Craft Focus - April/May 2023 (Issue 96)

WWW.CRAFTFOCUS.COM OFFICIAL MEDIA PARTNER FOR CRAFT HOBBY + STITCH INTERNATIONAL AND PROUD SPONSOR OF TRENDING NOW Here comes THE SUN Summer product showcase PLUS! NEEDLECRAFTS GALORE! Tapestry, cross stitch & embroidery aplenty Father’s Day Company profiles Baby crafts & décor S t al ot wi odnoewr ny London Stationery Show preview

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3 CONTENTS In this issue... REGULARS 9 Industry news What’s happening within the craft and hobby market 15 Brand spanking new Brand spanking new products 65 Tried & tested Craft Focus Editor, Rachel Westall, gets to grips with this beautiful cross stitch kit from Bothy Threads 84 Bookstand The latest book releases 84 April/May 2023 15 65 31 FEATURES 51 God save The King With the Coronation just around the corner, here are some craft and décor items for those royal celebrations 59 Baby boom! Soft fabrics, cute accessories and sweet ideas for little ones 67 Father’s Day Delightful designs for Dad! 71 Summer product showcase Get creative this summer with these bright ideas! 79 Needlecraft Let customers get busy with these beautiful needlecraft options. There’s something for everyone! 79

4 FOCUS ON 38 h+h americas Darrin Stern, Vice President Koelnmesse Inc. Show Director of h+h americas, talks to Craft Focus exclusively about the upcoming June event in Chicago 48 Corinne Lappiere Corinne Lapierre, Creative Director of Corinne Lapierre Ltd talks to Craft Focus about expanding her ranges and her eco-friendly credentials 56 Visible Image Mark Alexander, Creative Director of Visible Image talks to Craft Focus about his successful stamp and stencil business that will be celebrating 20 years, next year! BUSINESS 90 Retailer interview We spoke to Sarah Laker the selfconfessed Chief Stationery Geek of Stationery Supplies. With shops in Wilmslow and Marple she’s now taken on the mammoth task of overseeing National Stationery Week 86 Efficient energy Martin McTague, National Chair, the Federation of Small Businesses, looks at how the rising cost of energy bills is affecting small businesses 91 Intellectual property Dids Macdonald, CEO of Anti Copying in Design (ACID), looks at the ultimate myths behind IP and original design 94 The LinkedIn Effect Kayleigh Gresty, Founder of Kreate Socials talks to Craft Focus about how networking on LinkedIn can be beneficial to your business SHOWS 23 Shows, news & events Stay up to date with what’s happening in your industry 28 Creativeworld review What happened when Ambiente, Christmasworld and Creativeworld joined forces for the first time in February 31 London Stationery Show preview All the latest in the lead up to the London-based event 41 CHSI Stitches What went on at the annual crafting trade event 45 The Craft Report The eagerly anticipated 2023 Craft Report was presented at CHSI Stitches by research specialist Linda Jones. Here we look at some of the findings... 28 56 31 45

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7 EDITOR’S LETTER On the cover The COLOP e-mark go is one of the most compact, handheld mobile printers on the market. Ideal for everyday use, it fits into your pocket and can be used no matter where you are. The printer is controlled by a freeto-download app where you can create your own designs or choose from one of the many pre-set templates to help you get started. Both the printer and the app have been developed with ease of use in mind, making the COLOP e-mark go perfect for all walks of life! For more information, visit the website: Looking ahead to summer Whilst writing my summer product showcase – a whopping five-pager this issue – I was sat at my desk with a large cup of tea and a blanket over my knees, albeit spring. It really is taking it’s time but the sun will be returning soon. Do check out these vibrant pages, the products are bound to make you feel good and full of inspo for the holiday makers and local customers looking to boost their creative side with a crafty purchase this summer! We have some fabulous interviews this issue, from South Wales’ stamping legends Visible Image to America’s Darrin Stern, Show Director of h+h americas, who has given us an exclusive lowdown about the upcoming June event in Chicago. If that’s not enough, we even caught up with Corinne Lappiere about what’s been happening in her busy design studio! This issue we report back from CHSI Stitches, with an insight into Linda Jones’s Craft Report; as well as our London Stationery Show preview – we’re counting down the days! As always, we have many up-and-coming products dotted throughout to make your store offering tip top for the months ahead; whether you’re stocking up for Father’s Day, have a new baby in the family to knit for or just want some new needlework kits to keep customer’s coming back for more. Happy reading and see you at LSS! 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 THE CRAFTY KIT COMPANY It was love at first sight when I saw these strawberry cupcake needle felting kits at CHSI Stitches! BOTHY THREADS I adore this counted cross stitch kit, His Majesty The King, out in time for the Coronation.

9 INDUSTRY NEWS  Industry news Latest news from the craft industry Mitsubishi Pencil UK Ltd appoints new MD Mitsubishi Pencil EU (MPEU) has just announced the appointment of Neil Jardine as Managing Director of its UK office. Mitsubishi Pencil is the owner of well-loved pen brands POSCA and uni-ball. Maxime Brasseur CEO of MPEU commented, “We’re delighted to have attracted an individual with such a wealth of knowledge and leadership experience to run our UK business. Neil will lead the UK business as we plan for another year of record results driven by strong consumer demand across both our Uni-ball and POSCA brands. The UK is a key market for our brands with category leading positions, exciting innovation and unequalled quality and precision engineering. Neil will lead a period of positive change as we consolidate our position, identify future growth opportunities and focus on the culture and values of our UK team.” Neil joins Mitsubishi Pencil UK after 25 years in the fastmoving consumer goods (FMCG) market, the bulk of which was as Director of Take Home at Greene King. Neil was also Sales Director at Sara Lee DE UK, and he masterminded the move by Disaronno to establish their own subsidiary in the UK (Disaronno UK Ltd). Neil commented, “I’m delighted to join such a great established business, with such a strong brand portfolio and consumer appeal. There is plenty to still be achieved working with the talented UK Team, hopefully utilising my experience to good effect.” For more information, visit: Sam Ryder - Behind the sparkle Crystal Parade has been lucky enough to work with some very talented fashion designers, dressmakers and costumiers, and in recent months working closely with stylist and GQ Style Editor Luke Jefferson Day, helping out with some very special outfits. Last June for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, Crystal Parade played a small part in dazzling the crowd outside Buckingham Palace. In collaboration with Luke and his design team, the company supplied the Preciosa and Zodiac crystals used to embellish the stunning Union Jack outfit worn by Sam Ryder for the Saturday night concert. Crystal Parade has worked with Luke on several occasions, each project is always fast paced and Luke knows he can rely on the Crystal Parade team to send what he needs in a speedy fashion! Luke used Zodiac and Preciosa crystals to create the show stopping denim boiler suit for Sam’s Jubilee performance, after having already worked on his iconic Eurovision outfit the previous month. His talented team of stylists used both hotfix and non-hotfix flatback rhinestones in various shades of red, silver and blue to create a unique take on the classic Union Jack emblem. The crystals were applied individually by hand, using the amazing Crystal Katana pick up tool and E6000 glue which is perfect for using on material that needs movement and flexibility. Thousands of crystals in many shades of blue including Aquamarine AB, Montana, Capri Blue, Peacock Blue and Sapphire adorned Sam’s outfit, along with Light and Dark Siam to create the flag, and Clear and Mine Silver rhinestones to fully crystallize the collar and cuffs. Luke chose to apply crystals of varying sizes to achieve what’s known in the industry as the ‘Rockery Effect’. This allows the light to hit the stones at multiple angles which is then reflected in every direction to create more sparkle on stage. After the success of the embellished boiler suit, Crystal Parade rhinestones have adorned even more of Sam’s outfits, with Zodiac crystals featuring on stage at the Taylor Hawkins tribute concert last September, in a performance on The Graham Norton Show and more recently on stage at The Brits. For more information, visit:

10 Manuscript Brands partners with artPOP! Manuscript Pen Company Ltd is expanding their brand portfolio with the addition of artPOP! as the new UK and Ireland distributor. This appointment bolsters their carefully selected existing product portfolio. artPOP! is a fresh, modern art brand that features bold, clean lines and a signature colour scheme of magenta. With artPOP!, users can create works of art that are truly one of a kind. The brand offers a wide range of art products, including infinity markers, paints, pencils, brushes and more. artPOP! products are all housed in design-led packaging that sets this brand apart on the shelf! “We’re proud to be able to bring artPOP! products to the UK market as a great addition to our portfolio,” said Manuscript Pen Company Managing Director, Charlie Stockbridge. “With artPOP!, artists will be inspired to continue on their creative journeys. The high-quality art supplies, vibrant colours, and thoughtfully curated sets are perfect for encouraging customers to have fun with their art. With artPOP!, they will have the tools they need to create with confidence.” From playing with paints or experimenting with colours, to discovering the possibility with pens and pencils, the point is to have fun. Whether it’s dabbling, doodling, starting, or re-starting a creative journey, artPOP! provides the tools needed to jump into action boldly! For more information about artPOP!, visit the website: Crafter’s Companion’s Craft Club Crafter’s Companion is launching its brand-new Craft Club series exclusively available at . Crafter’s Companion made its QVC debut with founder and creative director, Sara Davies back in August 2022. The Craft Club, is a collection of monthly kits that includes all the supplies needed to create a craft project or learn a new creative technique. The first is a Memory Album Kit which will be available until the 31st of March, 2023. With detailed instructions, access to video tutorials and everything included to create each project, Crafter’s Companion’s Craft Club is perfect for beginners. Each set comes in a sturdy pocket to keep craft projects organised, easy to find and ready to use again. Sara Davies, founder and creative director of Crafter’s Companion, said, “Our ongoing partnership with QVC has been fantastic so we’re beyond thrilled to team up with them to launch the Craft Club. If you’re a beginner crafter or even if you’re a keen crafter looking to try something new, the Craft Club is the perfect way to try out a whole host of different techniques and projects. Each kit has everything you could possibly need to get started and includes really detailed instructions to guide you every step of the way. The possibilities are endless with these kits, and I can’t wait to see what people create with them!” By Bachmann Premium Eco-Friendly Educational Crafts Origami Art Kit Dough Art Kit Sticker Puzzles Reusable Doodle Placemats Step by Step Drawing Books Velvet Colouring Cards Craft Focus PepPlay advert feb23.indd 1 02/02/2023 11:36 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_ The Wholesaler UK is open 24/7/365 for retailers looking for suppliers. 01608 662 298 Trade shows are back, but we never closed! Visit our website or contact us to find out how to book your “virtual” stand and take advantage of our trial listings. 1000s of product photos Detailed at-a-glance information on suppliers. Save your favourite suppliers for future visits The directory is still free to use - no registration. All listings are thoroughly vetted. We only list UK-based wholesalers What’s New? What’s Not New?

12 Sarah Ward makes the Powerlist A collaboration between the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) The confederation of British Industries (CBI) and the Trade Association Forum (TAF) has published a Powerlist of women in trade associations to coincide with International Women’s Day 2023 which features The CEO of the Giftware Association Sarah Ward. The list was compiled from over 200 nominations from the sector and a selection from the Trade Association Forum. CBI and FSB had the unenviable task of selecting the 100 women that make up the inaugural list. Sarah Ward said of her inclusion in the list, “I’m so honoured to have made this list and be celebrated in this way. There are so many other powerful women here too, so I’m privileged to share this achievement with them and for the power of our industry” Nicola Bates, Chair of the Selection Panel and Strategy and External Affairs Director of the Portman Group said, “It has been a real pleasure to be able to bring the CBI, FSB and TAF together to champion the role of women in trade associations, celebrate their achievements and encourage the next generation of women into the association sector.” Julie Lilley, FSB CEO said, “At FSB, I’m proud to lead a diverse organisation with strong representation of women at every level. This is true for our staff team but also our volunteers who are small business owners/self-employed right across the UK. As FSB was involved in setting up this initiative and the judging process, it would not be right to have also taken some of the slots - but I want to take this moment to say how brilliant the list is, to thank the Trade Association Forum, and reiterate my pride for FSB’s women. Well done to everyone in the list and involved.” partnership The Creative Retail Awards and are excited to announce their partnership for the 2023 Awards, in which they’ll be crowning the best-designed Independent Store in the industry. The partnership aims to celebrate and recognise the vital role that independent retailers play in the success of the high street, and to encourage the public to support their local independent stores. The category is open to independent retailers of all sizes and types, from small boutiques to larger independent department stores. The Creative Retail Awards honours the most innovative and creative retail spaces, products and campaigns in the industry., dedicated to supporting and revitalising independent retailers, will bring their expertise and community to the partnership. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with once again for the 2023 Awards,” said Antony Behiels, co-organiser of the Creative Retail Awards. “Their mission aligns perfectly with ours, and we believe that together we can truly shine a spotlight on the importance of independent retail and the role it plays in shaping our communities.” The Independent Store category at the 2023 Creative Retail Awards is open to independent retailers worldwide, with a focus on highlighting the unique design and customer experience of each store. The category is free to enter, with a deadline of the end of March, and can be completed online at www. All entries will be judged by a panel of industry experts, with the Shortlist announced in July. Alex Schlagman, Founder of, states, “ engages and supports local high street brands at every stage of their journey, from start-up to scaleup, across the UK.” The 2023 Creative Retail Awards ceremony will take place on the 21st September at Proud Embankment, London, where the winning store will be announced and honoured. The winner will receive one month’s subscription to’s new JO Accelerator business support programme, worth £299, and lifetime access to JO Assistant. More information on this innovative software can be found at For more information on the Creative Retail Awards, to enter your store, and to stay updated on the 2023 Awards, please visit:

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15 BRAND SPANKING NEW  Brand spanking new Check out some new and exciting products in the current market CORINNE LAPIERRE Corinne Lapierre loves bees and so do customers. Her gorgeous Bee Linen Lavender Bags are so popular that she decided to design a bee themed mini kit with a difference. Covered in buzzing bees and trailing leaves and flowers, this adorable beehive hanging decoration would grace any garden room or could even be suspended from an indoor plant! The on-trend printed craft card recyclable box is packed with absolutely everything needed to complete the project including soft wool mix felt, DMC thread, a needle and toy filling. Detailed instructions and templates are very clear and easy to follow. There are around 30 designs of Corinne Lapierre mini kits to choose from, all in irresistible little boxes that are easy to display and a fantastic way to develop a varied and accessible craft kit range. +44 (0)1132 460 403 HERITAGE CRAFTS Heritage Crafts has a new Christmassy addition to the Elegance range: Eve (JLEV1660). Part of the Elegance by John Clayton range, the design measures 30cm x 42cm and has an RRP £68.90. It’s available as a complete kit on 14ct aida or 27ct evenweave. The kit contains: Zweigart fabric, DMC stranded cottons sorted on to numbered cards, a needle, and clear charts and instructions. JAKAR INTERNATIONAL LTD This pad is spiral bound and the front cover features a design Follow Your Dreams by Jean Michel Basquiat a prodigy of Andy Warhol. This Stifflex artWORK pad is microperforated, acid free, (250g/ m2) and measures 24cm x 33cm. This range is available in sketch, draw, watercolour, marker, manga and pastel pads in various grams and different cover designs. The RRP is between £19.99 - £29.99 including vat. Jakar will be exhibiting at London Stationery Show, stand M418. +44 (0)20 8381 7000 DANNELLS Dannells has introduced its brand new Needcraft kit, the DIY Table and Floor Lamp Base Making Kits. You can now make bespoke lamp bases to go with your original lampshades! Available in three sizes, the table lamp base kit is 35cm high and floor lamp bases come in two sizes over one metre high. +44 (0)1992 700 311

16 HAWTHORN HANDMADE Get ready to craft your way to a happier birthday with this Happy Birthday Felt Craft Kit! This kit is perfect for beginners and comes with everything you need (except for scissors) to create a one-of-a-kind birthday gift for a friend. The kit includes high-quality wool felt and DMC threads that will bring your creation to life. Not only is crafting a fun and creative outlet, but it’s also a great way to practice mindfulness and relieve stress. So, grab your scissors and let’s get crafting! Your friend will love their birthday gift made with love. CRYSTAL PARADE Introducing Zodiac, the new rhinestone brand by Crystal Parade that’s taking the craft world by storm. Zodiac crystals have received over 1,500 five-star reviews, and 96 per cent of customers say they’d recommend them to a friend. They’re a high quality, affordable brand, offering a wide range of craft embellishments suitable for the craft retail market. The range includes hotfix and non-hotfix flatback rhinestones, bicone and round beads, flatback pearls and rhinestone shapes, sew on stones and crystal buttons, covering a huge sector of the creative arts industry such as craft and DIY, performing arts, textiles, interior design and jewellery making. Crystal Parade can offer Zodiac embellishments in retail quantities, either in Crystal Parade or your own branded packaging, with a minimum order of £50. By offering Zodiac to your customers as an alternative to more well-known names, you can reach a much larger audience of crafters, designers, costumiers and many others in the creative arts sector. If you’re interested in stocking Zodiac crystal products or would just like to know a bit more about the brand, receive some samples please drop the team a message. +44 (0)1926 484 214 LAVINIA STAMPS To complement their extensive range of mythical and magical themed images Lavinia Stamps has introduced a range of Elements Inks for all background and foreground colour to add depth and complement any design. The latest five new water-based dye inks are perfect for producing blended backgrounds that can be enhanced further by using the exciting selection of stencils available from the Lavinia series to take projects to a whole new level. Always looking to add interest and character to create sensational designs, Lavinia Stamps will continue to create new concepts in 2023 to captivate new and experienced crafters around the globe. +44 (0)1824 710 691 COLOP UK LTD The COLOP e-mark go is one of the most compact, handheld mobile printers on the market. Ideal for everyday use, it fits into your pocket and can be used no matter where you are. The printer is controlled by a free-to-download app where you can create your own designs or choose from one of the many pre-set templates to help you get started. Both the printer and the app have been developed with ease of use in mind, making the COLOP e-mark go perfect for all walks of life! +44 (0)121 622 8900

Alan Provisor ONLINE Fabulous range of braids tassels and cords in amazing colours. Check out the website or call me 01204 465233 | Grow your business with the rhinestone brand that’s taking the craft world by storm. Now seen as the best alternative to Swarovski, Zodiac has received over 1500 5 star reviews, with 96% of customers saying they would highly recommend them. 01926 485038 | Find our range of Flower Presses and 2500 other products on our website Trade-only website. Apply for an account at: Phone: 01298 78447 Scan me for an account

18 CRAFTER’S COMPANION Make your crafting dreams come true with the Sara Signature Once Upon a Time Collection from Crafter’s Companion. Romantic patterned papers, enchanting dies, stamps, decorations and a sprinkle of magical fairy dust bring beloved glittering princesses and classic fairy tales to life through papercraft. No need for a magic wand, this collection includes a special shimmering inkpad, jewel-bright gem decorations and stunning, luxury pot of iridescent glitter. So, you can make birthday girls and boys feel like a prince or princess on their special day with spellbinding cards, party invites, gifts bags, decorations, scrapbook pages and more. +44 (0)1388 660 930 PENTEL (STATIONERY) LTD. Pentel has launched an extension to its Brush Sign Pen range, with a twin-tip version of this highly popular product. With a broad brush tip at one end and a fine brush tip at the other, the Brush Sign Pen Twin Tip is the ideal product for beginners to practise hand lettering and modern calligraphy, or decorative illustration techniques. Continuing the brush theme, Pentel’s new Milky Brush uses the same pump-action ink flow technology as the Pentel DualMetallic Brush but is supplied with eight gorgeously soft pastel shades. Pastel mint green, pastel pink, pastel orange, pastel blue, pastel yellow, pastel violet, white and pastel green ink produce beautiful results on dark or light coloured paper. The synthetic fibre tip retains its shape and the pen is ideal for tapering, blending and letter forming. Also new are recent additions to the Pointliner family of pigment liner pens. The original range featured five tip sizes, from extra fine 0.05mm to medium-broad 0.8mm, all with black ink. Now, Pentel has extended the range with a further six tip sizes, including 2.0mm and 3.0mm calligraphy-style tips. It’s useful to have more than one ink colour to hand, and Pentel’s new iZee 4 Colour ballpoint pen offers style, practicality and colour choice at an everyday affordable price. Choose from standard (dark blue) barrel with black, red, blue and green ink, fashion (light blue) barrel with orange, pink, sky blue and violet ink or education (dark violet) barrel with black, blue, green and violet ink. Finally, for the ultimate in sustainability, Pentel’s new EnerGel Eco 96 pen provides an excellent writing experience with strong environmental credentials. Made using more than 96 per cent post-consumer recycled materials, EnerGel Eco 96 is ideal for everyday writing, and is available with black or blue ink quickdrying EnerGel ink and a 0.7mm (medium) tip size.

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20 POP-UP FRAMES Introducing innovative paper frames. A brand spanking new patented product in the framing sector. Made from FSC certified high quality card each Pop-up Frame kit can be easily assembled in a few minutes to a lightweight 2.5cm box edge tray frame with multiple sizing options using just a pair of scissors. At a price that suits crafters, students, schools and anyone filling their walls on a budget. Pop-up Frames are ideal add-ons for on and offline arts and crafts retailers. They’re flat-packed so POS displays are more efficient. Delivery and storage is easier and often cheaper and more versatile than conventional frames. MOUSELOFT Mouseloft has added new spring designs to its Stitchlets range! 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. They’re also available in a retail pack! BOTHY THREADS This counted cross stitch kit, His Majesty The King, is worked on 16 count speckled Zweigart Aida with presorted stranded cottons and uses cross stitch, back stitch and a French knot. The finished design size measures 29cm x 24cm. CYGNET YARNS Cygnet Yarns has new shades in: Scrumpalicious (Super Chunky) in Botanical Tint & Periwinkle; Jellybaby Glitter Chunky in shades French Violet & Spring Green; and Jellybaby Chunky in shades Bubblegum, Marmalade, Teddy & Oyster! All these frame formats made from the Small Pop-up Frame kit (15-30cm)

CLASSES INCLUDE: Papercraft / Mixed Media Painting / Fabric Digital Crafting / Upcycling and so much more! CLASSES AVAILABLE NOW!!! Introducing our brand-new training academy, home to some of your favourite craft and lifestyle brands. VISIT to book your class now! FREE TO JOIN! Move up the membership tiers to enjoy higher benefits the more you spend! Benefits include: POINTS REFER A FRIEND DISCOUNTS EARLY ACCESS CRAFTING LIVE TICKETS (Terms & conditions apply. See website for details. Benefits listed are for the first tier of Club Highlight) Doncaster Racecourse Saturday 15th July 2023 10am-5pm Sunday 16th July 2023 10am-4pm Tickets available now Tickets only £5! Live demos & TV shows VIP upgrades available Meet your fave celebrity crafters Over 60 stalls Free make & takes TM Fabric designed and printed in the heart of Derbyshire Charming Animals Build-a-Character Die Set Faux Leather Range of colours available Cotton Poplin Fabric Coming Soon! Pattern packs, cushion kits, applique panels & dies plus much more available at FABRIC AVAILABLE BY THE METRE

23 SHOWS & EVENTS  This season’s most unmissable events Scotland’s Trade Fair news Scotland’s Trade Spring Fair saw returning confidence in the market with exhibitors and buyers in an upbeat, positive frame of mind at this key buying show for the gift market. Off the back of a successful retail season in 2022 in Scotland, buyers were feeling very positive about the year ahead and the leads and orders generated reflected this. Tourism is one of the key drivers of the gift market in Scotland and the early indicators for this year are very positive once again. One highlight of the show was the Best Product awards judged by retail experts Sarah Gordon from Luss General Store, Charmaine Fox from Caulders Garden Centres and Amy McCusker from Wee Box. They were impressed by the standard of the entrants as well as the pricepoints, design and creativity, making choosing winners very difficult. Amy McCusker said: “From innovative design to stylish gifts, the entrants and winners of the awards alike should be proud. It is inspiring to see the industry pushing the envelope and emerging from two years of the pandemic with renewed determination.” The winners are listed below. The Talking Shop Seminar Theatre hosted a series of wellattended informative and relevant talks on all aspects of retailing, including masterclasses on social media and online content, panel discussions with leading influencers and the ever- favourite Nessie’s Den, where new young companies pitch to retailers in a light-hearted session. The Show also welcomed a visit from Ivan McKee MSP, Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism & Enterprise, who toured the show and spoke about support for Scottish businesses. Best Product Award Winners Cards and stationery Gold – The Wee Book Company – children’s book Silver – Pop Up Designs – light up birthday card Bronze – Pink Pig – cards Home & Gift Gold – Fiona Matheson Studio – Block in a Box Silver – Love Scottish Candles – natural wax candle Bronze – D&C Supplies – Highland cow hot water bottle Textiles, Jewellery & Fashion Accessories Gold – Amy Britton – Harris tweed and recycled plastic laptop case Silver – Glen Ogal – Bamboo sunglasses Bronze – Nixey -Sporran handbag Launch Gallery Gold – Lin Pin Crafts – needle felting starter kit Silver – The Ink Balm – nature’s butter for tattooed skin Bronze – Victoria Gordon Art – stag tea towel The 2024 Show is from 21st –23rd January 2024, while the Autumn Show is on the earlier date of 20th –21st August 2023. For more information, visit: Shows, news & events Diary dates London Stationery Show 16th-17th May, 2023 Business Design Centre, London h+h americas 21st-23rd June, 2023 Donald E. Stephens Convention & Conference Centre Rosemont, Chicago Scotland’s Trade Fair Autumn 20th-21st August 2023 Autumn Fair 3rd-6th September, 2023 Birmingham NEC h+h americas expands After a strong initial launch in North America in 2022, anticipation is building towards the next h+h americas set for 21st –23rd June, 2023. The event will take place again at the Donald E. Stephens Convention & Conference Centre in Rosemont/Chicago. The June dates have been carefully selected to provide buyers with seasonal offers from the entire handicraft industry. h+h americas is a B2B trade show with a comprehensive conference programme organised in partnership with the Craft Industry Alliance and open to Influencers, Professional Crafters, Etsy Sellers, Content Creators and everyone who makes a living in crafts. As an offspring of the world’s leading textile handicraft trade fair in Cologne, Germany, the show is a response to strong US demand for a unified trade show on US soil. The US market consists of 30 million Americans that crochet, knit, sew, quilt or embroider. The inaugural 2022 event combined 2,000 attendees with 200 exhibitors who displayed a wide range of products from yarn, fabric, art, craft materials to toys and pastimes. Many attendees praised the high share of international product lines from 39 countries normally not seen before in the US. Due to strong interest among buying groups the 2023 event will now broaden its product categories to include craft, hobby and artists’ supplies. Buyers will have access to materials and tools for scrapbooking, papercraft, rubber stamping, painting, handicrafts, sewing, modelling, and decorating to high-quality papers and paints, easels, inks, pens, markers, brushes and adhesives as well as graphic accessories and cutting tools. For more information on exhibiting, speaking or attending contact: Darrin Stern, or visit the website:

24 Bumper 20th anniversary celebration for The Festival of Quilts The Festival of Quilts, Europe’s leading patchwork and quilting event, will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year with a bumper line-up of features that include special guest appearances, exciting new competition categories, celebration galleries and exhibitions, the Festival’s biggest-ever workshop and talks programme, and a party! Flying in from the USA to mark this very special occasion will be modern machine quilter and YouTube star, Angela Walters, from The Midnight Quilt Show. Angela will be sharing her longarm quilting skills in a series of workshops and talks. The Festival of Quilts is launching two exciting new competition categories for 2023, Sustainable Quilts and The Joy of Sharing. The Sustainable Quilts category is for quilts made with minimal negative environmental impact, with at least 75 per cent of the fabric used to be re-purposed from functional textiles and discarded items and the rest from organic and/or stash fabric. Biodegradable, recycled or naturally sourced materials should be used wherever possible. The Joy of Sharing category is for quilters wanting their work to be seen but not judged, and is designed to welcome and encourage every quilter to show their work without the restrictions of other categories. Competition entries opened in late February, with more than 700 competition quilts expected to be on display. A special winners’ exhibition, 20 Quilts for 20 Years, will feature a selection of winning quilts from The Festival of Quilts’ competition from the last two decades, giving visitors the opportunity to view some of these masterpieces once again. Visitors can look forward to spectacular galleries by some of the world’s leading quilt artists, including Denise Labadie, Ekta Kaul, Elizabeth Brimelow, Joe Cunningham, Laura Kemshall, L’Merchie Frazier and Sandra Meech, and exhibitions by the European Quilt Association (EQA), the International Quilt Museum Nebraska, Studio Art Quilts Associates (SAQA), The Quilters’ Guild, Zero3, and artists shortlisted for The Fine Art Textiles Award 2023. The 20th Anniversary Festival of Quilts takes place at the NEC Birmingham from 3rd-6th August 2023. Tickets are now on sale at Transforming the future of trade shows Autumn Fair, the successful marketplace for wholesale home, gift, and fashion taking place from the 3rd-6th September 2023, sees the launch of Connect @ Autumn Fair. Endorsed by leading UK retailers such as John Lewis, WHSmith and Choice, Connect @ Autumn Fair is a transformational new approach to buying, designed to revolutionise the traditional trade show model by connecting retailers and brands on a scale never achieved before. From this September, Connect @ Autumn Fair will lead the way for the retail community and transform the buying experience by fuelling thousands of prearranged buying meetings before the show even opens. Viewed as the dawn of a new era for retailers, Connect @ Autumn Fair will connect thousands of the UK’s leading buyers and retailers with all 600+ Autumn Fair exhibitors before the show. Buyers will be able to discover the brands and products their businesses need, by selecting from hundreds of data points important to them. Exhibitors can create leads, orders, and opportunities with the buyers they want to meet most - all in an incredibly efficient and effective way - turning chance meetings into guaranteed connections. Over 6,000 meetings are anticipated to take place at Autumn Fair. Each meeting is 15 minutes long and all meetings are double opt-in, meaning both parties have agreed to meet. Meetings take place on the stand, so buyers can explore the full product range. Buyers can participate in as many double opt-in 15-minute meetings as they’d like limited only by availability and mutual interest. If more than 15 minutes is required, a follow-up meeting can be arranged at or after the show. Peter Allinson, CEO, Whirlgig Toys adds, “Connect @ Autumn Fair sounds great for me. It means I get a really detailed conversation with someone and they’re prepared to meet me. It means they’ve done their homework and I’ve done mine and we can actually talk about something that’s relevant.” Connect @ Autumn Fair is powered by the leading meetings technology company Personatech, that developed and operates the largest meetings programmes for retail events including ShopTalk and GroceryShop. For buyers to join Connect @ Autumn Fair, the first step is to register for a FREE ticket to Autumn Fair. Registration opens in April 2023. Or book in a call with Autumn Fair’s community development team on Tel: +44 20 3545 9735 to find out more. Register Today 16-17 MAY 2023 BUSINESS DESIGN CENTRE Caran d’Ache Ecoline Hahnemühle Hawthorn Handmade Quilling Card LLC Stitchfinity Exhibiting brands include:

26 Spotlight on Supporting New Retailing Talent Spring Fair, the marketplace for wholesale Home, Gift and Fashion, welcomed one of retail’s most forward-thinking entrepreneurs on day three, TV Dragon and #Small Business Sunday Founder Theo Paphitis, as part of the show’s continuing ethos to support and guide up-and-coming design and retailing talent and nurture the show’s retail community. Speaking to a packed audience of retailers, Theo Paphitis, interviewed by The Sun’s Business Editor Ashley Armstrong, said, “I’ve had an incredibly vibrant career being an entrepreneur, it was never a career in my day. Hunger and passion is key, but it can’t be taught. There are different levels of entrepreneurial success. Most entrepreneurs are dreamers. I’m still dreaming, the dreams drive us, but you have to make those dreams come true and that’s the difference, having the drive the realise it.” He continued by discussing the support he gives to startups through #Small Business Sunday, saying “#Small Business Sunday came about as I’d just joined Twitter and got all these followers from starting on Dragon’s Den. One Sunday I thought why I don’t I use these 50k followers to some benefit and thought the first half a dozen that tweet me telling me a little bit about their business I’ll retweet. We read them all, picked 6 and left it at that. The following Sunday my phone goes off again and #SBS was coming in. On the third week I took it to the office, retweeted on the Monday. Every Monday morning we did it and now it’s grown to our event, self-help groups, and forums.” Offering advice to small businesses, he said, “Business is common sense - don’t be shy, stick your elbows out and know your numbers”, adding that “50 per cent of all small businesses fail in the first two years because people don’t know their numbers, they haven’t done their homework. Lots who fail the first time, go on to succeed the second. Learning from their mistakes, finding places to get help, understanding the things that really matter in business. The things you need to sweat and the things you don’t need to sweat because they don’t really matter.” Asked how can small business manage cash flow post pandemic and cost of living? Theo responded, “You’re absolutely right it has been difficult. You couldn’t make it up, with Russia and Ukraine, cost of living, inflation and energy costs, it’s been very difficult for us to plan. We have to build in what we’re doing with some margin for error, but I still believe there is opportunity. As a small business, if you remain agile and survive for the next three years and do it in this market you’ll have great foundations.” Spring Fair continues to champion the most innovative and inspiring start-up businesses who have been trading for less than 18months in its expanding newcomer areas. Following a successful four-year partnership with Autumn Fair, which has supported around 40 start-up businesses so far, Theo Paphitis’s #SBS Small Business Sunday winners are now hosted in the #SBS Village at Spring Fair. LSS announces LaunchPad winners After dozens of entries and a scrupulous round of judging, London Stationery Show is delighted to announce the six businesses who have won the annual LaunchPad competition. LaunchPad aims to shine a light on emerging businesses looking to break into the stationery industry and showcase their unique products to a wider audience. The opportunity allows the winners to exhibit alongside market-leading brands at LSS and meet top buyers visiting the UK’s leading trade event dedicated to arts & crafts, greeting cards, paper products and writing instruments. The lucky winners also receive a range of marketing support, plus 50 per cent off a stand at London Stationery Show 2024. The 2023 LaunchPad winners include: Curlicue Gifting Limited Curlicue Gifting Limited creates sustainable gift wrap and accessories. All designs are done in collaboration with artists and illustrators, valuing sustainability and design equally. Enayball Enayball is a UK SME focused on promoting equality by providing affordable access to independent living for individuals with disabilities. Their first product is a tool that allows anyone with a physical disability, including the most highly paralysed, to independently draw. Jennifer Tune Jennifer Tune creates modern, but minimalistic greetings cards, prints and gift wrap. Each product is created with sustainability in mind and blends contemporary typography, tactile paper and specialist print techniques. Ladies Let’s Plan The Ladies Let’s Plan Epic Planner Range helps clients strategise their everyday planning. With top tips in each planner to support them on their journey with plenty of space to capture memories and plan out ultimate goals. Lione and Sheikh A small women-owned London based business that hand makes and illustrates eco-friendly products, greeting cards and novelty stationery, focusing on minimalist pop culture designs and botanical illustrations. Moonducks Design Moonducks Design sells handmade sustainable notebooks, made from various recycled papers and available in more than 30 colours. Visit London Stationery Show from 16th-7th May to meet the winners and see their design debuts for yourself. For more information:

FABULOUS FRANKFURT The leading international consumer goods fairs Ambiente, Christmasworld and Creativeworld joined forces for the first time in February, to inspire as the global hub for upcoming lifestyle trends The three shows attracted 4,561 exhibitors who occupied the entire Frankfurt exhibition centre on 352,950sqm and impressed 154,000 retailers from all over the world with their innovations. Participants from more than 170 nations celebrated the event. “With an overwhelming participation and tremendous internationality, we’ve made an incredible comeback for the global consumer goods world after two years of pandemic. Frankfurt has strengthened its leading position and is the comprehensive inspiration, ordering and networking event. Our new concept One-Stop-Shop is working!” says Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board. Buyers could benefit from a variety of fresh business impulses: at Ambiente, Dining, Living and Giving were expanded by the new Working section with a view to modern working worlds. Christmasworld inspired the sector with seasonal showstoppers and festive decorations with the wow effect for the most beautiful and best-selling time of the year. With numerous creative offerings and interactive workshops, Creativeworld celebrated the ongoing DIY boom like no other trade fair. “The new trade fair format consisting of Ambiente, Christmasworld and Creativeworld is very coherent and perfectly tailored to the needs of the trade, as the ranges in the home and living segments are also increasingly merging. The mood among our members was consistently positive and it was confirmed once again that our industry needs the trade fair marketplace as a platform for networking, ordering and experiencing the products,” commented Christian Haeser, Managing Director of Handelsverband Wohnen und Büro e.V. The entire spectrum of German and international retail trade was on site. In INDUSTRY THOUGHTS The Central Association of the Hardware Trade (Zentralverband Hartwarenhandel e.V.) also agrees with this tenor: “Full halls, super atmosphere, lots of new products, great discussions - the restart of the trade fair after the pandemic has been a success. The specialist retail trade in the housewares/glass porcelain ceramics sector is pleased and grateful to be able to return to the world’s most important consumer goods fair, Ambiente, in its presence after three years. Christmasworld and Creativeworld open up further exciting segments, and a wide range of ideas, which are essential in a challenging market to inspire customers,” said General Manager Thomas Dammann. 28

Ambiente, Christmasworld and Creativeworld will continue to be held simultaneously at the Frankfurt exhibition centre: Ambiente & Christmasworld: 26th -30th January 2024 Creativeworld: 27th - 30th January 2024 addition, the mega event attracted the who’s who of major international buyers such as Amazon, Illums Bolighus, Galeries Lafayette, El Corte Ingles, KaDeWe, John Lewis, E. Leclerc, Marks & Spencer, Museum of Modern Art, Rinascente and Staples. Moreover, major distributors of hotel and restaurant supplies from around the world, as well as hotel chains such as Marriott International, Hilton Hotels & Resorts and Hyatt Hotels, were also attending. The fact that the trade sees Ambiente, Christmasworld and Creativeworld as its new platform for success is also confirmed by Messe Frankfurt’s visitor survey. The satisfaction ratings are at a very high level and currently stand at 94 per cent. The topic of sustainability was omnipresent at all three trade shows with innovative products - according to the Zukunftsinstitut, it is increasingly in demand among consumers and is becoming a decisive purchasing criterion. “More than 70 percent of people worldwide still prefer to shop in stores. However, they want to do so more locally, more sustainably and more collaboratively. Every crisis generates resilience, courage and creativity, and changes create new opportunities and potential for retailers. Here, it is important to set the course early on and consistently put on the consumer’s glasses,” suggested futurologist and retail expert Theresa Schleicher from the Zukunftsinstitut. 29 SHOW REVIEW