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from World Cup fever – I must say, I really do like the BBC’s ad with the Subbuteo-style characters hitching a lift to Brazil, they’d probably make better presenters than some of pundits who are wheeled out! My other half will be glued to all the games while I’ll drift in and out – I’ve spent a heck of a lot of time on touchlines watching my dad and many years as a Sunday league club secretary as well as supporting Luton Town, so admit to more than a passing interest myself.


Ad manager Ian is a massive fan and, while he’d prefer to be in his local watching the World Cup final on July 13, is extremely happy that Clarion Events are catering for it at Harrogate Home & Gate by organising a big screen and bar. And we’ve been building up nicely by playing our own version of spot the ball and checking out the football designs on offer at the recent shows.

Funnily enough there weren’t any at the National Stationery Show in New York as the American lack of passion for the beautiful game is well-known.

But there were plenty around at PG Live where Peartree Heybridge’s Mike Partridge and I had a lengthy conversation about the sport and, as a Hammers follower, he’s recommended the book An Irrational Hatred of Luton: The Classic Account of One Fan’s Obsession With

NYONE who’s not into football is probably praying for a great summer so they can get outside and away from the telly. For we’re just days away

West Ham United! It’s cost me a whole 46p – plus £2.80 delivery – secondhand from a certain well-known website and I’m waiting for it to arrive before I know quite how horrid they’ve been to us poor Hatters’ fans.

Speaking of the trade shows, do check out our reviews here in the magazine, and take a look on the Greetings Today Facebook page for more pictures from around the fairs. We’ve also managed to squeeze in a small football focus just to prove there is some business sense behind the obsession of watching 22 grown men chase a little ball around.

What with the World Cup, we have sport and exertion on the brain here – June 3 is Greetings Today’s 10th annual golf day.

Then on June 26 myself and Ian will be joining those trekking 25 miles around the Three Dams in Derbyshire on the Cardgains 25th

anniversary challenge. With their MD Chris Dyson on the case for trying to meet this year’s £25,000 fundraising target in aid of Peach, for children with autism, I’m unashamedly trying to take advantage of the fact I get to speak to all our readers through this page.

So, if you can spare a couple of bob, every penny will be gratefully accepted as it’s a great cause.

Do sponsor any of the 50 participants you know although Ian and I would be very pleased if you happen to put a little our way at

WINDOW ON THE WORLD JUST a few months after launching their fi rst greetings and gift store, Calliope owners Andy Adamson and Philip Downer are preparing to open their second in time for Father’s Day. Andy, former head of buying and supply chain

at Borders where Philip was CEO, have also picked up the best newcomer for the south and Wales area in the annual Greats giftshop awards and are nominated for a similar award at the Retas.

With their fi rst store in St Martin’s Walk, Dorking, Surrey, the second will be in Westbrook Walk, Alton, Hants, and Andy said: “We’re hoping it’s the beginning of a chain – that’s the intention. “Given that we want to be able to get to the shops ourselves, the south- east corner is where we’re focusing our attention, and hope to get to a manageable size. “We have a very broad range

leader Editor Tracey Bearton

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JULY’S FEATURES: Home & Gift Preview Plush Toys & Gifts Animal-Themed Cards


AUGUST’S FEATURES: Verse, Sentiment & Sympathy Cards Image Licensing & Photo Libraries

Focus on East Anglia AUGUST COPY DATE JULY 7

of cards, we’re not a Card Factory but stock designer cards, humour and art. We have about 50 publishers, from Great British Card Company, Paperlink, Tracks, Blue Eyed Sun, Forever Handmade – they go very well – and smaller ones like Rosanna Rossi, Alternative Image Company, Caspari’s Tottering, Archivist, M&G, and Cardmix. We have something in the region of 2,500 designs in the store.

“One of the things for us is trying to think as a

customer, what they’d think of things. “Everything that we stock we either really like ourselves or we know that a lot of our customers like it a lot, and we also like it a reasonable amount – you can’t sell something you really dislike! “You do have to try to lead customers’ tastes a bit rather than only stock things that people already know they like. We made a conscious decision to have something fresh all the time, we always like to try to be a bit ahead of the trends.” 5

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