Progressive Greetings October 2015

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October

2015

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Leader

On The Cards Reasons to be cheerful! One, two, three! Or should that be 1.4 billion? That impressive sum is the value (in £ sterling) of the UK greeting card industry as revealed in the soon to be published GCA UK Greeting Card Market Report, which covers actual sales of cards in 2014 (compared to 2013) and that doesn’t even include Christmas boxed sales or personalised online sales. As we (scarily) enter the last quarter of 2015 there is every reason for us in the greeting card industry to be in a fairly buoyant mood. A record breaking 160 industry GCA members - publishers, retailers and suppliers - attended the recent GCA AGM at which there was a general feeling of pride among nearly all members of the audience. Pride, that we as an industry have survived and prospered despite the worst retail recession in history. Pride, that we have not been devastated by the internet and social media, and lastly, pride that the very act of sending or giving a greeting card improves the mental wellbeing of everyone that receives a card. True the industry faces many challenges, the difficulties of the high street being one of them (see Cardsharp pages 28-29) and changes at Royal Mail being another. It would seem however that due to the energy and creativity of the UK

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Above: Clintons’ ceo Dominique Schurman (centre) who was one of the keynote speakers at the recent GCA AGM with her son Chris Magal and PG’s Jakki Brown at Altitude 360, on the 29th floor of London’s Millbank Tower, where the event took place. Left: Asda card buyer Kate Briggs (right) with PG’s Jakki Brown next to the spinner of George greeting cards in the coffee shop in the grocer’s Leeds headquarters. Below left: GBCC’s Chris Houfe (second right) ended his two years as president of the GCA at the recent AGM. Among the 160+ who attended the event were (left-right) Bill Greeno (Paperlink), Sarah-Jane Porter (Moonpig), Debbie Wigglesworth (The Paper Collaborative) and Louise Tighe (Paperlink).

greeting card industry over the last decade, greeting cards have remained a vital part of the British psyche. This creativity and passion for the trade has been demonstrated by the level of engagement and success of the second Thinking of You Week, which took place in the last week of September. This year Asda, Tesco, Morrisons, Jarrold and a whole host of indies got behind the initiative, which bodes well for a further massive increase in awareness of the event in 2016. Even news emanating from the City was good. Card Factory recorded an 8% increase in sales overall for the first half of the year and a 2.5% increase in like-for-like sales. There is a drive and confidence in many sectors of the industry at present, which is a joy to observe. The greeting card industry’s demise, as predicted by many male cynics a decade ago, is clearly and happily a long way off!

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Contents

What’s Inside 31

Within This Issue: FOCUS ON WORDS & SENTIMENTS CARDS

49

41 7-17

32-33

News

51-53

Jeremy’s Journal

Art Source

Blue Eyed-Sun’s Jeremy Corner takes a look at some card publishers’ success stories, who found help on The Ladder Club ‘rungs’.

54-55

34-39

Lynn’s Lines

Innovations

Hattie’s Heroes

41-43

59-70

Step By Step

19-25 GCA AGM

Reaching New Heights

PG reports back from last month’s GCA AGM at London’s Millbank Tower.

26-27 Over The Counter

Working Class Hero…

Independent card and gift retailer, David Robertson, co-owner of JP Pozzi in Scotland, ponders over leaving a legacy.

28-29

Words & Sentiments Developments

Terms Of Endearment

Publishers’ thoughts on evolvements in the words & sentiments sector.

What’s Hot? 57-58

Classified 71

Appointments

45-47

Cardsharp

The Elephant On The High Street

Words & Sentiments New Launches

Train Of Thoughts

Cardsharp muses over topical events happening in the industry.

New words and sentiments range releases.

30-31

48-49

Retailer Focus

Retailer Face To Face

Going from brokerage to ‘wild buying’, Waterstones’ card buyer Claire Fitzgerald recounts the ‘new page’ this book multiple is turning.

Kate Briggs, Asda’s cards buying manager, talks to PG about the launch of George greeting cards.

Going Wild In Waterstones

By George

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

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warren@max-publishing.co.uk

galea@max-publishing.co.uk

Editor

Advertisement Director

Deputy Editor

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58 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© 2015. 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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NEWS TOP STORY

Presidential Positivity British Public Spent £1.6 Billion On Cards “Our industry continues to be a major British success story,” stated Ged Mace, md of The Art File in his first speech as president of the Greeting Card Association (GCA). Speaking at last month’s GCA AGM (held at London’s Millbank Tower), addressing a packed audience of over 160 publishers, retailers and suppliers, Ged substantiated his positive words by revealing the findings of the UK Greeting Card Market Report, commissioned by the GCA. “Having recently emerged from the deepest recession in living memory, the communication explosion and stamps that now cost 63p, our industry has proved once again that what we produce has immeasurable value to the buying population,” he said. Unveiling the statistics, Ged shared the good news that retail sales of UK greeting

Below: The number of cards bought has increased in the last year compared to the year previous.

cards by value rose by over 7% last year, compared to 2013. According to the findings, everyday card sales increased by over 3% (2014 v 2013), while a surge in sales of Christmas singles is evidenced in a 34% increase having been tracked. Giving a possible explanation for such a big shift, Ged explained that one of the major publishers who contribute their sales information this year for the first time did so using Epos data “which gives a much more accurate picture of actual sales. We believe this is closer to the real picture and that in previous years we had probably been underestimating sales,” Ged told the audience. Volume sales (number of cards bought) have remained virtually on a par with the previous year, with a drop of less than 1% over the two years. Highlighting what Ged described as “one of the most encouraging results of the report”, is that it tracks retail sales by value from 2011 to 2014. “The upward trend would suggest an optimistic view for the future of greeting cards. This, of course, is good news for retailers, publishers and investors in our industry.” For more on the GCA AGM see pages 21-25.

Council Tenets “We are very lucky to have a strong enthusiastic Council, whose collective experience covers the whole of our industry from large multi-nationals to small specialists,” said Sharon Little, ceo of the GCA, paying tribute to those who give their time (and at their own expense) to plan the strategy of the association throughout the year. The AGM saw three new members come onto the Council: Rajeev Avora of Davora, Chris Bryan of Second Nature and Stephen Homer of Postsnap Group. They join the existing Council, which comprises: ● Officers: Ged Mace of The Art File (president); Ceri Stirland of Above: New council members (left) Chris Bryan UK Greetings (vice-president); Robin Bradley of Phoenix Trading (Second Nature) and Raj Arora (Davora). (secretary) and Jeremy Corner of Blue Eyed Sun (treasurer). ● Council members: Bill Greeno of Paperlink; Rachel Hare of Belly Button Designs; Chris Houfe of The Great British Card Company; Jayne Myers of Paper Rose; Sarah Porter of My World; Paul Woodmansterne of Woodmansterne and Steve Wright of Hallmark. ● Amanda Fergusson recently of Caroline Gardner has recently stood down as she is taking a career break.

20 Years Celebration What better way for Cinnamon Aitch to celebrate its 20th anniversary than with a 'Hello Sunshine' inspired cake, based on one of the publisher’s card designs? The delicious cake was shared among industry folk, family and friends who attended Cinnamon Aitch’s birthday party.

Keeping Up With The Jones A stand-up comedian and co-founder of Sunday Assembly, a secular congregation with the motto ‘Live Better, Help Often and Wonder More’, made Sanderson Jones a good left-field choice as speaker at the GCA AGM. (The fact that he also appears chest bare in gold lame trousers on a Foxy Bingo advert somehow adds to his shine). He pointed out the uncanny similarities between Sunday Assembly and the greeting card industry, sharing three key elements of Sunday Assembly - the written message, the connection and positivity. Despite having no direct connection to the card trade, Sanderson gave an entertaining, but thought-provoking speech at the AGM event. “1 in 10 people in the UK have no family or friends, according to Relate. Greeting cards are the start of that relationship. But how can they go further?” he probed the audience. By drawing on a Xhosa saying “People are people through people” Sanderson made the point that the ‘power of connection’ is crucial in life and “cards hit that button” better than almost anything else. Above: Sanderson Jones, co-founder of Sunday Assembly highlighting how the essence of the secular movement he started shares so much with the greeting card industry.

Good Luck Cards There is stiff competition in the PrintWeek Awards’ Social Stationery Printer of The Year 2015 category this year. For the second consecutive year, Loxleys has been shortlisted in the Social Stationery Printer of The Year 2015 category at the PrintWeek Awards, with The Retas 2015 invitation being one of three entries submitted by the company alongside Belly Button Designs’ Copperfield range. Other finalists in the category are The Sherwood Group; Windles Group and Woodmansterne Publications. Windles has also been shortlisted in the Environmental Company of the Year awards, while The Sherwood Group is a finalist in the FMCG Packaging Printer of the Year category.

Left: Cinnamon Aitch's 20th anniversary Hello Sunshine cake.

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NEWS TOP STORY

Blogging Action

Thinking Of You Week Card Initiative Embraces The Nation A lot of thinking was put into action last month as publishers, retailers, suppliers, bloggers and Royal Mail really got behind Thinking of You Week to make this greeting card sending initiative a resounding success - and in what is only its second year. As GBCC’s Chris Houfe summed up in his final speech as president of the GCA at the association’s recent AGM, the creation of Thinking of You Week by the GCA has been one of the most “exciting” and “poignant” events during his presidential tenure. He highlighted that “the endorsement from the Royal Mail” by way of the stamp cancellation mark -

‘Thinking of You Week... Sending Cards... Raises Smiles!’ - that appeared on six million pieces of post daily, is testament to how the Week “has established itself as a major card sending event.” A raft of initiatives ranged from Thinking of You Week competitions and special card offers to imaginative window displays, with everyone enthusiastically joining in with the theme of letting friends and family know that someone, somewhere, had been thinking about them between September 21 to September 27 by sending a card every day. Asda, Tesco and Morrisons were among the major multiples to get involved in supporting Thinking of You Week, while a host of independents, from Norwich department store Jarrold to Hallmark Gold Crown retailers who also participated with various promotions. Top: Royal Mail's Thinking of You Week franking mark. Above: Independent retailer Harriet & Dee in Didsbury was among those to put their twist on supporting the Week. Left: Tesco stores had special Thinking of You Week sections featuring POS strips on card racks inviting customers to buying six cards to receive the seventh free.

Bloggers, included Rob Stebbings, PR and creative and web contents manager at Evo Group, who wrote an article about Thinking of You Week which was published on the Post Office Shop blog and was also linked to the GCA website and to the organisation's smilers stamps. For more stories about how retailers got behind this year's initiative see other news stories on this page as well as on page 11.

A (Crafts) Beautiful Feature Not only did Thinking of You Week engage with the greeting card industry, but it also hit the pages of important consumer title, Crafts Beautiful, which has a readership of 100,000. Deputy editor Rosie Savage spread the word as part of a three page article, Yours Sincerely, which celebrated the art and joy of rs Yousincerely correspondence in the run-up to the Thinking of You Week event. The initiative, publicised to readers in the October issue, (which went on sale in August), included a substantial quote from Sharon Little, chief executive of the GCA. Rosie also spread the word about Thinking of You Week on Crafts Beautiful's forum, with one reader highlighting she was making seven cards and planning to make more!

People & Places

We celebrate the art and joy of correspondence in the run-up to Thinking Of You Week Words by Rosie Savage

Turn over

CRAFTS-BEAUTIFUL.COM 57

Above: A three page feature appeared in Crafts Beautiful's October issue, out in August, fanfaring Thinking of You Week.

Independent Thinking On the independent retail front, Heidi Early, a director of Earlybird Designs in North London, confirmed that the shop had had a terrific response to its children's Design a Card competition, which ran as part of its Thinking of You Week activity. "We displayed all the entries in the window this week before choosing a winner," explained Heidi. "Then our lovely printers at Flowprint printed up the winning design for free and we've been selling the card in the shop with all proceeds donated to local charity Hackney Young Carers," she confirmed.

A Wraptious Initiative Could this win the prize for the most innovative of all the Thinking of You Week promotions this year? Simon Wadsworth, founder of Wraptious, got up before dawn, and, along with the company's mascot Mervin, dashed all over Manchester hiding 16 parcels for an unsuspecting public to find. "These were all hidden among statues and sculptures, to continue the art theme," he explains. "Each package contained three free cards, along with a note explaining what Thinking of You Week is Above: Simon Wadsworth with Mascot all about, inviting people to share their finds and what they'd like to do Mervin and one of the Wraptious packages hidden in Manchester. with their cards on social media. There was also a voucher for the lucky finders to 50% more cards online. In addition, one lucky finder also received a voucher for two free cushions from our site - just because!" The company then posted photo clues on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, giving its followers the opportunity to find them. "The response rate has been great," Simon enthuses. "We've had people come online thanking us for the cards, and we've just shipped the winning cushions to the lucky finder!"

It Was Good To Talk Over 400 attendees at the London Sunday Assembly knuckled down to some serious greeting card writing following a talk by the GCA's chief executive, Sharon Little, on Sunday September 20, during Thinking of You Week. Everyone who attended was given a pack of seven Thinking of You Week cards, printed by Woodmansterne, and encouraged to write them at the event. Above: Sharon Little, chief executive of the Greeting Card Association, was a guest speaker at the Sunday Assembly in London's Conway Hall during Thinking of You Week, at which attendees wrote cards to friends and family.

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NEWS TOP STORY

Super Marketing Asda Launches Multi-Faceted Campaign Among the major supermarkets who really got behind Thinking of You Week was Asda, which included two special ‘parasite’ display units with full Thinking of You Week branding in all of its stores. The displays contained five different cards from Ling and Carte Blanche. Carte Blanche supported the supermarket with daily Facebook pictures of Asda's Thinking of You Week cards available @ASDA, encouraging customers to 'like and share' and tag their friends to the image, referencing Asda where possible. A daily winner received a set of cards. While, at the end of the week, it ran an overall competition to win a £50 Asda voucher.

Right: One of the Ling cards that featured in Asda's Thinking of You Week promotion. Below: The Me to You parasite display of five Thinking of You Week cards in Asda.

On the Twitter front, working with CBG, the grocer ran a Twitter party on Thursday September 24. "We had some great brand ambassadors across many bloggers and they had to pitch to be part of our competition," explains Emma Dean, Asda's buying assistant for cards and gifts. "We selected five who each received a pack of the five card designs and a £50 Asda voucher as a thank you for running the party. They encouraged their followers and a wider audience to hashtag TOYW and @ASDA, asking people to write a card and to take a snapshot of themselves writing the cards found in Asda." The campaign had a huge reach as not only did Asda put media spend behind it, but each blogger was also able to run their own competition. Emma confirmed that Asda reached its target with Thinking of You Week by Wednesday of the actual week.

Greeting Card Request For Neve Thinking of You Week prompted Retas finalist, The Country House Gift Co, based in Winscombe, to launch an appeal to send birthday cards to 13 year-old Neve. "She has leukaemia and loves receiving cards, which are really helping to give her a positive boost during her treatment," explained the shop's Elaine Coles. Neve has been inundated with cards, but the more the merrier. They can be sent to Neve at The Country House Gift Co, 17/19 Woodborough Road, Winscombe, Somerset, BS25 1AB. Right: The Country House Gift Co helps to give 13 year-old Neve a positive boost through acting as the ‘postbox’ for her greeting cards.

Tatty Teddy Helped To Spread The Word Tatty Teddy had a strong role to play in Thinking of You Week this year thanks to a collaboration between Carte Blanche and Moonpig. Moonpig held a Facebook competition asking people who they were thinking of and why that person should receive a special Tatty Teddy. The prize was a limited edition of 30 Thinking of You Tatty Teddies wearing a Thinking of You Week T-shirt, and also a designed new Thinking of You Week Tatty Teddy card for the week, and ran a card offer of 15% off, using the voucher code Thinkingofyou. In addition, Carte Blanche ran a Tatty Teddy Thinking of You Week Twitter party. Moonpig also created a special hashtag #MoonpigMoments. The company sent packs of seven assorted cards to bloggers, journalists and selected Moonpig addicts with a card explaining the concept of Thinking of You Week and urging them to get involved. Left: Moonpig sent out a bundle of seven cards to bloggers and the media.

Bringing Cheer To Sick Kids Highlighting the many different positive aspects of Thinking of You Week, The Art File visited the children’s wards at the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham to deliver cards for the children, nurses and doctors so that they could write a card to their friends, family and loved ones. The cards were displayed on a table next to the main entrance of the ward with the idea of encouraging visitors to write cards for the patients that they would be visiting. "We would like to thank Jane Brookes, the ward sister in the children’s area, for getting behind the idea and welcoming the gift with such enthusiasm and positivity," commented The Art File's sales and marketing co-ordinator James Mace, who visited the hospital. "We’ll be sure to keep on supplying the children’s ward with cards for the years to come if they ever need them." In addition, team The Art File wrote surprise cards to their friends, family and loved ones, while, Behind The Red Door, the gift shop below The Art File offices, promoted the event throughout the Week. Above: The staff at Queen's Medical Centre Nottingham, recipients of cards from The Art File as part of Thinking of You Week.

Cards That Made Sian Smile Having had 'one of those days', Potty Mouthed Blogger Sian confided to her followers that she was also having a very sad day thinking about a lot of personal issues. "And then I received a surprise parcel from the lovely folks over at Moonpig," she wrote. "They sent me some greeting cards and a message that Thinking of You Week was taking place from 21-27 September. The funny thing is, even though the cards in the parcel were not addressed to me, yet the parcel itself made me smile and reminded me - I am not alone. So I asked my mum over for a cuppa that afternoon and told her everything. I am lucky to have her close by. Lucky to have a lovely mummy who does not judge me. Not everyone is so lucky and it is so important to do what we can to make others smile too." Above: The Moonpig Thinking Of You Week cards that cheered up Sian.

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NEWS NEWS IN BRIEF

TOP STORY

Student Placements On The Cards To Into Paperchase The final piece of an ambitious collaborative project - that has involved art colleges, students, a card publisher, printer, paper company and major retailer - comes to fruition this month in Paperchase. Two talented young designers will see the card concepts they entered into a nationwide competition go on sale as finished products in Paperchase's three flagship stores. The artists (Vickie Robinson and Natalie Kelter) are two of the winners of the Paper Rose/The Art Group’s On The Cards competition, which involved several universities and art colleges. These first two ranges, featuring six designs in each, are Prickly Situations by Vickie Robinson and Out and Proud by Natalie Kelter. Paper Rose's creative director Reggie Pugh explains, "We have had both Natalie and Vickie working with us in the studio on paid work experience and I think it has given them both a good insight into the industry with both students now having found jobs." Reggie, who has spearheaded the project with Mark Jessett of GF Smith, says that there has been a great sense of achievement. "I really hope we have started to make a small difference to the students’ and universities’ view of our industry," she comments.

Below: Prickly Situations by Vickie Robinson. Middle: Out and Proud by Natalie Kelter. Bottom: Representatives from Paperchase, Paper Rose, PG and GCA at the judging of On The Cards.

Hazel Walker, card buyer at Paperchase, added: ”We were so pleased when Paperchase was asked to be part of the On The Cards initiative. It’s such a great way of showcasing how varied greeting card design can be, and we’ve seen some great talent in the entries put forward. It’s been great fun being involved in the whole process and we’re very excited about having the designs in store this month.” The ranges will be available in Paperchase’s three flagships and its Nottingham store, where the winning entries attended university. The Out and Proud range (which is aimed as a gay send) is to be stocked at its Brighton store too. The designs will also be sold on its website. Danielle Wetoon's Selfie cards and Lucy Featherstone's Helping Hand cards, the other two winners in this year’s On The Cards competition, will launch in Paperchase in January 2016. The project has proved so successful in its inaugural year that there are now plans to continue to work with a selection of universities next year, including the same partners, to build on the awareness created through this year's initiative.

A 'Crackers' Idea IG is looking to make the most of its Tom Smith cracker brand by launching a business to business online shop (www.tomsmith-traderetail.com) that is aimed at smaller, independent retailers. Tom Smith Trade Retail offers a selection of quality, bespoke-designed and manufactured Christmas gift packaging and crackers. The new online shop will operate on a minimum product order quantity, rather than a minimum order value. As International Greetings’ PR manager Katie Brickle comments: "It's an exciting journey for the Tom Smith global brand, which is built on the wealth of design knowledge and experience from the commercial and creative teams at International Greetings UK." Tom Smith holds a Royal Warrant for the supply of Christmas crackers and Christmas wrapping paper to Her Majesty the Queen. Above: Home page of the new Tom Smith B2B site.

● Carousel Calendars’ 2015 Help for Heroes dated calendars and diary have raised a total of £56,677 for the charity. The company has published and distributed the Help for Heroes calendars and diary for the past five years, raising a whopping £238,954. Emma Parry, co-founder of Help for Heroes, said: “We are incredibly grateful to the team at Carousel Calendars for their continued support and enthusiasm for what is one of our longest commercial partnerships." Instead of a pure royalty rate based on net receipts, the company applies a donation of £2 from every planner, wall calendar and diary sold, and £1 from every slim calendar sold. Above: The best selling Help For Heroes slim calendar from Carousel Calendars.

● A start-up online greeting card company, Papier, claims to be taking on the mighty Moonpig with a start up capital of £250,000 from business 'angels' that include Nick Wheeler, the founder of shirtmaker Charles Tywhitt. Papier is the brainchild of former management consultant Taymoor Atighetchi.

Above: Taymoor Atighetchi who has recently launched online personalised greeting company Papier.

● Debbie Davis of Cherry Cards in Upminster is among the latest winner of the Cherry Orchard Facebook Shop of the Month display Above: Cherry Cards' window. competition, which saw her receive a bottle of champagne and a prize certificate for her shop window display. Debbie's success made the local newspaper, encouraging customers to come into the shop to congratulate her. She will now be going through to the next round where she stands a chance of winning £1,000 worth of greeting cards (based on RRP). The prize will be presented to the winning shop at Spring Fair in February. ● Smiggle, the social stationery retailer, is on track to open another 16 stores in the UK before Christmas. Sheffield born managing director John Cheston is positioning the Smiggle brand (which hails from Australia) to grab a strong chunk of the $2.4 billion personal stationery category in Britain, looking to expand to 200 stores over five years. Smiggle’s sales are up 26% year-on-year with 24 stores currently trading in the UK. Within the next 14 months, John confirms that Smiggle will also expand into to Wales, Scotland and Hong Kong, as well as elsewhere in Europe (after seeing demand from countries such as France and Germany on Smiggle's new UK-based online store). Below: Smiggle is on track to open a further 16 outlets before Christmas.

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NEWS NEWS IN BRIEF

TOP STORY

Unexpected Directions Terry Harvey Buys Into Tattoo Artistry Terry Harvey, managing director of card retail group M&P Cards, is well-known for not following the norm. His recent developments, to expand his retail empire into major shopping centres in Bradford and Newport, both of which open next month, are only one of the surprises. The other one is that Terry has taken a third share in design company Ashcroft Design, joining the other two shareholders, product designers Gwyneth Ashcroft and Kathy Hackett. “I love business and I like helping people. I am very impressed with Gwyneth’s and Kathy’s product talent and saw an opportunity to share some of the business knowledge I have,” says Terry. Terry got to know Gwyneth as she helped to design Bebunni (another of his investments) and she has subsequently been part of the team running that brand. Gwyneth got to know Kathy when they both worked for UKG/Xpressions Gifts.

Below: Gwyneth Ashcroft (left) and Kathy Hackett in front of the T’too range. Below left: Terry Harvey.

● Building on its retailing success, Gulf Greetings, the leading greeting card retailer in the Middle East, has also turned its attentions to UK shores, opening The Toy Store on London's Oxford Street. ● Calliope Gifts will be opening a third retail shop in The Orchards Shopping Centre at Haywards Heath on October 10, featuring a wide range of products to include greeting cards, stationery and gifts. Founded by ex-Borders Books' Philip Downer and Andy Adamson, the company also has outlets in Dorking and Alton.

In what is the first of what Terry hopes will be many deals on the Ashcroft front, a three year licensing agreement has been signed with card publisher Portfolio for Ashcroft’s T’Too brand (that echoes tattoo art) which launched on cards at last month’s Autumn Fair. “Did you know that a third of UK adults now have sub-dermal art aka tattoos?” asks Terry. “This brand is an example of how retailers would do well to step out of their comfort zone now and again.” “You have to fish where the fish are,” says Terry boldy.

Autumn Fair Airs On The Beeb Reinforcing its positive impact on the gift and home industry, Autumn Fair made it onto BBC Breakfast TV. Louise Young, i2i Event Group's divisional director retail, was interviewed about where she highlighted that an estimated £1.2 billion orders would be placed by retailers at the show. Also helping Autumn Fair to hit the headlines this year was the launch of Europe's first trade event Top 100 chart, giving buyers insight into which products were trending at the show, with the charts based on the most clicked website products in the lead up. With the festive season in mind, the Christmas toy chart was picked up by both BBC Breakfast as well as BBC Radio West Midlands. Above: Grass Roots fan-fared its 20th anniversary with a cake and a get together at Autumn Fair. Shown from left to right are: Charlotte Cowell, media consultant, i2i Events Group, Grass Roots’ Mike Jones, area manager, Glenys Morrice, area manager, Doug Morrice, sales director, and Alison Graham, event director, i2i Events Group.

An Inspirational Get Together For all creatives, inspiration is always all around them, so greeting card company Inspired Goodbyes was delighted when Ultimo founder Michelle Mone - recently made a life peer - visited its offices in the Stockport Business Innovation Centre. Michelle's visit was part of a Government review into start-up businesses with the aim being to inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs to set up their own business. Co-directors Helen Lawson and Sophia Lucop-Leeach said that Michelle was very impressed with the range of cards and gifts that Inspired Goodbyes has created, as well as its new Kickstarter campaign to raise money to fund a new book on bereavement for children. (Visit: www.kickstarter.com/projects/1797123497/its-not-fair-helping-childrenunderstand-bereavement) After her visit, Michelle tweeted Helen and Sophia to say: "you guys are the BUSINESS!" Michelle is currently visiting small businesses up and down the country to learn what can be done to encourage more people to set up on their own. Inspired Goodbyes is already an award winning company having won the Best New Business Competition in 2014 where the prize was a year’s free office space. Left: Michelle Mone (centre) with co-directors Helen Lawson (right) and Sophia Lucop-Leeach at Inspired Goodbyes.

● Card Connection announced its youngest franchisee, Daryl Perkins, 27, has been named as the company’s Franchisee of the Year. The award was presented at Card Connection’s annual franchise conference in Birmingham. ● Rose Hill, founder of Rose Hill Designs, has illustrated a book in conjunction with the author Hajera Memon to help young Muslim children learn how to perform the Wudu ritual – a ritual washing in preparation for prayer and worship. Right: The front cover of My First Wudu Book with illustrations by Rose Hill Designs.

● I Drew This has launched a new website which includes the increasingly popular Brighton inspired greeting cards for those local to the area. Visit: www.idrewthis.co.uk ● Retas Retail Employee of the Year winner, Kerry Young, shop manager at Thoughtful Expressions in Holt, has become something of a media star having appeared in the number of regional newspapers and magazines since she won the coveted trophy. ● The London Stationery Show will be sponsoring a new Diaries category in the Desk and Personal Use section of the annual Calendar Awards, which take place at Stationer's Hall in London on January 27. The closing date for entries is December 1. ● A new category, Best Online Retail Buying Team, has been added to i2i Events Group's Buyers Power List 2016. Nominations are now open with the winners announced at Spring Fair next February. ● Brainbox Candy has launched a new dedicated trade site - brainboxcandytrade.com - and is offering a whopping 15% discount for any first orders placed through the new site for both cards and gifts. “It’s been quite a substantial investment of time and money to achieve what Above: Brainbox Candy's we set out to do, in new website. terms of functionality and ease of use. However, the customers who have tested it out, prior to the official launch, have been raving about it!" comments Brainbox Candy's Mark Williams. The site has been designed to make ordering as quick and easy as possible, and any orders received by 3pm through the site will be delivered to customers the following day.

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NEWS TOP STORY

Living Wage

Below: Oliver Bonas has been a trailblazer for the government's new Living Wage initiative.

Oliver Bonas Leads The Way Lifestyle retailer Oliver Bonas, which won Best Non-Specialist Retailer of Greeting Cards in The Retas 2015, has been hailed as the first high street chain in Britain to pay staff an independently calculated living wage. Employees aged 18 and over are now getting paid a minimum of £7.85 an hour, or £9.15 in London - figures calculated based on the cost of living. (This compares with the national minimum wage of £6.50 an hour for over-21s and £5.30 for workers between 18 and 21). “We are thrilled that we are now able to pay the Living Wage to all members of our team. We want to do everything we can to pay our team at Oliver Bonas a wage that reflects their hard work and loyalty and the ‘real’ cost of living," commented Oliver Tress, founder and managing director of Oliver Bonas. "This is a direct result of the hard work of our team, helping us to grow the business at a good, steady pace over

the last 20 or so years. We hope it also encourages more people to come and work with us at Oliver Bonas in the future." Oliver Bonas now employs 500 people across its 43 shops and its warehouse in Chessington, Surrey, rising to 650 over the Christmas period. In his summer budget, George Osborne surprised many by announcing that the minimum amount employers must pay staff aged over 25 was to rise to £7.20 an hour from April next year. The figure would then climb to £9 by 2020.

Festive Friday Kicks Off Following hot on the heels of the Thinking of You Week promotion, the GCA is now turning its attentions to growing Festive Friday, which takes place this year on Friday November 27. The event, now in its third year, encourages people (starting with those in the industry) to write and send their Christmas cards early, using the last Friday in November as the ideal kick-start date. The association is making the most of PR opportunities in the consumer press through launching the special day with Crafts Beautiful magazine, which was also a major supporter of Thinking of You Week. (See A (Crafts) Beautiful Feature on page 9). As Sharon Little, chief executive of the GCA told Crafts Beautiful: "Spending time making a beautiful card for someone gives a lasting positive boost to the person who receives it, with evidence to show that when we think about and do things for others it’s good for our own emotional health and well-being." Adds Sharon: "People can also help to inspire others to get creative by organising Christmas card-making events in the lead up to or on the actual day itself. This could be with a local school or play centre, an elderly people’s home, community centre or church. We want to encourage everyone to make and send more Christmas cards than last year, enveloping the country in a wave of festive cheer, making people feel extra special with hand-crafted cards." Above: The Festive Friday livery was created by The Art File’s in-house design team, but a downloadable toolkit will be available for everyone to use shortly from the GCA website.

Fund Raising For Nepal Greetings card publisher and photographer Charlotte Gale, founder of Pictur-esque, who is recently helped to organise a charity dinner at the Crown hotel in Harrogate, which raised £10,000 to help rebuild the lives of victims of April’s earthquake in Nepal. The event was attended by over 100 corporate and private guests, including guest speaker for the evening, ex Gurkha, Major Lil Gurung MBE, who told guests of his Above: Charlotte Gale (far right) helped to raise experiences during and after the earthquake and of the short money for victims of April's Nepal earthquake. and longer-term issues affecting his country. Charlotte first became involved with Nepal when she spent a month out there in 2014 volunteering with and photographing a Rotary-led Literacy, IT and Economic regeneration project. Radio DJ, Alex Cann acted as auctioneer for the evening and interviewed Charlotte on Stray FM the following day.

Unfair Mark-Ups WHSmith and M&S both recently hit the headlines for charging customers more for their purchases at hospital shops. Along with price comparisons based on sandwiches, water, soft drinks, flowers and confectionery, get well soon cards were claimed to be 90% more expensive at Bristol Royal Infirmary when compared to the price charged a local WHSmith branch. Both stores hit back at the attacks from the Patients Association, claiming hospital prices were higher due to increased running costs based around longer opening hours and the convenience of the store location.

An Award Fit For A Prince Amid a standing ovation from the 1,400 people in the audience, Laurence Prince, founder and chairman of Danilo Promotions - greeting cards and calendars - was thrilled to receive The Licensing Awards’ prestigious Honorary Achievement Award which was presented to him at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London last month. "The words, ‘trailblazer’ and ‘pioneer’ are often overused, but Laurence merits both of these descriptors and many more," said Jakki Brown, joint managing director (and PG editor) of Max Publishing, which organises the event, in her citation. "Through sheer audacity and tenacity, he managed to clinch his very first licensing agreement with Elvis, by flying to LA with to seal the deal with a suitcase crammed with $25,000 in hard cash. This was the first of many hugely successful licensing collaborations in the world of music, sport and entertainment, with stars and organisations that had never even thought of allowing their IP to be translated onto consumer products. "Over the next four decades he has not only become the king of his category, but has opened doors and opened eyes to the potential of celebrity, sport and music licensing." Some 15 years ago, Laurence was seeing Danilo Promotions diversify into licensed greeting cards. Above: Laurence Prince, winner of The Licensing Awards’ Honorary Achievement Award, on stage at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London with the event's host, TV's Alexander Armstrong. Above: A witty greeting card Laurence received from Emotional Rescue following his success at the event.

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NEWS PEOPLE

TOP STORY

● Well-known card buyer, Sasha Walker-

Card Factory

Allen (right) has joined Moonpig as its card category manager. Sasha, whose previous experience includes card buyer of WHSmith Travel and Funky Pigeon, has been recruited to work between Moonpig’s design, commercial and production teams to help expand, manage and innovate its total greetings offering. This will include new personalised and non-personalised formats and hybrids.

Confirms Revenues Up By 8% Card Factory's interim results didn't disappoint, with the UK's largest independent greeting card retailer reporting that revenues were up by 8% in the first half of this year to July 31. A further 36 new stores were opened, bringing the total up to 800, with another 50 stores opening by the year end. Like-for-like sales growth in existing stores was attributed to improvements in the quality and range of both card and non-card products, with ongoing market share gains as new store openings matured. Card Factory's online business, Getting Personal, saw a revenue increase of 24.9% to £6.9 million, while a successful re-launch of Card Factory's online business has seen an encouraging early step change. “It is encouraging to report another strong set of interim results with growth in both revenue and profit," commented ceo Richard Hayes. "We continue to deliver on each of our four growth pillars:

growing like-for-like sales, rolling out new stores, delivering business efficiencies and growing our online businesses. “It is also pleasing to announce a special dividend, in keeping with our commitment to return surplus cash to shareholders," he said. He continued: “We continue to focus resolutely on maintaining our very strong competitive position and further improving and developing our value retail proposition. The business is well prepared for the important Christmas trading season, and we remain confident of the Group's future prospects both in the near and longer-term."

Hollywood On The Cards When Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood popped into Wingham Newsagents near Canterbury to buy a birthday card, his obvious choice was Card Connection's The Great British Cake Off design. The design was originally created for UK Greetings' Hanson White Giggles range before being used by its sister company Card Connection. "Sources tell us that Mr Hollywood was seen to write out and post the card there and then," confirms Shaun Bateman, creative manager at Card Connection. Above: The Great British Cake Off card bought by Paul Hollywood. It's not known who the card was addressed to, but with Bake Off presenter Sue Perkins’ birthday on September 22 the card could potentially have been heading her way!

Twenty Five Years Of Wonderful Proving once again their mastery of marketing, Miles Robinson and Nigel Williams, founders and codirectors of the award winning House of Cards shops, based in the Home Counties, recently completed a very successful promotion with greeting card publisher Nigel Quiney to offer its customers a novel way of celebrating the store group’s 25th anniversary. The promotion, which ran August 3 - August 29, offered House of Cards’ customers a special range of Nigel Quiney Pizazz greeting cards at the 1990 price of 75p, with the proceeds going to charity. Miles confirms that some 5,000 cards were sold by the end of the promotion. As he put it: "Not bad for seven shops, especially as we managed to raise just under £4,000 for Child Autism UK, which we will be rounding up." As an extra anniversary 'gift' and a 'thank you' for customers, special Pizazz cards contained a £5 gift voucher to be spent at any of the House of Cards shops.

● Carte Blanche has appointed Gerard O’Mahony (above) to the newly created post of commercial director. Gerard joins from Groupe Hamelin, a major European stationery company. Gerard last role with the company was as ceo for its US operation. ● Jeremy Corner, md of Blue Eyed Sun, not only completed last month’s Great North Run in a super speedy time (of 1hour 45 minutes), part of the Sage team that raised £75K for Cancer Research UK, but he also met some incredible athletes – including Paula Radcliffe (pictured), Denise Lewis and Colin Jackson! Right: Jeremy Corner with Paula Ratcliffe.

Censored! Greeting card publisher and photographer Dominic Greyer, director of Lesser Spotted, received the wrath of the Women's Institute (WI) when he displayed Above: One of the censored his wares at the WI's 'rude' names that are real places in the UK. Centennial events in Harrogate last month. Dominic was asked to be there to sell cards, mugs, coasters and tea towels linking in with his book, Lesser Spotted Britain, that features amusing British place names, but was forced to put 'censored!’ signs up to avoid giving offence to women at the event. Among the names that inflamed the anger of two of the male organisers were Minge Lane, Slack Bottom, Wetwang, Bell End, Cockermouth, Twatt and Assington, all real place names! The story even made it into the media. "I had to cover up what on paper seems like rude names but, in context, are real places from around the UK," he told the Mail Online.

A Piece Of Cake Cakes were among the biggest sellers at UK Greetings’ Macmillan Coffee Morning event that raised a total of £1,207 for Macmillan Cancer Support. According to UKG's PR and digital media manager Jessica Bumby, "Staff were filling their boots, bags, hats, and just about any cakecarrying receptacle with lots of delicious treats, all in aid of a brilliant cause." Below: Among the delicious cakes on offer at the recent UKG Coffee Morning, which helped to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Above: House of Cards 25th anniversary promotion at the company's Chalfont shop. Left: A congratulatory poem, 25 Years of Wonderful, was written to Miles Robinson and Nigel Williams, founders and co-directors of House of Cards, by Rachel Bright, founder of the Bright Side, on the special occasion of the multiple's 25th anniversary.

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Reaching New

Heights

The GCA’s 96th AGM felt akin to floating in a big glass love bubble, high in the bright blue sky. Taking place on the 29th floor of Millbank Tower’s Altitude 360, with London and the Thames sparkling below in the sunshine, it was a fitting setting for an incredibly uplifting, spiritual gathering of over 160 publishers, retailers and suppliers. PG took a front pew at what felt like a greeting card industry ‘harvest festival’ to enjoy the bountiful event.

T

he industry stats were revealed (pretty good actually), updates shared on the development of Thinking of You Week (mighty impressive), a new president and council members were welcomed into the association and confirmation that the ‘war chest’ of the association’s built up funds was safe in case of battle, but this year’s GCA AGM was so much more than ticking items off a set agenda. It was a celebration of what makes the UK greeting card industry great, the importance of tangible social communication, creativity, passion and inspiration. The three keynote speeches (given by Hannah Dale of Wrendale Designs, Sanderson Jones of Sunday Assembly and Dominique Schurman of Clintons/SRG) could not have been more harmonious if they had been to secret choir practice sessions together. Ending his term as GCA president, Chris Houfe, sales director of GBCC, gave a superb summing up of the association’s achievements during his two year tenure.

Inset: The stunning views of London from 360 Attitude, the venue added to the uplifting mood of the AGM event. Below: (Right-left): Keynote speakers Hannah Dale (of Wrendale Designs), Sanderson Jones (Sunday Assembly) with Jack Dale (Wrendale Designs), GCA ceo Sharon Little and PG’s Jakki Brown just before everyone arrived. Bottom left: Over 160 card publishers, retailers and suppliers attended the AGM this year.

“A few years ago the GCA council decided the association needed to change its focus. We’ve always been very good at telling each other what a great industry we belong to but we needed to remind the great British public how important it is to send and receive a greeting card,” he said. He highlighted the expansion of the associate membership, introduction of Festive Friday to kick-start Christmas card sending early, providing appropriate teaching resources and “most exciting of all” the introduction of Thinking of You Week, a consumer card sending initiative, which, in only its second year, has received widespread support and engagement not just from the UK trade, but as far afield as Australia and Taipei. As a token of his respect and thanks to Sharon Little, ceo of the GCA, for driving the association during his term as president, Chris presented her with a special pen. Returning the favour, and to celebrate his ‘big thinking ideas’, Sharon presented him with a magnum of champagne with a personalised label to a ‘President Extraordinaire’. Above left: Adding some unexpected ‘fizz’, Sharon Little presented GBCC’s Chris Houfe with a magnum of champagne with a personalised label, thanking him for being a ‘President Extraordinaire’, to mark his two year tenure. Left: The addition of retailers as members of the GCA adds to the voice of the association. WHSmith Claire Castle (right) and Moonpig’s Sasha Walker-Allen.

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Up Hill And Down Dale

Henries awards, an extensive customer base and consumer following. Having taken her early card designs into shops and acting on retailer feedback, Hannah remembers the next stage being down to the lucky moment when she “stumbled across The Ladder Club, set up to help and support new publishers. I can remember being so excited the night after the [The Ladder Club] seminar that I didn’t get a wink of sleep. I just felt sure that I had found the perfect job - it had everything I was looking for - an outlet for my creative side, a great challenge and above all a lot of potential,” explains Hannah. Joining the trade from the cut-throat world of hedge funds and stockbroking, Hannah paid tribute to the generous nature of those in the greeting card trade. “I honestly thought that there must be some kind of catch and that people couldn’t really be so genuinely kind and helpful - I speak from the heart when I say how lucky we all are to be part of such a lovely industry.” Looking back on the last three years’ meteoric rise of Wrendale Designs, Hannah suggested forging a clear brand identity has been key. “In hindsight, I think that one of the first key business decisions we made was to build our brand on a single style of design. At the time, this was quite different from anything else on the market and I think The Pace Of Mace it was also important that it felt very Getting your arms around a natural for me as a designer - I wasn’t £1.6 billion industry using only 10 trying to follow an existing trend or words is a tricky one, but Ged Mace, style that was already popular,” said md of The Art File, landed it in his first Hannah candidly. “It was very tempting speech as president of the GCA. initially to try and spread the risk by Up on screen they came - creative, launching a variety of styles, but I took relevant, adaptable, vibrant, warm, some good advice early on and valuable, unique, global, worthy and focused on the range that I believed in resilient – it crystalised what makes this the most and this proved to be a good industry special, and wouldn’t even strategy. Since then, every design have bust the Twitter character quota. decision, even down to packaging and Above: (Second right) Ged Mace (md of The Art File) who took “At last year’s AGM it was mentioned that our over as president of the GCA at the AGM with (right-left) Ben catalogues, has been made within the industry only has 10 years to run. I completely disagree Hickman and Mark Williams (both of Brainbox Candy) and context of our overall brand strategy James Stevens (Woodmansterne). with this,” Ged stated, his considered delivery adding and how that particular product or weight to the words he spoke. “And looking around this room I can see enthusiasm, experience card is going to develop and build our and confidence in abundance.” brand in the way that we want it to.” Elaborating on some of his industry descriptors, Ged homed in on ‘creative’, ‘global’ and ‘relevance’.

Going by her subsequent performance, if Hannah Dale had pursued the career that the psychometric tests signalled when she was at Grammar school - that of a trout farmer - the AGM of STFA (Stillwater Trout Fisheries Association, of course!) would have themselves a wonderful president. Having taken a circuitous route into the card trade - a double first at Cambridge University in natural sciences, upside-down in a ditch in the Australian outback, a masters from Oxford, a stockbroker with Morgan Stanley until the recession hit, a move back to rural Lincolnshire with husband Jack to live on the family farm and have two children - the tale is all the better for having heard it from Hannah herself. Fearful of coming across as arrogant or showing false modesty, Hannah shared the amazing success story of Wrendale Designs. She relayed how, in the space of three years, having started with £6,000 in savings, Wrendale Designs has gone from nothing to a profitable £2million+ business with successful licensing tie-ups and international expansion. Hannah’s ability to translate her knowledge of animal behaviour into charming artwork that appeals to a broad church of consumers is second to none, as testified by a string of

“Designing cards is a skill, designing cards that sell is an art - and our industry is superb at this,” he said before paying tribute to the trade suppliers for adding into the mix with exceptional finishes, boards and envelopes, resulting in “world class products.” “What’s more, this is achieved time and time and time again. No wonder then that we are the envy of the world and we should, in my opinion, promote this art of ours much more,” he said, signaling one of his presidential aims. Ged stressed how finding ways of “persuading younger generations to write more cards is key” and plans to further develop links with schools during his tenure as president, plus ensure that the industry protects itself on the environmental front as well as elevating its position on a global basis. “The challenge which faces us all is how we adapt to the evolving face of the high street, the struggles of our independent retailers and the unstoppable train that is online shopping,” he said. Seeing what impact the GCA’s new president can make with 10 words, Ged Mace is the chap to front the challenge.

Top: Hannah showed Jakki Brown her new Mr Hare’s Big Secret book at Autumn Fair. Below: Two other highflying ladies at the AGM, Abacus’ Bev Cunningham (left) and Wendy Jones-Blackett..

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GCA AGM

Opening The Memory Box It was a big draw, clinching Dominique Schurman, ceo of Clintons and Schurman Retail Group as a keynote speaker. Just what would she reveal about the plans for Clintons? How much depth would she go into about the challenges of trading for the UK specialist? The actuality was, apart from a few choice nuggets of information as to the similarities and differences between the card markets in the UK and the US, which she revealed, and a passing mention of Clintons, to all intents Dominique’s speech was a very personal ‘TED talk’ as to why greeting cards mean so much to her - and to other people. Tight-lipped as she was about any Clintons business talk, Dominique Schurman was abundantly open-hearted about insights into her personal life and times of growing up in the ‘house of cards’, aka Marcel Schurman, the card publishing company formed by her parents in the 1950s. “People don't buy what you do. They buy WHY you do it,” said Dominique passionately, echoing the title of Simon Sinek’s famous TED talk, an excerpt of which was shown at the AGM. “Each of us has our own personal ‘WHY’ – and for me, it starts with this,” Dominique said as the image of a patterned box appeared on the screen. “How many of you have one of these at home? It is a memory box, filled with treasures that I cherish that capture the magic of WHY.” In what was a somewhat unexpected intimate moment, Dominique read a portion of a letter written by her great, great grandmother to her daughter that has endured through the generations and now resides in her memory box. ‘Avoid the artificiality which does not bring happiness, but instead distorts - particularly a young woman. Stay simple and good, my daughter, and you will be a joy to your parents and create the greater happiness for yourself.’

The Atlantic Drift Some facts and figures Dominique shared as part of her presentation: Respective card market sizes: US - 330 million people: $56 billion. 1% market growth in last year, 18 cards per capita. UK - 60 million people: $2.2 billion. 3% market growth in last year, 39 cards per capita. Single Christmas Cards: Account for 22% of the UK market, while in the US, they only account for 10%. Retail treatment of Christmas cards: While Clintons in the UK dedicates 100’ to Christmas singles in the States, a typical Papyrus (SRG’s specialist stores) would only dedicate 12’ to Christmas singles. The picture changes for boxed cards. In the UK these only account for 5% of the total market, while in the States they account for more than double that (11%). Power of the grocers: In the UK, the grocery channel accounts for around 29% of the greeting card market, whereas in the US it is somewhat less than this (20%). Left: (Right) Dominique Schurman, ceo of Schurman Retail Group and ceo of Clintons paid tribute to her parents (founders of Marcel Schurman) in her enlightening address, while the next generation, her son Chris Magam (who also works for SRG) was all ears in the audience, hearing his mother’s speech for the first time. Below left: Dominique’s treasured memories box.

This was a personal reminder of the power of the written word and where letters once were, so now cards have followed. “Our role in people’s lives is to offer a sanctuary... an oasis of inspiration that link us together with tangible connections,” said Dominique in an engaging Californian accent which now has a British tinge thanks to the last few years of her transatlantic commute every month. “We live in a complex world, made up of complex individuals, with complex, multi-faceted needs. The pace of our world today is accelerated and amped up beyond what we could ever have imagined even 20 years ago,” she relayed. Yet for all these changes, Dominique really believes that greeting cards will continue to have a role as they are a potent means to “enable our ability to genuinely connect with other people.” Adding an historic context, she said: “Going back to Mesopotamia... 5,000 years ago, people felt compelled to communicate through the written word or symbols and pictographs. Really, not that differently from what we do now. The drive that we have to create lasting, heirloomworthy connections is why we are inspired to do what we do. The remarkable blend of art and message is the magic that we create... capturing the emotion and the imagination of our customers, inspiring them to spark and punctuate connections with others that will endure through the generations.” As she reminded, the written word is something we can hold onto, save and cherish. The spoken word is transient, often forgotten, Above: The screen shared Simon and the emailed word is mostly deleted. Sinek’s belief. “Greeting cards... ink, paper, art, and words - are Left: A visual showing Dominique’s commute from SRG’s the spark that inspire us to keep the torch alight... San Fran office to Clintons’ for 5,000 years and counting,” ended Dominique on Essex premises. a triumphant note. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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Over The Counter

Working Class Hero... We celeb rate the man of the mome nt - INSID E

Independent card and gift retailer, David Robertson, co-owner of JP Pozzi, muses over leaving a legacy. Legacy is a word that is often used wrongly in our society. Its use should imply that a person, company, product or event will long be remembered after they have gone and that they have done or created something that is, in some way, unique or special. The Honorary Achievement Award category at The Henries will be presented for the 20th time ( The Henries awards programme is 20 years old this year) just before you read this article. In line with previous successors of this award, this year’s winner will no doubt have had a very strong influence on the card world in which we all live today.

Previous winners of this accolade, such as Andrew Brownsword (the original publisher of the Forever Friends brand that he sold to Hallmark for an estimated £200 million pounds), The Lewin Family (Clinton Cards) and Simon Elvin (established and well-known card publisher of the same name) to name a few, are all instantly recognisable to anyone with any knowledge of our industry. They are also multi-millionaires who have built tremendous companies within the world of cards. What fascinates me more than anything though is that Andrew Brownsword started selling from the back of his car. Don Lewin started in a building firm before becoming first a salesman then a card shop owner, and Simon Elvin too started with just a dream and worked with his wife to build it. 26

PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

These are what some people call ‘rags to riches’ or ‘boy done good’ stories. Today I attended the funeral of a local businessman who left school at 13. He then went on, over a 60 year career, to build a number of businesses, leaving behind numerous satisfied clients, buildings, bridges and a thriving family firm. Stories like these are what I thrive on. It is what drives me. In fact I came away from the funeral not feeling sad, but energised that someone could have lived such a full and happy life, doing what they loved and creating not only wealth but a real legacy. I am also extremely fortunate that my own parents fit this category. They came into the world of being self-employed late in life, with my dad being in his mid 50’s. They worked hard to built the company to where it is today, forever steadfast that there are certain ways to do things and certain ways to treat people. My parents were not driven by money. They were driven by pride and the wish to present a business and product selection that was second to none. They still are. My concern today is that these ethics are not what we are teaching, encouraging or nurturing in the business world. Nowadays, it seems to be clever to multi-layer companies and firewall everything so that you can start up and go under and be trading again all in the matter of a day. We seem to have lost the shame that comes with a company going bankrupt. In this era it is used as a tool to ensure that you can protect everything personally and forget about the suppliers or the property owners or the big firms. In fact, I believe that some businesses simply disregard those companies and think of them as faceless.

Above: Celebrating the 'man of the moment', a card from new publisher Look What I Found. Below left: Simon Elvin receiving his Honorary Achievement award at The Henries in 2001 from celebrity Graham Norton. Below: Publisher Andrew Brownsword (centre left) with Deborah Jones (centre right) creator of Forever Friends have both left a legacy.

I believe that if someone is genuinely in trouble and needs to get out the laws do help them to do so while protecting key things like homes. But what it doesn’t do is protect against those who want to run up debt and simply escape paying for it. What is even more disconcerting is, in some instances, this has become viewed as good practice. ‘Limited company - limited responsibility’ is the mantra that is often used. This however, simply does not sit well with me. In some ways stories like Don Lewin and Andrew Brownsword don’t really happen anymore. Society, and indeed business life, has changed. There is not the opportunity to go out there and build a truly exceptional nationwide chain from nothing. The last story like that is really that of Card Factory, but could that happen again?


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Over The Counter

With online retail, lower footfall, increasing core costs, lack of bank support and a generally declining market, where is the next retail breakout star going to come from? In the last few days (mid September) even John Lewis has announced some terrible results and it is oft lauded as the creme de la creme of retailing. Lots of others are hurting as well and everyone I speak to in the trade, if honest, says that it is tough. Tough to juggle staff issues, wages, rent, increasing electricity costs and many other testing circumstances. Just in case we didn’t think we had enough business concerns now have the increased living wage and pensions either on us or looming as well. Over these last few weeks the living wage has raised concerns with some of the biggest employers such as Whitbread (owners of Costa) coming out to say that things may have to change within its business model. We are also living in what I think of as ‘the firework era’ - things burn bright and then die quickly. Pop-up shops and restaurants have become the thing to have, and with there being approximately a third more shopping space than is actually needed, it leans towards those that want to simply get in and out

Above: John Lennon's album 'Working Class Hero' could describe many in the greetings industry who have lived the 'rags to riches' story. Above right: Mankind reaching the moon is a legacy reflected in this Shaun St. Peter design from The Almanac Gallery (GBCC).

quickly. These companies have no desire to transition into a long-term brand yet I can only see this type of retail continuing. And again this poses serious problems for established retailers with competitors opening in key sites for short bursts and hoping to take a large percentage of local retail trade. So the question must be, why are we doing it? What legacy will we leave? Why are we still so enthralled by greeting card product? For me the answers are easy. Firstly, I take a real pride in what I do and I love selling cards. More than that, I love the

business behind it, meeting those that drive it and the ethos behind the ranges. I also get a huge kick out of being an enabler - helping companies or retailers or agents to meet and work together. This PG column is a huge catalyst for that. Secondly, I love the product. I still feel that it is as diverse as it has ever been. PG Live proved that, and every week I have an email offering or showing me something different on the product front. The fact that there is new blood all the time into the industry keeps us fresh and alive as well. Thirdly, I still believe in proper customer service and product knowledge. The internet and my competitors cannot match this if it is really done correctly. By nature a customer wants to be respected and helped and they like you to do that little bit extra for them. Finally, and most importantly, is that I control my own destiny. No one hands me the money, I have to go out and make it, track it and manage it all successfully. While this is a constant struggle, as it is for most small businesses, it is rewarding... as well as stressful... as well as sparking every other emotion. The John Lennon song ‘Working Class Hero’ describes the various stages in life and is viewed as being very dark. As the lyrics go: ‘There's room at the top they are telling you still But first you must learn how to smile as you kill If you want to be like all the folks on the hill’ Lennon ends the song by imploring ‘to follow him still’. It implies that if you are someone who wants to aspire to greatness, you have to be ruthless, and while that is true to an extent it can be interpreted as being ruthless in your decision making. Great business people, like those described before in the greetings industry, can make decisions. I believe that what needs to be done is often instinctive to business people. They don’t hesitate or linger. Sometimes those decisions need to be made there and then with the information you have. If you hunt for every single scrap of knowledge you can delay, whereby it is simply better to make up your mind and stick to it. But just how do we measure our success? We can’t simply say ‘well, we have reached the

top of the hill!’ Is this really important? I think that it is each success that drives further success. But how do you keep score? Well it could be... l Simply surviving - paying the bills! l By making good money - define that! l By getting great feedback from customers. l From enjoying the day-to-day challenge. l From selling out and walking away. l Winning awards - being recognised within our field. l Creating a brand and business that stand the test of time. l Simply enjoying it - to me that is what really matters - love what you do. Of course the answer is all of the above and a lot more besides. The interesting thing is that legacy and reputation can quickly go. If you do sell out or move on I think it is best not to dwell and look back too hard as what you see you may not like. Our industry has been littered with examples of this. You only need to look at regular winner of The Henries’ Best Service To The Independent award back in the day Wishing Well. The publisher went from being the undisputed king of service to the independent to becoming what now seems to be just another cog in the Carte Blanche wheel. To my mind, CBG has never really galvanised and fully understood what made Wishing Well so special. Admittedly Wishing Well’s legacy of customer service was one so great that no-one, especially a large company like CBG, could be expected to live up to it. The Beatles’ legacy of course can be heard all over the world everyday. It will last long after they have all gone and for generations to come. Ironically, John Lennon was the least working class of The Beatles. The interesting thing for me is that the top grossing movie star in the world today is The Rock who also came from humble beginnings. I have his saying as the screen saver on my phone. It is simple and says: "Be humble. Be hungry and always be the hardest worker in the room." - Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson. In truth, that is what I would want my legacy to be. I would simply never want to be ‘outworked’. To contact David email: jppozzi@btconnect.com PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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CARDSHARP

The Elephant

On The High Street High Street retail sales of non-food product have been dire in the last few months. Cardsharp contemplates the reasons why and also examines why Card Factory seems to be bucking the trend.

It should be a positive time for retailing generally and for greeting cards retailing on the high street, mused Cardsharp. The UK economy is growing at a healthy level rate of around 2.6% and for the past two years we have been the fastest growing advanced economy in the world. Consumer confidence is said to be returning and yet‌? Sales figures from the high street have been simply awful. The BDO sales tracker index, which monitors these things, reported a horrible 4.3% drop in like-for-like sales of non-food product in August from the year before. This, incredibly, was the steepest monthly fall since the height of the financial crisis in November 2008. The July figures were down year-on-year too by 1.1% and in June by a similar amount. It seems to Cardsharp that there is a clear dichotomy between the consumer recovery and the high street recovery. According to BDO, lifestyle, fashion and homewares are the high street sectors that have suffered the most in the last few months. There is no separate analysis for greeting card and stationery sales given

Inset: Card Factory is the elephant on the high street.

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CARDSHARP by BDO, but Cardsharp suspects these areas have been equally affected. Even the usual omnipotent JLP has reported falls in sales. Anecdotal evidence Cardsharp has received from agents, reps, publishers and both multiple and independent greeting card retailers has tended to support a view that the last three or four months have not been great. Cardsharp suspects that two of our high street standard bearers on greeting cards, Clintons and WHSmith, are finding it particularly tough at the moment. Cardsharp feels that blame cannot even be laid at the door of the pernicious influence of the internet as online sales have also recorded their slowest rate of growth since the year 2000. It would seem that many UKers are buying new cars, taking more holidays, and eating out more, rather than spending their hard-earned pay packets on consumer products bought from bricks and mortar retailers. But Cardsharp wonders if it is something more than that? Is it something more structural that is going on with our high streets that is affecting greeting card sales on a macro level? We all know about the long-standing problems of the costs and difficulties of high street parking, and by contrast the ease of parking and access that makes out-of-town retailing so attractive. These are all contributing factors to the high streets’ relative decline, but Cardsharp points to a few other less-aired issues that are having an effect and these concern general changes in social activity. Pre-recession and during the retrospect gold blessed (for retail) ‘Blair Decade’, professional working women (who made up the main lunchtime customer to the likes of Clintons and WHSmith’s) often had a bit of time in their lunch hour to nip into town for a bit of browsing and shopping. The belttightening of the recession years meant many got out of the habit off ‘going down the shops’ in their ‘lunchtime’. Now, the work pressure of many of that demographic, a 15 minute dash to the local convenience store or quick

Above: Bucking the trend, card multiple, Card Factory.

downing of a pre-prepared sandwich or lunch at their desks, is the best many can get. Meanwhile, the alternative outlets to the high street for card buying have got so much better. However badly the major supermarkets are suffering when it comes to general sales in the last few years they have, Tesco and Asda in particular, really upped the quality of their greeting card offering. And then there is the rise and rise of the garden centre. Last Sunday Cardsharp visited a former ‘nursery’ in Surrey that used to sell a few plants and shrubs. Now, 10 years later, it is a virtual shopping complex with an extensive card, wrap and ancillary gift shop within a shop. The indoor non-plant retail area was jammed solid and the tills were ringing. Ironically, the quietest area was the outdoor horticultural section! The vast space available to expand retail offerings, the ample parking make ‘Super Garden Centres’ like this very attractive destinations for families and retired people of all incomes and demographics. So, given all these socio, economic and financial factors it is not surprising that greeting card sales in most high streets seem to be struggling. But then, mused Cardsharp, there is one big massive hulking ‘elephant in the room’ that, on the surface, would seem to trample through Cardsharp’s theory of the decline and fall of card buying on the High Street. That ‘Big Jumbo’ is Card Factory. This value specialist card chain retailer, which is mainly high street-based, has just ‘trumpeted’ another sparkling set of financials for the first six months of 2015, a period that does not even include Christmas. It

It would seem that many UKers are buying new cars, taking more holidays, and eating out more, rather than spending their hard-earned pay packets on consumer products bought from bricks and mortar retailers.

announced, not only the opening of its 800th store, but an 8% increase in sales revenue, up another £11 million on the same period in the previous year. Even without another 40 store openings, like-for-like sales were up 2.6%. It reported a profit figure, even in this weaker six month period, of £27 million, up by 6.5% on the previous year. And, as well as announcing an interim dividend payment of 2.5%, announced an additional 15 pence share bonus dividend because of the great profits and the cash generative nature of the business. By any measure the figures were sparkling. So why has Card Factory so convincingly been able to buck the poor trend in high street sales, mused Cardsharp? It is easy to point to the vertical integration supply model of Card Factory, where it designs, prints and sells most of its own cards, which gives the retail group such a significant production cost advantage over its competition. But that would not be able to explain why its sales, in what is a very well-established model, continue to rise. So how and why is Card Factory bucking this trend of gloomy high street sales? Cardsharp does have a theory. He has observed that Card Factory’s most typical customer is likely to be a non-working mum or grand-mum out shopping together or with kids if it is not term-time. This lady would typically love cards, but with a family and probably only one income at the same time is pretty budget conscious. But the one thing she has more than most working women is time. Time to browse, time to shop, time to visit the high street at any time of the day. Card Factory has this demographic totally sussed, believes Cardsharp. It even counter intuitively seems to revel in queues, never having quite enough staff on the till, which gives the impression that the shops are always very busy and the place to be. Mind you Card Factory’s figures are only up to the end of July so it is too early too tell whether Card Factory has indeed felt the icy high street winds that have hit even the likes of John Lewis. Cardsharp however, suspects not and the chain will continue to defy financial gravity and out perform the rest of the high street. Card Factory is certainly one very large elephant in the room - and it will take a pretty plucky mouse to send it toppling.

PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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Retailer Focus

Going Wild In

Waterstones With 280 stores and fighting its corner as the UK’s largest remaining specialist high street book retailer, Waterstones has an interesting story to tell. The plot thickened recently for the card trade when it went against the grain, making the change from being supplied via brokerage back to ‘wild buying’ its greeting cards. Having just completed a significant range review, Waterstones’ card buyer Claire Fitzgerald, recounts the highlights of this new chapter. At a time when the trend seems to be moving in the direction of brokerage as a means of supply for multiples, garden centres and even smaller groups, Waterstones has moved the other way - but it is a decision that is bearing fruits. For the last few months, all its greeting cards (from over 50 different publishers) have been supplied to its 280 stores via The Hub, the book retailer chain’s own distribution centre in Burton-on-Trent.

The new selection, which includes designs from 20 more publishers than previously, supercedes the former arrangement whereby all cards were supplied through brokerage from UK Greetings. Having just completed the first range review since the change to direct buying, Claire Fitzgerald, assistant buyer of related products (a responsibility which covers all greeting cards for the chain), is unashamedly delighted by how the new selection has gone down with customers, reflected in the tills. “We would never be where we are now without the support of UK Greetings in the last few years. However, greeting

cards were the only product that Waterstones stocked that were brokered in, everything else comes via The Hub,” says Claire, explaining the context of the change.“Creating a more direct line of communication with our suppliers, as well as with our store staff, means we have really been able to provide our customers with a card selection that exceeds their expectations, across the estate and at a local level too,” she adds. Indeed, since the new selection has been installed, Claire confirms that Waterstones’ card sales “have increased week by week.” Although Waterstones is primarily a bookshop, its head honcho James Daunts continually bangs the drum about the importance of its non-book product sales, highlighting that revenue from ‘related products’ were a shining star in the group’s accounts, up by nearly a third in its last year. And of these non-book sales, greeting cards generate a hefty slug. “Greeting cards are very important to Waterstones, both in terms of revenue and because they fit so well with books. Greeting cards now Top: Claire Fitzgerald assistant buyer of related products, which includes greeting cards. Far left: Booklishly is one of the few decidedly bookrelated card companies that has fared well in Waterstones. Above left: Clever humour sells well in the book chain, such as this design from Paperlink’s Bestie range. Left: As part of the local flavour, the Canns Down cards featuring Eric Ravilious’ work do especially well in Waterstones’ Lewes shop, located in the vicinity where the artist spent a lot of time. Inset: Waterstones’ flagship Piccadilly store.

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Retailer Focus

account for a third of all of our related product sales and I feel there is lots more potential for us to grow this further now we have the new card selection,” says Claire optimistically. Claire has relished the task of putting the new selection together, but like most things in life there have been challenges - the disparity in the size of the stores being one. “We have 960 Skus of cards from 50 different publishers, 40 of which are stocked in almost all stores,” explains Claire. “But our card displays vary enormously in size, from stores that only have room for one spinner up to those that can accommodate 12 bays as well as spinners.” In addition to creating a consistency across the retail estate, Claire balances this

with ensuring there is also a local flavour to each store’s selection. “It is important to our customers and to our store staff that there are some cards that are pertinent to that location, be it in the designs, or the artists whose work is featured,” says Claire, citing its Lewes store as one example, which does well with Eric Ravilious cards from Canns Down as the artist spent a lot of time in the area.

Pivotal to the tailoring of the card product array, as well as the actual fixtures and the way the cards are displayed in Waterstones, was the opening of the new greeting card department on the ground floor of Waterstones’ flagship Piccadilly store in November 2013, shortly after Claire joined the buying team. The dream then was to create what would feel like an upmarket specialist independent card retailer within a large bookshop; with a product selection that would have a strong enough pull for customers to come there for cards alone, irrespective of whether there were going to buy any books. “There is no doubt that it gave us true insight and extra reassurance that our strategy was right,” reveals Claire. The Piccadilly blueprint marked the first stage in the broadening of the card types and publishers as well as fanfaring a new look to the retailer’s card department, which has now been replicated in 10 stores. “We added lots of smaller contemporary publishers as well as expanding the selection of humorous designs, first into Piccadilly and now many are in all stores. PG Live has been invaluable in helping us to find the new upcoming publishers, which enables us to maintain our edge,” says

Above: Full facing cards on wooden units, with stationery gift items on the shelves below, encourage browsing in the Waterstones new look stores. Right: The open plan gift area which leads into the card department in the Piccadilly store slows down customer traffic and helps put them in browsing mood.

Claire Thoughts Claire Fitzgerald reveals a bit more about herself: Childhood ambitions: “I always wanted to be a copywriter, so buying cards for a bookshop is just perfect.” Guilty pleasures: “Chocolate croissants with sprinkles on top delicious! And, it would have to be shopping for shoes on the internet.” What are you reading right now?: “To Kill A Mockingbird. I needed to reread this great classic.” Best bit about your job: “It has to be seeing all the different card designs, especially the humorous ones, and being in a privileged position to be able to select which of these are the best for our customers.” Owl or Lark?: “I am an early riser and late to bed, but by nature, I am definitely an owl.” Spill a secret: “I was madly into ballet until I was 16 and got all my grades - I could have gone on to become a ballet teacher, but then I wouldn’t be a card buyer, which is my perfect job.” Above: Chocolate croissants are Claire’s guilty pleasure. Left: The 50th anniversary edition of Harper Lee’s classic.

Claire, highlighting Noi Publishing, Bookishly, Raspberry Blossom as being among the stars of the Waterstones’ card racks. While a few card designs are bookrelated, such as Quentin Blake designs from Woodmansterne, The Illustrators from Museums & Galleries or those from Bookishly, Claire feels it is more the mindset of Waterstones’ consumers that make them ripe to buy cards from the store. The browsing nature of a Waterstones book shop, the thinking that goes into selecting a book, either for oneself or for another, has similarities with the personal selection process of buying a greeting card. “The two products - books and cards - sit very well together - and contrary to what is written in the media, neither industries are dying out!” stresses Claire. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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

Step By Step Jeremy Corner, owner of greeting card publisher Blue Eyed Sun, looks back at his decade of speaking at The Ladder Club. Last year was my tenth as a keynote speaker at The Ladder Club for new and growing greeting card publishers. With this year’s seminars coming up next month, I thought that it would be fun to take a look back at some of the fantastic publishers that have come through this wonderful event over the past decade.

Ten Top Climbers These Ladder Club companies have had great success in the card business over the years. They are often at trade shows and have a good presence in the marketplace. Our retail customers may have mentioned them as good sellers or it may be that I think what they do is particularly innovative or inspiring. They also regularly featured in the trade press and work hard at improving their businesses.

Pango Productions Founded in 2004 by business partners, Cindy Pang and David Wigley, Pango boasts an enviable stockist list, including Selfridges, Paperchase, Scribbler and Harrods, as well as a great number of boutique shops around the world. Their innovative, colourful and cute designs are fun and bright and they have even expanded into toys with their Craftholic licence from Japan. I was lucky enough to organise a design-led area called Fresh with them both at Spring Fair a few years ago and they were a joy to work with.

after a combination of their daughters’ names and their distinctive, commercially savvy, contemporary style has led them to being snapped up by many of the country’s leading sales agents. They have an excellent line of complementary stationery and gift products and are often seen exhibiting at shows.

Paper Salad

Wrendale Designs

Founded by experienced card designers, Claire Williams and Karen Frost, in 2005 after attending The Ladder Club, the company has a really fresh look and its children’s ranges are particularly strong. They’ve successfully expanded and are now distributed in 15 countries and are stocked in top multiples like Paperchase, Waitrose and Waterstones. They’ve won a Henries award through their profitable licensing partnership with Glick (who create gift bags and wrap to complement their cards) and are in the finals in several categories in this year’s awards. They now regularly speak at The Ladder Club themselves and have supported many other new publishers.

Jacky Al-Samarraie started her award winning company in 2007 while holding down a challenging full-time job in social services. Today her cards and gifts are stocked in many of the world’s most famous galleries and retailers. Her original eyecatching style is often seen at trade shows on a range of gift products. What she has done with her business is very inspiring.

In three years Hannah and Jack Dale have grown their start up to in excess of £1.8 million sales through hard work and Hannah’s original take on the classic medium of watercolour. Hannah’s distinctive trademark splatter effect has won her several Henries awards and a successful licensing deal with Portmeirion as well as a new children’s book that has just been published. With ambitious expansion into the US progressing well, Wrendale is one of the most impressive Ladder Club alumni to date.

Molly Mae

The London Studio

After six years of running her own card and gift shop, retailer Stacy Barthorpe partnered with graphic designer Jude Kennedy and launched their business in 2009. The company is named

PR, design and social media whizz Soula Zavacopoulos, founder of The London Studio, has done a wonderful job creating distinctive, best selling, award-winning ranges, including the popular The Wisdom of Kids (currently licensed to Gemma on cards). Often shortlisted at the Gift of the Year awards, Soula has now got together with Saffron Cards in a savvy licensing deal that will allow her to focus on design and grow her product offering with a very experienced and successful partner.

The Art Rooms

Top: Jeremy has been a keynote speaker at The Ladder Club now for ten years. Above: Adorable designs from Pango Productions. Left: Paper Salad's designs remain as fresh as they've always been.

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JEREMY’S JOURNAL names with his outstanding photographic range. He’s done his fair share of trade shows since attending The Ladder Club seminar in 2007 and has successfully expanded his range to include mugs, coasters and cushions.

Full Colour Black

Green Pebble Founded by Michael Charles and Ruby Ormerod, Green Pebble has come a long way in a short period of time since they attended The Ladder Club in 2010. Specialising in fine art greeting cards, they have worked hard to expand their offering and cover their niche well. What I love about them is that they are not afraid to get on the road and sell, a rare thing among new publishers.

Lesser Spotted Dominic Greyer’s unique place names project started as a side-line and has now become his day job. He has travelled far and wide to capture funny road signs and place

This company made a real stir when they came on the scene with their art cards with a funky, retro feel, anchored by a large collection of Banksy images and cards. The selection appeals to those with an off-thewall sense of humour and is stocked in a range of stylish stationers, museum and art gallery stores. They have branched out into t-shirts that are sold online.

Megan Claire Personalisation specialist, Megan Purdie has successfully translated her style into a popular selection of mainstream cards and now boasts an enviable stockists list, including John Lewis, Harrods and Harvey Nichols. A finalist in The Henries, she does a lovely job with her trade show stands and is regularly featured in the trade press.

Ten On The Up These Ladder Club companies are newer and still growing. Many have done well with Henries nominations, are often in the press and I regularly see them in shops when I visit our customers. I Drew This Hugely experienced card designer Ilona Drew, self publishes her own beautiful card illustrations. Redback Cards A great range of humorous, original and fresh cards from Chris Stanley. Coulson Macleod Stylish graphic cards with some humour from Mark Coulson and Hannah Macleod. Eloise Hall Delicate, distinctive illustrations that have been beautifully designed on distinctive cards. Tache Crafts Quirky, playful and stylish handmade cards by Penny Bryant and Frank Nichols. Sarah Kelleher Artistic, well styled and carefully considered cards that work well for their respective occasions. Perkins & Morley A popular collection of art cards and gifts from Janet Morley and Jill Perkins. Jessica Hogarth Designs Stylish, contemporary surface pattern and textile design translated into distinctive cards. Wraptious An exciting range of artists across cards and gifts from founder Simon Wadsworth. Dry Red Press A lovely selection of art cards from Laura and Jackie MacDonald and Sue Campion.

What Is The Ladder Club? Founded by Lynn Tait and Jakki Brown, The Ladder Club is held every year in WestcliffOn-Sea, with Day 1 focusing on getting new card publishers onto the industry ladder and Day 2 helping new publishers climb the ladder. Card experts and key industry experts save wannabe card publishers thousands of £pounds and hours of headaches with incredible information and guidance. The next Ladder Club is being held on Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 November 2015. To reserve a place this year please email clare@createvents.co.uk (If you attended a seminar in the past join here: www.facebook.com/groups/ladderclub/) Top left: Lesser Spotted's Dominic Greyer photographs funny real British place names. Above: The Ladder Club has a number of keynote speakers who are experts in their field. Left: Talented illustrator and card publisher Ilona Drew of I Drew This.

In Conclusion It has been a privilege to be a part of The Ladder Club all these years and to help so many talented creatives and publishers (there were actually too many great businesses to include on my lists). It is so important that we all support new talent coming into the industry. They are the future of our business and they keep the market fresh. Below: Paper Salad's Karen Frost chats to Libby McMullin, director of Libby McMullin at a previous Ladder Club seminar.

Read more on Jeremy’s blog at www.blueeyedsun.co.uk/blog PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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Innovations PG Showcases A Collection Of New Product Launches

Time For Tea Lesser & Pavey is backing the traditional British cuppa with the launch of a beautiful new range of the highest quality cup and saucer sets in wonderful floral patterns, including this William Kilburn Trellis design. All the sets are beautifully gift boxed to make the perfect gift. Lesser & Pavey 01322 279225. www.leonardo.co.uk/

Something To Crow About

A Sprinkle Of Fairy Dust

Cockadoodle is excited to announce the new Little Bigs Christmas and Everyday range for 2015. Still as cheeky, still 100% handmade, still 3D… but even more colourful! Designed by Pauline Swindells, all the cards are sized 145mm square and come wrapped with their very own brown ribbed envelope… how lovely! Cockadoodle Design 07792862140 www.cockadoodledesign.co.uk

Created by artist Fiona Bishop, The Porch Fairies live in enchanted places full of sparkle and glitter. The eponymous card range now comprises over 60 cards, covering occasions, children’s ages, female relations, Christmas, open and friendship cards. All the cards are 160mm square and come with a lavender envelope in a cello bag. Many of them are flittered and all are hand-finished with added glitter, gems or ribbons. The Porch Fairies 01603 661179 www.theporchfairies.co.uk

The Card That Keeps Giving Designed to appeal to all nature lovers, the beautiful Woodland Friends range from Plant A Bloomer comes with a detachable, plantable animal attachment. Delicately laser-cut from its unique seed paper, the animals are embedded with gold and silver mica flakes and wildflower seeds. When planted the paper breaks down and the seeds germinate to produce wildflowers, making a gift that will keep giving for months to come. Plant A Bloomer 020 8788 3452 www.plantabloomer.com 34

PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

Just My Type The Henries nominated On the Shelf range from The Typecast Gallery has been extended with eight new birthday designs. This range, inspired by the wonderful world of packaging, now comprises 60 designs covering all occasions. The cards are sized 122mm x 167mm, printed on fine textured board and sold wrapped with brown fleck envelopes. The Typecast Gallery 01202 849566 www.thetypecastgallery.co.uk

Spring Into Spring Sabivo Design has expanded its Spring Seasons range, adding 24 new designs across Valentine's, Mother's Day, Easter and Father's Day. These contemporary cards combine hand-lettering with delightful illustrations and pops of neon pink or red colour. Feminine captions are handfinished with polka-dot cotton bows and cup flower jewels. Sabivo Design 0116 225 8 255 www.sabivo.co.uk


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Innovations PG Showcases A Collection Of New Product Launches

To The Letter There are now 12 designs in Roisin Cafferty's popular With Love range. These charming cards feature cute pencil and chalk illustrations, paired with hand-drawn lettering, are perfect for Spring Seasons. Printed on luxury textured FSC board, the cards come wrapped with a kraft envelope. Roisin Cafferty 07742 983044 www.roisincafferty.com

Feeling Sheepish

Taking Flight

The Flockinsheep range is a humorous sheep themed range from award winning international artist and cartoonist Colin W Thompson of Colin.co. There are over 60 cards in the collection, comprising blank and occasions designs. All the cards are sized 150mm square and sold wrapped with white envelopes. They will have customers flocking to your shop! Colin.co 01539533463 www.flockinsheep.co.uk

The Great British Bird Collection from screenprinter and illustrator Amber Elise is growing and now comprises 20 designs featuring the UK's cherished birds, all available as cards and prints. Britain is definitely a nation of bird lovers with over 200,000 people voting in the recent Vote For Britain's Favourite Bird campaign! Amber Elise 07912 077111 www.amberelise.com

Warped Factor Sarah Ray’s strange humour cards are sure to make anyone smile! New to the best selling Christmas range are designs including an arrogant robin, a cheeky baby Jesus and a polite hedgehog. Be sure to check out her other new occasions and everyday designs within her range of over 50 cards. All the cards are printed on FSC board, sold wrapped with a recycled envelope. Sarah Ray 07733386882 www.sarahrayshop.co.uk

Well Versed Wishes is a new, stylish, traditional contemporary verse range from The Original Poster Company. There are 12 designs each featuring artwork from a diverse selection of illustrators and photographers, all complemented by a heart-warming verse. The cards sized 152mm square, printed on textured board, finished with coloured foil and supplied with white ribbed envelopes. The Original Poster Company 01932 267300 www.originalposter.com

Buck-ing The Trend The latest artist to be added to the Cherry Picked For You stable is Lesley Buckingham, with these beautiful Flora and Fauna designs. There are 12 cards in the range, printed on gorgeous 300gsm textured art-board. The reverse of the card is as gorgeous as the front. Size 150mm square, all the cards come wrapped with a white envelope. Cherry Picked For You 01273 721353 www.cherrypickedforyou.co.uk

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Innovations PG Showcases A Collection Of New Product Launches

Clear As Crystal The White Sage Way has launched A Reason To Celebrate, nine cards for different occasions featuring a genuine gemstone crystal chosen according to its folklore meaning and cut into a special shape. All the cards are 122mm square and come wrapped with a matching envelope and an insert to protect the gemstone when posting. The White Sage Way 0845 475 1975 www.thewhitesageway.com

Burning Bright

Coasting Along

A new range of 25 beautiful cards featuring the artwork of best-selling author, illustrator and artist Jackie Morris, has just been released by Welsh publisher, Graffeg. The images are taken from a selection of her globally best-selling books, loved by children and adults alike. Each card bears an extended caption on the back written by Jackie herself. Graffeg 029 2043 6550 www.graffeg.com

Saffron Cards is releasing Coaster Cards from The London Studio. This colourful range features birthday humour and sentiment as well as a detachable coaster – it’s not only a quirky card but a small present as well! There are 12 150mm square coaster cards printed with text on both sides and wrapped with white envelopes. Saffron Cards & Gifts 01932 888338 www.saffroncards.co.uk

Magic Eye Celtic Mystery is a new publisher featuring the work or Angela Jayne Latham, a successfully published landscape photographer and digital artist launching her first greeting card range. Angela uses her photographs to create realistic scenes of magic and mystery - all inspired by her love of wild places and the country, traditions, legends and folklore of the British Isles. There are 24 designs, 150mm square, in the range, sold wrapped with cream envelopes. Celtic Mystery 01889 270006

Sporting Chance In Jest is a new company and card range featuring funny poems on sports, occupations and passions. With titles including Ode to a Rugby Fanatic, an IT Geek and a Loved Up Dog Owner, every poem is meticulously researched and bespoke illustrated. There are 18 A5 cards in the range, all sold wrapped with white envelopes. In Jest Gifts 01763 838711 www.injestgifts.com

All That Jazz The latest range from the witty, stylish, creativity of Miko Greetings is All That Jazz, a bijoux fourcard range of music loving critters sending happy, jazzy vibes. This range is sized 7” x 5” and sold wrapped with white envelopes. They’ll have your customers dancing down the aisles and swinging back for more! Miko Greetings 0208 6931011 www.Miko-Greetings.com

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Mother’s Day 2016 As part of our Spring 2016 package, the Mother’s Day collection comprises of 14 cards and is a mix of our 4 most popular current ranges and the upcoming slim ‘Velvet Moments’. Packages will be limited so call 01423 563740 to reserve one now.

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Innovations PG Showcases A Collection Of New Product Launches

Funny Bone

Childhood Moments

Just launched from Urban Graphic is the Al Murphy Fun Set, 12 new everyday designs bursting with Al’s irreverent humour, scrawled over the top of his prized vintage postcard collection! Who is Al? Al is famed for UG’s best selling design, Watership Downer. After working with him for many years on some of their funniest cards, they decided it was high time they gave him his own range! All the cards are sized 150mm square and sold wrapped with bright yellow envelopes. Urban Graphic 0117 944 5050 www.urbangraphic.co.uk

Sam Purcell’s Hares range takes lighthearted look at hares (and a couple of other animals) all dressed with a different collaged, painted sweater. It was when she realised that there was no limit to sweater designs or creatures that could wear them that the hare range was born and there are currently ten hares in sweaters plus a deer and a Labrador! All the cards blank, suitable for men, women and children, sized 100mm x 150mm and sold wrapped with a white envelopes. Sam Purcell Designs www.sampurcell.co.uk 01832 275693

Temporary measure, the 'proud peddlers of extraordinarily interesting stories and beautifully whimsical things', is delighted to add 12 new designs to its hugely popular Very Short Story range. The cards are humorous in the warmest and wryest of ways, not specific to any occasions but seeming to manage to cover all of them. All the cards sized 140mm square, printed on superior recycled board and wrapped with recycled ribbed kraft envelopes. temporary measure 017687 78328 www.temporarymeasure.co.uk

"JUST the ticket"

Hare Today...

A Tactile Note Noi Publishing has released 10 new bold and beautiful notebooks. Sized 180mm x 250mm and sold in packs of 3, these gorgeous notebooks are printed in the UK with coordinating colour on the inside covers, have creamed line pages and secured with a band. Noi Publishing 01252413800 www.noipublishing.com PEOPLE YOU SEE: Number 5 in a series

A Touch Of Nostalgia Look What I Found is releasing People You See, which ran as a regular feature in the 1960s Children's magazine Teddy Bear. The charming images evoke quintessentially British memories of whistling milkmen, cheery bus conductors and train trips with mummy, while adding a gentle spin to make designs that are a treasure to receive for virtually any occasion. There are 48 150mm square designs, all printed on 100% recycled board, wrapped with matching recycled fleck kraft envelopes. Look What I Found 0117 9771510 www.lwif.co.uk

Krafty Styling 1973 has now released its third card collection with the popular children's brand Belle and Boo. The new artistic direction from illustrator Mandy Sutcliffe features ink letter pressing and foil blocking onto a luxurious kraft board giving the collection a unique and distinctive look and feel. The collection features 16 close up images of the Belle and Boo characters all with small colour detailing. Nineteen Seventy Three 01273 417111 www.nineteenseventythree.com PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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Don’t forget that our Christmas Cards are in stock all the way to Christmas eve.

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Words & Sentiments Developments

Terms Of Endearment Since social media has infiltrated our lives it has been perceived as a threat to the card industry. “It will stop the younger generation sending cards!” was the outcry. But conversely there is much to suggest that facebook, twitter, Instagram, and other forms of online communication, have played a part in a rising card sending occasion, the ‘just because’ send. That social media’s ‘sharing’ culture has effectively boosted the appreciation of words and sentiments cards, especially with the Generation Y demographic who, through articulating within social media, have become increasingly emotionally expressive and creative with words. Just as funny videos, cute cat images, supportive and sentimental messages and philosophical sayings are shared on social networks, there has been a growing trend to share/send card designs to friends and family to say ‘saw this card and thought of you’, a message of encouragement or just to say ‘hello’. “With more and more ways to communicate, it seems people are becoming more expressive rather than less. We’re finding that our consumers don’t always want to wait for a special occasion to say they’re thinking of someone, explains lead editor for UK Greetings, Laura Mace. “UKG have therefore developed Little Voice, a range that caters for those consumers who are looking for more opportunities to express themselves.” The Little Voice range is there not just for the big days but all the little ones in between. “People want to celebrate the ordinary days when they’ve had a laugh with a friend, or remind someone they’re there in the hard times,” adds Laura. Top left: Ling Design’s range ‘Follow your Dreams’ is a perfect example of using beautiful photographic imagery with clever thought-provoking quotes. Above left: The Love Unlimited range by Pigment is inspired by friendship and feeling, with carefully chosen eye-catching images and expressive words with a lighter tone. Above right: A message of support and affirmation on a Little Voice card from UKG. Left: You don’t always need an occasion to send a friend a card. This IC&G design would make their day.

Words and sentiments cards belong to a market of emotions, so PG shares some publishers’ from the heart thoughts about current developments within this important facet of the industry.

Megan Glockler, marketing and social media assistant for IC&G, has detected that one of the trends recently on words and sentiments designs is the use of more personal style verses, which seem to come across as informal, playful and fun. They are very much about complimenting the card’s recipient while still allowing room for a little thoughtful touch, with many cards using positive, moral boosting language and inspirational messages, ideal for that ‘just because’ occasion. “We have noticed that there has been a big increase in sending ‘just because’ cards, consumers are now creating a new trend that you don’t always need a specific occasion to send a card to a loved one. For example, at IC&G we recently released a female friend card with the caption ‘Friends are like Diamonds, Precious and rare’, with a hand-embellished diamanté, and with regards to fonts, there has been a boom of different hand-drawn typefaces,” Megan points out. And it’s this friendship send that is rising in prominence in the words and sentiments realm. “The trend is towards the more inspirational quotes of friendship, support and words of encouragement. The beauty of these is that they are sent outside of the standard traditional sending situations and are an impulse send to let someone know you’re thinking of them at a happy or difficult time in their lives,” says Lorraine Hillier, product controller for Ling Design. Sharing supporting prose and quotes between friends is just one component of social media. Another is that it has also become a stage whereby new and creative words are invented, played out and communicated globally. “With social media advances, as well as the many platforms for contemporary trends to bounce off, it’s important to pay attention to the communication methods of our time. The landscape of language is continually changing, meaning a youthfocused outlook is vital in relating to our modern consumer,” says Hallmark editor, Victoria Raw. Above left: The hand-painted watercolour font on this design from Hallmark Studio Ink creates an intimate and light-hearted sentiment aimed at consumers with “a youth-focused outlook”. Above right: Kate Jamieson from Icon says: “When oldfashioned elements are juxtaposed with funky, ultra modern phrases, the impact is very strong”. A card from Icon’s Life Is Sweet range. Left: Portfolio has launched a range of empathy cards by Kirsten Burke, expressing words for those difficult occasions in life.

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Words & Sentiments Developments

This explosion of wordplay hasn’t gone unnoticed by Kate Jamieson, creative manager for Icon either. She is timeless tiimeless ss believes it's been a real boom time for has no age cards that focus on the practises of and typography and wordplay. “But it's a tricky business getting it right. The verses have to be poignant, empathetic and sensitive, are while the pithy puns have to be original ffoorreevveer and highly innovative in this crowded -Walt -W Wa alt Disney Disney market. No pressure then!” Informal language, often expressed in a succinct form, conveying heartfelt emotion, is sweeping across contemporary words and sentiments cards, but this move to more specific non-traditional wording doesn’t mean that consumers aren’t still looking for the right words to show how they feel. “I believe consumers are much more choosy about finding cards with ‘just the right words’ for any particular event, and willing to shop around looking for cards with exactly the right sentiment,“ explains Jo Wilson, director for Dandelion Stationery. “Traditional designs which simply say ‘With Sympathy’ have, for Dandelion at least, been overtaken by sentiments such as ‘I’m here for You’, and we have also seen an increase in demand for more niche designs for very specific events - for Dandelion our ‘New big Brother/Sister’ cards remain very popular,” she adds. Relations and Occasions cards are at the core of the words and sentiments market. They send celebratory or commiserative messages to those we love and so embody those extra special moments, and there is still a place and a huge market for these significant occasions on traditionally versed designs, especially within the wedding, anniversary and relations birthday titles, which has seen steady growth. Samantha Thornicroft, sales and marketing coordinator for Is It Art, distributor of Blue Mountain Arts’ designs, has witnessed this evolvement. “Historically the most popular captions for Blue Mountain Arts have been those where the expression of love and deep friendship is most expected to occur: female relations, friend to friend, times of need etc. However, this year, we have seen the introduction of more specific sending occasions - wedding, anniversary, get well, for example, and we’re pleased to see a steady and consistent rise in their popularity.” So is the British population getting more in touch with their emotions? Top right: An inspirational Walt Disney quote on a card from Ezen Designs. Above left: This simple and succinct Bonnie Blackbird design could suit many recipients and is perfect for the ‘just because’ send. Above right: Blue Mountain Arts has seen new artwork styles applied to two key ranges: BMA Classic and Children of the Inner Light. Left: Nigel Quiney likes to combine the verse with a beautiful page 1 illustration, as the image will attract, but the sentiment will sell!

It’s generally believed that as we move through life we get more sentimental about the bonds we have built, but we’ve never been a nation to be demonstrative about our feelings, that’s why a beautifully crafted words and sentiments card can help share those thoughts to loved ones. “We live in a time where family and friendships are very important, particularly close relations like Wife, Mum and Daughter. At NQ we tend to use heartfelt sentiments for these titles, expressing our feelings and how special these people are in our lives, with meaningful verse,” believes Carl Pledger, head of product for Nigel Quiney Publications. And it tends to be the more traditional cards, whose words express how we feel, that are usually squirreled away as a memento by the card’s recipient. Helen Pallen, business development and marketing manager for Cherry Orchard, considers that the designs and words that reflect the idea of luxury, opulence and permanence continue to hit the right note in this space. “Cards with inserts and inspirational words and images, luxurious swirling fonts, scrolls, flitter and foils, hearts and flowers symbolically reflect the idea that the message may be sent only once, but the sentiments are heartfelt and permanent. If the words convey a feeling of deep affection, being forever and always for special wonderful people, the recipient tends to keep and cherish the card.” So essentially the card is a token of love conveyed to friends, family or someone special. And even though “the style of the verses in the traditional market of words and sentiments cards doesn’t seem to change too much year to year, but over several years, I think you can definitely pick up the movement to a slightly more informal style, a little bit more succinct with a lighter tone, but nonetheless, the overall message doesn’t change. Essentially, our customers want our cards to express the words that they are looking to write,” states Jonny Spears, md for Jonny Javelin. So what is the essence of affective words and sentiments designs? Ade Long, md for Sensations/Express Yourself, wisely concludes: “There is, and will always be, a variety of tones being Top right: The Gravecards pack includes a used, and without a doubt, things are a lot waterproof card, holder/spike, pen and more modern to what they used to be. But choice of coloured flower. A personalised there is no hard and fast rule to what people message can be written to a loved one. Above left: Jonny Javelin is working on a like. The important thing is knowing your new slim version of Velvet called Velvet Moments, with brand new images, a market and targeting it as such. The more new layout, shorter verses but with a you know your market, the better you will be distinctly Velvet feel. Above: Relations and Occasions captions at producing good sentimental cards. come into their own on words and Sentiments have come a long way and sentiments cards. A design from Xpress the UK is embracing sentiments cards more. Yourself for a special son. And long may it continue!”

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June Advert 2015 Doc_Layout 1 23/09/2015 16:42 Page 1

‘StunnInG new DeSIGnS’

Verse & Sentiment From Our Collections Of

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Words & Sentiments New Launches

Train Of

Thoughts Privée is a magical range from Hammond Gower. This beautiful range includes in excess of 16 designs with heartfelt words and sentiments covering a variety of sending opportunities for friends and loved ones. All the cards are available in 6" x 6" size, hand-finished and individually cello-wrapped.

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Ezen Designs’ Vintage range, as the name suggests, is bringing the past to the modern day, with sentiments and messages to personalise the cards for specific occasions. In contrast to the digital age, Ezen’s Vintage range carries designs that have an artistic flair of the past, with elegance and class, each with write ups on the reverse side of the card.

words expressed by each individual card. Magnets, mugs, dishes, pouches, and more are available in the newest batch - “It’s now or never!” Xpress Yourself’s recently launched Code 75 Keepsake Treasures has 36 designs in the 9” x 6” format. The beauty of this range is that the card has sentiments on a plastic keepsake that can be detached and then kept by the recipient. The range covers a wide variety of sending situations and have full colour inserts (which have even more sentiments).

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For the very first time The Square Card Company is offering cards that can be personalised by the sender to scribe their own handwritten message in any language, for any occasion. The Bubbles range features 70 of Kali Stileman’s strongest designs (mainly of animals) with a blank white speech bubble above the artwork for the personalised message. The cards are 17.5cm x 12.5cm, its largest card size yet (and not square either!), with a crisp white envelope and wrapped in a lovely foiled ‘Write your message here’ cello explaining the concept. l

Wise Words is a whimsical collection, within the Avocado collection from Paper Rose, of captioned cards based around sayings. The back page explains a little more about the origins of the saying; a mini history lesson in a card! Code 37GG RRP £1.65.

The brand new additions to Cherry Orchard’s Model Line include 12 luxurious Code 150 occasions and relations cards with elaborate foil scrolls, flitter finish and inspirational images on a white background. The cards have keepsake appeal, with lines of verse flowing over double inserts to send a meaningful affectionate message to let special people know how much they are loved. l

The Quotes Range is a fabulous brand new range from Tania Sneesby, a collection of C6 cards featuring her favorite inspirational quotes from the likes of Dr Seuss and Victor Hugo, and beautifully embroidered with her whimsical characters. The range features eight cards, printed in the UK ‘by magical elves’, and cello-wrapped with a teal envelope. Tania will be launching the new designs at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace (7 - 11 October).

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l Moving, motivational, smart, and ultimately timeless, the most recent release of greetings from Quotable Cards features a range of sentiments, including quotations about love, friendship, ideas and life. The designs continue to complement the

Expressing inspirational, heartfelt words and thoughts on cards are a cortege of words & sentiments ranges. PG tracks some of the fresh releases.

Everlasting, a range from The Handcrafted Card Company, is a sympathy greeting card range that proffers heartfelt and sincere condolences, alongside beautiful proverbs, biblical quotes and fresh, contemporary illustrations. It’s never easy finding ‘the right words’ at a difficult time but Everlasting offers many different words of comfort to those experiencing loss in a gentle and thought provoking way.

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Words & Sentiments New Launches

My Thoughts Exactly is Hallmark’s new editorially-led range. The initial offering of eight cards covers captions such as Keep in Touch, Support and Friendship and includes both birthday and non-birthday sends. Some 12 lines of sentiment are split between the front of the card and page 3, with a mix of classic and more modern rhyming verse. Beautiful watercolour designs add the perfect backdrop to these words, helping consumers connect with loved ones on their birthday or ‘just because’.

gifts, have created two card ranges consumers can send to someone to show they know that this Christmas might not be the same but that they are in their thoughts. Choose from modern clean designs or the art range, both ranges feature warm, honest language perfect for someone struggling at Christmas.

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Dandelion Stationery’s passion is words and sentiments – its signature range, Words of Wisdom typically offers cards which are more ‘wordy’ than the average card, with a view to giving customers a choice of cards that could target pretty much any occasion – printed on luxury 300gsm board, individually hand-finished and supplied with rustic brown envelopes. The range has been expanded in 2015 with over 24 new card designs.

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l Coulson Macleod’s Wise Words range is so popular it has to keep being expanded with 16 new designs. ‘Friendship’ is its best-selling design; with lots of quotes about friendship which can be sent as a birthday card as well as a thinking-of-you card too. There are now 31 150mm x 150mm designs in the Wise Words range.

Always Sparkle's Defined For You range was launched at PG Live in June and has been a huge success. The range is a contemporary take on traditional words and sentiments greeting cards. There are 24 titles in the range, covering birthdays, occasions and relations. The cards are printed on finely ribbed white card stock and are metallic hot foiled stamped and come individually cello-wrapped with a metallic silver envelope.

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l Itzy Ditzy is a brand new range from Desito of (initially) 12 designs, featuring fun and sentimental poems on fabric backgrounds for that lovely crafty feel. The designs cover occasions and relations and seasonal designs are to be launched soon. Printed on high quality FSC board, all designs are 150mm x 150mm and come cello-wrapped with a purple envelope.

Jolly ‘Happy Christmas’ cards don’t feel appropriate for someone who is grieving, but it’s still important to let them know you’re thinking of them. Inspired Goodbyes, specialists in bereavement cards and

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TheWhiteSageWay’s This Made Me Think Of You range features spiritual philosophers’ and poets’ thoughts as well as its own in-house White Sage musings. The range features quotes from 14th Century Persian poet Hafiz, Rumi, a 13th Century Persian poet and Lao Tzu, a Chinese philosopher, reputed to be the author of the Tao Te Ching. The range comprises 13 122mm square cards, and each author has a different colour.

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Stormy Knight's bright and cheery mini notecard sets are a new addition to its Typographic range that was launched earlier in 2015. Each pack contains five A7 folded mini cards, with cute messages like 'Thanks hundreds and thousands', printed in punchy pastels and white ink on its trademark 100% recycled manilla stock and packaged in a presentation box with five recycled envelopes. l

Recently launched at Autumn Fair with everyday, relations and occasions designs is Portfolio’s brand new range - T’too by Ashcroft Designs. Size 165mm x 165mm and individually cello-wrapped with a silver envelope, the designs feature a stunning thermographic finish on textured board. T’too is set to make an indelible impression!

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International Cards & Gifts is regularly adding more designs to its popular playful Molly & Josh range. The range consists of playful cartoon artwork mixed with eight line verses and bright colour envelopes. With these cards the fun, illustrative style is echoed in the layout and design of the verse using subtle elements and a mix of hand-drawn style fonts with bright colours and foiling.

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Grass Roots have added 16 new sparkling code 125/MM (size 9.75” X 6.5”) Opulence range designs to its collection (RSP £2.99). These beautiful Art Nouveau inspired designs are decoratively colour foiled with flitter finishes. The publisher also has a new code 75/JJ range with 27 9” x 6” designs (RSP £2.15).

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Retailer Face To Face

By George

Below: Kate Briggs in the Asda HQ café where sales of cards have soared by 260% since the George spinner was introduced. Below right: One of the George cards which reflects a trend that appears in the George Home products, such as on this cushion. Below left: The George card collection stands out instore, as part of its ‘shop & go’ remit.

Mention the word “George” and what comes to mind? Peppa Pig’s little brother, the UK’s youngest prince, Mr Clooney perhaps? For many of Asda’s 18 million weekly customers it would undoubtedly be the ‘go to’ trusted brand of the major supermarket that they think of - and buy into, big time. With a brand new collection of George greeting cards launching in 560 Asda stores this month, PG finds out more from cards buying manager Kate Briggs about how this distinctive brand is building on its greeting card reputation. “We’ve been something of a silent giant when it comes to greeting cards, but now that giant is starting to talk!” suggests Kate Briggs, who joined Asda as its cards buying manager last April. Giving that ‘voice’ some extra personality is the new in-house branded George range of 90 greeting cards, which made its first showing in February and this month welcomes 30 new card designs, as part of an ongoing commitment to really beefing up its card offer. It has set itself some high standards to maintain - Asda won Best Supermarket Retailer of Greeting Cards at The Retas in July, for the second year running after all. However, it cannot ignore the fierce battleground that the greeting card arena has become, and the new ‘venture brand’ approach from Tesco that has yet to be unveiled. “Greeting cards are very important to Asda as they form part of our family-focus. It

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really was a great feeling to be awarded The Retas trophy for the second year running – something we will fight hard to keep,” says Kate. “We see The Retas as true recognition of the work we have carried out with all of our suppliers, especially UK Greetings, on improving the greeting card selection for our customers and ensuring we give them the choice they want with the quality and value they expect from Asda,” adds Kate. Asda has long been committed to improving its greeting cards; it is often held up as the pioneer of greeting card displays in supermarkets. In fact, many moons ago, Asda was the first customer of UKG’s then ‘new fangled’ brokerage system, which facilitated different publishers’ designs to be supplied instore. Although still supplied via brokerage from UK Greetings - a situation Kate is “very happy with” - the last year has seen direct relationships being strengthened with existing card suppliers as well as several publishers who are new to Asda. “We have been very open and honest with suppliers about our strategy in order to improve our card offer and make it more contemporary and in line with our customers’ tastes. As part of this honest exchange, some publishers admitted that in the past they didn’t show us “the good stuff” – that has changed now,” says Kate. The trials are currently underway with smaller publishers, such as Fourth Wall Brands, Cardoo, Star Editions and Red Rice, adding some unexpected extra ingredients to the mix.

“We are happy to support smaller publishers, but the volumes we demand can make this prohibitive for some,” says Kate, adding that the trials into 300 stores in which the new cards are displayed on parasite units that sit proud of the main display are proving viable. However, the most notable change to the Asda greeting card ‘recipe’ has to be the launch of the George ‘Shop & Go’ collection. While Asda has offered own brand greeting cards as part of its selection for years (to underscore its value proposition for customers), up until this year, these were subtly branded with the supermarket’s name. The decision to additionally launch a distinct George collection represented something of a step change, adding a potent strata to its card offer.


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Retailer Face To Face

Above: Asda was delighted to win the Best Supermarket Retailer of Greeting Cards at The Retas 2015. Asda card buyer Kate Briggs (centre) with buying assistant Emma Dean and merchandise planner Alex Wilson (left). (Back) Simon Boyd, operations director of PG Live, as sponsor of this award category presented them with the trophy. Inset: Asda is improving its card selection throughout the estate – on branded, own brand and through the new George selection. Right: The straightforward pricing adds to the ease of shopping the George selection.

It taps into a strong legacy that began life as the supermarket’s clothing brand in the 1990s (when its namesake George Davies, founder of Next, brought the in-house fashion brand concept to Asda). “Our George brand is a jewel in the Asda crown, so we knew that to develop a greeting card range bearing its name would require creating cards that are consistent with the brand values our customers associate with George products,” said Kate. The initial idea for the George card range was sparked by Asda customer research undertaken by UK Greetings. The findings of which highlighted a demand for a ‘shop & go’ collection. “Our customers liked our card selection, but many of them are in a hurry when shopping and want to be able to find a good quality card quickly and easily,” revealed Kate. “Being able to leverage the George brand that our customers know and trust seemed an ideal solution,” she added. Crunch time came last August when Kate presented the overall strategy, as well as

More Thinking And Action

some of the initial card design ideas, to Andrew Moore, Asda’s chief merchandising officer. “He was fantastically supportive - and I really enjoyed telling him about the wonders of flitter and all the other greeting card terms I have come to know and love!” said Kate. In order to maintain a continuity that amplifies rather than dilutes the George brand, the card designs, (created by the UKG studio), take their inspiration from existing George Home products or tie-in with the trend boards (covering themes, colours and fonts) devised by the extensive George design team. “The designs have to work as greeting cards of course, but also have to ‘fit’ with the George ethos - we rejected one design, for example, that featured drinking as it just didn’t sit right under the George brand,” reveals Kate. But before the official instore launch of the inaugural range of George greeting cards, the designs went before some of Asda’s harshest critics - the 2,000 people who

Asda got behind Thinking of You Week big time this year - and this is just a taster of much more to come. “It is about engaging with our customers, which we can do in store and on social media,” says Emma Dean, buying assistant on cards and gifts, who has been tasked with developing the minor card sending events. For Thinking of You Week Asda created dedicated displays in store - five cards from Ling and Carte Blanche were showcased on parasite units in 300 stores. In addition, working in conjunction with Carte Blanche, Facebook competitions were Above: One of the parasite Thinking of You Week units which display five Ling Design cards. There was a instigated and a Twitter party was held on the Thursday during the Week. similar one showing Carte Blanche’s Me to You cards. “We’re really happy with the whole promotion - in terms of sales, we achieved what we had planned to by the Wednesday of the Week - I’m sure this was driven by the POS in store, support from suppliers and also support from colleagues in-store who really got behind the promotion,” Emma revealed. Other areas currently being developed include Eid, Chinese New Year and Polish Mother’s Day.

work at the supermarket’s HQ in Leeds - at an event held in its atrium. Not only did that event go well, but the subsequent sales from cards sold at the spinner in the Asda HQ coffee shop have gone through the roof with sales up 260%. Reassurance from colleagues is one thing, but where it really counts is out on the 560 of the supermarket’s shopfloors (as well as the 30 petrol stations that will be stocking the George range by the end of the year). Helped along by some launch activity (a commercial on Asda FM reached 20.5 million customers, while an advertisement in the Asda magazine was seen by five million customers), social media support and strong PoS (both on racks and in the foyers of stores), the range got off to a flying start and has sustained its position. The addition of some exclusive licensed designs (notably Disney) has pepped up the collection, while this month’s refresh of 30 designs is the start of an ongoing programme. Adding to the ease of shopping, all the cards under the George banner are the same price (£1.50 each or three for £3) and size, but as Kate adds “they all exceed expectations”, such as having colour inside or some extra activity on the juvenile cards. Having joined the card team last April, from a toy buying remit previously, how is Kate enjoying ‘playtime’ in the card arena? “It’s great, what an opportunity, with everything that the George range and improvements to general selection holds. It is a very popular role in Asda now; there are lots of people who would like to sit in my chair! But I am not moving - there is still too much good stuff to do!” concludes Kate. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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ARTSOURCE


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ART SOURCE

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

ARTIST IN FOCUS

Daniel Brown I am a professionally trained illustrator and an avid believer in 'good ol drawing'. My work is heavily influenced by nature and line artists such as E.H Shepard, Ronald Searle, Anita Jeram and Quentin Blake. Like these masters, I prefer to work traditionally using classic pen and ink techniques with a watercolour wash, but will often go out of my comfort zone to use anything to gain that perfect mark. Through many years as a freelance illustrator, I have developed a recognisable style, which lends itself well to greeting cards, children's literature and editorial purposes. My work is often humorous, and full of character and emotion, with the occasional message attached. I am very comfortable working either from a brief or coming up with a concept right through to the finished design or range. My commercial client list includes Paper Rose, Swankypants Publishing, Hinkler Publishing, ING Banking, Tonique magazine and MPC (The Moving Picture Company). I have gained most of my professional experience through being commissioned by book and editorial publishers, although I have recently had some success licensing product to the greeting card market and I am very interested in exploring this market further. I was recently asked to demonstrate at 'Art in Action', the biggest arts festival in Europe, and took this opportunity to produce a new range of greeting cards to test out at the show. They received a very positive response and I sold out of product in a few days. Following this, I have continued to develop further designs, focusing on character and humour, which I'm hoping may be of some interest to you. I have attached a selection of new designs for you to see which are currently all available to license. Further work can also be seen over at dannydeeptown.co.uk.

Tel: 07832107559 Email: dannydeeptown@gmail.com

WANT TO BE FEATURED?

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

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52_54_PG_October_2015_Art Source 05/10/2015 18:48 Page 54

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ART SOURCE James Howard

I’m James Howard and the first thing you should know about me is that I love drawing. When I was younger I took inspiration from great cartoonists such as Quentin Blake, Herge and Uderzo - copying from them and trying my best to learn what I could from their work. As a teenager I decided to study animation, first in America at the University for the Arts in Philadelphia, and then returning to the UK to finish my BA in Animation at the Surrey Institute of Art & Design. I continued working in that industry after I graduated, but I would also sketch and design new things at home after work, because I just wanted to draw. Now I’m a family man with two daughters who keep me on my toes, but I still find time to draw every day and freelance whenever possible. I love challenges, and over the years I’ve self-published comics, illustrated, designed original characters even dabbled in graphic design to keep my style fresh. Even though I tend to take a more graphic approach to my work these days, with bold colours and unique characters or designs, I can adapt to most creative briefs and am always happy to work with others on new projects. I’m fascinated by contemporary styles in the visual arts and I find my children help bring my work to life with new media or even just their simple questions about the world around us. They are, without a doubt, my biggest inspiration.

Email: jamesmrhoward@gmail.com

Georgina Devlin My name is Georgie Devlin and I grew up in Lincoln, Lincolnshire, with a loving family and cat. I have recently graduated with a HND at Lincoln College studying Commercial Photography. I am currently taking a year out to develop business ideas, commercial strategies and creative opportunities - the objective is to open my own business and studio set up within the next year. My future plans will also include looking into the viability of eventually getting my Degree and Masters in photography. My passion for photography began at an early age, browsing through my parents and grandparents photo albums. Looking through all these old family photos, talking to the people in the photos and discussing the history of where people were and why the photographs had been taken got me interested ever further. My passion developed further during my early teens at secondary school, where I would photograph almost anything and everything given the chance. Candid photos and pictures in music and performing arts shows. I particularly liked live performance. Digital photography was the main format in secondary school, but throughout my college years I used a lot of black and white film. I was completely new to it and found a greater appreciation for film because it really was a technical skill to learn, and a medium in which I still enjoy working with. It was during my time at college that I realised my hobby was going to become much more than a hobby. This is when I decided I really wanted to pursue a career in photography. I knew it was something I could enjoy and hopefully make a living from, so I worked hard throughout my college years, learning everything I could to help me in the future. I find inspiration from anything; colour is a big part of my photography. I love saturated colours, I find them so attracting and pleasing and that’s what I try to do with my photography, make an image pleasing to the eye.

Email: georgiedevlin@hotmail.co.uk PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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PG asked a selection of card retailers for their ‘hot’ card sellers. Harriet de Wolff, owner of The Indigo Tree, Streatham, London A small shop in a city suburb with a loyal locals customer base. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range

Comments

Humour

The Art File

Rock-On!

Alec’s Cards

Across The Board

Paperlink

General

Megan Claire

Personalised

James Ellis

Shakies

Ruth Jackson

Pencil Shavings Cards

Pocket Typewriter

Tag Card

Simple and funny, but not racy or naughty, designs on speckled brown kraft board. Lovely, quirky and fun wordy designs with a little illustration. Slightly quirky, strong designs with lovely finishes. We try to offer our customers what the card multiples don’t. Bespoke personalised cards that can feature a location and/or name of the card’s recipient. Shake the cards and glitter or confetti moves over the image. Great for those who like sparkle. A very clever idea to create very individual cards using pencil sharpenings. Something completely different - simple designs that look handcrafted, but stylish.

Contemporary

Handmade/ Hand-Finished

Above: A positive outlook on life on an Alec's Cards design. Right: For those who love sparkle, a Shakies card from James Ellis.

Linda Bates, partner of Nucleus, Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire A medium shop in a village with a loyal locals customer base. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range

Comments

Cute

Carte Blanche

3D Me To You

Humour

Peartree Heybridge

Camilla & Rose and Spring Chicken

Rainbow Cards (Ling Design)

General

Photographic

Paper House (GBCC) Medici Cards (GBCC)

Contemporary

The Little Dog

Dark Room Royal Horticultural Society General

These cards have sold incredibly well, especially for birthdays and weddings. Appeal to ladies of a certain age and are perfect for sending to friends to support and sometimes gently tease about getting older. The publisher seems to be presently coming into its own, successfully branching out into other areas of the card market; Rainbow Cards is one of them and the designs are brilliant! Classic card ranges but they still go! Customers like the images and there’s a good variety to choose from.

Handmade/ Hand-Finished

Five Dollar Shake

Across The Board

White Cotton Cards

General

Right: Peartree Heybridge's Camilla & Rose range has been a huge hit for Nucleus in Chalfont St Peter.

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PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

We’ve just started doing loads of them and they are a real favourite. There are an awful lot of cat, dog and horse lovers in the area so they go well. Elegant, beautiful designs of quality; you get what you pay for. We love them! The products look classy, with lovely designs and unusual occasions and relations captions. The matching wedding albums go perfectly with the cards.


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Mary Gibson, partner of The Golden Goose, Frome, Somerset A large shop in a picturesque town with a loyal locals and visitors customer base. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range

Comments

Cute

Pippi & Me

Little Creatures

Humour

Alex Underdown Art

General

Art

Art Angels Dry Red Press

Across The Board General

Contemporary Handmade/ Hand-Finished Giftwrap

Sally Scaffardi Design Stripey Cats Cards

General Across The Board

Cavallini & Co Cambridge Imprint Penny Kennedy Djeco

General General Across The Board Sticker Packs

Gorgeous felt characters whose popularity is because they are partly cute and partly different. Primarily farm animals and cats and dogs designs (but now also dinosaurs), there’s a humour element to all the cards with a little touch of naughtiness. We both used to be illustrators in the past and Frome is a very Above: Alex Underdown Art adds gentle fun to her designs. creative area, so both of these companies’ collections sit well with our customers. A little quirky with a nice bright look to the designs. The googly eyes, which are stuck on by hand, are very appealing; they are just lovely. All the companies create beautiful design-led wrap on quality thick paper.

Roger la Borde

Notebooks

Ancillary

Fun and well-illustrated children’s stickers on different themes, such as knights, pirates and princesses. Available in soft and hardback, the real appeal is the designs on the front covers and inside pages.

Elizabeth Linton, partner of The Dragon Gallery, Buckingham, Buckinghamshire A small shop in a small market town with a loyal locals customer base. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range

Comments

Cute

Two Bad Mice

General

Humour

Beverston Press

Oliver Preston

Peartree Heybridge

Camilla & Rose

Colcards

Across The Board

Green Pebble

General

Woodmansterne

General

Art Angels

Printmakers

Traditional

Milkwood Celia Pike

General General

Handmade/ Hand-Finished Children’s

Forever Hand-Made Cards Jodds

Across The Board

Adorable and very charming hare and rat characters that are just lovely. Featuring the hilarious antics of a mixture of country folk, our market town local customers can relate to them. Our customer base is mostly mature ladies, to which the capers of Camilla and Rose resonate. Quite beautiful. The designs feature, among others, William Morris designs, Art Deco tiles, ecclesiastical embroideries and wildlife such as hares. A large mixture of contemporary artists’ artwork so there’s something for everyone’s tastes. The publisher offers a great range of cards, although we tend to choose the occasions designs. Hand-crafted lino-cut and screenprinted images on cards featuring beautiful designs that have instant appeal. Lovely cards at very reasonable prices. A wonderful artist who paints pictures of cats that she knows personally. Stunning and cleverly engineered laser-cut designs.

Art

Above: Colcards' new range by contemporary artist Gilly Mound features this design called 'And then we had Fish for Tea'. Right: Jodds has a fine collection of children's cards.

Contemporary

General

Very nice aged and un-aged cards, some are die-cut, featuring children’s favourites such as pirates and princesses.

PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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LYNN’S LINES

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

Hattie’s Heroes

A few articles I have written over the years have been highly emotionally charged, but none more so than this one. I make no apology for this month's content and I am sure that readers will not fail to be moved by it. This is about a little girl of two years-old called Hattie, and her inspirational family, who was diagnosed with a rare form of leukaemia at 19 months-old and how the local shops, schools and community of Leigh-on-Sea united together and rallied round this little family in their time of need. Hattie is a courageous little girl who has been through more than any of us could have ever envisaged in her short lifetime. Her family, whose lives have been turned upside down, had never heard about this rare form of cancer until their lovely daughter was diagnosed. Both parents are now worthy patrons of the charity Leukaemia Care which offers support and an information call line, all incredibly helpful to those newly diagnosed and better than using Google when regarding symptoms.

September was Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, the idea being to increase pressure to improve the current situation whereby only 2% of the UK’s cancer research funding goes towards childhood cancers. This isn't enough. Our children need more trials and better and kinder treatment for this disease. To raise the profile of September being Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Hattie's parents asked the shops of Leigh-on-Sea to decorate their windows in gold and yellow and to put up posters. Privately-owned independent shops in small towns and villages are ideally placed to work together as Top: Local children took part in a fun run in Chalkwell Park to kick-off Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Hattie was with her dad at the front. Above: Leigh-on-Sea Hairdresser Gregory Dean displayed its salon's window in gold and yellow colours. Left: Café Barlow and Fields in Ash Fields featured a gold image of R2D2 from Star Wars to highlight the Month.

a community to support worthy requests such as this. Indies do not have to ask ‘head office’, they can just respond immediately and put their own personal imaginative touch to their shops. This community project touches on so many things that I feel passionate about. Small towns made up of individual privately owned shops, working together to enhance their very best assets - originality, being part of a community, passionate about their business, with unusual stock displayed in a unique way and personalised by their proud owners They are ideally placed to, at a moment’s notice, support local issues, charities and projects in their own imaginative way. As I write, our town of Leigh-on-Sea is decked out in a sea of yellow and gold with beautiful window displays, all to support Hattie and all children with cancer. One shop offered a gold local painting as a raffle prize, while a cafe invented a yellow Hattie smoothie with all proceeds from the sale of this product going to the charity. In our shop, The Lynn Tait Gallery, we offered a choice of 50 yellow and gold greeting cards at a special price of ‘10 for £10’ with all the proceeds being donated to the charity. Hattie’s courageous story has spurred me into action. To raise money for Leukaemia PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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LYNN’S LINES Left: Golden dinosaurs and yellow clothes were displayed in this children's wear shop in Leigh. Below: Beautifully decorative tassels in shades of gold in a Leigh shop. Bottom: Golden banners hang from The Lynn Tait Gallery ceiling.

Care I have set up a raffle to win over 1000 superb quality greeting cards. The cards’ include images by three of the world’s top photographers including Charlie Waite. The raffle tickets are £2 each and all the proceeds go to the charity to help children like Hattie. My daughter-in-law Marisa gave Hattie a yellow and gold personalised teepee, while my daughter Debbie and daughter-in-law Linda (who have a personalised banner business), made individual banners for four Leigh-on-Sea shops for their window displays free of charge which spelt out ‘Go gold for kids’. We collectively have been ‘going gold’ for every child with cancer. Leigh-on-Sea has taken Hattie, her mummy and daddy Chris and Katie Seymour and little brother Dexter, who is five-years-old, to its heart. I am so proud that my family and staff are part of the Hattie's Heroes initiative. It is all especially close to my heart as I am also receiving cancer treatment (in the form of a clinical trial at Bart’s Hospital for a bonemarrow cancer, multiple myeloma). I am also proud to be part of such a caring community that has taken little Hattie to their hearts. Hattie has already had 40 blood transfusions, 400 tablets of daily chemo, 15 general anesthetics, 150 doses of steroids and countless blood tests and IV meds,

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PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

and she hasn’t even hit the half-way mark yet. To launch the Childhood Cancer Awareness Month the family with the help of the community organised a fun run in our local Chalkwell Park for 300 excited children, all proudly wearing their bright yellow Leukaemia Care tshirts. They were all given a medal and a goody bag and all 12 of the Tait grandchildren were out in force, either running or being carried. There have been many similar projects instigated in numerous towns and villages around the country of course. The one in Leigh is not unique, but to me this is just a reminder of how, as retailers, we can make the most of our skills.

Independent shops are invariably proud to be part of a local community and able to make a difference, whether that difference is supporting a charity or local cause, working together on a local project or late night openings. There are too many opportunities to mention. What can you do to rally your fellow retailers to work as a community? While photographing the local shop windows for this article, I obviously had to get

permission. It was great meeting owners of hairdressers, gift shops, galleries, a childrenswear shop, cafés etc. The owner of the cafe Barlow and Fields in Ash Fields featured a brilliant gold design of Star Wars on his window to highlight Childhood Cancer Awareness, and the hairdressers, Gregory Dean, decked out every single window, including yellow balloons, in his very high profile salon situated just as you arrive in Leigh. Coincidently, last week saw another community get together to make a difference. Ladder Club member Megan Claire, no stranger to fundraising, and her merry band of fellow UK online creative small businesses felt they had to do something for the Red Cross when they saw the recent harrowing pictures of Syrian refugees. Together they pledged a gift, which made up a whole year’s worth of surprises for seven lucky winners. The idea spread rapidly on social media and the appeal was launched on Friday 4 September, and in 24 hours £3,500 was raised for the Red Cross. Presently, the appeal stands at £6,500 with still time left to reach the target of £10k. Well done ‘Makers for Refugees’! Over the years at The Retas awards and The Greats awards there has always been a category called Best Greeting Card Retailer Initiative and often those short-listed are for community based projects. And generally much is done to encourage independent retailers to work within a community with other local businesses, and the scope is endless. Sadly, most communities have a little Hattie so let's help the people who need our support. For more information on Lynn’s raffle for Hattie email: info@waitandtait.com


59-65_Product Directory_OCT 2015_PRODUCT DIRECTORIES 02/10/2015 16:37 Page 59

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Supplier

Sendingg Smiles across the h miles il

Colour House Graphics 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

To get involved this September go to

www.gca.cards www.gca.cards

Get involved!

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PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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Market leaders in Humour, Art, Photographic, Occasions and Relations cards offering a full planning service with merchandising and retail development opportunities.

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

DIPINGO DESIGN Prizes for Best Window Display! Go to

www.gca.cards

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

Bespoke design service for retail products

The T he UK No. No. 1 in Licensed Lic ensed Greetings Greetings etings Ov err 30 licenses licenses nses including: including Over Disney, D Disne y, Peppa Peppa Pig Pig, He Kitty Hello Kitty, Mr Men Men Kitty, Birds and Angry and A Bir dss t: +44 + (0)1264 388400 e: enquiries@gemma-international.co.uk co.uk enquiries@gemma-interna national. ti w: gemma-international.co.uk gemma-international. ona co.uk

CARDS CARDS • WRAP • P PARTY ARTY • GIFT GIFTS S

www.dipingodesign.co.uk

TM

GRASS ROOTS

INTERNATIONAL

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

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

M ETHOD OF SALE Direct to Retail

G RASS R OOTS INTERNATIONAL

Beautiful greeting cards from contemporary British artwork

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

www.dryredpress.com T +44 (0) 1273 241210

Prizes for Best Window Display! Go to

E info@dryredpress.com

www.gca.cards PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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CHARITY GREETING CARDS 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.

Greetings cards designed to make people smile. We have a card for every occasion plus a few extra ones we made up.

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

Contact: Sarah Britton on 07833 089 098 or email info@lovefromlemonade.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

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

L E T U S TA K E YOU BAC K

60 years

Yo our N Number b O One S Supplier li off Numerals, Name, Relation & Age Labels for Greetings Cards.

environmentally friendly contemporary & vibrant paper products. greeting cards, notebooks paper pens, boxed notes

Huge selection with immediate deliveryy. Buy direct or from your wholesalerr. Listan Labels 3 Isis Court, Wyndyke Furlong, Abingdon Business Park, Oxfordshire Abingdon, Oxfor dshire OX1 5JN T el e 01235 465489 Fax 01235 532118 Tel www.listanpublications.co.uk www .listanpublications.co.uk sales@listanpublications.co.uk

t. 01243 780501 e. info@jonesy.ca

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info@vincentmcevoy.com

+44 (0)7779 578340

To appear in the Product Directory please contact

jonesy.ca agents wanted

For further details please get in touch.

Get Ready! Download free POS at

Warren Lomax on

www.gca.cards

020 7700 6740

www.lovefromlemonade.co.uk

150mm x 150mm and packed in 6s

Made in the UK


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originalposter.com

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. We merchandise regularly, so you don’t have to. THAT’S WHY WE’RE ORIGINAL!

01932 267 300

Cards made with love...

Three great publishers, all under one roof, contemporary, graphic, humour, cute and photographic ranges with a fantastic range of occasions and relations cards.

To appear in the

Key brands: V&A, Portobello, Spirit, Daisy Patch, Sugar Pips, Marzipan Toybox, Born to Stitch, Idols, Life, Sweet Tooth, Brights.

Product Directory

Method of sale: Direct to retail, Export and Licensing.

please contact

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

Warren Lomax on 020 7700 6740

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.

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

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

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! Method of Sale: Direct

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

P Paperlinkcards aperlinkcards @paperlinkcards @ paperlinkcards PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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TM

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 s it’s your birthd 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

LING DESIGN

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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RICHARD SELLMER VERLAG Freepost RRZH-KLSL-HYBY Richard Sellmer Verlag KG Stourbridge Tel/Fax: 01384877755 Email: uksales@sellmer-verlag.de Products: Richard Sellmer Verlag is producing Advent Calendars for more than 60 years.

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.


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Sendingg Smiles across the h miles il To get involved this September go to

www.gca.cards www.gca.cards

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

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

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

DIRECT TO RETAIL & EXPORT

Method of sale: Wholesale Distributors

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

To appear in the Product Directories

Sendingg Smiles across the h miles il

TEL: 01480 435562 FAX: 01480 450599

To get involved this September go to

www.tracksltd.com

www.gca.cards www.gca.cards

UNIT 2, 12 BLACKSTONE RD, STUKELEY MEADOWS IND EST, HUNTINGDON, CAMBS, PE29 6EF

simply contact Warren Lomax on: 020 7700 6740 or email on warren@maxpublishing.co.uk or contact Tracey Arnaud on: 07957 212 062 or email on tarnaud@btinternet.com

01923 200600 | www.woodmansterne.co.uk

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

Top-notch British Greeting Cards for Thoughts that Count

Brands:

PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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Directory of wholesalers Directory of wholesalers DIRECTORY OF WHOLESALERS l

LONDON & THE SOUTH

MERSEYSIDE

WALES

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.

SCOTLAND

DORSET

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

NATIONWIDE

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

R J’s Greeting Cards Ltd

HERTS & LONDON

Greeting Cards from 5p Contact R J Walkden on 0753- 9679-700

SUMAN BROS Stationery and greeting card wholesaler

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

WEST MIDLANDS

TRADING

LONDON’S NO 1 GREETING CARDS STATIONERY PARTY AND BALLOON CASH & CARRY

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

As of Monday 27th July our new address will be: Crown House Otterspool Way Watford WD25 8HL

www.rupertmagnus.co.uk

NORTH WEST

C A P S Card & Party Store Ltd

Mon/Wed/Fri: 8.00 - 5.00 Tues/Thurs: 8.00 - 8.30 Sat: 8.00 - 12.00 Sun: 8.00 - 2.00

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

574 Manchester Road, Bury, BL9 9SW

0161 796 7353

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To appear in the Wholesale Directory simply call WarrenLomax on 020 77006740


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Polypropylene & biodegradable bag specialists

GREETING CARD

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

PAPER

100% Recycled Paper A vailable v 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.regentenvelopes.com www.regentenvelopes.com 01274 583000 sales@regentenvelopes.com sales@regentenvelopes.com

GIVE Y YOUR OUR

VIP

TREATMENT TREA ATMENT T HIGH CLARITY BAGS FOR GREETING CARDS, CALENDARS AND ARTWORK ŏ ŏđŏ ŏ ŏ ŏ ŏ ŏ FOIL BLOCKING EXTENSIVE RANGE OF STOCK SIZES AND BESPOKE MANUFACTURE WRAPPING SERVICE AUTOMA AT TED WRA PPING SER VICE NEW AUTOMATED

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

CALL US TODAY

Plain, printed, coloured & textured finish.

www.fulcrumfilms.co.uk

Please call us on 0843 5066684 with your enquiry or visit our website

01228 560526

100% recycled & FSC available.

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

To appear in simply call Warren Lomax on: 0207 700 6740 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.co.uk sales@wrapid.co.uk

or alternatively email him on warren@max-publishing.co.uk PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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O F F S E T PRODUCTIONS

UNIVERSAL

Op

Printing Greeting Cards

SHOP EQUIPMENT

for over 30 years

GREETING CARD DISPLAYS

•

l

Manufacturers of quality Display Units for over 25 years

• Litho printing

• PVC Interlocking Tiers • High Impact 2mm

• Digital printing

• Vast range of colours

• Flittering

• Embossing

Edging

• Die-cutting

available

• Foiling

• From one unit through

• Folding

to full shop reďŹ ts

• Packing

INNOVATIVE DISPLAYS TO MEET YOUR NEEDS www.universalshopequipment.co.uk Tel: 0151 546 4525 (Showroom)

• ISO 9001 & 14001

EXPORT

PRODUCTIONS

t 01622 710 759

www.offsetproductions.co.uk

188 Forstal Road, Aylesford, Kent ME20 7DB

(London) FLITTERING

The Capitals only Greetings card printer

FOR ALL YOUR FLITTER REQUIREMENTS at PJ Print we pride ourselves

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

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

To appear in

simply call Warren Lomax on: 0207 700 6740 or alternatively email him on warren@max-publishing.co.uk 68

PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

on great customer care, and the greeting cards we make are pretty smart too. For Award winning Print look no further than

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


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Do you find you need to quickly top up your popular stock lines, or would like to trial a few designs before committing to longer runs? Then the Windles Group FlexiSheet is perfect for you. With a turnaround time of just 5 days and 1,000 cards at litho rates, the Windles Group once again delivers useful solutions to you. In order to support our other production methods, we are also now offering the FlexiSheet with our integrated ColdFoil, allowing you to develop a highly creative range of greetings cards.

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

www.sherwoodgroupuk.com

PEFC / 16-33-794

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

The home of greeting cards

To appear in

simply call Warren Lomax on: 0207 700 6740

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

hZ fheZk [j_d] YW ki ed ]h[ Y \e b _W Y [i If[ i[ i[hl_Y \ _d#^ek e [ ] d W h <kbb [Z ]kWhWdj[ GkWb_jo [i Y h_ f j_j_l[ 9ecf[ h[b_WXb[ Z d W _edWb Fhe\[ii Wbb [h jee ic Y j_ed$ De ehZ ij fheZk h W Z < ;W d W A K 8ej^ services, ur unique 1150 ation on o rm 14 fo in 01 250 For more s team on le sa e th ntact please co eys.co.uk sales@loxl or email:

or alternatively email him on warren@maxpublishing.co.uk

Benb[oi" A_bd Ijh[[j" I^[\Å[bZ I. &OI

PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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WAREHOUSING & DISTRIBUTION

YOUR MANUFACTURING PARTNER FOR VALUE ADDED PRODUCTS

The Professional and Caring Approach..

English speaking production team, prices quoted in sterling... and only 3 days delivery to THE UK...

Really... and there s no VAT to pay or customs procedures either...that's a great deal!

• 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

... 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.

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

FSC accredited (BV-COC-002485). Audited member of SMETA. Printing to ISO12674-2 standard.

LB Warehousing (Women in Transport & Logistics Finalist)

Digital Di it l Print P i tS Specialist i li t for the greeting card industry What we offer:

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

• Greeting cards • Artworking and design • Short-run print • Pick, pack and distribution • Promotional items • Bespoke gifts • Marketing literature • Exhibition graphics • Stationery • Brochures • and more...

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

07974 133735 paul.watson@sherwoodgroupuk.com

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

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WIRE SPINNERS

BAGS

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

Home of the Wire Spinner Stand

The Wire Spinner is proven to be the most cost effective method to display and enhance products. We also offer sheet metal, wood, acrylic and cardboard solutions or a combination of materials. To appear in Progressive Greetings simply call Warren Lomax on: 0207 700 6740 or alternatively email him on warren@max-publishing.co.uk

APPOINTMENTS

A PUBLISHER’S LAMENT (Sung to the tune of Where Have all the Flowers Gone)

Where have all the agents gone, long time passing Where have all the agents gone, long time ago Where have all the agents gone Some other buggers had them, every-one When will we ever find When will we ev-er find

SOME DAMN GOOD AGENTS?!?!?! Saffron has now been trading for nearly two years and we have found many fabulous and loyal customers in that time – but we still need more! We have some really great ranges – check out our website at www.saffroncards.co.uk - (and some great reps and agents in some areas too). We pay generous commissions – on time, every month. We offer great support with regular product launches throughout the year, produce flyers for every new range, have lots of seasonal promotions and a great back office team. You name it – we try and do it for you! Yet there are some territories where we just can’t find a “Good Agent”. What is a ‘Good Agent’? One who sends in regular orders, communicates clearly and regularly, has a cheerful disposition, who wants to support us at trade shows and has lots of happy customers (and who doesn’t carry so many agencies that he/she cannot possibly do justice to all of them!).

Shouldn’t be difficult should it? If you are an active agent looking for a really great card company to add to your portfolio – please look at our website, and if you feel you could successfully carry our line (and keep us from further ‘lamenting’) then we are looking for agents in...

the whole of the UK excluding NW Eng, N Wales and Scotland Then please contact Viv Barlow with details of your current agencies and the territory you currently cover at viv@saffroncards.co.uk with a covering note telling us about you and why you’re the right agent for us! PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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