - is this alternative ‘re-cycling’?!

Laid bare Independent retailer Pete Whiteman, co-owner of Dzo Dzo in Woodbridge, ignited discussions with an opinion piece on the PG Buzz enewsletter at the start of May in which he called for greater clarity over the costs of cards’ cellowrapping and whether retailers should be benefitting from any cost savings publishers are deriving from supplying unwrapped cards. “Many card publishers are now trying to go naked, which is very important in the current climate, and I fully support this. We are working towards being totally naked by Spring 2020,” Peter explained. “However, it has come to my attention that in the past suppliers used to charge an extra 4p or 5p to supply cards cellowrapped. Some built in this cost and supplied everything wrapped, but now suppliers are delivering naked cards, but the cost hasn't reduced by the 4p or 5p.” Pete acknowledges that The Art File did offer a 4p price reduction on orders of its Spring Seasons for 2019 (something being repeated for 2020 too), but this was limited to just those events’ cards. He also was bemused by the recent communication he received from Carte Blanche announcing that the vast majority of its cards are to be supplied naked, however if customers want to continue to have stock cellowrapped they will be charged an extra 6p a card by the publisher. “Is this a case of pure profiteering?” questions Pete. “It does appear as though retailers are not gaining the benefit costs of going naked. It would be good for PG to get some comments on this matter.” Above: Pete Whiteman and his wife Jelena at PG Live. Below: Dzo Dzo is aiming to go naked by Spring 2020.

The industry is in a state of undress. While some card publishers and retailers have made a commitment to wholeheartedly go unwrapped, others are hedging their bets waiting to see what will unfold. Costing the earth? Costing the publishers? Costing the retailers? Prompted by indie Pete Whiteman of Dzo Dzo, PG delves into the private parts.

Carte Blanche reveals all Keen to address Pete Whiteman’s questions head on, Carte Blanche’s marketing manager Grace Elphinstone was quick to respond: “We are grateful to Pete for airing this as there may be other retailers who are of the same opinion. The letter Pete is referring to was written with the objective of transparency regarding the change in price of nonessential cello bagged Hotchpotch cards which is non profit generating and reflects the increased charge associated with a change in process.” As Grace points out, the industry is in a period of adjustment as many publishers and retailers transition to unwrapped cards. “Generally speaking many of our larger Above: Hotchpotch’s Swan customers now want product unwrapped which Lake cards are now supplied unwrapped as has required an adjustment within our supply standar, while delicate Me to You designs which need chain. The wrapping of the card was an protecting will still come automated process and as such benefitted from wrapped. economies of scale where as it is now an exceptional manual process”. Carte Blanche has taken the decision to remove all 'nonessential cello' from its Hotchpotch ranges, meaning those without attachments (such as its Swan Lake range) are to be supplied unwrapped, while its Flair pin-badge range will continue to be supplied wrapped. All other Carte Blanche card products, other than those with delicate finishes, are already supplied unwrapped. However if a customer does require Carte Blanche or Hotchpotch cards without attachments to be cellowrapped, this service is being offered by the publisher and the charge associated with the service reverts to the existing pricing model which has remained static for several years. As Grace sums up: “This is a complex issue with many moving parts and we are working with our printers on a range of solutions.” PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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VIEWPOINTS Filing its report The Art File broke new ground when it offered independent customers a 4p cost reduction per card for those ordering its 2019 Spring Seasons cards unwrapped. “Without pushing it, 5% of our independent retail customers took up this option for this year’s Spring Seasons,” explained Ged Mace, managing director of The Art File. “The reason we could offer this cost saving is that we were able to isolate a batch of cards for the limited sell in period.” Above: The Art File’s managing director Ged Mace has confirmed that the publisher is to offer a 4p The publisher is now extending this reduction on all Spring Seasons cost-saving to its 2020 Spring Seasons 2020 cards that are supplied unwrapped. selection too, again possible as it only affects a defined batch of stock for a short period. “For most publishers to offer both unwrapped and wrapped stock would require two different picking lines and more warehouse space and therefore an increase in costs,” explains Ged. “The industry’s response to the environmental concerns is evolving every day. As time progresses and more retailers finalise their wrapping requirements so the economies of the different processes will change. We all want to be fair to the planet, our customers and our businesses,” Ged added.

Within its Klasp “I read the piece on PG Buzz with interest and fully appreciate why Pete (Whiteman of Dzo Dzo) asks the question, and good to see he is going naked in his shop in 2020,” says Mark Callaby, co-founder of Ohh Deer. The publisher is to supply all cards with a Kard Klasp by the end of the year. “The Kard Klasp solution that Windles has provided actually provides no cost saving for us as we are still sealing the card and envelope together with a sticker. This costs the same as the original cellowrap, but is obviously much better for the environment. I think it's fair that a supplier should charge more for providing the cellobag as we should be encouraging our retail customers to go naked (you only need to look at the carrier bag charge and see how that's reduced their usage). I don't believe that any publisher would be using the 'go-naked campaign' to profiteer, at Ohh Deer we've actually had to absorb many rising costs within the industry instead of passing them onto our retail customers to make sure that we remain well-priced.” Above: Ohh Deer is officially launching its Kard Klasp-ed formatted cards at PG Live. Left: Mark Callaby, co-founder of Ohh Deer.

Willy Wonka time Mark Janson-Smith, md of Postmark, which trades from four stores in London, feels that as an independent retailer you are largely reliant on what suppliers decide to do on the naked front. “It partly depends on a publisher’s retail customer base. If they are supplying supermarkets, such as Sainsbury’s that are demanding that the cards are unwrapped then they are complying. I recognise that the naked stance being adopted by leading names such as John Lewis, Sainsbury’s and Asda provides the sector with a degree of protection against potentially negative PR, which is good. Personally I do feel it is a bit easier for the larger players to move over to 'naked' stock as they don't have to worry about damaged stock and missing envelopes like us independents. So I wouldn't necessarily like to see a reduction in the cost price for unwrapped cards but I would like to see publishers work with us smaller players to find a solution to the inevitable wastage that will be created by having Above: Mark Janson-Smith unwrapped cards in store. knows life is more than The other issue for us at the just ‘sex, drugs and sausage rolls’! moment is that we are not big enough to dictate how our stock arrives which, in this transition period, means we are having some stock wrapped and other stock 'naked', which isn't great for in store continuity. This will also be the case as each supplier finds their own solution to the problem and ideally, I would like to see an industry standard come in to place. To me, the ideal would be for Windles’ Bruce Podmore, the ‘Willy Wonka of card production’ to create a bag that disappears in a puff of environmentally-friendly smoke when the card is taken out!”

Sealing the deal Despite having invested half £million in cellowrapping machinery relatively recently, Woodmansterne answered the call of nature and announced it was going naked, utilising its SmartSeal invention to keep the card and envelope together. Above: Woodmansterne worked As Adam Osborne, with Windles on its Smart-Seal mechanism. Woodmansterne’s director of operations & IT highlighted some of the hefty costs that have been incurred in making this switch. “These include on the coatings used on our cards and investment to improve them; the (ongoing) cost of developing our Smart Seal label; the reduction in speed of machine packing (albeit temporary); the handling process changes in our distribution centre; developing new transit boxes as well as investment in smart-seal bench-top machines.” Adam assures that as it stands at the moment, “the costs of smart-sealing are higher than plastic bagging… any change in a process like this causes cost, which we have not passed onto our retailers. It is our intention to make this a cost-neutral change by the medium term.” He adds, “It’s complex, challenging, disruptive, but absolutely necessary.” PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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Stay All year round

Our ‘Brand’ New Collection of Innovative Styles to compliment our Everyday ‘In-Stock Range’

Visit us at Stand 507

Exciting ‘New Updated’ Design Styles to enhance our ‘In-stock’offering

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PG Live’s Nuts And Bolts

A PG Live Landing This year marks the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon, but there is another significant event about to take place in the ‘greeting card space’ – namely the 11th PG Live which will take ‘a giant leap for cardkind’ as it opens its doors on Tuesday 4 June and Wednesday 5 June at London’s Business Design Centre. Jacqui Parr, marketing manager of PG Live goes into orbit about the treats in store for visitors to this worldleading dedicated greeting card show.

Top: The 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing coincides with the 11th PG Live. Right: A joyful welcome awaits at PG Live this June.

PG Live At A Glance When: Tuesday 4 June and Wednesday 5 June 2019 Opening Times: 9.30am to 6.00pm on Tues 4 June 9.30am to 4.30pm on Wed 5 June Where: Business Design Centre, Islington, London N1 0QH With its sunny airy feel and high curved ceiling, the Business Design Centre just doesn’t feel like an exhibition venue. Nestled in vibrant Islington, surrounded by lovely shops, restaurants and bars, the BDC is easy to get to - a hop, skip and a jump from the Angel underground station (on the Northern Line), minutes from either Euston or Kings Cross mainline stations, while Liverpool Street, Waterloo and the West End are just a short journey away. l To register for PG Live, visit the show website: www.progressivegreetingslive.com, email: info@progressivegreetingslive.com or call: 01635 297070.

Conversation constellation “The key is in the name - PG Live really is where the greeting card industry comes alive,” exclaims Jacqui. “The buzz of banter is incredible. You hear retailers giving feedback to publishers, agents are catching up with their principals, while overseas distributors explore export opportunities,” she adds. “And no doubt, with the environment being such a top priority, suppliers will be responding to all manner of questions that will come up over the two days.” The relaxed feel of the show provides the ideal opportunity for retailers to meet the people behind the brand, whether they are the directors of leading companies down to the plucky newbies who are debuting at the show. Left: PG Live is where business mixes with pleasure. Nor’s Serge Sumerling with Poet and Painter’s Lucy Creed (left) and Bryn Dineen at last year’s PG Live.

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PG Live’s Nuts And Bolts

Shooting stars “The exhibitor line-up is fab, the product array will be amazing, but it is the added extras that will make PG Live 2019 extra special,” believes Jacqui. From the meeters and greeters attired in dresses made from exhibitors’ cards and wrappings to the keepsake bag (sponsored by Lagom this year); the ever-popular tea trollies and coffee hot spots serving free cuppas in ‘proper cups’ (sponsored Fedrigoni) and a delicious complementary lunch (sponsored by Tache and Louise Tiler Designs), PG Live 2019 will serve up some ‘shooting star’ extra treats!

Stellar incentives “The fabulous products will be tantalising enough a reason to order, but there are lots of great promotions, competitions, discounts and special offers to up the incentive even more,” promises Jacqui. Adding to the fun, there is bound to be a lot of excitement as retailers produce their shiny Golden Tickets (worth £150), Silver Tickets (worth £75) and Sunshine Tickets (worth £75) for being winners and finalists in The Retas awards. There will also be lots of great Greats Vouchers (worth £50 against an order placed) and Cardgains vouchers that members can spend with Cardgains suppliers at the show. Above: Unit 7’s Andrea Pinder (centre) spent her last year Greats voucher with Meghan Purdie, founder of Megan Claire and agent Nigel Spensley was all smiles too.

The networking continues The PG Live opening night party is legendary as a great wind-down straight after the show closes on the first day (Tuesday 4 June). All exhibitors and visitors are warmly invited to the Opening Night party (sponsored by Louise Tiler Designs and Tache in celebration of their shared 5th anniversaries), that will take place in the Gallery Hall (where lunch is served) straight after the show (5.45pm7.45pm) - and all the drinks will be free! Below: The PG Live Opening Night party is a good opportunity to kick back and kick off your shoes as Lola’s Amanda Mountain wonderfully demonstrated at the 2018 bash.

Left: The meeters and greeters will be wearing ‘dresses’ made from exhibitors cards and wrap. Above: Lagom is sponsoring the keepsake bags this year with a special ‘card-aholic’ message.

A GCA polestar PG Live brings the whole industry under one roof, and at the heart of it, is the Greeting Card Association (GCA). Perfectly positioned at the entrance to the Gallery Hall (where the scrumptious lunch will be served), the GCA area will kick-off the celebrations for the association’s 100th anniversary. Amanda Fergusson, ceo of the GCA will be there in the mid part of the day encouraging feedback from retailers on how the association can help them. Right: The GCA’s ceo Amanda Fergusson would love the retailer, publisher and supplier members and associate members to join in the association’s centenary celebrations.

A meteor shower of newness New designs add the sparkle to the greeting card industry and there will be thousands and thousands of brand new card designs making their debut at PG Live. “PG Live is now firmly established in the ‘greeting card calendar’ as a great time to launch new ranges - providing retailers with loads of fresh new products to pep up their displays,” says Jacqui. From leading established players to brand new start-ups, the PG Live 2018 exhibitor lineup is a wonderful celebration of the huge diversity of this talented sector from publishers all over the globe. Right: Sadler Jones will be launching its Cape Town collection at PG Live, based on collaboration with illustrator Mélanie Johnsson.

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PG Live - Springboard Spotlight

Branching Inset: Newbie publishers will be branching out at PG Live 2019.

Thea Musselwhite, founder of Bold & Bright:

‘From little acorns, oaks do grow’, is an aspiration for which many of the newbie exhibitors in the Springboard and Village Green of this month’s PG Live 2019 (4-5 June) will be reaching skyward. From little saplings to leafy towering trees, a ‘copse’ of these rising card publishers share their journeys into cards and what they hope to cultivate at the show. Michael Davis, founder of Some Ink Nice: Previous branch: “My background's in film, and I still work as a colourist for Pinewood Studios. I've worked on the Bond films, Star Wars and Mission Impossible. I sit in a mini-cinema, colour-correcting footage to make it look all nice, shiny and consistent.” Michael Davis. A greeting card seed: “I've been painting cards for friends and family for years. There's something special about finding cards from old friends you've not seen in ages. Having a handwritten, physical reminder of the people you feel closest to can be priceless. Film can be all-consuming, and I was looking for something I could build up myself that offered flexibility and felt rewarding. A camera guy I know is a friend of Jo (of Toasted Crumpet), who was incredibly friendly and helpful… which has turned out to be a bit of a theme.” PG Live germination: “A knighthood would be fantastic, but that's a lot of pressure to put on a debut show. No, at this stage, while obviously orders would be welcome, learning and getting feedback are vital. I'd also like to meet more smaller, independent card retailing shop owners. Plus, publishers I've met have been some of the nicest people ever. Being part of Springboard could be hugely helpful for comparing notes and making friends.” Springboard Stand 779 Above right: A Some Ink Nice design simple art card. Left: Some Ink Dry range from Some Ink Nice has a dry sense of humour.

Previous branch: “Before entering the greeting card market I ran a business selling tea towels, mugs, magnets and coasters featuring towns, so kind of like souvenir merchandise. It was all Thea Musselwhite. very part-time, and I worked it around my two children, who are now both at school. From this I discovered that I enjoyed doing the greeting card side more, and it just naturally swapped over.” A greeting card seed: “My father actually had quite a large range of greeting cards in the 80s (which he licensed through Paper House) so I was brought up around boxes of cards lying around the house. So I guess I’ve always been slightly influenced by that. I have a rude sense of humour, so cards seemed like quite a natural progression for me.” PG Live germination: “PG Live is my first trade show showing the cards to a live audience (I sell on Etsy and NOTHS). Previously I’ve just sold online, and through my web’s trade enquiries, so it will be good to meet potential stockists face to face. I love supplying small independent shops so it would be great to find more that liked my cards. I currently have a distributor in New Zealand and one in Ireland, so it would be great to meet a distributor for other countries. I’m also looking forward to meeting other exhibitors.” Springboard Stand 781 Above: Bold & Bright’s humour designs.

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Kirsty Hensman AKA DangerFoxx: Previous branch: “Before I started designing cards I worked in the media industry for seven years. I reached a point where I wanted to take more control over my working life. I knew I wanted to go in the direction of something artistic but wasn’t sure what, and due to the Kirsty Hensman AKA stressful nature and long working DangerFoxx. hours of my job I didn’t feel I had the mental capacity to begin to explore. I decided to leave my career and work in a local coffee shop and it was this move that really gave me the freedom to give attention to my artistic side.” A greeting card seed: “Initially I thought I would sell prints of my work and eventually homewares. However, I designed some greeting cards to add lower price points on my market stalls and found that my cards were my champions! The feedback I got was amazing so I shifted my focus to the cards.” PG Live germination: “Although I love selling directly to the public myself, the preparation for and days spent at the craft markets take away hugely from the designing time. I want to find a way where professional sellers can stock my work so I can focus on the creation.” Below: The back of DangerFoxx’s cards have a great story about the character Springboard Stand 810

Alice Loveday, founder of Alice Loveday: Previous branch: “For the last 10 years I have been working as an animator and animation director for commercials, film and TV.” A greeting card seed: “I also trained as an illustrator and have been veering more and more into this world over the last few years. I’ve always wanted to start my own business so I thought illustration was a good place to start - and where better than Alice Loveday. greeting cards!” PG Live germination: “I hope to build relationships with some good traders, as well as talk to potential agents. Obviously I’d also like to make loads of sales too - but more for confidence than money as I’m so new to the greeting card industry and I am keen to find out what areas of my work people like and what needs more developing.” Springboard Stand 807 Below: Beautiful, botanical and modern, Alice Loveday’s designs.

on the front. This hare is called Burt.

David Woodcock, director for Fair to Trade: Previous branch: “We set up Fair to Trade just over ten years ago with the primary focus of selling ethically-sourced Christmas decorations to the cultural and heritage sector. The arrival of our children meant we wanted to put our backgrounds in marketing and accountancy to a David Woodcock. different use and we soon found ourselves working with highly skilled artisans from around the world.

Cherelle Brown, founder of Kitsch Noir: Previous branch: “I was working as a handbag designer in the fashion industry! I was working at a luxury handbag brand for two and half years then went on to work on luggage.” A greeting card seed: “I LOVE stationery and was a collector or greeting cards and illustrations so it was frustrating growing up receiving cards that I found funny and could relate to... but looked nothing like me or my family and friends! I decided to do something about it!” PG Live germination: “I would love to find some new stockists and spread the Kitsch Noir love all over the world! I want to diversify the greeting card industry and make a change! One shop at a time!” Above and right: Spreading the Springboard Stand 836 Kitsch Noir greeting card love.

Cherelle Brown.

Above: Fair To Trade’ cards are ethically sourced, giving skilled artisans work.

A chance meeting with a group in the Philippines making beautifully crafted cards from pressed flowers led us to develop our first ranges of traditional, contemporary and bespoke cards.” A greeting card seed: “The news last year that Traidcraft was to stop working directly with some of Continued on page 43 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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s n g i s e D New

launching at PG Live|Stand 421...

“Shine has been our fastest selling range ever! They work across all age ranges, and customers love the fact the sequins are also a patch a card and present in one!� - Heidi, Early Bird Designs

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PG Live - Springboard Spotlight

the fair trade projects we support meant that we looked to see how we could continue to develop and offer the artists handcrafted cards to a wider audience.“ PG Live germination: “At PG Live, as well as the flower cards we will be showing embroidered cards from Bangladesh and handpainted cards made by a group of deaf and physically disabled artists in Kolkata, India. Our hope is to find new markets for these beautiful cards and generate more work for the highly skilled artisans.” Springboard Stand 725

Megan Crowhurst, founder of Mollymeg Cards:

Above: Fair To Trade’ cards are ethically sourced, giving skilled artisans work.

Jane Barrett, founder of Doodleshoe Paper Goods: Previous branch: “My day job is as a footwear designer. I first got hooked when age 21, I went to work for artisan shoemaker Paul Harnden on his Scottish croft. There I learnt to hand make shoes by day and slept in the barn with the dog by night. I then went on to train Jane Barrett. at the Royal College of Art, London, in footwear design where I enjoyed the fantastic tutoring of Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo among others. I have been designing shoes for well-known high street brands such as Hudson, Monsoon and M&S for many years now and still love my job and shoes - they always seem to fit no-matter how much you eat!” A greeting card seed: “In the background to all of this I got married and started a family. I continuously drew cards for family and friends just for fun, and as family life and work got ever more complicated I decided to see if I could have a go at designing cards for real. I started last year with 12 designs and got the cards into several local shops which gave me hope that it might work. At Christmas I did a couple of fairs and was bowled over by the positive response. I decided to take the plunge, join The Ladder Club and do my first trade show at PG Live.” PG Live germination: “I hope that PG Live will give me some exposure in the industry and kick-start some new wholesale relationships. I am sure the show will be a huge learning curve for me and will help me sharpen my skills and grow my business.” Springboard Stand 744 Above and right: Doodleshoe Paper Goods’ contemporary style cards can be found in PG Live’s Springboard area.

Previous branch: “In 2013 I got a job in a gift shop in Hackney (where I’m from). “This is perfect”, I thought: Flexible hours to fit around university, local and very low stress! Fast forward six years and I still work for Sublime, in charge of buying all cards and a whole host of other things. Not so Molly Crowhurst. casual anymore, but it’s a great shop and allows me time to work on Moggymeg.” A greeting card seed: “My boss at Sublime suggested I design some Christmas cards one year. I came up with eight designs and they did really well. So, in all honesty, it was someone else’s idea. I’m uniquely placed in the shop to see how my cards sell once they're on the rack, I can trial new ideas and see what works. It’s not always easy to stay motivated and positive when you work for yourself but I love seeing reactions to my cards and I love being able to shape my own business.” PG Live germination: “PG Live is a chance to meet some more amazing people in the greeting card industry. Potential stockists and buyers, of course, but other designers too. The experience and support of others has been invaluable to me.” Springboard Stand 812 Above and right: Sweet and sassy, designs by Mollymeg Cards.

Dayo Williams, founder of Handmade By Dayo: Previous branch: “I’m an artist, educator and publisher, which are just some of the many hats that I wear! I come from a teaching background and I also work with women that have experienced domestic violence, delivering creative workshops, empowering adults, elderly and children. I also Dayo Williams. support charities.” A greeting card seed: “I saw a need in the greeting card industry for diverse cards, as the demand for a diverse choice through colour was limited. I created a mixture of 19 skin tones cards with a distinctive style and trend, combined with ‘up-cycled’ and offcuts to reduce waste. For the sight impaired, my cards are hand-finished in threedimensional textures with soft, pleated materials and a celebratory bling!” Continued on page 45 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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PG Live - Springboard Spotlight

PG Live germination: “At PG Live I would like to encourage more retailers to follow the lead of card shops such as the Medici Gallery in South Kensington and Streatham’s The Village Shop, and begin to reflect the fact that world is now more of a global community mixing together like never before. I would like to encourage retailers to look at diversity by reflecting the cosmopolitan world of colours. Each of my cards is unique and so are you!” Above and previous page: Stand-alone works of art, all PG Live Stand 685 individually crafted designs from Handmade By Dayo.

Jean and Graham High, founders of Animal Daft: Previous branch: “Well, there are two of us; Graham honed his skills as the political cartoonist with the Scotsman and other newspapers for many years, while I (Jean) continue to work in adult education.” A greeting card seed: “A few Graham High. years ago, Graham felt stressed and fed-up with the, often cynical, newspaper world and decided to create cards and goods for the Scottish Tourist market, but with a political cartoonist’s eye! Running our own business has fitted well with our lives, especially Graham’s interest in music and our growing joint interest in the natural Jean High. world. We live on a farm and I have always had an interest in the welfare of animals and birds which has rubbed off on Graham. Animal Daft cards seemed like an obvious next step and the response so far has been very exciting!” PG Live germination: “I think that Graham’s style has legs and wings (!) and I want buyers and agents to come to our stand at PG Live to see his amazing work.” Springboard Stand 708 Left and below: The fun cartoonist style of Animal Daft’s designs.

Far rigth: Catherine Lewis Design is a botanical brand created due to her love for detailed hand illustrations and print design.

Emma Bryan, founder of Emma Bryan: Previous branch: “My background is graphic and web design, mostly in corporate environments, before turning freelance in 2002. In 2016, my stationery obsession found an outlet as I fulfilled a long-held dream to retrain as an illustrator and surface pattern designer. It was on an art retreat to Sardinia around this time that I first heard about PG Live.” Emma Bryan. A greeting card seed: “One of the retreat attendees had booked a PG Live stand and asked for help. I created a few designs, attended the 2018 show, and fell in love with the whole experience, gaining essential insight along the way. I feel incredibly fortunate to have stumbled into an industry that brings joy and sentiment into people’s lives, filled with caring, creative, helpful and generous individuals. It feels particularly important at the moment. It’s not as easy as everyone makes it look though barcoding nearly finished me off! - but having access to The Ladder Club support has been invaluable.” PG Live germination: “PG Live 2019 is my launch, so I’d love an order or two to set me off, but I’m really looking forward to getting to know people better - this industry is built on relationships ultimately, and that’s why we’re all here.” Village Green Stand 95 Above and right: Bringing joy to people’s lives, Emma Bryan’s designs.

Catherine Lewis Edwards, founder of Catherine Lewis Design: Previous branch: “Before taking the plunge to run my own business I worked as a print designer for fashion in the USA and London. After eight years in the industry, I began illustrating botanicals in my spare time, either in the evenings or weekends, as a creative release when the print role became a little Catherine Lewis Edwards. too admin heavy. We then relocated to Cardiff as I’m originally from mid Wales, and started the business while freelancing.” A greeting card seed: “My design process for greeting cards and giftwrap came quite naturally, as I knew I wanted to step away from the fast fashion side but use my hand illustration and print design skills. The hardest part for me was finding the right suppliers, learning trade show tips and wholesale knowledge. I definitely had to learn quickly as the business grew.” PG Live germination: “I have loved the industry so far, and gained lots of wonderful stockists across the UK and overseas. I hope to showcase my whole range at PG Live to some lovely new buyers and see existing stockists too. I’ll have a new collection called Spring Blossom launching at the show.” Springboard Stand 838 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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There is a wealth of wonderful products being showcased at PG Live, here are some of them…

Adding Dimension From a T-Rex to a hipster ostrich, Tracks Publishing’s new 3D lenticular range certain adds depth to the portfolio in more ways than one! The production quality of these designs is such that they really do look like they are jumping off the card. The 24 designs (159mm x 159mm in format) are available blank or with a birthday greeting and come with a neon coloured envelope. Tracks Publishing 01480 435562 www.tracksltd.com PG Live Stand 401

Mexicana Magnifico

Attention To Detail Sakura is a new contemporary collection from Noel Tatt. Illustrated by the talented Claire Wilson, the 18 trend-inspired designs are complemented with a gem, embossing and foil details. The cards ate 126mm square and come supplied with a stylish printed envelope.

The year of Frida continues at Flame Tree Publishing with greeting cards featuring the iconic Mexican artist joining the publisher’s portfolio of calendars and stationery. The full range of 92 greeting cards (all 170mm x 125mm) include beautifully foiled images, plus all cards are now printed in FSC paper and come with biodegradable cello bags.

Noel Tatt 01227 811600 www.noeltatt.co.uk PG Live Stand 301

Flame Tree Publishing 0845 402 0422 www.flametreepublishing.com/ PG Live Stand 225 “‘Fugly’ IS a real word actually Victoria, and that’s what this fella is...”

Artistic Impressions Debuting at PG Live, Richard Partis Cards will be showcasing over 50 15cm square designs inspired by the namesake artist’s love of the countryside and classic motoring. As a watercolour artist, by using the smallest of brushes Richard creates his very detailed, colourful and eye-catching designs. Richard Partis Cards 07720 859434 www.richardpartis.com PG Live Sprinboard Stand 724

Critter-ally Acclaimed

Making A Statement

Forest_Fr1ends is Whale & Bird’s ‘not what it seems’ new range. The designs feature cute little woodland critters in uncompromising situations which will make you laugh and gasp in equal measure. The 18 designs cover everyday, birthday and various occasions. The cards are 15cm x 15cm and come with a brown fleck envelope.

Striking in look and message, Hello Geronimo’s Positive Reflections range is all about the bold statements. Simple primitive brush lettering means the statement is the focal point and hits home the message. The range covers designs for mums, dads, babies, couples, romantics and friends. There are 21 different A6 designs in the range and all come with a bright yellow envelope.

Whale & Bird 01225 667106 www.whaleandbird.com PG Live Stand 500

Hello Geronimo 07867585965 www.hellogeronimo.com PG Live Springboard Stand 814

PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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There is a wealth of wonderful products being showcased at PG Live, here are some of them…

Snap, Crackle And Pop

SAME FOOD EVERY DAY... NEVER MOANS.

Canine West

The Art File is launching over 100 new products at the show. Among these is Snap to Grid, a bright new collection of fresh humour and upbeat sends created by Heather Flynn (whose claims to fame include Alice Scott and Happy Jackson). Contemporary and witty, there’s no rude ‘n’ crude here – just cheeky little cards to make your gang smile. There are 36 designs in the initial launch, comprising birthdays and open, occasions and age cards, all with fabulous envelopes. The Art File 0115 850 7490 www.theartfile.com PG Live Stand 200

Doll Truths is to welcome some four-legged friends HAPPY BIRTHDAY into the Gail Grisham range. The reason for the latest additions, which will be aimed at dog lovers (and include one for a dog’s birthday), is that as Gail has such grief from others in doors, she feels the dog is her only ally. Gail’s story will feature on the back of the cards, all of which are 150mm square (and come with a kraft envelope). Doll Truths 07818 024328 www.dolltruths.com PG Live Village Green Stand 109

A Modern World

From All Angles Following on from the successful launch of Shine, Redback’s reversible sequin range, the publisher is augmenting the collection with another 12 designs! These eye-catching and tactile 160mm square cards are paired with a premium white envelope. Redback Cards 01752 830482 www.redbackcards.com PG Live Stand 421

Poetic Justice Out of the Box Designs has added to its Poets range with words to inspire by Kate Fox and Harry Baker. Fabulous designs by Daisy Mojave Holland include more of the poems on the back of each card. While created to raise the aspirations of girls, the cards are suitable for everyone. All the cards are 15cm square and come with a white envelope. Out of the Box Designs 07887506498 www.outofthebox.cards PG Live Springboard Stand 830

New for PG Live, Cath Tate Cards have collaborated on a range with publisher Wot Ma Like. Geordie illustrator Jo Burrow’s of Wot Ma Like is known for her witty regional cards and gifts. The new range, ‘Modern Icons’, features modern celebrities with a smart caption, each famous face hand-drawn in Jo’s unmissable illustrative style. The Beatles, Elton John, Bowie, Grace Jones, Madonna, Grayson Perry, Frida Kahlo and Jürgen Klopp are but a few of the famous faces in the range. Each celebrity caption adds a touch of Cath Tate Cards signature humour for what will certainly be a perfect celebrity pairing! Cath Tate Cards 02028 671 2166 www.trade.cathtatecards.com PG Live Stand 307

Furry Good Exhibiting at PG Live for the first time, Lucy Driver Illustration’s portfolio encompasses a Wedding range as well as its Little Monsters collection of designs that reinforce positivity. Meanwhile, bound to strike a chord is the Dog range, which includes designs promising ‘I will always listen’, ‘Can I eat it?’ and ‘Less is more’ in over 50 dog illustrations Lucy has created. These cards are 148mm square size, blank inside and come with a brown envelope. Lucy Driver Illustration 07841698068 www.lucydriver.co.uk PG Live Springboard Stand 752

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There is a wealth of wonderful products being showcased at PG Live, here are some of them…

Trees A Crowd Beautifully detailed, festively foiled and intricately designed, Santoro’s 3D Baubles are an innovative way to send festive well wishes! Packaged flat and ready to assemble, each Bauble (150mm x 110mm in size) includes a message card, envelope and ribbon loop, enabling it to be hung on a Christmas tree or around the house.

Global Warming

Santoro 01709 518 100 www.santoro-london.com PG Live Stand 312

Patch It Up

Planet Earth is a brand new collection of greeting cards designed and hand pressed by Type and Story. The collection comprises 22 handfoiled designs to celebrate the planet and the universe, exploring themes such as mysticism, spirituality, kindness and nature that align with the wellness movement. The designs feature messages such as ‘Kindness Grows’, ‘Time is a Healer’ and ‘The Universe has your back’.

Adding to Alljoy’s impressive paper engineered ranges, the publisher’s latest greeting card range, Patch, includes a stylish embroidered ironon patch. The cards are 125mm x 175mm and come with a brown envelope. Alljoy Design +353 1 630 1213 www.alljoydesign.com PG Live Springboard Stand 770

Type and Story 07738285884 www.hellotypeandstory.com PG Live Springboard Stand 719

A Popping Party Apple & Clover is launching a brand new children’s number range entitled Party Popper. The range consists of 18 fun and adorable characters all ready for the party, each finished with a mini, spotted bow-tie. The cards are printed on luxury, textured board from sustainable sources, are 145mm x 145mm in size and are complemented by a coloured envelope. Apple & Clover 07790 900976 www.appleandclover.com PG Live Springboard Stand 776

Creature Comforts Little Willow is a brand new range launching at PG Live from Still Sunday Designs. The 12 lively designs have been inspired by small animal antics and feature the publisher’s signature hand-painted pretty patterns and inky splodges. Suitable for all ages and popular occasions, each luxury card is 150mm square with a corresponding bright envelope. Still Sunday Designs 07801568882 www.stillsundaydesigns.com PG Live Village Green Stand 98

Colourful Cuties

h e llO

!

Ruby Tuesday’s Rainbow Reasons collection comprises colourful, cute graphic cards that are inspired by the Japanese culture of kawaii, retro iconography and typography. There are 32 A6 cards designs in the range to cover everyday occasions, Christmas and other rainbow reasons. Printed in England using the finest quality FSC certified paper, they come with a kraft brown envelope individually wrapped in cello. Ruby Tuesday 07779654694 www.ruby-tuesday.co.uk PG Live Springboard Stand 758

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There is a wealth of wonderful products being showcased at PG Live, here are some of them…

All Inclusive Davora, champions of diversity, are diversifying even further with a new ethnic range called Iconics, in a new size (170mm x 120mm) and contemporary style, complete with foil and embossing. The range will launch at PG Live with six Eid, six Diwali and six Jewish cards, with more planned for later in the year. Davora 0161 641 0655 www.davora.co.uk PG Live Stand 530

Bright And Breezy Earlybird has collaborated with illustrator Elena Essex to create a brand new range to launch at PG Live. The 14 designs draw from a strong colour palette of corals and turquioses that complements Earlybird's other fab artists’ ranges. In keeping with the company’s switch to more ecofriendly substrates, the cards are supplied with a recycled craft envelope and cellowrapped in compostable sleeves. Earlybird 01227765372 www.earlybirdddesigns.co.uk PG Live Village Green Stand 111

Swanning Around Art Matters has expanded its Shoreline & River art cards selection to include more bird species, including swans and herons. The designs are based on silkscreen prints by artist Lizzie Perkins. The range includes DL and 150mm blank singles, 125mm packs of notelets and Christmas cards, all printed on FSC paper with eco-friendly white envelopes. Art Matters 01491 671758 www.lizzieprints.com PG Live Springboard 702

What Do You Ear? Crumble & Core combines a card and gift in one with its Sterling Silver Earring Cards range. There are now over 100 designs in the range, all featuring beautifully painted images by watercolour artist Jilly Mercer. Each of these will also include a pair of earrings (one of over 20 different styles). The cards are presented in a white gift box measuring 9cm square. Crumble & Core 01825 841412 www.crumbleandcore.com PG Live Springboard Stand 834

Urban Living Friendly Approach Brand new from Jane Faires Art is the Amigos, a range of warm-hearted and witty cards featuring delightful illustrations of mice and cats. These cards are perfect for young and old, with timeless messages of love and friendship. This is a welcome addition to the 15 other vibrant and colourful ranges. Cards are 150 x 150mm and come with white and coloured envelopes. Jane Faires Art 01803 862123 www.janefairesart.com PG Live Springboard Stand 659

PG Live sees the launch of a classy new male range from Kingfisher Cards. Urban Style is an on-trend contemporary yet commercial range featuring bold colours and patterns aimed to appeal across the whole male spectrum. The range includes designs to covers the top relations and ages. Kingfisher Cards 01245 327226 www.kingfishercards.co.uk PG Live Stand 523

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C olourful, contem porary, fresh humour - say hello t o Snap to G rid. Cheeky little cards to make your gang smi l e ! We’re into that. t S e e f ir s t a 19 P G L iv e 2 0 4 /5 J u n e S ta n d 2 0 0

W W W.T HE ART FILE .CO M THE ART FILE

T. 0115 850 7490

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@THEARTFILE

F. 0115 941 3411

@THEARTFILEOFFICIAL

E. s ales@thear tf ile. com

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There is a wealth of wonderful products being showcased at PG Live, here are some of them…

Sunny Side Up Painted in cool pastel tones, The Sunset Range comprises 12 brand new designs from Olivia Goddard Designs. The designs have been taken from Olivia’s original paintings on canvas board, showing the wonderful textures associated with canvas. The cards are 5” x 7”, come with a plain white envelope and are available unwrapped or cellowrapped. Olivia Goddard Designs 01206 304555 www.oliviagoddard.co.uk PG Live Springboard Stand 700

Hare Raising The collaboration between a UK designer/marketer and a Hong Kong-based innovator, bunnyb, is debuting at PG Live with a stylish new range of cards and high quality stationery aimed at women and young girls. Beautifully designed, the collection spans eight pretty patterned designs, which feature on cards, notebooks, note pads, stickers and a folder.

Wild At Heart Wild Milestones is a twist on Sweet Design’s ‘endangered animal theme’. The designs feature ages surrounded by lovely animal skin patterns. The cards are 15cm square, printed on high quality textured stock and come with a 100% recycled envelope. All Sweet Design’s cards now are available naked or cellowrapped. Sweet Design 01934 751386 www.sweetdesign.co.uk PG Live Village Green Stand 100

bunnyb 07899 895941 www.bunnyb.co.uk PG Live Stand 428

Golden Moments Goldsmith is Wendy Jones-Blackett’s main launch for PG Live. Taking the most popular images and captions from its best selling Quicksilver range, Goldsmith comprises 20 large hot-foiled designs to cover special life events. The cards, which are available ’naked’ on request, are accompanied by a thick 180mm square gold envelope.

Puns Of Fun Citrus Bunn will be launching Nerd Herd at PG Live. Created following the success of the publisher’s Spocktopus card, the range focuses entirely on only the geekiest of characters while still maintaining Citrus Bunn’s well-known watercolour illustrations and chuckleinducing puns. The cards are 150mm x 150mm in size and come with a ribbed kraft envelope. Citrus Bunn 07746324124 www.citrusbunn.com PG Live Springboard Stand 738

Wendy Jones-Blackett 0113 2888468 www.wendyjonesblackett.co.uk PG Live Stand 235

Bright And Breezy Bright Blessings is Laura Sherratt Designs’ new Christmas 2019 card collection, consisting of 47 designs for family members and friends. All of the designs feature a festive painted illustration by Laura, beautiful typography and are hand-finished with gems. The cards are 15cm square and come complete with a jolly red envelope. Laura Sherratt Designs 01538 384566 www.laurasherrattdesigns.co.uk PG Live Stand 502

PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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There is a wealth of wonderful products being showcased at PG Live, here are some of them…

You Can Come Zoo Wrendale Designs is launching its largest ever collection of cards at PG Live. The best-selling Zoology collection sees some friendly new faces, with lions, tigers and cheetahs all beautifully captured in watercolour by Hannah Dale. This collection also includes a variety of marine animals, plus there’s a new occasions range with a completely new look. Each card is supplied with a recycled kraft envelope, the Zoology cards measure 15cm square and the occasions range cards measure 17cm x 13.8cm.

Happy Holiday Hotchpotch London is launching over 100 new designs at PG Live. Among the newness is Vacation, a female collection the designs of which captures all the ingredients for a summer of fun. Pool floats, pink convertible cars, cocktails and champagne fountains all feature on the 12 designs. The cards are finished with gold foil and come with a premium envelope. Hotchpotch London (part of Carte Blanche Greetings) 01243 792600 www.hotchpotchlondon.com PG Live Village Green Stand 121

Wrendale Designs 01652 680253 www.wrendaledesigns.co.uk PG Live Stand 426

Gem Of An Idea Crystal Wishes is a brand new occasions collection from Lucy Ledger. Central to each of the 12 beautiful cards is an actual genuine crystal, with the meaning of each gem relating to the specific occasion. The cards, all 5” x 7”, are finished with striking mirror gold foil and come with a white envelope, and either naked or cellowrapped. Lucy Ledger 0114 400 0079 www.lucyledger.com PG Live Village Green Stand 148

Cosy Up

Time Tells

The new line-up of fine art cards from Lottie Paper Goods encompass designs depicting cosy, colourful interiors of the perennially popular Bloomsbury Group of modern British painters. The cards come with white envelopes. Also on show will be a Garden range plus a small selection of Christmas Cards.

From back pain to hangovers from hell, right through to all the loveliness that comes with old age, Bettie Confetti’s Birthday Decades range has everything covered. With bright and bold designs (covering ages from 20 through to 70), the 12 design-strong range will have customers giggling. The cards are accompanied by a bright yellow envelope. Bettie Confetti 07531 058664 www.bettieconfetti.com PG Live Village Green Stand 160

Lottie Paper Goods +7971 853 412 lottiecole.com PG Live Springboard Stand 780

Ring Round Poet and Painter has redesigned and refreshed 15 of its bestselling designs as A4 cards. Ideal for occasions such as ‘thank you teacher' and 'new baby' and 'sorry you're leaving', each card comes with a white envelope. Also new is the Garland collection, the publisher’s prettiest range to date. The eight designs, featuring soft hand-drawn illustrations, and come with white envelopes and cellowrapped. Poet and Painter 07779 064894 www.poetandpainter.co.uk PG Live Stand 222

PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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ICG C250.qxp_Layout 1 09/05/2019 15:01 Page 1

NEW

s

Code

Introducing 16 brand new, high quality code 250’s covering captions from relation Birthdays to Anniversaries. For you’re more than a

Wife,

Friend, Strength, my Sm ile, my Laugh ter

you’re my very best my

on ever y road ’s twis ts and bend s.

...He re’s to shar ing man y mor e

Happy Anniversa

ries.

With all my love

Today and Always x

who you are, for all the

Wonderful mem ories ...

Each design features new artwork from our most popular ranges, hand-finished with beautiful embellishments and completed with a heartfelt verse for those really special sends. There is definitely something to suit every recipient.

Order now

WWW.ICGCARDS.COM customerservice@icgcards.com or call us on 01202 897494 2-10 Haviland Road, Ferndown Industrial Estate, Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 7RF

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There is a wealth of wonderful products being showcased at PG Live, here are some of them…

Mini Me Rosanna Rossi has augmented its highly popular Kirra collection, taking it to over 70 designs, with the addition of cards for anniversary milestones (covering silver, ruby and gold), as well as wedding day, twins and sympathy captions. Also launching are some mini Kirra cards (125mm square) with charming painterly illustrated designs covering general birthday and occasion titles. All cards are finished with gold foil and embossed details.

Thinking Big Deep embossed patterned textures adds extra depth to Paper Salad’s stunning Jumbo Jamboree cards – which measure 180mm x 180mm! Some 30 new designs are joining the line-up, each one finished with gorgeous coloured foil and super bright neon colours. The publisher is also launching its new Spring seasons and Christmas ranges.

Rosanna Rossi 07900698522 www.rosanna-rossi.co.uk PG Live Stand 431

Paper Salad 0161 427 0001 www.papersalad.co.uk PG Live Stand 207

Crystal Clear Aurora is The Handcrafted Card Company’s new bright, bold feminine range that is full of sparkle. Covering general birthday, relations and occasions, this range is finished with embossing, stunning holographic foil and Aurora Borealis crystals. Designed and printed in the UK, the cards are 150mm square and come with a ivory envelope. The Handcrafted Card Company 01782 639733 www.thehandcraftedcardcompany.com PG Live Stand 437

Daily Males PG Live will see the launch of further additions to Cinnamon Aitch’s successful men’s range, Cobalt. This contemporary range, designed by Emily Hauck features current, on-trend imagery, illustrated with emphasis on modern, masculine textures. Printed on luxurious heavyweight board, the cards are supplied with a bespoke concrete effect envelope. Cinnamon Aitch 0121 773 6833 www.cinnamonaitch.co.uk PG Live Stand 231

Patch It Up Feeling that scout patches shouldn't be limited to the clubs of our youth, and that everyday life needed more rewards, Ohh Deer developed its You've Earned It collection. Each of the 16 designs (eight naughty and eight nice) includes a woven iron-on patch. Ohh Deer 01509 812 075 www.ohhdeertrade.com PG Live Stand 505

Absolutely Fabulous Dean Morris Cards is as happy as Larry to be launching lots of new designs at PG Live, including additions to its popular Fabulous range. Featuring lots of cheeky humour (from nice and clean to naughty) and fantastic retro images, new Christmas designs will also be on show. Dean Morris Cards 01902 560247 www.deanmorriscards.co.uk PG Live Stand 438

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There is a wealth of wonderful products being showcased at PG Live, here are some of them…

Festive Sparkle New for Christmas 2019, Counting Stars is launching Christmas Glitter packs featuring two of the publisher’s very best selling captions. The cards are printed on Counting Stars’ ‘has to be seen to be believed’ exclusive board. Counting Stars 01424 434062 www.countingstars.co.uk PG Live Stand 430

Vintage Prettiness Emma Bryan is expanding her Golden Years range of illustrated cards. The collection of 12 127mm x 177mm cards feature original drawings in Emma's distinctive palette, inspired by her collection of vintage items, and will soon include her retro-look Fiat 500 Biba, named after the 1960’s fashion store. Cards are printed in the UK on 350g uncoated texture stock, are blank inside and come with a ribbed kraft envelope held together with a clear TPU band as part of her #DaretoGoNaked pledge. Emma Bryan 07889 598606 www.emmabryan.co.uk PG Live Village Green Stand 95

Stars In Alignment New from Artinker is its hand-drawn Zodiac range. With a design for each of the 12 star signs, the witty illustrations and typography give an Artinker wink to the unique within us all. Artinker 07944 490167/07947 595970 www.artinker.com PG Live Springboard Stand 799

Tribal Calling

Up, Up And Away Balloon Buddies is just one of four new birthday and celebratory collections that The Grumble & Co is launching at PG Live. Continuing with the publisher’s love for animals, this collection spans 16 designs, including Pugs and miniature Schnauzers as well as zebras, cats and penguins. The sleek and stylistic illustrations have a lifelike look. The 150mm square cards come with sunshine yellow envelopes. The Grumble & Co 0771 2639416 PG Live Village Green Stand 126

CELEBRATE BIG! is the latest range from Huetribe, known for its multiracial and LGBT cards. The new everyday range features 14 vibrant and fun illustrative designs. The cards are 145mm x 145mm in size, come cellowrapped with kingfisher blue envelopes. Alternatives to cello bags are available on request. Huetribe +44 7943416562 www.huetribe.com PG Live Springboard Stand 704

Festive Jollity All Things Jolly is Toasted Crumpet’s new Christmas range. Each of the 12 new designs feature joyful watercolour illustrations and tag lines that are perfect for the festive season. Each card, 150mm square in size, is blank inside, printed on a textured FSCaccredited board, accompanied by a crimson envelope and cellowrapped. Toasted Crumpet +44 (0)1372 635359 www.toastedcrumpet.co.uk PG Live Village Green Stand 84

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naughty by nature O VE R 30 NAU GH T Y DE S IG N S AVAIL ABL E TO B UY

C2454

C2164

C2463

C2461

COME AND SEE US AT PG LIVE ON STAND 401

W W W. T R A C K S L T D . C O M Telephone: 01480 435562 cards are sold in units of 6 | sale or return | free spinners available All orders over £160 are carriage free. All orders under £160 will incur £7.99 + VAT handling charge

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There is a wealth of wonderful products being showcased at PG Live, here are some of them…

Suspend Belief

We Are Sailing NaviStitch’s Vintage Collection is based on Sam Luxford’s original designs that she has hand-stitched onto vintage navigation charts. Appealing both to those who love the coast and maps, the 14 designs are 105mm x 148mm in size, are blank inside, are printed on FSC board and each comes with a white envelope.

Ursula Unicorn is a fun, colourful new range of unicorns and rainbows birthday cards from Sarah Burman Design aimed mainly at young children. The collection of 11 designs includes age cards, covering 3rd, 4th, 5th birthdays, as well as a couple of Happy Birthday designs aimed at ‘kids at heart’! Printed on luxury FSC certified board, the cards come with canary yellow envelopes. Free carriage on UK mainland deliveries for all orders placed at the show. Sarah Burman Design 07713 641149 www.sarahburmandesign.com PG Live Village Green Stand 99

Twisted History

NaviStitch 07711 751171 www.navistitch.co.uk PG Live Springboard Stand 782

Feminine Charm Hot on the heels of Vintage Dream, Modern Missy is the second range from Tache’s sisterbrand Lashes. The range, inspired by contemporary female themes, includes handmade elements and comes with a signature patterned envelope. Also, some brand-new celebrities have been added to Tache’s Famous Faces range. Tache 01202 691435 www.tache.co.uk PG Live Village Green Stand 122

Victorian time reimagined, the 16 new quirky designs from PABUKU serves up a dash of subtle humour and a decorative pinch of neon. All the 120mm x 169mm cards are blank inside, come with matching coloured envelopes wrapped in industrially compostable cellobags. Say hello at the show to collect a free PABUKU tote bag! PABUKU – The Quirky Paperie 01235 820528 www.northlightdesign.co.uk PG Live Village Green Stand 123

Touching Approach Laura Darrington Design newest range, The Marquet Collection, screams luxury! Produced on a heavy board with a beautiful hot foil and textured embossed finish, the range encompasses 16 designs covering birthdays, engagement, sympathy and christening as well as four Christmas designs. All come with a bespoke envelope.

Laura Darrington Design 0116 2 849660 www.lauradarrington.com PG Live Stand 413

Wordy Wise Heartfelt words and sentiments combined with a splash of humour make Dandelion Stationery’s Words of Wisdom Collection a winner. PG Live sees new designs being added to this card range, while, also being showcased, are four brand new Christmas ranges as well as a new typographic foiled collection. Dandelion Stationery 01332 695359 www.dandelionstationery.co.uk PG Live Stand 517

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WHHY EY GET

T T ’ N D I D AY D S ’ R E H MY FAT M O R F T N PRESE ?! ! ? S T F I BOXER G

www.boxerwholesale.com

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Email: sales@boxergifts.com Sales Telephone: +44 (0)1133 955 595

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There is a wealth of wonderful products being showcased at PG Live, here are some of them…

Animal Magic Louise Tiler Designs’ best selling range of cards has been extended to included more cute and detailed hand-drawn designs. The pastel colour palette and fun illustrations appeal to the animal-loving public! The cards are 12cm x 17cm in size and come cellowrapped with a patterned 'Lousie Tiler' branded envelope. Louise Tiler Designs 01535 957878 www.louisetiler.co.uk PG Live Village Green Stand 118

Squaring Up Dilly & Pink will be debuting a range featuring designs by illustrator Joanna Legge. Joanna, who graduated from Norwich School of Art & Design, is a master of creating striking designs, drawn traditionally with pen and ink. The cards, 130mm x 130mm in size, are printed on recycled textured board and come with a recycled kraft envelope.

Greenhouse’s Tweet Tweet range is based on hand-painted designs by Tracy Mills, using a wonderful mix of watercolours, acrylic and ink. The collection features cute little birds celebrating birthdays, Mother’s Day, moving home and an amazing wife! The cards, 150mm x 150mm in size, all come with a gunmetal grey envelope. Greenhouse Gifts 0161 282 1899 www.greenhousegifts.co.uk PG Live Springboard Stand 811

Blue Eyed Sun is launching a gorgeous new range of hand-finished greeting cards under the Doodle Girl brand, which was originally brought to life in a series of books published by Simon & Schuster. This delightful, cute new collection is based on original artworks by artist Marnie Maurri. Hand-finished with biodegradable flitter and jewels, there are 24 everyday and 12 Christmas designs being offered initially, with a further 24 Spring Season designs out soon. All cards are 150mm square and come wrapped with a colour coordinated envelope. Blue Eyed Sun 01273 823003 www.blueeyedsun.co.uk PG Live Stand 524

Dilly & Pink 01371 830891 www.dillyandpink.co.uk PG Live Village Green Stand 140

Feeling Chirpy?

Life’s A Doodle

Blushing Pride Stormy Knight’s new Naughty collection features designs ranging from a little bit cheeky to downright rude! Guaranteed to get you giggling, this bright new range is one of four new collections the publisher is launching at PG Live. Each card is printed onto FSC approved board, finished with a satin silver foil and packaged with a GF Smith Callisto pearl envelope. Stormy Knight 0117 9098684 www.stormyknight.co.uk PG Live Village Green Stand 115

Mindfulness Over Matter Mindful Matters is one of the brand new greeting card collections from Ling Design. The designs have been conceived to offer supportive sentiments and encouragement, show appreciation to a loved-one or celebrate a friendship. The range encompasses an eclectic mix of beautiful hand-painted and illustrated designs combined with considered mantras, which resonate with the current wellbeing trend. Ling Design/Penny Kennedy 01892 838574 www.lingdesign.co.uk PG Live Stand 204

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There is a wealth of wonderful products being showcased at PG Live, here are some of them…

Stretching Out Time

Let The Good Times Roll

Having proved popular as regular square cards, Coulson Macleod has now introduced its Word Cloud Decades designs as concertina cards. Covering from the 1950s to 2000s, each card comes with a grey envelope.

There has been a great deal of creative rumbling going on at Rumble Cards, as the wealth of new designs being launched at PG Live testifies. There are new designs joining its Celeb City, Good Times and Mixed Emotions collections. Contemporary graphics and quirky editorial combine to continue this newbie publisher’s upward trajectory.

Coulson Macleod 01536 419944 coulsonmacleod.com PG Live Village Green Stand 112

Rumble Cards 07739 082695 www.rumblecards.co.uk PG Live Springboard 732

Added Extras The Middle Mouse Group is introducing the Cardlet, an innovative new take on the premium greeting card with bonus content inside. Lovingly designed and presented just like a card, these little booklets contain themed recipes, activities, plus space for your message. Packed with an envelope inside a biodegradable cellobag, the range caters for a range of special occasions.

Downward Facing Cheers Bexy Hassett, founder of Bexy Boo, freely admits that the new Pretty Poppets range has been designed mostly around her love of yoga and wine. Birthdays and inspirational quotes also form a big part of this new cute girlie collection of 24 designs. All hand-finished in a Bexy Boo style with either a sparkly crystal or a pretty cut-out shape, the C6 sized cards are accompanied by a neon coral, neon pink or lavender envelope. Bexy Boo www.bexyboo.co.uk 01565 830546 PG Live Village Green Stand 119

Middle Mouse Group 01706 550463 www.middlemouse.co.uk PG Live Springboard Stand 840

Always And Forever There are masses of new additions to Angela Chick’s Always range. Angela’s signature style of fresh illustration is combined with heartwarming sentiments that are great for sending to friends at any time of year. Each card measures 127mm x 177mm and comes with a matching envelope. Angela Chick 07828432859 www.angelachick.com PG Live Springboard Stand 778

Maturing With Age Following its successful launch earlier this year, Lola Design has extended its Botanique range to include ten new age cards. Each incorporating a beautiful matt gold foil chiseled number, these new designs feature the same opulent contemporary expression of floral patterning for which Lola is known. The cards are 150mm square and come with a grey envelope. Lola Design 01904 675514 www.loladesignltd.com PG Live Stand 335

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There is a wealth of wonderful products being showcased at PG Live, here are some of them…

Feast For The Eyes

Material Girls

Whitty Goose is serving up a trio of debut ranges - Simply Foodalicious, Foodies and Food of Love - all of which have been designed by Susan Whittaker. There are 16 cards in each range, each of which centre around deliciously humanised foods from around the globe offering cute heartfelt sentiment, spoken in the ethnic tongues integrated in British society.

Dayo’s Cards’ new range of cultural diversity cards feature a multitude of Van Gogh-esque tones and colours. This dynamic range of profile portraits in a variety of luscious skin tones are hand-finished in three dimensional textures with soft, pleated materials and celebratory bling. Each of these handmade creations comes with white envelopes. Dayo's Card 07958 934 166 www.handmadecardsbydayo.com PG Live Springboard Stand 685

Exchange And Mart-in

Whitty Goose 07387374394 www.whittygoose.com PG Live Springboard Stand 787

Award-winning advertising director and published cartoonist, Martin Cunningham, has brought together his skills to create witty, original ideas featuring crafted cartoons for the Mix ‘n’ Mashed range from Designs by Mart!n. There are 28 fun colourful designs, which measure 147mm x 147mm and come accompanied by stylish brown envelopes. MART!N 07736 711751 www.designsbymartin.co.uk PG Live Village Green Stand 138

Keep It Rea-l Natural Beauty

Retro, romantic and whimsical illustrations dripping in biodegradable glitter, Five Dollar Shake’s Driving Home for Christmas boxes each contain six cards of one design.

Janneke Brinkman-Salentijn is one of Holland’s most celebrated watercolour botanical artists – and Artige has the licence for her work to appear on greeting cards. The 59 card designs (available over seven sizes) showcase Janneke’s compositions that celebrate the inspirational beauty that nature offers. The cards come with kraft envelopes.

Five Dollar Shake 01424 434062 www.fivedollarshake.com PG Live Stand 425

Artige +31 (0)314 378788 www.artige.com PG Live Stand 330

Fully E-quipped New from Rusty Pencil is Quips, a range of cards for those who appreciate quick wit and sharp observation. The 23 designs cover a variety of occasions, each using simple, bold colour and elegant typography to highlight each quip. The cards are 150mm square and come with a white envelope. Rusty Pencil 07970 950541 www.rustypencil.com PG Live Springboard Stand 736

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There is a wealth of wonderful products being showcased at PG Live, here are some of them…

Drawn To It You've Got Pen On Your Face will be fanfaring 12 new designs from the existing Stuff I've Drawn range at PG Live. The new, fun additions (which cover birthdays and occasions) all feature designer Frankie Nicholas' signature hand-drawn illustrations and humorous captions. The cards are 110mm x 150mm in size and come cellowrapped with a brown kraft envelope.

A Capital Idea New to PG Live 2019, Njeri Illustrated will be featuring its London City range at PG Live. As its name suggests, this colourful, playful range features city-chic London scenes, but like you have never seen before. This new range, which features over 50 A6 illustrated cards, each comes with a white envelope.

You've Got Pen On Your Face 07958555900 www.frankienicholas.com PG Live Springboard Stand 804

Njeri Illustrated 07814563610 www.njeriillustrated.com PG Live Springboard Stand 723

Feline Good Fiendishly Furry Felines is the brand spanking new card range from Tomcat Cats. There are 20 inaugural designs featuring the feline creations of renowned cat artist Tamsin Lord with more expected to follow as the year goes on. Tomcat Cards 01207 775987 www.tomcat.cards PG Live Stand 329

Sensory Delights

The Spice Of Life Paperlink has a slate of new ranges lined up for PG Live. Among these is La La Land, a contemporary trend humorous collection highlighting the quirks of life. These observations include, why do we get so excited about hummus and what is the deal with cauliflower rice? Teamed with a fresh white envelope, these cards (127mm x 178mm in size) pop with their neon colour palette and spot UV finish. Paperlink 020 7582 8244 www.paperlink.co.uk PG Live Stand 201

Doodleicious Art’s new Truly Scrumptious collection includes 24 wonderful designs all created by the publisher’s owner Sarah Capper. The range is a delight for the senses that is evocative of beautiful fragrant flowers and afternoon tea of delicious cakes. All of the cards are blank, 148cm x 148cm in size and come with a brown envelope. Doodleicious Art 07734034039 www.doodleicious.co.uk PG Live Springboard Stand 802

In The Mix-ologist Jolie Carte’s new Happy Hour range serves up some delectable designs based on popular cocktails and their ingredients, all hand-painted and ready to be shaken! The cards are 148mm x 148mm in size, blank inside and come with a brown kraft envelope. As well as the cards, there are also matching giftwraps. Jolie Carte 07834277295 www.joliecarte.co.uk PG Live Springboard Stand 749

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There is a wealth of wonderful products being showcased at PG Live, here are some of them…

Rolling Back The Years Wholesale publisher, Out of the Blue Studios, is only too happy to show its age! Its new stylish Age Cards range caters from 7th birthdays right through through to the 90th. The designs, which are joining the publisher’s ‘in-stock’ collection, are age appropriate, complemented with flitter finishes. Out of the Blue Studios 07795 0957995 www.outofthebluestudios.co.uk PG Live Stand 507

Never Forgotten Gemma is launching 87 new designs across five brand new ranges at PG Live this year. Included within these is one you will never forget – Elmer the Patchwork elephant, who this year celebrates its 30th anniversary. Other hot hits designs include, designs based on We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, all new Natural History Museum dinosaurs and new style Peppa Pig cards, in celebration of her 15th Anniversary! Gemma is also launching the new uplifting wellness lifestyle brand, Flossy and Jim and the fabulous Now That’s What I Call Music range. Gemma International 01264 388 400 www.gemma-international.co.uk PG Live Stand 400

Child’s Play Jonny Javelin’s ever-popular Twingles juvenile range has been totally re-designed by its in-house designer Lindsay Wells. Some 28 brand new titles, featuring fabulous multi-coloured flitter, foiling and embossing, join the line-up with all the main juvenile relations and ages covered in two sizes (125mm x 228mm and 158mm x 228mm). The Jonny Javelin Card Company 01423 563740 www.jonnyjavelin.co.uk PG Live Stand 526

Classy Ladies Sarah Boddy and Peartree Heybridge have continued their successfully collaboration with the launch of A Touch of Gold, which is a classy facelift of the Camilla and Rose range. The cards are now a contemporary square, featuring clean black and white artwork, accented with gold and red, accompanied by a dark grey and white polka dot envelope. Sarah Boddy/Peartree Heybridge 07940 230 371/01423 876311 www.sarahboddy.com www.peartreeheybridge.co.uk PG Live Springboard Stand 788

Positive Palms Talented designer Heather Flynn (of Alice Scott and Happy Jackson fame) has come up with another great contemporary brand. Pigment is launching the Goodhands greeting card collection at PG Live, which combines a modern Scandi palette, trend-led iconography and simple, sendable editorial. The 32 inaugural premium designs (119mm x 165mm) cover birthdays, occasions and relations sends. Pigment +44 (0)1423 520098 www.pigmentproductions.com PG Live Stand 313

A Dazzling Performance Cherry Orchard is looking to put on a dazzling performance at PG Live with the release of 54 stunning new age cards in its new Razzle Dazzle range. The collection covers ages right through from 1 to 18 as well as milestones through to 100. The colourful geometric square cards are finished with cold foil and embossing. Cherry Orchard Publishing 01684 295500 www.cherryorchardpublishing.co.uk PG Live Stand 418

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Retailer Face To Face

The Krypton

Factor(y) The Krypton Factor was a popular TV game show that aired for almost 20 years from 1977-1995. It was engaging viewing, as contestants were put through their paces in a series of rounds in which their mental attributes and physical stamina were publicly put to the test, the title taking its name from Superman’s home, planet Krypton. Three years into her role as chief executive of Card Factory, Karen Hubbard is scoring well in the business ‘rounds’ - and with a focus on the company’s female cycling charity challenge, she has toughened up on the physical front too. PG put the head of the UK’s largest greeting card retailer under pressure with a round of Card Factory ‘general knowledge’ questions. Taking over the running of Card Factory from two individuals, one who had been there right from its conception (Dean Hoyle, the cofounder), the other soon after (Richard Hayes, formerly the company’s bank manager), is not an easy gig, but Karen Hubbard is proving her mettle. As she told the audience of publishers, retailers and trade suppliers at the recent GCA AGM, at which she spoke: “I spend quite a lot of time in the City with investors, analysts and the press convincing them that ‘card giving’ is alive and well, and the card industry is not going to suddenly disappear”. Even the super critical City analysts were ‘convinced’ by Card Factory’s recent

Significant improvements on the product front (reflecting the input from Jo Bennett, who joined last March as product director, and card buyer Zoe Proctor), investment in its print business Printcraft to bringing more production back to the UK, beefing up its online presence, growing its physical estate, as well as through tie-ups with other retailers, has put colour in the cheeks of the woman in the hot seat. “We have also, for the first time in many years, been able to make £8.6 million worth

Above: Karen Hubbard, ceo of Card Factory feels buoyant about the future growth opportunities for the business. Right: The aim is to open 30-40 Card Factory stores in Eire. Below: Card Factory is trialling new card brands on its online platform that may make their way into store.

results, which batted above the current norm in retail, and investors bought themselves another ‘congratulations’ card as the value of their shares rose. The results revealed that Card Factory’s sales for the year to 31 January 2019 grew by 3.3% (to £436 million), impressive given the generally accepted drop in footfall and with Card Factory not yet a major online player. “ We d e l i v e r e d a r o b u s t performance for the year, maintaining flat like-for-like sales despite a tough consumer environment,” commented Karen. “I was pleased with the results, though no retailer really wants to report anything but good like-for-like sales. However, compared to so many other retail sectors, we held up well,” she added. “When the going gets tough, you need to innovate and do everything you have been doing, only better,” she sums up.

of cost savings through business efficiencies. That said, we are also investing in new state of the art machinery for Printcraft as well as on our new online platform for cardfactory.com,” reveals Karen. “Investors often say that to grow our profitability why don’t we just put our prices up. “Just make the 29p cards 39p,” they suggest. Of course we could do that, but I think it would it be rather lazy on our part and also we would risk losing the trust from our customers who come to us for quality and value. Through the addition of our more premium collection the average price paid for a card from Card Factory has gone up a bit, but it is still under £1,” reveals Karen. The retailer’s strategy of opening around 50 stores a year rumbles on, with an additional of its 51 yellow and blue fascias PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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taking up residence in the UK’s high streets in the last year, meaning it was trading from 972 stores at its year end. This means though that Card Factory’s goal of 1,200 stores, which seemed something of an impossibility when it was first mooted many moons ago, is getting pretty close. While 1,200 stores is the target for standalone Card Factory stores in the UK, as its recent trials with other retailers (Aldi, Office Outlet and now Matalan) demonstrate, plus activities overseas (its own stores in Eire and displays in The Reject Shop in Australia) as well as a dabble with franchising (in the Channel Islands and Isle of Man), the Card Factory growth model is becoming an interesting shape. “Like all businesses you have to explore growth opportunities,” says Karen.

Above and right: April saw a full replan of Card Factory’s age selection, which has resulted in double digit increase in sales of age cards. Below left: As 80% of Card Factory shoppers are not aware on the online presence, instore signage fanfares the site. Below right: The Reject Shop has been quoted in the media saying it has aspirations to be a ‘category killer in greeting cards’ in Oz and Card Factory displays are now in eight of its stores.

Expansion in the Republic of Ireland is back on the cards. Having opened six stores as a trial two years ago in Eire, not a lot has been said about the activity over the water. “We have just opened a flagship store in Blanchardstown [Ireland’s largest shopping centre, in Dublin] which takes us to seven stores and we will open more this year,” confirms Karen. She freely admits there has been some learning to do. “We got off to a slow start as Card Factory was unknown in Eire. Our first Christmas sales were rather underwhelming, but performance was much improved by the second Christmas. We really feel there is the potential to open 30-40 stores in Ireland,” reveals Karen. But growth does not just mean having the Card Factory name above the front door. The preliminary trial of a Card Factory concession in two Matalan stores, which began last month) is a follow on from the experience of the value card retailer opening concessions within six Office Outlet stores.

“We learned a lot about the power of the Card Factory brand from our experience with Office Outlet and also how a ‘mini Card Factory’ could work within another retailer,” explains Karen. “The concessions were in locations where we did not have a Card Factory shop and were unlikely to open one, but the feedback we received from Office Outlet was that the Card Factory name brought customers into the store.” While still very early days with Matalan, Karen hopes that these new incarnations of mini Card Factory will prove mutually beneficial for both parties. “It is about finding the right fit. Matalan is known for quality products at value prices, which chimes with Card Factory,” Karen underlines. Although Card Factory’s arrangement with Aldi is somewhat different, in that it is a display unit of 70 card designs within 112 Aldi stores with the only Card Factory branding being on the back of the cards, it nonetheless reinforces the brand as a ‘go to’ for value greeting cards. “We approached Aldi as we really like its quality and value reputation and think it sits very well with ours. We recognise that while so many visits to our stores are planned, with customers buying several cards at a time to cover their upcoming card sending needs, there are other instances when people suddenly realise they have to pick up a card for someone’s birthday in the office the next day. If they can do this when they are in Aldi buying the food for their tea all the better,” says Karen. To make the selection as easy as possible for the Aldi shopper all the cards on display, taken from Card Factory’s best

sellers, are on a single price point of 99p. “This is all about making it as quick and easy for the impulse card buyer. When customers come into a Card Factory shop they invariably enjoy browsing, carefully considering the wide selection. In Aldi, the majority of customers will be buying one or maybe two cards at a time. It is a different buying process.” While enjoying the relationship with Aldi, it is not a done deal that the Card Factory displays will be rolled out to more stores, with IG Design Group also in the running with an equivalent trial in Aldi’s stores in the South West and Wales involving a bespoke card selection. Card Factory is also hedging its bets the other side of the world, working with The Reject Shop in Australia, who has made no secret of its ambitions to be a major disrupter on the greeting card front in Oz by selling value cards. With The Reject Shop already known as a card stockist (supplied by Artwrap, part of the IG Design Group), Card Factory has installed displays in eight of the group’s 350 stores.

“Australia is the third largest greeting card market in the world so of course we are interested in seeing if what we do at Card Factory resonates with the public there - I believe it will,” says Karen, who has not yet replaced her Aussie twang for a Yorkshire accent. “There is still lots to go for, the UK card market is holding up well. Our recent research has shown we are still seeing increases in card buying from 18-34 year olds and notably from men, which is something I will enjoy telling investors and analysts when I see them next, which might prompt a few more card sales!” she laughs. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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Face To Face

FORM A KEW The gin’s to blame. As soon as Kelly Hyatt, founder of Lagom Design spotted the beautifully designed packaging on The London Distillery Company’s gin collection, produced in partnership with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, there was only one thing for it… and it wasn’t served with ice and a slice. PG took a tour of the world famous gardens as Kelly explains how he has flexed his green fingers for the publisher’s latest collection that will be in full bloom at PG Live. “My whole design career, both with Lagom Design and before, has been about celebrating popular contemporary culture, both with my own designs as well as collaborations with leading illustrators all over the world, so finding myself confronted with thousands of historic botanical etchings and paintings took me out of my comfort zone somewhat,” says Kelly Hyatt, on working with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, to create a range of greeting cards, postcards and gift wrappings based on the brand. Having been made aware of the extent of the huge archive which he could use as the basis of the range, Kelly admits to having felt “overwhelmed and inspired in equal measure!” For over a decade, Lagom has built up an enviable reputation for its greeting card

publishes), highlights inspiring retailers (that it may not even supply) or shares lifestyle stories that need not be directly connected to greeting cards. So, what was it that turned Kelly’s head towards a licensing partnership with one of the world’s oldest botanic gardens - the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew? “I was out with Paula [Kelly’s partner] and we were both drawn to the striking illustration and design treatment on the packaging on a bottle of gin. It was contemporary yet clearly had historic aesthetic provenance. Seeing that it was produced in partnership with the Royal

Top: Kelly Hyatt in front of The Palm House at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, which is famous the world over. Above left: One of the products in The London Distillery Company’s range. Right: Kelly has reinterpreted this image to give it a striking colour combination. Far right: There are 18 greeting card designs in the inaugural Lagom Design range.

portfolio as well as the high-end production qualities of the ranges which include having bespoke board made in the Lake District (by the James Cropper mill), specifically for its cards. The brand’s personality oozes contemporary design confidence, clearly evidenced in the company’s website. The ‘Discovery’ section of the site is a virtual ‘bookshelf’ of beautifully curated articles which champions exquisite artistry (not even necessarily of designers whose work it

Botanic Gardens, Kew, we made contact just to see if it would be interested in discussing a greeting card project,” Kelly revealed. “To my mind floral and plant imagery have always been a mainstay of greeting card design due to their widespread appeal and appropriateness for many sending situations, PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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Taking place on Tuesday 4 June and Wednesday 5 June 2019, the two-day show brings more than 230 exhibitors together in one place, letting you browse the big names, explore the rising talent and embrace your passion for cards.

THE GREATEST COLLECTION OF GREETING CARDS IN THE WORLD “The best greeting card show! I always really enjoy my day at PG Live and I feel very lucky to be part of such a wonderful industry. Everyone is so kind and welcoming and it is great seeing lots of new product and having the chance to chat with fellow cardies.” Jo Sorrell, owner, CardieS

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Face To Face

but I knew we would have to do something special to really stand out.” It was not just that Kelly’s timing was spot on, but that Lagom was just the right kind of company that Quincy Leon, the head of licensing and product development at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, had been hoping for. “I had wanted to find a greeting card partner for some time, but knew they had to be the right one. As with all our licensing relationships, our licensees not only have to be true designers but also real masters in their own respective fields,” explains Quincy, who has spearheaded the licensing programme for the Royal Botanic Garden, Kew for over ten years, which now comprises 25 licensees over the world. Quincy cites Christina May, the company which produces the stunning collection of soaps as a great example of a winning partnership. “It is a lovely family-run business that makes fabulous soap, but I like to think that the designs on the packaging and the endorsement of our brand makes the products all the more attractive to the consumer,” says Quincy. In the case of Lagom though it is design that is very much the starting point. Contrary to many other brands’ licensing programmes, which can be rather prescriptive in that publishers would be confined to a limited ‘style guide’ of defined looks or images, Kew’s approach is for licensees to explore the archive and the Gardens and to create the products based on their derived inspiration, with ultimate approval from Quincy and her team. “While I loved the idea of being given free rein, it was rather overwhelming when I appreciated the extent of the archive,” says Kelly of the extensive resource of approximately 200,000 botanical prints and drawings, plus portraits, photographs and

Growth in the garden

Lagom Design joins an impressive line-up of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew UK licensees which include Alitex (glasshouses), Bolney Wine Estates (wines), Canova Gifts (candles, diffusers and grow kits), Christina May (soap and hand creams), Creative Tops (tableware and kitchen textiles), East Imperial (tonic water), Fikkerts (toiletries), IC Innovations (gift foods), The London Distillery Company (spirits), LSA (glassware), Malvern (garden rooms), One Hundred Stars (kimonos, wraps and scarves), One World Trading (furniture, mirrors and soft furnishing), Otter House Group (diaries and calendars), Herbal Essences (shampoos and conditions), Rosemary Water (flavoured waters), Spear & Jackson (professional garden tools), Terrace & Garden (garden gifts and flowerpots) and Thompson & Morgan (seeds). Below: Some of the products from Christina May.

Left: For Kelly, it was important that the designs worked in their own right as greeting cards.

three-dimensional objects that chart the history of botany that he had at his disposal. However, while Kelly was determined to maintain the integrity of the originals, he also knew that the resultant collection of greeting cards, postcards and, soon to follow, gift wrappings, “would have to stand up on their own two feet as products that retailers would want to stock and the public would want to buy”. Kelly fully admits that he became somewhat obsessed with the project as well as the subject matter. “It has become a labour of love. I have spent many months on the designs, dissecting the originals and then re-recreating and re-colouring them

so that they work as greeting card designs,” reveals Kelly. There has however been an unexpected knock-on effect of the collection’s creation - Kelly has become something of an avid horticulturalist. “Like most people I have always liked plants and flowers, but since I started working on the range, I fully admit I have become much more interested in all things horticultural,” admits the new Monty Don of greeting card design. Rather like the nail-biting build up to the Chelsea Flower Show, Lagom is now putting the final touches to its first Kew range that will be out in full bloom at PG Live (June 4 and June 5, at London’s Business Design Centre). The inaugural collection will comprise 18 greeting cards as well as postcards, with co-ordinating giftbags on the slate for the launch in January. Gin has been blamed for lots of things in life over time, but this could be first time that it is responsible for a collection of greeting cards!

The fertile ground

The Lagom range is based on the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew’s Illustrations and Artefacts Collection. These botanical prints and drawings document the visual characteristics of plants and fungi from around the world. This section of the archive includes many illustrations by notable artists, mainly of whom would have been commissioned by estate owners to artistically document the plants in their gardens. These include great masters of botanical illustration of the 18th and 19th centuries, such as G D Ehret, P J Redouté and Franz Bauer, through to Thomas Duncanson, George Bond and Walter Hood Fitch in the 19th century. Left: Interior of the Herbarium. Right: Joseph Dalton Hooker by Theodore Blake Wirgman that dates back to 1886. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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The Retailing

Drama ‘Congratulations on your CVA!’ could be a profitable new category for greeting cards. The balancing ‘Sorry to hear about your tenant’s CVA’ could potentially match it for sales for those on the landlord side of the business. The last couple of years have seen major retail company failures jump from 30 in 2016, to 44 and 43 in 2017 and 2018, with 21 occurring by the middle of April this year. The numbers of stores involved jumped from just under 1,400 in 2016, to nearly 2,600 last year and are already over 700 in 2019. Cue the appearance of timeworn ‘Death of the High Street’ headlines again, with stories of retailers “falling” into administration. Why do they always ‘fall’? Why not ‘plunge’? Or ‘dive’? Because it’s very clear that the CVA is now a well-established, practiced and often carefully-prepared tactic to cut store numbers and rent levels for multiple retailers. And it is largely a chain-store only phenomenon, because independents don’t have the scale or the power to manipulate landlords. Unsurprisingly we are seeing reports that property owners are trying to work together to fight back against what they see as the ‘easy option’ of the CVA.

Option, maybe, but easy? Because of the scale of the downsizers the numbers of employees that suffer should be remembered. The Centre for Retail Research reports job losses in stricken major retailers rising from over 12,000 two years ago, to nearly four times that many last year - and more than 31,000 in just the first quarter of this year. Spare a thought for suppliers in these CVAs too. Some of them have taken, for relatively small businesses, huge hits to their profit and loss accounts. Someone working for a supplier to a recently CVA-ed department store told me just this week that their business had lost far less than their competitors – because they had had to write off “only £fifty grand”. No board I have ever been on would take a light view of losing £50,000.

More than 43,000 sparkling new shops opened in the last 12 months. Hurrah! By mid April there had been 21 major retailer failures this year. Boo! Being in retail in far from being a pantomime right now, but there are some unexpected twists of fate – Paperchase’s CVA being a case in point – as well as hopefully some happy ever after stories too. Retailing commentator Michael Weedon, managing director of Exp2 shares his take on the plight of the High Street.

Top: Greeting cards are something of a ‘golden egg’ for many retailers as they drive traffic instore and also are not a major online purchase. Above: Michael Weedon has been tracking the retail landscape for years. Below: Paperchase’s CVA was the ‘least worst’ outcome for greeting card suppliers though landlords were not overjoyed.

So, should consumers care? Well, commercial property has been favoured to help nourish the pension funds that we happily assume to be growing nicely for our long-term futures. Even if the layperson doesn’t know about those elements, the public find it inexplicable and disturbing when an apparently thriving business such as Paperchase announces a Creditors Voluntary Agreement. After all, the stores are bright and attractive and full of nice things, so what could possibly be wrong? They might be even more confused to find at the same time that Card Factory PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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Retailing Comment

announces full year sales up, profit flattish, but that the business opened 51 stores in the year and is headed towards an estate of more than 1,000 by 2020. The numbers beneath the headlines are, as ever, a bit of a head-fry. The 2,600 aforementioned multiple store units that were lost last year made up just one in 20 of the total number of closures. Glance back to 2017 and you are reminded that retailers pulled down the shutters for the last time on nearly 51,000 stores. That’s nearly 1,000 a week. Every week. Retailgeddon! Really? Well, according the Local Data Company (LDC) more than 43,000 sparkling new shops opened. That’s an impressive harvest of fresh stores. What has changed in the past couple of years, with a sharp change of direction in mid-2017, is that while closures have been relatively stable, just 61 more last year than the year before, openings dropped by nearly 2,000 year-on-year. In fact openings have declined for five years in a row. As a result, the LDC retail vacancy rate, which had been falling since a peak of nearly 15% in 2011, slid consistently and by several percentage points until the latter part of 2017. Then it started to rise. Shop vacancy is currently about one in eight across GB and it’s probably still heading upward. So this is not so much a story about closures worsening as a weakening of the replacement rate. Closures are a normal fact of everyday retail life. One in ten shops closes down each year, on average. Only one in three leases are renewed. The average length of remaining leases is less than six years, but new leases are characteristically for five years. Were it not for the fact that one in three shop units is owned by its incumbent retailer the turnover rate would be even higher. And this is not because we are spending less. Retail spending, according to the ONS, grew from £365 billion in 2017 to £381

billion last year. That increase is higher than inflation. This is real extra spending. Our growing population has a lot to do with this. The latest ONS mid-year estimates only go up to mid-2017, but the very clear story there is that the population of the UK has been rising by nearly 1% year on year every year for more than a decade. That’s close to a half million extra birthdays to celebrate every year - which should surely spell good news for card retailers?! But that doesn’t tally with footfall figures from ONS/Springboard reports, which show footfall across all retail location types falling consistently over the past decade. Actually, during that ten year period retail park footfall more or less matched the growth in population, but even that dipped last year. So this is an ‘Online killing the High Street’ story? ONS figures have online sales at about 18% across 2018. This is after a generation of e-commerce. Amazon went online in the UK in the previous Millennium. The annual growth rate of the online share has slowed from 50% in 2008 to 9% a decade later. There are predictions that it will fall to 7% this year and if it stays at that rate of growth it will take another decade to double. Now there is far less food and drink sold online than ‘Comparison’, nonfood in the UK. The ONS Top: ONS’ figures shows online sales are 18% of the market share in 2018, but its increase is slowing down. Above: Card Factory has made great play about its online sales being on the up, but it is from a very low base. Left: Shop vacancy is currently about 1 in 8 across the UK, although shoppers’ spending has increased higher than inflation.

will not be drawn on how much of our non-food sales are online but by my calculation it’s at least a quarter, probably 27%. More than half of online sales are made by stores that sell online. The greeting card trade is an anomaly in that it remains a largely bricks and mortar purchase, and even though Card Factory made great fanfare reporting that its online sales surged by 56% in its last year, this is from a tiny base compared to its high street takings, which is a different story for players in other sectors. Next’s figures, for example, show flat overall turnover, split 56% store sales, 44% online, with online more or less exactly replacing store sales. But Next concluded not that it has too much space, but that the space it already has now costs it too much, which is pretty much where public statements about the CVA and cutting rents puts Paperchase.

What Next asserts is that shops are a key element in their operation, if only because 80% of returns go back to shops and when people go to shops they buy stuff. It’s not a coincidence that Primark, which has just opened its biggest store and announced a 25% jump in half year profits does not sell online (yet - though it has said it’s thinking about Click & Collect) but does use social media to engage with consumers and draw them into stores. Eight of the top ten categories growing in store numbers, according to LDC, involve services or products where physically being in a shop is key to the transaction. Many of those are personal services, such as cutting hair, but last-minute purchases, novelty purchases, gifting, personalisation and of course greeting cards all fit that bill perfectly. The retailing drama is still being played out, we are a long way off a big finale, but life as a retailer right now if no dress rehearsal, but thankfully there are a lot in the greeting card sector who know their lines and play the part very well. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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Retailer Face To Face

UTILITY

BILLING

Below: The Utility shop in Manchester’s Oxford Road has been welcomed in this bustling part of the city. Below right: The Mother’s Day window in Utility’s Liverpool One store. Bottom: Kate Cowie with her two business partners (left) Dick Mawdsley and Richard Skelton at the opening night party of the new shop.

Bucking the trend in retail, Liverpoolbased design-led retail group Utility is marking its 20th anniversary by expanding. It has not only opened an impressive new store in Manchester, but has also invested in a whole new look – and one in which greeting cards feature prominently. With a wishlist to open more stores, Kate Cowie, one of the three owners, reveals how sometimes those pipedream conversations you have in a pub really do come to fruition. When times get tough, many people play safe, rein in their spending and surrender to the pervasive ‘doom and gloom’. Not so the ‘three musketeers’ who co-own the Utility retail group, namely Kate Cowie, Richard Skelton and Dick Mawdsley. Having been a retailing beacon in Liverpool for years, where Utility trades from three shops (including its flagship, right in the heart of the Liverpool One development, a lone independent shining bright), the design-led card, gift and lifestyle retailer is now working its magic on the good folk of Manchester. With the new look store exceeding expectations, plans are now underway to refit the Liverpool One store, while scouting has begun for additional store sites. “We would ideally like to create a cluster of Utility stores in Manchester, just as we have in Liverpool,” reveals Kate. “Also, we would not rule out opening stores in Leeds, York or Birmingham in the future - but not just yet,” she adds, wanting to enjoy the ‘new baby’ days of the Manchester store. The fact that Utility’s ambitions are somewhat at odds with what fellow retailers are feeling right now does not phase Kate, Richard and Dick.

“We have made a habit of going against the grain over the last 20 years,” Kate sums up. What started as a conversation in a pub appropriate as Kate and Richard both worked for The Bass Brewery at the time - led to the opening of Coffee Union, an independent coffee shop and the start of a winning business triumvirate. “It was 1998, before Starbucks was even in the UK. Whitbread had just bought Costa Coffee, which, at that time, was only trading from eight shops. Despite business generally being on a downer, we felt it was the right time to jack in our good jobs and open a coffee shop. So we did - and it had the first espresso machine in Liverpool!” recalls Kate. It was after the opening of their second Coffee Union shop that their landlord

encouraged the trio to also take on an adjacent empty unit and “why not use it for that plan you keep talking about to move into homewares,” he suggested. Securing a really good deal on the rent, this first Utility store was kitted out on a budget. “We did everything ourselves, even down to sanding the floors,” remembers Kate. “We opened on 6 November 1999 and, by Christmas Eve, we had nothing left in the shop as we had sold it all.” And so Utility was born. While greeting cards were not part of the initial line-up they were added soon after - “and now we couldn’t do without them,” exclaims Kate. “Greeting cards are massive for us, they really are our bread and butter, accounting for 40% of our takings,” she adds, which is all the more impressive when you consider the outstanding array of furniture, lighting and jewellery that adds to PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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Retailer Face To Face

the retailer’s portfolio, in store and online. Even without the new Manchester store, Utility was selling 3,000 cards in an average week, and the week before Mother’s Day, this went up to 4,120, according to Kate. Kate pays tribute to the retailer’s buyer, Steph Lloyd, for keeping the card selection fresh. “There are so many great publishers out there, and no doubt there will be more good ones at PG Live. It’s our job to ensure that our customers are constantly surprised and delighted by the cards they find in our stores. This means, sadly, that we can’t stock everyone all the time,” says Kate. Greeting cards take up the entire left wall in the new 1,200sqft Manchester store, which has quickly become something of a honeypot in the bustling University district. The card selection here

Kate’s clippings PG put Kate Cowie on the spot… l What three words would your best

and in the other stores hails from 30 different card publishers. In addition, Utility also publishes some of its own card designs, which add extra pep. Among these is one which reads ‘This is Manchester. We do things differently here’, a message where the second part could be extended to the whole of the Utility approach, but one that is clearly working very well. Having been in business together for 20 years, the rock solid relationship of the three owners is enviable. “I don't know what I would do without the boys - we all even now share a dog!” says Kate. “We know each other so well and we each have our roles in the company,” says Kate, who looks after HR and operations, while Richard oversees the website, marketing and brand position and Dick controls the finance. “We have never borrowed any money and have grown organically. It is great to be able to do things our way and for our team to have a bit of fun in the process.”

friends use to describe you? “Sociable, fun and kind.” l What advice would you give to anyone starting out as a retailer? “Be firm and fair to your staff - and make it fun for them too.” l What other retailers do you admire? “That would have to be & Other Stories, Arket, Anthropologie and The White Company.” l Do you have any card faves? “The Pig of Happiness from Edward Monkton, published by Really Good would have to be right up there what phenomenal sales it generated at the time. I also have a soft spot for Hazel Bee’s HB84 design, again, another amazing seller.” l What are your guilty pleasures? “French bread, cheese and Sauvignon Blanc.” l If you could invite three famous people (dead or alive) to dinner, who would make up that trio? “Winston Churchill, Frida Kahlo and Adele.” l A magic carpet awaits, where do you want to go? “To the sunshine in the South of France please!” Above: An Edward Monkton card design (initially from Really Good) that stands out for Kate.

Top: The wall of cards in Manchester’s Utility store. Above middle: One of the Utility bespoke card designs. Left: The stationery unit in the Manchester store. Below: The book units in the Manchester store have a slanted top. Below left: Real plants breathe life into the shop displays!

Designs on retail

While stocking a similar mix of products to the Liverpool One flagship, from the greeting cards to quirky homewares, and from books to jewellery, Utility’s new Manchester store has a fresh new aesthetic. The bespoke plywood fittings, pared down urban palette was created by Manchester design company, WDC Creative in answer to a brief that Kate explains was “to be design-led, functional and modern, giving the products room to breathe.” Kate is pleased how some of the new additions have gone down, notably the units for the books which have a slanted top, thereby inviting shoppers to open the books. The jewellery is displayed under glass, but members of the Utility team are never far away to encourage anyone to see what, say a delectable Tatty Devine creation, would look like on. What started as an experiment for Mother’s Day, with real plants, including succulents and cacti, has proved so successful that they are now part of the product offer, helping to boost sales of bowls and planters. The design of the new store has gone down such a treat with customers that it is going to be used as a blueprint for the refit of Utility’s Liverpool One store, as well as for the new openings currently being planned. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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Up Close And Personal

The Colour

Queen

Revered all over the world for her trademark bold patterns, celebration of colour and distinctive sense of style, Dame Zandra Rhodes has seen her designs grace the top fashion catwalks and even her own home has warmed the hearts of the harshest of interiors critics. She’s done it all – apart from having a greeting card and gift stationery collection bearing her designs - until now that is! PG spoke to the first Princess of Punk herself about the collection Museums & Galleries is launching at PG Live.

D

ame Zandra Rhodes is one busy dame. Despite having flown in from a work trip to India that morning, there was never any suggestion of an ‘easy day’ to get over the jetlag, happy to slot PG’s request for an interview into a jam-packed diary that doesn’t seem to make any distinction between weekdays and weekends. “I only got back this morning from Tamil Nadu and my diary is completely full until the end of Sunday,” she explained to PG, having been only too willing to shoe-horn in an interview. This is a reaction that one might expect from someone fighting to get noticed in the busy fast track of the fashion world, not from someone who is celebrating her 50 years in fashion and has been elevated to iconic status in the wide design arena. But it is more than her bright pink hair that makes Zandra Rhodes a true stand out individual. Work is well underway on a major retrospective exhibition this September entitled Fifty Years of Fabulous that will be

Left: In September, an exhibition entitled, Fifty Years of Fabulous, celebrating Zandra Rhodes’ work, will be staged at The Fashion and Textile Museum that the designer founded. Above left: A greeting card featuring My Neon Man, a Zandra Rhodes’ classic that has stood the test of time. Above: This Zandra Rhodes’ Cactus design looks as on trend today as it was decades ago.

staged at The Fashion and Textile Museum (that Dame Zandra founded and lives above in her famous Rainbow apartment), with a book deal signed with Yale University Press to boot. With the wealth of designs under her own steam, as well as through collaborations with top notch fashion names, it will be more a case of deciding what to leave out so that it fits the confines of the space and the pages. What is more impressive is that it is all still ongoing, as evidenced by the much fanfared launch of the collaboration with contemporary fashion brand Three Graces London, which includes a re-interpretation of Zandra Rhodes’ famous banana leaf print that she created in the ‘70s. And that’s the thing with Zandra Rhodes’ design touch. Her creations struck a PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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Up Close And Personal

chord when they first launched in, say the ‘60s, but now, half a century later they still look fresh and appealing. As the Three Graces London x Zandra Rhodes capsule collection (with pieces retailing up to £1,650) notch up the clicks on Matches.com, so Zandra is genuinely equally excited by the next collaboration to hit the high street - the greeting card and gift stationery collection that Museums & Galleries is launching at PG Live (Tuesday 4 June and Wednesday 5 June). “I can’t wait to see it! I’m coming to the show on the Wednesday and am so thrilled by the marvellous job the Museums & Galleries team has done in interpreting my designs onto the products,” Zandra said enthusiastically. “I love the idea of people going into a shop or a gallery all over the world and seeing the cards and stationery. I was in a remote town in Virginia recently to attend a wedding and went into a lovely gift shop and saw the gorgeous Matthew Williamson notebooks that Museums & Galleries had produced. It is fabulous to think that paper products with my designs on will be in there and many other places soon. Just as I love hanging up all the Christmas cards I receive from my friends and family, I am very happy that my designs will be on cards and stationery that people can send and use throughout the year to show they care about each other and about design.”

Fresh Fashion

Top: Zandra’s Feathers design lends itself to a journal cover as well as a greeting card in the range. Above: More classics, such as Lipsticks feature on the giftwrap as well as on cards and notebooks from Museums & Galleries. Below: Dame Zandra Rhodes has brought her own blast of colourful designs to the world for 50 years.

Ben Dorney, creative director of Museums & Galleries shares the story of how the collaboration has come about. “Zandra Rhodes’ agent, Karen Youdell, started talking to our licensing manager Eddie Clarke in early 2018 about the possibility of a licensed Zandra Rhodes card and stationery range.” Continues Ben: “2019 marks 50 years in the fashion industry for Zandra, so it was a timely opportunity to contribute to the celebrations. To our surprise, we discovered that despite her many years as a textile and fashion designer, educator and bona fide national institution, Zandra has never really pursued licensing in any sizeable way. Perhaps because she was so busy wearing all of those other creative hats! For M&G it offered two great opportunities: firstly, to collaborate with a worldrenowned British fashion icon whose heritage and style would resonate strongly with our customers, and secondly, to expand our fashion-led offer and complement but not compete with our very successful Matthew Williamson and Cressida Bell collections. Zandra’s ‘handwriting’ is completely unique, adds a new dimension and colour palette to our wider collection and she represents British design at its best. In terms of the actual prints selection, we seemed to mutually agree on the key archive classics, which were then added to with some new designs reflecting Zandra Rhodes' latest work. Zandra Rhodes’ work has a timeless energy and her freehand style and use of bright/neon colours completely fits within what’s happening now. I guess that’s the mark of a truly great designer - that their work continually feels relevant. Zandra herself has been very generous with her time, trust, and a commitment to making this a successful collaboration; not least offering to help launch the range in person at PG Live!”

The A-Zandra on Rhodes l What is the best advice you have ever received? “It was from my mother: ‘Good, better, best, never let it rest, ‘till your good is better and your better is best’.” l If you had to pick just one design from the Museums & Galleries range, which would it be? “I would go for Lipsticks, that design has always been ‘part of my skin’ - I remember creating it for Valentino.” l So many of your designs were created in the ‘60s. What was it about that period that was so creative? “Darling, that’s so long ago, I don’t remember! Seriously, it was a time when everything was really getting going on the design front in this country and I was lucky to have been a part of it – and I’m glad I am still here to see the designs live on.” l What is your favourite colour? “I happen to like my hair bright pink which means that friends often buy me pink things, but I love all colours - they make us feel happy.” l Are you a greeting card sender? “I am, but I tend to be a bit last minute. I am looking forward to having a stash of my own lovely cards to send to brighten up someone’s day.” l From whom would you most want to receive a greeting card? “Matisse. He is my favourite artist of all time so to have a card from him, with a little artistic scribble inside would be the bee’s knees!” l What is it that keeps you doing what you do? “The love of doing it.” l What are you most thankful for? “That I am still here!”

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Cute Moves There has been much fanfare about a new book, The Power of Cute, with the author claiming that we are currently living in a growing culture of cute; a social pervasiveness of adult infantilism. Whatever the reason, as Focus On Cute found out, there is a lot of ‘ahh-action’ on the cute card front.

In some ways Simon May, the author of The Power of Cute, has a point. Among the emojis, Disneyland, Marvel and circus films, LOLcat memes meowing LOLspeak and meerkats quoting insurance, is the internet trend of DoggoLingo, a combination of baby-talk and anthropomorphisation. It’s a simplistic language imagined if a dog could speak English, such as ‘This my hooman’ (this is my human), ‘I am pupper’ (I am a puppy) or ‘You my fren?’ (Are you my friend?), and this is just the wagging tip of the doggospeak iceberg! Of course cute greeting cards have been reaching the adorable Above: New to the cute market, Words ‘n’ Wishes’ Bear Hugs range. Right: Cute comes in all shapes and sizes - a design from Natallia Bushuyeva from Blue Island Press. Left: New milestone captions (18 to 80) have been added to IC&G’s Barley collection, which has had a design makeover with new colour palette and finishes.

Delectable dino Trix, the tyrannosaurus rex, is a 66million-year-old fossil, the centrepiece of the current blockbuster exhibition T-rex in Town. With Glasgow the only UK stop in the show’s European tour, it was countryman, Scottish card publisher Hole in My Pocket’s director Allistair Burt who was commissioned to illustrate and produced a large collection of new Trix the T-rex products; cards, mugs, coasters, t-shirts, tea towels, notebooks and badges for the T-rex in Town exhibition at Kelvin Hall in Glasgow. “Bespoke commissions is a growing part of Hole in My Pocket’s service, working with museums galleries and national bodies throughout the UK, but when it comes to briefs you can’t really beat a fun, cute, bright and bold dinosaur!” says Allistair. “In the week the show first opened the client had to do a full reorder because the range has proved so popular!” Allistair has also just created a cute range for Brodick Castle in Arran, some new designs for the V&A, and is this month launching a new range for the National Trust for its Hill House property.

Focus On Cute Cards

alpines of doe-eyed innocent creatures for years, but what was once the design realm of outsized headed characters, cuddly teddy bears, sweet animals and little child cherubs, is now additionally a smorgasbord of vegetable, cheese, unicorn, cacti and dinosaur cuties, to name just a few. “Cute remains a cornerstone of the UK greeting card industry and retains its relevance in these troubled times as it goes straight to the heart, but in an approachable way,” states Tony Cottrell, studio manager for Words ‘n’ Wishes. Tony believes that while cute characters still need to have the ahh appeal, the design treatments have moved on, hence the use of adorable felted bears, loose hand-drawn font and contemporary collage that combines line sketching, photography and illustration in Words ‘n’ Wishes’ new Bear Hugs range by talented in-house artist Kate Hughes. “Cute, like most other things in life evolves!” adds Tony. Amanda Miles, creative director of IC&G, which has recently launched Hun Bun as a cute sibling to its Barley Bear range, highlights another strand of cute movement. “I’m not sure cute was ever unpopular, but I think cute has moved on in its language - just like our ‘spoken’ language has changed over time so old rhyming cute doesn’t work for consumers now. Cute designs have become much more about heartfelt sentiment than ‘cuteness’. And, as we all know, it’s not always sunshine and rainbows in our lives so if you see something that touches your heart, then it’s a winner - and cute cards certainly do that.” From the enduring cute card brands of Me to You, Forever Friends and Boofle, through to the more arty illustrative and photographic creations from newbie publishers, the heartstrings are being pulled in all directions.

Boofle bonanza Proving cute can be one for the boys, UKG is celebrating the fact that Boofle is a cute brand that works equally well on male and female cards by launching a brand new collection of 22 male relations designs this June. Along with fun new poses, a striking male colour palette and gold foil and hand-lettered captions are perfect for the sending situation. UKG brand development manager, Susan Jones, says: “Boofle’s personality always shines through, and these male cards demonstrate this perfectly. Whether he’s propping up the bar in a Dad card or streaming music on a Brother design, Boofle proves he’s the perfect choice for every family member.” But it’s not only in family captions that the creative team has been busy, a brand new standalone display of 35 general birthday cards is also launching in June featuring pretty new patterning, beautiful bouquets and Boofle’s new tipple of choice - so let the celebrations Be-Gin! Above: A new Boofle design from UKG.

Above: The ‘Tea Rex’ design from Hole in My Pocket is part of a whole collection for the T-rex in Town exhibition currently in Glasgow. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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Dancing InThe Sweet

New Cute Launches

Making our hearts melt are a cluster of captivating new cute ranges dancing with adorable charm and raising a smile.

l Blue Island Press has a sweet

bounty of cute ranges: Its Wolf Erlbruch range, illustrated by award-winning German illustrator and writer of children's books, has 18 designs. A collection of 15 designs by Natallia Bushuyeva who lives in the beautiful city of Paris where she takes great joy and pleasure creating her work. And a 24 designs range by Coco De Paris, a designer/illustrator who has worked with Marc Jacobs, Joe Fresh, Oasis and Des Artistes, to name a few!

l Launching at PG 2019, a range of 16 new happy birthday square cards from Kali Stileman featuring brightly coloured animals and the beautiful calligraphy of Kate Brockie. These cards have been digitally printed on lovely linen board, which gives them a lovely retro feel, and they are sold with a matching coloured envelope. PG Live Stand 162

l Tango Rose Designs’ CUTE range

was created to bring a spark of fairytale magic to all who are children at heart. The range currently has 11 unique designs. The cards are 170mm by 120mm, printed in the UK on to a silkysmooth 320gsm Italian board and arrive packaged with a kraft envelope, in a biodegradable cello bag. Redback’s adorable Little World of Liz range manages to strike a wonderful balance of being cute without being fluffy. The illustrations by Liz Climo create a charming world where animals chit-chat hilariously about their everyday lives. Now with over 70 designs, and more being launched this year, there's enough to put a smile on everyone's face! These cards are 120mm x 170mm, are finished with a soft touch lacquer and come with a premium grey envelope. PG Live Stand 421

l Woody is a singular new cat in a

collection from Paper Bird Publishing of ten new (150mm) designs, blanks and birthdays. Woody is joined by two more delightful ranges from new friends Helen Minns and Gaia Golden, and lots more designs in the popular Plumette range of 90mm x 120mm little cards. PG Live Stand 88 l Nutmeg is a lovable little bear with all

the right stuffing to make it big in the world of cute! These gorgeous cards from UK Greetings have broad appeal, with designs carefully tailored to suit each and every send. Designs are fresh and crisp and utilise on-trend colour palettes with beautiful finishes, ranging from delicate foil and glitter detail through to intricate laser-cuts and tassels. PG Live Stand 240

l Santoro’s Tiny Squee Mousies are

charming cards featuring warm and whimsical illustrations that bring a touch of sweetness to any situation! From ‘Happy Birthday’ and ‘Good Luck’ to ‘Best Friends’ and ‘Little Genius’, this adorable collection of 25 designs covers a range of themes and occasions. Each 152mm x 114mm card is finished with spot varnish and includes a vibrant green or orange envelope. PG Live Stand 312

l Pippi & Me will be bringing its new super cute Miniminis cards, featuring kitten, puppies and unicorns, what’s not to love?! There will also be lots of new designs in the much-loved Little Creature range as well as new Christmas card designs with biodegradable flitter this year. The cards are all 125mm square, with white recycled envelopes, in biodegradable sleeves or naked if you wish. PG Live Stand 144 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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New Cute Launches

l A rainy day in Tokyo and a touch of serendipity brought 1 Tree Cards together. It’s now celebrating its first fantastic year with two Japanese-inspired collections: The Neko collection features adorable feel-good cats, while the Reiwa collection gives a modern twist to traditional Japanese nature scenes. With 100% recycled A6 cards and envelopes, each card plants 1 tree and includes a seed token that grows into bee-friendly flowers. PG Live Stand 824

l Nigel Quiney Publications has a brand new cute range entitled Peanut. Peanut is a scruffy little puppy, with mischievous eyes and bags of character who, together with his little kitten playmate, likes playing with butterflies and bees and having fun blowing out birthday candles. The designs are a contemporary 6.5”x 5” size, finished with matt gold foil and supplied with thick white envelopes - C45 RRP £1.75. PG Live Stand 424

l Caroline Gardner has taken the

l Mei Stoyva is a Norwegian illustrator specialising in all things cute and colourful, the perfect words to describe her card range with Ohh Deer. With a self-proclaimed soft spot for 'large, round animals such as elephants and hippos', Mei’s adorable characters are accented with both hot and cold foils. Ohh Deer currently has over two dozen cards by Mei, and the collection is continuing to grow! PG Live Stand 505

much-loved painterly style from its POM cards and re-worked it into this fun range featuring jolly animals and on trend motifs. The latest additions see a giraffe and an octopi in a party hat, a pair of love birds or a lovable bear holding a birthday balloon. These enchanting creatures are teamed with black polka dots and gold embossed text. The range consists of 15 beautiful designs to choose from. l Carte Blanche has launched a brand new

refresh of high age Me To You designs, featuring soft pastel colours, cute celebratory Tatty Teddy poses, balloons, polka dots, candy stripes and hanging garlands with flashes of holographic foil for a fun look. With a range of sizes, this adorable new range of milestone ages cards covering 30–70 years is sure to be a hit. The range also includes four new Me to You Photo Finish designs featuring Carte Blanche’s eyecatching 3D lenticular technology. PG Live Stand 211 l Hole In My Pocket’s fun pen and ink

collection of scratchy drawings illustrates the life of a little ghost and his other assorted spooky monster friends. Covering all occasions, the range currently comprises of seven designs from new home to birthday. The cards are 15.5cm x 11cm on thick FSC paper, blank inside with a light satin coating on the outside. They are cellowrapped and come with a simple 100% recycled brown envelope. l There is a risk of cuteness overload from Ling

Design’s The Wildlife. This range is packed with character, featuring adorable illustrated animals against an attention-grabbing colour palette. Look out for the assortment of happy cats and the party-hatted hedgehog in the latest release of occasions and relations designs, which will be difficult for any card buyer to resist. PG Live Stand 204

l Penguin Ink’s new Sheep dog illustration joins lots of new cute designs to its Wild Card range, which are all letterpress printed in the UK. Fall in love with the whole collection of 155mm square blank cards to celebrate our wonderful animal kingdom. These are printed on 100% recycled 350gsm card, with a recycled kraft envelope and individually cellowrapped. l Stop the Clock Design has recently extended its popular Scribble range. Consisting of 56 A6 designs, covering ages, relations, birthday and occasions, they feature a strong, modern, masculine colour palette and a quirky, mixed media illustrative style. They come cellowrapped with a striking burnt orange envelope. PG Live Stand 221 l Featuring hand-drawn illustrations and

heart-warming captions, you’ll find a whole lot of cuteness hidden amongst award winning Dandelion Stationery’s Words of Wisdom collection. Made for occasions such as get well, someone special and relations, there’s something for everyone. Printed on luxury 300gsm board and supplied with a coordinating recycled kraft envelope, these cards are hand-finished with subtle flitter. PG Live Stand 517 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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In Conversation With... Emily McDowell

The Empathy

Pioneer If this was the music business, the card design that reads ‘Please let me be the first to punch the next person who tells you everything happens for a reason. I’m sorry you’re going through this,’ would appear high on the Emily McDowell ‘greatest hits playlist’. Having trail-blazed the genre of empathy cards in her native America (amassing a cult following in the UK), this month sees this pioneering Los Angeles designer’s winning way with words launch officially in the UK at PG Live, through a distribution deal with Abrams & Chronicle. PG caught up with this leading lady of lines. ‘If this is God’s plan, God is a terrible planner. (No offence if you’re reading this, God. You did a good job with other stuff, like waterfalls and pandas.)’ is the kind of card Emily McDowell would have loved to have received when, at 24 she was diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer (Hodgkin’s Lymphoma), but instead, though well meant, she was sent a clutch of somewhat inappropriate ‘sympathy’ and ‘get well’ designs from friends and family. "The sympathy cards were really… interesting,” Emily told the BBC in one of the very many media appearances she has made over the years, lamenting the paucity of cards that “spoke to the situation” in which she found herself in. Emily clumps the cards she did receive into a few categories. There were the ‘get well soon’ cards that she felt would work for someone recovering from a broken leg, but not someone newly diagnosed with cancer.

Top: Emily McDowell has been a real trailblazer in establishing ‘empathy cards’ as a genre in the industry. Above left: A classic Emily McDowell card. Above: Likely to chime with so many! Left: A new design that Emily has used to promote her support of Mental Health Awareness activities.

"It felt almost like a challenge - like, 'um, okay… I'll try!'" said Emily, demonstrating her innate ability to sum up personal reactions and situations that has become the bedrock of her brand. There were also the cards she received that were deeply philosophical or too religiously skewed. The ‘everything happens for a reason’ card messages she felt struck the wrong note, certainly at the time when you are going through a personal crisis. She realised that however well intentioned these cards were, they did neither her nor indeed the senders a service in communicating what they wanted to say or the way their arrival made Emily feel. A decade later, having climbed the ladder of success in the advertising world and deciding she didn't much like the view from the top, those earlier niggles about greeting cards could be ignored no longer and so Emily Dowell Studios was born. Right from the off, Emily knew what would be at the core of the cards published under her brand. “I wanted to make cards PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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In Conversation With... Emily McDowell

that felt true to the relationships we have. All too often I felt the greeting cards out there reflect idealised, aspirational relationships that very few people share. Real lives are messy, but yet people do want to foster connections. My aim has always been to create cards that help in this,” Emily tells PG. And help they have, and in doing so the cards, which couple astute, but quirky messaging coupled with contemporary illustration, have carved out a new path in ‘empathy cards’ that do not only cover the life-threatening situations, but also the bumps in the road that we all encounter. Emily fully admits that for all the masses of high profile media support she received when the company launched, she came up against the obstacle of historic practice from retail buyers. “Retailers used to say “we do like the cards, but we don't know where to put them in the store”. They don’t sit with sympathy or get well. I explained that was their distinction, that they are empathy cards, to offer support for all number of reasons and as such should have their own section on the displays. Thankfully over time, more and more retailers have acknowledged this as a designated card area,” says Emily. Having been elevated to ‘celebrity status’ in the US, appearing in all manner of media, podcasts galore and the book ’Emily co-wrote with Dr. Kelsey Crowe entitled ‘There Is No Good Card for This: What To Say and Do When Life Is Scary, Awful, and Unfair to People You Love’ becoming a ‘go to’ guide for caring when it really matters, the time seems right to take on the next challenge - making her mark in the UK!

Above: The cover of the book that Emily co-wrote with Dr Kelsey Crowe. Right: The Fill in the Love journals create a personal gift.

Chronicling the launch

“In many ways our empathy cards are culturally better suited to the UK than the US,” believes Emily, who confesses much of this is down to her own UK-skewed sense of humour. “The UK has been a tough one to crack, mainly due to costs. We have been supplying some UK retailers directly for years and members of the UK public do order cards online, but I am really happy that we are now launching through Abrams and Chronicle at PG Live,” states Emily, who is planning to make the trip over to the BDC. Be careful though, as if you mention that she’s there ‘for a reason’, be ready for a punch!

Caring is sharing

Abrams & Chronicle is very well known for its strong line-up of books, calendars and stationery, but with Emily McDowell & Friends its reputation in the greeting card world will be significantly boosted. At PG Live, as well as Emily’s ‘classics’, it will also be showcasing the Lisa Congdon collection which form part of the Emily McDowell & Friends portfolio. There are 16 of Lisa Congdon’s brightlycoloured and uplifting designs in the inaugural range. The stand will also be displaying the new format Emily McDowell & Friends’ Fill in the Love journals. Emily claims these little books are “a secret weapon of love”. By filling in the blanks, they transform into a personalised, meaningful gift of love or support. Also being showcased will be new format of journals, tote bags and wine bags. Above left: There are several design styles within the portfolio. Below: Emily McDowell & Friends tote bags are also part of the line-up from Abrams & Chronicle.

“Emily McDowell has long been my ‘go to’ reference point on empathy, something that really came into its own when I was working with the Miscarriage Association to develop the special collection of cards that we stock in the shop and on Postmarkonline,” said Mark Janson-Smith. Having previously shipped the Emily McDowell cards straight from the US to his four shops in London, Mark is delighted that the arrangement with Abrams and Chronicle makes this much easier. “For us, her ‘There’s no card for it’ design is one of the best sellers as it can be used for so many delicate situations,” says Mark, who in tribute to Emily has an ‘empathy’ section on the card displays in Postmark’s shops. “Empathy cards, of which Emily McDowell is the pioneer, are at the heart of what gives true meaning to our whole industry - a tangible connection between people in times of need.” Above: The Emily McDowell card design that Postmark’s Mark Janson-Smith says is one of the best examples of an empathy card ever.

PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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International Spotlight

An Emirate Expansion Hailing from Yorkshire, Yasmin Rahmatullah-Jones, founder of YTR Studios, moved out to Dubai four years ago to support her husband’s career. With her active business mind, a card publishing passion and her family’s United Arab Emirates contacts it wasn't long before Yasmin embraced the opportunity to set up a company distributing UK publishers’ cards to Dubai’s vibrant retail base. With distribution agreements now in place with Wendy Jones-Blackett, Paper Salad, Five Dollar Shake and Counting Stars, to name a few, Yasmin reveals how the card market is growing in Dubai. Among swaying palm fronds and the blistering hot sun are Dubai’s cooling and luxurious shopping malls - retailing meccas filled with high-end stores that are now showcasing the crème of UK card designs. The influx of British card publishers in to this large emirate is largely due to Yasmin Rahmatullah-Jones, founder of card

publisher YTR Studios and its sibling UEA distribution business, System Pack Cards and Gifts. Destined to design, Yasmin started carving out her greeting card publishing route in the UK, but now her sights are set on making headway in the United Arab Emirates, distributing British card publishers’ designs to the shoppers’ paradise that is Dubai.

Top: The swaying palms of Dubai. Above: Yasmin showcasing British designs, including Wendy Jones-Blackett cards, within Carrefour supermarket. Left: A Paper Salad Christmas design, one of many in Galleries Lafayette. Below: Gorgeous YTR Studios designs. Bottom: Yasmin still creates her own YTR card designs from her home in the UAE.

Yasmin’s design career started after she graduated with a degree in Pattern Design from the world-renowned Textile department of the University of Huddersfield. After a unique internship experience in New York, Yasmin then had a spell working for Hallmark UK in Bradford, before pursuing her own entrepreneurial dream of launching her own card publishing company. YTR Studios was born, and Yasmin and her card designs were then seen at myriad of trade shows, resulting in the company building up a UK and international network of card stockists and reaching the finals of The Henries three times along the way. In 2013 Yasmin married her husband Phillip, who was pursuing a career in Dubai, a place Yasmin already had strong links as her father had relocated his printing and packaging businesses to the UAE some 20 years previously, and was supplying many of the top Dubai hotels with bespoke packaging for their goods. After the birth of their daughter Amaiya in 2015, Yasmin and Philip made Dubai their home and it was then that she really started to explore potential outlets for her own card designs as well as for other UK card and gift companies. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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Celebrating iconic style. Blank Inside

des is one of the world’s most recognisable, ed and exciting fashion designers.

‘Princess of Punk’ and a designer to the stars Dame Zandra Rhodes is also the founder of the extile Museum and an inspirational educator. re range celebrates a fifty year career of bold h colour and irrepressible style.

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Museums & Galleries are thrilled to announce an exclusive collaboration with Dame Zandra Rhodes, one of the world’s most recognisable, distinguished and exciting fashion designers. This new signature range celebrates her fiftieth year in fashion and a lifetime of bold prints, vivid colour and irrepressible style.

Launching at PG Live, the Zandra Rhodes Collection features 12 stunning greetings cards with special finishes, notecards, notebooks and journals, gift bags, gift wrap, tissue paper, bookmarks and more. The result is a unique destination range, designed to help stylish retailers stand out from the crowd.

See the full range at PG Live 4th–5th June: STAND 218 Don’t miss Zandra Rhodes launching her range in person at PG LIVE! WED 5TH JUNE 10:30–11:30am

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International Spotlight

“As a truly international family - Philip's including Wendy Jones-Blackett, Always parents were both in the international Sparkle, Lola Design, Dandelion Stationery, university education business and had Paper Salad, Five Dollar Shake, Jessica imbued us with their cultural mobility, and Hogarth and Counting Stars, as well as her my parents have such strong regional ties to own YTR Studios designs, to retail outlets the Emirates - we are in a unique position to throughout Dubai. gauge the tastes, wants and needs of the Dubai’s Carrefour Supermarkets, All market in Dubai,” explains Yasmin. Day and Park and Shop Supermarkets, As to the market in Dubai the last gourmet supermarkets such as Milk and decade has witnessed it experiencing Honey and Jones the Grocer, The Dubai exceptional growth as an international hub for Aquarium, Children's soft play centres such travel, tourism and business thereby creating, what Yasmin feels is “a perfect environment for new businesses”, with new stores opening all the time, pop-up markets increasing in popularity, vibrant airport shopping and the as Dig it and Playdates on the palm in prospect of Expo 2020 further incentivising Jumeriah, beautiful gift boutiques such as O consumer spending, making Dubai an even De Rose and Be You (owned by one of the more favoured destination. princesses in Dubai), popular ladies’ blow Yasmin explains that card retailing in dry bar - Be Bar, Five little Ducks - a chain Dubai works slightly differently to that of the of baby and kids’ boutiques, and luxury UK, with supply being mainly on a department stores - Galleries Lafayette, Le consignment basis, payment terms are BHV and Bloomingdales all feature in the longer and the licence company’s customer list. requirements differ, all factors that Yasmin highlights how the The Yorkshire (palm tree) branch she has taken in her stride. Dubai market continues to ripen for YTR’s Yasmin Rahmatullah-Jones’ latest exciting product launch will be an unique hand-drawn Dubai map designed exclusively by In Dubai everyday greeting UK greeting cards. “More and more Whitby-based Jessica Hogarth, that is to be translated onto cards have proven much more expats are moving to Dubai resulting notebooks, magnets, postcards, greeting cards, tea towels etc. popular than occasions cards, “It will be hitting all the usual tourist haunts very, very soon. although the market is growing No one in Dubai or who has ever visited Dubai should be without as consumers become more this memento. It is going to be an enormously popular design from an outstanding designer,” Yasmin enthuses. demanding and aware of Illustrator and card publisher, Jess Hogarth says it was great available ranges. fun creating the Dubai artwork, commissioned by Yasmin, who Through her distribution sent through the brief. business Yasmin’s now extends to “There was certainly no shortage of landmarks to choose distributing greeting cards from from when deciding what to include. I have created art for a number of locations I am yet to visit; and the invention of Google several leading British publishers, Maps makes this a relatively easy thing to do!” confessed Jess. While the finished piece is fairly geographically correct, Jess admits “there is always a little bit of artistic licence utilised when doing this type of work.” She did however have to draw on her imagination during the creative to be in tune with the Dubai climes. “I imagine it’s a little warmer over there right now than it is in cold Whitby, and the bright colour palette hopefully gets across the idea of a warm climate and the overall vibrancy of the place.” Below: Jess Hogarth’s unique hand-drawn Dubai map.

Top right: Yasmin distributes gifts, stationery and UK cards into Dubai’s luxury store Galleries Lafayette. Above middle: Some great British card publishers’ designs in Carrefour, Dubai. Far right: Counting Stars designs are in high-end boutique Be You, owned by a princess of Dubai. Above: Lola Designs’ cards on a spinner within The Dubai Aquarium.

in a growing demand for products and services which keep them in touch with family and friends back home. What better way than cards and little gifts for all occasions?” she proposes. As she sees it, “We are lucky to be able to bring the 'Best of British' to a discerning public, who appreciate quality and excellent design. We are hoping to go from strength to strength and are committed to making the Dubai greeting card and gifting sector the best it can possibly be!” PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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ART SOURCE

TO APPEAR REGULARLY IN THE

ARTSOURCE SECTION OF PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS CONTACT TRACEY ARNAUD ON 01234 740 051

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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.

ARTIST IN FOCUS

Ali Brookes I am a surface pattern designer from rural Northamptonshire, England. I like to describe myself as a curious person with a passion for colour and design. I love to create happy, colourful work that makes people smile. After graduating with a First Class Honours Degree in Printed Textiles from the University of Derby, I started work as a lecturer teaching visual studies to interior design students and freelancing as a surface pattern designer creating hand-painted work for the home decor and stationery markets. I also have experience in the manufacturing of glass and ceramic transfers for companies such as Royal Worcester and Denby. After taking a career break to have a family, I

WANT TO BE FEATURED?

returned to the industry I love. My design process starts with an inky drawing, painting or cut paper before finishing off the final design digitally in either Illustrator or Photoshop. Pattern designs is my obsession, and when not designing, I often knit colourful socks. I have designed patterns and illustrations for a wide range of markets including greeting cards, home textiles, fabric and children’s products. My clients include: Dashwood Studio, The Gift Wrap Co, Hobby Lobby, Paper Rose, CCA Occasions and Fisher Price. If you would like to license any of my work or would like to talk about a commission please contact me or my agent Jehane Boden Spiers on: l Tel: +44 7703 185413 l Email: studio@jehane.com l Web: www.jehane.com

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 emmac@max-publishing.co.uk. 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. Martin Fitch co-owner of The Card Hall, Maidstone, Kent A medium card and gift shop in a historical town with a varied and loyal locals customer base. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range

Comments

Everyday

Danilo Cherry Orchard Nigel Quiney UK Greetings

Football Cards (Open) Timeless Pizazz Female (Open) Simply Traditional

IC&G

Relation Age Cards

Cute

UK Greetings Carte Blanche

Boofle Me To You

Traditional

Cherry Orchard

Memory Lane

Ancillary

History & Heraldry

Alphabet Mugs

Carte Blanche

Me To You plush

Both of these ranges are a favourite with men of all ages. The ranges are modern and stylish and meet the needs of the modern shopper. A great range of stylish cards suitable for all ages. Both ranges are extremely popular with our customers - both young and old. And, the designs are available across all occasions. These cards are always a proven best seller. We always see people reading and enjoying the memories from years gone by Stoneware mugs with the initial of the recipient(s), a great present for anyone, including couples and anniversary presents. Ideal from birth upwards… and adults love them too.

Right: Years gone by, a Memory Lane design from Cherry Orchard. Below: History & Heraldy’s Alphabet mugs can be good for an anniversary, wedding or singular person gifts.

Karen Ebers, owner of Something Special, Edenbridge, Kent A medium shop in a historic town with a loyal locals customer base. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range

Comments

Everyday

UK Greetings

Peony

Paperlink

Made With Love

Humour

Paper House (GBCC)

Look At It This Way Humour Factory Avanti Animal Function

Photographic

Woodmansterne

Contemporary

Camden Graphics (UKG)

Framed, RSPB and National Trust Indigo Blush

Traditional

Redback Cards Pigment IC&G

Cloud 9 Happy Jackson Across The Board

Nigel Quiney

Across The Board

Children’s

Second Nature

Giftwrap

Danilo Gemma Glick

Hullabaloo and Inspired Across The Board Across The Board Across The Board

A firm favourite with my customers. I think they like both the designs and the price point! Another consistent best seller. All of these ranges do exceptionally well for us. New designs are introduced, keeping customers interested. These well-liked ranges with clear photographic images are just stunning! Pretty feminine cards with a bit of sparkle. Both these ranges are bright, colourful and on trend with amusing slogans. Well-priced, with universal appeal, Top: Paper Salad gift bags updated regularly and covering all bases. from Glick. Above: In the prime of life, a One of the fastest selling counter card 70th birthday card from ranges on my racks. The female relations Pigment’s Happy Jackson range. designs in particular are beautiful. Two new hand-finished ranges that have been performing well, featuring popular modern subject matter. Providing both up to the minute and classic licensed children’s cards that are always in demand. The range gets bigger and better every year! PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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Progressive Greetings advert.pdf

1

07/05/2019

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Recycled envelopes Hand finished with subtle glitter

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M

Y

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MY

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Heartfelt words & sentiments with

a splash of humour

info@dandelionstationery.co.uk dandelionstationery.co.uk +44 (0) 1332 695 359 73 derby road, Melbourne, Derbyshire, de73 8fe

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Fiona Trees, owner of Memorable Moments, Ripon, North Yorkshire A small to medium card and gift shop in a market town with a varied and loyal locals customer base. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range

Comments

Everyday

Wendy Jones-Blackett

Quicksilver

Humour

Paperlink

Across The Board

Peartree Heybridge

Tottering by Gently

Art

Dawn Maciocia

Across The Board

Contemporary

Belly Button

Paloma

Five Dollar Shake

Across The Board

Handmade/ Hand-Finished Children’s

Wendy Jones-Blackett

Cloud 9

Rachel Ellen

Giftwrap

Glick

Wild Things and Little Darlings Across The Board

Ancillary

Jellycat

Plush

Sunny by Sue

Hand-painted gin glasses

Designed and hand-finished in Leeds. Simple eye-catching designs that fly out. Some designs are quite cheeky but they never fail to cause lots of laughter in the shop. Gentle humour created from social observations. These beautiful cards feature the torn paper designs of Dawn Maciocia. They feature a lot of animals and wildlife, which suits our more rural location. Simply beautiful cards that suit so many occasions. Luxurious, elegant cards that are always bang on trend. These cards just SELL!! The combination of relations/occasions makes them so popular. Vibrant, sparkly cards die-cut in unique shapes Top: Beautiful collaged - great for children. wildlife from artist High quality giftwrap and accessories for all Dawn Maciocia. Above: The funny side seasons and occasions at fab prices. of country life in These super soft toys still sell amazingly well. Tottering By Gently from Peartree Loved by adults and children alike. Heybridge. These pretty gin glasses have been selling like hot cakes! Fingers crossed the gin craze continues!

Gina Pittendreigh, owner of Radstudio, Saltaire, Bradford A small design-led shop in a World Heritage village with a local locals and tourists customer base. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range

Comments

Everyday

The Printed Peanut

General

Cute

Card Nest

Animal Kingdom

Humour

Hole In My Pocket

Pen Drawings

Handmade/ Hand-Finished

Petra Boase

Iron On Patch

Contemporary

Alison Hardcastle

Tatty Devine

Children's

Rifle Paper Co

General

Giftwrap

Lagom

Cozy Tomato Alphabet

Ancillary

Ark

Boob/Willy Keyrings

Saltaire is known for cats so a beautiful cat card is always a winner and these works so well as a card, and they’re a slightly larger size making them great cards to frame! I love The Printed Peanut cats so much I even have one on a t-shirt! The styling of this range is beautiful, with cute characters but in more of a contemporary way. Sloths are always cute but this publisher’s design is particularly sweet… it’s the sleepy smiling face. A great pick up for children to give to parents. I love a simple humour card; the ‘When You Grow Up’ design always makes me have a little giggle. It’s one that I point out regularly for a difficult male purchase! Fun, super bright and a beautifully embroidered colourful patch to add to your clothing… what’s not to love! A hit with kids and fun adults alike, these guys never stay on the shelves for long. This was always going to be an awesome collection, pairing Alison’s bold graphics and colour blocking with Tatty Devine's amazing style into one brilliant card collection. There’s a quality, timeless feel to many of this publisher’s designs, making them really quite special. The ‘Dino-mite’ dino card, with its foil detailing, any child would love! My most popular wrap! A lot of wrap tends to be bought as a double up for posters and this one is a definitely a favourite adorning many children’s bedrooms. These keyrings are such a great talking point in the shop and have been an absolute hit with just about everyone!

Above right: The ‘When You Grow Up’ design from Hole in My Pocket. Right: The Printed Peanut’s infamous cat design.

PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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Illustrated Cards To Make You Smile!

De & M signe ad d e Th e U In K

Compostable Biodegradable Recycleable Packaging

NEW Card and Giftwrap Ranges Launching at PG LIVE STAND 228 Contact Jo For Downloadable Catalogue. www.joclarkdesign.co.uk contact@joclarkdesign.co.uk 07886193734 * Eden Projects Reforestation Partnership Planting 10 Trees For Each Carriage Paid Order!

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

Brand New

Below: Sometimes having a successful well-known brand can be like placing all your eggs in one basket. Below left: Counting Stars is a sister brand to Five Dollar Shake but it has a more contemporary feel.

Jeremy Corner, owner of greeting card publisher Blue Eyed Sun and distributor of BambooCup, considers branding. One of the great things about building a successful brand that is known for a specific specialty is that you have focus. Buyers know what you are and what you stand for, as do you. The flip side of this is that you can feel like you have all of your eggs in one basket. That’s fine if the basket is still relevant and it’s what people want. If the world changes and this becomes less true, or if there are opportunities in other areas of your industry that are growing faster, it can be hard to shift how you are perceived in the mind of the purchasers of your products.

Sub brands It’s always more expensive and time consuming running multiple brands, so you have to consider your options carefully when taking the plunge. Our friends along the south coast, Five Dollar Shake, have diversified with their sub brand Counting Stars, for example. Like the original brand the cards are still handmade and well captioned, so why bother with a sub brand? A sub brand can mitigate cannibalisation and erosion of your current core offering. You don’t just want your customers simply dropping one range for

another. It also allows you to take risks and try new things. When you have a core look, and feel that your brand is known for it, it is hard to try new things without the new label. When people buy Blue Eyed Sun cards they have certain expectations. Despite creating new and different cards that we love, we have occasionally found that customer and market expectations of our brand have been a stumbling block to success. One has the feeling that if a different publisher had published some of our more 'different’ products they may probably have fared better in the marketplace. What buyers want from your new products is something that they recognise as key to the brand and yet different enough from last season for it to still feel fresh. It’s a challenge when you constantly want to evolve and grow as a publisher. You have to recognise what is unique to you and be able to tailor that signature into your offering whilst still being able to play with new ideas.

Brand legacy I recently visited the Christian Dior exhibition at the V&A and was fascinated by how the brand had managed to maintain its essence of elegant femininity despite the changing times, a range of global influences and six different creative directors each having their own interpretations of Dior. Having survived earlier financial disaster, Dior established the fashion house

in 1946. He ran it for 11 short years before his untimely death, after which point his 21year old assistant Yves Saint Laurent took over. How on earth the company failed to fail is quite remarkable, and undoubtedly down to the fortuitous hiring of the young designer who later went on to create his own global brand. As you cast your eye over the range of garments and products on display in the V&A exhibition, including the outlandish, colourful, flamboyant creations of John Galliano, there is still something holding the brand together in its look and feel. Perhaps it is elements like the pinched waists that accentuate the curvaceous female form, a delight in fabrics and materials, or even the garden influences that extend beyond flowers to the feel of petals and butterflies. Its inspirations are global and yet there remains a timeless femininity to the Dior brand. I’m obsessed with how to create diversity within a clearly defined brand at the moment, mainly because I feel an urge to try lots of new things. I’m also acutely aware of how this can confuse customers and may cause a brand to lose its way.

Challenging changes Sometimes you can be so well-known for something that it is almost impossible to move on from it. Take Smythson for PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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JEREMY’S JOURNAL Left: Stunning dresses at the V&A’s Christian Dior exhibition. Below: Blue-Eyed Sun’s new Doodle Girl Christmas range. Below right: Cross pollination of products can open new doors. Bottom: Beautiful Smythson stationery.

instance, arguably one of the most established and well-regarded stationery brands in the world. The craftsmanship in some of the company’s creations is outstanding. Its ornate and intricately printed greeting cards can retail for up to £30 each. It has been producing invitations for the world’s most illustrious gatherings since 1887. Interestingly, despite its attempts at new and innovative offerings, its top sellers are still the classic invites customers were ordering 60 years ago. Nevertheless, Smythson is a premium stationery brand adored by the rich and famous. Owned by an Italian leather goods manufacturer, Smythson has also diversified into fashion accessories like handbags and briefcases. So far so good, you have a nice Smythson diary, custom printed letterhead, business cards, diary, etc. Why wouldn’t you buy a bag from them? Its bags look pretty classy too, and yet a Smythson bag is nowhere near as coveted by consumers as the likes of Burberry and Louis Vuitton bags. A brand lives in the mind of the consumer and retailer. It is an idea that exists outside of the logo and is signified by trademarks and design elements. It is not always successfully controlled by its owner and it can be tricky to shift the perception of how people see it. People know and love Smythson for stationery, but not for its bags? Not so much.

Brand authenticity There’s an element of natural authenticity that needs to be built into any brand’s extension into new territory. For Christian Dior, 116

PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

he knew from the start that he could include accessories, and even perfumes would be part of what Dior was. With Smythson the diversification into bags doesn’t feel as natural, even though it kind of makes sense. Perhaps it’s because the personality of someone who loves stationery is slightly different from that of someone who adores fashion. Ultimately, for any brand to succeed in diversification one needs to know its customers deeply and appeal to them in a consistent and authentic way. Most importantly the change needs to make sense and focus on the customer’s needs above all else. It’s interesting to watch the abundance of new sub brands springing up within the card industry. Really Good led the way with Soul, Paperlink has Meraki, Woodmansterne has The Proper Mail Company, Brainbox

consuming for larger companies to maintain authenticity in their sub brands.

Brand licensing I expect to see more partnerships and licensing deals between larger businesses and smaller publishers as the latter realise the uphill struggle ahead of them and the business acumen and capital required to compete in a marketplace that has never been more competitive. At PG Live we are excited to be launching Doodle Girl, a new range of handfinished cards featuring a licensed character that has appeared in two successful children’s books published by Simon & Schuster. The cards are printed on FSC

board and use biodegradable glitter. We also have more exciting collaborations in the pipeline that I’m looking forward to sharing with you soon.

Brand risks

Candy has Unknown Ink, even Hallmark has been playing with launches that have the look and feel of smaller companies. I see this as a new form of consolidation in the greeting card marketplace as larger businesses with stronger sales, marketing, operations and distribution attempt to fill the gaps normally filled by smaller startups. This is hard for newbies to compete with. It’s also costly and time

Over the last year I have been mindful of the danger to Blue Eyed Sun’s greeting card brand of diversifying into giftware products like BambooCup. My business instincts have born fruit though and the move couldn’t have happened at a better time for our business. Sales have flourished and the cross pollination of product categories is opening new doors to retailers that might not have looked at our cards previously, as well as adding value to those that already love our cards and our great customer service. Our next step is to evolve the look and feel of our greeting card product line to sit more naturally with our giftware products. I also want to establish our new values and brand position in the mind of our retailers and consumers. I’m excited by this challenge. Next year Blue Eyed Sun will turn twenty. I can’t tell you how profoundly grateful I am that our customers still find our brand relevant after all this time. Read more on Jeremy’s blog at www.blueeyedsun.co.uk/blog


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Warren Lomax

020 7700 6740 or email warren@max-publishing.co.uk or contact

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Warren Lomax

020 7700 6740 Abacus Cards Limited t: 01638 569050 e: info@abacuscards.co.uk w: www.abacuscards.co.uk

or email warren@max-publishing.co.uk or contact

Tracey Arnaud

07957 212 062

or email traceya@max-publishing.co.uk

01565 830 546 | bexyboo.co.uk @BexyBooLtd

BexyBooLtd

@BexyBooLtd

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Warren Lomax 020 7700 6740 or email

warren@max-publishing.co.uk or contact

One of the UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading suppliers of Greeting Cards since 19995

Tracey Arnaud 07957 212 062 or email

traceya@max-publishing.co.uk

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

Publishers of quality blank greeting cards

Brands Include: Down Memory Lane, W Wo ot A Mug and T Tw wist & Shout

Tel: 0115 929 4776 enquiries@bugart.co.uk

Methods of Sale: Direct to retail

Order Online

Desiggners welcome contact beverley@cherryorchardpublishing.co.uk

www.bugart.co.uk

Unit 10 Duddage Business Park Brockeridge Rd Twyning Tewkesbury GL20 6BY 01684 295500 info@cherryorchardpublishing.co.uk www.cherryorchardpublishing.co.uk

To appear in the Product Directories contact

Warren Lomax 020 7700 6740 or email

warren@max-publishing.co.uk or contact

Tracey Arnaud 07957 212 062 or email

traceya@max-publishing.co.uk

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Caspari Ltd

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Linden House, John Dane Player Court

Unit 1, 45 Morrish Road London SW2 4EE Tel: 0208 671 2166 Fax: 0208 678 1119 info@cathtatecards.com

118

PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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

WAY

THE AND TRUTH THE

made with great imagination

LIFE

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

East Street, Safffrron W Waalden Essex, CB10 1LR Teel: 01799 513010 T Faax: 01799 513101 F Email: inffoo@caspari.co.uk ww ww w.CaspariOnline.com

@thecuriousinksmith

01892 838 574

sales@thecuriousinksmith.co.uk Polissh Po h

Te T el: 0161 16 64 41 06 0655 Email: m sales@da sales@d avora.co.uk av 135 Hea 13 135 eaton Moorr Rd | Stockp ock kpo port ort SK4 4H 4 4HY HY


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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.

0127 74 4 655980 sales@glick.co.uk www.glick.co.uk www.draenog.com Glick, Unit 1 Allenby House, European Ind. Park, Knowles Lane, Bradford BD4 9AB

07815 153 582

agents wanted

@glickgiftwrap TM

AR RT TISTS CARDS

GRASS ROOTS

INTERNATIONAL

glebecottage.co.uk 01626 369269

G RASS R OOTS INTERNATIONAL A U.K owned Greeting Cards Publisher. Our everyday ranges for all occasions and relations include traditional, contemporary, cute, humour and photographic designs. We also have a full range of Christmas and Spring Seasons. All products are designed and printed in the U.K on the finest quality board.

BRANDS “Write from the Heart” brand includes; Corsage, Sentiments, Champagne, Celebrations and Jelly Beans.

M ETHOD OF SALE

Esta ab blished 1993

• UK Market leaders with humour, art, photographic, contemporary and traditional occasions & relations cards, plus seasonal.

Direct to Retail

G RASS R OOTS INTERNATIONAL Units 4 - 4A Valentines Buildin g Ra cec our se Bus in ess Par k Aintr ee, Liver poo l, L9 5 AL Tel: 0151 52 3 9600 Fax : 015 1 523 494 9 e-m ail: s ales@ writefr om th ehear t.co.uk

from the

• 2΍HULQJDIXOOSODQQLQJVHUYLFH with merchandising and retail development opportunities. • Specialists in garden centres and the independent trade.

Find The Great British Card Company on: High Quality Greeting Cards, Gift Bags, Gift Wrap & Ta Tags for every occasion.

SUPPLIER

*GCF1HƂEG +353 (0)404 20528 Email info@garlanna.com www.garlanna.com

www.greatbritishcards.co.uk Waterwells Drive, Gloucester GL2 2PH Tel: 01452 888970

PHOTOGRAPHY glebecottage.co.uk 01626 369269 Estaab blished 1993 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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60 years

CHARITY GREETING CARDS

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

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

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

Te T el 01235 465489 Fax 01235 532118 www.listanpublications.co.uk sales@listanpublications.co.uk

New designs at

www.idrewthis.co.uk

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

Hue tribe

www.huetribe.com t: +44(0) 7943416562 e: info@huetribe.com facebook: www.facebook.com/huetribedesign

CPNFTFFPVSOFXJMMVTUSBUJPOTPO45"/%41 BU1(-*7& % OFF ALL SHOW ORDERS

WWW.LOTTIE-MURPHY.COM LOTTIE@LOTTIE-MURPHY.COM INSTAGRAM @LOTTIEMURPHYDESIGNS

AGENTS WANTED PG LIVE 19 SPRINGBOARD 766

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WIDE RANGE OF PRODUCTS

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Marina B Designs from me to you with love

UK

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

+

LING DESIGN

Love Country by Sarah Reilly

Tel: 07735 918118

www.lingdesign.co.uk

01892 838 574 information@lingdesign.co.uk

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

Great brands, Great service Bespoke planning

www.marinab.co.uk marina@marinab.co.uk Agents wanted

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

sarah@lovecountryuk.co.uk www.lovecountryuk.co.uk

Silk Screened Retro, Pop & Classic Cards Inspired by Music and 1960â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s American Advertising.For all Vinyl & Rock nâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Roll lovers

 L E T U S TA K E YOU BAC K 

@NoelTattGroup 01227 811 600 sales@noeltatt.co.uk www.noeltatt.co.uk

For further details please get in touch.

info@vincentmcevoy.com

+44 (0)7779 578340

AG E N T S WA N T E D :

LING DESIGN

    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

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 enquiries@lingdesign.co.uk www.lingdesign.co.uk

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.

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 ww.nigelquiney.com om

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Warren Lomax

020 7700 6740 Design-led Stationery, Gifts, Calendars, Diaries and Cards

originalposter.com

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.

or email warren@max-publishing.co.uk or contact

Tracey Arnaud

07957 212 062

or email traceya@max-publishing.co.uk

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: sales@porticodesigns.com website: www.porticodesigns.com

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 Design, Beautiful Cardss Key brands include Marzipan, Portobello, Mosaic, Daisy Patch, Aquarupella and Designers Guild, plus many more. Tel: +44 (0)115 986 0115 Email: info@paperrose.co.uk www.paperrose.co.uk www.artgroupcards.co.uk PaperRoseCards TheArtGroupCards The_Art_Group

Greeting cards & gifts designed with awesomeness in mind

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

LUXURY GIFT PACKAGING

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Warren Lomax

020 7700 6740 356 Kennington Rd London SE11 4LD T 020 7582 8244 info@paperlink.co.uk k www.paperlink.co.uk Paperlinkcards

122

@ @paperlinkcards

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or email warren@max-publishing.co.uk or contact

ICONIC LICENCED BRANDS

01892 838 574 www.pennykennedy.co.uk

Tracey Arnaud

purpletreedesigns.co.uk info@purpletreedesigns.co.uk

or email traceya@max-publishing.co.uk

SPRINGBOARD 792

07957 212 062

VISIT US AT PG LIVE


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

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6 Heron Trading Estate Alliance Road, Park Royal, London W3 0RA T: 0208 385 4474 F: 0208 385 4471 E: info@Xpressyourselfcards.co.uk

LING DESIGN

WWW.XXPRESSYOURSELFCARDS.CO.UK

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 enquiries@lingdesign.co.uk www.lingdesign.co.uk

To appear in the Product Directories contact

Warren Lomax

020 7700 6740 t. 07779 654 694 e. info@ruby-tuesday.co.uk www.ruby-tuesday.co.uk

or email warren@max-publishing.co.uk or contact

Tracey Arnaud

07957 212 062

raspber r yblossom.com

or email traceya@max-publishing.co.uk

hello@raspberryblossom.com 020 3723 5405

Products: Greetings Cards, Gift Wrap, Gift Bags, Social Stationery, Mugs and Glasses, Partyware

Brands:

PG LIVE 2019 Springboard 758

Card Essentials Designer Collection Greetings Impressions Inspirations In Touch ,VDEHO·V*DUGHQ Planet Happy With You In Mind

AGENTS WANTED

PG LIVE STAND 146

Method of sale: Wholesale Distributors

Simon Elvin Limited

greeting cards & contempoRary gifts www.redbackcards.com e: info@redbackcards.com t: 01752 830482

Wooburn Industrial Park, Wooburn Green, Bucks HP10 0PE Tel: 01628 526711 Fax: 01628 531483 www.simonelvin.com mail@simonelvin.com

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warren@max-publishing.co.uk or contact

Tracey Arnaud 07957 212 062 or email

DIRECT TO RETAIL & EXPORT

traceya@max-publishing.co.uk

The UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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 enquiries@talkingpics.co.uk www.talking-pictures.co.uk

2@= 29KL= M<K

TEL: 01480 435562 FAX: 01480 450599 www.tracksltd.com

Just food and their friends....

UNIT 2, 12 BLACKSTONE RD, STUKELEY MEADOWS IND EST,

view by rufus

HUNTINGDON, CAMBS, PE29 6EF

designed in thames ditton

7RPFDW&DUGV escapegoat To appear in the Product Directories simply contact

Warren Lomax on:

020 7700 6740

or email on warren@max-publishing.co.uk or contact

5=N= ?GF= ?J==F All greeting cards printed with vegetable inks on recycled boards/envelopes, including biodegradable packaging...

www.the-taste-buds.co.uk info@the-taste-buds.co.uk 07906 367 663

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PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

Tracey Arnaud on:

07957 212 062

www.tomcat.cards info@tomcat.cards

or email on tarnaud@btinternet.com

topdog@view by rufus.com 020 8972 9706

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


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EUROPEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S LEADING GREETINGS CARDS, PARTY PRODUCTS, GIFTS, CANDLES, TOYS, STATIONERY AND FLORIST SUNDRIES DISTRIBUTION CENTRE 75000 SQ FT

Verse

& 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

www.cbgtrader.co.uk or call our customer services team on

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 www.greetingshouse.co.uk info@greetingshouse.co.uk MON,WED,FRI 8.00am-4.45pm TUES,THURS 8.00am-7.45pm SAT,SUN 8.00am-1.45pm

Call Now 075 7700 1145 www.zaquarella.co.uk info@ zaquarella.com

+44(0)1243 792600

To appear in the Product Directories simply contact

Warren Lomax: 020 7700 6740 warren@max-publishing.co.uk or contact

Tracey Arnaud: 07957 212 062 tarnaud@btinternet.com PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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Polypropylene & biodegradable bag specialists

GREETING CARD

Over 40 years quality service to the trade Hotfoiling also available

T 01206 396209 E sales@badgerconverters.co.uk www.badgerconverters.co.uk

GIVE E YOUR

BAGS

Manuffacturers of high quality fllexible packaging 30 YEARS EXPERIENCE - QUA UALITTY Y SERVICE EXTENSIVE STOCK RANGE - QUICK DE ELIVERY ASSURED

- HEADER BAGS - WA WALLET BAGS - ZIPPER BAGS - FLEXOGRAPHIC, HOTFOIL & THEERMAL PRINTING www.transrappackagin ng.co.uk sales@transrap.co o.uk

V VIP

CALL US TODA AY

TREA AT A TMENT

01773 5378 810

HIGH CLARITY L TY Y BA AGS FOR R GREETING G ET T NG CARD DS, CALEND EN N ARS ARS AND AND D ARTW TWORK WORK

ENVELOPES

ŏŏđŏ   ŏ  FOIL L BL B OCKING NG G EXTE XTENSIVE NSIV VE RA V R RANG ANGE OF S ST TOCK SIZES SIZ ZES AND BES AND BES E PO OKE KE MANUF KE MANU UF FACTU TUR TURE T U E AT TED D WRAPPING SERVICE NEW AUTOMA

FOR ALL YOUR ENVELOPE NEEDS! Largest range of in-stock colours Over 400 Bespoke Envelope Sizes

CALL CA CAL C LL US ST TO ODAY OD

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

8 Sizes Permanently in Stock RECYCLED

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

ORDER ON LINE AT: www.regentenvelopes.com 01274 583000 sales@regentenvelopes.com

We’ve been producing p bags of high clarity and high quality q for over 30 years. 01274 220 220 www w.wrapid.co.uk sales@wrapid.co.uk

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ENVELOPES

FLITTERING FOR ALL YOUR FLITTER REQUIREMENTS

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

Contact DAVID JIGGINS Tel: 01245 400104 Email: david@abl-ltd.co.uk

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PRINTERS

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 info@hellocards.co.uk www.hellocards.co.uk

PRINTERS

AND NOW FO OR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT... .

Our innovative greeting gs card finishes include: The simplest way to order your greetings cards

Thermography Foil Intense Glitter Snowraise Liquid q M Metal Blended Glitter Embossing Textured Foil Laser Cutting

Powered by

ask about our ‘Mrr Abbot’ sample pack

To discuss your nextt greetings card range call us on 01797 223355 www.abbotprint.co.uk bb i k sales@abbotprint.co.uk l bb i k

Unit 8, Archers Park, Branbridges Road, East Peckham, Kent TN12 5HP www.theimagingcentre.co.uk Email: info@theimagingcentre.co.uk Tel: 01622 871449

we print

we finish

we pack

we deliver

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PRINTERS

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 / derek@sherwood-press.com or The Sherwood Group Head Office Hong Kong Office: 13/F, Kam Chung Commercial Building, 19-21 Hennessy Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong

www w..sherwoodgroupuk.com

000510

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: sales@pj-print.co.uk Tel: 020 8993 5160 www.pj-print.co.uk 128

PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

To discuss how we can worrk together, contact Richard Bacon: Tel 0115 928 7766 Email ric chard.bacon@sherwoodgroupuk.com

www.sherwoodgroupuk.com Hadden Court, Glaisdale e Parkway, Glaisdale Drive West, Nottin ngham NG8 4GP


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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

THE SPECIALIST GREE ETINGS CARD PRINTE ER Litho Print

Die-cutting

Digital Print

Flittering

Foiling

Packing

Embossing

Distribution

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

www.herbertwalkers.co.u uk

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

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

THE RIGH HT PARTNER

FOR ALL YOUR MANUFACTURING REQUIREMENTS

Glitt i Glittering

** ** ** **

Offset ff t Printing P i ti

Sh Show R Room

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 eb.com.hk Website: www.veb.com m.hk PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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WAREHOUSING & DISTRIBUTION

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DISPLAY AND SPINNERS Tel: 01929 550085 Email: sales@westminsterwire.com Web: www.westminsterwire.com

Home of the Wire Spinner Stand

The Wire Spinner is proven to be the most cost effective method to display and enhance products. We also offer sheet metal, wood, acrylic and cardboard solutions or a combination of materials.

To appear in the Classified pages simply contact

Warren Lomax 020 7700 6740

Same day order turna around Accurate fulfilment Value added only as you sell the product

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

or email on warren@max-publishing.co.uk

Exclusively Greeting Cards Dedicated Account Managers With an excellent reputation we work as an integral part of yourr team bringing QYGLQSVIXLERJYPǻPQIRX4YVGSWXMRKWXVYGXYVIMWWMQTPIERHXVERWTEVIRX ;I ; IGEVV]SYXEPPEWTIGXWSJLERHǻRMWLMRKERHEWWIQFP]ERHTVSZMHI[LEXIZIV EHHMXMSREPWIVZMGIW]SYRIIH4YVWIPIGXXIEQSJSYX[SVOIVWGEVIJYPP]LERH [VETER]WM^ISVJSVQEXSJGEVHWYVKIRXP]4ZIVRMKLX ;I ; IGEVIEFSYX]SYVTVSHYGXEWQYGLEW]SYHS&XXIRXMSRXSHIXEMP6(.WWYIW ERH.8WYTTSVXIHF]EGSQTVILIRWMZITETIV XVEMPJS T JSVEPPWXSGOQSZIQIRXWEVISYV LEPPQEVOW4YVGERHSETTVSEGLQIERWW[IEVILETT]XSWSPZI]SYVTVSFPIQW 4YXWSYVGMRK]SYV[EVILSYWMRKSTIVEXMSRVIPIEWIW]SYVXMQIXS CREA AT TE/MARKET/SELL/ MANAGE/ /GROW THE BUSINESS

News, Editorial and Content Opportunities:

[LEXSYVGYWXSQIVWWE]XLIRXSǻRHSYX S QSVIGEPPLy Lynda

From the team behind Progressive Greetings Worldwide, PG Live, The Retas and The Henries, PGBuzz.net has launched as the new online central resource for the greeting card sector online...

Raymond ERHTIVLETW[IGEREVVERKIXSQIIXERH

Twice weekly newsflash delivered to over 9000 inboxes

Regularly updated jobs-board

LB Warehousing

The very latest news, views, articles and analysis

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Digital issues of Progressive Greetings Worldwide

Dedicated pages for the GCA and The Ladder Club

Warren Lomax warren@max-publishing.co.uk

Up to date information on PG Live, The Retas, and The Henries

Tracey Arnaud traceya@max-publishing.co.uk

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HMWGYWW]SYVRIIHW.EQWYVIXLEX[IGER G LIPT

Jakki Brown Joint md & editorial director jakkib@max-publishing.co.uk Michelle Board News editor michelleb@max-publishing.co.uk

Advertising, Recruitment and Sponsorship Opportunities:

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

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DEVELOPMENT’ SALES AGENTS WANTED Words ‘n’ Wishes a leading verse & sentiment publisher also distributing exclusively Danilo, the No 1 in licensed character greetings cards, plus Quitting Hollywood specialist humour requires additional ‘Development’ Sales Agents to add to our extensive team of agents for the following areas: QNorfolk, Suffolk, Cambs & Essex area QSouth-East – Kent, Surrey, East & West Sussex We are looking for any sales agents that wish to carry a broad portfolio of successful product ranges supported by excellent service into New Accounts that we do not currently supply and then develop them as yours on-going. We offer 20% commission rates plus bonus commission based on achievement levels.

If you are interested for further information, please contact: Alison Traynor: 01942 233201 or send your C.V to alison@words-n-wishes.co.uk

Card works

CONVERT Y EXCESS ST OUR OCKS TO CASH TODA Y!

EXCESS GREETING CARD STOCKS? WE OFFER A PROFESSIONAL CLEARANCE SERVICE FOR EXCESS & REDUNDANT STOCKS OF GREETING CARDS, WRAPPING PAPER, GIFTS & ALLIED PRODUCTS O GUARANTEED OFFER WITHIN 24 HOURS O WE COLLECT O PROMPT PAYMENT O UNFINISHED PRODUCTION CONSIDERED O MOST TRANSACTIONS COMPLETED WITHIN 7 DAYS O FULLY CONFIDENTIAL O 40 YEARS EXPERIENCE

SEND SAM PLES AND STOC K QUANTITIE S TODAY!

CARDWORKS CLEARANCE SERVICES

92 Station Road, Willingham, Cambridge CB24 5HG

Email: cardworkstrading@btconnect.com Tel: 01954 260728 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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w w w. p i g m e n t p ro d u c t i o n s . c o m For sales info contact 01423 520098 V I S I T U S O N S TA N D 3 1 3

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Progressive Greetings June 2019  

Progressive Greetings June 2019