Craft Focus - April/May 2022 (Issue 90)

24 Optimism at Stitches CHSI Stitches 2022 saw a strong turnout, innovative new products from leading brands and high-profile speakers at its first post-pandemic show at the NEC in February. The show, the first since February 2020, drew leading creative craft brands, showcasing new ranges, many of which were being displayed for the first time in person since the pandemic started. Steve Mitchell, Show Director said: “While video meetings became the norm in the last two years, the enthusiasm for this year’s show reinforces the fact that nothing beats face to face when it comes to creative craft. The way products feel to work with is key to any retailer and end customer, and the show allows visitors to really understand the products they are ordering. This year we invested heavily in our speaker programme, welcoming industry heavyweights from across the marketing and retail spectrum. We’ve had a great turnout to the sessions.” CHSI Stitches 2023 takes place from 19th-20th February at the NEC, Birmingham, UK. For more information visit the website To discuss exhibiting options in 2023, contact Steve Mitchell on +44 (0)1425 460 811 or email: Top form at Olympia Top Drawer returned to Olympia London for another successful edition of the show. With buyers from Selfridges, John Lewis, Anthropologie and many more top retail brands in attendance the organisers received positive feedback regarding the show but more importantly the high-end collection of brands on offer. Among the mix of brands were long-standing favourites like Jellycat and Caverswall plus emerging brands breaking on to the scene in the brand-new Launchpad area. Launchpad hosted a selection of innovative new brands, featuring Concrete & Wax, Afropop Socks, Frankk Studio and many more. These brands brought an exciting array of products from candles, contemporary jewellery, bold prints and striking homeware. Brands in Launchpad received a lot of interest from retailers with their section of the Grand Hall buzzing with conversation and enquiries across the whole three days of the show. This year’s Top Drawer also saw the introduction of Top Drawer’s Meet the Maker initiative which put a spotlight on the creative designers and makers exhibiting at the show. With ceramics heavyweight Keith Brymer Jones sessions drawing large crowds, buyers were able to learn more about his relationship with clay from day one to now and what goes into the creation of his products. Plus, there were sessions from sustainability brand Beeswax Wrap, new candle brand Olor, ceramicist Sue Ure and many more. The interactivity of these sessions was beneficial as buyers were able to learn more about the brands and their process from design to creation. For future shows, organisers hope to build on these interactive sessions and give more brands the opportunity to tell their stories straight to the retailers. For further information, visit Still time to register! Registration is now live, as London Stationery Show returns to its time-honoured spring deadline. With exhibitors ready and raring to go, thousands of products are set to be showcased from the biggest, boldest, and best brands, all under one roof. Keeping up to date with the latest industry trends is vital for any business, and London Stationery Show doesn’t disappoint with brand new designs and innovative concepts from independent start-ups to top market leaders. Visitors to this year’s event will have the opportunity to browse over 150 amazing brands and discover their next hero product. Exhibitors range from large scale international manufacturers to home grown independent creators, and so much more. Big brands already confirmed for the spring event include Caran D’Ache, Edding, Exacompta, Frisk, Jaques Herbin, Kaweco, Leuchtturm1917, Moleskine, Pentel, Silvine, Staedtler, Tombow, Uniball, West Design, Zebra Pens, amongst many others. Event Director, Alex Butler says: “First and foremost, as the UK’s only trade event dedicated to stationery, we understand how important it is for industry professionals to discover first-class paper and writing products from a diverse range of brands. We handpick each exhibitor, so whether you’re an independent boutique or department store, luxury or mass market, you’ll find something to suit your business needs.” To register scan the QR code or visit