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Industry news from Craft Focus magazine

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The Giftware Association collaborates with The Great British Exchange

The Great British Exchange and The Giftware Association have announced an exciting new partnership to create opportunities for suppliers, designers and manufacturers to utilise a network of pop-up locations across the UK. Using the combined skills of both organisations to successfully propel British brands to the next level of their journey. The exciting partnership comes hot on the heels of GBE awarding the Gift of the Year judges choice winner an exclusive pop-up deal in a John Lewis of their choice.

Posted: 2 June 2022

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Crafter’s Companion invests in new warehouse

Crafter's Companion is unveiling the look of its new Newton Aycliffe-based UK warehouse. The dedicated 54,000 sq foot, nine metres high pallet-racking space will enable the business to house 4,000 pallets of products. The warehouse will support the team's ability to meet the growing demand for crafting items with their customers across the UK, Europe and USA. In addition to increased space, the warehouse features 3,000 sq feet of office area and two dock loading doors, alongside modern staff facilities, including large training and breakout spaces, showers and changing rooms. The investment will also create new opportunities for the company and the local Newton Aycliffe area.

Posted: 31 May 2022

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Sheffield toy shop wins best small high street business

A children's store and community space in Sheffield has been crowned the UK's best small high street business at this year's Small Awards, as it made a return at a ceremony in London hosted by presenter, writer, actor, and comedian Sue Perkins.

Small Stuff – which combines a children's store offering sustainable toys and products, and a community hub supporting local businesses and families – won the 'High Street Hero' award, sponsored by TSB, for its positive impact on the community.

Founder Hellen Stirling-Baker, who has grown the business from its roots as a pop-up in 2016 to having a permanent premises in Sheffield's Crookes district three years ago, impressed judges for her passionate support of the local high street.

Posted: 27 May 2022

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New trade show - The Knit Show

UK Hand Knitting has announced a new trade show, The Knit Show, which will be held at The Pavilions of Harrogate on the 3rd and 4th of September, 2022. Even before Covid, exhibitions had become a little formulaic, less inspiring than they should have been and held in venues that lack personality and cost the earth. The members at UK Hand Knitting feel it is time to change things with an event that will not be your normal show, but something significant to inspire, motivate and most of all enjoy.

Posted: 26 May 2022

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Winners announced for the Stationery Matters Awards 2022

The industry came together on in May at the Business Design Centre to acknowledge and celebrate this year's Stationery Matters Awards winners.

The aim of the awards is to celebrate the latest and greatest products in the stationery industry and the organisers are delighted to say that the standard of this year's entries was truly outstanding.

This year's judging panel was made up of individuals from companies that span the breadth of the stationery industry. This includes Ruth Burgess (B&M), Judy Bendall (Blenheim Palace), Tallie Patterson-Gordon (Coleman Group), Joe Guest (Cult Pens), Claire Marsom (Hallmark), Alanah Whittaker-Thompson (Morrisons), Kat Squire (Papier), Katherine Walsh (Southbank Centre), Anna Balan (The Courtauld), Chris Workman (The Giftware Association), Elizabeth Lovatt (V&A), Andrew Foster (WHSmith), Hannah Fisk (ZSL).

Posted: 25 May 2022

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WTTB launches new artworking service to support resellers

An easy-to-use design service has been introduced by one of the UK's leading online print platforms, giving its resellers the opportunity to boost their business and increase capacity. As part of its continued growth, WTTB has now unveiled Artworker+, an additional offering for any customers who have to outsource their design or don't currently offer that facility. And it means that users will have a creative team of experts on tap, without the overheads of taking on more staff and still be able to expand their businesses.

Posted: 24 May 2022

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Autumn Fair almost fully booked

Autumn Fair, taking place on the 4-7th September at NEC Birmingham, is now almost fully booked and a host of industry leading bellwethers set to showcase their latest collections.

Timed to get retailers ready for the Golden Quarter, retail's busiest and most profitable time of year, the market's most innovative and inspirational brands are returning to the September show including stylish and on-trend furniture, textiles and decorative interior accessories from Coach House, Hill Interiors, and the newly launched Mint Interiors by Kettle, within Home; hand-picked and curated Summerhouse stalwarts Pacific Lifestyle and Gallery Direct; best-sellers, contemporary designs, unique and personalised and licensed gifts, stationery and greetings.

Posted: 20 May 2022

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Launch of RSN Sip & Stitch

RSN Sip & Stitch is a brand new annual event encouraging stitch lovers around the world to get together with friends to share their passion, have fun with stitch, and raise funds for the RSN. Taking place on World Embroidery Day on Saturday 30th July, RSN Sip & Stitch is a celebration of needlework for everyone around the globe.The Royal School of Needlework will provide a wide range of ideas and themes to host your perfect event, from RSN Stitch Bank challenges to different theme ideas including Stitch a Selfie, Postcards From Home and Wellness.

Posted: 19 May 2022

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Entries invited for The Fine Art Textiles Award 2022

Now in its fourth year, The Fine Art Textiles Award is an international juried exhibition open to all amateur and practising artists using textiles as their primary medium. The award recognises the creative talents and skills of a broad community of high-calibre artists producing gallery-quality fine art. The winner will be announced at The Awards Ceremony at The Festival of Quilts at the NEC Birmingham on Thursday 18th August at 12.30pm, with a £5,000 prize awarded.

Posted: 17 May 2022

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Ulster Weavers commemorative linen exceeds demand

Ulster Weavers commemorative linen tea towel launched to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne has significantly exceeded demand.

Aligned to the year-long celebration, demand for Ulster Weavers' limited-edition tea towel, which is available through a range of retailers throughout the UK, US, and Europe, has been more than quadruple what was originally envisaged.

Seven decades on from her accession to the throne in 1952, this year's historic Accession Day was observed on 6 February, officially launching the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

As the first British monarch to mark the milestone, the appetite for commemorative memorabilia related to the Jubilee year has been high, explains Joanne Bradley, Business Development Director at Ulster Weavers.

Posted: 13 May 2022

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