Progressive Greetings Worldwide May 2015

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On The Cards The world can be divided into four different types of people – The Self-Definer, The Brand Snob, The Secret Treater and The Arty Crafter - well, ‘the world of Paperchase customers’ anyway. Like everyone else who was in the audience to hear the talk given by Paperchase’s David Bateman (its chief operating and financial officer) and Pamela Cartwright (the retailer’s stationery buyer) on the first morning of last month's London Stationery Show (which coincided with World Stationery Day), I went into private selfconfess mode as to where my habits put me in the stationery universe. Am I a Self-Definer (who uses the cards I send and the stationery I use to differentiate myself from others); or a Brand Snob (using my purchases to ‘show off’, knowing that I recognise the best); or even a Secret Treater (justifying that extra fancy notebook or bright pink pen as a ‘you deserve it’ indulgence) or Art Crafter (enjoying the creativity and stimulation that stationery inspires)? I, like most of us, probably wouldn’t fit into just one of these ‘boxes’ (coming from Paperchase the boxes would be emblazoned with wonderful designs and I’d have to buy the umbrella and tea towel in the same design!) and would show different traits at different times. But this in itself is of course incredibly healthy for the sector. And it would seem that our greeting card industry is starting to show some healthy signs of growth as we emerge from the worst recession in living memory.

Above: PG’s Jakki Brown (second right) in UKG’s Humour Lab, with some of the team who have been responsible for the massive overhaul of its humour portfolio. (Leftright) Edd Burnet, Mark Graham, Chris Godson, Rebecca Turton and Chris Jones. Left: Founder of Belly Button Designs, Rachel Hare (right) tells PG’s Jakki Brown all about the plans to celebrate the company’s 21st anniversary. Below left: The PG offices were bombarded with card samples which will be used to create the ‘dresses’ for the meters and greeters at PG Live. PG’s Warren Lomax, Gale Astley (left) and Jakki Brown.

All three of the Spring Seasons so far seem to have performed well, including encouragingly Easter (see News) with it being seen as a good reason to see friends and family and put more effort into Easter displays at home. And judging by the enormous amount of new ranges that are set to debut at the upcoming PG Live (June 2-3 at London's Business Design Centre), the greeting card industry is in 'blooming' health. Next month's exhibition is the largest yet, with over 250 publishers exhibiting, all of them having invested in exciting new lines. So, if as a retailer you want to tick the boxes of all the different types of consumers and make sure you land every customer's card purchase, then I hope to bump into you at the Business Design Centre. See you there!

PS… A massive congratulations to all the wonderful card retailers who have made it into the finals of The Retas 2015 (see pages 29-31) and a huge thank you to everyone who nominated and entered. We're all in it together! THE HOME OF MARKET LEADING TRADE MAGAZINES


15 From baby to toddler to starting school


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


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What’s Inside

With This Issue:



42-43 9-27




PG Live 2015

In Conversation With… Belly Button

A Magnificent Seven

A Re-Cut Key To The Door

PG Live 2015’s nuts and bolts.

Belly Button Designs celebrates its 21st birthday.

29-31 The Retas Rollcall


The Retas 2015 Finalists

Innovations 33-35 Over The Counter

Card Sharks Lookout Independent card and gift retailer, David Robertson, co-owner of JP Pozzi in Scotland, dives into the waters of this year’s PG Live.


Publishers’ new product at PG Live 2015.

Retailer Inside Track


Home Counties-based House of Cards retail group celebrates 25 years.

Springboard Focus: PG Live 2015

Fruitful Times

Fair Grounding Some bright new publishing lights exhibiting in the Springboard section at PG Live 2015.



Art Source A ‘picture’ of some of the artists exhibiting in the Artists’ Quarter at PG Live this year.



Hubris Or Pride Before A Fall?

Jeremy’s Journal

Greetings Masterclass


Cardsharp muses over topical events happening in the industry.

Blue Eyed-Sun’s Jeremy Corner considers how to create best selling greeting cards.

What’s Hot?


107-109 Lynn’s Lines

39-41 89

Fighting Talk

Opportunity Knocks

Debbie Wigglesworth’s Paper Journeys

Indies who have made an enterprising idea out of an opportunity.

The Power Of Creative Play


Debbie shares her latest paper art discoveries.


42-43 Face To Face




Irreverent Behaviour

Industry Issue

Paperlink marks ‘Three Decades of Innovation’.

A Chain Reaction Upping the environmental integrity of greeting cards. Progressive Greetings is a monthly business magazine. SUBSCRIPTIONS: UK subscription: One year £50 Two year £85 Three year £110 Overseas subscription: One year £75

Jakki Brown

Warren Lomax

Gale Astley


Advertisement Director

Deputy Editor


d with clude Also inis issue:


PG is the official magazine for the Greeting Card Association GCA: Sharon Little 020 7619 0396 Email: 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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Gary Leadston

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g Showcasin the latest in s n o i t a v o inn VE EXCLUSI 3D cards

B 2 2 1 d n Sta


ing Showcas O MORELL ul a beautif e handmad n collectio

w Unveiling ne rd character ca designs from wide BBC World ands r b n a b a S d an

Looking for something s tylish, funky, funny, cute, sentiment d riven or just plain brilliant? Carte Blanc he offers a s uperb selection of greeting car ds across ever y genre. Pop along to stand 122 to find out more. To find out more about Carte Blanche and our award winning brands, products and capabilities, please contact or call +44(0) 1243 792600


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every purchase helps 32 charities

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every purchase helps 32 charities

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every purchase helps 32 charities

every purchase helps 32 charities

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every purchase helps 32 charities

every purchase helps 32 charities

every purchase helps 32 charities

every purchase helps 32 charities

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NEWS The Wisdom Of Gemma


Magnificent 7th Over 250 Publishers At PG Live This year’s Progressive Greetings Live exhibition, that takes place at London’s Business Design Centre on June 2-3 next month, looks set to break all records as the most successful yet. Over 250 greeting card publishers are exhibiting a magnificent array of new product, making it the largest ever gathering of the worldwide greeting card industry in history. Every significant UK greeting card publisher is exhibiting this year, including many who will not be showing anywhere else in 2015. And with the vast majority of exhibitors only showing new designs, PG Live is expected to attract buyers and distributors from 40 countries around the world, as well as every major multiple and thousands of independent shops. PG Live’s show director Warren Lomax commented: “As well as the most comprehensive line-up of greeting card publishers you are ever likely to see, buyers will be able to talk to well over 100 publishers that are exclusive to PG Live as exhibitors. These include the big brand names like UKG, Hallmark, Gemma, Carte Blanche, Emotional Rescue and Paperlink, as well as a cornucopia of new and exciting

new entrants in our Springboard section for new and emerging publishers!” He also cited the venue and the added extras as being popular elements of the show. “What we wanted to do is create a marvellous way for buyers to make their choices, in a historic and beautiful central London venue which is easy to get to, with a free lunch and all their beverage requirements taken care off. Through the support we have received from publishers, retailers, trade suppliers, overseas distributors and agents, we have collectively been able to grow PG Live into the largest global greeting card exhibition in the world.” To register go to or telephone 0044 (0)1635 297070

Pippi & Me’s Purrfect Prize Among the companies making their debut at PG Live this year will be Pippi & Me, who will be running a prize draw to give visitors the chance to win Clara the Cat – a one off felt sculpture made by artist Sarah Strachan. Sarah has been commissioned by Pippi & Me's founder Jeannett Stevenson to create the animal sculpture which will then feature in its Little Creatures card range. As Jeannett commented: "Guaranteed to make people smile, our Little Creatures are the stars of our cards and not available to buy so this is a great opportunity for one lucky Above: Pippi & Me's Clara the Cat. person to give Clara a new home!" The company will be exhibiting on stand 810 in the Springboard area, and will be offering a discount of 10% off show orders.

There will be a lot going on at the Gemma stand at PG Live, but the publisher has ‘Wisdom’ so all should be fine! PG Live marks the debut of the first ever Wisdom of Kids range from Gemma, as a result of a licensing agreement with The London Studio, who created the brand. In addition though, there will be a totally revamped Purple Ronnie range (which sees the return of the ‘four line poem’ to the front of the cards) as well as several other key licensing signings, such as The Teletubbies, World of Warriors (from Moshi Monsters’ stable of Mind Candy) and Jurassic World. The company has also signed a licensing agreement with Greg Shepherd, founder of Photowrap, to produce and distribute his imagery on giftwrap under licence. Above: A Wisdom of Kids card (top) and newly designed Purple Ronnie design.

Meeting Of Minds Following a meeting at Spring Fair earlier this year between Soula Zavacopoulos, director and founder of The London Studio (TLS), and Michael Acton-Smith, founder and creator of Moshi Monsters, The Wisdom of Kids has become an official channel on PopJam, Michael's new venture. "It's a cross between Facebook and Instagram but just for children," explains Soula. "In only a few weeks we have over 20,000 followers, and interacting directly with children is fantastic for The Wisdom of Kids."

Bunting Challenge

In celebration of the company's 10th anniversary, Davora will be making a lot of noise at PG Live this year to fanfare its first decade trading. Punjabi drummers Drummers Delight will officially open the show on Tuesday June 2, and will continue to perform outside the Business Design Centre until 11am. In addition, Davora will be serving rose and cinnamon cupcakes from upmarket London bakers La Di Da on its stand (534).

In keeping with Second Nature's Picnic/Summer Fair theme, which launches its new bunting programme at PG Live, the company is inviting visitors to its stand to guess how many lengths of bunting would be needed to go from the Business Design Centre in London (home of PG Live) to Second Nature's Isle of Wight distribution centre. The winner will be presented with a magnificent Fortnum & Mason Champagne Afternoon Tea Hamper. There will also be plenty of clinking of glasses at 4.30pm on the stand, when the company invites everyone to join them for a glass of Pimm's.

Above: The Drummers Delight will ensure PG Live goes off with a bang! Right: Davora's 10 year badge of honour.

Above: One lucky PG Live visitor will take home a Fortnum & Mason Champagne Afternoon Tea Hamper.

Banging The Drum



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Exposure greeting cards designed by icon order online: telephone: 01242 679800 / email:

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GBCC Gets Funnier

Below: One of the many Avanti cards that GBCC can now produce under licence.

Avanti Now Publishing Under Licence In The UK A significant licensing agreement between two well-known greeting card companies sees The Great British Card Company strengthen its humour offering while at the same time providing better UK coverage for US-based publisher, Avanti. Avanti is closing its own UK subsidiary this month after several years of trading, changing to a licensing business model by partnering with The Great British Card Company (GBCC). "Avanti is ripe to expand its offer in the UK," confirmed Avanti president and founder Rick Ruffner. "The licensing partnership with The Great British Card Company will combine creative and marketing strengths to help us further develop the Avanti brand for UK shoppers, while driving strong results for our loyal UK retailers. The Great British Card Company brings established customer success and an impressive range of internal resources." Peter Reichwald, the founder and chairman of GBCC, has known Avanti owners Chip Owen and Rick Ruffner for many years and it was at this year's Spring Fair that talk of working together kicked off in earnest. "We have been looking for a strong partner to further develop our humour offering in the UK market. We have been

huge fans of the Avanti brand for many years and I believe with a bit of fine tuning for the British consumer, Avanti is sure to grow to its full potential. I also have a huge respect and admiration for Rick Ruffner and how he has developed Avanti into such a distinctive publisher," commented Peter. Initially GBCC will be taking in the stock currently in the UK into its Gloucester distribution centre and its sales force will start to present a range of 147 designs to retailers from the middle of this month (May), with it also being a major focus on the publisher’s stand at PG Live. This will include some new Avanti designs, including some in a larger size. Chris Wilcox, director of GBCC commented: “GBCC will commence printing Avanti best sellers under licence in the UK, which also gives us a terrific opportunity to add a few editorial revisions here and there to ensure the range is absolutely spot on for the British consumer.” Likening the opportunity with Avanti to another of GBCC’s recent acquisitions, Chris said: “It is a bit like when we were lucky enough to acquire The Almanac Gallery a couple of years ago, the partnership with Avanti delivers to GBCC a product that is truly unique. How exciting is that!?”

From Me To Brew As Newbie Provides The Drinks Holly Betton, founder of Death By Tea, will be giving out a free ‘takeaway drink’ to visitors on its stand at PG Live (Springboard 790) to mark the company’s debut – a Yorkshire tea bag! "When I first started my business I spent a long time deliberating over different names and branding options, and I - obviously - had a cup of tea to help get the ideas going!" explains Holly. "I was sitting outside on a bright, sunny day when a fly flew straight into the cup and it was a case of sudden death. “Poor fly, it was death by tea” I said out loud and then that was it, I'd found my business name! Nevertheless, I felt so guilty about the fly incident. I did actually try and rescue it, but it was too late. Maybe if I'd saved it I would have a completely different company name, who knows! Anyway, I decided to name my business after it, as a sort of legacy." Adds Holly: "It also helps that a lot of people can relate to it, and when they see my name Death by Tea they say, 'Oh, that's me!' or 'yes, I have to have at least eight cups a day', so it also creates a bit of a talking point too! In fact, I have one particular card design, Tea Solves Most Problems, that celebrates this British mantra." Left: Death by Tea will be among the publishers making its debut at PG Live.

Right Direction For Cardgains Members It's win/win for Cardgains members attending PG Live in June. Each of its retail members will be receiving a £30 voucher, which can be redeemed against an order placed with any of the Cardgains suppliers who will be exhibiting at the show. The offer links in with Cardgains’ theme for 2015 - Driving Independent Retailers in the Right Direction. Below: The Cardgains offer to members visiting PG Live.

The Force Is With Hallmark Hallmark is adding some extra ‘force’ behind its massive Star Wars launch at next month’s PG Live, with an It’s Your Wookiee Day campaign exclusively for indies and Gold Crown retailers. As part of this, retailers will be able to give their customers a chance to win cinema tickets for them and a friend whenever they buy a Star Wars card. In addition to the 50 cinema tickets it is giving away to the general public, the store that submits the largest number of entries from the public will also win cinema tickets. Specially created POS reflecting some of Hallmark’s card designs that will not be found anywhere else in the world is being produced for retail stockists, including a window poster, door vinyl, ‘bus stops’, till point cards and entry forms for the competition. As Tamsyn Johnston-Hughes, Hallmark's PR and social media manager explains: "It gives a huge point of difference and stand-out for retailers on the high street, which we believe is really important to help indies and gift stores really make their mark and stand for something different to many other stores." This campaign is the first stage of Hallmark’s marketing programme which will build up to the launch of the new Star Wars film in December. Above: The Star Wars campaign PoS and a card design from Hallmark.



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The Teasing Is Over UKG Comes Clean About Its Funny Business Having teased retailers for the last few months with its marketing campaign ‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is going on with Hanson White?’, UK Greetings will reveal all on its stand at Progressive Greetings Live next month. The culmination of almost a year of research, product development, consumer insight, collaborative activity and considerable investment, sees the publisher reveal a completely revamped and enlarged humorous card offer. Next month sees UKG launch some 250 brand new humorous designs, right across the spectrum in 20 new ranges. As well as strengthening its existing ‘crown jewels’ such as revamping the look of Giggles, it has paid considerable attention to providing female to female ranges as well as meeting the needs of collections for Gen Y consumers (20-36 age group). “We, as a nation, really are living in a boom time for humour, it is coming at us

Below: One of UKG’s creative manager’s Edd Burnet says it’s a sign!

l Noel Tatt has made a commitment to UK production for its brand new handmade range called Henna, which will be launched at PG Live. "Unlike many other handmade ranges, this one will be produced in the UK with finished stock arriving just in time for the show," confirms Michael Griffiths, general manager of Noel Tatt. l To tie-in with a brand new range of 15 Royal Academy notecard wallets launching at PG Live, ArtPress will be offering a show discount available to customers placing an order at the show or online during the show dates. It’s offering 5% discount for orders above £150; 10% discount for orders above £250.

from all angles - YouTube, Twitter, comedy clubs, Instagram, TV or just general banter. It’s just great that with the major launch of 250 brand new humorous designs across 20 new collections - that we are able to properly reflect this changing world through our humorous card ranges,” says Rebecca Turton, UKG’s creative director for humour. l See the special UKG publication that accompanies this edition to read all about it.

Glad To Be Taking The Mickey UKG recently had a real ‘Walt Disney moment’ when the company received a Golden Mickey for Best New Licensee in its first year of working with the American entertainment powerhouse. UKG’s first Disney collection was launched at PG Live last May, while this year sees the company unveiling a brand new humorous Disney collection, with a 'cast' of 26 designs on its stand. Commenting on the new humour range, Jo Oldridge, Disney’s product development manager said: “Tapping into the adult market on humour with our franchises was always going to be more complicated than our standard greeting card development as retaining our characters’ integrity and original storytelling attributes is key to all our product development. UK Greetings rose to the challenge and I’m extremely happy and excited with the range they have delivered, both from a creative and an editorial point of view - it more than exceeded my expectations!” Eight designs are based on Frozen, four are Princesses, four are from Disney Classic films (two Snow White, one from Cinderella and one from Beauty and the Beast), six from The Muppets and six from Marvel (some from the films as well as several based on vintage comic artwork). "It's an absolute privilege to be able to bring the first Disney humour line to market," enthuses Ben Whittington, UKG's creative manager for humour and Disney. "Humour is not something that can be forced and the process is more challenging when you have to stay true to the essence of a Disney character." Above: UKG's Ben Whittington with the company's Golden Mickey for Best New Licensee. Left: One of eight UKG humorous Disney lines based on Frozen.

Withering Thighs Challenge Cardgains is still open for walkers to sign up to its Withering Thighs charity walk, which will take place on Thursday June 25. The Challenge covers a 25 mile walk in Bronte country in North Yorkshire. Members and suppliers can join in or donate or sponsor someone they know. This year's adopted charity is The Calvert Trust, which has three residential outdoor centres, delivering challenging outdoor adventure holidays for young people with disabilities. The chosen Cardgains centre is on the shores of Bassenthwaite Lake in the Lake District National Park. In line with Cardgains' driving theme, the organisation has pledged to raise enough money to buy a new mini bus for the centre.

Above: A new notecard wallet, by Bob & Roberta Smith RA, is part of ArtPress' Royal Academy range. Below: Animals are a feature of Catherine Kleeli Cards in its Stick and Stitch range.

l New greeting card publisher Catherine Kleeli Cards, exhibiting for the first time at PG Live in the Springboard section (stand 797), will be offering buyers a special 'PG Live only' promotion. Every retailer placing a card order at the show worth over £200 will receive a complementary unmounted giclée print (worth £25) of their chosen design. l Need to send a postcard when you’re at PG Live? Then head to Iggesund Paperboard AB’s stand where it will have a digital print press running on its stand (339) at PG Live. "In collaboration with Intec Printing Solutions, we will be able to produce personalised postcards on the spot, and will also showcase how well our paperboard performs in digitally printed greeting card applications," confirms project manager Robert Bryngelsson. l Trading under the brand name April Rose, award winning watercolour artist and illustrator Siobhan Harrison will be among those showing in the Springboard section at PG Live. Siobhan recently won the Best Newcomer in Above: Among the April Rose designs that will be the Stitching World category at the available at PG Live. Craft Awards. April Rose will be showcasing several ranges of greeting cards influenced by the illustration work produced for craft products. l In the run up to the General Election, cartoonist Oliver Preston made the most of the occasion by selling several hundred packs of his Political Playing Cards showing the party leaders to the Houses of Parliament. Right: Oliver Preston's Political Playing Cards.



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Extra Spice For Saffron Portfolio Bolstered By The London Studio Saffron Cards & Gifts has considerably bolstered its portfolio through an exclusive licensing agreement with The London Studio for all of the small house card and gift company’s ranges, with the exception of The Wisdom Of Kids range, which is licensed by Gemma International. This change will allow The London Studio’s founder and creative driver, Soula Zavacopoulos, more time to run the creative side of her business. Paul Steele, managing director of Saffron Cards & Gifts (who acquired the company little over a year ago from Paul and Mei Fields) explains the attraction of the new business deal: “I have known Soula for a number of years and always admired her creativity and marketing flair. This new partnership is a great fit as Soula’s style is so different, yet complementary to our own, and we both share the same values

Below: Two of The London Studio’s designs now available from Saffron.

when it comes to quality, design and first class customer service, so I’m really excited to be working with her.” Saffron has now taken over the production and distribution of The London Studio’s card and gift ranges, providing complete continuity of supply and ensuring full stock availability from the start, with the range being a major focus on its stand at PG Live. On the new set up with Saffron, Soula commented: “I love designing card ranges, but my time is often eaten up with so many other jobs," she admits. "However, with Paul and his team taking over the sales and publishing side of The London Studio it will allow me more time to concentrate on the creative side of the business and on designing new ranges, which is the part I love the most!”

Back To Her PG Live Roots Coming full circle, Soula Zavacopoulos will be meeting and greeting customers on the Saffron stand (204) at PG Live, having made her debut at the inaugural show in 2009 with The London Studio. "I'm so pleased our first showing with Saffron will be at PG Live," enthused Soula. "I really do have a soft spot for the show as it's where I launched. Your first trade show is one you never forget. It's very special!" she added. Left: Soula Zavacopoulos.

Thunderbirds Revisited The recent ‘lift off’ of the new Thunderbirds series has brought back memories for industry veteran William McCracken, the former md of Gordon Fraser, Ling and one of the first card retail multiples, whose eponymous shops bore his surname. (William is also a special advisor to the GCA). "In the early 60's, I was the circulation rep for Scotland for City Magazines, a subsidiary of the News of the World Organisation," William recalls. "We launched a new comic called TV21 which featured Thunderbirds are Go! and, as part of our promotion, I was asked to pick up the original Thunderbirds’ creators Gerry and Sylvia Anderson at Edinburgh airport and drive them to Glasgow for some media work." William recalls that when he met the couple they were carrying an oblong box. “I led them to my car - a Morris 1000 Traveller with the wooden sides which had seat belts fitted to the front seats even though they were not yet a legal requirement. Gerry asked me if I would strap the box into the front passenger seat and they would sit in the back. We drove from Edinburgh to Glasgow with Gerry and Sylvia holding hands in the back seat and Lady Penelope accompanying me in the front!" Above: William McCracken, aka Parker, drove Lady Penelope. Left:William McCracken

l Brighton Open House, taking place in May, will see PG Live exhibitor Ilona Drew, founder of I Drew This, taking part for the second consecutive year. Ilona will showing her own colourful take on the Brighton Pavilion and bandstand as signed, limited edition giclee prints. "I will also have a wide selection of A4 signed giclee prints from my I Drew This collection. They will all be available to buy on the day, either framed or unframed." Ilona will be exhibiting on May 3, 17 and 24. Above: Ilona Drew's Brighton Pavilion and bandstand print.

Tullis Russell In Administration Scottish papermakers Tullis Russell in Fife (which has supplied the card trade with board for years) went into administration at the end of April. Some 325 staff were immediately made redundant while a further 149 staff were retained to complete orders, although their jobs too were at risk. The employee-owned paper maker, which was founded in 1809, is one of the last remaining paper manufacturers in the UK. It has incurred cumulative losses of £18.5m over the last five years. The reasons cited for the company’s demise included that its European exports had dropped as a result of the value of sterling in relation to the euro and had also been hit by rising raw material costs. It had also invested considerably in a new biomass plant, which was only officially opened at Tullis' Markinch site in March. Following the company's collapse, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that a task force had been set up to look at ways of supporting Fife’s economy and jobs.

GCA AGM Venue In The Sky The date, stunning venue and one of the keynote speakers have been confirmed for the GCA AGM this year. On September 30, GCA members and associate members will be able to attend a memorable AGM event that will take place in Altitude 360 in Milbank Tower (which offers 360 degree views of London from on high) in Westminster. Dominique Schurman (pictured), the ceo of Clintons, has confirmed that she would be delighted to speak, sharing her experiences and views on the card trade. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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For Christmas 2015 – our brand new ‘Neon’ range

The next show we are exhibiting at is: Harrogate Home and Gift, 19th-22nd July 2015 (Design Point 1, STAND DP126)

EMAIL: I TEL: 0113 256 6331 I FAX: 0113 255 6577

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Less Funky More Stylish WHSmith’s New Upmarket Card Shop Concept Funky Pigeon has a new ‘sibling’ now that WHSmith has opened its first two Paper & Script greeting card stores. Debuting last month in London’s Charing Cross and Liverpool Street stations, both the fixtures and the product mix within the Paper & Script stores are more upmarket than Funky Pigeon, WHSmith’s other specialist card retailing concept. As Sophie Greenwood, senior buyer for cards & gifting of WHSmith Travel, Funky Pigeon and now Paper & Script, explained: “Funky Pigeon has been a great success for us but as a business we always want to challenge ourselves and continue to deliver for our customers. Within Paper & Script we have created a more upmarket and unique product offering and a much wider breadth of range for our customers.” The new stores include products from over 50 suppliers to create “a diverse range that offers a point of difference to our competitors,” according to Sophie. “The ranges we have created appeals to a more affluent demographic and is aligned to those travelling through our locations, whether they be commuters or people on leisure trips,” she adds. While Funky Pigeon stores use black fixtures and fittings, those in Paper &

Script are white, enabling the new ranges and designs to stand out. At present there are no definite plans to roll out the new brand into more stores. “Like any business we are keen to see the results before committing to any further roll outs, but so far sales are very encouraging and we are excited about what the future may bring,” confirmed Sophie. In a first extension of the brand, the company successfully launched, a new party website with over 20,000 products, ranging from themed tableware, balloons and decorations to fancy dress and accessories. Below: The new Paper & Script store in Charing Cross station in London.

Get Thinking Bigger Set to build on its fantastic debut in 2014, new livery and a heighted awareness will see Thinking of You Week - the GCA instigated initiative to encourage people to send an extra card a day for a week really go up a notch this September. Plans are already well underway for this year’s Thinking Of You Week, which will run 2127 September, with graduate illustrator Miki Rose, who recently joined The Great British Card Company (GBCC), creating fresh new branding. "The brief was for something really bright and joyful, something Miki grasped immediately," explains Sharon Little, chief executive at the GCA. "This year the word 'national’ has been dropped as the event will be going international as we have had interest already from elsewhere in the world wanting to get involved." A toolkit flyer, posters in different sizes, social media cover photos, plus add-ons such as email sign offs and sticker templates, are all being designed and will be freely available from the GCA website for publishers, retailers, suppliers and those outside the trade to download and use. Above: The re-branded Thinking Of You Week flyer and banner designed by Miki Rose at GBCC.

WHSmith Sales Fall, Profits Rise WHSmith saw its sales fall by 4%, but saw a rise in its pre-tax profits to £72m from £69m in the six month period to February 28. The company's travel business saw an increase of 3%. The high street multiple had a good first half, with an increase in trading profit to £50m (compared to £49m in 2014), up 2% on the previous year, with a strategy of actively managing its space to optimise core categories, gross margin growth and tight cost control continuing to deliver sustainable profit and good cash generation. Cost savings amounted to £6m, with a further £5m identified for the second half, putting the company on track for £11m of cost savings for the full year. High street sales were down 5% in total and down 4% on a like-for-like basis. Chief executive Stephen Clarke said that the company's strategy to build on its market leading position in stationery (which includes greeting cards) remains unchanged. Like-for-like sales were up 1%, with gross margin also up compared to last year. The company saw a strong performance from several of its Christmas ranges, in particular, boxed cards and wrap, which showed good year-on-year growth. There was an increased focus on new range development, quality and latest design to further differentiate the WHSmith stationery offer on the high street. Making reference to its trial of the Cardmarket value concept, (the first of its 20 stores was opened in November 2014), Stephen Clarke said that performance varied from store to store. Left: WHSmith’s Funky Pigeon stores now trade from 12 units.

A Blossoming Young Rose Providing proof to other art and design graduates that the greeting card industry is a great career choice for getting their work out into the market, within a matter of months of joining GBCC, Miki Rose (pictured) has not only created the branding for the now international Thinking of You Week initiative, but is also underway on her first greeting card and giftwrap collection for GBCC. "Miki was so thrilled to hear that her work was to be used for the new TOYW and we are really excited about the possibilities of the new collection she is developing," commented Nick Adsett, creative head at GBCC. "Miki and Jessica Johnson, our other new illustrator recruit, have both brought a youthful feminine vibe to the studio as we seek to strengthen our presence in the UK contemporary card market."



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No Death From Digital Paperchase Talks Stationery Providing uplifting proof that the stationery sector is very much alive and kicking in this digital age, Paperchase's chief operating and financial director David Bateman and stationery buyer Pamela Cartwright delivered a keynote speech at last month’s London Stationery Show in London, which reassured that ‘old media’ is in no fear of dying out. Their lively talk not only gave an insight into how Paperchase is continuing to blaze a trail, both in the UK and internationally, but also, on why stationery remains so popular in a digital age. Paperchase has sold 1.8m notebooks and journals in the last year, the length of 24,000 London buses. Plus, quipped Pamela, "the sales of our diaries and organisers would fill The British Library. Last year, we also sold 3m pens, which tip to tip would cover 10 London Marathons!"

l To celebrate National Stationery Week (April 27-May3) Paperchase offered customers a 10% discount through its Just Write campaign which was seen by over 1 million people. Right: The Paperchase offer to customers.

l KissMeKwik recently opened a pop-up Vintage Ladybird shop in Rye to coincide with the centenary of Ladybird Books. The shop showcases all of the company's cards and products, plus books both old and new and exclusive prints.

A key growth area for Paperchase has been ‘social stationery’, such as shopping list pads, wellbeing journals, menu planners, desk planners and wine journals. "People are individuals and want stationery products that they can personalise, which is why stationery endures," stated David. As Pamela pointed out: “It's not intrusive, it's tactile, and proves that sometimes, no technology is best.” That said, sales through its website have experienced huge growth, with over 150,000 visitors a week. Paperchase, which trades in seven countries, opened 15 new stores last year, and are planning to open a further 15 in 2015. The company also operates internationally online. Left: Paperchase's David Bateman and Pamela Cartwright were the keynote speakers at the London Stationery Show. Above: The London Stationery Show and National Stationery Week set out to 'Get Britain Writing'.

Stationery Award Winners Announced The first day of the fifth London Stationery Show culminated in the presentation of the prestigious Stationery Awards, which saw Lime Stationery & Art win three category awards - Notebooks & Journals for its The Happily Ever Bendy Notebook; Novelty for its Magic Pencils - Koh i Noor and Social Stationery for its The Original Crown Mill Writing Set. The company was also presented with the 2015 Judges Award. Other winners included the Woodland Trust Range from Go Stationery in the Licensed category, Tombow Monograph Mechanical Pencil from Stone Marketing in the Everyday Writing category and Lamy Studio Wild Rubin from C Josef Lamy in the Writing Instruments over £25 category. "This was definitely the most exciting year so far for the London Stationery Awards," commented independent retail advisor Henri Davies, who chaired the judging panel for the fifth consecutive year. "We saw a great cross-section of products and suppliers which made the whole judging process very interesting for the judges." On the Award’s panel this year were Pamela Cartwright, stationery buyer at Paperchase; Joanne Barber of The Stationery & Gift Boutique in Ampthill; Katy Golden, category manager for stationery and gifts at WHSmith Direct; Jo Irons, buying director of Bureau Direct and Abel Dos Santos, gifts and stationery buyer at Foyles Bookshop. The show took place at the London Business Design Centre in Islington at the end of April. Left: The London Stationery Show’s Award’s winners.

l Humorous American greeting card company NobleWorks is currently celebrating its 35th anniversary. Selected designs are licensed by Recycled Paper Greetings and sold through UK Greetings. To celebrate its milestone anniversary, wholesale customers are being given $35 off of their purchase of $350 or more until December 31. The company, whose slogan is Dare to Laugh, made its debut at the National Stationery Show in New York in 1980. Above: Still having a laugh, NobleWorks first employee and now its president and chief 'cardologist' Ron Kanfi.

l Greeting card and gift retailers are invited to Widdop Bingham’s annual Summer Show next month. The show takes place from Monday June 22 – Friday June 26, as well as on Sunday June 28, at the company's showrooms in North Manchester. The showroom will be open from 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 10am – 2pm on Sunday. Andrew Illingworth, sales director, said "The emphasis on new product development at Widdop Bingham ensures that we are constantly bringing fresh and creative products to the market place." Above: Widdop Bingham's showroom.

l After a nationwide search, Maped Helix, which was an official sponsor of National Stationery Week in April, has found the oldest Oxford Maths set tin which is owned by Kaye Radford, whose maths set dates back to the 1950’s. She received a £50 voucher and a huge Above: Kaye Radford bundle of Maped Helix stationery. with her winning The company was also on the Oxford Maths set tin. look-out for people who use its stationery for more quirky purposes, such as its pens to clip up hair, pencils to stir tea or pencil tins for storing sewing kits. l The Mayor of Leicester, Peter Soulsby, Shadow Minister for Care and Older People, Leicester West MP Liz Kendall and Northampton Saints rugby player, Phil Dowson, attended the launch of Taylor Bloxham's new Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 105 press at the company's Leicester premises on Friday 1 May. l Somerset wholesaler Card and Stationery South West in Wellington has gone into liquidation.



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Eggs-cellent Easter Some Unexpected Best Sellers For many independent greeting card retailers, Easter didn't disappoint this year, with most shops reporting increased sales for cards and gifts. It was a surprisingly good Easter for Joanne Barber, owner of The Stationery & Gift Boutique, Ampthill. "Historically, Easter has always been the 'also ran' of the Spring Seasons for us," she confirms. "So this year, we thought, let's go for it, and it really was very successful. We had a lot more gift offerings and we sold more cards than we have ever sold at Easter. That could have been down to people celebrating Easter more or the selection of cards that we were selling. Our best sellers included designs from Ruth Jackson and Caroline Gardner, as well as Cinnamon Aitch for its packs of five cards, which was exactly the right number. People didn't seem to want packs that were any bigger." For Rachel Loubser, owner of Mortimer Common Post Office and Gift Shop in Reading, Easter sales also increased this year. "Cardwise it was fantastic. We had more product and it paid dividends. We also increased our stockists. Publisher Noel Tatt is always brilliant, and we also did well with Nigel Quiney, Cherry Orchard and UKG." Rachel highlighted that customers were buying more single Easter cards than usual, and that, surprisingly, she also sold fewer charity cards. "Customers were still buying Easter cards in packs but not necessarily the charity ones," she pointed out.

Below: Lambs and bunnies were popular on Easter cards. A design from Noel Tatt (top) and Hallmark.

Another card shop that reported a record Easter was Fawcett Cards & Gifts in Brighouse. "We were really up this year," stated owner John Gilroy. "Our best card sellers came from Second Nature and UKG. We are a Thorntons franchisee and Easter eggs also sold very well for us." Down in Weybridge, Russell Glass, owner of Not Just Silver, also had a good Easter. "It was surprisingly good, an extremely busy one for us," he confirmed. "Our consistent best sellers are cards from Five Dollar Shake, Woodmansterne and Ling; they were all popular. In fact, we had to order in extra cards from Ling." At Celebrations in Stourbridge, directors Roger Eames and Laura Didehvar said that single Easter cards, especially family cards, sold better than packs, which was a first for the shop. "The most popular publishers were Ling, UKG and IC&G," confirmed Roger. "Cardwise, Easter was definitely better than previous years." Tina Botterill, owner of Cool! Cards & Gifts in Skipton, cited Len Smith's Len's Ideas photographic range as a winner for her this Easter: "They really captured the essence of Easter and we sold more of these cards than any other publishers. I also tend to sell more religious cards at Easter than I do at any other time of the year including Christmas," Tina highlighted.

Eggs-cellent News Kim Poskitt, owner of Special Thoughts, Doncaster, was the lucky winner of International Cards & Gifts ‘Egg-cellent’ Easter Giveaway. During March, anyone who made an online order with a minimum spend of £350 was entered into the competition with the chance to win an Easter goodies hamper. "We’re extremely passionate about our customer service and hope this helps to bring a smile to our lovely customers, as a token of our appreciation!" says the design department's Megan Corness. "We hope to be running many more similar competitions in the future." Left: Kim Poskitt with her IC&G Easter goodies hamper.

l As a long-standing supporter of St Margaret's Hospice, employees of envelope company Blake were at Portsmouth harbour to watch the St Margaret's Hospice Atlantic Challenge Yacht finally dock after seven months of navigating the Atlantic Ocean. l As a real Formula 1 fan, Julie Kay (right) is raring to go in her new role with Peartree Heybridge. She has joined the Harrogatebased card company as area sales manager for Scotland. l One of the industry’s pioneers, Andrew Brownsword, whose eponymous card publishing business brought Forever Friends into the world, may no longer have any business interests in the card trade (he sold his business to Hallmark nearly 20 years ago), however he recently reaffirmed a connection to the trade. Last month he was made a Liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers at the traditional ‘cloathing ceremony’ held on April 7 at Stationers’ Hall in the City of London. The Stationers' Company, with a total membership of around 880, is the City of London Livery Company for the communications and content industries. Above: Andrew Brownsword 'cloathed' as a Liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Stationers.

l Andy Armitage (far right) agent/rep for Paperlink, who covers the North East, received a huge trophy for Sales Person of the Year which was presented to him by Bill Greeno, Paperlink’s business development manager. In addition, Andy received a bonus and a holiday for two to New York. Right: Andy Armitage (far right) and Bill Greeno.

l Smiling as broadly as ever all through the 26.2 miles, Trudi Marsh of The Lynn Tait Gallery in Leigh-on-Sea, completed the recent London Marathon, her first ever marathon, in just over five hours. She raised £2,500 for Action Medical Research. Right: The smiling Trudi Marsh.

Sad Loss One of the founding fathers of the UK giftwrap industry, Giuliano Scamponi, passed away recently. Giuliano was the founder of giftwrap company Italpapers in the 1980s and then went on to launch Collage Designs in the 1990s, before selling the business to UK Greetings. A few years later, together with his family, he founded the Unique giftwrap company that still trades to this day. Giuliano was generally recognised as the pioneer of ‘continental’ style giftwrap in to the UK market, infusing Italian style into what had hitherto been a rather parochial sector in the UK. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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Hurrah For Ra!

Card Indie Switches Party Below: The GCA has commissioned the Hurrah for Ra! lesson plan to take greeting cards into the classroom.

School Children Learn To Say Thank You With Cards Schoolchildren all over the UK will be learning to say thank you through the sending of cards as part of a brand new lesson plan programme that is being made available free of charge to teachers. The GCA is expanding its schools resources with the launch of Key Stage 2: Hurrah for Ra!, a gratitude-based project for children aged 8-9 years. The project was created by an education expert commissioned by the GCA and the imagery which fronts it is from paper-cut designer Yasmin Brooks showing Ancient Egyptians giving thanks to Ra, the sun god. “The ancient Egyptians gave thanks to the sun god Ra, for life, sun and water, and we use this theme to explore what the children feel thankful for and to help express that through making a card," says Sharon Little, ceo of the GCA. She is also urging everyone in the card industry with primary school aged children to flag up the project to teachers they know. The project (which comprises three lesson plans) is fully mapped into the Key Stage 2 curriculum for English, maths, history, geography, art and design and design technology. The project is available free of charge in the Schools Resources area of the GCA website (

and will also be available through Teachers’ Post, Royal Mail’s education website. The lesson plans for Hurrah for Ra! include lots of fun activities including practical papyrus/paper-making, card making and how to write a message in the hieroglyph alphabet. It also covers the origins of writing and Ancient Egyptian culture, expressed through the art and artefacts discovered in King Tutankhamun’s tomb. It includes a session on Ancient Egyptian history, stylised art and paper-making, which sets up the historical context and the craft project. There are four options provided for papermaking depending on the amount of time the teacher wishes to devote to this. The final lesson covers Egyptian hieroglyphs and the card-making project.

Fairytale Finalists Once upon a time… a search began to find the best greeting card stockists in the land… and then were revealed as the finalists of The Retas 2015 (see pages 29 and 31 for the full list). The Retas awards recognise and celebrate the best in greeting card retailing in the UK across all sectors of the industry. This year’s Retas will be especially magical with a classic fairytale theme to the proceedings. The 11th Retas award event will take place at the prestigious Dorchester Hotel in London on the afternoon of Wednesday July 8. “This year’s Retas finalists represent the crème de la crème Above: Last year's Retas' winner of the Greeting card of greeting card retailing. It really is a fairytale line-up come true!” Retailer of The Year category, commented Jakki Brown, editor of Progressive Greetings, which M&P Cards, owner of Occasions Cards & Gifts, Fareham. organises and owns the awards. The Retas awards event brings together all sectors of the greeting card landscape - publishers, wholesalers and multiple and independent retailers. l For tickets for The Retas contact Clare Davies of Createvents on 0118 3340085 or Email:

Sherwood Fanfares A Rebrand Known simply as 'Sherwood' to most of its greeting card publisher customers, PG Live will give the former The Sherwood Press Group the opportunity to reinforce its recent rebranding to The Sherwood Group. The word 'Press' has been dropped to emphasise that Sherwood is not 'just' a printing company, being also involved in packaging and innovative design services. The rebranding has also included a change of logo typeface to match the company's purapackaging logo, an important part of Sherwood’s business. In addition, to help to balance the company's heritage and history, the oak leaf has been retained and modernised. The company's new website address is:

At the time of going to press (at the end of April), The Sun newspaper was backing David Cameron to stay on as PM, believing that Ed Miliband "will be very bad for business." In a double page spread on April 13, the newspaper invited small businesses to give their views on why they were switching from Labour to Conservative, with independent card shop owner Alison Lambert of Box of Cards in Leeds among the small business owners interviewed. Having always voted Labour, Alison revealed that she would be voting Tory this time. "It was bad under Labour," she told The Sun. "The Conservatives have helped my business to develop. Things have started to get better under this government so it makes sense to stick with what we have." Below: Card shop owner Alison Lambert was featured in The Sun in the run up to the election.

Cherry Orchard Enjoys The Fruits Of 20 Years It may be 'Fool's Day' for some, but for Cherry Orchard, April 1 commemorated the company's significant 20th anniversary. Combining business with pleasure, a sales conference took place on April 2, followed by a dinner and a fun quiz night. "We also had a 'guess the cumulative years' served by 13 current employees," explains md Jackie Collins. "It was won by our South East rep, Jo Bennett, who has been enjoying her bottle of Bombay Sapphire!" A specially commissioned celebration anniversary cake was enjoyed by the Cherry Orchard team the following day. As a 20th wedding anniversary is china, Cherry Orchard is launching bone china mugs to match its Memory Lane card range in December. Below: The Cherry Orchard gang at the company's 20th anniversary celebrations.

Apologies To Brainbox Candy There were definitely gremlins at work as PG was going to press in April. Instead of including the right ad for Brainbox Candy, showing all the company's lovely new 2015 designs, an old ad was featured in error. PG would like to offer huge apologies to Brainbox Candy, which will be exhibiting at PG Live on stand 334.



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29_31_Grid 01/05/2015 11:12 Page 1

The Retas Rollcall

The Retas 2015 Finalists The UK's greeting card retailing 'legends' will be once again celebrated at The Retas Awards. Recognising the 'giant' contribution that card retailers, large and small, make to the success of the greeting card industry, The Retas Awards will be honouring card retailers and stockists whose activities in the last year have been magical. The Retas winners will be unveiled at a lavish Fairytale Ball themed afternoon event at The Dorchester Hotel on Wednesday July 8. Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer - London (inside the M25) l l l l l l

All Good Gifts - Battersea Card Bureau - Holland Park Gift - Crouch End Paperlane - Chislehurst Postmark - Balham, Dulwich and Turnham Green Presence - Watford

Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer - Home Counties l l l l l l

1st Stop Stationers - Reigate Box of Delights - Flitwick Cards & Gifts for You - Princes Risborough Creased Cards - Brighton Panda Cards - St Albans The Secret Garden - Borough Green

Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer - East Anglia l l l l l l

Cards R Us - South Woodham Ferrers Just Cards - St Ives, Cambridgshire Pedlars Gold - Swaffham Simply Cards - Wymondham Sincerely Yours - Shenfield Thoughtful Expressions - Holt

Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer - South West l l l l l l

Card Gallery - Wimborne Saltash Cards - Saltash Sentiments - Burnham on Sea Skoops Cards - Cinderford Soukous - Bristol Tidings - Cirencester

Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer - Wales and the Midlands l Every Occasion - three stores in Bedworth,

Kingstanding and Wigston

l l l l l

Nice Thoughts - Coleshill Sentiments - Whitchurch Set - Leicester Something Special - Prestatyn and Mold The Tutbury Present Company - Tutbury

Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer - North and Northern Ireland l The Card Gallery - Pontefract l Dragonfly Cards & Gifts - Knaresborough l Gorgeous Gifts and Cards - Birkenshaw l Mantons - Isle of Man l More Than Cards - Sheffield l Unit 7 and Presentation - Manchester, Birmingham and Barrowford

Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer - Scotland l l l l l l

Clocktower Cards - Lerwick Everyone's Designs - Edinburgh The Gift Boutique - Fraserburgh Hallmark Gold Crown - Parkhead Forge Kairds - Kirkwall Strachans - Inverurie

Best Greeting Card Retailer Newcomer South l l l l l l

ETC - Islington, London Hallmark Celebrate - Chigwell, Essex Maythers - Westminster, London Memories - Twickenham Rhymes with Orange - Central London Temptation Gifts - Beaconsfield

Best Greeting Card Retailer Newcomer North l l l l l l

Cool! Cards & Gifts - Skipton Little Paperie - Ashbourne Love Letters - Anlaby, Hull Penny Black - Glasgow Quirky Coo - Dundee Signatures From The Heart - Preston



030_PG_May 2015 29/04/2015 13:30 Page 1

The Great British Card Company introduces

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29_31_Grid 01/05/2015 11:13 Page 3

The Retas Rollcall

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

Barnes Bookshop - Barnes, Kew and East Sheen Bookends - Christchurch The Bookshop - Loughton Chorleywood Bookshop - Chorleywood St. Paul's Bookshop - Ramsey Walkers Bookshops - Stamford and Oakham

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

Church Gallery - Kirby Stephen Harriet & Dee - Manchester and Chester Pippin - Edinburgh Polka Dot - Castle Douglas and Dumfries Tippecanoe - Portree, Skye Westmorland - Penrith

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

Art For Art’s Sake - Muswell Hill Calladoodles - Carshalton Calliope Gifts - Dorking and Alton The Country House Gift Company - Winscombe Darts Farm Village - Topsham KP News and Stationers - Wallingford

Best Greeting Card Small Multiple (4-20 stores) l 3 Wishes - Lymington, West Moors, Verwood l l l l l

and Ringwood All Wrapped Up - Thame, Heathfield, Uckfield, Crawley Funky Pigeon/Paper & Script - 12 stores House of Cards - seven stores in the Home Counties iCandy - 14 stores in Essex and Herts Occasions Cards & Gifts/M&P Cards - 8 stores in the Home Counties and the south

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

Barkers - Northallerton Beales - Bournemouth Fenwick - Newcastle Jarrold - Norwich John Lewis - Oxford Street, London Tynwald Mills - Isle of Man

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

Asda Booths Morrisons Sainsbury’s Tesco Waitrose

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

l Blackwells - 46 stores nationwide l Foyles - five stores in London and Bristol l The Lemon Tree - Seven stores in Surrey and Kent

l National Trust - 200+ stores nationwide l Oliver Bonas - 42 stores nationwide l Utility - Four stores in Liverpool and London

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

Card Factory Cardland Cardzone Clintons Paperchase Scribbler

Best Garden Centre Retailer of Greeting Cards l l l l l l

Frosts - Woburn Sands Gordale Garden and Home Centre - South Wirral Grosvenor Garden Centre - Chester Hawley Garden Centre - Canterbury Klondyke/Strikes - 24 branches nationwide Longacres - Bagshot

Best Greeting Card Retailer Initiative (for a specific project or initiative undertaken by a retailer to promote card sales) l Austin & Co, Malvern - for its dog friendly promotion l Forget Me Not, Stubbington - for its WW1 centenary activities l The Gift Box, Peebles - for its Thinking of You Week promotion l House of Cards, Home Counties - for its Ladder Club promotion l The Lynn Tait Gallery, Leigh-on-Sea - for its WW1 design competition l Red Card, Petworth - for its Valentine’s calligraphy event

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

Archway Cards - Norwich Budget Greeting Cards - Seven Branches CAPS - Bury Crosswear Trading - Enfield Greetings House - Walsall Jackson’s - Sheffield

Greeting Card Retailer of the Year To be announced at The Retas Awards. The winners of the other categories are finalists in this category.

Greeting Card Retail Employee of the Year

l Matthew Anderson, manager of 1st Stop Stationers,

Reigate Kym Baker, manager of Cardzone, Farnsfield Lynda Hilbert, manager of Just Write, North Finchley Lauren Keen, manager of Sentiments, Burnham on Sea Vivian Laing, sales assistant of Signatures From The Heart, Preston l Sharon McMahon, manager of Nice Thoughts, Coleshill l Lynda Wells, manager of Love It, Stamford l Kerry Young, manager of Thoughtful Expressions, Holt l l l l



032_PG_May 2015 29/04/2015 13:32 Page 1

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Over The Counter

Card Sharks

Lookout Independent cards and gift retailer, David Robertson, co-owner of JP Pozzi in Scotland, cuts into the deep waters of PG Live. Da-da, da-da, DA-DA, dadadadadadDADADADAAAA!!!! Now those of you ‘of a certain age’ might get the opening line of this article and others might be thinking that I am practicing my singing scales! It is of course, the theme tune to one of the top 10 movies of all time... Jaws. Unbelievably, Jaws is 40 years old this year (on June 20). It broke all box office records in 1975 when it was released, grossing an amazing $470 million dollars worldwide in the process. More importantly it was the first of what we now know as the summer blockbuster. Traditionally back then the months of June, July and August were regarded as the low season in the film industry and the studios relied on cheap summer drive-in movies to keep them going. Film studios stacked their big movie releases around the winter months where it was assumed the public wanted to escape the weather and darkness by buying a ticket for the movie theatre.

Its director, Steven Spielberg and the film studio (Universal) however decided to hold back Jaws until everyone was on the beach, reckoning the ultimate thrill ride would play better if the audience had been experiencing what they were watching. This trick worked perfectly and not only did people enjoy it the first time, but with word of mouth the film became a ‘must see’ and indeed a repeat watch! Jaws was also the first film which decided to do its marketing in a different way.

Top: The iconic Jaws movie poster. Above: The Avatar film amazed viewers with its 3D effects. Below: Last year David Robertson spent his Retas Golden Ticket on Pocket Typewriter's stand at PG Live.

They spent three times the amount normal pictures did at that time. Its trailer shocked and teased, the adverts highlighted the classic silhouette of the shark and swimmer in the water, even its press tours were held on beaches, and publicity stunts such as Jaws ice creams with strawberry sauce, doubling up as blood, added to the excitement further! And so the summer blockbuster was born and the film world has never looked back. While not quite on the level of Jaws, our summer blockbuster arrives this month, PG Live 2015. It is now in its seventh year and continues to grow. Like the makers of Jaws, the organisers of PG Live set out to do something different. They wanted to make all buyers feel like VIPs. They wanted to bring all elements of our industry under one roof, and create a different experience for any of us who had been jaded by years and years of trade fairs. They also wanted to make it affordable to small publishers, yet give them the same chance of exposure to the major card buyers in the UK. They wanted to showcase the best Britain, and indeed the world, had to offer in terms of PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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Over The Counter

design, board and captions. Indeed, they wanted to make a blockbuster of a card show. And they have certainly done this by bringing practically all the major players in the card and stationery world under the Business Design Centre’s roof - and with a free lunch and free watering stations thrown in! They have also created an excellent networking event on the Tuesday night with an after party, and continue to recognise those who are at the top of their greeting card game throughout the UK. But what the show has also done, very successfully in my opinion, is continue to evolve and show us more with each annual sequel. Think of the movies and the surprise when we saw ET for the first time, or the wonderment when the dinosaurs walked in Jurassic Park. These were amazing summer

cinema moments, but they have now been topped when the blue race of Pandora in Avatar leapt from your screen in 3D or when the Avengers first got together. In the same manner as these films, each year PG Live will need to keep raising the bar to keep the audience queuing for tickets. My point being that PG Live cannot simply say, ‘well all the main stars (companies) are present’. PG Live has to be the place that buyers see it first. It has to be where card companies large and small have their worldwide premiere of new products. It has to be the place where everyone feels they have to be and be seen. 34


Above: Hallmark 'feels the force' at PG Live this year with its Star Wars brand. The film is out later this year. Right: The Marvel Comics brand has a large fan base. UKG highlights some of its superheroes on its card designs. Below left: A bonnie hot seller in David's stores, a wedding card from Molly Mae. Below right: Bexy Boo will be one of the fresh, rising talents exhibiting at PG Live this year.

Thinking about this year’s show, then that is certainly the case: UKG and Hallmark, the Spielberg and Cameron of the blockbuster card directors world, are both launching a raft of new product at the show. UKG will debut a vast array of comedy to totally refresh its offering, and everyone loves a bit of humour. UKG, is also making the most of its licence for established long-term blockbusting favourites, Disney and Marvel, taking them into humour for the first time, and the hunger for these characters never seems to abate. While there are also rumbles of humorous launches from Hallmark too at the show (a relaunch of its Shoebox line for starters), and the publisher is really banking on some of the 35 million viewers of the Star Wars: Episode Vll – The Force Awakens trailer to buy its brand new card range based on this mega movie franchise. These huge franchises are one thing, but PG Live has a lot more than that to offer. Paperlink this year will celebrate three decades of greeting card hits with its largest ever single launch of product at the show, and Gemma will go all Jurassic on us as it brings out a card range that is far from pre-historic. The up and coming film’s trailer is second only to Star Wars in terms of views, so be sure that Gemma will be making a mighty roar about it. Avanti too has a new ‘director’ in the form of GBCC (it’s now distributing Avanti’s cards within the UK) and this reboot may be good value for both established brands. So like every movie experience, to really enjoy it the way it was intended and to really get the most from it, you have to see it on the ‘big screen’, and by that I mean attend PG

Live. Reading about it or hearing about it is ok, but it in no way will inspire you when it comes to the product in your store. I am not a lover of DVDs or watching films on a tablet. I want to be immersed in the screen and be taken to a different world. In much the same way, the show transports you and focuses you on finding what you really need to stand out in your store. Last year I went looking for specific niche card captions and found them and more with IC&G. Couple this with the publisher’s leading personal touch and service, and you will perhaps see why it now has 25% of my ticketed space in two of my stores. IC&G’s owners ‘reached off the screen’ and arranged a meeting with me last year and now the business relationship has gone from strength to strength. These types of experiences can only be gained from actually going to the trade shows. Also one of my main focuses at last year’s show was to discover if Amscan had changed its policy of wanting to deal directly with indies. Again, a positive meeting, a good order and everything was tied up, with the company winging my order North. This account is also serviced through Cardgains and means we benefit from the terms that it provides. I think of these two meetings as being akin to viewing a film where you know what to expect. It’s like watching the new Fast & Furious 7 film, you know there are going to be amazing cars, crazy stunts and good looking girls, but equally, sometimes you go to a movie and are surprised at what works and what keeps you going back to watch. Speaking of good looking girls, publisher Molly Mae is in attendance at PG Live with its

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Over The Counter

quirky greeting cards, but I find its foreign language ones the best! Its Scottish dialect cards, especially its wedding kilt design, are an outright smash, and have kept my shop ‘audience’ coming back time and again. Bexy Boo is another leading lady just now that the customers can’t get enough of, and established stars such as Five Dollar and Belly Button continue to shine. The beauty of PG Live is that it is packed full of card companies where you know what you are going to get, but there are also lots of companies that may tempt you with that allusive card title. Death by Tea, Designed by Mrs Lovesy, Whale and Bird and Bonnie Blackbird are all card publishers at PG Live that are on my ‘must view’ list this year. In truth, it is these quirky newbies that really get me interested and I’m watching them closely. PG Live is actually becoming very well known as the place to source these fresh and unusual card publishers, and it is coveted as

the place where new companies can break out hits in an affordable way on a national stage. These publishers should think of PG Live as their ‘film trailer’. This exhibition is their two minutes in which they have the opportunity to make an impression on buyers large and small. They are able to build the anticipation, perhaps of future ranges, and tempt us the viewer (buyer) into becoming a fan of their particular design or product. The Springboard area at PG Live allows the new enthused fresh designers to come to the fore. It gives them the screen time to allow their product to be seen and to get as many eyes on it as possible. Eyes and ‘buys’ can then mean word of mouth, and as all businesses know, that is really the way you grow properly and organically. Great films, like greeting cards, can stir many strong emotions. In particular it is these new publishing ‘stars’ that can make me really excited and emotional! In fact, it is merely

some dust from Tatooine (a fictional desert planet in the Star Wars movies) in my eye, not an excited tear! Visitor numbers for PG Live continue to grow, but as I said in my prequel column to this last year, there are still not enough visitors from further North. So come on fellow retailers…movies are best experienced on the big screen. You want to be there in the cinema with the smell of the popcorn and the excited anticipation and chatter, and it is the same at PG Live. At trade shows I always look to see what stands are causing a stir. It is a real indicator if it’s a hot item if you watch the way others react to product. Not everyone can be wrong though may be it’s not for you and your shop. This year is regarded as the year of the blockbuster, with everything from Bond, Avengers and Star Wars to ferocious dinosaurs and trash talking teddy bears. PG Live is our industry blockbuster, where the stars of the card world for this year, stretching into next, will be born - but of course not all of them will be smash hits earning massive returns. Some publisher stars will wane, while some may just go tired and end up as a bad remake of past glories. The point is that if you are not there then you can’t make up your mind for yourself. The point is that if you don’t watch you can’t judge. So the message from this film reviewer is get your ticket and get along to the show (June 2-3), it really is a 10/10 experience! To contact David email:

Top: With this Bonnie Blackbird design, showing at PG Live, you can post hugs in a card. Above right: A ferociously fabulous (and apologetic) Death By Tea card. See the whole range at PG Live. Inset: The new Jurassic World film or PG Live, the summer crowds will be after a ticket.



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Hubris Or Pride Before A Fall? Perhaps prompted by the warmer climes and the hotting up on the industry front, Cardsharp found himself thinking about the ancient Greek fable of Icarus recently. Icarus, having mastered the art of flying with the aid of artificial wings made of feathers and bees wax, is so euphoric at his achievement that he flies higher and higher, only to see the sun melt the wax content of the wings and he crashes to his death. Cardsharp mused about how everybody suffers from hubris at some stage in their life, however humble and modest we all pretend to be. It’s easy when you are successful to think that every so-called victory and achievement is down to ‘you’ and that somehow you are walking on water, or as in Icarus’ case, flying high. You believe you/your company are invincible, somehow blessed. You have a special talent! You are unique! But ultimately, it is important to realise that if you think this way you are just being delusional and should, like Icarus, be mindful not too get too close to the sun! Some few very lucky people actually go through life without ever experiencing reverses. The fortunate just have more ups than downs. Hard work and drive undoubtedly plays a big part in financial and personal success. Cardsharp concurs with what the legendary golfer Arnold Palmer said once: “It’s really funny, the harder I practice, the luckier I get!” And as politician Enoch Powell, famously pointed out, that all political



Above: Jacob Peter Gowy's The Flight of Icarus.

careers ultimately end in failure. All of this made Cardsharp think the same could be said of all business careers. Ultimately as an entrepreneur, you either sell out, pass the business on to your kids, or go bust! And then of course death is the great equaliser. Cardsharp’s philosophical mood was prompted by considering the financial performances of some big retail names, which made him think that however successful you are as an organisation it can all go horribly wrong. Take Tesco, which up to a couple of years ago, and before the rise of Card Factory, was the largest retailer of greeting cards in the UK. The ‘noughties’ was a decade

where it looked as if Tesco was intent on world domination. It was a global monolith that looked as though it was extending its brand into every aspect of our life, not just our weekly shop, but our local one as well. And our garden centre shop. And our banking. And our insurance and our mortgage requirements. Terry Leahy, its head honcho at the time, was feted by politicians and the media as a genius as he whizzed around the globe in his Tesco company jet. Its international expansion suggested Tesco was seeking global domination. Not so now! Last month Tesco reported one of the largest losses in biggest corporate history and the biggest ever in retail, a staggering £6.4 billion loss in one year - almost four times the annual turnover

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of the whole of the UK’s greeting card sales. Admittedly some of Tesco’s losses were technical and reflected a change in the value of its property assets, but still a considerable chunk was down to its general retail trading. With new managing director David Lewis throwing every bit of bad news into the figures, the implication is that Tesco’s current plight was a result of previous bad management decisions taken in the Leahy era - from hero to villain all in the space of three years! Despite no longer being number one when it comes to greeting card sales in the UK, Tesco is still a huge player in the greeting card market and so when it catches a cold, the entire greeting card industry sneezes with it. Tesco’s plight reminded Cardsharp of another former market leader of greeting card retailing, Clintons. Looking back to 15 years ago, Clintons seemed to be heading towards total domination of specialist card retailing. Over the 1990s it had gradually swallowed up all of its competitors. It had opened a prestigious greeting card superstore in London’s Oxford Street and was heading towards 1,000 stores. Its

Above: The old facia of Clinton Cards when run by Don Lewin. Below right: Pragmatic and steady are words best used to describe WHSmiths. Bottom: Tesco has recently suffered a staggering £6.4 billion loss.

chairman and founder Don Lewin OBE was seen as an iconic figure. There was even a campaign underway for him to be awarded a knighthood. Don’s autobiography, that traces his rise from a humble squaddie and son of a chimney sweep to millionaire greeting card mogul, was displayed in the window of hundreds of its shops. Yet within a few years, after the acquisition of Birthdays, which was one acquisition too far, the whole edifice came crumbling down with Clintons going bust, ironically a move facilitated by its biggest supplier, American Greetings. And so just like Terry Leahy, Don Lewin’s huge achievements over decades were overshadowed by the final chapter in the story. Both Tesco’s and Clintons’ fall from grace stemmed from over ambition or flying too close to the sun. Perhaps sometimes a bit of retail pragmatism, although not eyecatching or headlining grabbing, can bring sustainable success as the example of WHSmith aptly demonstrates. For as long as Cardsharp can remember, he has been reading the headline ‘Profits rise despite falling sales’ every six months as the stationer reports its financials. And last month’s interim results are no exception. Sales in its high street stores fell by 5% in the six months until the end of February, but profits were up, buoyed by a good performance in its travel division. Smiths, like Tesco and Clintons, has also held the distinction of one time being the market leader in greeting card

retail sales, although admittedly it was over a generation ago. And it has never quite forgotten that fact, hence its repeated attempts to re-establish its greeting card credentials. Cardmarket, WHSmith’s attempt to do a ‘Card Factory type’ value operation, was launched in a blaze of publicity last autumn and now trades from 20 stores, but reading behind the lines of its financial reports – ‘Performance varies by store and the trial is ongoing’ - it does not seem to have set the world alight. “It is too soon to declare victory and way too soon to admit defeat,” commented WHS’ chief executive Stephen Clarke about Cardmarket when questioned about its value chain, before swiftly moving on to enthuse about its new local independent franchise type operation. Funnily enough there was little mention of its more trendy greeting card retail operation Funky Pigeon, which Cardsharp hears on the greeting card grapevine is performing quite well. This to Cardsharp’s

mind makes it even more surprising that Smiths has not, as yet, made a move on the market retail chain Paperchase, especially as Stephen Clarke identified stationery as the one of the key growth areas for the plc. ‘Hubris’ is not a word one would associate with WHSmith (although Cardsharp remembers Private Eye’s nickname for the stationer, rechristening it ‘WH Smug’ 20 years ago). ‘Consistent’, ‘steady’, ‘pragmatic’ are words that more readily come to mind about dear old WHSmith. But those virtues have seen it adapt and evolve over its near 200 year history. And that is why it will probably never fail as a business like Clintons did or report the largest loss in retail history like Tesco has just done. Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned there. If you do fly, make sure your wings are made of a heat resistant material, concluded Cardsharp, waxing lyrically!



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Knocks “Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises," asserted Demosthenes, a prominent Greek statesman and orator of ancient Athens. With cultural occasions, sporting events, anniversaries and topical happenings taking place throughout the year, independent card and gift retailers are increasingly making the most of these opportunities when they come knocking to unlock sales. PG raps on a few shop doors to discover several retailers’ enterprising ideas.

Love All Vicky O’Lenskie, friend and shop helper for Charisma, Dunblane, explains how Andy Murray’s recent nuptials rang more than ‘wedding bells’ for the card retailer: “Andy Murray seems such a lovely man and he and his now wife, Kim Sears, look such a happy couple. Leading up to their wedding day, earlier in the week, we had lots of visitors in town browsing in the shops, although we always have Murray fans coming into the area to see where he was born. As a community, for the wedding we put up bunting and bows in the town and our gold post box (given to the town when Andy Murray won the Olympics Men’s Singles in 2012) was given a fresh lick of paint; everyone did a little something. Charisma put wedding gift items in its shop’s window along with a picture of Andy and Kim. The store’s owner, Pauline Casey, took a wedding book around Dunblane for all the town’s retailers to sign and any regular customers to sign too. When finished she is going to send it to the newly married couple. When opportunities like this come along, as a community of retailers, we make the most of it. We work together to entice customers and visitors to gather in to our town.”

Above: When opportunity knocks retailers should grab it with both hands. Inset: Sean and Nessa of Austin & Co, with the shop's window poster (left) advertising the store as dog friendly. Bottom: An 'ace' pair, newly married in Dunblane, Andy and Kim Murray

Man’s Best Friend Sean Austin, owner of Austin & Co, Malvern, explains how making the most of its ‘dog friendly’ status has created a point of difference for his shop: “Everyone who knows Austin & Co knows how mad we are about dogs. Nessa is a 5¼ year old chocolate Labrador who puts the ‘Co’ into Austin & Co. She has spent most of her life in the shop, and she is as much as part of the fixtures and fittings as the cards on the shelves. People come in just to give her a fuss or a gravy bone - they might buy, they might not, it’s not what having Nessa in the shop is all about. She is recognised about town as the ‘dog from the card shop’. Unfortunately there aren’t many other shops that Nessa can go into - just because she is a dog. We are not blind to certain hygiene regulations when we take her out, but there are no real barriers to actually allowing a dog into a shop. Not one to tie her to a lamp post when we are out shopping, we actively search out those places that are more dog friendly and spend our money there. Therefore, it would be completely hypocritical of me not to allow dogs into my shop. So we began to advertise the fact that we were dog friendly with nothing more than a poster on the door. Malvern has a very large dog population due its surrounding countryside and people are always about walking their dogs down the high street but very few are reluctant to shop as there are very few places they can actually take their dogs into. In Kennel Club research, four out of five businesses said that trade increased as a result of welcoming dog owners and their dogs; we found this to be true for Austin & Co too. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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In July 2014, we were nominated in the Be Dog Friendly Awards, a campaign run by the Kennel Club that aims to encourage non-pet businesses and public places across the UK to adopt a dog friendly attitude for the benefit of the nation's eight million dogs and their owners. The winner was to be determined by public vote over three months and so we began a campaign to encourage people to vote for us. And in November 2014, came the totally unbelievable news that we had won the title of the UK’s most dog friendly shop! Tapping into that opportunity of the many dog owners out there, I set myself apart from other card retailing competitors by offering something I knew they didn’t.”

Trail Finders

Above: For Thinking of You Week The Gift Box in Peebles tied greeting cards to public places such as parks, schools and business centres.

Making the most of Thinking of You Week, the new card sending initiative, which the GCA launched last September (encouraging people to send a card a day), was The Gift Box in Peebles. Its innovative approach was to leave little packs of greeting cards around the town, in public parks, schools and business centres, for people to find and then send in the spirit of the event. Each pack contained a card for the finder to send, a little note explaining Thinking Of You Week and asking them get in touch with The Gift Box. It also contained one of the shop’s loyalty cards which was launched to coincide with the first day of Thinking of You Week.

A Chain Reaction Tina Botterill, owner of Cool! Cards & Gifts, Skipton, found that getting into ‘gear’ for the Tour de France added an extra cycle of sales:

Cinderella’s Tale Maree Chisholm, marketing manager for Loch Levens Larder, Kinross and Perth, reveals how some fairytales do come true: “Christmas is always a busy time in retail and last year we held two family events which were designed to keep the little ones entertained while their parents could enjoy browsing the gifts. In our Perth store, to tie in with our Cinderella’s carriage display, our ‘Cinderella’s Gone Missing!’ event had a group of excited children help Prince Charming to find the missing Cinderella, looking all over the store with the help of some pantomime characters. This was followed by festive games and crafts. In our Kinross store, our Santa weekend saw the man himself arrive, with a team of elves who provided activities such as cake decorating, music and arts and crafts while they waited to see him. For both events, our shop and restaurant staff all got into the festive spirit by dressing up in Christmas and pantomime costumes. The Cinderella’s carriage in Perth was popular with customers, who photographed and shared the images using social media, helping to promote the store.” Above: When Cinderella (left) went missing at Loch Levens Larder in Perth panto and Christmas dressed staff helped the children find her. Right: Cinders is found by her Prince Charming.



“Because of the road closures in Skipton, on the eve of the Tour De France race, it looked as if I would have to sleep over the shop in our store room as I wouldn’t be able to make it home and back in the morning. A lovely lady who has a flat across the road from the shop offered me a bed for the night and I gratefully accepted. The morning of Le Tour coming through Skipton I was up and on the high street at 7am to get a place at the front. I made lots of new friends from all over the country who all called into the shop later in the afternoon when the race was over. Above: It was a long wait for some of I had to battle through 30,000 people to open the Tour De France audience - The Cool! Cards & Gifts shop window in Skipton. up the shop and start trading. I took over £100 in the first ten minutes. The atmosphere in the town was amazing - even after Mark Cavendish fell off! Our shop is in The Canal Quarter of Skipton where large screens were erected so that visitors could watch the race continue after it had passed through the town. All over Yorkshire on the race route, people had sited yellow-painted bikes celebrating the race (quite a few remain in place to this day). I decided we had to have a bike-themed shop window! I advertised on the free Skipton site for racing-bike parts. I chatted up the local newspaper and they printed our billboard for me. A friend offered me the skeleton and we incorporated all the relevant merchandise we could find: lots of toy sheep because ‘Skipton’ in old English means ‘Sheep Town’. It is vital for retailers to grab every opportunity to maximise sales at these events. A local wholesaler, Heritage Cards & Gifts, produced a range called ‘Cycle the Dales’ for the occasion – a stylised map of the Yorkshire Dales, similar to the format of the London Underground map. We sold over 80 of their T-shirts that week alone, plus mugs, pens, magnets etc. On the back of the race in 2014, this year there will be the Tour de Yorkshire, unfortunately over a different route not including Skipton but fairly close, with some major riders competing, including Bradley Wiggins. I have already sold some cycling merchandise. Grab these opportunities with both hands, they won’t happen again!”

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“We targeted different areas each day, eg schools one day, business parks another and hotels another," commented owner Stefanie Morrison, "we wanted to help the people of Peebles see the happiness and joy spread by sending cards,” she explains. Kicking the event off with a Facebook giveaway, Stephanie asked her customers who they would send a card to and why: “Our winning entry was Charlie Newbold who said: "I would write a letter to my daughter for her to open when she needs me to make her smile when she's older. I write her letters often and put them in her memory box so I can remind myself how strong she needs me to be, and so that I can look back with her that it was a good time and not focus on the bad."”

Perfect Portraiture Rigby & Mac stores, the dulwich trader, tomlinsons and ed, in Dulwich, once again ran their hugely popular Mother’s Day Portrait Competition. First started by the dulwich trader over 15 years ago, the competition encourages interaction between local schools, parents and businesses. The competition was open to children from Reception to Year 6 at a number of local schools, and the children were asked to submit portraits of their mothers or important people in their lives. The only requirement was that the entries should be bold, bright and beautiful. The competition really captured the imagination of local children and the Dulwich stores were swamped with well over 400 fantastic entries from 11 local schools. The winners of the various competition categories each received a dulwich trader voucher to give to their mother or special person, and both the winners and runners up artwork and 100’s of selected images were displayed in the stores to coincide with this year’s Mother’s Day.

Grabbing The Bunny’s Tail Chris Beards, partner of Mantons Cards, Port Erin, Isle of Man, hopped on to the opportunity to promote Peter Rabbit by participating in a nationwide display competition: “Peter Rabbit was first published in 1902, but Peter and the other Beatrix Potter characters remain some of the most popular characters at Mantons. We are well-known locally by Beatrix Potter collectors for our range of Peter Rabbit gifts, collectables and greeting cards. We have also dealt with Enesco for the past seven years, so naturally we wanted to enter and try to win the gift company’s recent Beatrix Potter Display Competition. The main inspiration for the design of the window was Mr McGregor's garden, as that is one of the most exciting parts of the story - when Peter goes into the garden, after his mother had forbidden it! Peter Rabbit is a big favourite in our family, so when we found out that we had won the competition it was particularly special. It's important for card and gift retailers to participate in this kind of promotion because it creates a fabulous atmosphere in the store and it gives extra exposure for both the store and the products involved. Our regular customers also love it whenever we win an award and we are always featured in the local press and radio.” Above right: The Beatrix Potter gang gather together in Mr McGregor's garden in Mantons' shop window. Left: Just a few of the 400 Mother's Day portrait entries into the three Dulwich stores in London, owned by Rigby & Mac. Below: A brand-new look for the beautiful boutique-with-a-twist Calladoodles store to coincide with its 5th birthday.

A Birthday Jamboree Concept store Calladoodles in Carshalton, Surrey, recently celebrated its fifth birthday with a party and discounts in store. "We have gone from strength-to-strength since opening our doors in March 2010 and wanted to mark our achievements with a special event to give something back to our customers," says Calladoodles’ founder and manager Clare Callanan. "To generate awareness, we advertised the celebrations in our shop window on our Facebook page and sent a release to the local press. The store was packed to the brim on the day! Customers enjoyed fizz and chocolates as they browsed and received a 20% discount, which obviously went down a storm! It was a huge success and we will definitely be hosting further celebrations. The team felt rewarded for all of their hard work over the past five years and, best of all, our very happy customers, many of whom are regulars, left with big smiles on their faces." PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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Face To Face


Behaviour "Don't pander to fear. Fear is the absolute killer of innovation or any kind of design and creativity. Do what your heart tells you, go for it and don't be scared," urged Louise Tighe, founder and managing director of Paperlink in her acceptance speech when she was presented with the Honorary Achievement Award at The Henries last October. Next month’s PG Live sees Paperlink officially and ‘unfearfully’ mark its ‘Three Decades Of Innovation’ - launching more new ranges than ever before - and ensuring that everyone has a good time at the shows’ Opening Night Party. PG caught up with this industry leading lady for a glance back at 30 rebellious years in card publishing.

Top left: Some of the branding which has been developed to celebrate Paperlink's milestone. Above left: Louise Tighe giving her acceptance speech at The Henries awards last October. Far left and left: An early card design that Jane Ormes produced for Paperlink's Global Image range and a classic irreverent Bestie design. Below left and right: Cartoonist Jamie Charteris has been working with Paperlink for over 20 years, which has seen him develop Bottom Line and also launch Dot (the protagonist was based on Louise).


he impromptu acceptance speech Louise Tighe, founder of Paperlink, gave at The Henries last October came from the heart. Rather than dwelling on the accolade, she used the forum to inspire publishers, especially those just starting out, to have a steadfast commitment to creativity and innovation; to believe in yourself and not to accept mediocrity. Had the rewind button been pressed back to 1985, these words would have been lapped up by a feisty young woman who was just starting out as a card publisher, full of gusto to confront historic conventions on the humorous card front, as well as challenge perceptions of women in business. “I had never thought I would have my own business, but then I did have a strong urge to smash through the glass ceiling that I felt existed above women at the time by setting up my own company,” recalls Louise. It was the mid 80s when alternative comedy was really emerging in the comedy clubs and on late night TV, which really struck a chord with Louise. “I loved the irreverence of it, and felt there was nothing really on the card market 42


that was anything like it, so I decided to produce some myself,” says Louise, whose brief stint working for Camden Graphics (then an independent card publisher) as well as in book publishing gave her at least some rudiments of the whys and wherefores of card publishing. She knew from the off that Paperlink would not be toe-ing the line: “I had been brought up a good Catholic and had been to convent school, but all it did was make me want to rebel. I still do actually, it’s something that has never changed!” she says laughing. In its first year, Paperlink notched up the grand total of £46,000 in sales.“I made a £5,000 loss on this, which is what I paid myself. I

was driving around in a 2CV that had done 100,000 miles, but I was so excited by what was happening,” recalls Louise. From this toe-hold Paperlink went on to earn and maintain a reputation for not only launching and developing some of the industry’s most successful and enduring humour brands, most notably being Bestie and Bottom Line, but also for

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Face To Face

exploring new avenues, trying new angles on card publishing. Dot, and later Blah Blah Blah, were forerunners in women to women humorous ranges, while, on the art side, its Global Image range (of which a percentage of sales were donated to Greenpeace) highlighted world issues through art. Louise’s support of artists, of all disciplines, has been pivotal to the company’s growth over the last three decades. “I have nothing but admiration for artists; working with so many of them over the years has been a real pleasure in my life,” reveals Louise, with her long relationships with cartoonists Jamie Charteris (of Bottom Line and Dot fame) and Steve Best (creator of Bestie) being among the most notable on the cartooning front, as well as Jane Ormes, whose work appeared on one of the very early art ranges. “I loved working with Jane Ormes and was very proud when we launched a range of her collage work at Spring Fair many years ago. It was the same year that Woodmansterne was showing for the first time, which tells you how long ago it was,” said Louise. “I remember Alan Harnick of US distributor Notes & Queries saying when he saw these cards: “You’re going to go bust, no one’s ever going to sell cards that shape or size”. Well, we’re still here and there are lots of square cards on the market now!” The development of this and the subsequent art ranges was partly borne out of a personal frustration that talented surface

Top: Louise has nothing but praise for the team, family and friends who have been a massive support during all the years at Paperlink. (Left-right) Kevin (Louise's husband), Tim Porte, Helen Ford, Louise. Bill Greeno, Emma Young, Tim Purcell, Ronnie Porte (Tim's wife) and Jane Soodeen at The Henries reception last October. Above, above right and right: Designs from three of the new ranges, Duck n Dive, Sunshine and Weird Stuff.

The Boundary Line Over the years, Paperlink has pushed the boundaries, often nudging up close to a blurred line that many find just as hilariously funny, while others deem it as unacceptable. “I recall one range of political satire cards we published which included designs featuring Prince Charles, the Pope and Hitler. The Hitler one opened up to reveal the word ‘sorry’ - I really don’t think we would get away with this now as a sorry card, but interestingly we didn’t ever receive a complaint about it, from retailers or the public,” reveals Louise. However, more vociferous were the animal rights campaigners who took issue with a humorous design which featured a cartoon of a hedgehog that had been run over by a car. It was one of the publisher’s best sellers at the time, but it did respond by removing it from sale. “However, I am not sure that this design would elicit the same response nowadays,” questions Louise. “Times and concerns, both of the public and the retailers, change and you have to be ready for it, especially with the immediacy of social media.” The force of social media did result in Paperlink removing another design recently. Meant as a woman to woman humorous send, it showed a female character having imbibed rather too much at a party. As Louise explained: “We received a complaint via social media saying that we were encouraging young women to make themselves vulnerable to abuse. The card was not intended in this way at all, but as the mother of three girls I appreciated the viewpoint and so removed the design which is a good job as the whole campaign then went viral. With social media you have two choices, either to step in quickly and react or let it run its course. In this case it was worthy of action.”

pattern designers were not getting enough of their work onto the card racks. “There were so many wonderful artists, illustrators and surface pattern designers out there, but we needed to get multiple retailers interested in their work to ensure that their wonderful artwork reached a wider audience,” says Louise. Paperlink developed a range which was pitched to WHSmith, but they wouldn’t stock it as it was deemed too avant garde. It then went to Athena (a major retailing force at the time) who did take it on and it sold really well. “Soon afterwards this whole area of publishing really opened up and art ranges were in high demand. Of course I was miffed that some of these ranges by other publishers were better than we had created, but it meant that artists received the exposure they needed, which was so important then and is still now,” says Louise. With five brand new ranges debuting at PG Live, as well as constant refreshments to its existing brands, Paperlink’s connection to the artistic community through greeting cards is very much alive and kicking. For the last three decades Louise, as the md of Paperlink, has been a ‘rebel with a cause’, but one with a soft heart: “I have always been determined to publish cards that I am excited by, but I’m mindful too of not ever being in a position where my staff would lose their jobs. Of course I have made mistakes along the way, every business does. There is always an element of risk in business, you just have to trust your gut feeling and be strong minded enough to see it through,” believes Louise. It has been a mantra that has worked for Louise and her team - and more than worthy of a toast at the Opening Night party of PG Live. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


044_PG_May 2015 29/04/2015 13:35 Page 1

Say it with flowers...

...Beautiful new floral designs from Nigel Quiney Publications

A gorgeous new



PDFNDJH SULFH IRU GHVLJQV LV Â… For more information please contact customer services and quote HFLP1 Nigel Quiney Publications, Cloudesley House, Shire Hill, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB11 3FB Tel: 01799 520200 Fax: 01799 520100

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PG Live 2015

It is the 55th anniversary since The Magnificent Seven rode its way into the film history books, with the tale of how a cast of characters, each with their own inimitable style, overcame challenges, collectively harnessed the strength of a community and ultimately triumphed. This June (Tuesday 2 and Wednesday 3) marks PG Live’s (magnificent) seventh anniversary. Yet this is a real trade exhibition, not a fictitious film - which has an incredibly strong and varied ‘cast’, where there is likely to be lots of action. Here, PG Live’s marketing manager Jacqui Parr fires out her ‘magnificent seven’ reasons to visit the show. Thousands Of New Designs There will be thousands and thousands of new greeting card designs that will be unveiled at PG Live. “The main reason PG Live really scores is that it is a dedicated greeting card show, allowing card stockists to really focus on their greeting card buying,” Jacqui sums up.

“And now with this being the seventh year of the show, it’s so great that exhibitors now use it as a major launchpad for new ranges and designs.” Just for starters, at this year’s show, UKG will be revealing how it has really upped its commitment on the humour front; Hallmark Top: A scene from the film, The Magnificent Seven. Above left: Jacqui Parr, marketing manager of PG Live. Left: This is the 7th year that the Business Design Centre is home to Progressive Greetings Live. Right: Hallmark has the ‘force’ with its new Star Wars collection. Far right: Saffron will be celebrating its licensing tie-up with The London Studio (excluding Wisdom of Kids, which is with Gemma).

has the ‘force’ with the official launch of its Star Wars range; GBCC will be celebrating its new licensing collaboration with Avanti, and Saffron Cards & Gifts with its recent signing with The London Studio (for all ranges apart from Wisdom of Kids, which is also launching at the show on the Gemma stand).

Greetings from

Dear Customer . The weather’s lovely here - sunshine all day long! Hope it’s good where you are too. Saffron and The London Studio are showing together at PG Live on Stand 204. We would love to see you there, so come and see us and if you place an order, we will give you a discount of 10% on that order! And we promise not to talk about the weather!

See you there!



046_PG_May 2015 21/04/2015 19:46 Page 1

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PG Live 2015

See Leaders, Discover Newbies

ard Springbo

“There really is no better line-up of greeting card publishers anywhere in the world,” states Jacqui. “What is wonderful is that with our 200+ exhibitors, we really do have the best in the west all here, from the leading card brands right down to loads of brand spanking new players, many of whom are literally launching their companies at PG Live in the Springboard sections,” she adds. The PG Live exhibitor line-up really does read like a who’s who in card publishing, including a heady mix of leading brands such as Woodmansterne, Wendy JonesBlackett, Paper Rose/The Art Group, The Art File, some of which, like Gemma, Paperlink and Carte Blanche, PG Live is their only trade show appearance this year. The Springboard and Springboard Extra sections have really blossomed over the years, as a natural ‘incubator’ for fresh new talent to make their way onto the market, many of whom have come through The Ladder Club route (which PG Live sponsors).

The Retas’ and The Greats’ Wall of Fame

To Gallery Hall for: Lunch Room and Opening Drinks Party

Village Green Ground Floor

Entrance The PG Live Essentials When: Tuesday 2 and Wednesday 3 June 2015 Opening Times: 9.30am to 6.00pm on 2 June 9.30am to 4.30pm on 3 June Where: Business Design Centre, Islington, London N1 0QH

Inset: A busy aisle at last year’s PG Live.

The Good Unexpected Extras “Yes of course, visitors are coming to PG Live to see the new products, source new suppliers and catch up on the gossip. But doing all that and offering a free lunch, as many cups of tea and coffee as they want – and a party on the first night - makes it all the more palatable!” accepts Jacqui. “PG Live is where the ‘added extras’ really are free, and moreover, are worth having.” As soon as visitors arrive, they will be met by suitably attired ‘greeters’ (in dresses made from exhibitors’ greeting cards) and handed a limited edition cloth keepsake goody bag (which will contain the full colour PG Live catalogue). This year the bag is being sponsored by UK Greetings as part of its ‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot…going on with Hanson White?’ marketing activity, which highlights the publisher’s massive investment it has made to its humorous collection. The reverse side of the bag will feature artwork created specially by designer Mark Above right: The UK Greetings side of the PG Live keepsake bag. Right: Moroccan spiced lamb, the legendary PG Live spinach and mushroom lasagna, Nepalese tarkari chicken and delicious Portuguese natas tarts are among the delights that will be cooked up by the team from the Good Eating Company for PG Live this year.

Leading brands can be found on the main floor and Village Green of the show, while new and emerging publishers will be found in the Springboard section on the Gallery level and in the Springboard Extra section on the lefthand side of the Village Green. The Artists’ Quarter is on the right hand side of Village Green. The Retas and Greats Wall of Fame will be upstairs this year in the first Gallery bay in the right hand corner. l To register for PG Live, visit the show website, email or call 01635 297070.

Grayson (who is also Max Publishing’s creative director). Anyone feeling parched need not worry as the ever popular tea trollies will be making their rounds (thanks to Paperlink), serving free cups of tea and coffee in ‘proper cups’. Giving visitors’ eyes a rest after feasting them on exhibitors’ lovely products, a free

two course lunch will be served on both days (to both visitors and exhibitors), with a different delicious menu offered on both days. And thanks to Paper Salad’s ‘dressing’ (as part of its 10th anniversary celebrations), even the lunchroom will look fantastic too. From the menu cards to the waiting staff’s aprons, the room itself will be as good to look at as the lunch will be to eat. And if visitors and exhibitors need to catch their breath, either before or after lunch, then the Springboard Lounge (sponsored by GF Smith and The Imaging Centre) is there, as is The Henry Cole Club Lounge (with free WiFi), kindly sponsored by Skylight Media. And again, in keeping with tradition, everyone is invited to come along to a fantastic Opening Night industry post-show free drinks party on Tuesday 2 June (sponsored by Paperlink as part of its ‘Three Decades of Innovation’ celebrations). PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


040_PG_May 2015 17/04/2015 14:51 Page 1

18 New boutique designs


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PG Live 2015

The People Business PG Live is a noisy show, in a good way, due to all the friendly banter that goes on. “What is great is that we have all aspects of the industry under one roof,” points out Jacqui. Artists in the Artists’ Quarter will be talking to publishers; agents will be chatting to their customers; retailers will be giving direct feedback to publishers; overseas distributors will be placing orders to be shipped all over the world, while printers and trade suppliers will be sharing the latest developments from their side. “The world of greeting cards will exist at the BDC for those two days. And there is always a lot to talk about,” Jacqui adds.

Daylight And Happy Feet

“The Business Design Centre is a pretty unusual venue, but one which suits PG Live perfectly. With its high curved ceiling and daylight flooding in, you can’t fail to feel uplifted,” says Jacqui. “Its compact size and attractive layout, means that visitors can ‘shop the show’ with ease and pop from the Village Green to the Mezzanine and into the Springboard sections in a minute - as long as they don’t stop for a chat in the aisles, of course!” Not a lot of people know…that when it was built in 1862, The Royal Agriculture Hall (now the BDC) was one of the largest exhibition halls in the world, with its proximity to the Smithfield meat market meaning it was perfectly located to host agricultural events. Back in 1879 the Agricultural Hall in Islington attracted huge global attention as the venue for the International Pedestrian Match for the Championship of the World, an extraordinary event which saw competitors line up for the 1am start on the Monday and walk around the Hall for six days, with the winner being the one who had walked the furthest by the time the whistle blew at 10.30pm on the Saturday night! ● The nearest underground station to the BDC is Angel, on the Northern Line, which is just five minutes walk away. Angel itself can be reached in a matter of minutes from either Euston or Kings Cross mainline stations (via the Northern Line), while Liverpool Street, Waterloo and the West End are just a short journey away. Above: This poster, which shows part of the BDC’s illustrious history, is framed inside the building.

‘Only At The Show’ Offers And Experiences From as many jelly worms as you can eat to free iPads, Virgin Experience Days, one off works of art, magnums of champagne, as well as hefty discounts and no minimum orders. “These are just a taster of the smorgasbord of special ‘show only’ offers, competitions and promotions that will be part of the enticing array from PG Live exhibitors. We all love an extra incentive, don’t we?” asks Jacqui rhetorically. On the back of previous years’ hugely successful offers from Abacus/Clare Maddicott for those who place orders (over a certain amount) at the show, this year the publisher is leaving the choice open to retailers - with £40 Virgin Experience vouchers promising adventures, pampering or all manner of treats - for anyone placing an order of £250 and over at the show. Paper Rose/The Art Group is bound to get some extra traffic on the back of its chance to provide free iPads to retail customers placing a certain value of orders, which will be easy given the wealth of new product coming through. There is bound to be flurries of excitement too when retailers flash their Gold or Silver Tickets (issued to winners and finalists in The Retas greeting card retail awards) worth £150 and £50 off an order placed at the show. Finalists and winners in The Greats 2015 gift retailer awards will also have a £50 Bonus to spend, while all Cardgains members will also be enter our VISIT US AT PG LIVE - STAND 542 furnished with a £30 voucher to redeem with any competition to win a magnum Cardgains supplier against an order placed. (The of champagne NEW exhibitors love these happenings, not only for the each day show theatre, but also as they are immediately reimbursed by the PG Live organisers!). Above: Last year Tim Thacker (of the Card Collection, Bath) spent his Golden Ticket with an order placed with Abacus/Clare Maddicott. This year the publisher is offering an incentive of Virgin Experience Day vouchers! Right: Leonard Smith has been publicising its 30th anniversary champagne giveaway at PG Live on one of the many promotional postcards that The Imaging Centre has produced for show exhibitors.


Being Part Of The Celebrations Right from the off, PG Live will be in full celebration mode. Davora, quite rightly, is making a lot of noise about its 10th anniversary. Needing to be seen and heard to be believed are the Punjabi Drummers Delight duo who will literally be ‘banging the drum’ for both PG Live and the publisher’s anniversary on the first morning of the show. Davora is not the only publisher who will be marking its company milestone at the show, seeing it as a great excuse to celebrate with new products and promotions. Paperlink is marking its ‘Three Decades of Innovation’ in lots of ways, from launching more product than ever before, sponsoring the lanyards and tea trollies and also the opening night party. Leonard Smith is also celebrating its 30th anniversary and is giving away a magnum of champagne to a visitor on both days of the show. Belly Button, back at the show after a year off, is coming of age, embracing its 21st birthday by launching a new card division, Belly Button Hub, as well as lots of other initiatives, such as a 21st Birthday Bundle offer at the show. Living up to one of its range’s names, Cherry Orchard is going ‘Down Memory Lane’, and celebrating its 20th anniversary at the show. Paper Salad is ensuring that reaching the end of its first decade is marked in a delicious way, by sponsoring and dressing the luncheon rooms - down to the waiting staff wearing aprons featuring Paper Salad designs! Left: The Drummers Delight will definitely get PG Live off with a bang - as well as helping to make a lot of noise about Davora’s 10th anniversary. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


048_PG_May 2015 17/04/2015 14:52 Page 1

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Innovations With so much fantastic product being launched at PG Live (June 2-3 at the Business Design Centre, London) this bumper section gives just a taster of the greeting card gems on offer.

The Occasional Pig Pink Pig has added 16 additional designs into its Flowery Critters range. The range covers new granddaughter and grandson birthdays and other everyday occasion titles, in beautiful pastel florals. This range is sized 155mm square and sold wrapped with crisp white envelopes. Pink Pig 07583 088596 Springboard Stand 737

Monkeying About Shiver Me Timbers! Rocket68 has decamped to the seaside for its new range AHOY! Encapsulating blue skies, happy days and salty air as the smell of fish and chips wafts down the promenade, the six card designs are available both as A6 greeting cards and postcards, all sold wrapped with complementing envelopes. Rocket68 01935 822 588 Springboard Stand 708

Love’s Labours Won

Brand new funky designs have arrived from Icon... woo hoo! There are 24 new fresh and vibrant designs being launched at PG Live into Icon's ever-popular photographic range Colour Exposure. As ever, the release features a mix of humorous, quirky and eye-catching designs suitable for any occasion. Each card is 160mm square, supplied wrapped with a matching coloured envelope. Icon 01242 679800 Mezzanine Stand 208

International Cards & Gifts is expanding its Avec Amour range with 11 new designs featuring beautiful hand-painted watercolour florals by Rose Eddington. There are new adult milestone relation ages and new 160mm square cards, comprising open birthday, sympathy and thank you titles, all with carefully chosen words. The cards are all flitter finished and sold with pink, lilac or blue envelopes and available wrapped or unwrapped. International Cards & Gifts 01202 897494

Blue Badge Carte Blanche is adding a new range of lenticular gift bags and badge cards to its hugely successful 3D card collection. There will be 12 3D badge occasions cards, and small, medium, large gift and bottle bags in various design styles, all created using exclusive lenticular technology. Both the gift bags and cards will be available to purchase with dedicated display spinners. Carte Blanche Greetings 01243 792600 The Village Green Stand 112

Gone Potty! A new concept from Garden Greetings is the Potted card range, a clever design concept that wraps around a small pot plant turning it into a gift! There 18 cards across four sub-ranges, each with its own special style, covering birthday, thank you and best wishes titles. Garden Greetings 07772 311645 Springboard Stand 652 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


052_PG_May 2015 30/04/2015 11:31 Page 1

Growing ‘Beautifully’! ‘Isabel’s garden’ has grown! Dainty new eye-catching designs, the prettiest attachments and top-quality print, all combine to deliver fantastic value for money. For you... and your customers! Birthdays, Special Occasions, Relations, Milestone Ages – these hand-crafted sensations are the perfect way of drawing fresh attention to your racks. Attracting new customers, delighting existing ones, and keeping them all coming back for more! But... ‘Isabel’s garden’ always sells fast from local specialist wholesalers, your exclusive source of these fabulous designs. So, call them today - and start growing ‘Isabel’s garden’ sales for yourself.

They’ll be... beautiful!

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Innovations CALL OF THE WILD: A selection of animal and bird designs launching at PG Live.

Character Role Be the first to see all the new feline characters in Cat Occasions from Rose Hill… Margaret Grumpy Cat is the highly efficient PA to Simon Cowell, with an analytical brilliant mind, but cannot function without her morning coffee. Rascal is a journalist for the Islington Gazette. Margaret and Rascal are now married and are the purrfect couple! How did they meet? Find out at PG Live! There are 12 150mm square cards are in this range sold wrapped with bright yellow envelopes. Rose Hill Designs 07742 347603 Springboard Stand 662

Racing to have lots of new cards ready for PG Live – Tomcat Cards has allowed us a sneak preview! Say it with Fish is just one of six new additions to its Call of the Wild range by Vicky Mount. There will also be beautiful new Christmas cards from Erika Oller on display. All the new cards will be sized 150mm square and come wrapped with a white envelope. Tomcat Cards 01243 837300 Mezzanine Stand 441

Happy Purrday Pussy Cats' Party is one of ten designs launching into Catherine Pain's Birthday Cats range. These warm, humorous cards, featuring quirky, funloving birds and animals, are designed to complement Catherine's other ranges. The cards are sized 120mm x 170mm, blank and come wrapped with white envelopes. Catherine Pain 07831 672535 Springboard Extra Stand 103

Something Fishy This Way Comes

Moggies And Doggies Ideal for the animal lover, Cheeky Chops is a cute new range of die-cut cards from Luck & Judgement featuring everyone’s favourite pets. Meet Podgy Pug, Tricksy Tomcat, Marmalade Moggie and their adorable pet friends. This series of six cards is beautifully illustrated and a dinky 127mm square, sold wrapped with complementing envelopes. Luck & Judgement 07919 228 669 Springboard Stand 687

Now You See It… New postcards, stationery and gifts are being added by Schnucki to its ever-popular 3D Lenticular range. There are 14 new postcard designs as well as mini-rulers and door hangers on offer. A wide variety of images will be on display - animals galore, kiss-blowing Mona Lisas and Tutankhamuns and some vintage images. All the postcards come wrapped with a white envelope. Schnucki 07711 563155 Springboard Extra Stand 85

Moonlit Encounters Moonlit rabbits scampering in a magical landscape, cats and castles, butterflies and fairy encounters make up Tales and Tails, the latest range published by Frillybee. Blank inside, these 5” x 7” cards come wrapped with purple envelopes. Frillybee 07950088739 Springboard Stand 764 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


054_PG_May 2015 23/04/2015 10:25 Page 1




GREETING CARDS, GIft WRAP & GIft BAGS © 2015 Spin Master PAW Productions Inc. All Rights Reserved.

01992 702 900 | | 'DQLOR&DOHQGDUV8.



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Innovations CALL OF THE WILD: A selection of animal and bird designs launching at PG Live.

Cute As Pie Really Wild’s latest range Adorable, can only be described as... well... simply adorable! Stunning imagery of the UK’s cutest young animals and popular pets, to melt the hearts of young and old, includes kittens, puppies, lambs, piglets, and many others and, as a special surprise, upon opening the card the actual sound of the precious little one plays! A perfect gift! Really Wild Cards 020 3174 1144 Mezzanine Stand 242

Spring Into Summer As part of its summer release The Art File is launching a range of 12 gorgeous die-cut animal cards at PG Live. These fun cards feature an array of devilishly clever die-cut and folded designs with the initial 12 including a delightful deer, a cat, a raucous rabbit and a fox. Also following the success of the new look Ink Press cards, a further 12 brightly coloured new designs will be on show at the exhibition. The Art File 0115 850 7490 Mezzanine Stand 200

Good Enough Tweet

That Loving Feline New publisher Stardust Greetings is launching with Moon and Midnight, a cute range starring two charming cat characters, covering everyday and loving occasions titles. There are 15 gloss finished cards in the range, sized 127mm x 177mm, wrapped and with red envelopes. Stardust Greetings 07935 234924 Springboard Stand 723

Making its debut at this year’s PG Live, new publisher rocklesnock designs is launching Chirrups. Made from original hand-cut paper collages, quirky and classic, there are 20 blank cards, sized 105mm x 150mm, printed on to luxury recycled board and sold wrapped with recycled envelopes. rocklesnock designs 07852 288552 Springboard Stand 800

A Catty Cacophony Cats’ Chorus is a bright, joyful range of 16 cat themed cards brought to you by Lorraine Stylianou. The range has some noticeably neohippy features including psychedelic flowers and Technicolor sunrises. There are seven blank cards and nine with a printed sentiment sold wrapped with a colour coordinated envelope. Lorraine Stylianou 07826 117938 Springboard Stand 660

The Wild Side Wild Style is an innovative humorous collection of 12 designs from Pocket Typewriter with real wow factor. With its die-cut oval front and double folded card frame, beautifully illustrated animals peer out showing off their individual wild styles, all capped off with a humorous sentiment! Pocket Typewriter 0115 931 2772 Mezzanine Stand 237 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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

Modern Masterpieces ArtPress is very proud to be showcasing a brand new collection of Royal Academy notecard wallets at PG Live to complement its popular existing range. There are brand new images from a variety of RA artists, including Sam Toft, Lisa Saunders and Jane Ormes, to create this exciting new addition to its portfolio. The range comprises 14 card wallets, containing six cards each of two designs, sold with complementing china white envelopes. ArtPress Publishing 020 7231 2923 Mezzanine Stand 306

Summer Brights In Wraptures Robert Farkas is a vibrant new collection of cards being launched by Wraptious. Working in watercolours and digital canvas, Robert’s gorgeously colourful and amusing designs can be seen across 24 cards, with stags in sunglasses, parrots with headphones or midnight owls. All the cards are sized 120mm x 170mm and come wrapped with a recycled kraft envelope. Wraptious 0161 738 1440 Mezzanine Stand 329

Created by established artist Summer Thornton, ‘A spell in the wild’ is a vibrant new watercolour range from Paper Rose. Inspired by wildlife and printed with super-bright colours, this range comprises eight 120mm x 168mm cards all beautifully framed with lime green envelopes. Paper Rose & The Art Group 0115 986 0115 Mezzanine Stand 325

Taste Of The Orient Award winning artist Daniel Mackie is expanding his DM Collection range by six designs to 45 cards. His beautiful Art Deco creatures all have their natural environments depicted within and sometimes around them - intricate jewel like artwork inspired by Japanese prints and vintage Chinese wallpaper. All the cards are sized 7” x 5” and sold wrapped with white envelopes. The DM Collection 07808 923371 Springboard Stand 786

Finger Painting

Nature And Nurture

New publisher and iPad artist Andrew Chambers of Two Scoops is debuting with two ranges of cards at PG Live. Andrew creates vibrant pictures using his finger as a paintbrush. His figures represent carefree living in the outdoor world where you leave all your worries and cares behind. The Live Life range has 24 designs, sized 150mm square, and are sold wrapped with recycled kraft envelopes. Two Scoops 07846 269176 Springboard Stand 162

Eloise Hall will be showcasing 16 new designs which are being added into her beautiful Nature range at PG Live. There are 10 new Christmas designs, as well as get well soon, anniversary and engagement cards, more birthday cards and some gorgeous new gift tags – bringing the range to 61, 110mm x 157mm cards, all perfectly reflecting Eloise’s delicate pared down style. Eloise Hall 07768 041675 Springboard Stand 802 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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Innovations A selection of wonderful new products launching at PG Live.

Just Popping Over Popshots is introducing a new range of six popup gift pouches for Christmas 2015. Using the ingenious paper engineering which has made pop-up cards so popular, these are an ideal way of presenting a small gift, money or a gift card and they also make a delightful keepsake. Four everyday gift pouches will also be available. Popshots Studios 01491 577330 Mezzanine Stand 244

Thinking In Ink The Inkie Peeps range is one of three new ranges to be launched at PG Live this year by Everythink In Ink. All created by Sally Lodge, there are 26 designs in this range covering birthday, anniversary, new baby(ies), new home and more. The cards are sized 150mm square and come wrapped with off-white envelopes. Everythink In Ink 01692 538637 Springboard Extra Stand 120

Sweet Treats

On Angel’s Wings New publisher TiffsArt is launching at PG Live with Ladybird Hugs, a range for unusual and commemorative occasions including the baby loss community. There are cards suitable for Mother’s Day, Angelversaries (commemorating the death of a child), sympathy cards that aren’t too sombre and a new baby card that acknowledges their angels, all hand-finished with touches of glitter from angels’ wings. TiffsArt 07961774752 Springboard Stand 784

As the name suggests a Sweeting Card is a combination of beautifully designed cards containing a range of delicious retro sweets. There are now Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Christmas ranges being added to its three everyday ranges bringing its portfolio of designs to 110 cards. Sweeting Card 020 3754 0963 Mezzanine Stand 337

Feminine Elegance One of Cherry Orchard’s stunning new ranges launching at PG Live is Floral Fancies, 14 160mm square female open birthday and blank designs, cleverly incorporating hand-painted florals with wildlife and feminine imagery. All the cards are finished with delicate foiling and supplied with matching coloured envelopes. Cherry Orchard 01684 295500 Mezzanine Stand 312

Sunny Afternoon New publisher Apple & Clover is launching four new ranges at PG Live, including the Garden Party range inspired by nature and the great British institution - afternoon tea. All Apple & Clover's cards are individually hand silk-screen printed - making each one unique! All the 16 cards in this range are sized 145mm square and sold wrapped with grey or neutral coloured envelopes. Apple & Clover Springboard Stand 686 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


060_PG_May 2015 21/04/2015 14:48 Page 1

New Occasion and Relation Designs from...

LING DESIGN A beautiful collection of 21 new Occasion and Relation designs

TO S E E O U R F U L L R A N G E P L E A S E C O N TA C T: L I N G D E S I G N L T D , 1 4 - 2 0 E L D O N W A Y, P A D D O C K W O O D , K E N T . T N 1 2 6 B E . U K . T E L : + 4 4 ( 0 ) 1 8 9 2 8 3 8 5 7 4 FA X : + 4 4 ( 0 ) 1 8 9 2 8 3 8 6 7 6 E - M A I L : e n q u i r i e s @ l i n g d e s i g n . c o. u k W E B S I T E : w w w. l i n g d e s i g n . c o. u k

Price Code GH-MM RRP £1.85-£3.15 AVAILABLE NOW

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Innovations CHILD’S EYE VIEW: A selection of children’s cards launching at PG Live.

Fun Fauna Lucy’s Animals is a new children’s age range from The Square Card Company. All designed by Kali Stileman, a different animal is featured on each of the 10 designs, ages 1-5 for boys and girls. These 140mm square cards are printed on textured, watercolour finished board and sold wrapped, with matching brightly coloured envelopes. The Square Card Company 01305 848899 Springboard Stand 760

An Age Of Wonder

With Bells On

Following on from the successful launch of the Lynn Tait Gallery’s Taylor Made range at Spring Fair, children’s ages 1-4 are being added to the range. Designed by Esme Taylor this fresh mixed media collaged range is printed on textured board and matched with coloured envelopes. The Lynn Tait Gallery 01702 480180 Mezzanine Stand 518

Inspired by a lifelong love and affection for animals, sisters Lizzie and Clare of The Little Bells have created The Trinkets, 60 extremely cute hand-drawn designs, including ages featuring their furry little heroes. Printed on textured board, these 150mm square cards are sold wrapped with envelopes. The Little Bells 07771 891895 Springboard Stand 740

My Number One One of 16 new ranges showcasing at PG Live from Deckled Edge is Dinky Dino a children’s range of 16 designs. There are fun-filled watercolour cards for ages 1-6 years, nine open children’s birthdays and one blank card in the range, all designed by Janna Cossettini. The cards are sized 150mm square and supplied wrapped with white envelopes. Deckled Edge 0800 771 0771 Springboard Stand 830

Festive Feast Henries finalist in 2014, Dandelion Stationery is launching its Christmas 2015 range at PG Live. The Dandelion Christmas range features over 25 new designs, including children’s and relations titles, taking the full Christmas range to over 80 cards, six postcards and a brand new range of Christmas gift tags. All the cards are sized 114mm x 162mm and sold wrapped with a silver envelope. Dandelion Stationery 01332 695359 Springboard Stand 702

Gift Of Gratitude Along with two new card ranges, Earlybird is also launching 12 new children’s Thank You packs at PG Live. Brightly coloured imagery and perfect for kids, they’ve been made in a special size to suit tiny little hands to write thank you. There are eight small (102mm x 78mm) cards in a pack sold with complementing envelopes. Earlybird Designs 01227765372 www.earlybirddesigns.couk Springboard Extra Stand 111 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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To both of you... Christmas time I love you more than mince pies...

Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas to my lovely husband

PG Live, Business Design Centre, Islington, 2 - 3 June. Stand 504

Autumn Fair, Birmingham NEC 6 - 9 September. Stand 4D29

t: 01652 680253 f: 01652 680404

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

Some Enchanted Evening

Concerted Effort The Concertina Card range from Coulson Macleod is expanding with seven new designs on show at PG Live. The range now comprises 14 designs covering seasonal and everyday, all in contemporary black and white. Sized only 87mm x 148mm in its envelope, these clever cards are over 80cm long when opened and sold wrapped with white envelopes. Coulson Macleod 01536 482771 Springboard Extra Stand 112

One of two Christmas ranges being launched by Blue Eyed Sun at PG Live is Enchantment, based on beautiful original machine stitched artworks by Jo Corner. Hand-finished with jewels, this range comprises 32 open, relations and friendship designs to complement its best selling everyday Enchantment cards. This 160mm square range comes wrapped with red envelopes. Blue Eyed Sun 01273 823003 Mezzanine Stand 524

Len’s Magic Celebrating 30 Years in card publishing, Leonard Smith is launching its Christmas 2015 range at PG Live this year with lovely winter berries, warm Christmas candles and classic nativity scenes. There are 30 beautiful cards on display at the show, all sold in packs of five cards of one design with envelopes. Leonard Smith Publishing 01376 562727 Mezzanine Stand 535

Mistletoe And Wine Introducing Mistletoe Magic! Paper Salad’s 2015 Christmas range - 40 sparkly designs all with red glitter wording. There are 40 designs in total, sized 170mm x 138mm, all printed on textured board and sporting a gorgeous bespoke red spotty patterned envelope. Paper Salad 0161 4270001 Mezzanine Stand 207

A Winter’s Tale PG Live sees Jessica Hogarth showcasing Snowy Days, her new quirky and unique illustrated Christmas range. Expect to see ice skaters enjoying the winter weather, cards laden with gifts and beautifully drawn buildings in snowy settings in Jessica’s unique colour palettes. There are six 120mm by 170mm designs in the range supplied with white envelopes. Jessica Hogarth Designs 077869 06648 Springboard Extra Stand 89

Wild About Christmas Award winning publisher Wrendale is launching 12 new animal designs for Christmas 2015. All the cards feature gold foiled lettering giving them a truly luxurious feel, are sized 150mm square, printed on high quality, textured board and supplied wrapped with kraft envelopes. Also being released are six new luxury Christmas boxes. Wrendale Designs 01652 680253 Mezzanine Stand 504 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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Innovations A selection of wonderful new products launching at PG Live.

Colour Burst An exciting new collection from Emily Burningham is Deco, six cards and four wrapping paper designs all in a bold range of bright colours. Inspired by the work of a number of modern artists, geometrics and abstracts create a strong visual impact. All the cards are blank, come in a new 5” x 7” format and the sheet giftwrap measures 500mm x 700mm. Emily Burningham 020 7431 0361 Mezzanine Stand 310

Man Shed What You Saying? is a grape new and eggciting range from The Little Shed. Full of fun and puns, this eggsquisitely illustrated, humorous collection comprises 50 designs, all sized 150mm square and is sold wrapped with recycled kraft envelopes. The Little Shed 07869 145646 Springboard Stand 806

Breakfast In Bed

Florists Dream Flower Power is a new range of 74 cards being launched by Mia Lapwood featuring Mia’s unique flower images. The cards are all blank, available in three card sizes, with the smallest 100mm x 70mm - ideal to accompany floral bouquets. All the cards come wrapped with white envelopes. Canvas prints are also available. Mia Lapwood Photography 07950 902791 Springboard Stand 756


Studio Seed launches Eat Cake for Breakfast - a charming and lively collection of 16 everyday cards. Featuring founder Tamsin Seed’s signature illustrative style and a fresh summer palette, the designs are infused with texture and charisma. All the cards are printed on luxury board, are sized 150mm square and supplied wrapped with brown ribbed envelopes. Studio Seed 07739 329 435 Springboard Stand 838

That Loving Feeling Ilona Drew of I Drew This is adding new designs to her bestselling Umami range at PG Live this June. Fresh, uplifting, full of colour and sweet images, there are now 24 designs in the range and all supplied wrapped with a crisp white envelope. I Drew This 07813 005707 Springboard Stand 704

Clash Of The Classics The Auto Classic range from Artwords brings together the worlds of art, design, classic motoring and cards with a range of 50 greeting cards and canvasses aimed squarely at petrol heads of all ages and genders. The designs are the result of over 60 years combined experience in the classic collectors motor car world and 25 years in commercial design. Artwords Creative Designs 023 80847738 Springboard Stand 681 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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

In With The Zing With its huge success since launching the range in the New Year, Megan Claire is extending her Bubblegum range, bringing it to 18 cards. Contemporary typography is paired with quirky phrases and a deliciously striking colour palette. The cards are all sized 145mm square and sold wrapped with white envelopes. Megan Claire 01536 560345 Springboard Stand 788

Birthday Bliss

Join The Blots Bookishly is launching its new Blot range at PG Live. This range combines a love of typography with a hint of bookishness and some beautiful watercolour blots. There are eight cards in the range featuring light-hearted everyday greetings, all sized A6 and sold wrapped with brown ribbed envelopes. Bookishly Springboard Stand 818

On The Coast(er)

Celebrating its 30th birthday at PG Live, Paperlink is keen to show it’s still got it going on, with a selection of innovative new ranges showcasing. Of these, Sunshine has an awesomely childlike, naïve feel with sugar palette colours and die-cuts revealing quirkily conversational heartfelt messages. There are 13 cards in this range, sized 176mm by 152mm, and sold with white envelopes. Paperlink 020 7582 8244 Mezzanine Stand 201

Put it THERE! is a capsule range of four general birthday cards from Hallmark, all innovative and fun with a special novelty detachable coaster. A card and gift combined, these designs are bright and bold with simple and striking textled looks. Hallmark 0800 902 0900 Mezzanine Stand 416

Relative Values Always Sparkle is launching a new and exciting range at PG Live called Defined for You. Printed entirely using metallic hot foil stamping techniques, this collection comprises 24 designs covering everyday, relations and teacher titles. All cards are blank inside and all the relation cards can be sent for any special occasion. The cards come wrapped with a metallic silver envelope. Always Sparkle 07940 726842 Springboard Stand 710

What Ho? Vintage Chap is a new male range from April Rose Illustration, where watercolour board softens the fun hand-painted graphic elements. There are 12 cards in the range, all sized 150mm square, and sold with brown kraft envelopes. Also being released is a new range of notebooks to complement its existing card ranges. April Rose Illustration 07957 738711 Springboard Stand 792 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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

Astral Projections Out Of This World is a quirky new range of 12 cards from Louise Wright. Full of inspirational quotes and covering a wide range of interstellar occasions, this range is printed on textured board, sized 170mm x 120mm, and supplied wrapped with lime green envelopes which really make them pop! Louise Wright Design 07969556081 Springboard Stand 799

It’s A Blast! Eight new occasion cards are being added into Be Bop, Rocket Press’ vintage retro range inspired by American diners of the 50s and 60s. The range is made up of 12 birthday cards and eight everyday occasion, all beautifully letterpressed in Northumberland onto high quality 147mm x 112mm board. Rocket Press 0115 9078420 Mezzanine Stand 320

Still Northern Dialectable is adding four new designs into its Balloons range, bringing the range to 12 balloon styled cards in this cheeky local dialect collection. Spanning a fabulous retro colour spectrum, there are new Yorkshire and general Northern captions. All the cards are sized 120mm x 170mm and wrapped with an ivory envelope. PG Live will also host the launch of a brand new Dialectable giftware range including mugs, coasters and key rings. Dialectable 07766 734885 Springboard Extra Stand 98

A Quick Word Word Up! is the debut collection from Your Type Studio, a completely new concept of concertina typographic greetings. The range of fifty cards has messages for every occasion, often in playful and witty ways. The cards are available in a spectrum of bright colours and are sold wrapped with coloured C6 envelopes. Your Type Studio 07786 390441 Springboard Stand 798

As Mutts Must On show at PG Live will be Dogberry, a witty, pencil-drawn dog who likes to raise a smile, from Desito. There are 12 designs covering birthday, relations and occasions, all with embossed silver foiling and retro style text in a distinctive colour palette. The cards are 150mm square and sold wrapped with a purple envelope. Dogberry is very keen that everyone comes to have a sniff around! Desito 01959 534852 Springboard Stand 824

To The Max The talented design team at Ling Design have been having loads of fun creating a fabulous new set of three ranges: Hullaballoo (pictured), Splendid and Rosealie - under the Max & Sid umbrella. There are 13 designs in each range all open birthday designs, some with a foil finish and some with flitter, all sized 145mm square and wrapped with the signature Max & Sid branding. Ling Design 01892 838574 The Village Green Stand 121 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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

On The Tiles Bexyboo is launching Scrabbley Bobs Christmas, its brand new Christmas range at PG Live, to complement its original best selling contemporary range Scrabbley Scribbles. There are 24 cards in the range, sized 150mm square, all hand-finished in its Cheshire studio, and sold wrapped with complementing envelopes. Bexy Boo 01565 830546 Springboard Stand 804

Bubbling Over Satin Sparkle is a brand new range of 16 birthday, occasions and Christmas designs launching at PG Live on Charlotte Elizabeth Designs’ stand. Fresh, bright colours are mixed with pastels enhancing the bold hand-drawn black outline images. Hand-finished with silver satin bows and sparkling diamantes, each card is 150mm square and comes wrapped with either a fuchsia pink or bright orange envelope. Charlotte Elisabeth Designs 07816 814 805 Springboard Stand 664

Bright And Breezy Magical, Georgia Breeze’s best selling range, is being extended by 16 brand new designs at PG Live. Featuring gorgeous new woodland folk, the designs are all original stitched paper collages, printed onto high quality textured board and hand-finished with a cute button or bit of sparkle. All the cards are supplied wrapped with a recycled kraft envelope. Georgia Breeze 07966 932059 Springboard Stand 787

Get Happy! Wendy Jones-Blackett is adding to its Happy! range at PG Live with new gorgeously foiled birthday designs. There are 20 new large 180mm square designs, covering open captions and relations, all very luxuriously printed and hot-foiled onto textured board, and then handfinished with a bow. Beautiful! Wendy Jones-Blackett 0113 2888468 Mezzanine Stand 235

The Human Touch The Great British Card Company’s The Paper Gallery brand is introducing 25 new handmade cards into its Everyday Special Occasions and Family Relations ranges for the first time. Beautifully presented on a linen embossed art board and featuring various finishes, including decoupage, jewels, ribbons, flitter, foil and emboss, the cards are a presented in a large 6” x 7” size and sold wrapped with laid grey envelopes. The Great British Card Company 01452 888999 Mezzanine Stand 529

Inspired Sparkles Creator of the spectacularly successful Doodle Pip range, Pippa Ellison has now designed Henna, a boutique range for Noel Tatt. There are 18 designs with birthday and blank captions all with raised Colourise special effects and handapplied gems. This range is sized 126mm square and supplied wrapped with extra heavyweight Graphite Grey envelopes. Noel Tatt Group 01227 811600 Mezzanine Stand 301



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“Why Santa Uses Reindeer”


Come and see us at PG Live 2nd - 3rd June 2015 Stand 441 We’ve got lots of lovely new cards to show you ... new Christmas cards from Erika Oller and a whole lot more feline fun from Vicky Mount We’ll also be showing at Harrogate Home & Gift 19th - 22nd July 2015 - DP5-69

“Say it with Fish”

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Innovations A selection of wonderful new products launching at PG Live.

Fancy Foiling A beautiful new cold-foiled range is being launched by Tracks at PG Live. Sparkle comprises 12 designs - 11 birthday and one anniversary all printed on textured board and featuring gorgeous coloured flitters and embossed cold foil. The range is presented in its popular 159mm square size and sold wrapped with coordinating envelopes. Tracks Publishing 01480 450599 Mezzanine Stand 401

A New Leaf

A Cure For All Ills

Plant Extracts is one of the debut ranges being launched at PG Live by new publisher 1790 Cards. Designer Belinda Morris is inspired by her own much-loved garden and the unusual plants she spots on her travels. The initial 12 designs focus on leaf shape and colour to create interesting repeat patterns. All the cards are sized 150mm square and sold wrapped with coloured envelopes. 1790 Cards 01904 448130 Springboard Stand 675

One of the fun and original card ranges launching at PG Live by Bonnie Blackbird is Remedies, nine blank cards perfect for a multitude of occasions. Designed using charming colour palettes of muted tones and contrasting rich earthy hue, each of the nine 150mm square designs features a different illustrated ‘cure’ and is supplied with a white envelope. Bonnie Blackbird 07799 280584 Springboard Extra Stand 95

Pastel Delights Marina b will be launching Pretty Lilly, a range of 75 cards at PG Live. With lovely flittering to add that extra sparkle, this range is sized 150mm square and sold wrapped with white luxury envelopes. Also on show will be a set of new and unique Christmas designs as well as all of the established well-loved favourites. Marina b 01858 434462 Springboard Stand 661

Join The Dots Mr Greetings, the publishers that brought you the Wordme range, have launched Scribbleme, a brand new range of 28 fun and quirky dot-todot cards covering numerous occasions. The surprise factor is the philosophy of this range, where the receiver has to join the dots to unveil the humorous hidden message – what could it be? All the cards are sized 150mm square and sold wrapped with brown ribbed envelopes. Mr Greetings 07879 44 77 22 Springboard Stand 814

From A To B Red Berry Hill is launching its very first Christmas range at PG Live. Deliveries comprises 12 general and eight relations Christmas cards, digitally illustrated with different ways of transporting presents: from a bike, a car, a camper van to a sled, a wheelbarrow and a skateboard. The cards are all sized 150mm square, blank inside, finished with flitter and supplied wrapped with a red envelope. Red Berry Hill 07815 811158 Springboard Stand 700 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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Cards of Culture

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

Ho Ho Ho! Twice-nominated Henries humourist Frankie Whistle is launching its first ever Christmas range at PG Live this year. Like Frankie himself, it's only small, but its bark is bigger than its bite! With nine 5” x 7" seasonal sizzlers and a load of other new stuff too, it's like Christmas has come early. Frankie Whistle 07816 286885 Springboard Extra Stand 109

Vintage Drollery Victorianimals is a brand new range of 20 cards from Tillovision combining beautiful, recoloured Victorian illustrations with fun, sendable captions and plenty of bad puns. If it ain't punny, it ain't funny! The cards are sized 127mm x 178mm and are supplied wrapped with ribbed brown envelopes. Tillovision 07934 430029 Springboard Extra Stand 102

Sauce On The Side? You’d expect classic humour from Hanson White (UKG), and there’s plenty of that in its latest 30 card range Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. But wait… there’s something else…there’s John Lemon…there’s a friendly alpaca…there’s a miserable old bird called Agnes… You’ll be left asking… Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, has happened to Hanson White?! UK Greetings 01924 46520 Mezzanine Stand 240

A Good Sport Stickbots Sports is a new range of simple but wickedly funny sports based sitcom jokes by seasoned designer Adam Randall for Showcase Greetings. Using strong, bold colours and designs, Stickbots play out both contemporary and traditional jokes in deadpan style. There are 18 cards in the range, sized 150mm square and supplied wrapped with white envelopes. Showcase Greetings 01394 271668 Mezzanine Stand 222

Ribbed Ticklers The Argyle Sweater is a wonderfully funny collection of cartoons where one should expect the unexpected. The range features anything from balloon dogs to internet surfing prawns, topped off with the occasional evil scientist. Fresh, irreverent and smart, this magnificent range of 24 cards has something for everyone. The cards are 150mm square and come individually wrapped with a premium quality envelope. Redback Cards 01803 712793 Mezzanine Stand 421

SeaZIN’s Greetings! Launching at PG Live, PoiZIN Pen has expanded to include over a dozen seaZINal cards all designed by Zin Matthews, including Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day. Holding true to its humorous standards, the designs are ‘sassy but classy’! All the cards are sized 127mm x 177mm, printed on silk-finished board and sold wrapped with a scarlet envelope. PoiZIN Pen 0789401 9781 Springboard Stand 780 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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The new V&A Gifting range: Come and see the whole collection at PG Live, stand 218

W We’ve e’ve been producing bags of high clarity and high quality for over 30 years.

Gift Boxes: 4 Designs in 4 sizes

Gift Bags: 4 Designs in 3 sizes

Matching Tissue Paper: 4 Designs Tel: 01373 462165 Email:

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

Comical Capers Murray, by the sharp humorist Leslie Murray, is the new illustrative humour line from Pigment. Sassy, sharp, anarchic and with powerful spot UV colour art popping out of brilliant white backgrounds - it's a whole new angle from the Pigment team. The initial collection comprises 18 open designs sized 120mm x 170mm. Pigment Productions 01423 520098 Mezzanine Stand 313

First Dibbs Making its first trade show appearance at PG Live is Scouts Heritage, a new humour range from Peartree Heybridge featuring the Scouts famous Be Prepared motto and drawings and photos from The Scout Association archive. There are 36 5” x 7” cards in the range, all with tongue in cheek humour designed to appeal to the thousands of active and former Scouts, their friends and families. Peartree Heybridge 01423 876311 Mezzanine Stand 407

Out Of The Bag

Wit And Wisdom

Cruel To Be Kind Tackycardia is proud to introduce you to its brand new card range Cards Of Love Hate And Madness! Made by eight different emerging artists from all over the world, each with his or her own style and vision - these cards can be sweet, artsy, childish, outrageous, and sometimes hilariously cruel! There are 29 designs, sized 115mm x 170mm and sold wrapped with white envelopes. Tackycardia 07553185322 Springboard Stand 840

The humour of quirky German cartoonist Peter Gaymann is perfectly encapsulated in Cath Tate Cards new range, Cats and Chickens. Famous for his chicken characters and other talking animals, Gaymann has had over 70 books of his cartoons published as well as several successful card ranges on the continent. Cats and Chickens are concerned with everyday ongoing issues of fitness, weight watching, drinking (or not) and life in general! Cath Tate Cards 020 8671 2166 Mezzanine Stand 521

Corrina Rothwell's wryly and witty designs are being given a makeover for their relaunch at PG Live. The most successful designs from her three current line-drawn ranges have been consolidated into one range and given an injection of glorious, glowing colour! There are 30 designs, sized 150mm square, and sold with brown kraft envelopes. Corrina will also be launching a series of new designs made with men in mind! Corrina Rothwell Art & Illustration 07837 093474 Springboard Stand 654

The Road To Happiness Greetings Earthlings is extending its popular Signs of Life range from 22 to 40 cards with its fun take on the nation’s signposts. All the cards are sized 150mm square and sold wrapped with cream envelopes. Greetings Earthlings 07774 920622 Springboard Stand 822 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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“Very rarely do we see such a positive customer reaction and even more unusual to have customers coming back in asking for more within a few days.” Miles, House of Cards



New for 2015

Handmade in Cheshire with a sprinkle of

Bijou Everyday

Lovely new Greeting Cards and Scrabbley Pictures to be launched at PG Live 2015

Bijou Christmas

Come and see us for our 2nd Year on

Stand 804 Springboard Please contact me or the ‘Boo’ Girls to find out more: T: 01565 830 546 E:

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

Advent Calendars



Visit us at PG Live 2015 Stand 219 T 01206 396209 E

(e) (t) 01223 207 080 (f) 01536 401 031

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Springboard Focus: PG Live 2015


Grounding Boarding the PG Live colourful carousel this June will be a wonderful spectacle of exhibitors in the Springboard section, each showcasing their innovative and fresh greeting card wares. PG gathers a jamboree of some of the greeting card publishing bright lights ‘waltzer’ing in the Springboard section at PG Live 2015. Laura Mirjami, founder and designer of Mirjami Design: Life Before Cards: “In brief I’ve gone from art restoration to antique reupholstering to collectors teddy bear making to soft sculpturing, while all along writing little stories where little animal characters have taken centre stage.” A Toe In The Water: “I’ve always dreamt of putting my animal characters onto paper, so to speak, and although I am writing a book and stories about them I thought that having them on cards would be a fantastic way of trying to capture their characters. And as the little animals are really to make people smile, the card industry would suit them so well! For me it is important to create work that delights others and nothing makes me happier than when I see my work making people smile! And what a better industry than the greeting card industry to get involved with! I am so glad I started this journey as so far every single person I’ve met in the card industry has been simply so nice that I really want to carry on being involved!” Hopes For PG Live: “I’m really looking forward to having all my cards and my little characters with me to show what we are all about, and I really hope that buyers who will hopefully come by will see what I and my existing customers see, which is the delightful character of my animals and how they truly can carry positive or encouraging messages in this world!” Springboard Stand 656 Top: Bright and talented card publishers will be exhibiting for the first time in the Springboard area at the PG Live trade fair. Above left: Laura Mirjami of Mirjami Design. Left: Mirjami Design’s animal characters bring a smile.

Simone and Sheleen Estridge, directors of Curious Pencil Cards: Life Before Cards: “I'm Sheleen, the Senior Story Doodler of Curious Pencil Cards. Before creating a greeting cards business with my sister Simone I was working full-time as a design and technology teacher in secondary schools. I am also a musician and artist with a degree in furniture design. I'm Simone, the Senior Story Writer of the company. Previous to this I worked full-time as a mortgage advisor. I have however, always been a lover of words. I am a published and performance poet with a degree in English with creative writing.” A Toe In The Water: “Working 9–5 wasn't for us and we wanted to set up our own creative business. Sheleen is a lover of art, while I'm a lover of words, and together we felt this was the perfect way to combine our passions. Having gone to the New Designers show together, we were inspired to develop our ideas and create something authentic and fresh. Just over a year later here we are and we love what we do.” Hopes For PG Live: “This is a huge opportunity for us! Our main objective is to be noticed by prestigious retailers (large and small), while we hope PG Live gives us a platform to be seen as an upcoming creative brand.” Springboard Stand 758 Above left: Sisters Simone and Sheleen Estridge of Curious Pencil Cards. Above right: A beautiful Curious Pencil Cards design.



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Springboard Focus: PG Live 2015

Louis Parker and Dominique Miranda, directors of Lanther Black: Life Before Cards: “We made films. We still make films. We’re just taking a bit of a break for the winter. We don’t like being outside when it’s cold. It was the first sunny day after a week of rain in the July of 2012. We turned up at our local forest armed with a camera, a tripod, homemade rails and a little red dress. We proceeded to choreograph, direct, film and star in a short film based on the story of Little Red Riding Hood. It took us three days in the blistering heat (and mud) stopping only for ham sandwiches and HulaHoops. We spent the next three days editing and soon our first film was born. We named it Red Riding. People liked it, they gave us some awards, so we kept doing it. We call it Lanther Films.” A Toe In The Water: “Our mother (and mother-in-law, we’re not siblings - that would be weird) is the wonderful Berni Parker. She has been in the industry for quite some time now and she encouraged us to give it a go. We Above left: Lanther Black’s Louis think she wants to build a giant family empire to Parker and Dominique Miranda. take over the greeting card industry and then the Above: A red-breasted robber on a world, and she’s using us as part of her evil plan! We Lanther Black card. designed a few card ranges, squeezed our parents of all the advice and information they could give us, and here we are. We’re taking ourselves more seriously these days, so we've called it Lanther Black.” Hopes For PG Live: “We’re very much looking forward to the free lunch. Our stand is really near the lunch hall, so we’ll be first in the queue. A few card orders would be nice too. We felt like PG Live would be a good place for our first show and we’d be well looked after.” Springboard Stand 676

Heather Alstead, founder and designer for Heather Alstead Designs: Life Before Cards: “I started my company straight out of university; I studied product design at York St John, then with its help I started my business.” A Toe In The Water: “I initially started with home and giftwares, I’m very new to the world of cards. Since starting my card collection it has opened up a whole new world - cards have been fantastic for me, I wish I’d started designing them sooner! Cards are a great product to work on, (it’s actually my new favourite product) it allows me to design something new every month, which is my favourite part of the job.” Hopes For PG Live: “I’ve exhibited at several trade shows, but this is my first show that will focus on my cards. I have developed a portfolio of cards over the past year and I think it is the right time to exhibit them at PG Live. I’m excited to see what buyers think and hopefully gain lots of new shops. I’m also aiming to add giftwrap, which I'm hoping to launch at PG Live... any excuse to do some new designs!” Springboard Stand 674 Above left: Heather Alstead. Left: Calling all the heroes, a Heather Alstead Designs card.

Jeannett Stevenson, director for Pippi & Me: Life Before Cards: “I have always had a strong creative streak and a love of things cute and small, as well as photography. So when my littlest boy started school I wanted to sell my images. I went into a couple of local shops to see if they would stock them if they were cards... and they said yes! So it went from there.” A Toe In The Water: “I then commissioned a friend, Sarah Strachan, a doll/puppet maker to create our unique Little Creatures. I create simple photographic scenes with the creatures as the stars. The response to these cards have been fantastic. They are now my main range and I now have over 60 designs. Initially I thought they would be cards for children, but it was immediately evident that adults loved them too. ” Hopes For PG Live: “I am looking forward to meeting the shop owners themselves, getting feedback and maybe finding another agent or two. I am hoping that PG Live 2015 will literally be a springboard into the next stage of this exciting journey.” Springboard Stand 810 Above: Jeannett Stevenson of Pippi & Me and friend. Right: A Little Creatures design from Pippi & Me.

Lizzie Chancellor, founder and designer for Lizzie Chancellor: Life Before Cards: “Before entering the greeting card market I worked in an artist’s studio for five years helping him run the studio and produce and exhibit his artworks. Working in the studio was very eye-opening and I was lucky enough to see the artist create works from an idea to the finished piece. It was very inspiring and made me want to get out there and do it on my own!” A Toe In The Water: “I decided to go into designing cards after I designed my wedding invites and got so much enjoyment out of it. I then began to design cards and thought I could try and sell some, so I did a market stall and people actually bought them! It went from there, and now I'm about to do my first trade show which is very exciting but also quite scary!” Hopes For PG Live: “I hope to gain stockists!... but also advice and experience. I'm looking forward to speaking to all the other exhibitors and finding out if there's space for me in the ever expanding greeting card market. It would be amazing to come away with an agent, but most of all I'm looking forward to the experience.” Springboard Stand 736 Above: Lizzie Chancellor. Above right: A cheeky little cocktail from Lizzie Chancellor. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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Springboard Focus: PG Live 2015

Peter and Alexandra Booth, directors for TigerMill Publishing: Life Before Cards: “We come from a graphic design and photography background and collectively have more than 40 years of experience, mainly consumer magazines but also advertising and marketing. More recently we have been shooting and supplying images to the stock photography market and have over 50,000 image licences. Our stock images have been in books, magazine covers, advertisements, websites and yes… greeting cards!” A Toe In The Water: “Designing for greeting cards is a natural progression of our experiences. We create photographic cards that communicate a concept, emotion or story. We try to create things that are inventive and new. So far, it's been more time consuming than we expected - ie making props, sets etc. Also photographing pets obviously has its challenges but can be very rewarding - occasionally a dog can show their excitement by peeing on your tripod leg (but we don't take it personally). But on a more serious note, we will eventually have built a large photographic collection of original pet character imagery.” Hopes For PG Live: “For a newbie like TigerMill Publishing we hope to meet buyers that can see our potential both now and in the future. It's also going to be a great opportunity to meet other people in the industry.” Springboard Stand 716 Above: TigerMill Publishing’s Peter and Alexandra Booth. Left: Working with animals has its challenges, but they are worth it – a card from TigerMill Publishing.

Rich Wilson, creative director, and Susana Fernandes, director, for Your Type Studio: Life Before Cards: (RW): “I've been a graphic designer working at some of London's top agencies for some of world's biggest brands.” (SF): “For the last 12 years I've been a wholesale sales manager in the fashion industry, most recently with Diesel, dealing with key accounts such as Selfridges, Harrods and Harvey Nichols.” A Toe In The Water: (RW): “Wherever I’ve worked it has generally fallen to me to design any leaving cards, birthday cards etc, and it’s something I’ve always enjoyed doing. Although increasingly there’s some great stuff out there, I’ve often thought that there’s a gap in the market for well-designed cards.” (SF): “Our experience of the industry has been really positive. As newcomers we keep hearing what a friendly business this is to be in and so far that’s been very much the case.” Hopes For PG Live: “We are really excited to be launching our first range at PG Live and forging partnerships with UK and international buyers.” Springboard Stand 798 Above: Your Type Studio’s Rich Wilson and Susana Fernandes. Left: Pretty in pink, a ‘Girl’ card from Your Type Studio.

Victoria Armstrong, director for Victoria Armstrong Fine Art: Life Before Cards: “I’ve always been in the creative sector. In my late twenties I set up an event management company which grew to become a successful international business. I sold the company in 2007 and decided to follow two of my passions – art and dogs. I opened the UK’s first art gallery dedicated to the dog in art. It’s been a labour of love, an absolute joy.” A Toe In The Water: “I needed a card range of high quality that would sit well in an art gallery environment and, at the same time, I had an embarrassment of riches in the artwork being produced by our portfolio artists. Our range of dog-themed art cards was born - it was a no-brainer really. Initially exclusive to the gallery, it soon became apparent that the card range had real legs and was running away with us. Opening up the collection to the trade was a big and scary step for us but, since doing so, our niche publishing house has Top: Victoria Armstrong. Above: Victoria Armstrong Fine Art’s range gone from strength to strength.” Hopes For PG Live: “Many things! Our of dog-themed art cards has ‘real legs’. main hope, of course, is to have our new collection well received and gain lots of new customers. We also hope to meet potential distributors to help develop our export market. We work alone most of the time so this is a great opportunity to get to know others in the industry - to learn from them and, of course, to have some fun along the way.” Springboard Stand 732

Noah Pearlman, master scribbler for Noah’s Ark Ink: Life Before Cards: “My life before greeting cards was spent working in high street retail management with a break to open my own comic store just off Carnaby Street, London, and then into the world of commercial and residential property in London and Southern Spain. However, my love for art and design goes back much further; suppressed while I went into ‘proper jobs’, my passion never wavered, manifesting itself in photography, art and design shows and the opportunity to visit international design-led and interior trade fairs with Amanda, my ‘not so silent’ partner (and wife), who was a buyer.” A Toe In The Water: “On a wet weekend in the summer of 2014 I drew a little bird, randomly called it the ‘Long Tail Quiff’ and Noah’s Ark Ink was born!” Hopes For PG Live: “PG Live offers the only opportunity to show at a trade fair devoted to the greeting cards industry providing exposure to dedicated buyers and networking with seasoned professionals as well as other newbies in the trade like me. Not forgetting to have lots of fun!” Springboard Extra Stand 115 Above: Noah Pearlman of Noah’s Ark Ink at age 5. Right: ‘Digging’ the Springboard Extra area at PG Live, Noah’s Ark Ink’s designs. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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



Jeremy Corner, owner of greeting card publisher Blue Eyed Sun, discusses how to create best selling greeting cards.

How To Start Thinking Like A Card Designer

I recently spoke to the Brighton Illustrators Group about the greeting card industry. Talented designer, Ilona Drew from I Drew This, invited me along to join her and James Emerson from cuttingedge card publishers, 1973, as we dissected what went into creating best selling greeting cards. If you are going to design cars for a living, you’d better be sure to drive them first. It’s the same with cards, so it’s worth buying and sending cards as well as considering the following question before you begin:

What Is A Greeting Card? Despite all of our new, widely adopted forms of communications, like social media and emails, there is still a strong demand for greeting cards. Enough to see a constant influx of talented new publishers flowing into the industry, one in six retailers stocking cards and UK consumers spending more on cards than tea and coffee combined each year. How is it that a thick piece of paper folded in half can still be so important to so many? I’ve often thought of cards as bridges between people. In choosing or designing our cards we are celebrating these bridges and choosing personal expressions that give them form. Relationships and strong connections between people are as important today as they were when Henry Cole commissioned the first ever commercial Christmas cards in 1843. In an age where it is so easy to dash off a text, Facebook message or tweet, it is the cards people receive on special occasions (and the people that send them) that recipients are most likely to remember because they take more time, effort and consideration. Those who want to be closer to their customers would do well to remember this. Studies have also shown us that our brains elicit greater feelings of happiness

Above: Organised by Ilona Drew of I Drew This, local greeting card publishers were recently invited to talk to the Brighton Illustrators Group (BIG). Right: Colours and fonts are important when considering who or what occasion the card is for. A My Mischief children's design from card publisher I Drew This.

towards greeting cards received than digital messages. Greeting cards are portable. They can be hung up in one’s home or gathered (like a group of friends) on your mantelpiece. They are tactile and sensory. Perhaps it’s because they are made from a natural, sustainable product like paper that we enjoy the feeling of them in our hands. There’s also something special about the journey they make through the post and their arrival through our letterboxes that still seems quite magical.

At Blue Eyed Sun we always like to design with a person in mind that we’d like to send each card to. It’s a good place to start. If you are a designer looking to license your work it’s worth having a publisher in mind too. You’ll still want to cultivate your own style that would sit together with that publisher’s ranges. Most card retailers display ‘stories’ of products in their shops, so you need to think in terms of ranges or of designs that work well together. You also want to make it easy for retailers to buy from you, so make sure that they can reach a carriage paid order (or minimum order) without difficulty by offering plenty of choice. Create enough designs to put together a £100 - £150 order worth of cards (assuming a retailer will only order two thirds or less of what you offer them). Consider the text you are using on your cards. Is the font right for the message or sentiment you are conveying? If it isn’t, it probably won’t sell as well. Similarly, colour choices can affect the sales of a card. For example, certain yellows are best avoided on Get Well Soon cards as they can look sickly, which gets in the way of what the card is trying to do (help one to feel better). It’s also worth taking time over the phrases used for the captions you cover. ‘To my Lovely Husband’ is slightly too feminine for a husband card, whereas ‘To my Wonderful Husband’ tends to perform better. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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JEREMY ’S JOURNA L 120mm x 170mm (or similar) and having the flexibility to change the text to other languages. Design in portrait style rather than landscape as there are more pockets in shops that can cater to this. Square formats still sell abroad, so it doesn’t all have to be rectangular. I recommend starting from the ‘off the shelf’ sizes of envelopes and working backwards to the card sizings using specialist printers. This will save on production costs and help with cashflow.

How To Approach The Market

Make sure you think about the costs of production when designing cards. It’s always lovely to use the best board you can find, but not always practical for making a profit. Unusual sizes of envelopes and cards also push the cost price up. A balance between quality and saleability is needed. Lastly, it’s always worth having the next range in mind, as it takes the pressure off having to come up with new ideas to a deadline, so keep thinking about new ranges throughout the year.

What Makes A Good Seller? In my opinion good selling cards are usually best designed to work as a card. Sorry if this sounds like I’m stating the proverbial obvious, but it is surprising the number of new publishers and designers who forget this. Even if there is no text, the sentiment of the design is key. You have to be able to send it, so ask yourself, “who would I send this to?” Try it out on every design and see how it feels. If you can’t think of someone to send it to then it probably won’t sell. As my wife used to own a shop herself, she always asks herself, “would this sell in my shop?” which is another useful question that you can test your designs with. It was interesting hearing James Emerson from card publisher 1973 on this subject as the

Above: Jarrolds department store in Norwich clearly marks the areas where its customers can easy find the type of card they're after. Right: Humour cards are a great way of connecting with people - a cute and quirky Haiku design from Paperlink. Below: Card Publisher 1973 has its eye on the ball when it comes to topical words and designled graphics.

company is well regarded for pushing the boundaries of experimentation with greeting cards. In a similar example, its Sony Music licence, using lyrics from famous songs, mostly didn’t work because the cards were difficult to send. Interestingly, the best seller in that range was the Wild Thing card which had the lyric ‘I love You’ at the bottom - a sentiment that is always strong on cards because there is a reason to send it. Humour is also a great way of connecting and there is certainly room for more designs in this area of the card market. Good new humour companies often perform well, although our British humour doesn’t always travel abroad. If a card sparks joy when you hold it in your hand, humorous or not, then it is likely to sell well. Hold your finished cards in your hand and see how they feel. Give them to others and watch their reactions. If you are designing a card you want to sell well abroad I recommend keeping the card size to

The card market is a constantly on the lookout for new product that is different and will sell well. This doesn’t mean reinventing the wheel. Your range just needs to be different from what’s currently out there. You have to decide if you are going to self publish or license your work to a publisher. If you opt for the latter, don’t just blanket approach publishers. Do your research and target those that your work would sit well with or who are strong in the niche your cards fit into. Sharon Little at the GCA is very knowledgeable on card publishers and can point you in the right direction if you get stuck on who to approach. Make collections or stories (ie ranges) and have enough designs in them. Try to minimise repetition of artwork in your ranges. Make sure that there is enough variety within them. Open birthdays are the most popular general occasion and blank cards that can be sent at any time also sell well. If you can, try and cover the key card sending occasions like weddings, new babies, anniversaries and key relations like husbands and wives. If you are considering self publishing or would like to find out more about the card industry and getting started I recommend you contact Trudi on about The Ladder Club seminar for new publishers in the autumn and try and attend. They are excellent and will save you loads of time, money and stress. For further insights into card publishing and more business tips read Jeremy's blog at PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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Debbie Wigglesworth’s Paper Journeys

Young or old we all need to be inspired, and that is what drives us on, makes us feel good about ourselves and helps us to achieve great things. And it is wonderful that paper and board plays such a strong role in this inspiration process, starting with creative play as children but in so many cases going on to shape careers.

Caine And Able

Above: Caine with his cardboard arcade that was the inspiration for the Global Cardboard Challenge. Below left: A scene from some Cardboard Challengers in Baden, Germany last year.

Want to know how an empty cardboard box became a universe of possibilities? then watch Caine’s Arcade, a short film on YouTube about how a nine year old boy's handmade cardboard amusement arcade located in his dad’s car parts store has now inspired a whole creative movement. Nirvan Mullick, an amateur filmmaker, went into Caine’s dad’s store to buy a door handle but was so touched by Caine’s creative diligence that arranged for a 'flash mob' to visit and play in the child's cardboard arcade. It's hard not to shed a tear watching the child's response when he arrives to see people queuing to play. The movie went viral and a movement was launched called The Imagination Foundation to ‘Find Foster and Fund’ child creativity and entrepreneurship in more children like Caine. It also launched the Global Cardboard Challenge - and to date over 100,000 children in 50 countries have participated, all resulting in amazing cardboard creations. The Global Cardboard Challenge gives children the opportunity to collaborate, learn and empowers them to build the things they imagine - all simply through creative play - and using cardboard! This September 2015 the 4th annual challenge will take place, which will see children of all ages all over the world being invited to build anything they can dream up using cardboard, recycled materials and their imagination. The challenge culminates in a Global Day of Play on October 10, bringing together communities and children everywhere who will come together to play! The Imagination Foundation has a goal to engage a million children in creative play through the Global Cardboard Challenge - if any material can do it - cardboard can!

Nude Not Naked Last month a dream came together for three artists (two of whom create paper sculptures) and close friends, to stage an exhibition of their work in New York - and it was thanks to other people having a belief in them and their obvious talent. Andy Singleton, Richard Sweeney and Richard Wheater (all based in Wakefield, Yorkshire) recently staged a successful Kickstarter campaign bid, securing themselves £6,600 from 90 backers which enabled them to realise their collective dream of curating and creating new work for their Nude not Naked exhibition in New York. Andy Singleton and Richard Sweeney create paper sculptures and installations, while Richard Wheater works with neon. Andy's work responds to the natural and man made world through intricate papercutting, with a client list which now includes Liberty's, the V&A and the TATE. Richard Sweeney’s work is inspired by architecture and organic structure, and counts Selfridges and the Barbican as among his clients. While on their way to install their new pieces at Hawkeye Crates Gallery in Brooklyn NY, sounding both excited and proud, Andy and his peers are all incredibly grateful for the opportunity. Above: Andy Singleton, paper-cutting artist lining up the second layer of his Vessel print which was shown at the Nude not Naked exhibition. Left: A sculpture created by Richard Sweeney of wet folded watercolour paper.

Sharing The Love It's always such a treat to work with universities and connect with students. I have had the good fortune to spend a lot of my time working with Staffordshire University, though I have also travelled to many design courses throughout the UK. Recently I made a presentation about my 'Paper Journey' to final year degree students at Glasgow School of Art. I was part of their Professional Working Day, which saw several leading professionals from various disciplines give a series of lectures and workshops on one specific day. My Paper Journey presentation gives design students the opportunity to experience many different substrates and introduce them to some beautiful samples and print techniques on speciality papers. My objective is always the same - that students leave the presentation studio more in love with paper than when they entered the room and of course with a creative thirst to know more. For many it hits the spot and as a result their worlds are opened up to a whole new creative potential and for some it becomes a life long obsession with paper. Left: Debbie Wigglesworth taking students at Glasgow School of Art on a ‘paper journey’.

If you are interested in learning more about The Global Cardboard Challenge or any of the features in Paper Journey contact Debbie Wigglesworth email or call Debbie on 07718619521. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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Industry Issue

A Chain Reaction Emotions ran high in the run up to this year’s Valentine’s Day, but it was not just the public’s ardor that caused hearts to beat faster than usual. As part of its campaign to pressurise the Government into ensuring that certain loopholes are tightened up on the environmental front, the charity WWF (The World Wide Fund for Nature) nabbed Cupid’s bow and fired an arrow into the heart of the greeting card trade, but it was not sent with love. PG links into the ‘chain of custody’ and considers why it’s in the industry’s interest to pre-empt attracting any further criticism on this environmental score. The UK greeting card industry has been able to hold its head up on the environmental front for years, but as it has recently come to light, there are still improvements to be made to safeguard against any negative publicity, as well as to prepare for what may become law anyway in a few years time. Greeting cards are a ‘feelgood product’, in that there is no doubt. In a nutshell, cards are produced from non-toxic material (paper) that is easily recyclable - and they come with minimal packaging. The established specialist printers that are used by the vast majority of greeting card publishers have environmental credentials coming out of their ears, covering the inks, any chemicals used and their disposal of materials. And even arguments voiced about cards being a ‘waste of paper’ is easily countered on paper usage alone (ignoring their value on the sentiment front) by pointing out that if all the greeting cards an average person sent and received in a year it

An Essence Of Pigment As a tree surgeon before coming into the card industry, Stephen Baker, sales director of Pigment, has environmental concerns close to his heart: "We added the FSC logo to the backs of our cards some time ago on the basis that it gave proof to the end consumer, as well as our customers, that we have a genuine long-term commitment to building a business that localises our supply chain as much as is possible. Currently, all of our production is UK based, the vast majority within Yorkshire. We see sustainable FSC sourcing as a natural extension of that outlook. It makes absolute sense for our industry to tighten up on its procurement policies, way ahead of any future legislation, as this provides protection against any criticism of this nature and diffuses any reason for someone to not send a card on environmental reasons."

would require less paper than is used to make a single copy of The Sunday Times. The percentage of board used to make greeting cards and their envelopes which is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), PEFC (Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification) or an equivalent scheme, accredited, guaranteeing its chain of custody back to source that it was from a fully sustainable forest, has risen up exponentially over the last decade in line with availability, and multiple retailer and publisher stipulation.

Top: A sustainable forest. Above left: The wooden heart that WWF used in its recent Valentine's press release. Above right: Pigment is up to speed with its supply chain and green credentials. Bottom left: FSC is a recognised consumer brand.

Yet, for all this, WWF caught the industry somewhat on the back foot in February when it issued a press release and sent out an eShot to all its supporters with the attention grabbing headline: ‘Is your Valentine’s card made of tropical forest?’ which used some scant evidence to suggest that ‘greeting cards legally sold in

Right From The Off Brand new card publishing company, Desito, will make its debut at PG Live next month. Toni Baxter, its sales director, explains why it is leaving no doubt as to the company’s environmental credentials: “Using FSC board and having the logo featured on the back of our cards were decisions we made right from the beginning of setting the company up. In fact, it wasn't up for discussion, but a given. Where we can, we want to source and create product for our business responsibly. Moreover, we expect retailers to ask us about our sourcing as it is going to become more expected from consumers. “We're proud to have the logo on the back of our cards and we don't feel it compromises the design as the reassurance and clarity it offers far out way any aesthetic loss.” Above: Taking green issues seriously a Modello card from Desito. Right: The back of Desito's cards show the FSC logo.



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Industry Issue

Collective Action the UK could be contributing to forest destruction in tropical countries’. Forming part of its campaign to bring greeting cards (among other products) in line with the EU Timber regulations (see box below), the release drew on the findings that traces of what were ‘most likely’ to be from tropical forests had been found in a couple of greeting cards sold by leading greeting card retailers Clintons and Card Factory. The WWF evidence was weak, basing it on a tiny percentage of timber from questionable origin in two cards, and even then WWF could not say for sure that this percentage was definitely from tropical forests rather than fully sustainable managed sources. That not withstanding, when a senior person from what is a widely recognised and credible charity as WWF comes out with statements such as Beatrix Richards, head of corporate stewardship for timber at WWF did - “These results suggest that the true cost of our Valentine’s cards could be far greater than the price on the wrapping. They may be contributing to the further loss of some of the most valuable forests in the world.” - it makes you wince. Thankfully for the industry there was not a great take up in the media on the story, but what it did do, was remind all those in the industry that there are improvements to be made, not just in tightening up on procurement procedures to be able to categorically show a chain of custody right back to source, but communicating this to the consumer through being able to feature a FSC logo on the backs of many more cards. This would reassure the end consumer, as well as retail stockists, that the product they are buying is not only good for the soul, but is not damaging the earth. Good for the world, good for the world of greeting cards.

The Greeting Card Association (GCA) has already done a considerable amount of work behind the scenes on the environmental front and is now well underway on drawing up guidelines for publishers on how to help them formulate procurement policies. Sharon Little, chief executive of the GCA, shares her views on this important issue: “We, as an industry, cannot afford for there to be any room for doubt about the environmental integrity of greeting cards as this is potentially extremely damaging to the industry as a whole. WWF’s publicity campaign could have been far more damaging for the trade had a major tabloid picked it up. We can’t afford for there to be any possibility of this happening again. In advance of the likely tightening up of the regulations in 2020, it makes absolute sense to ensure that all cards and envelopes are sourced from verifiable sustainable sources – either Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). The GCA has been in talks with WWF’s head of campaigns and its head of the forestry campaign, we have also connected them with many of our paper, printer and envelope associate members so they can substantiate their environmental credentials and show that our industry has a strong sustainable ethic. We are now in the final stages of producing our advice and guidelines for publishers. Our stand point is that publishers should specify FSC or PEFC certified board from their printers and print the relevant logo on the back of all their cards. This shows the retailer and the consumer that the cards have impeccable environmental credentials. We are also putting together some suggested statements to help members write their paper procurement policies, which we advise should displayed on their websites. This industry is a long way down the line on the environmental front, the vast majority of greeting cards on the market are already printed using FSC board, but being able to prove the chain of custody and tell the consumer are the crucial elements. We are only as strong as our weakest link.” ● A FSC Factsheet is also available in the GCA members’ area of its website. (

The Wood From The Trees The EU Timber regulations were brought in to ensure that timber products imported into the EU come from provable sustainable sources. As it stands currently many products that are made of wood or where wood pulp is a major component (including paper and printed products) were excluded from the scope of the regulations. As the regulations are now under review, WWF is among those who are lobbying hard to close up loopholes and bring greeting cards (and other products) under the jurisdiction of the laws. If they are extended, it could be law by 2020, meaning that all those producing greeting cards sold in the UK and the rest of the EU would have to be able to prove that they are made from FSC (or equivalent) paper. Above: Glebe Cottage has been a pioneer on green issues in the card trade. Below: A page on WWF's website siting greeting cards.

The Production Line The UK greeting card industry is well blessed with specialist printers who are FSC accredited as part of their commitment to environmental concerns. Well underway is the building of an impressive new environmentally-friendly printing facility which will further reinforce Bucks-based printer Windles’ green credentials. Michelle Mills, its marketing manager, shares her views: “We place environmental issues very high on our agenda and are doing our utmost to help our card publishing clients on this front. In line with the much wider availability of FSC and PEFC paper, in both coated and uncoated varieties, virtually all the paper we print cards on has one of these accreditations. In fact, it really is only a very small percentage of board that is supplied direct to us by our customers that would not be. We make sure that we include the mention of the board’s FSC status both on our invoices and on any delivery notes, which means the publisher has the chain of custody assurance. As a result of the WWF activity and our subsequent discussions with the GCA’s Sharon Little, we are now actively encouraging the great many card publishers with whom we work to include the FSC logo on the backs of their cards. It won’t cost them any more and will do a great deal at consumer level. It is in all our interests that the public has no reason not to buy a card!” PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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In Conversation With... Belly Button

A Re-Cut Key

To The Door Do you remember your 21st birthday - or is it just a blurry memory? Belly Button Designs is taking no chances, marking its ‘coming of age’ milestone in a number of memorable ways, not least being the launch of a new publishing division, Belly Button Hub, which debuts at PG Live. PG talks to Rachel Hare, founder and creative head of the company, about what it feels like to have the ‘key to the door’ of this design-led publishing powerhouse. Belly Button Designs might have let its 20th anniversary pass by last year without doing any special acknowledgment, but the Manchester-based card publisher is more than making up for it with its 21st birthday this year. “Thanks to my team, I was lucky enough to be able to take six months off last year to have and spend time with my third child, Tom. It was an amazing chance for me to be able to really think about the business, where we have come from, what we are about and where to take it,” reveals Rachel Hare, who founded the design-led card company initially under the Prince’s Trust scheme back in 1994. Below: Darling Denim is the first range from its new arm, Belly Button Hub.



This year sees the company mark its 21st anniversary through a whole programme of events and products, some of which hark back to its roots (as a handmade card publisher), some are very much based on future trends, while others are to feed the creative heart and soul of the Belly Button team, such as through workshops on calligraphy, life drawing, creative writing and Reiki. “We see our 21st as a great excuse for us to celebrate as a team and to share our celebrations with our customers,” commented Rachel.

Above: Rachel Hare (4th from left) and the Belly Button team in its Manchester offices. Left: A special 21st anniversary logo has been developed and will appear on the back of all of Belly Button’s cards his year. Below: Pretty designs from Belly Button’s Quill range. Below left: As Belly Button was started with a Prince’s Trust grant, Rachel was able to meet Prince Charles when he visited an exhibition at which she exhibited right back in the very early days of the company.

Launching officially at PG Live (June 2-3) on the Belly Button stand, is a brand new publishing arm of the company, Belly Button Hub. Echoing what is commonplace in the fashion industry, Rachel explains that Belly Button Hub is something akin to “a diffusion line, which will enable us to experiment with completely new looks and design treatments without affecting our commitment to our core Belly Button Designs ranges.” Belly Button Hub provides the freedom to publish small capsule collections, which may have been created inhouse, or from freelance artists or through interesting collaborations. “It is all about freshness. The Hub ranges are likely to be very fashion-driven, produced while the trend is still emerging, the ranges may be quirky, but will push the boundaries,” explains Rachel. Setting the tone of BB Hub is Darling Denim, launching officially at PG Live, which picks up on the current denim fashion trend. Rachel, who confesses that if she didn’t have a burgeoning successful card business would love to own an independent fashion

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In Conversation With... Belly Button

Above and right: Among the wonderful new products being launched by Belly Button are new designs in its Paloma and Platinum ranges, including new colour foils. Below: Creative head of Belly Button, Rachel Hare, inbetween two of her collegues - Katie Phythian (left) and Lucy Bailey.

boutique, hopes that Belly Button Hub will change retailers’ perceptions of what the company is capable of. “I am so proud that we have created some strong brands, such as Paloma and Platinum. These are hugely important to us and we will absolutely look to develop these and others into ranges upon which retailers can rely. But every business needs to continue to surprise and Belly Button Hub enables us to do this,” says Rachel. Illustrating how responsive its new subbrand will be, Rachel explained: “Darling Denim happened as I came into the studio one morning and said how much I was loving the denim trend in fashion. A week later, we had a card range based on it!” So, now its 21, Belly Button does not just have the ‘key to its door’, but through its new Hub it will be unlocking lots of other doors too.

A Personal Service

An Historic Moment Some people spend weeks ‘navel gazing’ before deciding on a name for their company, for Rachel Hare, it came to her in a flash. “I can’t quite believe it was 21 years ago that I was sitting in my kitchen with my friend Jude when Belly Button was christened,” says Rachel reminiscing. The company name was sparked by an inspirational time and place experienced during Rachel’s student years. When she was at art college in Edinburgh she won a scholarship to study art in Athens for five months. Arriving in the Greek capital she discovered that the students there had set fire to the art college in protest about something. Together with the other scholarship students, Rachel was diverted to an ‘annexe’ of the art college that was located in the ancient site of Delphi. Rachel explains: “It was wonderful and incredibly inspirational. According to the ancient Greeks, Zeus sent out two eagles to fly across the world to meet at its centre, the ‘navel’ of the world. Omphalos stones used to denote this point were erected in several areas surrounding the Mediterranean Sea; the most famous of these are at the oracle in Delphi. There I was, at the navel of the civilised world. It stuck in my mind, so when I was looking for a name for the company, I christened it after Delphi’s navel!”

Kicking off its 21st birthday programme of events a month early, several of the Belly Button team spent several days in Selfridges… personalising Christmas cards for customers. “It took Belly Button back to its roots - it was all very sparkly!” explains Rachel, who together with her fellow creatives Katie Phythian and Lucy Bailey were part of Selfridges Christmas extravaganza on its fourth floor. Above: The inspiration behind the name Belly Button Designs – Delphi, The publisher had specially produced some stunning card designs, which were then lavishly the navel of the ancient world. embellished and personalised on site to customers’ specific requests. Following on from this success, Belly Button returned to the landmark department store in the run up to Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day offering a similar service. “It was a wonderful experience, especially in the run up to Valentine’s. I had several very emotional moments when I was writing very heartfelt messages for people. It was a great reminder of how special greeting cards are, combining both sentiment and design.” Among the many customers for the personalised cards were celebrities, including top comedians Michael McIntyre and Paddy McGuinness, as well as celebrated chef Simon Rimmer. “Michael McIntyre chanced upon us for Valentine’s Day and was so pleased with the card that he came back again for Mother’s Day to get one for his mum, entertaining everyone while we made the card for him,” said Rachel. Left: One of the personalised Christmas cards that Belly Button created at the Selfridges events.



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Retailer Inside Track



‘Celebrating new and emerging British 50p from the sale of each greeting card talent’ proclaims the eyeof these cards will be donated to The Children’s catching Point of Sale which currently graces Trust via The Light Fund the windows and atop a specific display of Celebrating new greeting cards from Ladder Club publishers in and emerging British all seven of the stores in the Home Countiesgreeting card talent based House of Cards group. But this celebration of ‘newness’ is only one of the ways House of Cards is marking its 25th history. PG talked to HOC’s co-owners Miles Robinson and Nigel Williamson about the retailer’s planned charitable tie-ups, store refits, brand new head office, significant investment into its central warehouse, and why cards are better than cucumbers. Miles Robinson, co-owner of House of Cards, accepted the invitation to speak to The Ladder Club delegates last November. His brief was to provide an insight for a room full of brand new and yet to launch card publishers about the machinations of dealing with a small multiple; the margin expectations and thought process. His honest talk was incredibly well received. The no-nonsense advice, delivered with his own brand of humour, highlighted the pressure on maximising sales from every pocket in a card rack, how newness is not as important as having best sellers, and how dealing with multiples, even a small group

like House of Cards, would involve offering decent discounts. But it wasn’t just those in the audience whose brains were ticking after Miles’ speech. “I was bowled over by seeing so many enthusiastic publishers, so on my drive back from The Ladder Club I spoke to Nigel about us coming up with a way of supporting these new publishers as part of our 25th anniversary celebrations,” said Miles. “It seemed wholly appropriate that we should mark our historic milestone by giving those just starting out on their publishing journey a helping hand,” added Nigel.

Memories Are Made Of This “Fruit ‘n’ veg is all well and good Miles, but cards are the future… no one will ever want to say ‘I love you’ with a cucumber.” This ‘prediction’ appeared on an invitation to a House of Cards party several years ago, that made reference to Nigel Williamson, co-founder of the Home Counties retailer, persuading former greengrocer Miles Robinson to ditch his fruit and veg for greeting cards and go into business with him. ● House of Cards has branches in Andover, Caversham, Chalfont, Kidlington, Thatcham, Tring and Wallingford. 96


Above: The Ladder Club card display inside House of Cards’ Tring store. The publishers whose designs were selected for the six month promotion include: Catherine Kleeli Cards, Coulson Macleod, Gracie Girl Designs, Greetings Earthlings, I Drew This, Pink Pig, Red Berry Hill, Rose Hill Designs, Tache Crafts and Tomcat Cards. Left: The Point of Sale promotes the selection and explains about the charity donation. Bottom left: One of two The Salad Bowl shops that Miles owned before House of Cards got into its stride. The Martins newsagent where Nigel worked (and the reason the two partners met) was one shop away from this one in Caversham.

The innovative approach, which went live at the start of last month, saw the introduction of a dedicated display of designs from Ladder Club publishers into each of House of Cards’ stores. The display (which comprises designs from ten different publishers, selected from submissions received) will remain in the stores for six months (April-October). As well as paying the publishers involved more than it would do normally for each card design for the period of the promotion, House of Cards is also making a 50p donation to The Children’s Trust charity for each card sold. A month in and sales are looking pretty encouraging. “We really want this to do well for everyone involved - and we hope that in the process we will discover some new publishing successes that we will continue to trade with well after the promotion is over,” says Miles. What has really given House of Cards the impetus to initiate The Ladder Club promotion is the incredible success it has achieved in the last couple of years through adding more smaller niche publishers to its retail mix, bringing them in via its central warehouse. Although 50% of all cards for House of Cards are still ordered and delivered direct to its stores, with each store manager maintaining buying responsibility for this element, having the facility of a soon to be

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Retailer Inside Track

enlarged central warehouse has not only enabled a wider selection of cards to be offered, but has also reduced the group’s stockholding, as well as gaining a much more accurate grasp of the rate of sale per design. “We have just completed our financial year and thanks to the massive efforts of our team, we’ve had a record year. After two successive record years this is a wonderful way to start our 25th anniversary year,” says Miles. He reveals that it was a casual comment made by a fellow card retailer a couple of years ago that kickstarted a review of its card selection. “We had been trading well for years, and thought we were doing OK, but when someone whose opinion you respect says “I think you could better with your card offer,” it jolts you. So we set to and did something about it!” explains Miles. That ‘something’ fell into two main camps - broadening its card selection by bringing in designs from 20+ small house publishers (distributing some 500 designs to the stores via its central warehouse), as well as really focusing on what has been selling in House of Cards, not just by range, but by specific design. There cannot be many established card retailers out there, who, after 24 years of strong trading is able to put on an 8% increase in its card sales alone, but that’s what House of Cards has achieved in the last 12 months (compared to the previous year). And to Miles and Nigel, even more encouraging is that, bucking the general retailing trend, the improved product selection must have something to do with the 13,000 extra customer visits their shops

Above: Miles Robinson (left) and Nigel Williamson (right) at last year’s PG Live with their Golden and Silver Tickets (as a result of winning and being a finalist in The Retas). Seen here with CBG’s Mark Standen. Left: Mint’s Ha Pea design that makes House of Cards very ‘hap pea’ indeed due to its phenomenal sales rate. Below: House of Cards sells 1,000s of this one Splimple Wordies’ design alone over the course of a year.

had in that period. “This is pretty unusual as the trend in general (and for us) over the past several years has been a slow and steady decline in customers. We’re sure our focus on product is bearing fruit,” says Miles. After all, he should know, as prior to House of Cards he was a greengrocer! While adding these more design-led cards into its mix (with publishers such as Blue Eyed Sun, Cinnamon Aitch, Wrendale Designs being among those to be fairing well) which has undoubtedly had a bearing on the sales upturn, Miles is increasingly mindful of focusing on rate of sale rather than ‘newness’. “Our focus is now very much on knowing what are our top sellers. We stock one range that we do very well with, but when I analysed the sales rates of the 42

Giving Back To Charity And Customers Over the course of this year, House of Cards is likely to be donating in the region of £6,000 to two specific charities alone. While The Children’s Trust will benefit from the sale of the cards in The Ladder Club display in the stores (with House of Cards making a 50p donation from each card sold), the retailer is also to sell a bespoke range of 12 Nigel Quiney’s Pizazz designs, with all of the proceeds going to the Child Autism charity (formerly known as Peach). The Sherwood Press is to print the 6,000 cards free of charge so that the charity benefits in full. Adding a couple of other twists, which are likely to go down well with customers, these card designs are to be sold at the 1990 price (when House of Cards started) of 75p and, in addition, many of the cards will also include a £5.00 House of Cards gift voucher which are being inserted randomly.

Above: One of the Pizazz designs that are being specially produced for House of Cards and will go on sale in the summer, with all the proceeds from the sales going to the Child Autism charity.

designs we stock in that range, the top 12 designs put £7,000 worth of sales in our tills in a year, while the bottom 12 had only put £1,200 into the tills - those bottom 12 should not have been in our shops, while the top 12 we cannot afford to be out of stock of,” elucidates Miles. This accurate sales data has seen House of Cards cherry-pick designs, perhaps only dealing with a publisher for a few specific cards, but selling them in great volumes. “Our best selling card across our whole estate is a Splimple 70th birthday design. Don’t ask me why, but it just sells and sells. Mint’s ‘ha-pea’ card is another one. We sell thousands of this one card alone over the course of a year. It is not brand new, but it just carries on selling. I don’t agree with some retailers constant drive for ‘new new new’. You need to ensure that new designs are not introduced at the expense of top sellers. We believe our customers want to buy great cards, irrespective of when they were launched,” states Miles. With an ongoing commitment to ensure its card selection is performing well - “we’ll be on the lookout for new gems at PG Live, that’s for sure,” says Miles this year sees considerable investment being made in

the fabric of the stores, further improvements to its central warehousing facility, as well as turning its attentions to improving the gift side of the business. Its Wallingford store is set to be refitted, while the Tring store is not only to be refitted but also substantially extended to include a central buying office, headed up by Lisa Gilbert (manager of the Tring store). “It is good to mark a milestone and to say thank you to the team and suppliers who have contributed to House of Cards’ first quarter century, but we need to make sure that we continue to improve,” says Nigel. And as for the fellow retailer who made that passing remark to Miles a couple of years ago…”I invited them back to see what we had done and took it as a compliment when they started jotting down names of suppliers!” PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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ART SOURCE PG paints a pretty picture of some of the exhibitors within the Artists’ Quarter at PG Live this year (June 2 and 3) in order to promote their talents to publishers and, conversely, for publishers to seek out artists.

Laura Hepworth “I am a fine artist and illustrator producing new and original artwork for the greeting cards market. This will be my first time as an exhibitor at PG Live and I am especially looking forward to being part of the Artists’ Quarter. I branched out in to greeting cards to produce beautiful and emotive designs for all occasions, including wedding, birthdays and Christmas. I sold my first design to Finland and Estonia under a threeyear licence and ever since I have been working hard to continue to get my artwork out into the greeting cards market: I have been working on a Christmas 2015 range that I am excited to be showcasing at PG Live this year. My style is traditional with a contemporary twist, and I create all my artwork lovingly by hand using pencil and soft pastel, which is my favourite medium to work in particularly for my illustrations. Working in soft pastel allows me to create bold yet subtle tonal designs that evoke emotion and sentiment. My fresh new collections incorporate this unique style and my aim when creating each artwork has always been to create heart-felt card designs that people will want to keep. I always welcome commissions so pop along to see me at my stand. I look forward to seeing you at PG Live.” l W: l E: l Artists’ Quarter Stand 136

Sara Miller Design “I am a designer with 10 years’ experience across a broad range of sectors including greeting cards, homewares and fashion. At the end of last year I decided to make the bold move of leaving my creative manager position at Woodmansterne to set up on my own. I have been busy designing new ranges and am currently licensing my designs into different product sectors. With my debut at PG Live I will be showing some of my brand new work available to license. My absolute passion is working with colour and creating unusual combinations of print, pattern and colour to create something unique. I am particularly interested in the mood or feeling that a particular design or range evokes - from sentimental and nostalgic to quirky and whimsical or fashionable and fun. I am also a very keen traveller and there are most definitely influences of different cultures appearing in my design work with my recent trips to India inspiring my latest collection which I will be launching at the show.” l E: l Artists’ Quarter Stand 150

Annabel Chapman Illustrations “I am a new exhibitor this year at PG Live and I have designed brand new ranges of cards which are really exciting, wonderfully colourful and instantly appealing. I studied illustration at Brighton University and after graduating I worked as a cartoonist at Carte Blanche Greetings. I then went on to produce and sell my own range of handmade cards across the UK. After a career break (to have children) I have now produced new and lively designs for commercial, charity, corporate, or community clients. My medium is watercolour, acrylic and ink painting and drawings and you will find cards that will suit a wide variety of occasions and age groups. These cards are fantastically vibrant and immediately attractive and have a special quirky style that will stimulate different thoughts, feelings and emotions. My cards are available for buying online and in shops and the images are available for licensing.” l W: l E: l Artists’ Quarter Stand 166 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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ART SOURCE Libby Bower

"I graduated in 2010 as a costume designer. After graduating I practiced as a designer in Liverpool and Manchester. As a costume designer illustration is key to idea evolution. In these illustrations I was forced to explore with texture and depth, so I added fabric scraps, buttons and other found objects. My partner suggested that my illustrations could work well as handmade greeting cards. So I started creating some. I use aged ephemera as a way of combating fear of the blank canvas. The ephemera lends extra depth to the illustrations. Onto these documents I paint with ink, depicting ostentatious creatures and flamboyant figures. I then bring each illustration to life with the addition of feathers, buttons, broken jewellery, sealing wax and other objects. Each illustration is annotated with a humorous caption. Having spent three years patiently creating hundreds of unique greeting cards, I have now had my illustrations captured and printed by my local printers; Johnson's of Nantwich. They understand the importance of detail and have enabled me to produce a range of cards that look as three dimensional and textured as my original illustrations." l E: l Artists’ Quarter Stand 170

Louise Mulgrew Designs “I recently graduated from Loughborough University with a First Class Honours in Illustration. I love to work with characters, particularly animals, and enjoy bringing them to life for card and stationery designs as well as children’s stories. I see inspiration in everything and anything, from my own very sleepy cat to the Elephant Orphanage I visited in Kenya, the local garden centre to quirky shops in the Brighton Lanes. I can often be found in the children’s section of a bookshop or photographing posies in the florist. I mainly use pen and ink and watercolour for my illustrations and like to maintain this hand-drawn feel in the final designs. I use hand-drawn typography as well which I feel makes a card special. Finally, I use Photoshop to shuffle things around and rub out ink blobs. I give a lot of thought to the relationship between the words and the images in my cards as well, and make sure that they bring out the best in each other. I will be exhibiting for the first time at PG Live this year, showcasing my first card range ‘Furry Friends’ featuring an array of fluffy and feathery creatures, celebrating all occasions. I’ll have lots of pretty florals and Christmas designs too, as well as Tibbo, a little orphan elephant with a very troublesome trunk, who was published as a children’s iPad App in February.” l W: l E: l Artists’ Quarter Stand 156

Pink Pram Productions “Hello, my name is Rebecca Martin and I'm the proud founder of the company Pink Pram Productions. I live in the heart of beautiful Wales and I am extremely lucky to work with a young and talented Welsh artist called Andrew Charles. My inspiration for the cards’ artwork came after having my first child, Edward. I was inundated with congratulations cards and kept expecting a 'star sign' card to arrive, denoting, in particular the date and characteristics of my new bundle of joy, but it never did! After I got over the first few months of being a new mother I began to wonder about the baby cards again and after much research I noticed a potential gap in the market. Having no artistic ability myself (my children's drawings are better than mine!) I teamed up with Andrew, who has very creatively and painstakingly at times bought my ideas to life. He has used digital painting to create contemporary beautiful and original images. They are almost in the style of 'painterly' with moments of fantasy and escapism. I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as our existing buyers and our team! I look forward to seeing you on my stand.” l W: l E: l Artists’ Quarter Stand 168 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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PG asked a selection of card retailers for their ‘hot’ card sellers. Elsa Rand, owner of Arts & Vintage, Highgate, London A small shop in a city suburb with a loyal and sophisticated locals customer base. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range






Lagom Design

Across The Board


Lip International

Stephen Mackey Art Cards

Above: Stephen Mackey Art Cards collection has a wonderfully eccentric edge - from Lip International.

4orty5ive Southside



The Art File

Across The Board


The Bees Knees

Bee Sporty and Creature Comforts

Miss Havisham’s Attic Roger la Borde Santoro

General Petit La Borde Notepads, travel card holders, phone covers etc

Bright and cheery designs originally created from material and stitched. Some of the cards have fabric brooches attached and they have been going well. Subtle and understated, the designs just make you smile. We literally have designs from every range; they are all good lines. In the style of a traditional classic portrait paintings, but the people often have animal or bird heads. Each image has been taken from an original ceramic tile featuring wildlife and thoughtful or inspirational quotes. All the ranges are good. We’ve never had a bad seller. The vintage sports equipment, such as old cricket bats and tennis rackets, has wide appeal, and the classic ‘It’s Wine O’Clock’ card (and similar designs) are great sellers. Very quirky and eccentric with a vintage feel and beautifully embellished. Featuring nice cute animals and butterflies - everyone’s favourites. We have quite a few of the company’s products. The artwork is backed up with quality made items and attention to detail.

Right: Poetrytiles from 4orty5ive Southside were originally ceramic tiles created by Iris Milward. The words say: 'Let your life lightly dance on the edge of time like dew on a tip of a leaf' - Rabindranath Tagore (1861 - 1941).

Children’s Ancillary

Jo Marwaha, partner of Penny Black, Glasgow A large card and gift shop, café and Post Office, in a city centre with a customer base of students, tourists and delightful locals. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range



Lisa Donati Hole In My Pocket

The Patter Eat Haggis And Ceilidh On

My World




Loose Leashes



Quentin Blake




The Bellwether

19th century Japanese art Contemporary crossstitch patterns and Plant Flair tags

Scottish banter and characters at their best - modern, interesting, high-quality designed cards of interest to both Scots and tourists. Now with four new exclusive designs in our shop, plus postcards of all nine designs, My World’s Glasgow sites range stands out from your typical touristy product. Modern, colourful and fun, the skyline in particular has been a massive hit for us and we now stock mugs and prints. Cute and hilarious dogs, particularly the pugs and all the cat designs. We literally can’t keep them on the leash! Quentin Blake designs appeal to even the hardest of hearts. We have an extensive range across many occasions. A staple for the multiple card purchaser. Beautiful 19th century Japanese art open cards. The curved edge of the cards makes them jump off the rack. Witty and hilarious cross-stitch patterns for the modern maker. Plus wooden laser-cut plant (or cake!) tags for key occasions.

Right: Beautiful Mount Fuji in the Spring on an Ezen card.



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See the video at ww


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Aimi Devine, owner of The Card Gallery, Ackworth, Pontefract, Yorkshire A large shop in a pretty village with a loyal local and visitors customer base. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range



Carlton (UKG)


Alex Clark Art

Little Sparkles

Jonny Javelin

Fudge & Friends

Berni Parker

Ladies Who Love Life





Chris Ceaser Photography Wrendale Designs Belly Button Designs


Wendy Jones-Blackett

Across The Board

Five Dollar Shake

Across The Board

Second Nature


UK Greetings


Because Boofle has been re-knitted from a jumper (as the story goes) he has a crafted look, and the cards’ brown flecked envelope adds to this effect. Nice and bright square shaped cards that are good quality and appeal to many people. A knitted puppy character in really nice bright colours and flittered. So funny! Very popular with our ‘ladies who lunch’ customers, and the male range sells equally as well. These are just flying out! The designs feature British regional dialects - of course we sell the Yorkshire ones. People buy them to send to family and friends who were originally from Yorkshire and moved away; it’s a little bit of home. We have a high percentage of customers who are older and they tend to like the naked older people designs and the funny animals cards. A local photographer who captures great scenes of landmarks in and around Yorkshire. An outstanding artist who creates beautiful watercolour animal images. Doing extremely well, the designs are simple but effective and the board is beautiful. Just when you think the designs can’t get any better another wonderful range is launched! High-end cards that have a following. People come in the shop especially for the designs, and the personalised service is so professional that customers return to order again and again. Flamboyant designs with lots of lovely sequins. And because of the great price customers buy them impulsively to pop in the draw should an occasion arise. Originating from films, there are Disney characters to appeal to both girls and boys.


Photography Above: Wonderful Yorkshire (and other UK regions) phrases on cards from Dialectable. Right: A stunning Yorkshire scene captured by Chris Ceaser Photography.

Art Contemporary

Handmade/ Hand-Finished


The Country Set Paloma

Cathy Frost, owner of Loveone, Ipswich A small shop on the marine waterfront of a town with a loyal locals and destination visitors customer base. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range



Dear Prudence



Stormy Knight

Across The Board


Art Angels



Menagerie by Mark Hearld General


Studio Sarah



Chase & Wonder

Across The Board

Very cute animals - such and silver tabby, dogs, bears and birds - all handdesigned and each design has the animal’s name on the back. We’ve had most of the ranges instore over the past year - funny vegetables, naughty cats… and our best seller, angry seagull. Really good drawings of foxes, bunnies, owls and chickens on tri-folded cards. Originally starting with giftwrap, now Above: Quirky and cute, a design from Dear Prudence. the company has many card designs too. The graphics are strong and beautiful and occasionally quirky. Very plain and simple designs in pastel ice-cream colours and finished with gorgeous gold foiling. There’s something ‘English eccentric’ about the designs. With aristocratic dogs and cats in the collection, the wrap has been popular, especially with men.



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L Fighting

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


"Never never never give up!" - Sir Winston Churchill. In his 90 years as a soldier, journalist, prolific author, politician and statesman during the first half of the 20th century, Sir Winston Churchill had many opportunities to influence world events. His hard-won wisdom is expressed with great pith and wit. There are so many quotable examples from his various speeches and public comments from 50 years ago that will surely inspire modern day card retailers and publishers in their businesses. Greeting cards and gifts designed with inspirational or humorous quotes have been popular now for a number of years. I have myself a range of 34 cards featuring quotes set on a backdrop of my photography, and I sell in my shop a huge amount of gift signs with quotes on. Ironically, my husband gave me a birthday greeting card yesterday with the quote ‘Everything will be OK in the end ...if it's okay it’s not the end.’…Hmmm, wise words. I had another one from the lovely Zin at Poizin Pen which included the Winston Churchill quote: ‘At exactly what age does a person become a responsible adult?’… and inside the card were the words... ‘I'm glad you don't know either!’ Top: Sir Winston Churchill. Right: Humorous and inspirational quotes on cards have been popular for many years.

In 1953 Churchill won the Nobel Prize for literature for his mastery of historical and biographical description, as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values. As Churchill was prolific with his quotes, for the purpose of this article, I am highlighting some of his passages we can relate to for

our businesses. Some of his one-liners are, quite rightly, legendary. One of his most ‘Liked’ on the internet with 16,495 Likes, and very appropriate to our businesses, is: ‘Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is courage to continue that counts.’ Our businesses can turn on a sixpence and there are so many factors that we have no control over and success is never guaranteed. For me, with my shop located in a hot spot tourist area, the weather is the most influential factor in my business, and of course, one of which I have absolutely no control. Every business needs to identify its biggest threat. From a retailer standpoint this could be a superstore nearby or limited or costly parking. As a card publisher your threat could not be being one step ahead on your designs or losing control over finance and cashflow. Whatever the problems are, they need to be factored in so as business owners we don't panic and give up. But back to the weather and how much of an impact it can have on my business. On a sunny Bank PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


108_PG_May 2015 29/04/2015 15:00 Page 1


Still with the largest range of in-stock colours 8 Sizes Permanently in Stock Over 400 Bespoke Envelope Sizes 100% Recycled Paper Available Stock & Bespoke Cello Bags Peel & Stick Envelopes Bespoke Service on Request




107_109.qxd_Grid 23/04/2015 09:07 Page 109

LYNN’S LINES Left: Just a few of The Ladder Club members who have 'scaled' the card publishing rungs. Below: Lynn's granddad Bertie (with Lynn's mum Sybil) was the inspiration behind her WW1 commemorative project. Bottom: Photo: Paul Tait - The Havengore, the boat that carried Sir Winston Churchill along the Thames during his state funeral in 1965, repeated it's journey, in January 2015, from the Tower of London to Westminster to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Churchill’s funeral.

Holiday Monday it’s not unusual for me to take the same amount of money that I take in a whole week in January. With wages to pay, accountant bills, insurance, money to pay up front for trade fairs and all the other nonproductive money that floods out in January, I have to be careful. Understanding the peaks and troughs of business, be it as a card retailer or a card publisher, is crucial. Two years ago we had the worst five months’ weather in the history of 30 years of trading. Takings soon plunged £20k down compared to the same period the previous year. We have also been exhibiting at trade fairs where it has been wiped out because it had snowed the entire time and visitors couldn’t reach the show. Other business managers will have had floods, fires, and other dire problems, but have stoically carried and not given up. "For myself I am an optimist. It does not seem to be much use to be anything else." I love this quote from Sir Winston Churchill, it never fails to make me smile as it chimes with my thinking. Being a positive thinker obviously helps a lot in business, but sadly it has to be balanced with taking other measures too. Sometimes entrepreneurs fail two or three times before they make it. Their belief that they are eventually going to succeed is so strong that any failure is just seen as a hiccup; they have Churchill's bulldog spirit. While I don’t really agree with another of Churchill’s quotes in this vein: "Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm," hopefully enthusiasm can make up for many other shortfalls. Now this one from Sir W.C, I do agree with wholeheartedly. "Every day you make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before

you an ever-lengthening, everascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb." I am privileged to have a lot of contact with new publishers through The Ladder Club via its seminars and Facebook page. For these newbies there is so much to take in and it is such a sharp learning curve for them. Very rarely there are new publishers who for whatever reason are reluctant to take advice, thinking that they know best. Unfortunately over the years we have seen one or two publishers needlessly fail through being stubborn and adopting and ‘I know better’ attitude. It seems that even great statesmen fall foul to this once in a while. "Personally I'm always ready to learn, although I don't always like to be taught," said Churchill. When you have had a business for a long time you have a set way of doing things and some times it is very easy to get complacent and not question whether there is a better way to do it. Nothing stays the same forever and I am always recommending reviewing your company and updating it. Something I have been doing the last two years with both of my businesses. "However beautiful the strategy you should occasionally look at the results" - Sir W.C.

I think it is tempting to forget the financial side of your business when you are a creative person. However, one of the best things about having your own business is to be in charge of your own destiny. "You create your own universe as you go along." - Sir W.C. I have read hundreds of Sir Winston Churchill's quotes and I have a favourite that really resonates with me. I hope it does with you as well… "To each there comes in their lifetime a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds them unprepared, unqualified for that which could have been their finest hour." - Sir W.C. So the question is ‘Are you ready to do a very special thing?’ It means having your antennae up. It won't be sent on a postcard to you. It may be a very subtle sign, something that feels instinctive. I used to get all my ideas and inspiration from languishing in the bath with no distraction. However, ideas can come at any time you just have to be receptive. The figurative tap on my shoulder came last year from my late grandfather, who was a soldier fighting in The Great War, to commemorate the WW1 centenary. It is my most memorable project I have done by a country mile, and so far with the help of The Imaging Centre, Windles, The Sherwood Press and Enveco we raised £3,500 for the Help for Heroes charity. Not many sleeps now till PG Live where no doubt we will see lots of ‘special things’. It is a shame that Sir Winston Churchill won’t be there to see us all - especially as he was a fan of greeting cards, with Hallmark having published his art on cards at some point. We won’t be fighting them on the beaches, but a warm welcome awaits you at the Business Design Centre on The Lynn Tait Gallery stand, 518. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


110-116_PG_May 2015_v8_PRODUCT DIRECTORIES 27/04/2015 11:16 Page 110








The specialist buying group in the independent greeting card and gift retail sector‌ ‌Celebrating 25 years of Service to Members.

in the

For information: Web: Tel: 0845 166 2054 Post: 25 Carbrook Hall Rd Sheffield S9 2EJ

art of greeting cards

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tel 0203 2344011

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Make every occasion count with greeting cards from Abacus Cards Limited, The Studio, Oaks Drive, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 7SX t: 01638 569050 f: 01638 569051 e: w:

Design led, contemporary, quality greeting cards.

New Collections for 2015

To appear in the Product Directory please contact Warren Lomax on 020 7700 6740 110


Sales software softwar re solutions iPad catalogue ordering handheld order capture trade/retail eCommerce SOP/stock control For more information visit or call us to arrange a meeting on:

01794 500200 Tel: 01844 216 589



110-116_PG_May 2015_v8_PRODUCT DIRECTORIES 27/04/2015 11:16 Page 111






PO BO BOX OX 2161 Boulevard The Boule vard Watford W atford WD18 1BJ TTel: el: 01923 200633 FFax: ax: 01923 200636 inf

Caspari Ltd Linden House, John Dane Player Court

Products: Everyday cards - birthday, blank & occasions, charity Christmas cards, gift wrap, bags, tissue, ribbon, hankies, napkins, paper plate, candles, placemats, melamine trays, crackers, invitations, placecards, notecards,diaries, calendars, address books, journals, advent calendars, bridge gifts and jigsaws. Licenses: Annie Tempest - Tottering by Gently, Kym Bowles - Lollysticks, RHS, Matthew Rice, National Gallery, Alzheimer's Society, Barnardo's, Macmillan Cancer Support. Method of Sale: Direct to Retail






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


T E• P E E L• S 4 S I D E D. C O. U K





t: 020 8993 5966 f: 020 8993 1396 w: e:


07803 501983 Method of Sale: Direct to Retail

To appear in the

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





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

CARDMIX - a cocktail cocktail of fun, CARDMIX fashionable and humorous humorous fashionable cards, covering Everyday, car ds,, co vering Ev eryday, Spring ing Occasions,, Relations,, Spr Seasons and Christmas. Christmas.


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

East Street, Saffron Walden Essex, CB10 1LR Tel: 01799 513010 Fax: 01799 513101 Email:

One of the UK’s UK’s leading suppliers of Greeting Greeting Cards Cards since since 1995 1995 Products: cards Products: High quality greeting greeting car ds with superb finishes. All major and minor titles, covering covering traditional traditional to to the latest latest in innovative innovative design, both Everyday Everyday and Seasonal. Brands: Forever, Petals, Brands: Always Always & F orever, P etals, Lazy Days, Days, Letters Letters from from the Heart, Precious Precious Times, Times, Street Street Kidz, Thoughts, Thoughts, ‘Have ‘Have a Larff’ Larff ’ and Not So Innocent! Innocent! Direct to to retail. retail. Method of Sale: Direct Designers welcome, welcome, contact contact

Cherry Or Orchard chard Publishing LLP Unit 10 Duddage Busines Businesss P Park ark Brockeridge Brockeridge Rd Rd T Twyning wyning T Tewkesbury ewkesbury GL20 6B 6BY Y t0 01684 1684 29 295500 5500 e www. www.

Product Directory please contact Warren Lomax on


BG_PG_Directory Ad_2013.indd 1

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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-interna national. ti w: gemma-international. ona

Colneis Marketing


York House, 2-4 York Road, Felixstowe, Suffolk IP11 7QQ T: 01394 271668 F: 01394 275114 E:

Market leaders in Humour, Art, Photographic, Occasions and Relations cards offering a full planning service with

Online Shop

merchandising and retail TM

development opportunities.



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


Colour House Graphics York House, 2-4 York Road, Felixstowe, Suffolk IP11 7QQ T: 01394 271668 F: 01394 275114 E: Online Shop

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




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:

110-116_PG_May 2015_v8_PRODUCT DIRECTORIES 27/04/2015 11:16 Page 113






60 years

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

..Gorgeous, fun & cheeky Greeting Cards, Keyrings, Mirrors, Chocolates, Tattoos, Badges, Mugs, Mints, Luxury Soap & Smashing Stationery!

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

0844 586 7477

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

t. 01243 780501 e. agents wanted


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.


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

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

Produc ts: 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.

ic icg c&g

Lin g Des ign Lt d 14-20 Eldon Way, Paddock Wood, Kent TN12 6BE Tel: 01892 838574 Fax: 01892 838676 Email: Website:



! dep d end on e you can and Servic

ICG are are specialists in quality greeting greeting car cards ds at fantastic prices! One of very few publishers who design, manufacture manufacture and despatch all fr from om their Head Office in Dorset. New products products launched every four weeks! weeks! Also a specialist in everyday rreligious eligious / Christmas car cards. ds. METHOD OF SALE Dir ect and Expor Direct Export

Greetings cards designed to make people smile. We have a card for every occasion plus a few extra ones we made up. Contact: Sarah Britton on 07833 089 098 or email

150mm x 150mm and packed in 6s

Made in the UK

BRANDS Pintura Ne Pintura New w cr creation eation Fun the moment Fun House House Treasure Treasure the Jazzy J azzy Fizzle Fizzl e Compassion Compassion International Car Cards ds & Gifts ltd Unit 4 Haviland Road, Ferndown Industrial Estate Wimborne, W imborne, Dorset, BH21 7RF

Tel: T e el: +44 (0) 1202 897 494 Email: sales@icgcar

Web: Web: www



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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. Key brands: V&A, Portobello, Spirit, Daisy Patch, Sugar Pips, Marzipan Toybox, Born to Stitch, Idols, Life, Sweet Tooth, Brights. Method of sale: Direct to retail, Export and Licensing. Riverside House, Centurion Way, Riverside Business Park, Nottingham NG2 1RW Tel: 0115 986 0115 Fax: 0115 986 0116 Email: Web:

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

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

356 56 Kennington Rd London SE11 4LD T 020 7582 8244

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 Paperlinkcards Paperlinkcards @paperlinkcards @ paperlinkcards




110-116_PG_May 2015_v8_PRODUCT DIRECTORIES 27/04/2015 11:16 Page 115






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


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

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

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

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


Sensations International Ltd

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

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

Unit 6, Quad Road,East Lane Business Park,East lane, Wembley,MIDDLESEX HA9 7NE Tel. 0208 3854470 Fax: 0208 385 4471 Email: 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.


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

Greeting Cards that are unique & special with creative wit. Looking for top-notch agents to join our expanding team. 01992 536461



110-116_PG_May 2015_v8_PRODUCT DIRECTORIES 27/04/2015 11:16 Page 116




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 Ltd 14-20 Eldon Way, Paddock Wood, Kent, TN12 6BE

Tel: 0845 450 1815 Fax: 0845 450 1816 Email: Website:


01923 200600 |


Top-notch British Greeting Cards for Thoughts that Count


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

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

Method of sale: Wholesale Distributors

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


To appear in the Product Directories

simply contact Warren Lomax on: 020 7700 6740 or email on w: e: t: 01243 837300



or contact Tracey Arnaud on: 07957 212 062 or email on

117_PG_May 2015_whole sale dirSeptember 2004 27/04/2015 11:07 Page 117

Directory of wholesalers Directory of wholesalers DIRECTORY OF WHOLESALERS l




CROMWELL CARD COMPANY Greeting Card Distributors

Greetings cards, Stationery, & Party lines Cash and Carry Unit C Coppen Road, Dagenham Essex RM8 1HJ Mon-Fri 9.30-5.00 Thurs 9.30-9.00 Sun 10.00-2.00 Tel 0208 592 2764



R J’s Greeting Cards Ltd 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.

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


Greeting cards * Gift ranges * Pocket money toys * Balloons * Badges * Banners * Soft toys * Stationery * Collectables , including dolls * Photo frames


Always something different Check us out now!!!


Mon-Fri 9.30 to 5.30 Sunday 10 to 1 Late night Thursday till 8pm Freephone 0800 0279072770 Fax: 0151 207 1564 Unit 7 & 8 Devon Street, Liverpool, L3 8HA


Greetings Cards for all occasions




OPEN MON, WED, THURS 9.00 - 8.00pm TUES, FRI 9.00 - 5.30pm CLOSED SAT SUN 10.00 - 4.00 UNIT 2, CHAILEY INDUSTRIAL ESTATE, PUMP LANE, HAYES, MIDDLESEX, UB3 3NB, ENGLAND TEL: 020 8573 2975 / 1768 FAX: 020 8 561 2349 Email:

Stationery and greeting card wholesaler

Crown House Otterspool Way Watford WD25 8HL T: 01923 200 900 F: 01923 200 909 Great deals Great location Plentiful parking Just off the M1 Junction 5 140



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

Order online at

To appear in the Wholesale Directory simply call Warren Lomax on 020 77006740 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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Polypropylene & biodegradable bag specialists


Over 40 years quality service to the trade Hotfoiling also available

T 01206 396209 E



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

100% Recycled Paper A vailable v Available


Stock & Bespoke Cello Bags



Peel & Stick Envelopes Bespoke Service on Request

ORDER ON LINE AT: AT: 01274 583000



01228 560526

Quality Bespoke Envelopes! From 5,000 quantity to many millions we can produce excellent quality envelopes for you. Plain, printed, coloured & textured finish. 100% recycled & FSC available.

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



Please call us on 0843 5066684 with your enquiry or visit our website We will be delighted to help!

118-122_PG_April 2015_Layout 1 27/04/2015 11:06 Page 119













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

Contact DAVID JIGGINS Tel: 01245 400104 Email:



specialist greeting card printer We print using the UK’s first Carbon Neutral Heidelberg press and offer a wide range of specialist ďŹ nishes all in-house, including: Flittering, Flittering, F Foiling, oiling, UV V Varnishing, arnishing, Embos Embossing, sing, Debos Debossing, sing, Die cutting, T Tippin ippin Inserting, A Automated utomated individual c cello ello bagging, A Automated utomated labelling and wr wrapping apping in units. Full packing and distribution services.

Waterwells Drive Waterwells Business Park Quedgeley Gloucester GL2 2AA T 01452 887000 E W alphacolour r.c . om By buying prroduc o ts with the FSC label you o arre supporting the grrow o th of re esponsible forest management worldwide.

Pro roduct ct pririnte ted on a Carbon Neutra ral Press www.heidelberg com/CO2 . 210504

TT T--C COC-002429


License No.155071

Š 1996 FSC A.C.



print green with us



Printing Greeting Cards for over 30 years • Litho printing • Digital printing

We specialise in purchasing excess inventory in GREETING CARDS, GIFT-WRAP and allied products.

• Embossing

Small or large quantities considered.

• Foiling

• Die-cutting • Flittering • Folding

All restrictions honoured. For an immediate DQG FRQĂ€GHQWLDO response please send samples and information to:

• Packing • ISO 9001 & 14001

N.E WHOLESALE 92 Station Road, Willingham, Cambridge, CB24 5HG T: 01954 260728 E:


t 01622 710 759

188 Forstal Road, Aylesford, Kent ME20 7DB




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(London) The Capitals only Greetings card printer

at PJ Print we pride ourselves on great customer care,

Specialist UK and Global manufacturer for the greeting card industry

and the greeting cards we make

To discuss how we could work with you contact Simon King

are pretty smart too. For Award winning Print look no further than


Tel: 0115 928 7766 Email:

E-mail: The Print Works Colville Road, Acton London W3 8BL tel 020 8993 5160 fax 020 8992 8421

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

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

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.

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 sales@loxl or email:

PEFC / 16-33-794

Benb[oi" A_bd Ijh[[j" I^[\Å[bZ I. &OI



118-122_PG_April 2015_Layout 1 27/04/2015 11:06 Page 121











The Specialist Greetings Card Printer

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

Litho Print

What we offer:

Digital Print Foiling

• Greeting cards • Artworking and design • Short-run print


• Pick, pack and distribution

Die-cutting Flittering Packing Distribution

• Promotional items • Bespoke gifts • Marketing literature

Tel: 01274 531828 Email:

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




07974 133735



YOUR MANUFACTURING PARTNER FOR VALUE ADDED PRODUCTS 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

Herbert Walkers Ltd The one stop shop for publishers large and small


The Professional and Caring Approach..

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

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

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

We would be happy to talk to you and provide further information please contact either: James Smithies on 01449 778360 e: Tracy Davies on 01449 778363 e: Please visit our website at for further information.



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LB Warehousing

Tel: 01929 550085 Email: Web:

(Women in Transport & Logistics Finalist)

S AME DAY order turnaround A CCURATE fulfilment and same day turn round V ALUE ADDED only as you sell the product E XCLUSIVELY Greeting Cards D EDICATED Account Managers


Home of the Wire Spinner Stand

With an excellent reputation we work as an integral part of your TEAM bringing much more than fulfilment. Our costing structure is SIMPLE and TRANSPARENT. We carry out ALL aspects of hand finishing and assembly and provide whatever ADDITIONAL services YOU need Our select team of outworkers carefully hand wrap any size or format of cards urgently, OVERNIGHT! We CARE about your product as much as you do. Attention to detail, QC Issues and IT supported by a comprehensive paper trail for all stock movements are our hallmarks. Our CAN DO approach means that WE solve your problems. Outsourcing your warehousing operation releases your time to CREATE/MARKET/SELL/ MANAGE/GROW THE BUSINESS YOUR BUSINESS IS OUR BUSINESS, please visit our web site and see what OUR customers say, then to find out more call Lynda Raymond and perhaps we can

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. APPOINTMENTS



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

Witty, successful humour company seeks professional relationship

Mobile 07889 399341


Saunders Displays

With over 40 years experience in manufacturing point of sale (POS) display stands we understand the needs of the retail market to produce robust and cost effective units. We have a wide range of wire stands in stock for immediate delivery or we can design and manufacture bespoke display stands to get your products displayed in the best possible way. Tel: 02085947221

Agents Wanted Brainbox Candy is an original and rapidly growing humour card and gift company. Seeking additional committed and professional agents in three key areas. Sense of humour welcome. Excellent commission, paid monthly & promptly. Please get in touch.


T: 01702 716643 / E: /

To appear in Progressive Greetings simply call Warren Lomax on: 0207 700 6740 or alternatively email him on 122


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Birthdays are about

laughter, happy friends & lovely thoughts

I hate all that crap

18x DESIGNS, 120mm x 170mm, HH/50.


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