Craft Focus - December/January 2023/2024 (Issue 100)


3 CONTENTS In this issue... REGULARS 9 Brand spanking new Brand spanking new products 17 Industry news What’s happening within the craft and hobby market 78 Bookstand The latest book releases 94 Tried & tested Craft Focus editor, Rachel Westall, tried her hand at Peak Dale Products’ festive Metal Embossing Kit December 2023/ January 2024 54 43 FEATURES 39 Craft trends 2024 Movers and shakers in the world of craft and stationery give their insider knowledge on what will be big in the year ahead 43 Who run the world? Girls! Mother’s Day inspo 51 All you need is love Valentine’s Day ideas 61 Our 100th issue! It’s time to celebrate the 100th edition of Craft Focus! 65 Perfect papercrafts Papercrafting supplies 69 Fashion fix! Making clothes at home 73 Cool crafts Winter product showcase 51

4 FOCUS ON 36 The wholesaler Susan Nayler, Director of The Wholesaler (UK) Ltd. Talks to Craft Focus about how the company links suppliers to retailers 48 Tiny Box Company Rachel Watkyn, Founder of Tiny Box Company talks to Craft Focus about their journey from the Dragon’s Den to where they are today 57 Stockwell Ceramics Stockwell Ceramics supplies a range of brooches, earrings, necklaces, cufflinks and hanging decorations, and talks to Craft Focus about the company’s dedication to remaining small but successful 80 Retailer interview Happydashery is owned and run by friends Sarah Arkle and Carrie Wainer. Here they talk to Craft Focus about expanding into the store next door to offer a workshop space! BUSINESS 83 Adapt and conquer How can UK businesses adapt to the lack of warehouse space? Slingsby Group Chief Executive, Morgan Morris, tells us more… 86 Anti Copying in Design Dids Macdonald, CEO of Anti Copying in Design (ACID) looks at intellectual property, and what you can and can’t do with images and photography 89 An exciting path for small businesses Martin McTague, National Chair of the Federation of Small Businesses, looks at how startups are a powerful catalyst for economic growth SHOWS 23 Shows, news & events Stay up-to-date with what’s happening in your industry 29 Fun at the fair! Spring Fair preview 35 Toy town! Get the Toy Fair lowdown 61 69 9 57 Pentel (Stationery) Ltd., Hunts Rise, South Marston Park, Swindon, Wilts, SN3 4TW Telephone: 01793 823333. Email: NEW! Brilliant colours on light and dark coloured paper Highly opaque ink looks like matte plastic when dry Even writes on coated paper and photos Great for cartoons, bubble-lettering and comic book illustrations Eye-catching counter display plus PoS available Think you know gel ink? Think again! Scan the QR code to watch our video

6 On the cover The Larisa pullover, by Jody Long, features his perennial favourite yarn Alba. This tweedy yarn combines a luxurious blend of Merino Wool, Superfine Alpaca, with accents of viscose sourced from German sustainable forestry. Jody Long is a prolific British knitwear designer encouraging a new generation of knitters with his young, fresh approach. A top selling author with over a dozen knitting titles to his name, Jody is also a senior knitwear designer for Knitting Fever and, in collaboration with the company, has launched the Jody Long Yarns which can be found in local yarn retailers across the UK & around the World. Visit Happy birthday to us! 100 issues of Craft Focus, that’s no mean feat! As ever, I’m so proud of the craft and hobby culture we’re all a part of. I love seeing grannies and teens alike pulling out their knitting needles on the train, the oh so cool hipster generation opening cocktail and crafting workshops (I think my invites have got lost in the post!) and the bread-andbutter hobbyists that pull out their craft supplies seasonally come Christmas, Easter or the six-week school summer holidays. You’re the ones keeping our shops open and making home-made, cool. Over the past few years, it’s globally recognised that crafting is so good for mental health and has been said to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety, depression, loneliness and even dementia. So, here’s to the next 100 issues. I’ll still be here and I hope you will be too! This edition, expect crafts to keep you busy over the colder months ahead in our winter product showcase, we cover annual money-spinners Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day and as always have the lowdown on the upcoming trade shows – from Toy Fair to Spring Fair. As well as that, there’s the latest industry news and brand spanking new – our section with the newest products on the market. Our 100th birthday milestone is credit to our advertisers, supporters and loyal readers, thank you! Happy reading, Louise Prance Editor Rachel DESIGN +44 (0)1376 535 616 ACCOUNTS +44 (0)1376 535 616 MANAGING DIRECTOR Sarah Ellis +44 (0)1376 535 602 Craft Focus is solely owned, published and designed by KD Events & Publishing Ltd. Whilst every effort was made to ensure the information in this magazine was correct at the time of going to press, the publishers cannot accept legal responsibility for any errors or omissions, nor can they accept responsibility of the standing of advertisers nor by the editorial contributions. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. Craft Focus is published six times a year. ISSN 1758-0900 @craftfocus @craftfocusmag @craftfocus Craft Focus is proud to be associated with and supporters of: ADVERTISING Account Manager Tracy Voice +44 (0)1376 538 555 EDITORIAL Editor Rachel Westall +44 (0)1376 514 000 craftfocus Issue 1 A Kline Davis Publication ™ ™ Our Products and Your Imagination Create Endless Possibilities. or more information, please call 0870 6000625 or visit our website Industry news Retailer interview Q&A special Win! Crafting supplies worth £500 Issue 1 June/July 2007 lAunCh Issue! KIts foR KIds Encourage young crafters and see your profits soar Memory Craft Your essential guide E-commErcE Successful selling online starting up shop first steps made easy Plus CRAFTFOCUS MAGAZINE CRAFTFOCUS MAGAZINE d 1 7/6/07 17:11:35 1 Take a look at some of our milestone issues... PLUS Industry News Retailer Interview Q&A Technology CRAFTFOCUS MAGAZINE CRAFTFOCUS MAGAZINE Issue 10 December 2008/January 2009 craftfocus Issue 10 A Kline Davis Publication Seasonal Solutions Cute crafts for Valentine’s Day Helix_IFC_CF7.indd 1 22/7/08 14:57:02 All that Glisters We focus on jewellery making A Good Yarn The best new knitting ranges Picture Perfect Art essentials CHILD'S PLAY Easy kits for kids 4ppcover_CF10.indd 1 25/11/08 15:52:21 10

7 EDITOR’S LETTER WWW.CRAFTFOCUS.COM OFFICIAL MEDIA PARTNER FOR CRAFT HOBBY + STITCH INTERNATIONAL AND PROUD SPONSOR OF TRENDING NOW STATIONERY SHOWCASE Wedding fever PLUS! The LSS lowdown Summer’s coming! Father’s Day finds Time to treat Dad! Bright, cheerful crafts Craft their day perfect! Needlecraft projects Creative stationery Trade show news craftfocus MAGAZINE craftfocus MAGAZINE Issue 40 December 2013/January 2014 Official media partner for Craft, Hobby + Stitch International and proud sponsor of the New Product Showcase Kick off the show season with... Beat the winter blues • New product showcase for Craft, Hobby + Stitch • Frankfurt trio of shows • CHA’s mega American show craftfocus Issue 40 KD MEDIA PUBLISHING Ideas for the winter months PLUS business advice from the experts Square up Patchwork and quilting Needle and Thread Needlecraft trends FC_CF40.indd 1 13/11/2013 15:44 craftfocus MAGAZINE craftfocus MAGAZINE Issue 50 August/September 2015 craftfocus Issue 50 KD MEDIA PUBLISHING Selling like hot cakes! The latest trends for cake decorating Win Win more than £900 worth of stock from Glue Dots WE CELEBRATE 50 ISSUES WITH SPECIAL RETAILERS’ DISCOUNTS Make the most of seasonal stocks We’ve got Halloween, Back to School and Christmas all wrapped up! Plus new season for yarn lovers FC_CF50.indd 1 23/07/2015 12:52 Issue 60 April/May 2017 CATERING FOR MEN How to tap into the male-orientated side of crafts Making the most of Father’s Day in your store HEAR FROM THE EXPERTS Reach a wider audience and break into other markets Google’s latest advance in web security protocol Complying with the new company pension legislation A slice of summer Inspiration to keep crafting all day long craftfocus Issue 60 KD MEDIA PUBLISHING FC_CF60.indd 1 16/03/2017 09:49 Issue 70 December 2018/January 2019 • Valentine’s Day • Spring Fair • Mother’s Day CREATIVEWORLD & PAPERWORLD BACK IN THE FOLD ANIMAL magnetism Heavenly bodies CHSI Stitches Don’t miss our new product showcase Fabulous felt creations Space-age designs to inspire Your essential show guide PLUS Cutting-edge papercraft FC_CF70.indd 1 15/11/2018 11:24 WWW.CRAFTFOCUS.COM OFFICIAL MEDIA PARTNER FOR CRAFT HOBBY + STITCH INTERNATIONAL AND PROUD SPONSOR OF TRENDING NOW MAKE YOUR MARK A touch of whimsy AMAZING GLAZE Fright night Halloween craft ideas On-trend fairy designs Stamping & embossing MERRY STITCHMAS Christmas crafting inspiration Pottery and clay products Premium, eco-sustainable patterns for all abilities WWW.CRAFTFOCUS.COM OFFICIAL MEDIA PARTNER FOR CRAFT HOBBY + STITCH INTERNATIONAL AND PROUD SPONSOR OF TRENDING NOW CUT & CREATE Perfect papercrafts IT’S SHOWTIME Spring Fair preview Get CRAFTY! Mother’s Day makes FASHION FOCUS 100issue th Making clothes at home craftfocus MAGAZINE craftfocus MAGAZINE Issue 20 August/September 2010 PLUS Latest products Industry profiles News & views Autumn Fair International preview WIn! £750 worth of WOW! embossing powder goodies ScrApbOOkINg treNdS TRIED & teSted craft kits CRoChET spECIal embossing with the glitter girls Feeling festive Attracting customers at christmas Is your health and safety knowledge up to scratch? craftfocus Issue 20 kd MedIA pubLIShINg FC_CF20.indd 1 23/07/2010 10:25 craftfocus MAGAZINE craftfocus MAGAZINE Issue 30 April/May 2012 Plus the latest product launches, news round up and your retail questions answered Craft, Hobby + Stitch International review Highlights from the show craftfocus Issue 30 KD MEDIA PUBLISHING Official media partner for Craft, Hobby + Stitch International and proud sponsor of the New Product Showcase PAPER perfect The latest on scrapbooking Get networking! Demystifying the dark arts of social media, plus our guide to online surveys BEST OF BRITISH Our top picks to help you celebrate the Jubilee in style In stitches Your bumper crop of needleworking ideas FC_CF30.indd 1 20/03/2012 17:16 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

9 BRAND SPANKING NEW  Brand spanking new Check out some new and exciting products in the current market BEHRENS GROUP The Behrens Group is introducing a new collection of fabrics for autumn/winter 2024 including a complete re-vamp of Northcott’s Stonehenge Gradations collection. Expect 13 newly refreshed colourways - Midnight, Peacock, Graphite, Iron Ore, Canyon, Twilight, Oxidize Copper, Mystic, Blue Planet, Pine Ridge, Muse, Marrakech and Slate. +44 (0)161 872 1444 LAVINIA STAMPS Lavinia Stamps has launched its new Winter Whispers Collection: a range of detailed polymer stamps. This collection will inspire you to create the most beautiful cards and art projects. Lavinia Stamps is an established British company offering a whole range of distinctive and inspirational craft products. Tracey Dutton, Artist/ Designer is recognised for her passion in the fairies and fantasy themes. Tracey carefully draws every design in her distinctive style, heartfelt with a very personal element that she loves sharing with likeminded people. +44 (0)1824 710 691 THE CRAFTY KIT COMPANY Stitch yourself a beautiful Peter Rabbit standing still pondering his next move. He fills the centre of the hoop and is surrounded by a glorious wreath of blue, teal, green and purple flowers and leaves. Aimed at beginners, you’ll find great joy creating this sustainable embroidery kit - one of the first of Crafty Kit Co’s brand new kits designed under license from Beatrix Potter™ ©. +44 (0)1620 860 907

10 STORIGRAPHIC LTD Storigraphic’s Assembly Series bullet journal is perfect for wellbeing practice, diary entries, todo lists, ideas, events, reminders, daily planning and more. Dot, grid, lined and plain page layouts inclusive. It’s sustainably made in the UK, plasticfree and recyclable. Also new to the Assembly Series are limited edition graphical art prints. Available in A2 and A3 sizes. ACUFACTUM This brand new fabric, illustrated by Kerstin Heß is called Bird Wreaths. All fabrics are made with 100 per cent cotton, produced in Europe. SOLOCRAFTS This Beautiful Dragon bead embroidery design from VDV of Kiev is a magical sparkling way to try this stunning craft. Each kit features satin fabric with printed background and chart like grid to follow as you stitch beads a row at a time. A paper chart is also provided to keep you on track. Beads are sewn down with a half cross stitch using a single length of beading thread, so the design builds up quickly. All beads are provided in labelled small bags to avoid mix-ups or having to sort yourself, and we found this to be a lovely mindful pastime. This design measures 20cm x 20cm and contains 58g of seed beads. The retail price is £21.99. +44 (0)161 464 7313

Alan Provisor ONLINE Fabulous range of braids tassels and cords in amazing colours. Check out the website or call me 01204 465233 | Perfect Product Partnership for Haberdashery & Craft Retailers Dannells manufacture the NeedCraft® range of craft kits that you can use with your fabrics, textiles and papers to make creative products around the home, and also Stick-IT® the most popular range of self-adhesive lampshade materials. We supply for retailers, wholesalers, distributors, workshops, manufacturers and educational establishments. Kit prices start from only £2.91+vat free delivery. Lampshades - Table Lamps - Floor Lamps Lanterns - Clocks - Bins WWW.DANNELLS.COM 01992 700311 @needcraft_ CRAFT KITS FOR BEGINNERS & BEYONd! For high quality beginner craft kits & supplies visit: or email coming soon!

12 MOUSELOFT Mouseloft has announced some exciting designs all featuring our favourite garden character, the gnome. The Just Gnomes! range shows these quirky characters participating in an array of activities from hiking to fishing. The designs all fit within a 64mm diameter circle for framing. Each kit contains aida fabric (14hpi Zweigart), threads (DMC), needle and full, easy to follow instructions. This range and other collections are also available in a retail pack! SINCLAIRS With the rise in popularity of the Artgecko FREESTYLE Sketchbook, Sinclairs has now launched the book in an A5 size too. These books have been made for use with paint markers for artists who love to layer up and on the go. They’re a perfect size for bags or backpacks so you can now make your mark wherever you are! The silky smooth hybrid paper is combination between a marker paper and a Bristol board and allows for layering up to 50 times. +44 (0)1943 461 144 GINA-B SILKWORKS Gina’s Grantham Button Kit and Basketweave Button Kits are specially designed, reusable tools to aid in the creation of tactile buttons and button covers. Designed and manufactured by the company in Grantham, these fun kits have everything you need to get started on your button making journey.

Introducing our new extended range of Valentine’s paperware, gifts and accessories.

14 JEJE PRODUKT New from JEJE Produkt are these assorted Krazy Kreations outline sticker bundles. The bundles contain five black peel-off stickers of a theme, such as Butterflies, Snow Friends, Garden, Dogs, Flower Bunches, Cats, Tropical and Gnomes. Colour inside the sticker with alcohol ink markers, coloured pencils, gel pens, or watercolour, or leave it plain on pretty patterned paper. You can visit JEJE Produkt at Creativeworld 27th to 30th January on booth C68 Hall 1.2. KNITTING FEVER Experience the colour spectrum with new ‘Colour’ birchwood needles by Lykke. Resin infused with seven different colours, this set is visually fun while making it easier to identify each size. Available in popular grey denim or black velvet, these needles pop with colour! If you feel like going au naturale, Lykke has introduced a line of needles that are resin infused for the same quality and comfort, but with no colour dye added to highlight the natural hue and grain of the birchwood. ARTSTAT These landscape format sketchbooks are the latest additions to the ever-popular Collins & Davison Sketch Book Range. Available in two formats, all are FSC certified and represent quality and value for money. Soft Sketch Books come in a choice of kraft or black Covers. These soft cover books are stitched – not stapled, giving a better performance as well as looking very stylish. Landscape and Portrait, A3, A4 and A5 sizes - each contains 20 sheets/40 pages 150gsm acid-free cartridge paper. Hardback Spirals come with 150gsm acid-free cartridge paper, 50 sheets, landscape and portrait A3, A4 and A5 sizes or 180gsm black paper, 40 sheets, A3, A4, A5 portrait and A4 landscape. +44 (0)161 902 3800 swimsuit * activewear boardshort * knit The Fabric Fairy is your primary source for boutique and trendy swimsuit fabric, boardshort fabric, organic knit fabric, and athletic knits for the entire family! HAVE YOU SEEN OUR NEW COLLECTIONS? Founded in 1834, we are Manchester’s oldest textile company. With 180 successful years trading at the forefront of the textile industry, we’re a business that you can trust. We have been supplying into all areas of the wholesale and retail markets ever since the industrial revolution, never comprising integrity. As our customer, you gain access to an international sourcing and distribution network. This is supported by our market expertise, significant experience and sound technical knowledge. BOOK YOUR VIEWING SOON Call: 0161 872 1444 WWW.BEHRENS.CO.UK

PREMIUM NEEDLEWORK FABRICS 100 % MADE IN GERMANY For stockists contact: Lakeside Needlecraft I Willow Fabrics I Heritage Crafts I Tel: 01889 575 256 Woolwarehouse I Stitchtastic I since 1877 Cozy Winter Skiing in a magnificent winter landscape in front of snow-covered mountain peaks? One can at least wonderfully dream about it with this great cross stitch design. Particularly creative is the combination of the two different Belfast (32ct.) colors: 7106 and 5038. Get this lovely design for free at

17 INDUSTRY NEWS  Industry news Latest news from the craft industry Anti Copying in Design (ACID) announces 25 years ACID’s trailblazing work and ongoing campaigning has been a game changer in championing designers and the importance of their intellectual property rights’ protection. This has influenced and brought about positive change in the legal and political landscape. The Design Economy is one of the success stories of the UK contributing nearly £100bn to the UK’s GVA and the protection of its intellectual capital is critical. In its 25th year, they want to shine a light on, and celebrate with everyone the huge success that has been achieved since the organisation was co-founded by Dids Macdonald (a designer maker) and Simon Clark (an IP lawyer and Partner of Bristows). From a round table action group it has grown to be a key influencer in design law reform over many years. Dids Macdonald OBE., CEO and Co-founder of ACID, said, “Little did I know that when I was copied so much as a designer it would change the course of my life. I vowed I would try and hold those that steal to account. One of the greatest accolades was when one of the directors of a serial retail copyist called me ‘that troublesome woman from ACID!’ However, there’s still much to be done to change the pervading culture of design theft. UK designers are some of the best in the world and the zeitgeist of tomorrow’s innovation and I look forward to ACID continuing to make waves in the fight for IP respect, ethics, and compliance. My thanks go to Simon Clark for being such a champion for change in the early days and to Nick Kounoupias, ACID’s legal counsel for his tireless dedication and advocacy for ACID members and the broader design community’s IP rights.” It’s a time to celebrate, but also an opportunity for a call to action, a reminder to all that ACID’s work remains more crucial than ever as the infringement of original work is an ongoing crisis. Check out Statement from Autumn Fair on Connect Spring and Autumn Fair and Glee, owned by Hyve Group, has announced that its connections programme, Connect, will not be running in 2024, while the business collaborates with the industry and key partners to create better shows and experiences for the future. Nicola Meadows, Divisional Managing Director, Hyve Group says, “I would like to thank our exhibitors for reaching out to us with their candid feedback on this year’s Autumn Fair. As a business, our purpose is to help our customers to succeed by helping them meet with new and existing buyers. We understand better than most that face to face is the best way to make meaningful business connections, discover new products, and build relationships in the world of retail. We don’t take our responsibility - to help this community thrive - lightly. We know how important these shows are to the sector, much of which is made up of independent businesses which are the pride of the nation. “I recognise that, during what are increasingly challenging times for everyone in retail, the introduction of Connect did not add value in the way we expected it to. Whilst for most the Autumn Fair was successful and produced great outcomes, it is clear that Connect became a distraction and cause of disruption. Up to now, our shows have been highly reliant on an analogue format which has remained the same for decades. We introduced Connect with the aim of improving how buyers and sellers do business at our events in a way which makes the most of time and resources. We hold our hands up that we fell short on executing this at Autumn Fair. For that reason, we will not be running Connect in 2024 at Spring Fair, Autumn Fair or Glee. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank our customers again for their patience during this time and the continued support of these historic shows. We have listened to what they have to say, and we care about getting this right.” Looking ahead, Meadows says there’s an opportunity to provide the industry with a considerably better show which delivers increased return on investment through the smart use of data and technology. Committed to innovating and finding ways to improve the show while making an increased effort to keep exhibitors and visitors at the heart of its decision making, they have announced the introduction of working groups to help shape the future of the shows. Exhibitors and buyers are invited to get involved to share their views and opinions by emailing

18 Celebrate the magic of Christmas with Pentel Pentel has announced its upcoming social media Christmas campaign, bringing a mix of inspiration and creativity, guaranteed to make the season extra special. As the campaign unfolds Pentel will focus on their flagship EnerGel range together with the wide range of Pentel Arts products. Influencers will play a significant role throughout this campaign demonstrating the versatility of these products and motivate the followers to engage, learn about and connect with the Pentel brand. Throughout the duration of the campaign #PentelWishList will combine a constant stream of activity across social media including influencer reviews, mini campaigns, competitions and engaging content via a series of videos, posts, reels and stories. Mini campaigns will support Pentel’s influencer activity providing additional product information on the featured products. Pentel’s hugely popular Brush Sign Pen range will feature across all activities this Christmas, from decorating cards to personalising gift tags, across the range of 30 beautiful colours which lends itself to endless Christmas projects. Marketing Manager, Wendy Vickery, says, “Our Christmas campaign is one of our largest campaigns throughout the year and plays a fundamental part of all our social media activity. It allows us to fully engage with our followers across all of our social media channels and we invite everyone to get involved. It’s designed to bring a touch of magic and inspiration to the festive season by encouraging consumers to try personalising gifts, decorations and handwritten cards using products they may be trying for the first time.” Pentel’s campaign will reach over 1.4m followers over the Christmas period. Visit for further information. Brits to shell out up to £1,000 this Christmas With just weeks until the big day, new research shows that 45 per cent of Brits will be spending the same this Christmas as they did last year. 73 per cent worry about finding the perfect gift and 98 per cent are keen to support local businesses Despite cost of living concerns, over 45 per cent of Brits will be spending the same this Christmas, with 33 percent spending more, according to new research from local gift card champions Town & City Gift Cards. Some 28 per cent of people say they’ll be spending £751-£1000 this Christmas, with the need to purchase gifts for friends and family given as the reason for Christmas spend staying the same or increasing. But finding the perfect gift isn’t always easy with a huge 73 per cent of Brits worrying about finding the perfect gift. The research also revealed a move towards more ‘useful’ gifts that offer choice with 89 per cent planning to buy at least one gift card this Christmas. 92.9 per cent prefer giving a gift card to cash with 77 per cent saying this is because it encourages the recipient to treat themselves. And gift cards are a Christmas present that people want to receive too, with 89 per cent saying they would like to receive a multi-store gift card that can be spent at more than one business and 94 per cent preferring gift cards that can be used in various sectors, such as retail, hospitality and leisure. Support for local is higher than ever with 98 per cent keen to support local this Christmas and 87 per cent saying supporting local businesses helps to keep them open. 60 per cent say shopping local offers a better experience. The research was undertaken by Town & City Gift Cards in August 2023 with over 1,000 consumers, employees and organisations. Town & City Gift Cards are local gift cards that can be spent with national and independent retailers in a particular town or city, locking spend into that place. Colin Munro is the managing director of Miconex, the firm which provides the technology for the Town & City Gift Card programme and said: “The research revealed changing attitudes towards gifting with a greater emphasis on gifts that can be used in a practical way and offer the recipient choice. “There’s also a really strong awareness of the need to shop local because people realise the impact it has on their community. Local gift cards wrap up choice and support for local in one gift card, reducing the pressure and worry of finding a perfect gift as the recipient can choose exactly what they want from all types and sizes of local businesses.” Visit:

Manufacturer of Peel-off Stickers & Craft Products | Foam&Tape finest art & enchanting worlds / on fabrics, ri ons more & or contact us via e-mail: We are looking for well-connected sales agents, you would be responsible for identifying a customer’s needs, pitching relevant products and ensuring a positive experience from start to finish. Some cold calling will be required. We will supply customer lists although some research will be needed to find new customers. An abundance of samples, plus a competitive rate of commission. Exclusive areas, prompt payment and product training. Experience in the sewing, knitting, home decor and craft markets would be advantageous. 01782 399119 | ABOUT US Creative Solutions are suppliers of quality interiors, dressmaking, patchwork and craft fabrics along with a comprehensive range of trimings/ribbons, handmade buttons, Mettler threads, Prym haberdashery, Bag making, Macramee and a huge range of craft products. We also exhibit at the CHSI (Stitches) Exhibition at the NEC every February. JOIN OUR TEAM OF SALES AGENTS

20 Sebastian Rosito back to Cologne On 1st January 2024, Sebastian Rosito is returning to Koelnmesse to take over as Senior Vice President in Cologne with responsibility for the International Hardware Fair, AsiaPacific Sourcing, h+h cologne and more. He’ll also manage the relevant outbound events in the division portfolio as part of his global portfolio responsibility. He’s taking over from Markus Oster, who has been temporarily managing the business unit alongside his regular role. Currently Vice President Corporate & Business Development at Messe Berlin, Sebastian Rosito has an impressive international track record. He managed the German Pavilion at EXPO 2020 in Dubai for Koelnmesse with great success and has put a lot of work into developing the foreign trade fair participation business. “Sebastian Rosito has already proven his exceptional innovative spirit and strong leadership skills in various roles at Koelnmesse,” says Oliver Frese, Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Koelnmesse. “As an established product developer, he’s extremely attuned to the market, knows how to successfully implement products and, together with his team, will continue to pursue Koelnmesse’s growth strategy with vigour.” The international portfolio in Rosito’s future division is experiencing particularly dynamic growth: Key trade fairs include the China International Hardware Show, International Hardware Fair Italy, h+h americas and, from December, the new International Hardware Fair India. For Sebastian Rosito, the move to Cologne is a homecoming. From his initial internship in 2004, followed by a trainee programme, group management of foreign trade fair participations and finally management of the German Pavilion at EXPO 2020 in Dubai, the business informatics graduate already has a long history with Koelnmesse. “I am really looking forward to returning to my roots. This is where I grew up and took my first professional steps,” says Sebastian Rosito. Creative Solutions seeking agents Creative Solutions are suppliers of quality interiors, dressmaking, patchwork and craft fabrics along with a comprehensive range of trimmings/ ribbons, handmade buttons, Mettler threads, Prym haberdashery, bag making, macrame and a huge range of craft products. The company is looking for sales agents. The candidate would be responsible for identifying a customer’s needs, pitching relevant products. Experience in the sewing, knitting, home decor and craft markets would be advantageous. Contact Creative Solutions today to see if there are vacancies in your area, either by phone on 01782 399 119 or by email:

Framing reframed UK Patents: GB2559609B GB2572341B US Patent: US10,588,434 EUIPO Trademark 17868192 ©Differentiate Design Limited Introducing FSC certified 350gsm paper frames. Each Pop-up FrameTMkit can be easily be cut and assembled to a lightweight 2.5cm box edge tray frame in multiple sizes in a few minutes with just a pair of scissors. At a price that suits crafters, schools, budding artists and anyone filling their walls on a budget. Pop-up FramesTMare ideal add-ons for on and offline craft, art, photo, print, poster and gallery shops. All these frame formats made from the Small Pop-up Frame kit (6 sizing options: 15-30cm) The perfect stocking fillers for crafters One frame kit - SIX sizing options 30x30cm 21x21 A4 30x15 A4 A5 15x15 15x30cm A5 If you need something bigger why not try our Pop-up Frame POSTER kit which has 28 sizing options from 32cm up to 92cm Tel: 01902 882280 Harrogate Christmas & Gift Harrogate Convention Centre 14th - 17th January 2024 Don’t miss the UK’s ONLY Christmas trade show • 25% bigger than the 2023 event • EIGHT hall packed with the latest festive and gift ranges • Over 100 exhibitors • FREE entry - register online today

23 SHOWS & EVENTS  This season’s most unmissable events Shows, news & events Diary dates Harrogate Christmas & Gift 14th – 17th January, 2024 Harrogate Convention Centre Giving & Living 14th – 16th January, 2024 Westpoint, Exeter Toy Fair 23rd – 25th January, 2024 Olympia, London Creativeworld 27th – 30th January, 2024 Messe Frankfurt https://creativeworld. Christmasworld 27th – 30th January, 2024 Messe Frankfurt https://christmasworld. CHSI Stitches 25th – 26th February, 2024 Birmingham NEC h+h cologne March 22nd – 24th March, 2024 Cologne, Germany h+h americas 1st – 3rd May, 2024 Rosemont, USA Festive ambience Harrogate Christmas & Gift has reportedly been one of the UK’s favourite trade shows for decades – which is hardly surprising given the festive ambience and stunning location in the North Yorkshire town of Harrogate. The show, which is staged in early January at prime buying time after Christmas, usually attracts over 4,000 people participating either as exhibitors or coming along to peruse and buy. The 2024 show, which takes place at the Harrogate Convention Centre from 14th to 17th January 2024 looks set to be yet another bumper event and is almost sold out with the organisers looking to open up additional space to cater for demand. Hall Q of the Convention Centre, which opened up a few years ago to provide additional room for the growing number of exhibitors wishing to attend, has very little space left making eight halls in total filled to capacity. Simon Anslow, show organiser, explains: “There has been unprecedented demand for exhibition space at the 2024 show. Smart Garden Products exhibited in Hall Q for the first time in 2019 and its stand has more than tripled in size since its first attendance. Whilst the show is advertised as predominantly a ‘Christmas’ event, it attracts almost every garden centre buyer in the UK, so it makes it particularly pertinent for companies like Smart Garden Products which cater for this market.” Visitors attending the 2024 show can expect to see all of their favourite returning brands including Premier Decorations (which as always, has Hall H booked in its entirety); Festive Productions, Floralsilk, Kaemingk, Konstsmide and Gisela Graham – all with impressively large stands which promise to be filled with the latest new innovations in gifts, not just for Christmas, but the entire year round. In addition, there are already 15 new companies coming to the show and this number is growing almost daily. Hall Q is definitely one of the favourite locations for newcomers and visitors will be excited to see companies such as Jingles – a brand launched by Mercer Agencies in 2006 and now has showrooms offering 24,000 square feet dedicated to Christmas and garden ranges. The company will be presenting its Christmas decorations, trees and lights. Also worth a look is Apac which has been trading for more than 50 years and is renowned for its great selection of floristry, wedding, party and horticultural products here in the UK and also presents a great Christmas range. 2024 will also introduce a selection of new greetings card companies offering top quality designs which are perfect for gift retailers. This includes Ling Design, Penny Kennedy and Jackson Greetings Cards. Tallon International is also a new addition to the show and Hall Q with its extensive range of tags ribbons, stockings, hats, bags and partyware. It also includes a selection of diaries, calendars and stationery. For a full list of exhibitors visit the show website at where you can search for specific products by brand or type. Don’t forget to register to attend – it’s free of charge for all trade visitors. If you are a company wishing to exhibit at the show, there is still limited space available. You can book online or contact Simon Anslow directly – or call +44 (0)1902 882 280.

24 CHSI Stitches 2024: Speakers confirmed Speakers have been confirmed for CHSI Stitches 2024. Making the line up at the industry trade show is James Gold, successful entrepreneur and businessman who has taken the fashion world by storm with his brand Skinnydip and Helena Langdon who has held many important roles such as Head of Online Content at the RSPB charity and former Head of Digital and Communities at Innocent. The key annual trade event is now open for registration. The show attracts thousands of craft buyers looking for the latest products, new ideas and innovative suppliers. It brings together the creative craft industry for two days of education, networking, procurement and business opportunities. This year, the trade show delves into a well-established and widely accepted business concept, the three P’s of sustainability, also known as the triple bottom line. This concept emphasises the importance of balancing three critical elements: social responsibility (People), environmental stewardship (Planet), and economic profitability (Profit). Achieving the right balance among these three pillars is crucial for organisations and the craft industry as a whole. At this year’s CHSI Stitches, visitors will learn why the three P’s of sustainability offer a reliable model for future-proofing their businesses. By embracing this approach, retailers can create a harmonious balance that leads to enduring success. The show is taking stand bookings for exhibitors for 2024 – an opportunity for suppliers and manufacturers to be among the creative craft industry’s biggest and brightest brands in showcasing latest lines to key buyers. Speakers and experiences One of the event’s highlights is its quality speaker programme, bringing together leading lights in retail, e-commerce and digital marketing among other disciplines. These hugely popular speaker sessions provide a focal point for discussion, learning and collaboration. More intimate bookable campfire sessions will follow the main presentation to enable visitors to get their questions answered. Speakers include: • James Gold is a successful entrepreneur and businessman who has taken the fashion world by storm with his brand Skinnydip. James co-founded Skinnydip in 2011 with his brother and best friend, with the dream of building a fashion, lifestyle and accessory brand. They turned the standard phonecase into a must-have accessory and has since expanded their product offering. Operating in over 250 retail locations in over 30 countries, including the American and Asian markets, they have doubled in size year-on-year. • Helena Langdon held many important roles such as Head of Online Content at the RSPB charity and former Head of Digital and Communities at Innocent. • Andrew Thornton who has spearheaded Thornton›s Budgens becoming the first UK supermarket to launch Plastic Free Zones. • Andrew Davis who helps organisations transform their business development, communication and marketing activities through digital platforms. Steve Mitchell, Event Director said: “We’ve increased our investment in our speaker programme in recent years as we realise the value that these global experts can bring to designers, manufacturers and retailers. We had such brilliant feedback last year on our speaker programme and it has inspired us to pull out all the stops to create our best line up yet, giving visitors to the show a unique and valuable experience and fresh knowledge they can apply to their business.” Brand leaders will be holding hands-on sessions in the Conscious Crafting Demo Area, enabling visitors to experience and try out new trends and techniques. Attendees can expect the biggest line-up of craft products on the market from leading suppliers, renowned retail experts will be sharing essential insights in the keynote speaker theatre and a range of demonstrations will be available to showcase the latest innovation. For more information visit

26 Registration open for Top Drawer Top Drawer’s spring/summer edition is set to open the doors of Olympia London from the 14th to 16th January 2024, welcoming visitors into a curated retail wonderland as it returns with another jam-packed show absolutely bursting with newness and design. Visitor registration has now opened, and retailers can expect to kick-start the new year with another showstopping edition, bringing together the best brands, products, speakers and more all under one roof. This season visitors will be able to immerse themselves in a kaleidoscope of contemporary design, with thousands of new products being launched across the show’s nine expertly curated sectors: Craft, Fashion, Food Emporium, Gift, Greetings & Stationery, Home, Launchpad, Play, and Wellbeing. Each exhibitor at Top Drawer is hand-picked to ensure buyers can find the most on-trend products and pieces which will have their customers obsessed. Visitors will be able to explore new collections from over 600 top suppliers, over 25 per cent of which are brand new to the show, meaning that in addition to the big names buyers have grown to expect such as Bookspeed, Casa Verde, CHALK, Designworks, FRAAS, Jellycat, Morgan Wright, Ohh Deer, Shepherd of Sweden and Talking Tables, they can also discover hundreds of other suppliers making their show debut, such as Ameico, Arran Bay, Bean and Bemble, Constance & Denny, Flick Fashions, Gracee Jewellery, Littlemore Candle Company, Signare, The Hill Brush Company and Widdop and Co. Retailers specifically looking to stock emerging independent talent should make a beeline for the show’s Launchpad sector, which curates 25 of the freshest new designers coming onto the market across a range of product sectors, with the likes of Arcana Living, Laura Frances Heitzman, LORDS Fragrance House, Pink Giraffe Print Co, Plan Inspire Create, Plinthy, POTR Pots, Printed Weird, The Colour Emporium and The Plain Shop all taking part this season. Buyers seeking the best products available from around the world can rest easy in the knowledge that over 10 per cent of exhibitors at Top Drawer this January hail from overseas, bringing a feast of contemporary international design to their doorstep through the likes of Banwood, Broste Copenhagen, Djeco, Izipizi, Kikkerland Europe, Lamy, Lifeguard Press +, Piffany Copenhagen, The Somewhere co, Trixie Baby plus more. In addition to sourcing their new best-sellers, visitors this January can immerse themselves further into the world of retail with engaging talks, business help, trends inspiration and more. The RetailFest stage will play host to another stellar line-up of key industry figures as Top Drawer continues to champion small businesses by offering insightful talks and panel discussions that offer actionable tips to boost business in 2024. The Business Hub will be back bigger and better than ever this season, with visitors able to book appointments with industry experts over the whole three days of the show to get tailored, personal advice across a variety of areas to help their business thrive. The show will also be filled with inspiration-sparking products and content at the must-see Trends Feature. Curated by Top Drawer’s show partner, The Better Trends Company, visitors will be presented with three key trends for the seasons ahead to help buyers and designers shape their new collections. Trend forecasting duo Louise Healy and Natalie Alexander will be on hand to guide buyers to ensure their spring/summer collection is bursting with products their customers will love! Brand new for 2024, Top Drawer will be presenting its Show Awards enabling visitors and exhibitors to celebrate the best of the talented retail industry; across multiple categories, the awards will highlight brands, designers and products making their mark on the industry. Registration is now open, so visitors can get their badge and prepare to get lost in Top Drawer’s retail wonderland. Register via the website – Christmasworld sold out Christmasworld rings in a new round with its huge product mix of seasonal decorations and festive decorations. All key players are on board. With optimised routes and better connections to global sourcing, buyers will be able to find the latest highlights even faster – whether for festive decorations at home, for shopping centres or for city centres. “Christmasworld stands out with positive feedback from exhibitors and has been fully booked for months. The international key players of the sector are on board and give trade buyers new impulses for the coming season. This once again underlines the strong position of the leading trade fair for seasonal decorations and festive decorations on the market”, emphasises Eva Olbrich, Director of Christmasworld and Creativeworld. For the first time, the Saxony Economic Development Agency (Wirtschaftsförderung Sachsen) will be exhibiting at Christmasworld with a joint stand for the arts and crafts sector in the Erzgebirge region. The market leader in the model train market, Märklin, is in 2024 also among the exhibitors for the first time. Other newcomers include Andrea Bizzotto, Bianchi Dino and EDELPINK & GOLDGRÜN. The leading trade fair for seasonal decorations and festive decorations is divided into seven product groups. In the Christmas & Seasonal Decoration area, visitors will meet renowned exhibitors such as B-Living, Boltze, Dragimex, Edelman, EDG, Exner GmbH, Exotica Cor Mulder, Hoff-Interieur, Kaemingk, Krenz GmbH, Räder, Riffelmacher & Weinberger, ShiShi or Wohnmanufaktur Grünberger. Renowned exhibitors such as Decostar, DPI, Emerald Eternal Green, Gasper, Good by Goedegebuure, Heembloemex, Nova Nature, Othmar Decorations and Silk-ka present their products in the segment Florist’s requisites & Garden Decoration / artificial flowers, With Bolis SPA, Francesco Brizzolari, Goldina Loy, Saul Sadoch, Scotton SPA and Zöllner-Wiethoff, renowned representatives of the ribbon and packaging industry are also participating. All registered exhibitors can be found in the exhibitor and product search. Visit:

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BETTER BUYING! Discover the art of Crafts at Spring Fair 2024! Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming show! Spring Fair, the inspirational show that puts thousands of new products for Home, Gift & Fashion at the forefront of UK retail, has revealed a thrilling snapshot of what visitors can expect at the next show in February 2024 as it kick-starts its new campaign focused on the magic of discovering new products and the people and stories behind them. With an impressive 80 per cent of floorspace already filled and an abundance of exclusives, visitors to the NEC Birmingham will encounter a vibrant and bustling showcase of new and returning exhibitors offering the opportunity to source from British, international, sustainable, and licensed brands. A host of new onsite features and experiences with curated displays and trend-led showcases will be designed to inspire and assist the buying journey.  29 SPRING FAIR

WHAT TO EXPECT Offering 13 product sectors across Home, Gift and Fashion, the variety of products from big brands through to artisan makers at Spring Fair has much to offer. From furniture and textiles to gifts and greeting cards, cookware and candles to an enormous array of licensed products, Spring Fair is a great launchpad for brand new collections offering endless opportunities for sourcing the newest, most innovative products and retail’s next best-sellers for 2024 and beyond. GET CRAFTY A growing array of crafting brands can be discovered across multiple sectors at Spring Fair 2024. Look out for The Crafty Kit Company and The Makerss in Gift; Wilton Bradley and Fun Stickers in Kids, Toys & Play; as well as Tallon, PMS, Gem Imports and RMS in Everyday. Long-standing Spring Fair exhibitor, Wilton Bradley, is showing its Sew Amazing range, created for kids taking an interest in sewing. These fully functional starter machines ensure kids who want to try sewing can do so in a fun and safe way. Perfect for helping kids develop dexterity and channel their creative energy, Sew Amazing’s line of sewing tools and accessories helps children design and make their own clothes and textile pieces. Faster, safer and easier than traditional sewing, Sew Amazing’s range of products means children develop the patience and skills required to create a variety of stunning pieces they can be proud of. Receiving creative commendations from the Toy Shop UK Independent Toy Awards, Sew Amazing products are an ideal companion for kids of siz years old or more. Fun Stickers is the UK’s largest designer, importer and distributors of stickers offering extensive ranges of generic and licensed stickers in multi formats suitable for children and adults of all ages. Within the Gift sector, Spring Fair visitors will also discover The Crafty Kit Company, who design fabulous and fun craft kits that come complete with everything you need – all the essential tools, materials and full colour, step-by-step photographic instructions. Beautifully packaged and suitable for beginners and improvers, they make lovely gifts. The Makerss are a small business 30