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Best-kept secret by publisher

ONE of the best-kept secrets in the Midlands, Eight Days A Week has proved that calendar production in the area is alive and well and the company is succeeding where others have failed. Formed 10 years ago by experienced calendar print specialist Nigel Green, and with its head offi ce based in Derby, Eight Days a Week has gone from strength to strength, proving the on- going success of calendar production in the Midlands area.

Eight Days A Week has won numerous awards, the team of David Jones of Premier Paper Group, Jessica Huie of Colorblind Cards, Dilu Mukadam of Alltrade Printers, Claire and Nigel Green of Eight Days a Week, and The Portrait Guild’s Chris Christoforou are pictured with guest Sharron Davies at the Calendar Club Awards in January. Later this year they celebrate their tenth anniversary, cementing their place as a consistent market leader in calendar production. The

company has an excellent printer partner in Alltrade Printers of Birmingham who have been bold enough to continue supporting Eight Days A Week by investing heavily in the latest technology equipment over the past decade. Having produced in excess of 35 million calendars since beginning trading, Eight Days A Week pride themselves on making sure their customers get what they want, when they want it. Often calendar

production can be to very tight deadlines and the speed with which the company produces the

work carries absolutely no detriment to the quality of the fi nished article. Eight Days A Week looks forward to continuing their success in the Midlands by growing their business and maintaining their market-leading position. T: 08432 898074

Leicestershire…la la la…

WHEN Sachin Vasani of 7Gems had the light-bulb moment to offer a range of everyday occasion Asian greetings cards there was no better place to test the market than his home town of Leicester. Famous for Richard III and the National Space Centre, home to well-known UK brands such as Next and Walkers Crisps, Leicester has the largest ethnic minority population in the East Midlands and is certainly one of the most culturally diverse cities in the UK.

In fact Leicester was widely tipped to be the fi rst city with a minority white population in the last Census but just missed out on the landmark with 50.6 per cent describing themselves as white. Forty per cent of the city’s population has an ethnic minority background of which 37 per cent are of South Asian origin – Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi etc. Sachin explained: “I’ve lived here all my life, it’s a great city and for me it’s been the perfect place to bring to market our concept of culturally-signifi cant Asian greetings cards. I’m grateful to the many retail stockists locally who were the fi rst to take on our products as they recognised the uniqueness of what we had to offer.” Since starting out, 7Gems have gone on to spread their wings along with spreading some culture by accumulating a network of almost 200 retail stockist across the UK. T: 0844 357 6091

Support for retailers

THE Giftware Association is based in the heart of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter but its reach extends across the whole of the gift and home industry, for which it is the trade association.

The GA has supported and promoted this sector of the British economy for more than 65 years, representing manufacturers, designers, wholesalers, importers, exporters and, of course, retailers – independents, multiples and online – from sole traders to major PLCs and, of course, those selling greetings cards.

Chief executive Isabel Martinson, who has hosted seminars about the opening and running of gift and greeting card shops, said: “Retailers – particularly small independents – can sometimes feel isolated and The GA not only gives them a sense of community but also a raft of benefi ts. These include preferential credit card processing rates and the voucher schemes that give them great deals from exhibiting GA members at major trade shows, where they can also relax in our retail lounges. “Whether you’re a well-established business or just starting out, The GA can save

you money, represent your views and give you lots of information and promotion. We’re an additional resource and many members use us as an extra pair of hands and a sounding board. Belonging to The GA not only gives bottom-line savings but also offers members the opportunity to share their knowledge and expertise. This in turn gives them an edge over those outside the mutually-benefi cial community.” T: 0121 237 1104

10,000 likes and a great accent

10 000 lik s and a

DEAN Morris isn’t from the Midlands but he’s quite happy to have developed a passable Wolverhampton accent since settling there. The former Wolverhampton University art student stayed put after graduating and set up Dean Morris Cards which is now well known as the best place for funny cards and gifts, including keyrings, badges, fridge magnets, mugs and coasters, travelcard wallets. luggage tags, t-shirts and lighters. Having reached the milestone of 10,000 likes on his Facebook page a couple of weeks ago, the inveterate tweeter keeps social media updated on his life, everything from buying bean canes in the garden centre, to working out with his personal trainer – and keeping his gym shorts on indoors in the hot weather – drinking wine on a night out and pictures of the brutalist architecture of his old uni. In between working on the smartphone and computer, Dean designs wickedly funny and rude greetings cards. T: 01902 560247

Wealth of talent

NOTTINGHAM has been home to The Art File since the company launched in 1997, starting in the spare room of the Mace family household in a suburb of the city, and they’ve never looked back. James and parents Karen and Ged are proud their new offi ces

are located in what was the Victorian textile hub of this great city. “Our aim has always been to produce and supply high quality product with unique and fresh designs to design-led retailers around the world,” said James. “Nottinghamshire is a unique county, with a fantastic history and a brilliant design-led pedigree. “Serving in the Edwardian and

Victorian eras as home to the historic lace industry, lack of creativity and design talent has never been a problem for us here in the East Midlands.” T: 0115 850 7490 www.theartfi

Inspired by the hills

WHEREVER people live they are surrounded by inspiration, but nowhere more so than the rolling hills of Shropshire, one of this country’s most naturally-beautiful areas. No wonder the talented artist Angela Faulkner turns to nature for her inspiration. The huge success of her unique fl oral and butterfl y designs underline her passion for the world around her. Now fi rmly established as one of the UK’s leading independent card publishers, she has more recently expanded her ranges into gifts and textiles, offering fi ne quality at affordable retail prices.

Whilst most of her distribution is

centered in the UK, she has an ever- growing export market. T: 01547 530547 43

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