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Giftware Association news


Find The GA online Products Made in UK win plaudits


Isabel Martinson Chief Executive


“UK quality products are shining”


Gift products ‘made in the UK’ won plaudits from judges at this year’s Gift of the Year awards who labelled it the strongest category in the competition. A delighted Henri Davis


(GA vice-chairman), said: “It wasn’t so long ago that people were saying that British-made products were too expensive and, often, not very good. But with costs rising in the Far East, manufacturers in the UK have grasped the opportunity and the quality of their product is now shining through – and in some markets they have created a greater appetite for it. This year the award went to My


Henri Davis


stationery, Christmas cards and calendars were all printed in the UK. “And in my consultancy


work I always recommend sourcing in the UK on paper because there’s more and more quality, innovative product available at competitive prices.


“The GA is thrilled that the Potteries


were so well represented in the competition this year and that Portmeirion – which is thriving – was highly commended in the Made in UK category.” This year’s competition saw more


Gifts Trade for the Stoke-on-Trent produced Hinchcliffe & Barber Songbird Grey Ceramics. The range also took The Judge’s Choice prize for the best product across the whole competition. See Page 56 for more details. Henri went on: “Made in UK as


opposed to designed here is very close to my heart. As a stationery buyer for the National Trust, all our own-brand


entries than in recent years. GA chairman, Michael Pape said: “Because competition in the marketplace is now so intense, many companies are upping their game by putting an increasing emphasis on marketing and PR. Gift of the Year is fast becoming one of the key elements in their campaigns – not only for larger companies but smaller businesses too, who can suddenly be thrust into the limelight when they are finalists in a particular category.”


Success for Mrs Robinson


A Spring Fair seminar by GA chief executive, Isabel Martinson proved inspirational for Sally Robinson who went on to establish her own gift shop and website – Mrs Robinson’s Store. The seminar included tips on


setting up as a retailer and Sally returned to Spring Fair this year to give a seminar about her own business. She was quick to thank Isabel for her advice about product and the need to enjoy serving the general public – as well as cleaning! Isabel said: “It’s gratifying that she


was inspired and took the advice offered before going on to set up her own successful business. There was also discussion this year about whether or when to hold sales. “Some independents don’t like them


at all fearing an expectation by customers that prices should always be reduced – while others had one sale at the end of January of difficult-to-shift stock before they moved on to new product”.


12 Giftware Review & Home Interiors March / April 2015


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