Craft Focus - April/May 2024 (Issue 102)

WWW.CRAFTFOCUS.COM OFFICIAL MEDIA PARTNER FOR CRAFT HOBBY + STITCH INTERNATIONAL AND PROUD SPONSOR OF TRENDING NOW Wax LYRICAL Candle making supplies Success WITH STATIONERY London Stationery Show preview SUMMER LOVIN’ Summer product showcase HOT DESKING Super-stylish stationery ON POINT Needlecraft ideas N E O C O L O R ® II AQUARELLE The NEOCOLOR® II water-soluble wax pastels will accompany you on all your arts and cras journeys, thanks to a unique formula that is rich in pi‚ents and can draw on various surfaces. Discover the smoothness and vibrancy of the 84 shades that complete the NEOCOLOR® II range, and enjoy countless applicaˆons on the material of your choice, including paper, cardboard, wood and terraco‰a. Made in Geneva, these are available in collecˆons of 10, 15, 30, 40 and 84 pastels. Caran d’Ache Swiss Made Excellence since 1915 For all enquiries please contact: JAKAR INTERNATIONAL Ltd 410 Centennial Avenue, Centennial Park, Els”ee WD6 3TJ • Tel: 020 8381 7000 • Email:

3 CONTENTS In this issue... REGULARS 9 Industry news What’s happening within the craft and hobby market 13 Brand spanking new Brand spanking new products 78 Bookstand The latest book releases 87 Tried & tested Craft Focus Contributor, Kelly Andrews, tries her hand at Viridian’s Circulo Amigurumi calf kit! April/ May 2024 73 13 FEATURES 51 Needlecrafts Cross stitch, embroidery and tapestry options 57 Summer product showcase Get creative this summer with these bright ideas! 65 Father’s Day Delightful designs for the doting fatherfigure in your life 70 Stylish stationery Cool designs to jazz up your work space 73 Wax lyrical Candle making supplies 87 20

4 FOCUS ON 20 Jakar international ltd Paul Sacki, Managing Director of Jakar International Limited discusses his fruitful business and what’s to come... 32 On brand At CHSI Stitches 2024, Ian Downes, Director of Start Licensing Limited along with Steffi Stern from The Makerss spoke about the potential for branded kits & licensing for craft retailers. 48 Craft wool & thread co Jill McKay Smith, Director of Craft Wool & Thread Co Ltd talks to Craft Focus about their creative threads business 62 The fabric fairy Megan Wahl, owner of The Fabric Fairy chats to Craft Focus about their on-trend spring/summer collections! 76 Heritage crafts Heritage Crafts’ Susan Ryder talks to Craft Focus about being a much-loved cross stitch supplier since the ’80s! BUSINESS 80 Trend Talks Spring Fair partnered with leading design, innovation and forecasting agency The Future Collective to offer buyers invaluable insights, trend forecasts, and a myriad of motivating case studies to support their retail businesses 83 ACID at 25: What’s next? Marking 25 years of ACID, CEO Dids Macdonald, shares how the group has become a driving force in empowering designers against intellectual property theft 84 Smooth operator National Chair of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Martin McTague, looks at how the VAT system operates SHOWS 23 Shows, news & events Stay up to date with what’s happening in your industry 29 CHSI Stitches review What went on at the annual crafting trade event 35 Frankfurt: In brief Celebrating Business Together was the motto of this year’s mega trade fair for the global consumer goods industry, consisting of Ambiente, Christmasworld and Creativeworld. Here’s what went on at the Show! 38 London Stationery Show preview All the latest in the lead up to the London-based event 38 65 62

ISBN:9781446313329 | £15.99 20 stunning designs over 80 pages + iron-on transfers for stitchy superfans! Harry The perfect hardback gift! ISBN: 9781446313275 | £16.99 Make your own luxury handmade gifts without the price tag with the queen of Couture Craft! COUTURE CRAFT For these titles & more contact: Stitch Stars GIFTS

RRP £22.00 Master the art of weaving with over 20 stunning projects From fibre artist, weaving expert and social media sensation Phoebe Jones, comes Made Weave Love – a modern guide to weaving. Publishing 14th March 2024 and available to order from all good booksellers @quercusbooks @quercusbooks

7 EDITOR’S LETTER On the cover Pink Pig is a go-to sketchbook brand full of excitement, joy and lots of choice. Expect high quality, handmade sketchbooks in the UK with over 7,000 different options to choose from - there’s something for everyone in the range. To give you the widest variety of options available, each book is made by hand, exactly to your order – making your books extra special and unique to you! Over 7,000 ways to create and craft with Pink Pig. Visit: Planning for a hot summer! What a show season it has been. The team reported back positively from Spring Fair, a buzzy show with a bustling stationery and craft presence. I enjoyed my time at CHSI Stitches - it was great to chat to so many of you and be able to touch the products on offer – pictures just don’t do them justice! If you couldn’t make the events, please do catch up in our show news. This issue, we have a preview of the London Stationery Show. As a stationery addict, it’s always highlighted on my calendar, plus I just love the Business Design Centre and its prime location in Islington. Do check out who will be attending and make a note of the stand numbers ahead of the day to make sure you don’t miss out! And please do pick up a copy of the magazine! I have enjoyed liaising with numerous candle making companies this issue and have put together a threepage feature dedicated to the craft on page 73. There’s complete kits, wax options and stunning vessels whether you’re thinking of stocking the individual candle making components or the box sets! As well as this we have our summer product showcase, a focus on needlecrafts and of course, plenty of crafting and gifting inspo for dad this Father’s Day. 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 Ellis Media and Events 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 Plenty of candle making inspo on p73 Looking forward to LSS!

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9 INDUSTRY NEWS A cut above the rest Checker Distributors is now the home of the renowned perfect crafting and quilting products by quilt artist Karen Kay Buckley. With their exceptional quality and precision, these scissors are meticulously crafted to deliver clean and accurate cuts on various fabrics, ensuring your projects have a professional finish. Their original serrated blades provide excellent grip and prevent slippage, making them ideal for intricate and detailed cutting tasks. A message from Karen Kay Buckley, award-winning quilter, author and teacher: “I’m thrilled that the new owners, Checker Distributors, will continue my product line exactly as you’ve come to know it. After working with Checker Distributors for 35 years, a family-owned business for 75 years, I have come to appreciate their support of our industry, their devotion to their customers, and their excellent service. Their business philosophy closely aligns with mine. Thanks for your encouragement and support of my products. Your kind words have always been appreciated and often made my days better.” Visit: Industry news Latest news from the craft industry Scroll & stitch with Gogglebox! To celebrate the start of the new series of Gogglebox (sponsored by Three), the mobile network and Nick Grimshaw (Celebrity Gogglebox star), have unveiled a guide to crochet your own phone holder so you can stitch as you tune-in to the latest episodes. While we’re a nation of TV lovers, many of us are looking at what new crafty skills we can learn from our sofas, as we enjoy watching the latest drama unfold. Keeping ourselves entertained with our eyes, ears and hands all at the same time, 69 per cent are looking to learn a new hobby this year, according to a new study commissioned by Three. Keeping one eye on the big screen and another on our handheld devices, over 47 per cent of Brits admitted to using their phone to learn a new hobby. For Gen Z, crochet is the new scrolling, as nearly half of Gen Zs (45 per cent) already know how to crochet. Enjoyed by Gogglebox cast members past and present, the nation has found a common thread as crochet was voted one of the UK’s trendiest hobbies to watch TV to. Over a third (36 per cent) use social media to look at crochet designs by other people, and 17 per cent have even found friends through crochet. Celebrity Gogglebox cast member, presenter and crochet newbie Nick Grimshaw has teamed up with Three to teach the nation how to crochet, so you can stitch and relax to your favourite show; just follow the guide: gogglebox. He said, “Crochet’s got a new fan. Can’t wait to lie around at home watching the new series of Gogglebox and follow Three’s step-by-guide to crochet so I’m putting my phone time to good use!” Aislinn O’Connor, Marketing Director at Three said, “As second screening has become second nature whilst watching TV, at Three we’ve discovered we’re a nation of multi-taskers, using connectivity to unlock a world of possibilities. We’re seeing our relationship with our phones and tablets evolving – making them the perfect companions to learn new techniques and hobbies from the comfort of our living rooms. I’m looking forward to trying my hand at Mobile Crochet, whilst tuning in for the new series of Gogglebox.” For more information and Three’s guide to Mobile Crocheting, visit 

10 Restructuring of COLOP UK COLOP would like to inform you of an important change in its business operations. After careful consideration and strategic planning, COLOP Austria has decided to restructure the business in the UK, transfer the business to a new distribution partner and close its branch in UK. This decision was not made lightly, but it aligns with the broader business strategy of COLOP to enhance efficiency and streamline its operations. The business activities of COLOP UK will be seamlessly transferred to the new distribution partner Greenstik Materials Ltd (registered office at Unit 9 Lancaster Road, Carnaby Industrial Estate, Bridlington, East Yorkshire, YO15 3QY). Greenstik Materials has proven to be a trusted business partner of COLOP UK over the last few years and has extensive experience in manufacturing and in UK wide distribution with an excellent reputation. As of 1st February, COLOP UK and all its associated brands (COLOP, Reiner, Noris, etc..) will be operated by Greenstik Materials. During the transition period the operation will continue from the Birmingham site (open until March 31st 2024) whilst training and the transfer of knowledge is undertaken. Part of the experienced COLOP UK team will also transfer to the Greenstik team. Based in Bridlington on the East Coast of Yorkshire, Greenstik Materials Ltd is a leading supplier to the home crafting market. In addition, they also supply the digital print & graphic industry. Serving a nationwide customer base with first quality technical advice, support, services, and goods from their expanding product portfolio. The Greenstik Materials ethos is always put the customer first. They tailor every order to your requirements utilising state-of-the-art conversion equipment and IT systems. Chris Deighton, of COLOP UK, who will be transferring with three colleagues, commented: “Whilst this is a significant change, it makes good sense for the business and will allow us to continue to grow and be a force within the UK market, and for me personally, I’ll be able to become more customer facing moving forward. I’d also like to place on record my extreme gratitude to those members of my team that aren’t able to transfer, who are working tirelessly to ensure a smooth transition in difficult circumstances for themselves.” STABILO to reduce annual plastic waste by 30 tons Following the launch of its sustainability initiative: STABILO Together, STABILO has taken another step towards its 2025 climate-neutral target. The new machines produce 100 per cent cardboard packaging, which will allow STABILO to produce all product packaging in a more sustainable and future-oriented way at two of its three production sites. By switching materials for more than 120 different types of packaging, STABILO will now reduce plastic waste by around 30 tons every year. The cardboard packaging produced by the three new machines will replace the two previous packaging formats: a paper and plastic mix and a combination of different plastics. The new mono-material cardboard packaging will encourage customers to recycle more by eliminating the need to separate different materials, thereby making recycling an easier option. In addition to this, STABILO has selected the most recyclable packaging material available, as cardboard and paper are considered the most recyclable materials globally due to the recycling process being so well established among both households and disposal companies alike. The packaging switch is of particular value for several STABILO point 88 and STABILO Pen 68 cases. Production of the now outdated, old containers generated non-recyclable plastic waste that had to be incinerated. With the new machinery these cases can be produced with zero waste and utilise a cardboard manufacturing process that requires less energy to deliver it. As well as all this, the three packaging machines are designed to accommodate future packaging formats, so STABILO can now convert other products to easily recyclable 100 per cent cardboard moving forwards, both for high volume products and smaller batches requiring special packaging.

11 INDUSTRY NEWS The Great British Yarn Crawl UK Hand Knitting has announced the launch of this year’s The Great British Yarn Crawl that will take place from 13th April till 30th June nationwide, and there are prizes galore to be won. A real treat and a great excuse for a yarnie road trip, The Great British Yarn Crawl is for anyone who loves visiting a yarn shop, it couldn’t be easier to take part. Simply visit one of UK Hand Knitting’s participating premium yarn shops listed on their website. Pick up a Yarn Crawl Card and collect your first stamp. Get your friends involved and hit the road. Leave your card with the last shop you visit once you have six stamps, from at least two different shops. You’ll then be entered into a prize draw to win one of 24 prizes of yarn and patterns – eight worth £100 and 16 worth £50. There are also eight instant wins that will be sent out at random to shops across the country. Will you be lucky? We all value our yarn shops so why not show them a little love and join in with The Great British Yarn Crawl. There’s no purchase necessary. Terms and conditions at: The Creative Retail Awards latest! The Creative Retail Awards, in collaboration with Shop Drop Daily, is excited to announce the launch of a groundbreaking new Award – The Shop Drop Daily Concept of the Year Award. This prestigious Award celebrates the most innovative and inspiring branded concepts from around the world, as featured on Shop Drop Daily - the premier destination for cuttingedge brand experiences. This Award features the Top 10 most viewed concepts of 2023, curated from the platform’s daily drops, showcasing the pinnacle of creativity and excellence in the global retail industry. Voted for by the public through the Creative Retail Awards online voting portal, this Award provides an opportunity for the whole industry to express appreciation and admiration for the exceptional retail concepts that have transformed retail into unforgettable experiences over the past year. David Dalziel joins judging panel We’re delighted to welcome David Dalziel, a renowned figure in the retail design and brand experience industry, as a Judge for the 2024 Creative Retail Awards. With an illustrious career, spanning decades, Dalziel brings a wealth of expertise and insight that will contribute to the impartial and comprehensive judging of the entries. Kesslers London named headline sponsor The Creative Retail Awards is proud to announce Kesslers London as the Headline Sponsor for 2024 Creative Retail Awards. As industry leaders in the creation of bespoke retail solutions, Kesslers London’s commitment to innovation and excellence aligns seamlessly with the spirit of the Awards. New categories for 2024 The Creative Retail Awards have introduced an exciting array of new categories for 2024, including Design Agency of the Year. Working in collaboration with their new esteemed Advisory Board, they’ve carefully curated the categories to reflect the dynamic nature of modern retail. Taking valuable feedback into account, the Creative Retail Awards are proud to present the most comprehensive Awards to date. New categories for 2024 include: • Creative Collaboration • Design Agency of the Year • Festive Display • Hospitality Design • In-Store Scheme • Window Scheme The Creative Retail Awards are open for entries, and the public is invited to cast their vote for the Shop Drop Daily Concept of the Year Award via the Awards website www. Winners will be revealed at the Creative Retail Awards ceremony, where industry leaders, innovators, and influencers will gather to celebrate the best in retail excellence.

13 BRAND SPANKING NEW  Brand spanking new Check out some new and exciting products in the current market BARNETT LAWSON TRIMMINGS Discover the perfect addition to your sewing projects with Barnett Lawson’s new Metallic Helix Cord. The 5mm thickness and metallic texture add a touch of luxury to any design. Elevate your creations to the next level with this high-quality cord. +44 (0)1234 385 859 JAKAR INTERNATIONAL LIMITED There’s plenty of newness from Rosa Artists Materials, made in the Ukraine. Sketchboards made of MDF, with a Magnetic clip, spaces for pencils and brushes and with a handy carrying handle are in high demand due to their superior quality and very reasonable prices. Rosa Gallery Watercolours in full pans (2.5ml) and tubes (10ml) are now available in 80 assorted colours which includes 10 new colours that were introduced in March. In April, Rosa Gallery Acrylics (60ml) will be launching in the UK, in sets and single colours. +44 (0)20 8381 7000 KAWECO (STUDIO PENS – UK DISTRIBUTOR) Perfect for the start of spring, the Spring 2024 addition to the Kaweco Collection Range is a subtle shade of orange which changes to a pearly, shimmering green depending on the light. The gold elements match the warm appearance of the colour perfectly. The packaging completes the overall design - the special paper imitates the visual effect of the pen and makes the Kaweco Collection Apricot Pearl an eye-catcher even when it’s still packed.

14 HERITAGE CRAFTS Heritage Crafts has two new greeting card designs. Perfect to send to congratulations to happy parents on the birth of their newborn: It’s a Boy Card (GCTB1715) and It’s a Girl Card (GCTG1716) both have an RRP: £9.80. CYGNET YARNS Adding to Cygnet Yarn’s popular budget Pato Everyday range, the company has introduced this fabulous Prints collection. With its soft handle and economical value this brightly striped yarn makes for perfect colourful projects. Ideal for charity knitting, clothing, toy projects and economical knitting & crochet, it’s available in 10 shades and has an RRP £2.35 – £2.55 per 100g ball. +44 (0)1274 743 374 LAVINIA STAMPS Lavinia Stamps has introduced a new collection of Lavinia Chalk Acrylic Paints in 21 beautiful colours. These paints have been developed to have a chalky, super matte finish and ultra fine texture which makes them perfect to use with Lavinia Stencils or on a Lavinia Gel Press. +44 (0)1824 710 691

Alan Provisor ONLINE Fabulous range of braids tassels and cords in amazing colours. Check out the website or call me 01204 465233 |

16 KNITTING FEVER Moonshine from Juniper Moon Farm, now has a little sister: Moonshine Fine - composed of 30 per cent Extrafine Baby Alpaca, 30 per cent Peruvian Highland Wool, 25 per cent Polyamide, and 15 per cent Organic Silk, and has a gauge equalling 23-26 stitches per 4in on US 3-5 / 3.25-3.75mm needles. It’s available in 100gm hanks containing a hefty 437 yards per skein and comes in a variety of shades shown below. Fantastic for soft luxurious shawls and lightweight sweaters! This version features colours hand painted in Peru by artisans - giving you an original knit each and every time. MOMENTA Mix2Mold™ Ceramic Resin is non-toxic and food contact safe once cured*, making it perfect for crafting plates, cups, coasters, and a myriad of other functional and decorative items. With a simple three-step process and a two-ingredient mixture of water and powder, Mix2Mold® Ceramic Resin offers unparalleled ease of use, allowing crafters and everyday consumers alike to create high-quality ceramics at home in under an hour. Mix2Mold® Ceramic Resin Powder: Available in three sizes and five vibrant colours, this single-ingredient powder is the cornerstone of the Mix2Mold® system. PENTEL Brush Sign Pen, which is now available in no fewer than 36 colours, is based on the styling of the long-established Sign Pen, a favourite with artists and designers for many decades, but with a slightly flexible brush tip that is perfect for a range of creative applications. By applying varying degrees of pressure and holding the pen at different angles writers find Brush Sign Pen ideal for hand lettering and modern calligraphy, helping them to achieve perfect ascender and descender strokes. The six new fluorescent colours are red, orange, yellow, light green, pink and sky blue. Vibrant even in daylight the ink looks stunning under UV light, making possible an even wider range of creative applications. +44 (0)1793 823 333 BOTHY THREADS The Bothy Threads Spring 2024 collection has been a roaring success, Monday’s Child is the perfect sampler for a child’s nursery or playroom, adding a modern, playful twist to a traditional poem. This counted cross stitch kit is worked on 14 count antique white Zweigart Aida with pre-sorted stranded cottons and uses cross stitch, back stitch and French knots. The kit includes an alphabet for personalisation. The RRP is £29.49. +44 (0)1900 828 844

MANDALA GRADIENT Since 1878 we have inspired knitters and crocheters from around the world with our products. Today, we offer over 80 types of yarn incuding our stunning Mandala family. For more info, contact our sales team: US: • International: MANDALA MANDALA OMBRE VISIT US AT H+H AMERICA: MAY 1-3, 2024 • ROSEMONT, IL • BOOTH 300

18 BOTHY THREADS Say hello to the Hop, Skip, Jump ranges from Bothy Threads. There are12 brand new cross stitch kits, specially designed for Little Stitchers! Bothy wanted to create a mindful activity for children, to develop their motor skills, creativity, and encourage time away from screens. Using fabulous artwork from Kate Hadfield, there’s a range of designs in bright, bold colours, from monsters to monkeys, fairytales to brave knights, and of course a trip to the circus. This brand-new collection launches on the 16th April. The collection features a range of designs aimed at children or those new to stitching, and include coloured charts, helpful video links, a new needle minder, and a brand-new project bag. +44 (0)1900 828 844 STAEDTLER (UK) Discover the world of intense, brilliant colours with STAEDTLER’s brand new pigment arts pen range. All pens from this assortment come with an innovative and outstanding new ink, the so called MULTI INK, which sets new standards regarding colour brilliancy and lightfastness. The new range includes a variety of tip types, including brush pens, soft brush pens, calligraphy pens, and a bullet-tip pen. The pigment arts range is suitable for drawing, illustrations, and are particularly suitable for many mixed media techniques. The pens inspire all levels of experience, particularly hobby creative and professional users. The housing of the pens are also made from 97 per cent recycled plastic (including barrel, end cap, and lid). +44 (0)845 600 5930 STOCKWELL CERAMICS Stockwell Ceramics is pleased to announce the arrival of its new Black Labrador brooch which has just joined the many coloured pack of old favourites. This is proving to be a huge success among their large following of devoted dog lovers with its subtle application of a beautiful heritage William Morris design. Take a look at the extensive range of animal and Heritage brooches on Stockwell’s website.

LETISTITCH Ltd is a professional counted cross stitch kits company. Our main goal is to provide the best quality & the best designs for all customers preferences. We are working hard to elaborate the easiest charts, to make the cross stitch process happy :) Kits are manufactured at the Luca-S factory, Republic of Moldova, and provide the highest quality. We offer kits of various difficulty levels for any taste and budget. If needlework is the aim of your business too, then you will surely be interested in our offers for wholesale customers. WWW.LETISTITCH.COM | +44 7469364150 Knittingfor Babies andToddlers OUT 16 APRIL AVAILABLE FROM ALL GOOD BOOKSELLERS @MAKEETCBOOKS WWW.MAKEETC.COM

20 HERE’S TO 75 YEARS! Paul Sacki, Managing Director of Jakar International Limited discusses his fruitful business and what’s to come... You’re celebrating 75 years, congratulations. How does it feel? It’s very satisfying that we’ve reached this milestone, and we continue to be a private company and are still growing. Tell us a bit about the company and how it has evolved. The company was started in 1949 by my grandmother who was one of the pioneers of importing from Germany quality stationery and toy products, as well as cuckoo clocks. We still do stationery products and for many years we’ve also been distributing artist and crafts materials in the UK and Ireland. What do you specialise in? We specialise in supplying quality stationery, artists materials and craft products. Talk us through the current products you’re particularly excited about. Do you have a favourite? Currently, I’m particularly excited with Rosa artists materials as we’re expanding the range. The Rosa Gallery watercolours are artist quality and are available in full pans (2.5ml) and tubes (10ml). 10 new colours have recently been introduced and currently 80 assorted colours are available in both ranges. Also, Caran d’Ache Pastels are very much in vogue including pastel pencils which have been recently relaunched. Neopastel oil pastels and Neocolor I water-resistant and Neocolor II water-soluble wax pastels. Hobby & crafts have boomed over the last two years! Have you noticed any new trends? We’ve noticed that eco-friendly products are now very much in demand. M+R have a vast range of eco and recyclable products including pencil sharpeners, rulers and set square/protractors. Caran d’Ache have a range of Eco Gouache paint in classic, primary and fluorescent colours. How would you advise a retailer who is interested in stocking your products? Educational suppliers – We have a vast range of quality products at very competitive prices for primary and secondary education. Art shops – We have Professional, Amateur Artist and Students artists materials in five different brands to satisfy the needs of many consumers. Stationery shops – we stock a diverse range of stationery products including drawing equipment and we specialise in rulers, pencil sharpeners and erasers. What sets you apart from your competitors? We’re specialists in supplying quality artists, craft and stationery products at affordable prices. Our Sales Team are available to present and advise about our product ranges and we have a firstclass customer service team at the office and provide very prompt deliveries by designated couriers.

21 COMPANY PROFILE: JAKAR Do you visit any trade shows? Do you plan to visit any soon? We visit the Creativeworld and Ambiente trade fairs in Frankfurt in January/ February ever year. We’re exhibiting at the London Stationery Show in May this year and will be visiting various trade shows in the Far East in the autumn. What are you looking forward to most over the next year? We’ll be hosting various celebrations throughout this special year. In October, we’ll be celebrating with an anniversary dinner at a prestigious venue in London along with our team, business associates and also with three generations of my family. What new products can we expect from you in 2024? We will be exhibiting at the London Stationery Show new ranges of all our brands including Back to School and Back to College products. Later in the year we’ll be launching new Christmas collections. JAKAR INTERNATIONAL LIMITED +44 (0)20 8381 7000

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23 SHOWS & EVENTS  This season’s most unmissable events Shows, news & events Diary dates h+h cologne March 22nd -24th March, 2024 Cologne, Germany h+h americas 1st-3rd May, 2024 Donald E. Stephens Convention & Conference Centre Rosemont, Chicago London Stationery Show 14th-15th May, 2024 Business Design Centre, London Autumn Fair 1st-4th September, 2024 Birmingham NEC Top Drawer 8th-10th September, 2024 Olympia, London Show floor to shop window Autumn Fair has announced the launch of its new campaign theme promising a celebration of newness and original products that will bring retail stores to life, putting the spotlight on the allure of the ‘shop window’ and the best of British suppliers. Following constructive dialogue with key partners, buyers and loyal brands, Autumn Fair returns on the 1st to 4th September at NEC Birmingham with a renewed focus on independent retailers. Placing the buying experience at the forefront, the show revamps as the indispensable destination for buyers to explore a wealth of new and captivating products. Recognising the importance of swift transitions from the show floor to the shop window, Autumn Fair will curate a selection of over 500 suppliers primed to deliver on smaller minimums, establishing the event as the retail industries go-to for independents seeking seamless and efficient sourcing. Showcasing its importance in the retail calendar, Autumn Fair 2024 will host the retail market’s bellwether brands in every major sector across Home, Gift, and Fashion with over 30 per cent of brands exclusive to the show. The September buying show will also celebrate the best that Britain has to offer, paying homage to the British suppliers who are able to fulfil quick turnarounds with new products on small order quantities to cater to the evolving needs of the indies. Attracting a diverse array of independent retailers eager to rejuvenate their product offerings for the bustling yearend season, Autumn Fair has introduced entry-level exhibitor packages and pavilions to satisfy the desire for newness and enable new businesses with fresh ideas the opportunity to meet their first customers. Jackson Szabo, Portfolio Director, Autumn Fair says: “We’ve listened to all the constructive feedback from our community, and we’re excited to bring a new energy and focus to Autumn Fair. From the show floor to the shop window, every retailer wants to be inspired with original products that they believe will bring their stores to life. Autumn Fair is where buyers come to shop. Where products discovered at the show are of such exceptional quality that they deserve a prime spot in shop windows. “Independents flock to Autumn Fair to replenish inventory for end of year (peak season), and the buying trend is now little and often. With limited storage capacity and lower cash flow, this buying strategy is necessary to prepare for the increase in end of year sales. Autumn Fair provides the last opportunity in the year for product exploration. “We will be putting buying at the forefront of everything we do. We’ll be revamping the way buyers shop the show with improvements to the onsite experience, website, registration and more to help them best prepare and get the most out of the show. We’ll be creating more trails and buyer experiences to enable them to find the right brands. Indies need to make every second away from the store count. They need to be efficient and effective especially during a busy time of the season, and Autumn Fair will be their trusted resource to shop the brands that can make a difference for them now.” For more information, please visit:

24 Creativeworld 2024 The sustainability of products is becoming increasingly important in artistic design. This was abundantly on display at Creativeworld 2024. Numerous exhibitors presented ‘green’ products for artists of all ages to the professional creative community. The Ethical Style by Creativeworld label at the stands provided orientation in the halls. The cross-event Ethical Style programme of the Frankfurt consumer goods fairs comprised a selection of exhibitors with sustainable approaches, curated by an independent jury of experts. At Creativeworld, buyers can experience the international creative trends of tomorrow. One of these is Calm Essentials. The decisive factors here are the materials and their naturalness in terms of colour and quality. Kremer Pigmente, the German specialist for historical pigments, launched the 30 Years of NY Soil watercolour set with a local touch - quite literally: the eight colours are made by hand in the paint mill in Aichstetten, five of them with raw materials from the state of New York - as an ode to New York painting as a stylistic form. Artists use Kremer pigments with the matching watercolour painting medium based on gum arabic. Buyers also found what they were looking for in terms of brushes and paper at Creativeworld. British supplier ARTCOE showcased over 25 sustainably produced artist papers in the Fine Art, Creative and Graphic Pad segments with its FRISK range. It’s made from environmentally friendly, acid-free and recycled materials. The Faux Camel watercolour brushes of the Dynasty brand from the manufacturer F.M. Brush offer a combination of synthetic fibres with the special quality of holding pigments and releasing them at a controlled speed. As an ethical style exhibitor, F.M. Brush manufactures the brushes vegan, crueltyfree and from biodegradable components. The unvarnished wooden handles come from FSC-managed forests and are free from allergens, colourants and varnishes. New date for 2025: Ambiente, Christmasworld and Creativeworld will continue to take place at the same time at the Frankfurt exhibition centre in future. The daily sequence of Creativeworld will be optimised in close consultation with the industry: Creativeworld will start simultaneously with Ambiente and Christmasworld on Friday, 7th February 2025. It will continue to run for four days. Sponsors swift to sign up for NSW The plans for National Stationery Week 2024 are off to a fabulous start, with seven leading brands already having pledged their support as sponsors for the weeklong event which will spread the love at both retail and consumer levels about all things stationery. National Stationery Week runs over Monday to Sunday, 13th to 19th May, this year, and encompasses the London Stationery Show on the Tuesday and Wednesday (14th to 15th May) at the Business Design Centre in Islington. Maped Helix, Pentel, Staedtler and Zebra Pen had no hesitation in coming on board as headline sponsors for NSW, each sponsoring a day while Sinclairs has signed up as sponsor of the #Shelfie Competition to kickstart the build-up and also joins Exaclair and The Art File as a countdown week sponsor. For the second year running, Sarah Laker, owner of Stationery Supplies in Marple and Wilmslow is heading up the campaign for National Stationery Week, working closely with the Max Publishing team (which acquired LSW and NSW at the end of 2023), as well as event manager Chantelle White and founder Chris Leonard-Morgan, who is on board as a special advisor. “I’m delighted that we have four great headline sponsors already signed up, all of whom have repledged their support after being sponsors last year which shows how well last year’s campaign went, something we will be building on this year,” commented Sarah. “NSW is my favourite week of the year, I’ve taken part in it since the beginning in 2011, so I was beyond excited to be asked to spearhead the National Stationery Week campaign again this year.” Sarah is well underway with the full plans for National Stationery Week, with marketing activities for each individual day, each of which will have a dedicated sponsor. Staedtler has booked the Wednesday for its headline sponsorship slot. Showing the company’s enthusiasm, Staedtler’s senior marketing executive Rebekah Bell said: “We’re thrilled to be sponsoring National Stationery Week again in 2024, following the success of the 2023 event. It’s a key event for Staedtler, and this year is set to be full of colour and creativity!” And Pentel is Tuesday’s sponsor, as marketing manager Wendy Vickery explained: “We had no doubts we wanted to be involved once again – last year’s #LovePentelPens activity provided us with a great opportunity to support independent retailers with new product sampling and the chance to win high impact merchandising units. It also enabled us to encourage consumers to visit their local retail stationery stockist in store, in person, to pick up a sample pack of new Pentel pens and show their love for stationery by voting for their favourite independent stationery retailer. This year we’ll be unveiling more exciting plans to support our customers and share positive stationery vibes.” Sarah is also looking for two more countdown sponsors for each of the six weeks preceding before NSW – The Art File is signed up for week one, Exaclair has booked weeks two and three and Sinclairs has secured week six, on top of its #Shelfie Competition sponsorship.

26 Spring and Autumn Fair announce new advisory board Spring & Autumn Fair has announced the creation of a new Advisory Board designed to drive the continuous enhancement of the two shows and ensure that UK retail has a thriving marketplace in which to do business. The board, chaired by Stephen Spencer, Ambience Director at Stephen Spencer + Associates, comprises 15 of the industry’s leading figureheads including John Halliday from British Independent Retailers Association, Sarah Ward of the Giftware Association, Karen Wilson from the Greetings Card Association, Ben Massey from the National Association of Jewellers, exhibitors including Stephen Illingworth from Widdop & Co, Nick Ronald from Casa Verde, Aylish Ellwood from Enesco, Tim Hollis from Talking Tables, Jason Bensohn from One Dot World, as well retailers Kay Hutcheson of Coopers of Stortford, Samantha Gibbs from Nest, and Maggie Thornton from Alligator Pear, who all provide valuable industry insight and advice assisting in the ongoing development and growth of Spring & Autumn Fair. Jackson Szabo, Portfolio Director at Spring & Autumn Fair says: “The new advisory board is a very exciting development in the shows’ history. Spring Fair has brought the retail industry together for over 70 years and Autumn Fair for over 30 years they have become the nucleus of the industry and enabled so much great business to be done.” Laura Rae, Head of Community at Spring & Autumn Fair adds: “As we look ahead to Autumn Fair in September and our 75th Spring Fair, we know how important it is to garner support and insight from our key partners and community. Together we can offer the best experiences possible and continue to develop and safeguard the shows to fully meet the needs of the industry now and for many years to come.” With its futureproofing remit, the board is committed to guiding Spring & Autumn Fair to achieve a host of outcomes including proactively identifying trends and opportunities within the retail industry, identifying key visitor groups, expanding the regions they come from, and optimising visitor and exhibitor experiences. The Board will meet regularly to provide honest and constructive participation. h+h americas in top 50 Koelnmesse’s h+h americas show has been listed amongst the top 50 fastest growing 2023 trade shows in the US. Trade Show Executive’s (TSE) Fastest 50 Class of 2023 awards marked the trade show industry’s trade shows breaking TSE Fastest 50 records for growth by net square feet, number of exhibiting companies and total attendance - and h+h has come up trumps! Earning a ranking in two categories for fastest growth in net square feet and number of exhibitors was h+h americas by Koelnmesse Inc. h+h americas has quickly established itself as the largest US event in the North American Handicraft industry and will take place for the third time from 1st to 3rd May 2024 in Rosemont, IL. “The US trade show industry is clearly on its way back since nothing can replace the value of face-to-face interaction. We’re thrilled and honored to be recognised as one of the fastest growing events in the United States with our h+h americas event. Based on the current exhibitor registrations for the upcoming 2024 event we are well on track for another record-breaking level,” said Mette Petersen, President and Managing Director of Koelnmesse Inc. “Being listed among the fastest 50 came fast for us after organising only two events, therefore it is especially rewarding for our show team to be elevated in that category. The award will motivate us to work even harder for our future events,” added Darrin Stern, the Chicago-based Show Director of h+h americas. h+h americas is the sister event of h+h cologne, the world’s leading event for creative handicraft and hobby supplies, organised by the German show organiser Koelnmesse GmbH. The winners of the Trade Show Executive (TSE) Fastest 50 Grand Awards will be rewarded at a galaat the Resorts World in Las Vegas in May. Aylish Ellwood John Halliday Sarah Ward

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CHSI STITCHES 2024 Read all about the new launches, innovations from entrepreneurs and inspiring business speakers at the 2024 event CHSI Stitches 2024 trade show welcomed buyers and creators to the NEC, Birmingham, to discover innovations, the latest trends and make new connections, all while promoting sustainability in the craft industry. This year’s event was themed around the 3 Ps of sustainability - People, Planet, and Profit, and attracted professionals from across the craft sector. The trade show emphasised the significance of achieving a balance among social responsibility, environmental stewardship, and economic profitability in the craft industry. The exhibition floor featured a diverse array of craft products curated by leading suppliers, ranging from traditional favourites to innovative materials. Attendees could get hands on with the latest creations from across the craft spectrum including yarns, fabrics, and craft kits. The demonstration theatre brought the products to life and gave attendees creative ideas for sales opportunities. Lisa Zorbas, from Marent Crafts said: “We’ve had lots of interest in the Gutermann multicolour threads - perfect because you only need one spool of thread to create stunning, colourful embroidery. We’ve curated a range of colour palates with the threads, neon is very on trend right now. We’ve had some positive conversations at the show with brilliantly creative businesses.” Notable trends observed at the show included continued interest in bagmaking, fun yarns for toy and accessory creation, and the introduction of new fashion yarns, signalling exciting developments in the craft market. Jo Humberstone, King Cole said: “For this show we’ve focussed on quirky yarns to make toys and accessories. Our Yummy Yarn, a chenille, is perfect for making squishies and has been hugely popular. It’s about showing people that you can create toys and accessories in any type of yarn. We’ve had a great show with lots of interest. For us, the show is brilliant for meeting new people that we  29 STITCHES REVIEW

may not otherwise have connected with. We launched two new fashion yarns this year, Simply Denim DK and Linendale DK which have gone down a storm, hopefully in preparation for a beautiful summer!” Nottingham-based family business SC & PS Saunders Ltd. has seen the trend in bag-making continuing. Laura Saunders, Manager, SC & PS Saunders Ltd said: “Bagmaking has been popular. We’ve had lots of interest in our bag handles, strapping and metal accessories. It’s great to see this trend continuing from last year. We’ve had a great show and are looking forward to next year.” CHSI Stitches 2024 also featured a stellar lineup of respected business experts sharing essential insights to empower professionals in the craft industry. Topics covered a wide spectrum, including retail, e-commerce, digital marketing, and sustainability. Simon Burns, ICHF Events CEO was part of the panel on ‘The Pitch’ feature which gave craft industry entrepreneurs and business owners the chance to share their business, product, or idea to key industry players. Simon said: “It has been a real privilege to hear the incredible ideas and see the innovation that’s out there in our industry. This is what it’s all about.” Attendees had the opportunity to witness exciting product demonstrations, showcasing new materials, tools, and techniques poised to elevate crafting to new heights. The event also featured a quality speaker program and engaging demonstrations by crafting experts and influencers. A highlight of the show was the sustainability showcase, spotlighting the most ethical products available and inspiring visitors to prioritise ecoresponsible sourcing. Steve Mitchell, Event Director, said: “We had a great show with positive feedback. Proving extremely popular was our speaker programme where we increased our investment in this year knowing the value that these global experts can bring to designers, manufacturers, and retailers.” From embroidery to yarn, buttons to sewing machines, CHSI Stitches 2024 served as the premier platform for discovering the latest craft trends, launching new products, and connecting with industry leaders. For more show news visit the website: 30