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On The Cards The most famous person in the world is doing her bit for the greeting card industry and no mistake! The Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations started on April 21 (Her Majesty’s actual birthday), but the festivities will continue for the rest of the year. She will be showered with thousands upon thousands of birthday cards containing specially handwritten messages from members of the public, businesses, dignitaries and of course her own friends and family members. It is yet another reminder to those of us in the industry just how engrained greeting card sending is to mark everyday events as well as those very special occasions. Every day for the last month a myriad of packages have been arriving at PG’s offices from publishers, retailers and those in the trade, each containing specially created and hand-signed birthday cards for the Queen. These will form a centerpiece of a display feature at PG Live (May 10-11) that we are creating in conjunction with the GCA. In addition, other cards will be made available for visitors to sign with their own messages. Together with my lovely colleagues Sharon Little, ceo of the GCA, Gale Astley and Warren Lomax we will share the collective responsibility of delivering this very important ‘postbag’ to Buckingham Palace. What is even better is that the Queen does return the favour everyone who includes their name and address inside a card will apparently receive a reply. (Anyone who has not yet sent a card that they would like included, please feel free to send it to me at the PG offices by May 6). And, Her Majesty does not shirk on her Christmas card sending. As BBC’s Songs of Praise presenter Pam Rhodes told viewers at the start of the April 17 episode, the Queen sends 1,000 Christmas

The Retas 2016 Finalists Revealed pages 27-29 Above: Songs of Praise presenter Pam Rhodes (second left) and cameraman Mark Warbuton (centre) and sound recordist Carl Madert with GCA's Sharon Little (far left) and PG's Jakki Brown at the filming of the programme at the V&A. Left: Visitors to this year's PG Live will be given special Tatty Teddy lanyards. CBG's Julia Andrews with PG's Warren Lomax. Below left: Cards Galore's Tricia Corner (left) and Rumit Shah with PG's Jakki Brown (see pages 89-91)

cards. The reason for this snippet was that, in addition to marking Queen Elizabeth’s birthday, the programme was also launching a significant Design a Christmas card competition for Children in Need (see pages 104-105). It will be great if the ‘congregation at large’ really get behind this design competition as if successful it will become an annual event. And talking of annual events and congregations, there is not long now until the industry’s biggest gathering - PG Live on Tuesday 10 May and Wednesday 11 May (at London’s Business Design Centre). This year the exhibition will see more publishers than ever before (over 250) showcase their stunning new designs - and (barring a few exceptions on the humour front) they are fit for a Queen! See you there!



From baby to toddler to starting school


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


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With This Issue:

What’s Inside



101 11-25





Face To Face

The Weft And Weave


Showcasing some of the new card launches at PG Live 2016.

The Retas Rollcall

Heritage Art & Design, a brand new greeting card publishing collaboration.


The Retas 2016 Finalists

Springboard Focus – PG Live 2016



Show & Tell

Behind The Scenes

Over The Counter

A ‘class’ of newbie card publishers in Springboard at PG Live tell their story into cards.

Hallelujah! PG and the GCA join Songs of Praise at the V&A museum for a special filming.



Jeremy’s Journal

Art Source

Standard Practice Blue Eyed-Sun’s Jeremy Corner discusses the perils of standardisation

A ‘picture’ of a number of the artists exhibiting in the Artists’ Quarter at PG Live this year.



In Conversation With… Cards Galore

What’s Hot?

You’re A Hard Habit To Break... Independent card and gift retailer, David Robertson, co-owner of JP Pozzi in Scotland, talks about getting into the habit.

32-33 Cardsharp

The Curate’s Egg! Cardsharp muses over topical events happening in the industry.

35-39 International Report

Around The World In 25 Years Robin Littman, founder of Your Export Manager, reveals some of his greeting card travels over the years.


City Slickers PG goes urban with Cards Galore’s director Rumit Shah and buyer Tricia Corner.

93-95 Viewpoints

Is There More To Be Had? PG asks is there potential growth for the UK greeting card industry?

115-117 Lynn’s Lines

One Step Forward Two Steps Back! 118-131



PG Live 2016

Pieces Of Eight The nuts and bolts of the PG Live greeting card trade show.

Industry Insights

Map Reading Carte Blanche’s research into consumer greeting card purchasing behaviour.

Above: Shark wit on a card from Redback’s Wulffmorgenthaler range.

Progressive Greetings is a monthly business magazine. SUBSCRIPTIONS: UK subscription: One year £50 Two year £85 Three year £110 Overseas subscription: One year £75 Jakki Brown

Warren Lomax

Gale Astley


Advertisement Director

Deputy Editor




SUBSCRIPTIONS ENQUIRES: maxsubscriptions@marketingreinforcements.co.uk Tel: 020 8943 9541

PG is the official magazine for the Greeting Card Association GCA: Sharon Little 020 7619 0396 Email: gca@max-publishing.co.uk www.greetingcardassociation.org.uk Use your smartphone app to scan the QR code to visit our website.

Copyright© 2016. 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.



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Raffi Our new character ‘Raffi’ the Giraffe has arrived and we are very excited to announce the launch! The new range consists of cute children’s age cards with a variety of titles and finishes including bold embossing with bright foiling and striking flitter. We have lots of adventures planned for Raffi so it’s set to get interesting! Check out Raffi & stay up to date with us by visiting www.icgcards.com or following us on social media @icgcards

To a special

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Exposure Silver Edition designed by icon order online: www.icon-art.com telephone: 01242 679800 / email: info@icon-art.com / PG Live: stand 208

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The Final Countdown PG Live Prepares To Welcome The World As PG went to press, over 250 greeting card publishers were putting the finishing touches to thousands and thousands of new card designs; retailers and card buyers up and down the country were flicking through the PG Live Preview in anticipation and overseas distributors were planning their trips to London. “It is wonderful to think that in a few days time, the world of greeting cards will come together at PG Live,” stated Warren Lomax, show director of PG Live, which takes place Tuesday 10 May and Wednesday 11 May at London’s Business Design Centre. “This will be the 8th PG Live and we have had more support than ever before this year from publishers, retailers and overseas distributors, all of whom are passionate about what really is a celebration of greeting cards. It’s where Below: Lots of retailers will be turning up at this year’s PG Live with their Golden and Silver Tickets in their hands. Last year Carlisle’s Celebrations’ (second left) Tania and (second right) Sonia Haandrikman spent their ticket with Paperlink’s (left) Louise Tighe and Bill Greeno

Below: PG Live will be opening its doors this month.

business meets pleasure,” adds Warren. Summing up the attractions of PG Live for retailers, Rumit Shah, director of Cards Galore (which comprises 58 stores) said: “Everyone loves PG Live! The fact that it is dedicated to greeting cards means it is such an enjoyable show to visit - and it is crammed full of new stuff!” In addition to the wealth of new companies, ranges and show promotions, the PG Live hospitality will once again be in full flow – from the free tea and coffee, lunch and Opening Night Party (with the luncheon room and party this year being sponsored by Carte Blanche in celebration of Me to You’s 21st birthday). To register go to: www.progressivegreetingslive.com (See pages 41-45 for more information about the show and pages 47-83 for some of the products on offer.)

● There will be more partying at PG Live this year! For the first time ever at the show Pioneer Europe, among the exhibitors at this year’s PG Live, will be holding balloon demonstrations. The demos will be on two main themes: 'How to make the most of milestone birthdays at Above: Qualatex will be staging balloon demonstrations at PG Live. retail' and 'Bringing Disney partyware to life with Qualatex balloons'. ● To get PG Live up, up and away, exhibitor Creative Party will be trailblazing what it claims is a real “first” in the UK, bringing balloons to life through augmented reality technology. Though Balloons Alive, a new augmented reality (AR) foil balloon app, imagery on the front of the balloon comes to life. "The fun happens once you’ve downloaded the app and pointed your mobile device at the balloon’s image," explains Holly Forder, product and marketing manager. “ Above: Creative Party’s Balloons Alive uses augmented reality technology. Below: There will be three new ranges from Cinnamon Aitch launching at PG Live.

Sympathy Card With Extras! A lady who bought a Sympathy card after the death of her uncle from Card Factory in Chineham in Hampshire received a very pleasant surprise. Jeannie Healey was stunned when she found a £10 and a note inside the first card she bought. A handwritten note inside said ‘Sorry you are having to look for a sympathy card. Have a coffee and bite on me. Pay it forward one day. Much love X’. Basingstoke-based Jeannie was astonished on opening the card. She originally thought someone was playing a prank on her. She has been quoted in several newspapers (including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Metro) as saying: “It was quite an emotional moment. Nobody expects to open a card in a shop and find that. I did tell the young chap on the till and he couldn’t believe it.” Jeannie told the newspapers that she will now donate the £10 to a charity. Left: The handwritten note inside the sympathy card.

Trotting Along Nicely Deckled Edge is galloping forth on several counts. Firstly, at PG Live the company will be debuting two extensive, equestrian-themed greeting card ranges - Colour Block Pony and Fanciful Dolomite. And the new, handillustrated designs will also feature on coasters, place mats, art prints and boxed card sets. The company has also launched a new trade website www.decklededge.co.uk. "This is the first time Deckled Edge has a professional website showcasing the breadth of my work," comments founder Janna Consettini. Right: An equestrian design from Deckled Edge.

● Cinnamon Aitch has the ‘key to the door’ and is kicking off the celebrations a bit early at PG Live. Although the company's actual 21st anniversary date falls in September, director Sarah Danby says: "Coming back to PG Live after a two year absence is a celebration in itself! And we’ve been busy preparing three brand new card range launches for the show - Woodblock, Simply Tags and Veneer." ● Ros Jones, the owner of greeting and gift shop Celtic Company in Welshpool, has teamed up with a childhood friend Vivien Thomas to venture into Above: A personalised card publishing. Alff a Bet Welsh wedding card in launches at PG Live (in the Artists’ the Alff a Bet range. Quarter) with a range of Welsh language cards. The Alff a Bet range showcases Vivien's intricate pen and ink artwork with letters, numbers and icons that are relevant to blank, age and occasions titles.



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Honoured! Queen's Award For Blue Eyed Sun In a significant fillip for the whole industry, greeting card publisher Blue Eyed Sun has been awarded a hugely prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise in International Trade this year. The award, presented in recognition of the Brighton-based company’s exceptional export growth in the last three years, was conferred on April 21, the Queen's 90th birthday. Blue Eyed Sun's owners, Jo and Jeremy Corner, have been invited to HM The Queen's Reception at Buckingham Palace in July along with other Queen's Award winners. "It’s an honour to be flying the flag for greeting cards, especially in a year when the Queen celebrates her 90th birthday and who will certainly be receiving many thousands of cards as part of her celebrations. It's also great for the card industry and creative businesses as a whole as it shows that we can contribute to the economy and brand Britain too," says md Jeremy Corner and PG columnist. He confirms that the export side of Blue Eyed Sun has grown massively in the last

Musical Beats

four years and now represents over 20% of the company's annual turnover and is continuing to grow. "Our goal has been to add three countries per year and we've exceeded that by getting at least four per annum. Our cards now sell in Europe, USA, Asia, Africa, Australasia and the Middle East," he confirms. It is believed that this is only the second time in the past 25 years that a greeting card publisher has won the award - the first being Second Nature over two decades ago.

Robert Newman, co-owner of wholesale distributor Rupert Magnus, has published a card range with musician Brian Travers of reggae band UB40 which features Brian's original artwork. "I've been a UB40 fan for most of my life," Robert told PG. "My business partner Saad Qidwa became friends with Brian Travers and I've got to know him over the past couple of years. He's a prolific abstract artist and sells his original pieces privately but hasn't really exploited it further as he's been busy with music.” A dedicated Brain Travers Art website goes live at the end of April, but the range can also be bought via Rupert Magnus on e: info@rupertmagnus.co.uk. Above: UB40's Brian Travers whose artwork now appears on greeting cards.

Above: Jo and Jeremy Corner, co-owners of Blue Eyed Sun. Above left: Blue Eyed Sun will be able to use the Queen’s Award for Export accreditation for the next five years.

A Majestic Array The greeting card industry looks set to wish the Queen a very happy 90th birthday in the way it knows best – with a special array of birthday cards! In conjunction with the GCA, PG and PG Live have joined forces to create a display of specially created and written 90th birthday cards for the Queen at PG Live. “So many publishers and retailers have already submitted their special cards, but there is still time to send more in – but don’t forget to sign them and include your name and address so you’re in with a chance for a reply from Buckingham Palace,” said Sharon Little, ceo of the GCA. Above: Among the wonderful cards These cards will be put on display in the area just that have been created for the Queen outside the luncheon room on the Gallery Level at PG Live. In addition, is this one from Wishing Well Studios. visitors to the show will have the opportunity of writing a card to the Queen that will be included in the ‘bumper postbag’ that will be delivered to Buckingham Palace shortly after the show. While it was the Queen’s actual birthday on April 21, the celebrations are continuing throughout the whole of the year.

Sea-ing Is Believing In a momentous day for young cadet Sea Ranger Tegan Luscombe from SRS Churchill in Brixham, Devon, the 12 year-old attended Buckingham Palace on April 18 to present a card she designed for the Sea Ranger Association to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday. Tegan's winning design featured images of Sea Rangers taking part in activities such as sailing, camping and canoeing, with a central image showing a photograph of the Queen in her Sea Ranger uniform in the 1940s. The competition entries were shortlisted by Sea Ranger Association Trustees and a winner was chosen by Moonpig’s licensing director SarahJane Porter. Moonpig printed the winning card design. In addition to the Queen, her sister Princess Margaret was also invested as a Sea Ranger in the 1940s.

Ohh Deer’s Clever Idea The ever innovative Ohh Deer gang have come up with a novel idea to further grow its business by engaging directly with fans of its products. It has recently launched The Papergang, a monthly subscription to receive a stationery box that is packed with greeting cards, notebooks, prints and desk accessories. Each month, for a cost of £9.95 (+ shipping) a box of products, designed with an artist and a theme will be sent to the subscriber. Ohh Deer promises there will never be a repeat box. “Since stationery is now where we make our money we were keen to roll out an affordable subscription for papery goodness," explain Ohh Deer coowners Jamie Mitchell and Mark Callaby. "We've put out one month so far, which sold out, and currently we've had coverage from the likes of fashion and lifestyle blog Zoella. We're really excited about where we can take it!” Almost all products will be exclusive to The Papergang for a time before it goes on sale elsewhere. Above: The contents of the first ever Ohh Deer's Papergang box, that sold out.

Right: Guaranteed to bring back happy memories for the Queen, Tegan with her winning card design at Buckingham Palace.











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A Very Happy Easter Cracking Sales For Retailers The Easter Bunny hopped out big time this year, with many retailers reporting a surprise leap upwards of trade sales related to the third Spring Seasons event. Despite its early date, Easter cards really took off big time in March, with greeting card shops and departments up and down the country selling out. In a cracking article in The Times written by Andrew Ellson, some impressive statistics were highlighted. These included that sales of Easter cards were up by 50% at John Lewis, with bunting and wreaths also up by a third. The high street giant also confirmed that Easter related product sales have grown by 99% over the past five years. "This is the first year we have had Easter pop-up shops in all our stores,"

Below: A spring design from Art Angels by Angela Harding.

spokesperson Laura Askew told The Times. "This is the biggest peak for this category after Christmas." At Poundland sales rocketed too, with the value multiple revealing it sold some 750,000 Easter cards, while Hobbycraft confirmed that its stores sold out of handmade Easter card kits.

Signs Of The Times Heard the one about the Victorians and their dodgy choice of Easter card designs? BBC News Online went to great lengths recently to flag up how many Easter cards in the Victorian age, that were, to say the least, less than religious with plenty of surreal and un-PC humour. Journalist Bethan Bell celebrated the diversity of the subject matter and tone, with the Victorians able to send a card for the price of a halfpenny stamp. Commented Bethan: "They loved to send greeting cards at the drop of a hat and Easter was as good an excuse as any." Above: Do you get the yoke?

Views On The News So how did indies do? ● Becky Abbiss, owner of With Love, Oakwood, Leeds: “We sold out of Easter cards for the first time in six years! We offered 24 different artwork styles of Easter packs and 60 different Easter singles designs. Religious packs were the first to go, but they were quickly caught up by sales of the colourful eggs and bunny designs. We sold lots of decorative elements too such as chicks, bumblebees and rabbit hanging ornaments. And we have a chocolate cabinet too, which was very popular. We felt that the Easter holidays have lasted longer this year – about four weeks – due to schools in different catchment areas having their holidays at different times. Easter is definitely a growing occasion!” ● “Easter is a strong season for us," commented Carol Stephens, partner of Felicitations, Shepperton. "This is a growing area and we are continually being asked for more captioned Easter cards. For us it's the religious and traditional Easter designs that sell best, but the cute ones still have their place. We found that designs from Ling, Cherry Orchard and IC&G went particularly well, with Easter card packs still very popular. We always do an Easter shop window with a decorated Easter tree, bunnies and balloons.” ● Also confirming a successful Easter was Claire Wagstaff, owner of Reflections, Wimborne. “Easter has been really good for us this year," she enthused. "We stock a varied and vast amount of Christian cards and customers know to come to us to find Easter cards with religious imagery and words. Easter designs with the Bible, crosses, church imagery, packs of Easter cards - customers just can’t get enough of them. There are about 27 churches in the surrounding area, but I feel the main reason Easter cards are so popular in the shop is that Easter cards are a favourite with the older generation that live in our location.” ● However, Shirley Dixon, owner of Number 18, Duns, Berwickshire, in the Scottish Borders said that the children always have their school Easter holidays in the first two weeks in April, “so with Easter falling early this year in March the occasion didn't really get off the ground.”

Card Expansion At Oliver Bonas With 54 stores and counting, lifestyle retailer Oliver Bonas is expanding its retail remit – and putting greater emphasis on greeting cards. In addition to its latest branches in London's Holborn, St Albans and Leeds, the retailer has plans to open more shops in the North of England. With cards continuing to perform well, the multiple (which won the Retas 2015 award for Best Non-Specialist Multiple of Greeting Cards) is developing new wall fixtures for the company's newer stores. "We are opening bigger stores so therefore we will have the wall space to do this," confirms greeting card buyer Hannah Tait. Right: Oliver Bonas’ new St Albans store.

A Smart Move Leading greeting card printer Windles has moved to a £5m state of the art, purposebuilt new factory, which breaks new ground on its environmental credentials. The £9 million turnover business, which employs 88 staff, has seen steady annual growth of around 5%. The company, which was founded in 1986 by managing director Bruce Podmore, specialises in manufacturing and printing of greeting cards, point of display and packaging materials, and has a particular expertise in cold foil printing, a process which it pioneered and is now used by many greeting card publishers. “Bringing everything under one roof has generated operational time savings and improved quality control and communication throughout the business," says marketing manager Michelle Mills. "It’s also enabled us to be in an environmentally impressive and sustainable building.” The new factory in Thame, Oxfordshire, just a couple of miles from Windles’ previousr location, has increased capacity from 26,000 sq ft to 45,000 sq ft, enabling future growth. Above: Michelle Mills of Windles with Steve Cox of Lloyds Bank Commercial banking at Windles Group in Thame, Oxfordshire.



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An exceptional buying experience for exceptional results An inspiring array of new product launches and retail insight, all set in a uniquely social atmosphere.

Find it all first at Home & Gift. Register now at homeandgift.co.uk/pgh Giftware | Jewellery & Fashion | Interiors & Accessories | Greetings & Stationery

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BBC’s Praise Indeed Programme Launches National Card Competition For Children In Need Millions will remember when Blue Peter launched a design a Christmas stamp competition. Now another BBC stalwart programme is channelling the nation’s creative talents, this time in the direction of Christmas cards. In what may become an annual event, BBC’s Songs of Praise has launched a Design a Christmas Card competition as part of the Children in Need charity fundraising campaign. The competition, which was unveiled on the April 17 programme, is encouraging entries (of 2D designs) to be submitted that capture the ‘essence of Christmas’. The closing date is May 23. Ten winners will be selected and these will be printed as cards in packs and go on sale in September in aid of Children in Need. Adding historical context (as well as inspiration for budding artists to enter the competition), the GCA’s Sharon Little appeared on the programme with Songs of Praise presenter Pam Rhodes. The filming took place at the V&A museum, a doubly appropriate venue, not only due to its vast collection of historical Christmas cards, but also as Sir Henry Cole (the inventor of the Christmas card) was the first director of the museum. PG’s editor Jakki Brown, who owns one of the few remaining ‘Henry Cole’ original Christmas cards, was only too pleased to allow her

Great Swansong Results

card to be featured on the Sunday afternoon programme. “I can’t see any sign of baby Jesus here,” said Pam Rhodes, looking at the card. “You’re right,” responded Sharon “But it is a triptych and the Christian values of helping the needy are represented on either side of the central image which shows the family altogether around the Christmas table,” she added. When Pam Rhodes was asked whether she would be entering the competition, she told PG it was unlikely: “I can’t draw for toffee - so I don’t think anyone would want to buy a card designed by me. I do so appreciate the imagination of people with artistic skill who can create beautiful cards for the rest of us – and I can’t wait to see the entries when they come in. Most of all, I hope people of all backgrounds and ages will have fun taking part in the competition. It’s all in aid of Children in Need which means our amateur artists can have fun and support a great cause too!” (see pages 104-105 for the Behind the Scenes story). Above: The GCA’s Sharon Little (right) with Songs of Praise’s presenter Pam Rhodes being filmed at the V&A to launch the Children in Need competition.

By George! Abacus’ Lucky Dip Stacks Up Here’s your chance to get that little bit closer to George Clooney (through his coffee machine of choice, Nespresso - what else?) as part of Abacus’ 25th anniversary celebrations! To mark its publishing milestone, the company is running a lucky dip prize draw on Stand 300 at PG Live. Every customer placing an order for Abacus and/or Clare Maddicott cards at the show will be eligible to delves into a lucky dip of prizes. There will be four silver anniversary ticket prizes up for grabs, with any customer pulling a silver ticket from the draw having the opportunity to win a Nespresso coffee maker (as advertised by George Clooney), a Fitbit, a case of mixed wine or a Nutribullet. Other prizes include £50 off the next order voucher, free delivery off the next two orders, 25% off the next order voucher and wine. Among the new products on show will include a brand new BBC Countryfile range of cards, plus it will also be unveiling its 2017 Spring Seasons collection. Left: You too could be the owner of a Nespresso coffee machine and feel that bit closer George Clooney and Jack Black who promote them! Above: One of the new Countryfile designs from Abacus.

Card Factory’s outgoing ceo, Richard Hayes is leaving the value retailer on a high note as he embraces early retirement from the company in June. The company’s pre-tax profits for the year ended January 31 almost doubled on the previous year to over £83.7m. “We have continued to expand our store portfolio and grow our market share, and our complementary online sales channels are progressing very well," states Richard on the announcement of the preliminary results. "We have maintained our industry-leading margins and believe that we are better placed than most to manage the increased cost pressures that our sector is facing." He went on to state that he felt “fortunate” to have had the opportunity to lead Card Factory through “an exciting period of growth and change”. Card Factory opened 50 new stores in the 12 month period, trading from 814 stores at the year end, with further new store opportunities are cited for the coming year. Karen Hubbard is to take over the ceo role from Richard Hayes from June. (See Cardsharp pages 32-33). Above: Card Factory is on course to open more stores.

Three Little Pigs It seems that Mike Brown of Miko Greetings, exhibiting at PG Live, is a man of many talents. Among the myriad of wellknown advertising characters he has created are the Nat West pigs. Explains Mik: "I have done the Above: The Nat West pigs political cartoon in the were the brainchild of Mike Evening Standard. I have Brown of Miko Greetings. created oodles of greeting card designs for many publishers here and abroad. I've worked in a circus across Northern Italy travelling in a railway wagon with a baby elephant and three horses, crewed on a millionaire’s yacht in the Mediterranean and been an art director for an animation company in Australia!" Who knew? PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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NEWS Guess What?


Simplicity Itself The Imaging Centre Speeds Things Up Leading digital printer for the greeting card industry, The Imaging Centre, is breaking new ground in, what Adam Short, sales manager claims as “changing the way the industry gets new designs to market.” As part of the company’s £1.5 million investment in its facilities, PG Live marks the official launch of Simplicity, The Imaging Centre’s new web-to-print ordering process. This new software enables card publishers to order directly from a mobile phone, tablet or laptop, thereby cutting the time from order to delivery, plus have sales information at their fingertips. The launch comes after a period of thorough testing, working closely with some notable card publishers to iron out any teething problems. These trials have proved that it has been possible to cut lead times by half. “In the last 12 months we have dealt with over 1,500 publishers and printed more than 8 million cards,” reveals Adam. “Our challenge has been to enable our customer

to offer a more on demand service to their customers.” Simplicity will eliminate many of what Adam describes as “mundane jobs” for publishers. “It reduces delivery times and stock levels as it provides an online on demand print service, plus, it will also measure accurately sales of individual products and will also offer the facility of gathering marketing information” he adds. Above: The Imaging Centre’s presses have been very busy in preparation for PG Live. In addition to the thousands of card samples, it has also kindly produced the Golden Tickets and Silver Tickets for The Retas 2015 winners and finalists (with the board supplied by GF Smith). Left: All ears for Simplicity. (Left-right) Jessica Short of The Imaging Centre explains it all to Mabel Forsyth (Pink Pig), Jill White (Rocket 68) and Eloise Hall (Eloise Hall).

Newbie publisher Paperclip Penguin, who is exhibiting on Stand 724 in the Springboard section of PG Live, will be encouraging visitors to its stand with an old-school guessing game. Jess Neal - who dreamt up the brand at work while spinning a paperclip around with a Biro and realising its resemblance to a penguin - will be offering visitors to PG Live the chance to get 10% off any orders placed at the show simply by Above: A Paperclip Penguin guessing exactly how greeting card design. many paperclips there are in a jar.

Walking For Charity The annual Cardgains Charity Challenge takes place on June 23 in the Peak District, with the buying group’s 20 mile walk raising funds for The Rainbow Trust children's charity. "June 23 is a historic day for Europe as it's Referendum Day, so let's make our event extra special this year on this very special day and have a great turnout," states Cardgains' joint md Chris Dyson. "Over the last 18 years we have raised £225,000 so let's see what we can do in 2016."

No Excuse Needed

Puns Of Fun Greeting cards, once a hobby for sisters Cat and Liz Faulkner, recently turned into a fully fledged business - Jelly Armchair - with PG Live being its first ever trade show. There will be interactive competitions run on the stand throughout the show, with prizes including illustrated tote bags. Games will include 'guess the pun'. Cat, who describes herself as “a dedicated doodler”, completed an illustration degree at the University of Brighton, while Liz, who has a degree in double bass playing, started a bakery/confectionery business trading on London street markets. "We ended up working together cooking and trading on the markets with Cat beginning to sell her cards alongside the confections," explains Liz. The cards feature puns of Cat's own devising, as well as illustrated versions of genuine dad jokes, supplied by the girls' father. "It soon became obvious that the cards were outselling the cakes and sweets, with less washing up to boot!" quips Liz. "Around this time, a certain small green avocado doodle of Cat's went viral which was the push we needed to get Jelly Armchair started." Above: Jelly Armchair's popular green avocado design. Left: Liz and Cat, founders of Jelly Armchair.

New greeting card and calendar publisher Need A Holiday?, is exhibiting at this year’s PG Live to officially launch its wall calendars and greeting cards that celebrate some of the wacky, lesser-known holidays celebrated across the world. Cards span a variety of themes, including: food holidays (eg Popcorn Day and Cream Tea Day); activity holidays (eg Tell An Old Joke Day and Miniature Golf Day); inspiring days (eg Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day and Say Something Nice Day); Silly days (e.g. Talk Like A Pirate Day and Answer The Phone Like Buddy The Elf Day) and friendship days (eg Best Friends Day and Send A Card To A Friend Day). Visitors to Stand 658 will be able to get free carriage on orders placed at the show (over £100), collect a party bag (subject to availability) and enter a competition. Above: A card from Need A Holiday?



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Terrific Trevillion A Goal From Dry Red Press Dry Red Press has scored a great goal - and will have an artistic superstar on its stand at PG Live! The art card publisher is launching an exclusive collection of football cards by the legendary sports artist Paul Trevillion - known as The Master of Movement - who will also be making a personal appearance at PG Live, where the collection will debut. Among Trevillion's many credits, over a career that spans over 60 years, is his art for the Roy of the Rovers magazine. Currently he is best known for You Are The Ref, which appears every Sunday in the Observer. Dry Red Press’ Trevillion Collection will comprise two elements, six designs being taken from his You Are The Ref artwork and the other six are line drawings of some of the biggest names in football. “Trevillion has drawn these exclusively for Dry Red Press along with an extra design of the recently deceased footballing legend Johan Cruyff, famous for his iconic Cruyff Turn," confirmed Dry Red Press’ Laura MacDonald, But Paul Trevillion’s connections with icons goes far wider. In 1955, Paul (now 81),

Below: Dry Red Press' You Are The Ref's Leonardo of Line range; Cruyff (top), Rooney (middle) and the famous Churchill portrait.

drew a portrait of Sir Winston Churchill at the age of 21. "This portrait is the only one ever signed by Churchill because it is the only portrait he ever liked!" adds Laura. On May 3, the original portrait is being unveiled to the public for the first time at the National Football Museum where the artist will be telling his story and signing the Churchill greeting cards, also published by Dry Red Press. The launch of the new football card range will coincide with a 12 week Trevillion exhibition and the launch of the first Football Walk of Fame at the National Football Museum in Manchester, whose president is Sir Bobby Charlton. (Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Trevor Brooking are among the vice -presidents). Trevillion's art will be used on all the plaques and will be a permanent attraction at the Museum along with an exhibition of his You are the Ref art. The greeting cards will be sold in the Museum shop on a permanent basis.

Putting Pen(dant) To Paper In addition to being used by a host of greeting card publishers, Fedrigoni UK’s papers have been put to inventive use by designer Pia Wustenburg of Utopia and Utility, resulting in a limited edition collection of striking jewellery. As part of the collaboration, 30 of the limited edition paper pendants, created by Pia and made from Fedrigoni paper are being given away to lucky retailers and publishers at PG Live 2016. Worth £60 each, the design idea was developed during Pia's RCA studies, combining paper craft using traditional wood making techniques which are then hand-sculpted into unique patterned pebbles using Fedrigoni Paper. Ten of these pendants will be presented to Retas and Greats winners and finalists who attend the pre-lunch drinks reception on the Tuesday May 10. A further 20 necklaces will be offered as part of a prize draw to PG Live exhibitors. To have the chance to win one of these stunning necklaces, publishers should visit Fedrigoni on Stand 542. Above: Examples of 30 pendants (made from Fedrigoni paper) being given away at PG Live. Left: Pia Wustenburg in her studio.

● Showing, once again, the fun side of the greeting card industry, after a day watching cricket, Australian card distributor and publisher John Simson (co-owner of Simson Cards), recently had what he describes "the dubious honour" of presenting Clive Fields, coowner of greeting card publisher Tracks, with the Greeting Card Ashes. The Greeting Card Ashes contained 50 Tracks cards burned and laid to rest inside a Gordon’s London gin bottle, and 50 Simson cards burnt and likewise laid to rest inside a bottle of Oz’s Bundy rum. Above: John Simson and Clive Fields are shown outside Fitzroy’s Standard Hotel, a landmark just around the corner from John's design studio in Melbourne, made famous by English cricket broadcaster David Bumble Lloyd who said this was the best pub in the world.

● PG Live marks the launch of the 2016 Action Medical Research Christmas cards packs that are co-ordinated by Lynn Tait (of the Lynn Tait Gallery). Nine different publishers have each donated a design. These are: Wrendale Designs, Trumper’s World, Goldfinch Designs, Jessica Hoggarth Designs, Lola Designs, Happy Nut Designs, Paper Salad, Ryland Studios and Georgia Breeze. The production costs are being covered by The Sherwood Group, GF Smith, Enveco and The Imaging Centre. All monies received will go direct to the charity. Above: Jessica Hoggarth Designs has donated a design.

● The Strawberry Card Company’s new website www.wholesale.thestrawberrycardcompany.co.uk has launched featuring a 20% discount until June 1. ● Going in feet first with a quirky promo, first time PG Live exhibitor, Roy Lowe & Son will be offering a sock swap on its stand! To promote its colourful, Roy's Boys odd sock ranges visitors can experience first hand (foot!) the wonders of its dotty/stripy/patterned socks by trading in the socks they are wearing for a pair of the brand's colourful funky designs. Above: Roy's Boys socks are up for grabs on Lowe's stand.

● It seems that greeting card reps like a bit of pampering, not to mention a chocolate bar or two! When Paperlink's Ian Harwood won the Rep of the Year award, he received an impressive trophy, a monetary bonus, a relaxation day at a spa - to include a mashed potato foot massage (!) - and a year's supply of Mars bars! Above: Bill Greeno, sales & marketing director for Paperlink, is shown presenting Ian Harwood, the company's Rep of the Year.





see us at

33 TITLED/OPEN Designs


Boxed card with attachments

10-11th May Stand 503



For further details, please contact your Representative or our friendly Customer Service Team Tel: 0151 541 0448 E-mail: sales@writefromtheheart.co.uk Web: www.writefromtheheart.co.uk

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Going Good To Flat

Below: No further planned rollout of WHS’ Card Market stores.

WHSmith’s Best Performance For Years WHSmith’s high street shops delivered what its group chief executive Stephen Clarke describes as its “best performance for many years” in the group’s recently announced interim results, which cover the six months to February 29. The WHS high street shops achieved flat like-for-like sales, an improvement on the dips of previous trading periods. Stephen cited “a very strong performance of seasonal products over the key five week Christmas period” which includes Christmas cards as having contributed to its turn of fortune: “We drove good year on year growth in boxed and single Christmas cards, wrap, diaries and decorations,” he said, though adult colouring books were also singled out as a sales saviour. Funkypigeon.com, he said, had “performed well over the key seasons delivering good profit, with extended gifting ranges. We continue to see good

From Little Seeds

growth in our volume of traffic and, following further investment in the website and apps, we saw increased conversion particularly for mobile devices.” Commenting about its 30 Card Market value stores, he revealed that “Sales are still building with performance varying by store. Although the stores traded well over the Christmas period, with good like-for-like sales growth, we would require additional significant sales build to justify a further rollout.” (see Cardsharp pages 32-33)

Sound Bytes From The Seventies Platform shoes, Farah Fawcett’s hairdo, David Cassidy posters on bedroom walls, singing along to Dancing Queen and falling in love with John Travolta on Saturday Night Fever, what do these have in common with leading greeting card printer The Below: The invite to Sherwood’s 70s themed celebratory party. Sherwood Group? The 1970s! The Nottingham-based print group is embracing its 40th birthday with celebrations to celebrate its milestone kicking off at PG Live. Following immediately after the PG Live Opening Day Party, The Sherwood Group is throwing a '70s themed party for its customers to celebrate 40 years of business in a nearby venue. In addition, a 40th birthday party for all of Sherwood’s staff is also being planned to take place in Nottingham in June. Looking back at how The Sherwood Group has progressed since the early days when it was started by his parents, Jeremy Bacon, ceo said: “Sherwood today is a far cry from the business founders Maurice and Barbara Bacon started in June 1976 with a 1,000 sqft room and a second hand press. Today, the wider Group has a turnover of £28m and employs 350 staff on two continents. The values of the business are the same - striving to be the best in the markets we serve." The company entered the greeting card market in 1991 printing Christmas cards for the Royal Household, the charity sector and publishers. By 1997, Sherwood was producing up to a million cards a day, and in 1996 it was awarded Printweek Prism Greeting Card Printer of the Year. Today, greeting card printing constitutes 50% of the business alongside the production of packaging and point of sale.

The Epitome Of 'Cool' The very latest trends, thousands of cutting edge gift products, 500 brands and an impressive line up of speakers will all feature at Pulse (London's Olympia from May 15-17). The Pulse Unseen element gives visitors the opportunity to see a myriad of brand new products. Other show highlights include ShopTalk, Secret Emporium, Found, UAL (University of Arts London at Pulse), Custom Trail, Christmas Trail and New Product Trail. There will be four product sectors: Fashion, Living, Launchpad and Expert Pick. Key trends highlighted by fashion trend consultant Claire Foster and trend agency Unique Style Platform (USP) include Maximalist (a mix of creativity and craft), Modernist (clean and balanced), Coastal Simplicity (eclectic and rustic) and Memphis (a retro interpretation of '80s Memphis) which has been identified. Among the ShopTalk speakers include Liz Sylvester, head of visual identity at Liberty of London, Joa Studholme, international colour consultant for Farrow & Ball, Laura Mullins, buyer and merchandise manager for the Imperial War Museum and Sally Benelow, product director of notonthehighstreet.com.

An adult colouring book, involving a team that ranged across all departments at Hallmark's head office, saw the company crowned the winners of the Yorkshire and Humberside region Million Makers challenge in aid of the Prince's Trust. This was a second, consecutive triumph for the company. The brainstorming began last September, with the team creating an adult colouring book named Don’t Judge a Book by its Colours. Centred on the uplifting, positive ethos of The Prince’s Trust, it featured quotes that included 'live laugh love' and 'you're kind of magical', designed by Hallmark creatives into exclusive, motivational pages for people to colour, frame and share. Challenged with the task of turning a £1,500 seed fund from The Prince’s Trust into at least a £10,000 profit, the colouring book reached a total of over £14,000, adding to the national total raised of £1.15 million. Top: (Left to right): Hallmark's Million Makers Steve Burnett, Louise Sherwood, Emma Roberts, Emily Arrowsmith, Faye Atkins, Craig Malcolm, James Normington and Chelsie Setterington. Above: The winning adult colouring book from the Hallmark team.

Trending With Sarah Among the seminars at the National Stationery Show in New York (NSS), taking place from May 15-18 at the Javits Center, will be one that reveals the hot, new market trends and what is driving them, along with advice on what visitors should be looking for when they're sourcing at the NSS. The first 100 attendees will also receive a free gift. In addition, for the third consecutive year, the show will feature #fresh, a juried section of trending and emerging businesses, showcased within their own creative community on the show floor. #fresh comprises around 100 companies that have been in business for less than five years. Elsewhere, organisers Emerald Expositions highlights a strong resurgence in consumer passion for stationery and creative lifestyle products, from journals and cards, to prints and photographs. Registered attendees are being invited to celebrate a new stationery era by entering the #StationeryMovement Giveaway which runs until May 14. Over 20 prize packages are up for grabs. Visit: www.nationalstationeryshow.com



Something New




See u s at

Stand 301

endorsed product

endorsed product

Type by Chester

Exquisite Crack me up

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F 01227 811601

E sales@noeltatt.co.uk

W www.noeltatt.co.uk

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The Retas Rollcall

The Retas 2016


The UK’s greeting card retail galaxy comprises many bright sparkling stars The Retas 2016 Awards honour these. These dedicated annual awards recognise and reward greeting card retailers right across the spectrum for their activities in the last year. This year The Retas Awards will take on a lavish 'the moon and the stars' themed ball event at The Dorchester Hotel in London on Wednesday July 13, when this year’s winners will be unveiled. Here are the official finalists of The Retas 2016.Introduction Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer London (inside the M25)

Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer Wales and the Midlands

● ● ● ●

● ● ● ● ● ●

Cherry Cards - Upminster Etc - Islington Greetings - Dulwich Rhymes With Orange and New Frames Marylebone and Soho ● Snap - Bow ● Supersales - Belvedere

Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer Home Counties ● Creased Cards - Brighton ● Darwins - Olney and Northampton ● The Gorgeous Gift and Card Company -

Biggleswade ● Paddock Wood Cards - Paddock Wood ● Quirk - Brighton ● Really Fab Cards - Eton

Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer East Anglia ● Cards R Us - South Woodham Ferrers ● Hallmark - Woodbridge ● Just Cards and Abigail’s - Norwich, Sheringham

and Dereham ● The Osokosi Gallery - Holt ● Sincerely Yours - Shenfield ● Spots - Southwold

Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer South West ● ● ● ● ● ●

Cilla & Camilla - Bridport and Beaminster Country House Gift Company - Winscombe Jane Armour Trading - Taunton Lorelei - Truro Romantica - Bristol Saltash Cards - Saltash

Celtic Cards & Gifts - Welshpool Crown Cards - Matlock and Rowsley Daisy Daisy - Cardiff Doodlebug - Cwbran Halls - Llandaff The Tutbury Present Company - Tutbury

Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer North and Northern Ireland ● ● ● ● ● ●

Butterfly Kisses - Harrogate Cool Cards and Gifts - Skipton Design@Six - Wetherby Greetings of Haxby - York Hallmark Reflections - Nantwich and Rugeley Love Letters - Hull

Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer Scotland ● ● ● ● ● ●

Best Wishes - Ellon Cloudy Blue - Aberdeen Papyrus - Edinburgh and Glasgow Polka Dot - Dumfries Present Boutique - Edinburgh Quirky Coo - Dundee

Best Greeting Card Retailer Newcomer Or New Branch - South ● ● ● ● ● ●

The Card Shop - Portishead Card Stop - Bletchley Castle Card Gallery - Chepstow Hallmark Celebrate - Chigwell Memories - Twickenham Sweet Autumn - Buckingham

Best Greeting Card Retailer Newcomer or New Branch - North ● Best Wishes - Lower Gornal ● Cariad Cards & Gifts - Denbigh PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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The Retas Rollcall

l l l l

Forget Me Not - Crosshills Joy! - Heswall Little Paperie - Ashbourne Occasions - Thirsk

The Retas 2016 Finalists

Best Independent Bookstore Retailer of Greeting Cards l l l l l l

Barnes Bookshop - Barnes, Kew and East Sheen Gerrards Cross Bookshop - Gerrards Cross Holman’s Bookshop - Whitby One Tree Books - Petersfield Review - Peckham Walkers - Oakham and Stamford

l l l l l

National Trust - 200+ stores nationwide Oliver Bonas - 54 stores nationwide Poundland - 700+ stores nationwide Waterstones - 280 stores nationwide WH Smiths - 600+ stores nationwide

Best Specialist Multiple Retailer of Greeting Cards (20+ stores) l l l l l l

Card Factory Cards Galore Cardzone Clintons Paperchase Scribbler

Best - Non Specialist Independent Retailer of Greeting Cards - North

Best Garden Centre Retailer of Greeting Cards

l l l l l l

l l l l l l

Armadillo - Kings Heath Boroughbridge Post Office - Boroughbridge Dalesway Gallery - Ilkley Gallery 339 - Halifax Ivad Gifts - Paisley Marmalade Meringue - Hinckley

Best Non-Specialist Independent Retailer of Greeting Cards - South l l l l l l

AG Flowers - Nunhead 1st Stop Stationers - Reigate Hatch End Post Office - Hatch End The Loft - Teddington Natsons - Barnes Utility - London and Liverpool

Beckworth Emporium - Mears Ashby British Garden Centres - 10 branches nationwide Garsons - Esher Klondyke/Strikes - 24 branches nationwide Longacres - Bagshot Webbs Of Wychbold - Droitwich Spa

Best Greeting Card Retailer Initiative (for a specific project or initiative undertaken by a retailer to promote card sales) l Dragonfly Cards & Gifts, Knaresborough - for its

10th Anniversary campaign l Early Bird, Stoke Newington, London - for its

Thinking of you Week activity l House of Cards, Home Counties - for its charity

fundraising for Child Autism UK

Best Greeting Card Small Multiple (4-20 stores)

l Mantons, Isle of Man - for its Small Business

l Bentleys - 4 stores in the Midlands l Between The Lines - 12 stores in the south-east l Hallmark Thorntons/K&Q Trading - 8 stores

l Paperchase - for its On The Cards initiative l Postmark, three shops in London - for its

Saturday initiative

in Scotland l Maythers - seven stores in the south l Occasions Cards & Gifts/M&P Cards - 16 stores

nationwide l Smart Ideas - 8 stores in the Midlands

Best Department Store Retailer of Greeting Cards l l l l l l

Bentalls - Kingston Bratts - Norwich Browns - York Fenwick - Brent Cross Fortnum & Mason - London Liberty - London

Best Supermarket Retailer of Greeting Cards l l l l l l

Asda Booths Morrisons Sainsbury’s Tesco Waitrose

Millionth Customer celebrations

Best Greeting Card Service Based Wholesaler l l l l l l

Archway Cards - Norwich Budget Greeting Cards - seven branches nationwide CAPS - Bury Crosswear Trading - Enfield Greetings House - Walsall Paul White - Leeds and Manchester

Greeting Card Retail Employee of the Year l Monica Bagley, manager of CGX Accessories,

Piccadilly, London l Emma Cole, manager of Postmark, Balham l Pat Green, assistant of Hallmark Celebrate, Chigwell l Matthew Anderson, manager of 1st Stop

Stationers, Reigate l Shelly Frost, sales assistant of Country House Gift

Company, Winscombe l Emily Huntbatch, assistant manager of The Wishing

Tree, Codsall l Gillian Jack, area manager of Hallmark Thorntons,

Dumbarton store

Best Non-Specialist Multiple Retailer of Greeting Cards (4+ stores)

l Vicki Waltuo, sales assistant of Calliope Gifts, Dorking

l Marks & Spencer - 852 stores nationwide PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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Over The Counter

You’re A Hard Habit To Break Left: Wise words to heed from Aristotle. Below: Get up bright and early to meet the day – a card from The Strawberry Card Company.

Independent card and gift retailer, David Robertson, co-owner of JP Pozzi in Scotland, discusses getting into certain business habits. Brexit - Don’t know enough about it to make an informed decision? National Living Wage - huge financial implication. Workplace Pensions - dealt with it and not as bad as first feared. Cut in Business Rates - when will it come? Will it be soon enough? Can I even benefit from it? Cut in Corporation Tax to 18% in 2020 (less than half the rate in America), but will it really make a huge difference to smaller businesses like mine? Increased pressure on my customers’ cash flow, as well as job uncertainty and changes to their personal circumstances. Joy/freedom of being my own boss. These aforementioned thoughts have been swirling around my head, along with many more over the last few months, and in some cases, years. Invariably, when you bump into fellow retailers the first thing you ask is “How are things?” Now, depending on who it is you either receive the obligatory answer of “fine”, a bit like when you ask kids how they got on at school that day, or, some may give you a sliver of truth and admit things are tough. I can’t remember the last time someone said to me “everything is fantastic and we have no issues”. At the moment bricks and mortar retail business seems to be challenging. And, with another 8% rise in online sales in December 2015, and the increasing efficiency of the specialist online retailers and couriers, it will continue to be challenging. Business and being in business, whether it is as a retailer of one store, part of a group or whether you are on the other side of the fence and are designing, selling or manufacturing, I feel, has never been more difficult. 30


The high streets are changing, but maybe not fast enough to make a difference. The no frills, low cost value retailers continue to advance, and even the supermarket behemoths are having to change to retain market share and profitability. For the first time the number of businesses starting up is fewer than those that are closing, and the great dream of being your own boss and making your own money (notice I didn’t say ‘making a fortune’) is perhaps not as appealing as it once was. Research carried out for the British commercial insurer RSA showed that more than half of new businesses didn’t survive past five years. The key reasons cited were: the UK tax system; lack of banks lending support; cost of running a business; too much red tape and new legislation as well as late payments/cash flow problems. None of these reasons are a surprise to me, yet with every government and every passing year things are made more difficult. I believe, for example, The National Living Wage is an issue

that was intended to deflect from many other problems in the country. The principle of pay people more so they have more to spend is fine in theory, but every business I know is now looking at how to make sure the amount of hours staff work is controlled rigidly. They are also looking at job vacancies and looking to manage without replacing staff. This, of course, has all kinds of problems, from a decline in service to an increase in stress levels for the business owner, but quite simply when it comes to staff you cannot over commit. “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” - Aristotle This quote may seem a little high brow, but the actual words are true. By cultivating and carrying out good habits you can in effect make your business work and survive. Again I pick the word ‘survive’ deliberately, but how do you learn good habits? Interestingly, in the last few weeks I have been mentoring as part of the High School Enterprise Scheme. What was fascinating was that these young people (all girls I might add) had a clear plan and worked through that plan, adapting it as and when needed. They had established excellent habits because they didn’t know any better and realised they simply had to be organised. So organisation is perhaps the key habit, but what else should we be doing? I broke my habits down - as thinking about my/your day to day operations is another excellent way to find out what and how you are achieving.

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Over The Counter

Get A Head Start

especially in the clothing sector, is particularly good at. They want to know about your experience as it is the little things that can help them to gain an advantage. Build strong relationships with suppliers and agents. I have a select group that I speak to regularly. It is important, but it also needs to be mutually beneficial so you may need to open up a little.

I start my business day every morning at around 5.30 am, mixing physical work in some of my stores with other tasks, such as checking emails, planning/ defining the day ahead and basically getting myself to a point where I am ready to tackle issues head on.

Focus On The Important First With social media, emails, people/customers, phone calls, it is easy to get distracted from the key tasks. So, prioritise your day and try to tackle certain things first. Mentally this is important as if you can get through the most difficult part of your day early you can really start to gain traction with many of your other tasks at hand.

Obsess Over Detail Don’t focus solely on the customer - look at all aspects of what you do. Look at the products, the process, your communication, service, content, connection and context. This sounds daunting, but really it means look at what you are offering. What is your product? Is it different? How is it displayed? How do your staff tell customers about it? These are just some of the questions you should ask yourself every day. If you are a retailer walk into your shop in a different way - move things around. Do some mystery shopping. Look at what others do. Challenge yourself constantly.

Share Your Knowledge And Your Passion Above: Molly Mae creates some wonderful card captions. Below left: Remember to rest and reset. A card from Medici Cards’ English Heritage range (GBCC). Below right: Chicago sang ‘You’re a Hard Habit to Break’.

also make sure that I continue to train three times a week minimum, as I need ‘the reset’ that the physical exercise gives me. I must admit that when I do spend proper time and get a decent amount of sleep that my productivity is better - or at least I hope and think it is.

Plug Those Holes Another great habit is to keep looking for the weaknesses. Again I think of this like boxing, to be successful you need to fill the gaps that are left in your opponents’ defence and this is what you do in business. Look for the areas that you need to improve in your business. Then actively do something about it. So, if you don’t understand your books spend time with your accountant and learn. If you don’t know your Molly Maes from your Bexy Boos start investigating! Identifying areas that need to be developed is not a negative thing, it is empowering, as you can strive to make yourself better.

Passion is infectious and I always find that people like it when you tell them things. They like you to break down why, how and what you are doing. Simple things like explaining why you ordered from a certain card company will maybe light the fire in your staff as to which type of customers those cards are aimed at. They can then possibly direct sales. Making sure you share your knowledge is a powerful thing so just don’t learn, teach as well. Whether it is staff or by even doing something like writing a blog or sharing your thoughts on social media, it can all help to shape you and your business. A habit by definition is something that you do regularly without thinking and I am sure that many, if not all of you, will recognise

Don’t Become An Island

Look After Your Key Asset Running a business is of course physically and mentally demanding. Making sure that you are fit and ready to maintain the stamina needed is crucial. Make sure that you do things that refresh you whatever that may be! I am terrible at this and purposely go to the cinema regularly as it means that I have to switch my phone off and can’t be working. I

It is very easy in this tech savvy world, and also because of cash and staff pressures, to become insular and rarely leave your business. We are humans, we need interaction and stimulation. We need to bounce ideas off one another. So go and grab a coffee (maybe even with a customer) - and make sure you attend PG Live (not long now…May 10 and 11 at London’s Business Design Centre). Speak to people who can help you grow and influence your business. Look at your competition - not just your direct card retailers, but look at retail in general. Ask your customers what they think - be brave! This is something that online retail,

my list of things to be aware of (although some will just dismiss it as common sense). My list is not by any means definitive, and as always I am really interested in your comments and feedback. Habits are also related to drug misuse, and business is my addiction of choice. It is the thing that drives me, motivates me, challenges me, gives me the highest of highs and sometimes the lowest of lows, but it is without doubt the one thing that I just can’t seem to distance myself from... It’s a hard habit to break... To contact David email: jppozzi@btconnect.com PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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Cardsharp often wondered where the curious phrase ‘The Curate’s Egg’ originated? It has come to signify an indeterminate mix of good and bad, and to Cardsharp that very much seems to typify the current state of the UK greeting card industry as we enter the fifth month of 2016. After a bit of delving, Cardsharp discovered the origins of the phrase comes from an 1895 cartoon in Punch magazine. A timid looking curate is eating breakfast in his bishop’s house. The bishop exclaims, “You have got a bad egg, Mr Jones”, to which the curate desperate not to offend his superior replies, ”Oh no my lord, I assure you that parts of it are excellent”. Laughed, Cardsharp nearly wet himself! It is odd that such a weak ‘Yoke’ (sorry!) became such a part of the vernacular, until recently at least! But it does sum up Cardsharp’s thoughts about our industry at present. It’s not all good, but it is certainly not all bad! And to continue on the ‘egg’ theme, Cardsharp’s thoughts turned to Easter. He mused that however we in the industry try to read the way the trade is going it always has the capacity to surprise. Easter was a real shock! In a pleasant way! It would seem Easter is becoming, or already has become, a massive family occasion, starting to compete with Christmas, admittedly from a relatively low base sales of Easter greeting cards, bunting and non-confectionery gifts which grew



dramatically this year. The Times newspaper was only too happy to play the Easter Bunny on the publicity front, delivering the news that Poundland reportedly sold 75,000 Easter cards this year, while John Lewis reported a huge increase in non–choccy Easter sales. Cardsharp found himself in a seaside Suffolk town on Good Friday and went into the local card, gift and general store to purchase an Easter card. There was literally nothing left on the racks, with the manageress informing him with incredulity

Below: It has been reported that Poundland sold 75,000 Easter cards this year.

that despite increasing their order by 20% this year they were totally sold out of every single Easter card. She expressed amazement, adding that the shop now sells five times more Easter cards than they did five years ago. Now Cardsharp is well aware that many readers will say that Easter cards are low cost items, but nonetheless it is still encouraging that the British consumer has been willing to spend some more of their hard earned cash on greeting cards without any real cajoling from the industry other than an improved selection of designs. To Cardsharp’s mind, this is ‘egg-citing’ news indeed! And this follows a Christmas that was a struggle for many fashion retailers (verdict: bad!) but saw growth in greeting card sales (verdict: good!). Valentine’s Day, by most accounts, was not great for most retailers, but was this because it fell on a Sunday, traditionally one of the worst days (so just a one in seven year anomaly. Verdict: goodish?), or a long-term structural decline facilitated by the under 25’s communicating their romantic messages by means other than cards? (Verdict: bad). And then there was this year’s Mother’s Day. Cardsharp cannot seem to find any

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CARDSHARP “WHSmith’s recently released figures were another Curate’s Egg, depending on how you look at them. Overall they showed an 11% increase in pre-tax profits, taking it to a very impressive £80 million.” industry consensus on this, with opinions ranging from “very good” to “very bad”. Although everyone seems to agree that it occurring so early certainly didn’t help. Which brings Cardsharp to the latest financial result from our two major greeting card retail public quoted companies, namely Card Factory and WHSmith. Card Factory’s latest sparkling set of figures are either a good or bad thing, depending on whether you see the specialist value chain as the ‘Devil Incarnate’ as some in the industry do, or as the bellwether of the health of the UK card trade, as some others (and particularly the financial press) do. And once again, notes Cardsharp, the figures are better than expected. Retiring ceo, Richard Hayes, has certainly come up with a fantastic swansong in revealing his final set of results for the year ending 31 January 2016. Card Factory posted an incredible £95 million annual profit and almost a 3% increase in like-for-like sales. It was was the week’s top riser in the FTSE 250 and now has a market capitalisation of over £1 billion. And as the chain marches steadily on towards the 1,000 outlet mark, with an annual turnover of £380 million, which Cardsharp reckons about 70% of is greeting card sales, it means that its market share of greeting card sales by turnover is now around the 18% mark. With Richard departing, new ceo,

“I’m afraid you’ve got a bad egg, Mr. Jones!”

Karen Hubbard (who was recruited from another value retailer, B&M) has a tough act to follow. WHSmith’s recently released figures were another Curate’s Egg, depending on how you look at them. Overall they showed an 11% increase in pre-tax profits, taking it to a very impressive £80 million. In the last decade most of the multiple stationer’s growth has come from its travel side, with its high street side seeing a cumulative year-on-year decline in sales. So in the latest report Cardsharp was intrigued to see ceo Stephen Clarke lauding its first achievement of ‘flat sales’ rather than a decline, describing it as “our best performance for many years”. Not many retailers that claim a flat likefor-like performance during six months (that includes Christmas) would describe it as a good one! While ‘stationery’ is singled out as having been ‘particularly strong’, what role greeting card sales played in this is not clear, though Stephen Clarke did say that year-on-year growth was achieved in boxed and single Christmas cards. The boom in ‘colour therapy’ (colouring books to you and me!) and ‘extreme dot-to-dot’ books (Cardsharp’s Above: Recent figures showed WHSmiths’ pre-tax profit increased. Below: Punch magazine’s cartoon from 1895.

“Oh no, my Lord, I assure you! Parts of it are excellent!

mind boggles!) have apparently played a really big part in the sales contribution, but how long will this fad last wonders Cardsharp? But what about WHSmith’s own embryonic specialist retail value chain, Card Market? Cardsharp opined, back in autumn 2014 when the first shops were opened, that just as you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs (verdict: good or bad? - sorry!) you can’t out Card Factory, Card Factory. And it seems that WHSmith seems to be losing its enthusiasm for the Card Market project. The group is at present

continuing with its 30 stores, but what happened to the roll out of the extra 100 or so Card Market outlets that were originally envisaged by now? Stephen Clarke claims that Christmas card sales had risen year-on-year, but so they should given they had only just opened the Card Market stores the Christmas before last. And revealingly, he admits that sales at Card Market are not good enough at present to justify a further roll-out of stores, although it will keep this under review. Cardsharp’s view is the project will be very quietly shelved over the next couple of years, as Smith’s looks to concentrate on more profitable new projects. And interestingly, there was no mention of its upmarket Paper & Script concept or its high street Funky Pigeon side. So there in an egg-cup is the Curate’s Egg, which is the greeting card industry at present, concludes Cardsharp, mixing his metaphors horribly. What did come first anyway, the chicken or the egg? Cardsharp will keep that one in the incubator and follow up with an ‘egg-tra’ special column next month! Sorry, Cardsharp has ‘cracked’!



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International Report

Around TheWorld

In 25 Years By Robin Littman, founder of Your Export Manager and export guru who is retiring from the trade, but never from life itself!

As I say farewell to this industry, I just thought I’d take a light-hearted look at what it's like to stumble around the world in all weathers showing hundreds of publishers' card samples to hundreds of distributors - and what was enjoyed along the way! Our Northern Friends I was brought up in a family that encouraged overseas travel and so, looking back now, it was perhaps not surprising that once I found myself representing a number of large, and not so large, card publishers, I felt it only right that I should get going and visit distributors in as many countries as possible. Scandinavia was an essential part of this and for many years I would drive my sample-laden car to Harwich, put it on to the ferry and arrive next morning at Esbjerg in Denmark. What a friendly country! I have so many happy memories of driving to many meetings all over it – and especially the beautiful city of Copenhagen. Then to Norway. In Scandinavia they have an amazing ferry system that enabled me to put my car on the ship in Copenhagen and wake up next morning to arrive near Oslo, Norway. Again, great people the Norwegians, and, as in many other countries, I have made many friends over the years. Then, I would drive over to Sweden. Incidentally, with all this driving – around Scandinavia or Europe - it was all done with maps. Only in the last few years, has the Satnav taken the strain.

Going Down Under As I am sure you can imagine, in the case of Australia and New Zealand, visiting these incredible countries is an experience in itself, as well as a history lesson, and an example of the need to understand other markets and customers. I used to time my visit there to coincide with major trade fairs in both countries. This proved to be invaluable as it enabled me to get a much better sense of the distributors in each country. Visiting them in their premises also made a big Having seen my Swedish card distributor friends, I would then take another ferry – this time from Stockholm over to Helsinki in Finland. I used to do these trips in November to show new designs to distributors that were making their plans to decide what to launch in January of the following year. However, that involved driving round Scandinavia at winter time – not to be recommended! Finland in the snow is beautiful – dangerous or not - and the Finnish are a warmhearted people – and they buy a lot of cards! Top: Robin Littman passport in hand ready for one of his many trips around the world in the name of greeting cards! Above: Robin catching up with Anu Hartonen (left) and Kirsi Ala-Kurikka of Finnish distributor, publisher and retailer, Putinki Oy. Left: Card samples in hand, Robin in the early days before Satnav. Above right: The Scarpa stand at the Sydney Gift Show that Robin used to visit.

difference and some great sales volumes can be achieved here. As to the countries themselves, I cannot possibly do justice to what Australia is like as a combination of their western and Aboriginal culture. As for the ‘white Ozzies’ their warmth and hospitality was memorable. New Zealand is quite different. It’s like visiting another England – especially as you drive through the countryside. The people, PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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International Report

again, were very friendly and welcoming. Yet again, if you are prepared to connect with the Maori population you can see a different perspective. And for the size of the NZ population, they do like their cards!

Across The Channel To Europe What became an annual European ‘tour’ for me would start by going through the Channel Tunnel and when in France driving down to visit distributors on the way – and then to Paris – hopefully to stay the night in what must be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Then down through Southern France to the Swiss border to visit distributors in ‘La Suisse Romande’- always a great treat as once again, lifelong friendships were created.

It was at the Spring Fair this year that I had to say farewell to one of those close friends from over 20 years of doing business together. This may sound over the top but when we had to say goodbye to each other at the show we threw our arms around each other in the NEC. He said “Adieu” with such a fond look in his eyes I had the greatest difficulty in stopping myself from shedding tears... But back to my ‘tour’... I used to go from the French part of Switzerland to the

German part seeing distributors there who were supplying quite a different market with a different culture – who were interested in buying from different publishers to those of their Swiss French neighbours. Then it was time to cross the border – into Germany! I worked my way up through the country on the autobahns, enjoying the lack of speed restriction and allowing my inner teenager to enjoy a top speed of 120 mph! One particular memory I have is when visiting a distributor near Mainz. I made the mistake of saying that Germany was able to make white wines that were OK, but when it came to red wine

there was no competition – especially from the French. He became quire irate and said “I’ll prove you wrong!”. It was evening as we got into his car and he proceeded to take me on a tour of the area’s weinstuben. Bar after bar he took me to and made me taste the local red wine. After several of these I had to admit that although different, by then it tasted pretty good! He then felt he could take me back to his house where I was staying but I was concerned. “Hold on”, I said “You can’t drive home after drinking all that wine – the police will stop you!” and his reply: “Don’t worry, I know them all”. Then over the border to Holland. It’s not generally known that in Europe, the Dutch greeting card market is second only to the British market in size. Sales volumes to Dutch distributors can be very respectable - but there is one warning, they

Top: Robin making a point to Swiss distributor Christian Barraud of Ecritures. Above left: Robin’s trips to Europe start on the Eurostar. Below: Robin bargaining with Dutch distributor Touché. Right: Robin now has deep first hand knowledge of the German greeting card retail market as well as its red wine prowess!

will always drive down the purchase price as low as they can. Not for nothing are they know as the Chinese of Europe. But there is a warm and friendly side to them, which I have enjoyed over all the 25 years I have been selling to them. I usually spent quite a lot of time in Holland with several distributors to visit and a chance to stay in amazing cities such as Amsterdam because, as on other trips, I needed to relieve the stress of all that driving. Finally, I drive over the border to Belgium – then into France to get back through the Tunnel. Each trip would take 8-10 days. They were great, but I was always happy to be back home again. Continued on page 39 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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The Biggest Market Of All? With 90-95% of the US market dominated by the two biggest card companies in the world, it is tempting to wonder whether it’s worthwhile even attempting to sell UK cards there. But it is.

It may appear that there is just a tiny share left to go for but it’s a tiny share of the largest market on this planet. Several rules apply however. Firstly, they will now only import 5” x 7’’ cards. Secondly, as the Americans can’t spell, they can’t buy cards with ’Mum’ or ‘Nan’ on them – and forget ‘Merry Christmas’ – it’s ‘Mom’ and ‘Happy Holidays’ over the other side of the pond. Once those obstacles have been overcome there can be good volumes to be had once contact is made with a decentsized distributor.

Time To Wind It All Up Now, as I look back on all the travels I have undertaken around the world – and there are several other countries I just haven’t had the space to mention here - I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to have met different people, people from different races, religions and cultures. Despite all these ‘differences’ what has emerged is the fact that underneath all the apparent differences, everyone is actually the same and this experience of us all being connected is one that has stayed with me ever since. I would just like to thank all those who have supported me on this journey – whether publishers or distributors. Without you, none of this would have happened.

Left: Robin comparative shopping in New York.

News From Down Under One of Robin’s many friends overseas is John Simson, who owns and runs Simson cards with his wife Bindi. As he prepares to fly across the globe to visit PG Live he shares some of the news from his neck of the woods. “The Australian greeting card industry has had a couple of “scares” from outside our control. The first of these was with the change to a Turnbull Government (our 5th Prime Minister in seven years) who was advocating a rise in the Goods & Services Tax (akin to VAT in the UK) from its current 10% to 15%. With no change of percentage since its inception in 2000 (a rarity in western economies) and a massive hole in the budget from the financial aftershock from the GFC, and a massive dip in revenues from mining, we all thought within the Australian Greeting Card Association (AGCA) that the lift in the GST was inevitable. Such a change in the GST has massive consequences for an Australian greeting card publisher. Unlike the UK who can work on an alpha coding retail price system, most cards in Australia have the RRP actually printed on them. With a change in GST and the cost of over labelling all cards both in warehouses and in stores exceeding the rise in GST, publishers will be faced with massive hits to their bottom line as retailers raise credits to ensure they suffer no loss of margin on any rise in GST. For an average retail priced card, this will cost publishers 24 cents (12p) in losses for every card in their warehouse or in stores. If you think

Left: (Left-right) John and Bindi Simson with Robin Littman and Eli Nelson (of US publisher and distributor Nelson Line) at a PG Live Overseas Visitors Welcome Party.

of average stock holding, this adds up to a massive hit. Fortunately for the time being, this change to the GST is unlikely to be passed by the ‘current’ senate (like your House of Lords) where the Government does not have a majority. However, a double dissolution election later this year may change all that and a rise in GST will be back to confront local publishers. The second scare comes from a rise in postage rates. Australia Post delivered a $222 million (£110m) loss last year as letter mail volumes continued their downhill spiral. Their answer to this was to increase postage rates from 70 cents to $1 (50p) from 1 January. While everyday card sales are less likely to be impacted by this postage rise (80% of everyday cards are hand delivered), Christmas cards present a

great challenge as 80% are posted. Fortunately, Australia Post has retained the Christmas seasonal postage rate of 65 cents (33p) and the AGCA is now considering a marketing campaign to ensure consumers are aware the cost to post a Christmas card is still 65 cents. Despite all this we are very optimistic about the coming year. We are finding that with good design suited to the local market and quality, our business continues to grow. Competitors offering non-profitable deals to retailers continues to be challenging, but we are finding a number of these retailers coming back to us 12 months later as they find they cannot bank a percentage. They soon realise that no matter what the margin being offered, only the sale of cards pay the overheads. We are looking forward to our trip to PG Live to catch up with old friends who we have been partnering with for over 25 years, as well as new designers that we can offer new distribution and licensing opportunities.” PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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Pieces Of


Pieces of eight were the world’s first ever global currency, but greeting cards are keeping that tradition alive! In a few weeks the world of greeting cards will converge at the eighth ever Progressive Greetings Live (Tuesday 10 May and Wednesday 11 May) - bringing publishers, retailers, suppliers and overseas distributors of all shapes and sizes together under the distinctive roof of London’s Business Design Centre. PG Live’s marketing manager Jacqui Parr selects just eight in a wealth of reasons why this year’s show is a real treasure. interview

Seeing Is Believing “With more publishers exhibiting at PG Live than show at any other trade show it really will be a feast for the eyes. Thousands upon thousands of brand new designs will be on show for the first time,” confirms Jacqui. “Being tangible products it is only by seeing and greeting cards in the flesh, displayed in all their glory, that they can be truly appreciated”. With 250+ publishers exhibiting, more than ever before, the choice will be incredible.

I see from your CV that

Below: This is the 8th year that the Business Design Centre is home to Progressive Greetings Live. Below right: Jacqui Parr, marketing manager of PG Live (centre) Giannina Antola and Livia Antola, founders of Aardvark Press who will be debuting at the show.

The Human Resources “The old adage, ‘people do business with people’ really comes into its own in the greeting card world. PG Live is living proof of that as the buzz of banter testifies!” comments Jacqui. The relaxed atmosphere of the show provides the ideal opportunity for retailers to enjoy talking to the people behind the cards, be they the directors of well-respected brands down to the host of plucky newbies who are debuting at the show. What a great opportunity for retailers to give publishers and agents feedback, enjoy chatting with fellow retailers, for overseas distributors to put geographical distance behind them and for exhibiting suppliers to be on site for any production queries. Below: PG Live is where business really does mix with pleasure. Midlands agent Ian Bradley chatting to retailers (left) Sarah Morris of The Emporium, Malvern and Janet Stow of Love Letters in Anlaby at the Opening Night Party last year.

you’re bilingual

yeah English and Emoji

Come and join us at Stand 673 for the latest in our collection of laugh-out-loud cards and gifts! Contact: 01273 689599


“You name it, it will be at PG Live – cards that convert into record players, we've even got that too!” she adds, referring to Recard which is debuting in the Springboard section (see pages 79-83). Above: Humour, in all its guises is well represented at PG Live, including from Modern Toss. Left: PG Live will see the launch of thousands of new designs including ranges from Belly Button Designs and its sibling brand, Hub.

The Sheer Diversity Of Exhibitors “PG Live is a fantastic smorgasbord of exhibitors – from the largest to the smallest and everything in between. Many of these have never shown at any other show before or only ever exhibit at PG Live,” explains Jacqui. The exhibitor line-up of PG Live 2016 reads like a ‘who’s who’ of top brands with all the leading players there, but added to this, in the Springboard and Springboard Extra areas, is a cornucopia of brand spanking new start-up pubishers just waiting to be discovered. Continued on page 43 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE




BRITAIN’S BES T LOVED ANIMAL S A collection of contemporary artworks inspired by the natural world and illustrated in an original cutting-edge style

Y 12 brand new beautiful animal designs Y Contemporary art style Y A mix of Birthday and blank designs Y UV high gloss board Y Brilliant white envelopes Y Cello bagged with branded colour sticker

Y Extremely good value at C50 £1.80 RRP FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT: CLOUDESLEY HOUSE • SHIRE HILL • SAFFRON WALDEN • ESSEX • CB11 3FB T: 01799 520200 • F: 01799 520100 • WWW.NIGELQUINEY.COM 42_PG_May 2016.indd 1

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Adding to the diversity, and continuing the show’s international flavor, this year the show includes exhibitors from 14 different countries, including Paper Art Viet from Vietnam, POT from Slovenia, Fancy Gift from Hungary, Artige from Holland, Little Difference from New Zealand, Nubix from Malaysia and I Ended Up Here from Australia. While greeting cards are very much the mainstay of the show, there is also an impressive showing of giftwrappings, partyware as well as a smattering of gifts.

Added Incentives From winning one off works of art for naming a character (from Miko Greetings) to receiving free bottles of Sipsmith gin (from Eloise Hall), from a chance to meet celebrated artists (Annie Tempest of Tottering-By-Gently from Peartree Heybride) to limited edition tote bags (from Jelly Armchair), “as well as show offers galore, are just a smattering of the extra incentives being offered by exhibitors at PG Live,” according to Jacqui. Exhibitors celebrating significant milestones are also unlikely to let them go by without some fanfare. In celebration of its 25th anniversary Abacus (and Clare Maddicott) are inviting every retailer placing an order to delve into its Lucky Dip and receive a prize, while no doubt the odd cork will be popped on the Nigel Quiney stand to toast the 10th anniversary of its Pizazz range. Meanwhile, greeting card printer The Sherwood Press is looking to mark its 40th anniversary on the stand celebrating with its many publisher customers.

Be Part Of The Royal Celebrations “No one should let any birthday go by without being lavished with a fabulous array of birthday cards. If you are marking a major milestone and happen to be the Queen of Great Britain, that bar should be set a little higher!” stated Jacqui Parr, marketing manager of PG Live exhibition. As part of the plans to make the PG Live 2016 exhibition a true celebration of everything that is great about the industry, a major display feature is being planned (in conjunction with the GCA) to honour Her Majesty’s 90th birthday. All 250+ exhibitors at the show (as well as any companies not exhibiting) have been invited to create a special card for the Queen to mark her significant birthday. In addition to these special signed cards there will also be a selection of cards that visitors will be encouraged to use to write their own message to the Queen, which will be delivered as part of the industry’s bumper birthday postbag shortly after the show to Buckingham Palace. And, everyone who includes their name and address inside their card should receive a personalised thank you letter from Buckingham Palace. While the Queen’s official birthday falls on April 21, the official celebrations are kicking off just after PG Live and continuing for the rest of the year. Above and above right: Among the selection of the stunning cards that publishers have created to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday include this design from Thinking of You and Coulson Macleod. Left: Anyone wanting to really feel part of the Royal Family could always don a mask from the Mask-arade stand!

The PG Live Essentials When: Tuesday 10 May and Wednesday 11 May 2016 Opening Times: 9.30am to 6.00pm on 10 May 9.30am to 4.30pm on 11 May Where: Business Design Centre, Islington, London N1 0QH l Leading brands can be found on the main floor and the Village Green of the show,

Above: There were whoops of joy at the show last year when Paperchase’s Hazel Walker (centre) produced a shiny Golden Ticket from her bag to spend on the Sooshichacha stand.

There are bound to be fair few flurries of excitement when retailers flash their Retas Gold or Silver Tickets (issued to winners and finalists of The Retas 2015) worth £150 and £50 respectively when they place an order at the show. Meanwhile finalists and winners of The Greats (gift retailer awards) will also be arriving with their £50 Special Voucher to spend at the show, while every single Cardgains members will also have a £30 Voucher about their person, looking to spend it with any of the exhibiting Cardgains’ suppliers. (The exhibitors love these tickets and vouchers being spent as they are immediately reimbursed by the PG Live organisers).

while new and emerging publishers will be found in the Springboard section on the Gallery level and in the Springboard Extra section on the left-hand side of the Village Green. l The Artists’ Quarter is on the right hand side of Village Green. l The Retas and Greats Wall of Fame will be upstairs in the first Gallery bay in the right hand corner. l To register for PG Live, visit the show website: www.progressivegreetingslive.com, email: info@progressivegreetingslive.com or call: 01635 297070.

The Extra Shine And Sparkle “The exhibitor line-up is phenomenal, but if you add to that the lovely ‘extras’ that visitors enjoy, all free of charge, and you can see why PG Live has become a well loved show,” suggests Jacqui. The warm welcome sets the tone, with the ‘meeters and greeters’ suitably attired in ‘greeting card dresses’ handing visitors a limited edition cloth keepsake goody bag (which will contain the full colour catalogue). This year the bag is being produced in partnership with UK Greetings and features a gorgeous image of Boofle on one side while the other side is graced by artwork that has been specially created by designer Mark Grayson (who is also PG’s creative director). Keeping visitors fed and watered is done with great aplomb at PG Live - from the legendary tea trollies (serving up tea and coffee in ‘proper cups’) to Continued on page 45 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


paperlink Come and see us at PG Live stand 201

T 020 7582 8244 www.paperlink.co.uk Paperlinkcards @paperlinkcards 044_PG_May 2016.indd 44

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the delicious two course lunch. Thanks to Carte Blanche Greetings (as part of its 21st birthday celebrations for Me To You), the lunchroom will look fantastic with Tatty Teddy lapping up the limelight – and visitors will even be able to recreate the delicious dishes back home as CBG will be producing special recipe cards for everyone to take home! Having feasted their eyes on the delights in the upstairs Springboard section, The Springboard Lounge is a great place for visitors to catch their breathe (sponsored once again this year by GF Smith and The Imaging Centre), while downstairs The Henry Cole Lounge (with free Wifi, kindly sponsored by Skylight Media) is a great place for a cuppa or a meeting. And everyone attending on the first day of the show should stay for the Opening Night Party (sponsored by Carte Blanche Greetings) that kicks off straight after the show when the Gallery Hall (where the lunches are served) will be transformed into the party room – and the drinks are free! Above: So many of the exhibitors have submitted their cards for the making of the PG Live dresses for the meeters and greeters this year. Left: The show will be full of lots of colourful characters. Boofle will be there ‘in person’ as well as on one side of the keepsake cloth bag for PG Live.

The Sunlight To Lift Your Spirits With its high curved ceiling and sunny airy feel, The Business Design Centre, in the heart of London’s Islington, just doesn’t feel like an exhibition venue, but its colourful history adds to its appropriateness as ‘home’ to PG Live. When it was built, back in 1862, The Royal Agriculture Hall (which became the BDC) was one of the largest exhibition halls in the world, with its proximity to the Smithfield meat market meaning it was perfectly located to host agricultural events. The first Smithfield Show (in 1862) welcomed 134,669 attendees, which must have been somewhat of a smelly squash! In what knocks PG Live into a cocked hat for the unexpected, in 1879 the Agricultural Hall attracted huge global attention when it became the venue for the International Pedestrian Match for the Championship of the World. This extraordinary event saw competitors line up for the 1am start on the Monday and walk around the Hall for six days, with the winner being the one who had walked the furthest by the time the whistle blew at 10.30pm on the Saturday night! Among the building’s other claims to fame include that it hosted the Royal Tournament from its inauguration in 1880 until the early years of the 20th century; it was also used for a number of sporting events including six-day cycle races (the first of which took place in 1878), plus it also hosted the first ever Crufts dog show in 1891! Above: This poster, which shows part of the BDC’s illustrious history is framed inside the building. Left: London Transport Museum commissioned this poster in 1928 poster to promote the Agricultural Hall which is now the BDC.

A Licence To Thrill Anyone looking to licence designs for use on other products will be spoilt for choice. While the Artists’ Quarter on the Village Green is the place dedicated to licensing artwork, either from the artists themselves or leading artists agents, elsewhere in the show publishers are increasingly ‘licensing friendly’, open to chats about seeing their designs translated onto other products. Meanwhile, well-known licensed characters and brands will also be very much in evidence – watch out for the Paw Patrol canine duo (licensed on cards by Danilo) who will be ‘on patrol’ on the first day of the show, as will UKG’s Boofle and Carte Blanche’s Tatty Teddy. Above: The famous PG Live tea-trollies. Below: Chase and Marshall, acouple of the canines from Paw Patrol will be ‘pawsing; for photos at the show, thanks to Danilo which is publishing the greeting cards based on this preschool hit.

PG Live Is Perfectly At Home At The BDC! l The BDC is very easy to get to and is nestled in a vibrant area of London surrounded by lovely shops, restaurants and bars. The nearest underground station to the BDC is Angel, on the Northern Line, which is just five minutes walk away. Angel itself can be reached in a matter of minutes from either Euston or Kings Cross mainline stations (via the Northern Line), while Liverpool Street, Waterloo and the West End are just a short journey away. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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With so much fantastic product being launched at PG Live (May 10-11 at the Business Design Centre, London) this bumper section give just a taste of the greeting card gems on offer.

A Little Bird Told Me... Vintage Bird is the latest launch from Love Candy Designs – 12 blank everyday cards suitable for loving occasions, birthday, Valentine’s, new home and thank you. All the cards are gloss laminated and come wrapped with a ribbed kraft envelope. Love Candy Designs 07714 256477 www.lovecandydesigns.co.uk Springboard Stand 712

Touch Of Magic

Wrapped In Love

To celebrate 10 successful years of its award winning range Pizazz, Nigel Quiney is launching a selection of beautiful new Pizazz designs fresh for PG Live, all elegantly flittered, giving it the Pizazz touch of magic! There will also be launching more Pizazz Jewel designs, a beautifully embellished range dripping with gemstones, flitter and pearl foil. Nigel Quiney Publications 01799 520200 www.nigelquiney.com Mezzanine Stand 221

Kali Stileman is adding new Koala and Puffin themed giftwraps to her ever increasing collection, bringing the range to over 30 designs, all printed on heavyweight matt paper, feeling extra luxurious. All Kali’s wraps are sized 500mm x 700mm and sold flat in packs of 25 sheets. Kali Stileman 01305 848899 www.trade.kalistileman.co.uk Springboard Extra Stand 98

Childhood Memories Claire Louise is adding six new designs into her Clanelly range, a spin off from her All In Boots collection. Now with 12 cards, these delightful illustrations are created with soft pastels on warm cream backgrounds, all inspired by childhood memories - digging in the garden in a pair of wellington boots, making sand castles on the beach and playing in paddling pools. Claire Louise 07715 373344 www.clairelouise.eu Springboard Extra Stand 120

Golden Glisters Always Sparkle is expanding its Sparkle collection with six birthday and 10 Christmas designs bringing this range to 40 designs. Each card range features a contemporary gold encrusted border coupled with a striking message, making a stylish collection of contemporary design-led cards. The cards are printed on luxury textured white board and come wrapped with crisp white envelopes. Always Sparkle 07940 726842 www.alwayssparkle.co.uk Springboard Stand 748

On A Roll Penny Kennedy will be showcasing brand new designs being launched into the stunning Sara Miller range at this year’s PG Live. On show will be gift bags, roll wrap, flat wrap, box nests and tissue galore! Also on show with be new designs from the ever popular Emma Bridgewater stable. Penny Kennedy 01892 838574 www.pennykennedy.co.uk Mezzanine Stand 121




24 stunning photographic designs of beautiful British countryside and animals, inspired by the BBC Programme

Come and see this brand new range, plus plenty of other new Abacus designs, at

on stand 300 where we will be offering a lucky dip prize to every customer placing an order to celebrate

25 years of Abacus Cards Contact our sales team on 01638 569050 or email us at info@abacuscards.co.uk Visit www.abacuscards.co.uk for more information 048_PG_May 2016.indd 1

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PG Live

AGE & BEAUTY: A selection of age cards launching at PG Live.


Cuteness Quotient Pippi & Me is super excited about its new super cute range Grown up Girls Birthday Age cards. There are eight adorably sweet designs, covering ages 18, 21 and up milestone ages up to 80 years to celebrate those special birthdays. The cards are sized 125mm square and sold with white recycled envelopes. Pippi & Me 01803 864109 www.pippiandme.com Springboard Stand 776

One For The Girls

Joining The Dots

Luxe, Hotchpotch’s new female range, comprises gorgeous milestone ages from 18 to 90! This simple and sophisticated range has a colour palette of blush pink and peach with inky blacks, on-trend brush lettering and is finished with a scattering of luxurious rose gold foil. There are nine designs in a 154mm square format, sold with complementing envelopes. Hotchpotch Publishing 01243 792600 www.hotchpotchpublishing.com The Village Green Stand 122

New from Bonnie Blackbird for 2016 is its Dotty Decades adult age cards, all light, bright and full of fun! Covering milestone birthdays from 18 years old through to 100, this collection has a delightful palette to complement the popular polka dot patterns. All the cards are sized 150mm, supplied wrapped with kraft envelopes. Bonnie Blackbird 07799280584 www.bonnieblackbird.com Springboard Extra Stand 95

Pick Of The Bunch Debut exhibitors Olive & Belle will be displaying new additions to its popular children’s range Pickles & Pip. Also on show will be new 2016 Christmas designs, with quirky festive characters across an array of popular captions. Olive & Belle 07836 247811 www.oliveandbelle.co.uk Springboard Stand 782

Badge Of Honour

To The Max

Ladybirds, hedgehogs and a fabulous octopus are among the new characters on offer from Earlybird’s extended Kids Badge card range, which now covers ages 1 to 8. There are 16 cards with lovely paint and stencil designs, all sized 170mm x 120mm and supplied with a brightly coloured envelope. Earlybird Designs 07939 594479 www.earlybirddesigns.co.uk Springboard Extra Stand 111

Debuting at PG Live, new publisher ‘Max made me to it’ is launching The Doodle & Dot range by doodler Carol Maxwell. This fun and fresh bunch of 20 cards celebrates ages, new babies and lots more. The cards are sized 105mm x 150mm in size and are sold wrapped with kraft envelopes. Max made me do it 020 3561 3821 www.maxmademedoit.com Springboard Stand 702 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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PG Live

CALL OF THE WILD: A selection of animal cards launching at PG Live.


Pets Win Prizes Rose Hill is extending her Make Your Pet Famous range with 12 brand new designs, full of famous people’s cats and dogs. There are new Art, Happy Birthday and Christmas designs, all with Rose’s original Pop Art style commissions from customers such as Sadie Frost, Robert Webb and Charles Saatchi. The cards are sized 150mm square and sold wrapped, and with either with yellow envelopes for everyday or red envelopes for Christmas designs. Rose Hill Designs 07742 347603 www.rosehilldesigns.co.uk Springboard Gallery Stand 662

On To A Winner

Out Of The Box

Congratulations to Liz Chaderton for being the latest winner of Wraptious's artists’ competition to have her work published as cards! When you look at Liz's work it's easy to see why she won stunningly vibrant, homely watercolours of cows, badgers, cats, puffins and more. Liz hopes her work raises smiles but also makes you see the animals we so often overlook in a new light. The cards are sized 150mm square and sold with choice of kraft or bright yellow envelopes. Wraptious 0161 221 0109 www.trade.wraptious.com Springboard Stand 774

The Box Room Press’ general range of card designs is designed purely with lovers of cats and dogs in mind and is expanding to 15 designs. The cards are all blank inside, sized 135mm square and come wrapped with white envelopes. Box Room Press 07845 386058 www.boxroompress.co.uk Springboard Gallery Stand 654

Wild At Heart Go Wild! is the brand new birthday range from Pink Pig - 10 zingy new cards featuring characterful creatures, including a stag, polar bear and a pink pug! All the designs feature bright contemporary shout-out colours, are sized 150mm and sold wrapped with a bright pink, green or blue envelope. Pink Pig 07583 088596 www.pinkpigcards.co.uk Springboard Extra Stand 97

Animal Paradise

Jolly Good Show!

Lola Design is launching six new florally inspired animal designs into its popular Wildlife Botanical range in time for the summer season. There are now 18 designs in this collection, ranging from British country animals through to the more exotic. The cards are printed on 150mm square board and sold wrapped with stylish grey envelopes. Lola Design 01904 675514 www.loladesignltd.com Springboard Stand 836

Jolly Awesome is releasing some exciting new additions to its popular Jolly Pawsome card range. Say hello to Kuma the Pekinese and Shih Tzu mix from Japan who has been making waves on Instagram for her crazy hair dos, and Taco the Chihuahua who just loves sticking his head in... anything! There are 15 new designs, all sized A6, and supplied wrapped with white envelopes. Jolly Awesome 07545619918 www.jollyawesome.com Springboard Extra Stand 102 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


Louise Edney


21 years

of our lovable brand

Come and see our new plush and gift range, and fresh new card collection at


For more information please call us on +44(0) 1243 792600 or email info@cbg.co.uk www.cbgtrader.co.uk 2016.indd 1 PG052_PG_May Live Ad_16.indd 13/04/2016 11:05 - 1 -

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PG Live

A selection of wonderful products launching at PG Live.

Bird In The Hand For PG Live I Like birds is launching its new range of ZigZag cards - all totally birdalicious and also extremely foldy! There are six designs initially, featuring birds of the garden, hedgerow, ocean, estuary, woodland and one dedicated to ducks. The cards are sized 145mm square, but fold out to a whopping 435mm across. All the cards feature a back print, and are sold wrapped with white envelopes. I Like Birds 07581 282820 ilikebirds.net Springboard Extra Stand 86

Hat, Cat Hooray!

In The Round

Make your customers smile this Christmas with the best selling festive range Cats In Christmas Hats from Jo Clark Design, all refreshed and expanded with some super cute new additions of grumpy looking kitties to accompany the original disgruntled looking felines. The six new designs bring this range to a total of 12, paired with a festive coloured envelope. Jo Clark Design 07886193734 www.joclarkdesign.co.uk Springboard Gallery Stand 683

Bloom is the new range from boutique stationery company, Studio Seed. This pretty all-occasions range features pretty florals, soft patterns and a unique circular card shape, which stands up easily and will be the pride of the mantelpiece! There are ten designs in the collection, all supplied wrapped with thick ivory envelopes. Studio Seed 07739 329435 www.studioseed.co.uk Springboard Stand 806

Paws For Thought Go La La! is launching at PG Live with its new range Dramatic Paws, a playful and characterful parody of film moments which feature some rather cool cats and dogs, chickens, goats, horses and sparrows! This range of 12 designs is 150mm square and comes wrapped with complementing envelopes. Go La La! 07837 761497 www.golala.co.uk Springboard Gallery Stand 679

Pole To Pole

Coast To Coaster

A brand new range of Polish language cards is being launched by Davora. Misiu Cards (meaning little bear) initially has 30 designs, including birthday, Polish Mother's Day, Easter, Christmas and many other sending occasions. All the cards are glitter-finished and sold wrapped with coordinating envelopes. Davora 0161 641 0655 www.davora.co.uk Mezzanine Stand 521

Send a gift and a card all wrapped up together with The Original Coaster Card! Each card comes with a melamine or recycled glass coaster attached, and with eight collections of six to eight designs in each, there really is something for everyone, from funny slogans and wildlife images to quirky illustrations. Each Coaster Card is sized 175mm square and comes wrapped with a textured envelope. The Original Coaster Card 01858 545456 www.thecoastercard.com Springboard Stand 665 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE



A NEW COLLECTION OF 16 DESIGNS Get set for neon inks & thermography!


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PG Live

CALL OF THE WILD: A selection of animal cards launching at PG Live.


Stuck On You Catherine Kleeli is adding five new designs into her popular Stick and Stitch range, bringing the number of designs to 36. All the designs are taken from Catherine’s original beautifully hand-crafted and stitched artworks which capture the character and essence of the creature they portray. The cards are sized 177mm x 127mm and sold wrapped with brown ribbed envelopes. Catherine Kleeli 07814 293155 www.catherinekleeli.co.uk Springboard Stand 797

Great Scott

Getting Social

All you need is Love and Tea is the latest range to be unveiled by Scott & Robson Designs. There are eight cards featuring dogs, cats, mice and pet rabbits, all hand illustrated by Jo Scott and coupled with fun typographic modern sentiments. All the cards are 150mm square, sold wrapped with red envelopes. Scott & Robson Designs 07506 630626 www.scottandrobsondesigns.com Springboard Stand 802

Pusheen is an animated webcomic series depicting the life and dreams of the titular grey tabby cat. The character was launched as an emoticon on Facebook and is currently being sent more than 14 million times a day between users. The Pusheen range by Gemma includes a selection of everyday cards, roll wrap, tags and gift bags of various sizes (subject to approval), all featuring the loveable cat in her characteristic poses, set against a variety of pretty pastel backgrounds. Gemma International 01264 388 400 www.gemma-international.co.uk Mezzanine Stand 400

Undying Affection Roisin Cafferty’s new range A Way With Words, features cute animal illustrations that have messages integrated into the imagery. Covering birthday and occasions, the cards are sized 155mm square and come wrapped with a fleck kraft envelope. Roisin Cafferty 07742 983044 www.roisincafferty.com Mezzanine Stand 504

Touchy Feely New from ArtPress is Felty Folk, a range of eight photographic cards featuring cute animals lovingly created by crafter extraordinaire Maryrose Markham. Maryrose’s inspiration is drawn from her love of animals and the idyllic rural village in Wiltshire where she lives. All the cards are sized 170mm x 120mm and sold wrapped with an accompanying china white envelope. ArtPress Publishing 020 7231 2923 www.art-press.co.uk Mezzanine Stand 306

Equine Eden Fanciful Dolomite is one of two new ranges launching at PG Live from Decked Edge. Featuring the artwork of Janna Cossettini, and with die-cut edges, the designs cover everyday occasions including weddings and anniversaries. All the cards are blank inside, sized 150mm square and sold wrapped with complementing envelopes. Decked Edge 0800 771 0771 www.decklededge.co.uk Springboard Extra Stand 85 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


Come and see our exciting new brands on stand 400

CARDS • WRAP • PARTY t: +44 (0)1264 388400 e: enquiries@gemma-international.co.uk w: gemma-international.co.uk For wholesale enquiries contact Samantha Strong at samantha.strong@gemma-international.co.uk

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PG Live

ART ATTACK: A selection of art cards launching at PG Live.


Ink On Paper

Iconic Attractions

New for PG Live from Iona is Inkflowers, artist David Lyon’s latest range exploring the colourful properties of ink in water painting. There are 36 vibrant everyday, occasions and Spring Seasons cards, all in a 142mm square format and supplied wrapped with coloured envelopes. There will also be its new Wildflowers and Just One Blackbird series and Christmas extensions. Iona Cards 0113 2449177 www.ionacards.co.uk Springboard Gallery Stand 657

I Drew This is proud to be officially launching its Landmarks collection at PG Live. The range features Ilona Drew’s unique take on 18 eighteen key landmarks from around the UK, all bursting with colour. Printed on the finest 350gsm board, all the designs come with recycled kraft envelopes in branded wrap. I Drew This 07813 005707 www.idrewthis.co.uk. Springboard Extra Stand 87

Home(wood) On The Range

The Great Getaway

Dry Red Press is launching an exciting and exclusive new range by popular artist Tom Homewood, whose oil paintings reproduce beautifully as greeting cards. The range comprises 12 very different images, ranging from dogs and wildlife, quirky images with people and land and seascapes. This adorable dog (pictured) being a huge favourite! All the cards are 150mm square, blank inside and sold wrapped with coordinating envelopes. Dry Red Press 01273 241210 www.dryredpress.com Mezzanine Stand 340

Building on the success of its Escapes range, 1790 Cards has added six new designs to this collection of block-colour landscapes. Inspired by views from England, Scotland, Norway and New Zealand, the range now has 18 colourful designs. The cards are sized 150mm square and sold wrapped with grey envelopes. 1790 Cards 01904 448130 1790creative.co.uk/cards Springboard Gallery Stand 663

Force Of Nature Vintage Flowers is a new extension to Ezen’s Vintage range – a series of 20 gorgeous floral botanical paintings dating from 1917. As with all of the cards from Ezen Designs, each has an explanation of the symbolism of the image on the reverse, adding sentiment and depth of meaning to the card. Ezen Designs 020 7354 5000 www.ezen.co.uk Mezzanine Stand 518

The Other Cheek Two Scoops is extending its whimsical card collection Live Life to 77 designs. Designed by iPad artist Andrew Chambers, this light-hearted range is a just little bit cheeky! Also on display will be new additions to its Reflections and Seize the Day ranges. Two Scoops 07846 269176 www.twoscoops.cards Springboard Stand 828 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE



published by

d il 01992 702 900 | sales@danilo.com | www.danilo.com /DaniloCalendarsUK


Independent retailers contact Is It Art on 01926 747935

GREETINGG CARDS CARDS, S AP & BAGS GIFT WRAP 52494_PG-AD_Danilo_APR2016_JustinBieber.indd 058_PG_May 2016.indd 58 1

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PG Live

PERFECT DAY: A selection of birthday cards launching at PG Live.


Making The Cut New ranges of laser-cut cards from Alljoy will be launching at PG Live. There are 50 new everyday and occasions designs – all beautifully intricate and contemporary. All the cards are in a 135mm x 185mm format and come wrapped with red envelopes. Alljoy Design ++353 1 630 1213 www.alljoydesign.com Springboard Stand 770

Sugar And Spice

In A Galaxy Far Far Away...

PG Live will see the launch of two beautiful new contemporary ranges from Cinnamon Aitch, alongside further additions to current ranges. Woodblock is a sensitive range featuring hand-cut prints combined with wooden details. Seed heads and pot plants sit happily alongside birds in reed beds and cats up trees in this 18 card range. Cinnamon Aitch 0121 773 6833 www.cinnamonaitch.co.uk Mezzanine Stand 231

Hallmark’s latest innovative release is Star Wars, Episode VII, with some out of this world sound bands and cards featuring either the voice (if you want to call it that!) of BB8, or iconic sounds and music from the film - the perfect card/mini present send. Hallmark Cards 0800 90 20 900 www.Hub.hallmark.co.uk Mezzanine Stand 416

Wright Bright! Louise Wright Design is proudly launching a new range full of neon colour, collage and brushstrokes. Featuring florals, cacti and succulents, the Collage range is bang on trend for summer. There are 12 new cards covering birthdays and occasions, all sized 120mm x 170mm, and supplied individually with coloured envelopes. Louise Wright Design 07969 556081 www.louisewrightdesign.com Springboard Stand 781

Paper Lace

Totally Totem

The Say It With Lace Squares range from Image Plus is expanding to include milestone birthdays, bringing the range to 45 designs. Gold glittered captions on pearlescent boards are mounted onto silver lace effect backgrounds, hand-finished with a grey satin ribbon and one of its new roses or gold heart embellishments. All the cards come wrapped with matching coloured envelopes. Image Plus Cards 01424 893345 www.imagepluscards.co.uk Springboard Stand 830

Totem Pals is an exciting new range from Paper Rose featuring cute Woodland creatures that fold into 3D toys. The toys in turn can also be made into stackable keepsake totem poles full of fun and friends. With eight designs in the range to collect, fun is guaranteed with these delightful cards. Paper Rose 0115 986 0115 www.paperrose.co.uk Mezzanine Stand 325 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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PG Live

A selection of wonderful products launching at PG Live.

Bee Happy Known for its fun, bright, and breezy colours, Frillybee is launching FloraDora, a brand new contemporary floral range of six cards at PG Live. Each card features a pretty, posy-like arrangement of flowers on vivid pastel backgrounds. The cards are blank, sized 150m square, and supplied wrapped with white envelopes. Frillybee 07950 088739 www.frillybee.co.uk Springboard Stand 764

Wave Hello

Tone Poem

New publisher Jelly Armchair is excited to introduce the Folded Wave everyday occasions range. There are initially six cards, featuring ink and watercolour illustrations, with gleefully silly play on words captions. All the cards are sized 148mm square and sold wrapped with coloured envelopes. Jelly Armchair 020 75028446 www.jellyarmchair.com Springboard Gallery Stand 677

A new range of Poster Poem cards is being launched on the Graffeg stand. These designs were originally created for the Welsh Arts Council Poster Poem collection, with artwork by Sue Shields. Each card contains a poem by a Welsh poet with their biographical details and a brief appraisal of the poem. There are six cards in the range, sized 165mm square, and wrapped singly with envelopes or in gift packs containing five cards. Graffeg 01554 824 000 www.graffeg.com Springboard Stand 792

Tall Tales The Grumble & Co. is ever so excited to be debuting at PG Live and launching its new Fairy Tails & Whiskers Collection. Taking themes and ideas from the most loved fairytales, and adding their unique design twist, these everyday occasions cards are sure to prove popular! The Grumble & Co. 07712 639416 www.thjegrumbleandco.com Springboard Stand 742

Curiouser And Curiouser The Curiosity collection from Rosie Lox is a slightly outlandish range full of magic, fun and whimsical vibes. Designed by Leona Curtis, the 21 designs are sized A6, printed on 100% recycled board and sold wrapped with a recycled kraft envelope. Rosie Lox 07982 081452 www.rosielox.com Springboard Stand 840

Style Icons Tache is releasing its third range exclusively at PG Live for a third consecutive year. Famous Faces features icons of the past and present illustrated in a fun, modern and funky style. All of the 20 cards have Tache’s quirky trademark 3D cut-outs, are sized 5” x 7” and come with printed envelopes. Tache 01202 989006 www.tachecrafts.com Springboard Extra Stand 89 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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PG Live

FESTIVE TREATS: A selection of Christmas cards launching at PG Live.


Shining Star Designed by Mrs Lovesy is feeling especially sparkly with the launch of its Festive Christmas range at PG Live. The 12 designs are gorgeously printed on fabric embossed board and handembellished with genuine Swarovski crystals. All are sized 155mm square and sold wrapped with ruby red coloured envelopes. Designed by Mrs Lovesy 01634 907020 www.mrslovesy.com Springboard Gallery Stand 686

Doggy Delights

Everyone’s A Winner

A view of Christmas from the canine perspective! The brand new Xmutt range from Sally Scaffardi comprises eight humorous cards featuring dogs in festive situations. The cards are sized 150mm and sold wrapped with white envelopes. New Christmas packs and everyday ranges will also be on display. Sally Scaffardi Design 07747 032505 www.sallyscaffardidesign.co.uk Springboard Extra Stand 115

The crew at Aardvark Press is very excited to launch 100 brand new designs at Springboard, including fun ranges Pip the Penguin and the exuberant Poppy. There are 16 cards in each range to suit all occasions, all hand-drawn in ink and painted with watercolour by Livia Lovell and Giannina Antola, winners of the National Gallery Christmas Card competition. Aardvark Press 020 7751 4127 www.aardvark.press Springboard Stand 675

Up In Lights Kate Guest’s brand new Christmas Lights range will be proudly on display at PG Live. Made up of six iconic paper-cut Christmas images, these designs provide a classic style with a contemporary twist. All the cards are printed on luxury board and sold wrapped with brown ribbed envelopes. Kate Guest 07976 031464 www.kateguest.com Springboard Stand 720

Going For Gold Following on from the success of the Sparkle range, Jessica Hogarth is launching Sparkle Christmas with lots of lovely festive captions and its signature gold foiled finish. There are 12 cards in the range, covering relations, loving partnership and general Christmas captions. The cards are sized 120mm x 170mm, and come wrapped with brown ribbed envelopes. Jessica Hogarth Designs 07786 906648 www.jessicahogarth.com Springboard Extra Stand 105

Soft Touch Vintage Too is a fresh, contemporary Christmas spin off from Blue Eyed Sun’s best selling Vintage range, based on original embroidered artworks by textile artist Jo Corner. There are 30 very tactile embossed designs in the range, sized 160mm square and sold wrapped with red envelopes. Blue Eyed Sun 01273 823003 www.blueeyedsun.co.uk Mezzanine Stand 524



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PG Live

WORDY WISDOM: A selection of fontalicious cards launching at PG Live.


For The Best Stormy Knight's new Type range delivers a perfect combination of heartfelt sentiment, good old British sarcasm, contemporary typography and gorgeous speckled pastel hue backgrounds. There are 16 A6 designs in the range, printed onto super thick recycled board and sold wrapped with a hairy recycled manilla envelope. Stormy Knight 07875 027551 www.stormyknight.co.uk Springboard Stand 814

From Books To Cards Even Brighter!

Well-known book designer Sian Thomas is debuting at PG Live under the name of Sian Elin Cards, with never seen before card ranges, including the nine-card Everyday Occasions 2016. All the designs are hand-illustrated by Sian with her signature colourful patterns and fun sentiments. All the cards are sized 150mm square and sold wrapped with fleck kraft envelopes. Sian Elin Cards 07725259029 www.sianelincards.com Springboard Stand 740

The Bright Side from Really Good has got a new look! Following on from its new gift launches, 40 of the greeting card best sellers have been redesigned and refreshed with new artwork from the lovely Rachel Bright. All the cards are sold with new coloured envelopes and are being launched at PG Live. Really Good 01235 537888 www.reallygood.uk.com Mezzanine Stand 320

Feel The Fizz Brainbox Candy is brimming with excitement at the launch of its new range Fizz Bang Pop!, an effervescent fun selection of quirky captions, vivacious typography, perky colours and zestful finishing. This range of 12 designs is so brighteyed and bushy tailed, it's the equivalent of a Pimm's tent having a cheeky affair with a gin and tonic stall at a school fete. Brainbox Candy 01702 716643 www.brainboxcandytrade.com Mezzanine Stand 334

Bring On The Bubbly Spread The Luuurve! Get in touch with your squidgy side with Emotional Rescue’s new Snuggly Bumkins range full of heart-felt sentiment and squishy wishes! Cute, cuddly bears and heartfelt, they are perfect for any love or friendship send. There are 17 designs, all blank or birthday, across 5” x 9” and 6” square sizes, sold wrapped with soft blue envelopes. Emotional Rescue 01684 272370 www.emotional-rescue.com Mezzanine Stand 412

In response to popular demand, Megan Claire has added a further 12 designs to its stunning rose gold-foiled range Pink Champagne. New designs featuring quirky quotes for the girls include more ages and occasions, bringing the full range to 35 designs. Each card is sized 145mm square, printed on a heavy textured cream board and sold wrapped with a matching luxury envelope. Megan Claire 01536 560345 www.meganclaire.co.uk Springboard Stand 788 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


WoodWick速 Trilogy Candles - 3 Unique layers of colour & fragrance, each creating its own unique experience as the layers melt together.

Flame & Fragrance 66_PG_May 2016.indd 1

For more info, contact our Customer Service Team Email: sales@xystos.co.uk or call 0191 499 1570 www.xystostrade.co.uk

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PG Live

A selection of wonderful products launching at PG Live.

Child’s Play

Silver Screen

The new Hip Hip Hooray! range from YTR Design comprises 24 brand new cute and sparkly children's designs, covering boy and girl ages 1-6 and general birthday designs. These bright cards are sized 165mm square and are sold wrapped with dandelion yellow envelopes. YTR Design 01484 600 460 www.ytrdesign.com Springboard Stand 812

Inky Fingers

At this year’s PG Live, Alternative Image is adding a new range of 36 retro photographic cards into its fantastic collection of nostalgic black & white and colour bestsellers from the golden age of Hollywood and beyond. All the 7” x 5” cards are blank, beautifully printed, and sold wrapped with scarlet or white envelopes. The Alternative Image Company 020 3478 4804 www.altimageco.com Mezzanine Stand 335

Sarah Kelleher is excited to be adding Inky, a new collection of 24 richly coloured, splashy ink-painting cards to her current ranges. Rustic florals and abstract handcrafted styles are on trend for 2016. All the cards are printed onto gorgeous textured board and come wrapped with a C6 brown ribbed envelope to complete the look. Sarah Kelleher 07768 123957 www.sarahkelleher.co.uk Springboard Extra Stand 92

Happy Ever After Rolling Stone is a brand new set of eight designs from Ling Design’s newly acquired Velvet Olive brand, all based on the theme of love, including wedding, engagement and anniversary captions. Fabulously stylish and enhanced with satin gold foil, the cards are sized 121mm x 171mm and sold wrapped with kraft envelopes. Velvet Olive from Ling Design 01892 838574 www.velvetolive.co.uk Mezzanine Stand 121

In The Fold

Rural Idyll

Another new publisher in Springboard is Made By Man, launching with its Japanese Origami collection. These cute designs also have a piece of origami paper and folding instructions inside for the recipient to have a go at making the design on the front of the card. Designs include a heart, a flower, a dress, a T-Shirt, a dinosaur and an origami crane, which can be sent for any occasion. Made by Man 07783 995501 www.made-by-man.co.uk Springboard Gallery Stand 664

Abacus Cards is unveiling its BBC Countryfile range, its latest collaboration with the BBC, at PG Live. This range of 24 photographic cards features imagery captured across the British Isles, from farm and domestic animals to landscapes and seascapes. Each design carries information on the reverse written by the Countryfile team about the particular animal, place or farming practise featured in the image and comes branded with a BBC Countryfile label. Abacus Cards 01638 569050 www.abacuscards.co.uk Mezzanine Stand 300 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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PG Live

HANDMADE WITH LOVE: A selection of hand-finished cards launching at PG Live.


Pretty As A Picture Paper Salad is launching 12 brand new occasion designs into its lovely sentiment range Pretty Things. Printed with extra bright neon inks on FSC board and finished with gorgeous copper foil, each design is hand-finished with a super cute 3D attachment and comes all wrapped up with a neon pink envelope. Paper Salad 0161 427 0001 www.papersalad.co.uk Mezzanine Stand 207

Life’s A Breeze

Wide Eyed

Georgia Breeze's gorgeous new Pearl range is being extended by eight new designs at PG Live, all in keeping with its distinct hand crafted look, but with added pearls and gems to give it a luxurious edge. There are now 30 145mm square designs, covering birthday ages 16 to 90, as well as everyday occasions. All the cards are supplied wrapped with a beautiful silver pearlescent envelope. Georgia Breeze Designs 07966932059 www.georgiabreeze.co.uk Springboard Stand 768

Googlies is a fun new range of occasion cards from Saffron, featuring adorable characters with fun expressive googly eyes designed to make you laugh out loud. The 16 bright and colourful cards leap off the shelf screaming Buy Me! Saffron Cards and Gifts 01932 888338 www.saffroncards.co.uk Mezzanine Stand 204

Neon Dreams Yippee! Bexy Boo is now extended its Handmade category Henries award winning Scrabbly Neons range to include a unicorn, lollies, ice-creams, cupcakes and all things yummy! Now with 68 designs, there are birthday relations, sympathy, engagement, female age cards and many more. All the cards are individually hand-finished with a vintage wooden letter tile, sparkly Swarovski crystals and hand-punched neon and glittery shapes. Bexy Boo 01565 830 546 www.bexyboo.co.uk Springboard Stand 704

Attached To You Festive Fabrics is a range of 41 new handmade Christmas cards from Laura Sherratt. This range features Laura's line drawn images, now collaged with fabrics, all hand-finished in the UK with shiny sequins and jolly red bows. The cards are printed on a heavy weight board and sold wrapped with red envelopes. Laura Sherratt Designs 01538 384566 www.laurasherrattdesigns.co.uk Mezzanine Stand 405

On The Button Malarkey is a beautifully modern collection of illustrative collaged watercolor designs from Belly Button. There are 65 everyday and 41 Christmas designs launching at PG Live, all with glitter embellishment. All the designs are sized 140mm square, printed on fine textured board and sold wrapped with a contrasting envelope. Belly Button Designs www.bellybuttondesigns.com 0161 902 0200 Mezzanine Stand 316



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PG Live

GAME FOR A LAUGH: A selection of humour cards launching at PG Live.


Just Good Friends Let's Do Lunch, the latest retro photographic humour range from JellynBean, celebrates the ups and downs of being female. There are 18 open caption designs, printed on a silk textured board and sized 5” x 7” and sold wrapped with white envelopes. JellynBean 01423 871881 www.jellynbean.com Springboard Stand 826

Watch The Birdy Lucilla Lavender is launching a new humour range Birdiculous, featuring fun characterful birds getting up to all sorts of activities from boozing to dating. The captions have been created by writer and blogger Becky Mayhew and feature her lovely handwriting. There are 14 designs in the collection in a varied palette of background colours, all with neon orange beaks adding a contemporary touch. Lucilla Lavender 020 3405 1410 www.lucillalavender.com Mezzanine Stand 531

Through The Cake Hole Shut Your Cake Hole is a brand new range featuring fresh cream cakes and biscuits in Tillovision's trademark Plasticine style. With 20 designs, ranging from naughty to nice, it's a show-stopping collection! The cards are sized 120mm x 170mm and come wrapped with a yummy brown kraft envelope. Get 'em while they're hot at PG Live! Tillovision 07934 430029 www.tillovision.com Springboard Extra Stand 100

Keeping It Real Dean Morris is cock a hoop to be showing off lots of new designs in his best selling Fabulous range. Over ten new designs will be on display with the trademark Dean Morris Cards’ retro visuals and with humour that ranges from mild to wild and everything in between. Dean Morris Cards 01902 560247 www.deanmorriscards.co.uk Mezzanine Stand 438

Giving A Toss

Hare’s The Thing

Modern Toss is adding 12 designs to its laughout-loud card range with new cartoons taking a side swipe at diverse subjects including fluency in emoji, pensions, dog couture, loosing weight and new baby arrivals, some with a new five colour finish. Modern Toss 01273 689599 www.moderntoss.com Springboard Gallery Stand 673

Where do matching pairs of socks go? Who knows! But Cath Tate has a few ideas in the brand new Odd Socks range. Clean lined illustrations are paired with funny offbeat captions across 21 designs, all in an A6 format and sold with a bright blue envelope. Cath Tate Cards 020 8671 2166 www.trade.cathtatecards.com Mezzanine Stand 307 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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PG Live

A selection of wonderful products launching at PG Live.

Christmas Sparkle Four new hand-finished ranges are being released by Lucy Ledger at PG Live, including the Wonderland Christmas collection. This series of 12 beautiful 150mm square Christmas cards is finished with sparkling Swarovski crystals and sold wrapped with quality kraft brown envelopes. Lucy Ledger 0114 438 7569 www.lucyledger.com Springboard Stand 809

Hearts And Flowers Since its launch by Portfolio in January, Jaz&Baz by Sara Miller has taken off like a rocket and is expanding rapidly! There will be over 50 designs to choose from at PG Live, all distinctive designs with gold foil and gold glitter, sold wrapped with a kraft envelope. Portfolio 020 8960 3051 Mezzanine Stand 321

Best Day Of The Year We all want more holidays don’t we? With the new Wow, Hey! What A Day! range from Need A Holiday? everyone can now celebrate wacky lesser known holidays every day of the year! With holidays every day, why go to work? All the cards are sized 148mm square and sold wrapped with kraft envelopes. Need A Holiday? 07493933400 www.needaholidaycalendar.com Springboard Gallery Stand 658

Talk The Talk Introducing the new Brook Lane collection from Marina B, with cute illustrated animals and little messages. There are eight designs catering for all occasions, printed on luxury white board, sized 150mm square and supplied wrapped with luxury French grey envelopes. Marina B Designs 01858 434462 www.marinab.co.uk Springboard Stand 661

Chirpy Cheep Cheep! The Cheery Chirps is a gorgeous set of cute general birthday and friendship designs from CardMix. Handmade and photographed by Finnish artist Saara Vallineva, every magical element and character has been lovingly created from scratch. There are 12 140mm square cards printed on artboard and supplied with white envelopes. CardMix 01923 200633 www.cardmix.co.uk Mezzanine Stand 211

Top Of The Range Introducing Fox & Butler from Pigment, exquisitely printed keepsake notecards with beautiful art and disarming messages. Lustrous finishes with fine-grained inner liners provide the perfect place to share one’s truest thoughts and heartfelt emotions. These lovely notecards are presented in unique trifold wallets and can be displayed to best effect in an optional oak finished ‘wine crate' retail display. Pigment Productions www.pigmentproductions.com 01423 520098 Mezzanine Stand 313



Tickled Pink with Sales Celebrate every milestone in sparkly pink with our new lineup of latex balloons, Microfoils, Bubbles, and Partyware!

Visit Pioneer® Europe Ltd. Stand 229 at PG Live, 10-11th, May Freephone: 0800 28 12 15 Email: pelorder@qualatex.com USA ©2016 PBC SB – PG1603004

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PG Live

JUST FOR MEN: A selection of male cards launching at PG Live.


Relatively Speaking The Barbican Range is a new collection of male cards from Dandelion. Covering a wide selection of male relations, including Dad, Son, Son in law, Granddad, Grandpa, Uncle, Nephew, Brother and Brother in law, each card features a unique hand-drawn illustration, is sized 140mm square, and supplied wrapped with tanned orange envelopes. Dandelion Stationery 01332 695359 www.dandelionstationery.co.uk Springboard Stand 822

Boys’ Toys Man Of The Moment

Of the many ranges oi Doris is launching at PG Live is Things wi' Wheels, all set to be a popular range for the blokes. All the images in the range are very cleverly hand drawn using a typewriter. There are six cards in this range, all Father’s Day and birthday. The cards are sized 150mm square and sold wrapped with kraft brown envelopes. oi Doris 07918 180413 www.oidoris.co.uk Springboard Extra Stand 103

The Art File is launching over 50 new designs at PG Live, including a brand new range called Geronimo, a C21st collection of very different cards for men. This range of 16 cards is super futuristically retro, packed with finishes, including copper foiling, raised thermo inks and bright neon colours. The Art File 0115 850 7490 www.theartfile.com Mezzanine Stand 200

Man Magic Manochrome is a new contemporary male range from Noel Tatt. With strong graphic artwork by Pippa Ellison, and quirky supporting text, each design in enhanced with embossing and spot varnish detail. Manochrome comprises eight birthday designs, sized 7” X 5”, and supplied wrapped with a manly graphite grey envelope. Noel Tatt 01227 811600 www.noeltatt.co.uk Mezzanine Stand 301

The Essence Of Extravagance Soft Touch is A Made Hand’s new range of male cards launching at the show. Strong, masculine and unique these rich, velvety cards are designed to bring out men’s softer side with their ‘soft touch’ finish and lovely silver foiled finishing. There are 18 designs, including male milestone ages, all sized 150mm square and sold with a silver envelope. No fuss, just luxury. A Made Hand 01756 748072 Mezzanine Stand 338

American Dream In response to the question ‘Where next with retro?’ Paperlink is launching Down at the Diner. Everybody loves that Americana feel – Lichtenstein-like Pop Art seemed the perfect solution! The same exaggerated expressions as 1950’s photographic cards but with a fresh new feel. Clean and crisp, yet still colourful, with bold boxed super punchy editorial. Paperlink 020 7582 8244 www.paperlink.co.uk Mezzanine Stand 201 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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PG Live

A selection of wonderful products launching at PG Live.

Feeling Fruity Manic Minotaur is exhibiting at PG Live for the first time with its brand new ranges. Fruit Punch Party Squad comprises 10 cards featuring happy, striking characters with colourful backgrounds. All Manic Minotaur cards are sized 5” x 7” and come wrapped with complementing envelopes. Manic Minotaur 07595 383292 www.manicminotaur.com Springboard Gallery Stand 666

Time For A Cuppa Sabivo’s chic new Bijoux range features 20 elegant hand-illustrated designs featuring posh teacups, champagne flutes, fashion accessories and quirky birds and flowers. Monochrome artwork is accentuated with gold paint and hand-finished with colourful flower cup jewels and organza bows. Sabivo Design 0116 2258255 www.sabivo.co.uk Springboard Stand 756

Personal Touch

Ode To Joy

Stardust Greetings is adding new Christmas colouring cards to its successful Colour Me range at PG Live. Suitable for adults and children alike, the cards are printed on lovely smooth luxury board for easy and enjoyable colouring in. The cards are available across 150mm square and large 150mm x 210mm sizes and sold wrapped with complementing envelopes. Stardust Greetings 07745 502952 www.stardustgreetings.co.uk Springboard Stand 750

The Almanac Gallery will be launching three new ranges from Jess Grant at PG Live: Coloured Joys, Animals and Blooming Gorgeous. Amid the chaos of this funny old world, Coloured Joys comes to you full of joy, love, courage and a sprinkling of MAGIC! There are 17 square designs in the range, sold wrapped with coloured envelopes. The Great British Card Company 01452 888999 www.greatbritishcards.co.uk Mezzanine Stand 529

Sticky Toffee Toffee Nose Designs’ new Dashing Dogs collection is a humorous take on animalthemed greeting cards. Mimicking historic family portraits and famous paintings, the range comprises 30 dog portraits ranging from aristocratic spaniels to star struck pugs. Toffee Nose Designs 0046 490 73022 www.toffeenosedesigns.com Springboard Stand 723

Tout Le Mond Mond is a brand new range of cards inspired by the abstract paintings of renowned Dutch artist Piet Mondrian. Available in three stunning colour palettes across 18 designs, these unisex cards are ideal for the younger market. All the cards are sized 150mm square and supplied wrapped with white envelopes. Art Works 07711 677844 www.artworks.co.com Artists’ Quarter Stand 168 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


The LARGEST COLLECTION of Greeting Card Publishers IN THE WORLD “What a great show! Where to begin? So many great companies and lots of interesting new publishers in Springboard.” Debbie Brown, co-owner, First Class Greetings.

Focus On Cards

With free refreshments, lunch and opening night party, you’re free to focus on the cards.

Book Now!

Book your free tickets immediately to receive your copy of the exclusive 2016 Show Preview.

We’ll See You There! PG Live 2016 is dedicated to celebrating and showcasing the fabulous hub of creativity that is the international greeting card industry. With 250+ fabulous publishers, artists and designers launching thousands of new lines, can you afford to miss out?

PG Live 2016 Tuesday 10 - Wednesday 11 May Business Design Centre, London

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Book Your Ticket Now! +44 (0) 1635 297070 @PGLiveLondon www.progressivegreetingslive.com

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Springboard Focus - PG Live 2016

Show & Tell It’s no secret that this year’s PG Live trade show in May has more exhibitors than ever, but among the magical multitude of card publishers revealing their fresh new ranges will be a number of creative and innovative first timers making their debuts in the Springboard zone at the fair. PG asks a ‘class’ of these newbies to show a design and tell the story of their journey into greeting cards.

Far left: Ben Treanor, illustrator and owner of Old English Prints. Below left: Simple and beautiful, a card from Old English Prints. Below middle: Hoppy Bunnies’ founder, Lucy Player. Bottom left: Hoppy Bunnies spell out a special message. Below: Elaara’s founder, Faaezah Qureshi. Bottom right: Islamic cards benefitting humanity from Elaara.

Ben Treanor, owner and illustrator for Old English Prints: Previous Incardtations: “Before starting my business I had worked in design for a number of years. My last job before going off on my own was at Waterstones where I was head designer. This was a great job where I could do both illustration and graphic design. It was always exciting to see my work in the shop windows along the high street.” Path To Cards: “It was in my last role at Waterstones that I decided to create my own range of greeting cards and art prints. After working closely with the stationery and giftware buyers creating the company’s own stationery I decided that I could create my own work and start selling it, which is exactly what I did. Being in this industry is such a buzz. My favourite things about the industry is coming up with the designs, taking them to a trade show, and finding and working with new exciting stockists.” PG Live Hopes: “This will be our first time exhibiting at PG Live and I'm really looking forward to being at a show where the greeting cards take centre stage. I'm hoping to meet new stockists and fellow greeting card publishers.” Springboard, Stand 834

Lucy Player, founder of Hoppy Bunnies: Previous Incardtations: “I’m a graphic designer, working for the past six years on projects ranging from websites for start-ups through to campaigns for international retailers. There’s always been an illustrative thread that runs through much of my work. In September 2015 I left my full-time job, both to start up a design agency and focus more on my side project, Hoppy Bunnies.” Path To Cards: “The Hoppy Bunnies project began when I was at university and has been bubbling away beneath the surface ever since. I’d sell the occasional print, card or gift online, but only this year did a friend of mine (and PG Live exhibitor) persuade me to think big and focus on the greeting card industry, specifically to give the Bunnies that big push they need. Everyone I've been in touch with so far in the process has been amazingly helpful and supportive.” PG Live Hopes: “A platform for exposure, insights and advice from fellow publishers, and a couple of days meeting lovely people.” Springboard, Stand 687

Faaezah Qureshi, founder and owner of Elaara: Previous Incardtations: “Before entering the greeting card market, I had a legal background working in the motor insurance industry.” Path To Cards: “After struggling to find cards that complemented the Islamic faith I had a vision of having my own greeting card line and turned it into reality after five years of deliberating. I finally took the plunge after quitting my job of 12 1/2 years. The second reason was my desire to have a profession that benefitted humanity - I always envied doctors for doing work that was so rewarding! I launched Elaara with a promise of donating 10% of all sale proceeds to different UK charities.



I Drew This

A unique new range of 18 designs of landmark buildings from around the UK printed on the very finest 350gsm board.

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Springboard Focus - PG Live 2016

To date I have attended two national trade shows and I can’t wait to exhibit at my first international trade show at PG Live 2016. I absolutely love designing and have designed over 100 cards so far.” PG Live Hopes: “By showcasing my work at PG Live I look forward to meeting new people who share my passion of designing and making cards, and I hope to meet buyers who like my designs enough to place an order. Nevertheless, I think to be a part of PG Live will no doubt raise my business profile, which can only be a good thing!” Springboard, Stand 653

Tim Courtnell, founder of Recard: Previous Incardtations: “I'm still working in my fulltime job pressing Vinyl for bands. I did a degree in Music Industry and ended up work for a company based in Greenwich that designs, manufactures and releases physical products for record labels, ranging from cassettes and CDs to DVDs and Vinyl.” Path To Cards: “As you can see from my day job I am working with Vinyl and print every day so this idea just came to me one day when someone was playing around with a record, a rolled up piece of paper and a sewing needle. I instantly thought that would work as a greeting card and that's when I started speaking to designers... and Recards was born. Recards converts into a little record player using a real gramophone needle and plays the 7” Vinyl record that you receive included in the card. It is complete with an envelope and cellowrapped. The birthday design plays the traditional Happy Birthday song and the Christmas version plays Silent Night. The card is the size of a traditional 7" Vinyl sleeve to make it feel like a record bought from the shop.” PG Live Hopes: “This is an industry that I never thought I would be involved in so every day I am learning something new. PG Live will be no exception. I'm looking forward to being around people in the same line of work and sharing what we have learnt and getting the best out of the exhibition. I’m really looking to it.” Springboard, Stand 676 Above: Recards’ founder, Tim Courtnell. Right: The card that turns into a record player with Vinyl from Recard.

Sophie Stevens, artist girl and Pete Oswald, admin guy, for Little Difference: Previous Incardtations: “We traveled between temporary bases in UK, Austria and NZ, but did short trips to other places... Pete is a professional freeride skier, photographer and filmer, and Sophie did ski instructing, admin jobs and taught English as a second language. We did just enough work to get by doing things we love most in the most beautiful places we could find. We now run our business remotely so we can continue living the nomadic life!” Path To Cards: “Soph has always been drawing and creating stuff in her spare time. We were in Innsbruck, Austria for the ski season in late November 2014. We had very little money and nowhere near enough for a season pass for Soph. So she drew up some Christmas card designs with some German text, I got them printed at a local printer and we started selling cards to local shops. Within a couple of weeks we made enough money to buy the season pass and pay our rent! At that point we realised we might be on to something. Since then it has been very exciting growing our business and wondering what we could achieve with it, especially since we have achieved our ‘One card = One Tree Planted’ policy.” PG Live Hopes: “We want to make some friends, sell some cards and check out what other interesting things people are doing within the industry. Maybe a few drinks and a bit of partying too...” Springboard, Stand 722 Top left: Sophie Stevens and Pete Oswald, founders of Little Difference. Above: Dino Pirate on a card from Little Difference.

Sarah Borg, director for Toffee Nosed Designs: Previous Incardtations: “I live in Sweden on a small farm and bred very few top British Riding Ponies (show ponies), from which sprung the idea for my company name: Toffee Nosed Designs. For 35 years prior to greeting cards I exhibited as a professional artist in the UK, Sweden and California (predominantly commissioned animal portraits). The light in Sweden has influenced a subtle palette of umbers and pinks, ideal for portraiture and now for my cards. I have also designed fabrics for Nordic Style in Chelsea London and worked as in-house artist for Garbo Interiors in Stockholm. Two of my large paintings were commissioned to hang in the foyer of Drottning Kristina Hotel in central Stockholm.” PG Live Hopes: “Entering this industry is a challenge that I'm thoroughly enjoying, especially with the camaraderie within the industry. I've tested the local market here in Sweden with some success, which prompted me to exhibit at PG Live, to test myself against THE biggest market of all in the UK. I'm hoping it will be the start of a new adventure.” Left: Toffee Nosed Designs’ director, Sarah Borg. Above: ‘Isador’s Summer Days’ from Sarah Borg. Springboard, Stand 723 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


Manufactured in the UK Est. 1975


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The answer to all your Display needs is right here! Come and see us at

PG Live 2016 STAND NO. 331

email: info@jacksayersproducts.co.uk www.jacksayersproducts.co.uk

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Springboard Focus - PG Live 2016

Sabina Kovacheva, founder and designer for SABIVO Design: Previous Incardtations: “I was university tutor and scientist in Plant Biology. However, I have always had a love for entrepreneurship and design, so the second part of my career was in pursue of this lifelong goal. I decided to get practical skills and learn about business on the job. This lead me to chose the career paths of retail manager and buyer in the fashion industry.” Path To Cards: “I had wonderful jobs but with severely distorted work-family balance. A small remark from my boss upon leaving a post was the seed that planted the idea of card publishing: I drew a simple floral thank you card and my boss exclaimed 'What are you doing in buying, go make cards!' My design experience has been interesting, to say the least. When I started I had no formal design or artistic training and drawing and editing software programs were an alien concept for me. I did not have drawing as a hobby either. My perception of design is an eclectic mix of majority of my life spent in Bulgaria, studying and living in Sweden and Italy, and for the past 14 years in the UK. Having a retail background also intuitively pushes me towards commercial looks.” PG Live Hopes: “I would love to meet new customers (from the UK and abroad) and put a face to the names of the existing ones I have not had the opportunity to meet yet. A chance of networking with people in the industry would be lovely, as well as experiencing the famed PG Live fun!” Springboard, Stand 756 Above: Founder of Sabivo Design, Sabina Kovacheva. Right: A colourful cockatoo from Sabivo Design.

Lucy Truman, founder of Lucy Truman Illustration: Previous Incardtations: “I have been an established commercial illustrator since graduating from Loughborough University with a degree in Illustration in 2001. I am influenced by mid-century art and design, from the highs of modernism and modern art, Pop Art and pop culture to the beautiful children's artwork of M. Sasek and Maurice Sendak.” Path To Cards: “My work is stylish and modern, with a hint of retro glamour. Over the years in the industry I have been delighted to illustrate international advertising campaigns and high profile book series for both the adult and children’s markets and I really hope this experience shines through in my greeting card designs.” PG Live Hopes: “It has always been my dream to have my own range of cards to sell online and in stores across the country… and hopefully the world! I recently launched a brand new website and am hoping that exhibiting at PG Live will give me a great start in this new and exciting venture. Please come and see our debut at in the Springboard section, we are sure you’ll like what you see!” Springboard, Stand 838 Above: Founder of Lucy Truman Illustration, Lucy Truman. Left: Retro glamour on a design from Lucy Truman Illustration.

Scott Nellis, designer and founder for Manic Minotaur: Previous Incardtations: “I moved to Brighton in 2004 with barely any qualifications and was used to doing warehouse and data entry work. Creatively, I was unfulfilled. I wanted to be a freelance illustrator and so I signed up for a couple of evening classes in art. This led me onto successfully completing a foundation diploma in art and design and gaining a place at University of Brighton to study for a degree in illustration. I was over the moon.” Path To Cards: “I graduated in 2009 and like many illustration graduates I struggled to gain commissions, but continued to work on my portfolio while working as a data entry clerk. In 2013 I began a fresh body of work and in February 2014 I launched Manic Above: Scott Nellis, founder of Minotaur; initially with 20 Manic Minotaur. greeting card designs, this has Top: Join the colourful world of Magic Minotaur. since risen to over 60. It has been quite an amazing experience with many new doors opening for me.” PG Live Hopes: “My cards and prints have been a hit at fairs in Brighton and London. I’ve also been selling regularly to local stockists and my online sales are increasing. To be taking part in PG Live for the first time is so exciting and I hope Manic Minotaur cards will soon be available in shops outside of Brighton. That would be FABRILLIANTAMAZING!! Everyone I’ve met so far in the greeting card industry has been lovely and even though I’m still a newbie I feel very welcome.” Springboard, Stand 666 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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



Jeremy Corner, owner of greeting card publisher Blue Eyed Sun, considers standards.

New publishers often ask me for business advice and one of the most common phrases used is “What is the standard?” in this or that situation in our industry. The implication being that there are set rules or procedures in any given business dealings. Of course, there is etiquette in business and there are common practices in the card industry, but I always bristle at the use of the word ‘standard’. You see, when people ask in this way, what they don't seem to realise is that my authority is their authority. That is to say that they are the ones accepting my authority as some external objective truth, which it is not. The person asking the question is not necessarily choosing to think carefully about what is right for them or right for their customer in their situation and is instead wanting to be told what to do. Like asking a teacher or a parent for permission. What can follow is a lack of responsibility and the insidious abandonment of innovation and creativity. If we follow patterns and reduce things to ‘standard’ our products and processes become standard and our means of distribution become standard. As a result things can start to suffer. Take, for example, a recent conversation I had with a very successful and experienced

retailer friend of mine about how to design the ultimate, best selling selection of greeting cards. He had a similar discussion with another publisher/broker who had dismissed his ideas because the cards wouldn't fit into the control system they had for displaying the cards. You read that right, “Sorry, we can't design the ultimate selection of best selling greeting cards because they won't fit into our display system”! Do you see how our quest for what is standard can lead us down the path to mediocrity? To my mind this is even worse if we think not only of the money that could be made designing such a selection of best selling cards, but also of what the world Above: Standardisation can lead to mediocrity. Below: The quest for standard size cards and card racks could kill creativity.

wants and needs. This collection of cards could be improving the way that people connect and communicate with one another. It could be touching hearts and changing lives. Yet it isn’t, because the standardised racks won't accept some of these new ideas. These cards may have already been created and exist in the world at this very moment, yet they will be rejected by the buyers or brokers based on the display systems, rather than how the end users of the cards feel about them. The brokers themselves, or the buyers, can divest themselves of authority by handing it over to their systems. Some teeth sucking and… “Oooh, we can't do that. It’s not our fault, it just doesn't fit with our systems.” You can see also how this problem regularly affects the wider world outside our industry where people are often resistant to change because “that’s just not how we do things around here” or “nobody else does it that way/everybody does it a different way”. Both of these examples are people divesting themselves of responsibility and leaving it instead to the status PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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quo. They are not necessarily stepping back and thinking what is best for them and their customers in this era. Because, of course, times change and what was once the way things were done has now been superseded by better methods. In fact, times are changing faster than ever. I read recently that the first ten years of this century saw more technological advancements than the entire previous century and the last six years or so have seen more than the previous ten. Disruptive businesses are challenging how we do things across the planet: Tesla are redefining the car industry, Uber’s changing how we use taxis, Air BnB where we stay when we travel, YouTube how we watch TV, WhatsApp with how we communicate and Facebook with how we consume media and share stories. While a lot of the disrupters are about saving money or time or both, it’s not all about what is cheapest. Despite these changes we still love to buy and share beautiful things. Not on the High Street and Etsy have been big drivers on the internet of this trend. We see it in the ever-growing popularity of artisan food products and designer-maker gifts and cards. So we cannot sit still. We cannot keep doing things the way we have always done them. We need to challenge ourselves and redefine things constantly, experimenting with new creative ideas and being prepared to fail. If we publish cards we have to explore new techniques and think carefully about what cards we like to buy and send in order to learn what works for people who still love to buy and send cards. We have to get to know our customers well and never stop asking them

Above: Air BnB is just one of the new ways we are booking our travel accommodation. Below: Five Dollar Shake’s cards are well-known for being an over £3 card, but still sell like hot cakes! Below right: Companies should be careful that their systems do not become ‘the tail that wags the proverbial dog’, ie that their product is only created to fit around business and industry structures - A card design from Jolly Awesome.

questions about what works well for them and what doesn’t. If we retail then we also need to know our customers. What sells well in our stores and why? What will surprise and delight? When buying new ranges the simplest question to ask is “Would my customers buy this?” If you’re not sure, would you buy it? Who would you send it to and why? Does the price seem reasonable? If the designs are beautiful, different or you would love to send the card then it’s worth paying more for. It’s good to keep testing price brackets with products so that you don’t get stuck in a belief system that stops you growing your sales and profits (eg “My customers never spend more than £3 on a card.” Never say never). We also need to feedback to our suppliers so they can continue to improve our options. If we are in the supply chain we have to understand the needs of our publishers or retailers. We have to adapt and create new techniques and innovations for stock control. We have to stay mindful of the environment and support the use of ethical materials and print.

If we are brokers we have to remember that every card needs to be judged on its own merit. Is this a card that people will want to buy? The greeting card should drive the planning, not the stock control system. We all have to innovate with ways we run our businesses and work with our staff, our customers and suppliers. We have to be prepared to experiment regularly and make mistakes. We need to think carefully about cards and our industry. We have to support new initiatives like Festive Friday and Thinking of You Week to keep banging the drums about how great it is to send and receive greeting cards. We must continue to share stories of how important they are for maintaining that sense of connection with one another in the world, in a way that is still profoundly relevant in our digital age. I'm a huge fan of how systems have streamlined our business processes, but we have to be mindful that they do not become the tail that wags the proverbial dog. The systems need to have flexibility in what is essentially a creative business. We are not selling and distributing uniform fast moving consumer goods like cans of Coke. Our systems need to be adaptable because there are a multiplicity of card buying consumers out there with a huge range of experiences and desires. It's so easy to talk ourselves out of taking risk and offering something fresh to the world because of what we think is standard rather than following our hearts or testing. Nature is always testing and trying things to see what works and then following its success with more of the same. Not enough to eat on the ground? Grow a longer neck to reach the juiciest buds on the trees. Food still scarce? Then grow a water storage system on your back to traverse large sections of the desert in the quest for another oasis of water. While we have a need for certainty through things like systems and standardisation, it is actually our need for variety that makes living so much fun. More importantly, as we see in nature, variety is essential for survival. Read more on Jeremy’s blog at www.blueeyedsun.co.uk/blog PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE



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In Conversation With... Cards Galore

City Slickers

Below: Cards Galore’s store in London’s Hammersmith tube station mall. Below left: Cards Galore ‘starred’ in the recent blockbuster!

The City of London is not just famed as an international financial powerhouse - it also has high stakes in a different currency - sentiment. And the equivalent of the ‘Bank of England’ is Cards Galore. Some 16 of its 58 stores are now located within walking distance of each other in the Capital’s City enclave and Cards Galore is so accepted as a landmark that one was selected to be used as a backdrop in the recent film blockbuster London Has Fallen. PG met up with Cards Galore’s director Rumit Shah and buyer Tricia Corner to find out more ‘galore-ious’ news about this respected specialist chain. ’22 things you’ll only know if you work in London’ was the headline of a recent feature in a London edition of the Metro newspaper. Up there at number 5, is a positive nod to one of the UK’s leading specialist card retailers: ‘Cards Galore has saved your bacon on so many occasions’. While the list is clearly a bit of lighthearted reading, Rumit Shah, director of Card Galore, admits that, “It does make you feel good when you realise the awareness there is of Cards Galore, in the City especially.” He also was pleased to grant permission for the film crew of the recently released film, London Has Fallen, to set up the cameras outside one of its shops and use Cards Galore as a backdrop. “I am surprised how many people have mentioned to me about seeing our shop in the film,” he says.

While this unexpected recent publicity is welcomed by Rumit and the Cards Galore team, to survive and prosper in London and station sites, where all bar two of its stores are located, it takes more than a media mention and a flash appearance in a film. “Retail is tough and getting tougher, the increasing rents and the staff costs push up your overheads, but we’re holding our own – and in fact our card sales have increased for the last two years,” he reveals. This year marks a milestone for Rumit as it is 20 years since he gave up his career as a chartered accountant to join his uncle Rajesh Shah, founder of Cards Galore, to develop the specialist card chain. The team was strengthened further by Rumit’s cousin Milan joining, and then, 10 years ago, Tricia Corner came on board as a buyer. “We were looking for a professional buyer and it was agent Dougie Kilby who suggested Tricia, and I am glad he did!” says Rumit.

“Tricia not only has a great eye for product and knows our customers, but is not afraid to say “no” if she doesn’t think a product is right for our stores,” he adds. The ensuing two decades has seen Cards Galore swell its estate to 58 stores. All except seven of these are in London. Another differentiator is that Cards Galore has a high presence in railway and Underground stations, an opportunity Rumit spotted and acted upon soon after he joined the business. “I looked at all the commuters who were arriving into and leaving from

Left: Rumit Shah and Tricia Corner in one of its two stores in London’s Holborn, just a few minutes walk away from each other. Right: New PoS has been introduced into some of the stores. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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In Conversation With... Cards Galore

London stations, many being the same people every day, so despite the costs of turnover related and profit-related rents, it made sense to have shops there,” explains Rumit. And this thinking also paved the way for its expansion outside the confines of the Capital as there are now Cards Galore shops in stations in Leeds, Manchester, Glasgow, Reading and Brighton (with a second shop in Brighton itself too). In fact, Oxford is the only location outside London that Cards Galore only has a high street location. The confines of the station locations has meant that the Cards Galore concept has had to adapt to different sizes of units, something of little concern to Rumit. “As it stands, a third of our shops are large, a third are medium and a third are small.

Tricia’s Cornerstones Tricia Corner has been a retail buyer since she was 19 years old - including with department stores and garden centres - and greeting cards have featured heavily throughout her career. And to say she is ‘married to the job’ would be something as a truism as her husband is David Corner, sales director of Portfolio! While Cards Galore does sell gifts (making maximum use of its till point areas even in its smaller stores to push up the transaction value with impulse items) some 70% of its sales are still on greeting cards. “Cards Galore is a greeting card retailer that sells gifts rather than a gift retailer that sells a lot of cards,” assures Tricia. Part of the reason it has been able to not only sustain the high overheads of its

Above: Rajesh Shah at The Retas collecting Cards Galore’s award for Best Specialist Multiple 2009 from Andrew Marjoram, who was sales director of Hallmark at the time, sponsor of this award category. Left: Tricia has noticed how the buying patterns are shifting from 30th and 40th milestones towards 50th. Above right: Tache was one of Tricia’s finds at PG Live last year. Above middle: London scenes, such as this Pango design do well in Cards Galore. Right: Humour, such as this Hunky Dory design, has become a growing sector Cards Galore.

one of our stores that is only a few minutes walk away in another direction,” Rumit reveals. “And as we do have so many customers who come into the same shop frequently we need to keep moving the stock around to keep it fresh for them.” Rumit is in no doubt as to Card Galore’s place in the market. “We are the middle market and we’re happy with that. Paperchase is at the top end, while Scribbler has its niche.” He is equally clear about the product that Cards Galore sells.“We are at the heart of the sentiment industry. All it takes is one card with the right message written inside, given at the right time and you have taken that relationship on. It is a very powerful medium.” Taking on board some of the concerns about the industry ’s longevity, Rumit adds: “I do think if the price of postage was lower it might encourage more cards to be sent and yes, it would be good to get more youngsters sending cards, but maybe we worry too much. This industry has something that is intrinsically valuable and it will retain its value with the consumer.” So, how would Rumit like to mark his 20 year anniversary with Cards Galore? “Opening more shops outside London would be good, but we will have to see!”

locations, but also grow its card sales is by working with a variety of publishers, not afraid to cherry pick designs as well as always be on the lookout for new ideas. Tricia has little truck with brokerage: “We know our customers and the types of cards they like to buy better than a broker could ever know. It is my job as a buyer to make sure we meet these evolving needs.” She estimates that Cards Galore has “1520 core publisher suppliers for everyday,” but she also orders from a number of smaller niche players if something catches her eye. “PG Live is a great show for me and I will be going to look for ‘new’. Last year I discovered Tache at the show which has been great for us,” she reveals.

As well as having to contend with the different size configuration of the stores, Tricia also has to define the appropriate cards and caption balance within the estate. “I would order up to four times as many ‘Wife’ caption cards for our shops in the City as I would for the other ones as the City has a more male dominated workforce. Yet while we do not sell many grandchildren cards in our London stores, we lots of them in our Brighton shops.” Another change Tricia has noticed is on milestone age cards. “Our biggest selling captions used to be for 30th and 40th birthday, but now 50th has become a really big milestone. More reasons to celebrate is good news for Cards Galore!”

We even once had a really tiny one in Victoria Station that was just 2’ by 15’, it was basically a wall of cards, but it traded well. It is all about visibility,” assures Rumit. This ‘visibility’ aspect also goes someway to explaining the density of its stores in the City. “People only see what is in front of their eyes. We have a lot of loyal customers who walk the same way to work every day and when they pop out at lunchtime to go to Pret they walk the same route too. That means they may never walk past another



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Is There More To Be Had?

Below: As Oliver asked: “Please sir, may I have some more?”

This month sees the GCA start on its data collection for the annual UK Greeting Cards Industry Market Report, the PR machine is in full flow for Stationery Week, as well as plans are being ramped up for Thinking of You Week. PG asks publishers and retailers for their views on the growth potential for the UK greeting card industry?

Ceri Stirland director of marketing of UK Greetings:

Chris Bryan general manager of Second Nature: “Through various research carried out by the GCA, the Post Office and many established publishers, we all know that a greeting card is the best way of letting someone know that we’re thinking of them. There are many short-term strategies to try and maintain growth for our market (such as Thinking of You Week), which all aim to make people stop and think about sending a card, but a long-term strategy is also required. I firmly believe one of the best ways to ensure the continued strength of our industry and generate growth is to educate the next generation(s) of greeting card purchasers. Having been into a primary school to promote greeting card making and sending, it was really heartwarming to witness the realisation of the pleasure derived from both the sending and receiving of a card by a very large group of 6 to 7 year-old children. As electronic communications change at a rapid pace, it’s vital that we engage with our future customers and ensure they fully comprehend the importance of sending a card rather than a text!” Above and left: Chris Bryan in full flow engaging with the primary school children of Goldfields Primary School in Tring (where his wife works as a teacher) about greeting cards after which the pupils set to and created some cards.

“I really do believe that the UK greeting card market is growing. Our research findings have confirmed that the everyday card market is ahead of other non-food sectors, such as books, newspapers, clothing, health and beauty and furniture. Encouragingly, our consumer trackers are also signaling that there is more growth on the cards from the male population. For the last few years we have consistently seen an increase in male card senders and continue to see this as an opportunity. Men are sending more cards than previously thought, somewhere between 30%- 40%. Why is this? Changing socio demographics - ie single parents, divorce rate - have played a part, meaning that men have had to take control and buy a card for their daughter, brother, mum. Our research also signals that there is more growth to be gained by providing more humorous designs, hence the reason we are continuing to invest heavily in this area to ‘test learn’ and then launch in to retail to ensure the product we bring to market is consumer validated. If consumers see more cards that reasonate with them, especially if it Above: The UK’s menfolk are sending more cards provides topical light relief, they will – all good news for the card trade! The bearded lovelies are celebrated here on a UKG design. buy more. I also believe that innovation also holds a key to growing the market, which in turn also increases the value of the market. Consumers are attracted to innovation, which often means higher priced cards that are deemed more special. We are already seeing that consumers are spending more per card with APS increases yearon-year. This growth is likely to continue. In addition, there is still growth to be gained through the minor occasions, such as From the Cat, 20th Anniversary, Mam etc. By card retailers offering this tailored approach it means that we can better cater for the more defined needs of the consumer and increase the opportunities to purchase highly appropriate cards.”



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Rajeev Arora managing director of Davora:

Below and left: Two of Davora’s Polish designs from its Misiu Cards range.

“The key to finding growth is to listen and react to what customers are asking for. Here at Davora we work around the fringes of the greeting card industry, catering for ethnic festivals, specific demographics and niche seasonal occasions. Although we are now in our 11th year, we still see a lot of growth in these areas. There are plenty of niche occasions that we are yet to cater for, and room for growth in the areas we are already in. This year we released our new Polish greeting card range, Misiu Cards, in direct response customer requests. We also doubled our Welsh range, Pili Pala Cards, to cover more captions that our customers asked us for. Eid is one of our bread-and-butter occasions, and here again we listened to our customers and launched a complementary Eid money wallet range. The point is, by listening carefully to what customers are asking for we've found new growth areas that we would not have thought of ourselves. The evolving demographics in the UK provide fresh and unique growth opportunities (Poles for example now make up the second largest ethnic group in the UK, after Indians). Our customers are key to helping us find them.”

Ros Jones owner of the Celtic Company, Welshpool, and also co-owner of publisher, Alff a Bet: “I do believe the proliferation of greeting card publishers hold a key to growing the industry as they continue to broaden the offer for the consumer with fresh takes on greeting card design. I clearly believe there is room for new and different designs and 'offers'. I am branching out into publishing, albeit in a very small way myself. It has been a very steep learning curve, and we are still on our publishing 'journey', but I have been amazed at how responsive the digital printing process is, and how flexible it can be. The luxury as a publisher of being able to try out small ranges of cards or short runs to test the market is there and it is relatively inexpensive. This is a key to growing the market. Secondly, I am convinced there is still growth to be gained Above: Ros Jones (left) with Moonpig’s Sarah Jane Porter (far right) and The Emporium’s Sarah and Nigel Morris. by tapping into niche markets, especially cultural ones. We have developed a small range of Welshlanguage cards, which have been very well-received on their trial runs. It has been a struggle over the years, as a buyer, to find decent quality Welsh cards that go beyond a blank-inside-happy-birthday format. It is improving, but there is still room for more development and for this niche to be taken seriously. I feel sure the same can be said of other cultures within the UK 'melting pot'.”

Sarah Jane Porter

Tish Bas senior card, giftwrap & celebration buyer for Paperchase: “I do think there is growth potential. As a business we have seen a massive growth with sentimental product, this also follows through to social media with people posting inspirational words. With this in mind, now is the time to really push people to think more about Thinking of you Week. We’re really excited about getting involved this year. We have some great ideas and can’t wait to share them with our customers. New ideas and supporting small publishers, new illustrators and design graduates will also help the growth. November last year we put out a competition to our lovely customers; the brief was to create a Christmas card charity pack using the Christmas tree as inspiration. We reviewed all entries with our design team in January. We were inundated with amazing designs that we found it too hard to just pick one! We decided to pick two designs and send these to print. We need to continue to support these fresh ideas coming through our Paperchase doors!" Above: Tish Bas believes sentiment and engaging with fresh creative spirit will help to grow the category. Left: Paperchase has ‘spread the love’ about its involvement with the On The Cards initiative which has linked students with their actual creations going on sale.

head of licensing of Photobox Group (which includes Moonpig):

Below: Moonpig feels that ‘no send sends’ as well as more captions are two routes for growth.

“I definitely believe there are still growth opportunities for the greeting card market, opportunities that will be harnessed by further improving the convenience of shopping for them and engaging new consumer groups. We know that a huge driver of card purchase decisions are around the convenience of a shop. It is about catching those sales when people think about buying a card, before they dismiss it as being ‘too late’ or ‘too much hassle’. Event purchasing is getting later and later because customers are used to an instant culture of having what they want when they want/need it. We (Moonpig.com) have done a huge amount of work to enable customers to get to our products quicker and send them quicker. Another growth potential is to broaden the reasons and times consumers send cards. This is already happening to a degree, but it can be further nurtured. We have noticed an increased amount of what we term as ‘no send sends’ in the market. These are cards not specifically geared around an occasion or event but simply to say, ‘you’re fab’ or ‘adventure awaits’, positive generic wording which could be sent to anyone for any occasion. There are of course also broader sending groups continuing to emerge which could still be better catered for and thereby grow the market, such as same sex wedding and anniversary cards, as well as ‘From the Bump’, The Dog and The Cat etc.”



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Industry Insights

Map Reading “If you land in a new country, you need a map to find your way around. You might think you know the way, but you could easily get lost, take a wrong turning or make an assumption based on your own perceptions,” said Gerard O’Mahoney, commercial director of Carte Blanche, using the analogy to explain why the company has invested heavily in what must rank as one of the largest research projects into mapping UK consumer greeting card purchasing behaviour. PG shares some of the early insights, which will percolate into Carte Blanche’s greeting card ranges in the near future. There has been a lot of fur flying in the Carte Blanche world in the last month - namely as thousands and thousands of new look Tatty Teddy plush bears (as well as other Me to You gifts and impulse lines) have made their way into the entire Clintons store 400+ estate, as well as around 500 independents, as the totally revamped gift collection has launched in store with encouraging early results. While far from being a done deal, with a whole programme of activity including ongoing product development to encourage the public (and retailers) to “fall in love with Me to You all over again” on the gift front, the Sussex-based company is now also turning its attentions towards its greeting card portfolio. Greeting cards are after all where Carte Blanche started, but its acquisitions of Wishing Well Studios and Hotchpotch, as well as the challenges from the plush and gift side, has seen CBG’s attentions being pulled in a number of different directions. Now though a strong focus is being put back onto its greeting cards. However rather than expend hefty investment in creating all manner of card collections based on its own team’s creative supposition, the publisher’s future card designs will be as a result of a percolation of gems that are currently being

Above left: Gerard O’Mahony, commercial director of CBG who is leading the company’s investment into consumer insight. Above right: In addition to tracking card buying habits the research also covers gifts and allied products. A quarter of people buying a card will also be looking to buy accessories too, such as a gift bag. Left: The new look Me to You gift collection was installed in all Clintons stores and appeared in the windows of the specialist chain just after Easter. Below left: Me to You is celebrating its 21st birthday this year and CBG is ensuring that alongside its other brands, its cards are totally in tune with consumer expectations. Below right: The CBG research has highlighted how 50% of all wedding cards are bought to send to friends and suggests that there is a great need for higher end card options for these sends as well as close family-related captions.

gleaned from 5,000 pages of data which shed real light on the card buying habits of the British public. When Gerard O’Mahony joined Carte Blanche as commercial director in the second half of last year, he knew very little about greeting cards. But once he emerges from the

other side of the 5,000 page research findings tome he will be a veritable greeting card encyclopedia. Even the topline findings he is able to share already (see separate story page 99) is of huge value, giving reassurance and direction to all those involved in greeting cards. How Carte Blanche deciphers the findings and translates these into actual product – and communicates the rationale to retailers - is what will stand it in good stead. Gerard’s past experience from working with other brands (latterly the Red & Black stationery brand) left him in no doubt as to the massive benefit of gaining an objective picture of a consumer market, as by doing so you avoid costly and ill-advised decisions based on what he sums up as “intelligent naivety”. He was intelligent enough to realise early on that gaining an ‘objective’ map of greeting card buying in the UK would be a challenge due to the nature of the product. “The consumer purchasing decision when buying a greeting card is way more complicated than for almost every other consumer product,” said Gerard, partly due to the fragmented nature of the industry both at supplier and retailer level as well as the highly emotional nature of the product. Enlisting the services of research heavyweights, Structural Thinking, the project kicked off towards the end of last year, resuming again in the New Year to counter any Christmas skew to the results. The extensive research has encompassed both qualitative and quantitative elements. The first phase comprised a series of accompanied shopping trips with interviewees that focused on getting under the skin of consumer feelings and needs in relation to gifts and cards. The findings of this tranche enabled a PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE



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Industry Insights

Far left: To get under the skin of greeting card buying behavior requires understanding the six Ws! Left: The CBG research findings signal that there as we get older we send more cards. Below left: A contemporary send from Hotchpotch. Below right: Showing someone how much they mean to the sender is the number one reason for sending a card, according to CBG’s research. A Wishing Well design.

questionnaire to be constructed (comprising 75 questions) on their purchasing behaviour and attitudes (two thirds of the questions were about their card buying, the remainder about their gift purchasing). A group of 4,555 members of the public then completed this questionnaire to collectively represent the entire UK population. Gerard’s hunch about the complexity of choosing and buying a greeting card even broke new ground for Structural Thinking, which has worked in a multitude of different product areas over the years. “In all other studies it has undertaken, they look at the five Ws of consumer purchasing behavior (who, what, when, where and why). For the first time ever with our research they had to add a sixth W – ‘whom’ as the recipient is such an important part in the purchasing decision for a card or a gift,” reinforces Gerard. Having committed such a significant sum to the research project,

Carte Blanche is not inclined to reveal all the findings with its competitors, however it recognises that sharing some topline insights will improve retailer confidence in it as a supplier that is serious about the development of the greeting card sector as a whole. “Our research has confirmed that greeting cards have one of the highest consumer penetrations of all consumer products – 86% of the UK adult population have bought a greeting card in the last year and the most popular reason for doing so was for the sender to show to the recipient what they meant

Public Opinion l Greeting card buying has an incredibly high consumer penetration of 86% (ie the percentage of

people buying them) – one of the highest of all consumer products in the UK. l The number one reason (cited by 64% of respondents) given for someone buying a card is “to

show how much they mean to me”. l Some 86% of the UK adult population bought at least one birthday card in the last year. l Some 73% of the UK population bought at least one Christmas card in the last year. l After birthday cards and Christmas cards, Mother’s Day cards have the third highest consumer

penetration in the UK. l The British public buys an average of 27 cards per year. And the volume goes up with age. l Some 62% of greeting cards are given by hand. l 9” x 6” was confirmed as the most popular size of card. l Sentimental and humorous are described as the most popular types of cards. l When asked whether they are currently buying more or less cards than they used to, exactly the

same number (17%) said they had increased their card purchasing “these days” as those who had reduced the number of cards they are now buying. l Gifts are given on almost two thirds of occasions when a card is given. Some 20% of these gifts are purchased in the same store as the card. l On 25% of the occasions when a card is purchased, accessories, such as bags or wrap, are also bought. Some 64% of these additional purchases happen in the same store. l Of all greeting card stockists, Card Factory enjoys the highest consumer penetration (ie the greatest percentage of people go into a Card Factory at least once to buy a card compared to other retailers). (Source: Carte Blanche Greetings)

to them”. This is very encouraging for the sector as a whole,” assures Gerard. The plan now is that from May onwards, Carte Blanche will be able to start a process which will go someway to ensuring that it develops the right greeting cards to match the needs and expectations. Revealing how Carte Blanche’s own assumptions were out of kilter with actuality, Gerard cites some of the findings for wedding cards. “The research has pinpointed that 50% of all wedding cards bought are for friends, and our wedding selection was probably more skewed to captions than it should have been, we need some more high-end wedding cards to better cover these needs. Something we are already addressing!” says Gerard. Having tracked all ‘six Ws’ means that the CBG team can look at the findings from different perspectives. “It is like we have been given an amazing kaleidoscope. We can look at things from a number of different angles, learning even more about how a certain type of consumer may buy their sister or mum cards from M&S, but for the majority of their other sends they might go to Card Factory.” While CGB is the only one with its hands governing the turn of that kaleidoscope, the sharing of some of the topline findings do provide some reassurance for all those involved in the sector. “As a nation with an ageing population it is encouraging that it is still the case that the older you get the more cards you send. Those aged 15-24 years send an average of 20 cards a year ands then there is a straight line to those aged 65, who are buying an average of 37 cards a year,” reveals Gerard. And looking holistically, while 25% of respondents said that cards are ‘a thing of the past’, this does mean by definition that 75% of the UK’s adult population feel they are relevant to today. Therefore, this significant consumer mapping project suggests that while the lay of the greeting land is not without rocky outcrops it does benefit from considerable solid terrain. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE



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Face To Face



Weft Weave

Two centuries of creativity and many decades of industry experience come together in Heritage Art & Design, a brand new greeting card publishing collaboration which debuts at PG Live. PG travelled to Braintree to meet ‘the brains’ (and familiar faces) behind what aims to become a significant player in the art card market. “It felt like the cast of Ben-Hur had descended on our little stand at last year’s PG Live,” recalls Kate Wigley, archivist and commercial manager of Warner Textile Archive, a museum Trust which publishes a range of art cards based on the treasures from its vast archive. “Little did I know then that it was to mark the start of what has flourished into the official launch with Heritage Art & Design at this year’s show,” Kate added. That ‘Ben-Hur’ cast did not include Charlton Heston, Stephen Boyd or Jack Hawkins, the protagonists of the 1959 epic,

but Peter Goodman, Mike Apicella and Andy Lloyd who would definitely rank as ‘famous faces’ from within the greeting card world. Peter and Mike are founders of SMS and have worked together for years on the Xpressions brand, while Andy Lloyd spent many years as national accounts manager of UKG before leaving in February 2015 to set up Manorhill Associates, a consultancy business with former school friend David Harrison. “What happened is that the four of us met up last April and the conversation turned towards the possibility of us working together to establish a new business. Between us we have a number of skills, a lot of great contacts and many years of experience – and we got on well,” explains Peter. It was Andy who then mooted what he saw as an opportunity. “The market has become more polarised over the years, with the effect of Card Factory’s dominance at the bottom end of the market being undeniable. However, I shared my views with the

others about how I believe that there are many more opportunities at the top end of the market – and notably there is a gap in the art card sector for a greater choice to be offered,” said Andy, recounting what has proved to be a pivotal discussion. “I even mentioned Warner Textile Archive and whether it was worth contacting them.” Fast forward a few weeks to PG Live 2015, and Andy, while at the show, excitedly contacted Peter and Mike, who were also

there. “You’ll never guess who’s here? Warner Textile Archive. Go up and have a look at the stand,” he urged. After this incognito reccy, introductions were made to Kate and a meeting was arranged soon afterwards to discuss if there was any merit in working together.

Top right: Chiming with the current fashions, the current range includes a card design that is based on a hand painted paper design by Christine Carter from 1979 that is part of the Warner & Sons archives. Above: Master weavers at Warner & Sons back in 1895. Above right: This London Scenes hand-painted paper design from 1939 was originally for a printed fabric that was never produced. The illustrations are beautiful despite the edges having been damaged during the Blitz. Right: The Heritage Fine Art team. (Left-right) Mike Apicella, Peter Goodman, Kate Wigley (Warner Textile Archive), Andy Lloyd and David Harrison in the Warner Textile Archive in Braintree.



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Face To Face

“The Warner Textile Archive is a charitable Trust which is responsible for protecting the collection, which comprises over 100,000 items, and ensuring its longevity - for us that is paramount,” says Kate. “We started publishing a small range of cards ourselves three years ago to raise funds, as well as to help educate the public about the Archive. Greeting cards are a very good way of achieving both of these aims as the backs of the cards lend themselves to this.” However, while Kate and the trustees are pleased with the progress that has been

made at retail over the last three years by its agents, they recognised that this distribution could be bolstered by utilising the wealth of contacts that Andy, Peter and Mike have at national and regional group level. As a result, Heritage Art & Design was formed, anchored by a long-term arrangement with the Warner Textile Archive to help drive the sales of its products. Peter Goodman is

Delving Into Historic Treasures Warner Textile Archive is an incredible rich treasure trove, and deserves a much higher profile on the UK’s cultural stage – which Heritage Art & Design should help to do by expanding the retail distribution of the greeting cards, notecard packs and tea towels. Its fascinating history spans two centuries and combines creativity and commerce as well as a tracker of the developments in industrial production. The Warner Textile Archive holds England’s second largest collection of flat textiles. It really is a celebration of British design, hosting a collection of over 100,000 items, which includes over 60,000 textiles and 10,000 paper designs. While many of these are samples and designs relating to Warner & Sons’ own production, it has also over the years acquired other notable pieces. Its textile origins can be traced back to Benjamin Warner the Elder (17701839) who was a Jacquard engineer who had a business making looms in London’s Spitalfields. After his death his son Benjamin then developed the family business into silk weaving and through various partnerships and acquisitions grew the business winning plaudits galore in the UK and abroad. In 1895 he moved Warner & Sons to New Mills in Braintree (still its home today). Among many claims to fame, Warner & Sons wove all the fabrics for all the British Coronations, from Queen Victoria to the present day. It also wove cloth for the cartridge bags that were used as shell covers in World War 1, while during World War 11 the looms were used to weave silk and nylon parachute fabric. Warner & Sons worked with and employed many reputable and inspirational designers throughout its long history, including William Morris, Owen Jones, Mary White and Eddie Squires. The company stopped manufacturing in 1990s, but has recently launched its own range of fabrics again. In addition it licences designs to various high profile brands in the fashion and interiors world, including Ralph Lauren, Designer’s Guild and Sanderson. The Archive has changed ownership several times over its lifetime, but in 2004 it was acquired by the Braintree District Museum Trust, helped by funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Clothworkers Guild, Art Fund, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, Braintree District Council and other charitable bodies and individuals. The Warner Textile Archive is located in the original grade 11 listed textile mill in Braintree in Essex, as well as being home to the archive there is also a Gallery and a shop.

chairman of the new company, Andy Lloyd its sales director, David Harrison the company secretary and Mike Appicella the fourth director. The collaboration, which launches officially at PG Live, will see both the Warner Textile Archive and Heritage Art & Design appear on the signage on the stand. The museum will continue to be the publisher of the products, but Kate is already reaping the benefits of working with the Heritage Art & Design team. “I have a degree in textiles and art history and know the archive very well having joined the Trust eight years ago as archivist and commercial manager, but I don’t have specific greeting cards expertise so I have taken on board the suggestions made by Andy and the team about how we can diversify the range,” says Kate. Top far left: A step and repeat hand printed cotton fabric from around 1930 has been used as the basis of one of the Christmas card designs. Top left: This Big Tulip design is based on a hand printed linen fabric dating back to 1929. Above and left: The new collection includes a few designs featuring contemporary captions as well as some occasions cards. Below: Hand-block printing at work at Warner & Sons back in 1930.

As Andy, summed up: “It is about remaining true to the Archive while also ensuring they work well as greeting cards too. Up until now all of the cards have been blank, so we are introducing some occasions designs as well as a couple of contemporary captions, a few Christmas designs, as well as six notecard wallets and some tea towels. The Archive is so vast we really are spoilt for choice. And it all started at PG Live!” PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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Behind The Scenes

Hallelujah! Answering the industry’s prayers to ignite an anewed interest in Christmas cards across the generations, the BBC’s Songs of Praise has launched a nationwide Design a Christmas Card competition to raise significant funds for the Children in Need charity appeal. PG joined the GCA’s ceo Sharon Little and Songs of Praise presenter Pam Rhodes at the V&A museum for a special filming to launch the competition. At its peak in the early 1990s, a quarter of the UK population tuned in to watch Songs of Praise on a Sunday. While these days the weekly Christian-themed series doesn’t pull in such a large ‘congregation’, its viewership is still in the millions and the magazine format of the current programme means that it has broadened its appeal way beyond avid church goers. Having witnessed the huge success fellow Sunday programme Countryfile raises for Children in Need through the sale of its calendar (£1.5 million last year alone), Songs of Praise set its sights on producing some Christmas cards last year, but the logistical constraints meant the idea got parked until now. In the words of William Cowper’s 18th century hymn ‘God moves in a mysterious way his wonders to perform’, when PG and the GCA was unexpectedly

contacted by a researcher for the programme intimating that it was hoping to launch a nationwide design a Christmas card competition as part of the Children in Need activities for this year, this opportunity to publicise the UK’s greeting card heritage, the importance of greeting card sending today as

well as help to inspire greeting card creativity was grasped enthusiastically. The Songs of Praise team had already earmarked the V&A museum as a highly appropriate venue in which to film the competition’s launch, not only due to its vast collection of historical Christmas cards, but also as Sir Henry Cole (the inventor of the Christmas card) was also the first director of the museum. This selection was further ratified when PG’s editor Jakki Brown, who owns one of the few remaining ‘Henry Cole’ original Christmas cards, confirmed she would be willing to have it featured on the programme. So, early one morning at the start of April, armed with this 4” piece of social and aesthetic history in her bag, PG’s editor and the GCA’s Sharon Little went behind the scenes of the museum into one of the many archive libraries to join Song of Praise’s delightful presenter Pam Rhodes, experienced cameraman Mark Warburton and sound recordist Carl Madert. With a smidge less than a two hour window before the V&A was open to the public, the well oiled Songs of Praise trio went into ‘lights camera action’ mode.

Top: Songs of Praise presenter Pam Rhodes (left) with GCA’s Sharon Little discussing some of the entries to The Henries awards last year and how the themes and techniques could be highlighted on the programme to inspire those entering the competition. Above left: Pam Rhodes includes her positive views on sending Christmas cards in her book Tidings of Comfort and Joy. Above: The outside of the V&A museum. Left: Filming in action for Songs of Praise inside the V&A.



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Behind The Scenes

Forming an engaging preamble to the launch of the competition, the camera followed Sharon and Pam as they perused some of the historic Christmas cards from the V&A’s collection, highlighting some strong design themes. “Robins were popular back in Victorian times on Christmas cards as they are today, representing the postmen of the era who were famed for their red jackets,” Sharon told Pam. She also highlighted the different folds and die-cut elements that were in evidence in Victorian cards as they are now. “Animals were also popular – the Victorians for some reason had a liking for pigs on cards,” said Sharon, prompted by seeing an example which reinforced the point. Pam then focused on the Christmas card that Sir Henry Cole commissioned from his friend and celebrated artist John Horsley. “I can’t see any sign of baby Jesus here,” said Pam looking at the card. “You’re right,” responded Sharon “But it is a triptych and the Christian values of helping

Left: PG’s Jakki Brown (right) showing Pam Rhodes (centre) and Sharon Little (GCA) her original Sir Henry Cole Christmas card. Below: It was suggested that entries to the competition could feature fine art depictions of animals, such as this Wrendale design. Below middle: Scanned in collage technique, such as features on this Paper Salad card, was suggested as an idea for entries. Bottom: Sharon suggested that calligraphy, such as on this Think of Me design, would be considered by entrants to the competition.

the needy are represented on either side of the central image which shows the family altogether around the Christmas table,” she added, before explaining how the design was seen as controversial at the time as it featured children drinking alcohol, incensing members of the Temperance Society who even took to demonstrating outside the shop (Felix Summersly’s) where the

Tidings Of Comfort And Joy Pam Rhodes does not hide her love of greeting cards under a bushel. As well as being a well-loved face on Songs of Praise, Pam also hosts a radio show and is author of several recent books. Among her most recent tomes is Tidings of Comfort and Joy, which is all about Christmas in which makes several references to Christmas cards. Here she shares her views about greeting cards as well as praising her local greeting card shop! On the joy of receiving a greeting card: “I am moved and encouraged by the loving thoughtfulness of the person who’s gone to the trouble of choosing and sending a card. I have a drawer full of such cards which date back for decades – and they are wonderful reading if I’m in need of a bit of reassurance.” Pam’s favourite card shop: “In our home town of Biggleswade, we are really fortunate to have the best card shop I’ve ever seen, right on our doorstep. The Gorgeous Gift and Card Company shop stands in a small parade of shops on a local estate – not even in the middle of the town – and yet it’s always busy because of its growing reputation for always having not just the very card you need, but several options for you to consider. One word of caution – don’t ever think you can just ‘pop’ into this shop. I’ve never made it out of the door in under 15 minutes – there’s always so much to see!” On Christmas card sending: “I love keeping in touch by sending Christmas cards, especially as some of those on my list are people I may only have contact with at this festive time of year. I think there’s nothing nicer than opening a card addressed in the familiar writing of an old friend – and no computerised greeting could ever be a substitute for that. And just imagine our homes at Christmas time without strings of cards decking the walls! That tradition is a heart-warming part of our preparation for Christmas, as cherished and necessary as singing carols and wrapping up parcels! I also feel that the most valuable gift we can give others is the gift of words. However many cards I have to write, I try to include something thoughtful and personal in every one rather than just ‘Happy Christmas, love Pam’. ” On religious imagery on Christmas cards: “At the heart of our celebration is the story of the birth of Christ, and sadly I find the number of really nice, reasonably priced cards which reflect the Christmas story is very limited. However, the traditional Christmas themes of Father Christmas, snow scenes, holly and ivy, robins and reindeers have been used on cards since Victorian times, and I must say I love them too. I enjoy the funny Christmas cards as well, and often send individual, funny cards to people who are just as likely to send a card with a funny, original punch-line back to me.”

cards first went on sale in London’s Bond Street. The camera then moved to more modern day inspiration, anchored by a selection of Christmas cards that were entered into The Henries last year. Providing an ideal lead in to the competition, Pam asked: “So what makes a good Christmas card design today?”, before joining with Sharon to highlight an array of design elements that could be included in their submissions, from calligraphy to collage, paper-cuts to fine art, and, of course being Songs of Praise, religious imagery too. With the Children in Need PR machine helping to not only raise awareness of the competition, but also to help sell the cards, Christmas cards will receive some extra publicity this year. And if successful, it could be the start of an annual consumer competition which shines the spotlight on Christmas cards in a very good way. Amen to that.

In Praise of Creativity The Songs of Praise Design a Christmas Card for Children in Need competition launched on April 17 and will be open for entries until Monday May 23. There will be 10 winners and as a result 10 different packs (each containing 10 cards) will be produced. Individuals are invited to submit an original artwork or illustration on card or suitable paper 140mm x 140mm/5.5” x 5.5” in size, capturing the spirit of Christmas. However entries that involve complex reproduction of designs will not be considered suitable so use of any 3D objects or craft embellishments such as sequins, felt etc (unless scanned in) are not valid. Full details are available on the Songs of Praise website. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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PG paints a pretty picture of some of the exhibitors who will inhabit the Artists’ Quarter at PG Live this year (May 10 and 11).

David Lyon Art “I am a fine artist based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. I studied Art at Bolton College of Art and Design, before completing a BA (Hons) in Graphic Design at Leeds Polytechnic. I went on to build a career as an illustrator and designer and began exhibiting my paintings and drawings in 1997. I am inspired by organic shapes and forms – references to the natural world often spark my interest. Ideas connect, breed and grow, transform. I daydream how best to take ideas forward, to make them exist as paintings or drawings. I continue to explore my favoured media – acrylic and charcoal – in my studio in north Leeds. When I paint I choose to reinterpret my chosen subject matter, highlighting semi-abstract passages by emphasising colour and reducing shapes to a line or pattern. My charcoal drawings, however, are more representational, focusing on isolating the figurative for emotional or symbolic impact. I have had many solo and selected group exhibitions in the UK with many pieces included in private collections. My art is available to buy and licence.” l Artists’ Quarter, Stand 160

Pallavi Prakash “I am a designer and artist working in mixed media. My inspirations come from nature such as trees, flowers and plants. My cards offer a wide range of designs in vibrant colours and forms. Some designs can also be put in repeats and some are a combination of abstract and real so they could appeal to varied people who like nature. I work with watercolour, acrylic and gouache to create striking designs, which can be used for a variety of products, including greeting cards, wrapping paper, wall hangings, coasters and fabric prints. My design process is simple, but produces striking results. The variety I observe in nature is captured either by photograph, or is sketched or painted. I then use imaging software, such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, to layer my original creations; the development of each design, from inception to post-production, creates a final product that is surprisingly different from where it all started. I am proud to say that each of my designs is unique. I hope you enjoy viewing my designs and greeting cards in the Artists’ Quarter as much as I have enjoyed creating them.” l Artists’ Quarter, Stand 158

Ruth Martin “Working in my studio in South East London I am surrounded by my collections of ephemera. All sorts of bits and pieces like chocolate wrappers, train tickets, postcards, sardine tins and my old picture books from when I was a child. Then there are my sketchbooks and notebooks, these contain scribbles, jottings and drawings and lists. The latter are lists of words and phrases that I find funny or have been forgotten or have just fallen out of favour. All of these things feed into my design process. Every one of my illustrations is created by hand. It all starts with drawing and then turned into prints. I carve rubber stamps to create the prints. Alongside this I might use a mixture of ink pens, watercolours and coloured pencils. I like to use handlettering within my designs and I have an array of hand-carved rubber alphabets that I have produced. When it comes to creating a greeting card I am thinking about trying to make someone smile. This might be with an amusing image, some witty wordplay or in the delight of finding a fun little ‘added extra’ (lots of my cards have some form of interaction – paper crowns to pull out and wear, balloons to blow up, mini envelopes with messages tucked into birds’ mouths or post boxes or rolled up messages in bottles... to name but a few). I have worked on illustration projects in museums and galleries and I have also illustrated party games, accessories and decorations for the British brand, Talking Tables. This will be my debut appearance at PG Live and I am looking forward to meeting new clients and new illustration challenges to boot!” l Artists’ Quarter, Stand 166 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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ART SOURCE Amy-Charlotte “As a first-time exhibitor at PG Live I will be showing a range of cards and art licences for both shops and publishers to buy. I've covered a lot of celebrations and also have good ranges for boys and men. I think the illustrations are made to evoke a specific emotion or atmosphere, with the aim of being a card someone would want to keep. I make paper-cut artworks in 3D and illustrations that are usually quirky, nostalgic or have a sense of humour. I like bright colours and joyful designs, and I've just been experimenting with glitter and gold foiling. For an up and coming design trend I have mainly concentrated on the theme of 'find your own tribe', which involves the ideas of finding peace, spirituality and travelling. I've really enjoyed designing it as I enjoy the concept and drawing creative florals, dream-catchers and hippie vibes. I also have a French Riviera collection. This year we will see a focus on colourful tropical prints with the Rio Olympics this summer and also British nostalgic prints because of the Queens 90th birthday. There also seems to be an increase in sales for individual cards so I've designed some personal and quirky cards for Christmas to appeal to more specific tastes.” l Artists' Quarter, Stand 156

Bright Art Licensing Bright represents some of the top artists and designers for art licensing within the stationery, greeting cards, gift, home and print industries. Here, Bright showcases two artists it represents. Laura Collman: “I am an illustrator and designer based in Melton Mowbray. I have lived most of my life close to the countryside. I find that my main source of inspiration comes from the natural world and the creatures that live in it (left). I tend to create floral elements, birds or cute furry animals in all of my artworks. I am also inspired by pattern. I really love the way things sit together on a surface; the way the colours react with each other and the rhythm of the shapes. I work with watercolours often, because I love the soft fluidity and variations in colour they provide. I also love to draw in Photoshop, where I will use soft textured brushes, but I will always add hand painted/drawn elements into the artwork. Over the past couple of years I have worked on card ranges for Clintons, WH Smith and Paperchase.” Colleen Whittaker: “For some 16 years I worked as a studio artist, and then design manager, for a local greeting card manufacturer. But as the location of the premises moved I decided to go freelance. And so here I am, in my cosy little studio with Blue, our trusty little Cocker Spaniel, always longing for a walk and happy to keep me company. My portfolio has grown from strength to strength! Starting with just a few sweet bear ideas as part of my cute portfolio, I now work across a variety of styles, including beautiful snowy Christmas designs (right), traditional winter scenes, fresh florals and watercolour wild animals, as well as my signature cute aesthetic. I have been lucky enough to work on designs and ranges for a variety of clients from around the world, including Peter Pauper Press, Nigel Quiney, Nielsen Cards & Crafts, The Great British Card Company and UK Greetings - among many others!” For more information contact: Hannah@brightartlicensing.com l Artists’ Quarter, Stand 148

Alff a Bet “I’m Ros Jones, owner of the Celtic Company, and I have been retailing cards and gifts in my awardwinning shops in Welshpool for nearly 20 years. Having recently expanded my card offer, I am always on the lookout for new and stylish designs. My friend, Vivien Thomas, is an artist from Cardiff who currently works in pen and ink creating unique intricate designs. ‘Vivien Thomas Art’ has run alongside the day job, selling one-off pieces and taking commissions. Vivien and I have been close friends since primary school and the ‘Alff a Bet’ project developed over wine-fuelled conversations, as well as an on-going collaboration of Vivien’s hand-finished prints being sold at the Celtic Company. Remarks over the suitability of Vivien’s square format for greeting cards and my bemoaning the lack of variety in the Welsh card sector led to where we are now, launching Alff a Bet. The Alff a Bet range of blank, age and occasion cards are all designed around Vivien’s artwork. The main body of the design work is aimed at the UK market generally (although it does have a niche Welsh-language range). I’m particularly pleased with the ‘family-age’ concept we have developed, as I’m aware of the shortage of titles available in this area. The designs lend themselves to gifting, and various gift products are in development, as well as forthcoming card ranges for children and men.” l Artists’ Quarter, Stand 162 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


On your bike... to Stand 526

(at P.G.L.) to see our brand new Ribbons & Bows new Velvet and stunning Christmas tel: 01423 563740 www.jonnyjavelin.co.uk info@jonnyjavelin.co.uk

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PG asked a selection of card retailers for their ‘hot’ card sellers. Claire Church, owner of Daisy Daisy, Llanishen, Cardiff A small shop in a city suburb with a loyal locals and destination visitors customer base. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range



Caroline Gardner

Across The Board



Funny Farm, Bestie, Sassy Frank By Name and Happy As Larry

We sell loads of these designs. They are tasteful with refined colours on good quality board. Far and away our consistently best selling humour ranges! Both ranges show vintage photos with cheeky jokes about the funny side of getting older. Amusing cartoon illustrations about topics that are age related. A really big seller; the designs are brilliant and witty. The nude people and animals wearing hats and sunglasses are very popular! Customers see the gorgeous NT gardens and historic places and want to visit. Artistic images of lovely places around the world. Perceptive, fun and brilliantly drawn designs that just hit the spot. Delightful designs of dogs and cats and other rural animals. A lovely girl (the designer) and lovely cards of watercolour drawings of gorgeous women in dresses. Tasteful designs with beautiful colours, and constant new designs. Quirky and gorgeous illustrations and the captions are really different.


Right: Girls, Girls, Girls is a beautiful watercolour range by Dippy Egg. Below: A Bernie Parker Ladies Who Love Life design.

Peartree Heybridge

Spring Chicken

Holy Mackerel

One Lump Or Two





National Trust


Art Cards

Berni Parker

Ladies Who Love Life

Alex Clark Dippy Egg

Sparkle Girls, Girls, Girls

Wendy Jones-Blackett Molly Mae

Quick Silver General



Nikki Weir, card buyer in Bridport, one of three Cilla and Camilla stores in West Dorset, selling cards, gifts and homeware to a residential and seasonal tourist customer base. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range




Tula Moon

Stop The Clock


The Art File

Rock On

Rosie Made A Thing

Gin And Frolics



Paper Bird



Green Pebble





These appeal to all ages with their bright patterns and animal themes. A wide selection that contains a very good range for men. Watch out for the seasonal cards which have all worked well for us this year. Highly amusing cards with clever puns. Wonderful childlike graphics with spot on captions. These appeal particularly to the 20s/30s age group. Bright and striking, these unique handmade cards are great fun. Above: A leaving card from Stop Quirky and distinctive, the birds in boots The Clock’s Party Animals range. designs have been a big hit for us. Beautifully chosen contemporary art on cards that are frequently updated. Stunning giftwrap with unusual designs by artists; It flies off the rack!





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Stand 428

TEL: +44 (0)1908 288 500 E-MAIL: sales@amscan-uk.co.uk WEB: www.amscan.co.uk ŠAmscan 2016, ŠAnagram 2016 All rights reserved

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Dorothy Popplewell, owner of Greetings Of Haxby, Haxby, Yorkshire A medium shop in a picturesque town with a loyal locals and destination visitors customer base. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range




Across The Board

Noel Tatt



UK Greetings



Hanson White (UKG)


Nigel Quiney

Relations age cards from 1 to 90. I can offer cards captioned Grandson 4 and Grandson 40! Special looking designs for those special occasions and birthdays. The cards just sell and sell; it helps that that we stock the mugs and plush too. Not too rude jokes mostly about drink and aging. Black and white vintage photos with modern themed captions. Above: Tracks’ Art Cards collection offers a wide array of gorgeous scenes. A local photographer who beautifully captures Yorkshire and North East scenes. Contemporary artwork of country scenes with a modern twist. Scenes of a French bistro, lavender fields and even the Maldives, reminding people of their sunny holidays. Classy designs that appeal to those with a younger mindset. Good relations age cards with a sophisticated look and lots of male designs. Simple and striking designs with lots of lilac and pink colours. Simple images, of macaroons, cakes, butterflies etc, in muted colours and foiling.


John Potter

What A Vintage Picture General


Green Pebble Tracks

General Art Cards

Woodmansterne Jonny Javelin

Pink Velvet

Nigel Quiney Paperlink

Pizazz Amaretto

Traditional Contemporary

Kate Hodgson, owner of Design@Six, Wetherby, Yorkshire A medium shop in a market town with a loyal locals and varied customer base. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range



Caroline Gardner

Across The Board


Stripey Cats Cards

Wobbly Eyed



Wrinklies, Funny Farm, Kook


Karen Spencer Photography


Peter John Fellows



Janie Wilson


Above: Yorkshire scenes, such as this image of Sowerby Bridge, and country animals (hens, sheep, stag, pheasant, hunting etc) on photographic cards from Karen Spencer Photography. Right: A beautiful Watermark card from A Made Hand.

Cinnamon Aitch


The Handcrafted Card Company A Made Hand Hammond Gower

In A Word

Bexy Boo

Scrabbley Neons

Not fussy with clean lines and lovely colours; they have a bit of a following. Simple, fun and not too specific to gender or age; they appeal to children and adults alike. We stock quite a few of the publisher’s different ranges; they just fly out! A local photographer who captures serene scenes of Yorkshire and country animals. A North Yorkshire photographer capturing beautiful images of scenic landscapes. Black ink drawings on white board with lots of colourful gems; my customers like a good bit of bling! Small size cards with modern graphics and pretty crystals. Monochrome mostly male designs on silver shimmer pinstripe board with a silver disc add-on. Also great priced cards. Pretty delicate female watercolour designs. A subtle pink colour palette with gold foiling… just a little less bling but they are going well. Quirky designs including a vintage wooden Scrabble tile.

Rachel Ellen

Totally Tween, Jigsaw and Whippersnappers

Bright and fun designs with the traditional kids’ themes, such a dinosaurs, princesses, monsters and unicorns.


Handmade/ Hand-Finished Children’s

Watermark Privee






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On the ball comments by retailer and publisher Lynn Tait of The Lynn Tait Gallery.

One Step Forward Two Steps Back! Ironically, since I've had a head like mushy peas for over three years because of my illness I have never been so organised and had my eye so much on the ball of my business as I have now. Why? Because I am running a much tighter ship than I have done in over 30 years of trading. My business plan and advice from my sons to make the shop more economical is at last paying dividends… but there is always another obstacle to leap. Now, when things should be easier, having been established as a card publisher and having had a shop for three decades, I really feel it is harder than ever to make a profit. I have to say that this is mostly at the hands of the government and the local council. The latest government initiative that I have to take into consideration is The National Living Wage, which came into force on April 1. I have always paid my staff for their one hour lunch breaks, so in fact taking that into consideration I have always paid The Living Wage, but now adding another 50p an hour to over 25s puts another strain on my business. Our shop is effectively part of the ‘tourist industry’ in Old Leigh in Essex, and as such is highly weather and tourist dependent. We are located in a very small village with a handful of cottages, four pubs, lots of beautiful fishing boats and plenty of history. There are only two other shops in Old Leigh and I pride myself that I have only been closed one day a year (Christmas Day) since I opened. Much as I would like to give my staff bonuses and pay rises it would certainly finish off my business, and of course my staff would lose their jobs that they tell me they love. But

my accountant has told me the wages are strangling my business and that is where I have to make the cuts. In the winter (when the shop might take in a week what it would take in one day in August) we have two staff who are over 25 who work in the shop during the week. This means that all of January and February we run at a huge loss, despite only being open for four hours a day during the week. Heating bills, rates, and all the other expenses are all of course in force during this time. Sick pay and ever increasing holiday pay is also an added burden. Above: One step forward, two steps back, business these days is tough. Left: The National Living Wage was introduced on April 1. Below: The Lynn Tait Gallery in Old Leigh, Essex.

And now of course the added 50p an hour (with the three members of staff that qualify) will add to my wages bill. Plus, with two rises in their pay since October this causes conflict with the staff who were on a higher wage if you don't put theirs up at the same time (to maintain the differential), which for me would be impossible. For many businesses this big hike in pay means there will not be much to differentiate the supervisors’ wages from those of the other staff. However, my business could not cope with all my staff having a rise at the same time, especially at the beginning of April when we are still crawling out of the winter’s low takings. So, in common with many thousands of other small businesses, I see this as a huge problem for our future stability. So how am I going to address this?! PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE








Still with the largest range of in-stock colours 8 Sizes Permanently in Stock

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LYNN’S LINES Left: The WW1 anniversary in 2014 really helped retailers. Tried and tested brands will reign from now on in Lynn’s shop. Below: Trudi Marsh, one of Lynn’s long-standing and much-loved staff members, recently had a leaving party.

I watched an interview on television very recently about a business that was in the tourist industry. The owner said that the increase in The Living Wage to his business would add £25k to his wages bill. He said that he would have to put his prices up, change his opening times, and, in the future, only take on staff under 25 years-old. It is pretty naive for the government if it thought that this rise would not impact dramatically on small businesses. Of course for some businesses who can afford it this is great for the recipients of the wage increase and I am so pleased for them. In reality, a few years ago, I would have been able to afford the pay rise, but for most independents now times are tough and of course the main goal is to stay in business. So, addressing this issue within my business, I have made a couple of changes. Firstly, during the week, we will open the shop another half an hour later. I will also give careful consideration at how realistic it is to open the shop in January and February when there are very few folk around. I have all the figures for the last few years for these months so this will give me a financial basis. One option is for me to work in the shop to cover when staff are ill, which I have been doing recently. But this isn't really feasible at the moment as I am such a liability on the till and really am not well enough. I also have to look at the possibility of lengthening the opening times in the school holidays and at weekends to make these peak times more profitable. This would mean long tiring days in the shop as we are so busy in the summer and could realistically open till 6.30pm, but it is an option. Another idea would be for me to buy more stock in bulk like I used to at a much reduced price, thereby providing the business with a bigger mark up. I've already negotiated 60 days payment on all my key accounts as I

can only spend limited time buying. Last year I did buy new gift products from companies with whom I hadn't traded with before, but I now can't really afford to take any major risks. Mostly all new gift companies I ordered from last year were a disaster for one reason or another so sadly I shall be concentrating on tried and tested brands that have a good track record. As long as these existing companies bring out new gift products then I will be happy. The exception will be cards as I always buy from new card publishers and I nearly always find new publishers are very on the ball with service and don't let you down. Some big companies are complacent and sadly one company that I started dealing with about 30 years ago (or whenever they started) I shall be ceasing trading with. After four phone calls to the company to request that the director phones me as I had a big problem, and no response, enough is enough so bye bye. But back to the wage bill…I have researched the impact that the wage increase might have on other businesses and have spoken to a number of people about it. It has been mooted that businesses will scale back on recruitments, making their existing staff more productive. This apparently began to happen during the last quarter of 2015. The Daily Telegraph picked up on the fact that the cost of a Pret A Manger coffee rose up 10p, supposed to help fund The National Living Wage. Latte drinkers bore the brunt! I do wonder about shops in the big shopping centres with their extended hours. When you see just a handful of customers during the late hours I wonder how long will they be able to keep that up? During school half-terms and holidays we historically have two staff working all day and a third doing four hours, helping

during lunch cover. Unless we have a student covering I think I will now have to manage with two staff and cut the hour lunch to 45 minutes. When I did my research it was also highlighted that companies are changing their contracts, which reduced or stopped bonus payments and/or cut back on staff benefits. Another government initiative is the Workplace Pension, another little burden and worry that raised its ugly head in March. When my accountant quoted me £1k/£1.5k for instigating this I mentioned it on my Ladder Club Facebook page, asking others what the going rate was. I then negotiated the fee to £500 with my accountancy firm asking that they come to a staff meetings to explain it and include this in the fee. So this is another £500 cost as it is not clear that any of my staff either qualify or want to take it up. If they do, then of course that is another pot of money the business has to swallow to subsidise their pension. I'm sorry if this is all very depressing reading. I feel the government who is so proud of these initiatives will not look quite so

smug one year down the line when they see how many businesses have ceased trading because they were last nails in the coffin. However, on a more optimistic note my new stock is arriving just in time and the good weather we are currently having has caused a very successful trading period. The staff has worked hard sorting out the stockroom during the lean period and we are in a good position to move forward. We also have two superb students working at the weekends who are taking on more and more responsibility and who are loving it. So, as usual, we will survive... PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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in the



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tel 0203 2344011 info@blackolivestudio.co.uk www.blackolivestudio.co.uk

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Abacus Cards Limited, The Studio, Oaks Drive, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 7SX t: 01638 569050 f: 01638 569051 e: info@abacuscards.co.uk w: www.abacuscards.co.uk

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Publishers of quality blank greeting cards            




t: 020 8993 5966 f: 020 8993 1396 w: www.retroco.com e: info@retroco.com

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• Greetings Cards and Gift Wrap • Stationery • Soft Toys • Figurines • Giftware and Accessories


PO BO BOX OX 2161 The Boulevard Boulevard Watford Watford WD18 1BJ Tel: Tel: 01923 200633 Fax: Fax: 01923 200636 info@cardmix.co.uk info@cardmix.co.uk www.cardmix.co.uk www.cardmix.co.uk CARDMIX CARDMIX - a cocktail cocktail of fun, fashionable fashionable and humorous humorous cards, covering Everyday, car ds,, co vering Ev eryday, Spring ing Occasions,, Relations,, Spr Seasons and Christmas. Christmas.

DADDY Method of Sale: Direct to Retail 


Carte Blanche Greetings Ltd ® Tel: +44(0)1243 792600



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Witty, gritty, switched on humour. Cards and gifts with a real difference. Unit 1, 45 Morrish Road London SW2 4EE Tel: 0208 671 2166 Fax: 0208 678 1119 info@cathtatecards.com

Caspari C aspari Ltd Ltd L Linden inden H House, ouse, JJohn ohn D Dane ane P Player layer C Court ourt

East East Street, Street, Saffron Saffron Walden Walden E ssex, C B10 11LR LR Essex, CB10 Tel: 01799 01799 513010 513010 Tel: 1799 5 13101 F ax: 0 Fax: 01799 513101 Email: iinfo@caspari.co.uk nfo@caspari.co.uk Email: w ww.CaspariOnline.com www.CaspariOnline.com

PProducts: roducts: Everyday Everyday cards cards - birthday, birthday, blank blank & occasions, occasions, charity ch harity Christmas Christmas cards, bags, wrap, b ags, ttissue, issue, rribbon, ibbon, cards, gift gift wrap, hankies, hankies, napkins, napkins, paper paper plate, plate, candles, candles, placemats, placemats, crackers,invitations, crackers,invitations, placecards, placecards, notecards,diaries, notecards,diaries, address books, address b ooks, jjournals, ournals, advent advent calendars calendars and and bridge bridge gifts. gifts.

M Method ethod o off SSale: ale: D Direct irect to to Retail Retail



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Market leaders in Humour, Art, Photographic, Occasions

Colneis Marketing York House, 2-4 York Road, Felixstowe, Suffolk IP11 7QQ T: 01394 271668 F: 01394 275114 E: colneiscards@btconnect.com

and Relations cards offering a full planning service with merchandising and retail

Bespoke design service for retail products

Online Shop www.colneisgreetingcards.com

development opportunities. The UK No. No. 1 in The Licensed Greetings Greetings etings Licensed Over Overr 30 licenses licenses nses including: including D Disne y, Peppa Peppa Pig Pig, Disney, He Kitty, Hello Kitt Kitty y, Mr Men Men and Angry A Birdss and Birds t: +44 + (0)1264 388400 erna national. ti e: enquiries@gemma-int enquiries@gemma-international.co.uk co.uk w: gemma-int ernational. ona co.uk gemma-international.co.uk




Colour House Graphics



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.

York House, 2-4 York Road, Felixstowe, Suffolk IP11 7QQ T: 01394 271668 F: 01394 275114 E: colourhousegraphics@hotmail.com Online Shop www.colourhousegraphics.co.uk

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

M ETHOD OF SALE Direct to Retail

Beautiful greeting cards from contemporary British artwork


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

T +44 (0) 1273 241210 E info@dryredpress.com

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Ch nese Chinese

A w o n d e rf u l id! E id Eid





High Quality Gr Greeting eeting Car Cards, ds, Gift Bags,


Wrap & T a ags for every occasion. Gift Wrap Tags





Polish P olish o sh

and more!

Tel: T Te el: 0161 e 1 64 6 641 41 0655 0655 06 E Email: m mail: sales@d sales@da sales@davora.co.uk avora.co.uk 135 13 1 35 Heaton Hea eaton on M Moor oorr R Rd d | St S Stockport tockp ock o kpo port ort SK4 4H 4 4HY HY



* *GCF1HĆ‚EG GCF1HĆ‚EG +353 (0)404 20528 Email info@garlanna.com www.garlanna.com www.garlanna.com

www.greatbritishcards.co.uk WATERWELLS DRIVE, GLOUCESTER GL2 2PH UK TEL: 01452 888999

118-125_PG_May 2016_v8 18/04/2016 16:34 Page 121






Eye catching, luxurious Gift Wraps, Gift Tags, Gift Bags, Roll Wrap, Tissue Papers & Ribbons for all occasions Glick, Unit 1 Allenby House, European Industrial Park, Knowles Lane, Bradford BD4 9AB Tel: 01274 655980 email: sales@glick.co.uk www.glick.co.uk

One of the UK’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. 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

LING DESIGN The UK’s leading privately owned publisher of Greetings Cards and Stationery. ...The home for and ...and the UK home for

Cards made with love...

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 Fax: 01892 838676 Email: enquiries@lingdesign.co.uk Website: www.lingdesign.co.uk

Silk Screened Retro, Pop & Classic Cards Inspired by Music and 1960’s American Advertising.For all Vinyl & Rock n’Roll lovers


60 years

Yo our N Number b O One S Supplier li off Numerals, Name, Relation & Age Labels for Greetings Cards. Huge selection with immediate delivery y. Buy direct or from your wholesalerr. Listan Labels 3 Isis Court, Wyndyke Furlong, Abingdon Business Park, Oxfordshire Abingdon, Oxfor dshire OX1 5JN Tel Tel e 01235 465489 Fax 01235 532118 www.listanpublications.co.uk www.listanpublications.co.uk sales@listanpublications.co.uk

For further details please get in touch.


+44 (0)7779 578340

To appear in the Product Directory please contact Warren Lomax on 020 7700 6740 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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Three great publishers, all under one roof, contemporary, graphic, humour, cute and photographic ranges with a fantastic range of occasions and relations cards. Key brands: V&A, Portobello, Spirit, Daisy Patch, Sugar Pips, Marzipan Toybox, Born to Stitch, Idols, Life, Sweet Tooth, Brights. Method of sale: Direct to retail, Export and Licensing. Riverside House, Centurion Way, Riverside Business Park, Nottingham NG2 1RW Tel: 0115 986 0115 Fax: 0115 986 0116 Email: sales@paperrose.co.uk Web: www.paperrose.co.uk www.artgroupcards.co.uk

Products An exciting and innovative range of quality Birthday, relations, special occasions, art and humorous greeting cards. Full range of Christmas and Spring Seasons merchandise. Comprehensive collection of handmade cards. Pizazz gifts.

paperlink... pap erlink... the home of fa fabulous bulous cards!

356 56 Kennington Rd London SE11 4LD T 020 7582 8244 info@paperlink.co.uk @paperlink.co.uk www.paperlink.co.uk

Brand Names

Pizazz, Pizazz Gallery, Say the Word, Carousel, Meadow Sweet, R&R for Men, What a Picture! Cloudesley House • Shire Hill Saffron Walden • CB11 3FB T: 01799 520200 F: 01799 520100 www.nigelquiney.com


The easy company I'$.!N

Suppliers of humorous & contemporary Birthday, Christmas, Spring Seasons, Occasions & Relations cards


Brands include: Bottomline, Bestie, Wrinklies, Hat Trick, Route 69, Bangers & Flash, Humdingers, Lacie, Sassy, Stay Wonky, Patisserie, Tinklers, Made With Love, and many many more!

All our cards are supplied on consignment, so you only pay for what you sell. We also supply card fixtures and spinners free-on-loan. We replace slow sellers and damaged stock free of charge.

Method of Sale: Direct

We merchandise regularly, so you don’t have to.

P Paperlinkcards aperlinkcards @paperlinkcards @ paperlinkcards


01932 267 300

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

To appear in the Product Directory please contact Warren Lomax on

endorsed product

endorsed product

T: 01227 811600 W: www.noeltatt.co.uk E: sales@noeltatt.co.uk



020 7700 6740

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The Playful Indian cards are a unique fusion of the east and west. Simple and quirky, they have made many people smile...so what are you waiting forr, put a smile on someone’s face today!

holy y cow! it’ss your birthd it hda ay y

Greeting Cards that are unique & special with creative wit. Looking for top-notch agents to join our expanding team.

rosierobins.com 01992 536461

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


Mr Figgis, when we say parents invited, we usually mean to sit and watch!

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

Dad - I thought you said I could be the, one to tell him you re out

Me th od of sa le : Direct to Retail 14-20 Eldon Way, Paddock Wood, Kent TN12 6BE Tel: 01892 838574 Fax: 01892 838676 Email: enquiries@lingdesign.co.uk Website: www.lingdesign.co.uk

Design-led Stationery, Gifts, Calendars, Diaries and Cards Brands Laura Ashley, Roald Dahl, Lily & Val, Vintage Ladybird, Caroline Gardner, Monsoon, Born to Shop, Flash Gordon, Boofle and many more. Our In-house design studio and established supply chain enables us to offer bespoke services. tel: +44 (0) 1225 329494 email: sales@porticodesigns.com website: www.porticodesigns.com



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



Looking for something new?

Designer Collection, Feelings, Impressions, Inspirations, In Touch, Isabel’s Garden, Paper Wishes, Planet Happy.

Method of sale: Wholesale Distributors

Simon Elvin Limited

striking contemporary cards designed by nicole

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

0781 5811158 info@redberryhill.co.uk

TEL: 01480 435562 FAX: 01480 450599

www.redberryhill.co.uk The UK’s leading publishers 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 14-20 Eldon Way, Paddock Wood, Kent, TN12 6BE

Tel: 0845 450 1815 Fax: 0845 450 1816 Email: enquiries@talkingpics.co.uk Website: www.talking-pictures.co.uk


Sensations International Ltd Unit 6, Quad Road,East Lane Business Park,East lane, Wembley,MIDDLESEX HA9 7NE Tel. 0208 3854470 Fax: 0208 385 4471 Email: sales@sensationsinternational.com 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. METHOD OF SALE: Direct to retail.



www.tomcatcards.co.uk w: www .tomcatcards.co.uk e: tomcat@tomcatcards.co.uk t: 01243 837300


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To appear in the Product Directories simply contact

Warren Lomax on:

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

01923 200600 | www.woodmansterne.co.uk

Top-notch British Greeting Cards for Thoughts that Count


or contact                  


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Tracey Arnaud on:

07957 212 062 or email on tarnaud@btinternet.com



126_PG_May 2016_v8_whole sale dirSeptember 2004 18/04/2016 16:36 Page 126

Directory of wholesalers Directory of wholesalers DIRECTORY OF WHOLESALERS LONDON & THE SOUTH



Merseyside Greeting Cards Ltd

Merseyside’s Largest Greeting Card Distributor Due to our massive buyer power, we are able to offer you the best prices and also take a pride in our friendly service.



Clapperton Agencies 30 McDonald Place Edinburgh EH7 4NH Tel: 01315 579009

Sunrise Business Park Higher Shaftsbury Road Blandford, Dorset DT11 8ST Tel: 01258 452125 Fax: 01258 486109

Greeting cards * Gift ranges * Pocket money toys * Balloons * Badges * Banners * Soft toys * Stationery * Collectables , including dolls * Photo frames Always something different Check us out now!!! Mon-Fri 9.30 to 5.30 Sunday 10 to 1 Late night Thursday till 8pm Freephone 0800 0279072770 Fax: 0151 207 1564


Unit 7 & 8 Devon Street, Liverpool, L3 8HA

To appear in the Wholesale Directory simply call Warren Lomax on


SUMAN BROS Stationery and greeting card wholesaler

020 7700 6740

Crown House Otterspool Way Watford WD25 8HL

magnus RUPERT

T: 01923 200 900 F: 01923 200 909 Great deals Great location Plentiful parking Just off the M1 Junction 5




Trading Hours Our Opening Hours are: MON, TUES,WED & FRI 9.00 - 5.30pm THURSDAY 9.00 - 8.30pm SAT CLOSED SUN 10.00 - 4.00pm UNIT 4, THE ARGENT CENTRE, SILVERDALE ROAD, HAYES, MIDDLESEX, UB3 3BS TEL: 020 8573 2975 / 1768 FAX: 020 8561 2349 Email: info@abbeycards.com

Crown House Otterspool Way Watford WD25 8HL Tel: 020 8993 2231 www.rupertmagnus.co.uk Wholesale and direct-to-retail greeting cards, gift wrap, gift bags, social stationery, partyware and gifts. Great range, competitive prices, excellent service.



574 Manchester Road, Bury, BL9 9SW 0161 796 7353 Card & Party Store Ltd

The North West s Largest Supplier to the Independent Specialist Card & Gift Shop

Massive range of Cards, Partyware, Gifts, Gift Bags, Gift Boxes & Gift Dressings Mon / Wed / Fri: 8.00 - 5.00 Tues / Thurs: 8.00 - 7.30 Sat: Closed Sun: 8.00 - 1.00

Order online at www.card-party.co.uk 126


To appear in the Wholesale Directory simply call Warren Lomax on 020 7700 6740

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Polypropylene & biodegradable bag specialists


FOR FOR ALL A LL Y YOUR OU R ENVELOPE EN V ELOPE N NEEDS! EEDS! L argest range range of Largest iin-stock n- stock ccolours olours Over 400 Bespoke Envelope Sizes 8 Sizes Permanently in Stock RECYCLED


Available v 100% Recycled Paper Available

Over 40 years quality service to the trade Hotfoiling also available

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

Stock & Bespoke Cello Bags Peel & Stick Envelopes Bespoke Service on Request

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




Quality Bespoke Envelopes!


From 5,000 quantity to many millions we can produce excellent quality envelopes for you.


Plain, printed, coloured & textured finish.

01228 560526

100% recycled & FSC available. Please call us on 0843 5066684 with your enquiry or visit our website


www.ukenvelopecentre.co.uk We will be delighted to help!


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

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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   • Litho printing • Digital printing


• Embossing • Die-cutting • Flittering • Foiling • Folding • Packing


Producing greeting cards for over 30 years 188 Forstal Road, Aylesford, Kent ME20 7DB


t 01622 710 759


PJ Print (London) The Capitals only Greetings card printer Guess what what ? We now offer a short run digital print service to the greeting card industry

That’s handy if you only want 100 copies

Specialist UK and Global manufacturer for the greeting card industry To discuss how we could work with you contact Simon King Tel: 0115 928 7766 Email: sales@sherwoodgroupuk.com


PJ - PRINT E-mail: sales@pj-print.co.uk The Print Works Colville Road, Acton London W3 8BL tel 020 8993 5160 fax 020 8992 8421 www.pj-print.co.uk



Hadden Court, Glaisdale Parkway, Glaisdale Drive West, Nottingham, NG8 4GP

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The home of greeting cards t ependen ding ind a le r ’s e r K The U n ufa c t u card ma greeting Y j_ed

hZfheZk [j_d]YW kied]h[ Y \e b _W Y [i š If[ i[i[hl_Y \_d#^ek e [ ] d W š <kbbh [Z ]kWhWdj[ š GkWb_jo [i Y h_ j_j_l[f š 9ecf[ h[b_WXb[ Z d _edWbW š Fhe\[ii Wbb [hjeeic ed$ š DeehZ fheZkY j_ h W < ;Wij Z d W A š 8ej^K ices, nique serv n on our u io 0 1150 at 5 2 rm 14 fo in 01 For more s team on le sa e th ntact please co eys.co.uk sales@loxl or email:

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 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.


Digital Di it l Print P i tS Specialist i li t for the greeting card industry What we offer: • Greeting cards • Artworking and design • Short-run print • Pick, pack and distribution • Promotional items • Bespoke gifts


• • • • •


• Marketing literature • Exhibition graphics • Stationery • Brochures • and more...

07974 133735 paul.watson@sherwoodgroupuk.com

Tel: 01274 531828 Contact Chris Sharman. Email: chriss@herbertwalkers.co.uk




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The Professional and Caring Approach..




... to 3rd Party Warehouse, Distribution and Hand Finishing needs. With over 25 years experience in the Greeting Card and Gift Industry, we specialise in providing a very fast yet efficient and friendly service to all of our customers. Our close links to the port of Felixstowe allowing excellent access for both UK and overseas business.

• Manufacturers of

quality Display Units for over 25 years

• PVC Interlocking Tiers • High Impact 2mm Edging

• Vast range of colours available

• From one unit through to full shop refits

INNOVATIVE DISPLAYS TO MEET YOUR NEEDS www.universalshopequipment.co.uk Tel: 0151 546 4525 (Showroom) We would be happy to talk to you and provide further information please contact either: James Smithies on 01449 778360 e: james@setinhand.com Tracy Davies on 01449 778363 e: tracy@setinhand.com Please visit our website at www.setinhand.com for further information.

Your Success Is Our Success

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

Home of the Wire Spinner Stand

LB Warehousing (Women in Transport & Logistics Finalist)

S AME DAY order turnaround A CCURATE fulfilment and same day turn round V ALUE ADDED only as you sell the product E XCLUSIVELY Greeting Cards D EDICATED Account Managers With an excellent reputation we work as an integral part of your TEAM bringing much more than fulfilment. Our costing structure is SIMPLE and TRANSPARENT. We carry out ALL aspects of hand finishing and assembly and provide whatever ADDITIONAL services YOU need Our select team of outworkers carefully hand wrap any size or format of cards urgently, OVERNIGHT! We CARE about your product as much as you do. Attention to detail, QC Issues and IT supported by a comprehensive paper trail for all stock movements are our hallmarks. Our CAN DO approach means that WE solve your problems. Outsourcing your warehousing operation releases your time to CREATE/MARKET/SELL/ MANAGE/GROW THE BUSINESS YOUR BUSINESS IS OUR BUSINESS, please visit our web site and see what OUR customers say, then to find out more call Lynda Raymond and perhaps we can arrange to meet and discuss your needs I am sure that we can help. LB Warehousing, Units 1, 2 &3 Wayside Warehouses, Toseland, Near St. Neots, Cambridgeshire. PE19 6RX Tel 01480 880800 Fax 01480880900 Mobile 07889 399341 lynda@lb-warehousing.co.uk



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. WANTED

CALLING ALL GREETING CARD PUBLISHERS We could buy your old images even if they are several years old. Turn your used and discontinued greeting card image concepts into cash. Fair price paid immediately.


The LarGesT CoLLeCTioN of Greeting Card Publishers iN The WorLD “PG Live is a great opportunity to check out new designs and new artists in an intimate and relaxed environment. Fabulous lunch too!” Jane Chandler, director, M&P Cards/Occasions Cards and Gifts.

Focus On Cards

With free refreshments, lunch and opening night party, you’re free to focus on the cards.

Book Now!

Book your free tickets immediately to receive your copy of the exclusive 2016 show Preview.

We’ll See You There! PG Live 2016 is dedicated to celebrating and showcasing the fabulous hub of creativity that is the international greeting card industry. With 250+ fabulous publishers, artists and designers launching thousands of new lines, can you afford to miss out?

PG Live 2016 Tuesday 10 - Wednesday 11 May Business Design Centre, London

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Book Your Ticket Now! +44 (0) 1635 297070 @PGLiveLondon www.progressivegreetingslive.com

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EXQUISITELY printed keepsake notecards with beautiful art and charming messages. EXQUISITELY printed keepsake notecards with beautiful art and charming messages. LUSTROUS finishes with fine grained inner liners to share one’s heartfelt emotions. LUSTROUS finishes with fine grained inner liners to share one’s heartfelt emotions. UNIQUE trifold wallets with an optional oak finished retail display. UNIQUE trifold wallets with an optional oak finished retail display.

V I S I T U S O NW SW TW AN 3 1A3N D B U T L E R . C O M . FDO X

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Profile for Max Media Group

Progressive Greetings May 2016  

Progressive Greetings May 2016