Meer the Buyer

The Giftware Association has been hard at work securing buyers for our ‘Meet The Buyer’ events throughout the year, and we are excited to bring you not one but two events, on the 8th March and 15th March, both being held in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, bringing together buyers from The National Gallery, Choice Marketing, the Royal Mint and many more, each event has slightly different requirements, so please check below and decide which one, or indeed both, would be suitable for you. This offer is only open to Giftware Association members only.

March 8th 2018

Meet The Buyer March 8

The event will be held at The Button Factory in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter and will feature Choice Marketing, The Royal Horticulture Society, Scout Shops and The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust who are all eager to see your lovely products.

The cost for the event will be £150 to see all four buyers and a chance to meet some of The Giftware Association’s service providers too.  Products looking to be sourced, but not limited to, are as follows:
–  Jigsaw & Games
– Hat/glove sets
– Jewellery & Watches
– Gift Food
– Nursery and children
– Homewares

Good Luck as places will be limited and fill up quickly

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March 15th  2018

Meet The Buyer March 18

This event will also be held in The Button Factory in Birmingham and will feature The National Gallery and The Royal Mint, as this will be a more targeted event, we will require you to complete the following Meet the Buyer – The National Gallery & The Royal Mint, with lucky members being selected from the The National Gallery and the Royal Mint.

The cost of the event will be £125 to meet one buyer, or £200 to meet both companies. Products looking to be sourced, but again not limited to, are as follows:

– Personalised gifting
– British and Heritage brands
– Jewellery, Leathergoods and textiles
– Food and Drink (specifically high end and hampers)
– Stationery and Homewares

If you have any further queries or would like more information about each event, travel arrangements, accommodation or if you would like to speak to a member of the team, then please get in touch with us at Alternatively, if you are a buyer and would like to take part in our further events then please also get in touch.

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London Stationery Show

The London Stationery Show regularly attracts the UK’s biggest retailers, influential buyers and brands in the stationery, gift and fashion sectors and is on target to deliver its biggest number of exhibitors this April when it opens at the Business Design Centre in Islington, north London.

A key part of the visitor offer are the show’s Stationery Awards which last year attracted 400 entries across 11 product categories from exhibitors.  Now in their seventh year, a panel of senior stationery buyers, chaired by independent retail advisor and Giftware Association chairman, Henri Davis, and including Cult Pen founders Amanda and Simon Walker and Papersmiths founder Sidonie Warren, will undertake the task of judging the products on the first day of the show, with the results announced that evening.

What’s new for 2018

All the products are gathered in one central display for visitors to review themselves and, for the first time, as part of the show’s 2018 design initiative, will include a new ‘Good Design’ Award.

The new design initiative has focused on encouraging designers and design-led brands to take part in the show.  This will use a new part of the exhibition hall and include a new ‘On Trend’ product display, curated by trend forecasters Scarlet Opus.

The Scarlet Opus team has identified three key global consumer and design trends they feel will be particularly relevant to the stationery sector and will select product from exhibitors that illustrate these trends to create their ‘On Trend’ display.  Exhibitors were able to attend a free trend briefing back in early January to find out what Scarlet Opus is looking for and ensure their products are considered.

“Sharing and explaining the impact of global trends and their effect on our sector is vital information for our exhibitors and visitors – it means they can make key commercial decisions about new product development and purchases with confidence,” says Hazel Fieldwick, the show’s event manager.

The display area will include trend ‘mood boards’ and the Scarlet Opus team will be on hand to talk to retailers about how they can interpret the trends and merchandise them in their own stores.

The ‘On Trend’ display will be supported by new ‘Trend Tours’ of the show. Each Trend Tour is a 25-30-minute tour of 8-10 products around the show which Scarlet Opus feels sum up the key consumer trends that will be playing out in the stationery market in the coming months. Visitors can request their own ‘team tour’, or they can simply book a place on a timed tour. Places are limited to 6-7 people on each tour.  Any visitors interested in booking a tour place should email to receive the timetable.

“Stationery is closely influenced by the fashion industry and has a wide retail appeal.  We represent the sector in depth and weave in, not only the current product ‘hot spots’, but look ahead to what will be popular in the future.  We want our visitors, whether they be looking for gifts, fashionable accessories or smart essentials, to be able to review the industry’s full product mix and all the price points available to them,” says Hazel.

“In seven years the London Stationery Show exhibitor and product mix has shifted from primarily office product to retail and gift stationery.  The line-up for our eighth year continues to reflect this shift and proves the continuing popularity of writing and paper products and their broad appeal,” Hazel added.


AGM Save The Date

Save the date for this years AGM, for a day of informative talks, networking, and education. This year we would like to hear from you about what you would like to see at this year’s event, please get in touch with us at enquiries



As Spring Fair is one of the biggest shows that we exhibit at throughout the year and has so many great opportunities for us, we thought this year we would try something a little bit different, by teaming up with ‘Buy From Shropshire’, a similar organisation who share the same ethos in helping small businesses thrive and succeed in their business goals. This enabled us to create a mini exhibition space on our stand featuring the best from Shropshire. With designGAP now under our umbrella as well we created a gallery space over in the contemporary halls where we featured four exhibitors who all new to trade shows.

After months of planning and preparation, stand designs and stand re designs we got the concepts right and put our plan into action, even though this plan had a lot of moving parts and a lot of people involved, it came together with the help of team work and the pure excitement to pull this stand idea off.

After days of hard work, prepping the areas and many trips to and from the NEC from our offices in central Birmingham down the road, we painstakingly created the stand in the eyes of our designer we left our ‘exhibitors’ to create their own displays ready for opening day, which looked amazing when all the products were in place.


The Buy From Shropshire team were very excited about this plan and helped out amazingly throughout the show photographing all our member’s stands and being experts on our social media.

The exhibitors on our stand were also pleased with the show and how it went and also the amount of interest their products received.

The designGAP area over in hall 6 was a bit more of a labour of love, as we had to curate the space with four different artist work of various size and category, from ceramics to classic art through to greetings cards and high-end stationery, but we felt we pulled of the gallery feel and stayed true to designGAPs roots created by Shirley Frost in the 1990s, she sometimes created shared spaces like this with various artists and designers makers for them to get their products to market.


Sarah ward The CEO of The Giftware Association stated “This idea has been a small itch which I have finally got to scratch and it has been amazing to see all the different suppliers together in one space and also on our stand, Its great to see them learning how a big trade show works as well as helping each other out. The Buy From team are amazing and helped out incredibly to realise our dream”

If you didn’t manage to visit our stand at Spring Fair and meet some of the exhibitors, then take a look at their beautiful products online.


Anne Reeves

Distinctive, yet very wearable, Anne Reeves Jewellery reflects Anne’s love of nature, animals and romance. Her collections of contemporary solid silver jewellery and giftware incorporate exciting textures and effects. She has used traditional silversmithing techniques to create a stunning range of pieces, taking familiar shapes and giving them a modern twist.



PrintOur leather goods are hand made by a small team of local people whose crafts have been led by generations, our products are built with care, to last and get better with age. With 30 years experience and stocked all over the globe, even worn by celebrities, Bradleys Tannery is a quintessentially British,  with quality at its heart with a little sprinkle of fun and eccentricity.




Champion & Reeves, are manufacturers of premium confectionery,  their products are 100% natural with no artificial additives or flavorings and are gluten free and palm oil free. Their aim is to produce the finest 100% natural confectionery money can buy, and to create a joyous confectionery experience with satisfying, complex taste structure, packaged in premium, silver foiled presentation boxes, lined individually with wrapped pieces of delicious confectionery.



Cherie Did This 2

We here at Cherie Did This are thrilled to be exhibiting at Spring far through the Giftware Association. The exposure to our brand and meeting suppliers will be an invaluable experience. Cherie Did This is a design based greetings card and gift company founded by illustrator, Cherie Jarrard. They aim to produce colourfully cool cards, pins, patches and prints to bring joy and positive vibes





Emma Lawrence had a successful career in the NHS before pursuing her passion for illustration and design.  She has always been inspired by the natural world and the beautiful Shropshire countryside where she lives.  Her unique and recognisable style is fresh, fun and appealing with hand drawn lines and a soft colour palette.  Following her popular children’s series of books, the Little Nature Explorers series, she has recently launched a range of children’s stationery and gifts which have been shortlisted for Gift of the Year 2018.



I am a mum of two young girls who love to wear children’s perfumes, however they couldn’t due to skin allergies. My children enjoyed dressing up and wearing jewellery and so I decided to create a bangle that not only looked good and was fun to wear but was also scented allowing my children to wear perfume without having a reaction to it. Although my previous career had been in the hospitality industry I have always wanted to run my own company.  So, with the help of a colleague, who had knowledge of the retail industry, the Lish d’lish Scented Jelly Bangle range was born.


Meg Hawkins 3

British watercolour artist and homeware designer Meg Hawkins established Meg Hawkins Art in 2013. Inspired by her travels and the countryside surrounding her Shropshire home, Meg’s work is a timeless blend of contemporary and classic.

“We are delighted to be part of the GA stand at Spring Fair this year. Being part of the GA over the past few months has opened many opportunities to my brand and new invaluable experiences for my business”



Risdon & Risdon are two generations designing and making a new breed of workwear from their workshop in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.

The mother and sons handmake luxury adults and children’s aprons in a choice of finest quality canvas, high grade denim or full-grain leather all with removeable leather straps and metalware fastenings cast in a British foundry. Also catering to the vegan market with beautiful cork straps carefully sourced from Portugal.

With a strong belief in sustainability their aprons are built to last backed up by a Lifetime Guarantee.


Tipsy Tart 1

The Tipsy Tart is a family run business producing fabulously fruity, funky and fun luscious liqueurs. We also sell other Tipsy Tart branded products such as gin glasses, champagne flutes, juice bubbles and shimmer so that you can Pimp Your Prosecco to the next level.

We have twice been awarded Best Alcoholic Drink and have now been shortlisted at the Giftware Association for our White Chocolate Vodka.

Some of our unique flavours include Mango and Passionfruit Gin, Blood Orange Gin, Violet Vodka and our awesome Rose and Raspberry Vodka.





Here at the Giftware Association, we are super excited to announce that we made a book! A yearbook specifically of all our lovely members. The book which will be distributed to our buyer contacts and will highlight members with what they do and all their contact details to be contacted by.

Simone Rose, Business Development manager of the GA said “ We are so excited that we have this tool for both our retailer members and out supplier members as it allows us to start the conversation with buyers we are targeting whilst at the same time promoting our members. The book has been fun to put together but also a lot of work and we would like to thank our printers and designers for doing such a great job in putting together this beautiful book”

Featuring 90 of our members in a full colour 130-page book, this is a great opportunity for us to approach more buyers and shout about our members more, they will be distributed around at Trade Shows we visit, our Meet The Buyer days and any other contacts we have with buyers. We are hoping this is the first of many but will also be chasing up success stories from people who have featured in the first ever GA Yearbook.

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We would like to thank everyone for taking part and the hard work in putting the put together. If you are a buyer and would like a copy then please get in touch with





PHEW…And breathe…what a busy few months that has been. We are sorry we have been a bit quiet in terms of newsletters as we have been extremely busy offline with various projects.  But as many of our members know, we are all in the same boat, with the period after Christmas up until now being one of our busiest, whether that is getting ready for next Christmas with orders being placed or flying out to all corners of the country (or indeed world, if you have taken part in NEW YORK NOW or AMBIENTE) to attend trade shows and show off all your wonderful products. So what have the Giftware team been up to…

  • Visited eight trade shows up and down the UK from Giving and Living in Exeter to The Scotland Trade Show in Glasgow and all those in-between including The Furniture Show in Birmingham, Top Drawer in London and The East Anglia Gift Trade Fair. We have been busy meeting our members, recruiting new members and catching up with what’s new with all your businesses which we will be sharing with you over on our blog in the coming weeks…


  • The team stacked up a total of 544 thousand steps over the Spring Fair period alone, walking up and down all the halls, the equivalent of just under 300 miles between four people over five days! But worth it to see all that is great about the Giftware world, again to meet our members. Time to put our feet up now.


  • We launched our very first yearbook, which we are very excited about which features many of our members and service providers displaying their wonderful products, but more on that later…


  • We hosted four stands over The Spring Fair – The JDA Stand to help our jewellery minded members, The GA Stand where we had teamed up with Buy From Shropshire to help first to trade show exhibitors exhibit in hall 5 which created quite a buzz, and also a space for our service providers to meet our members and potential new members. The DesignGAP gallery area featuring four designer makers in a shared space enabling them to showcase their work to a new audience. The Gift of The Year display area which for the first time ever featured in the foyer of The NEC creating a lot of attention and some exciting success stories for all those featured with people coming to find them directly from viewing their products on display to placing an order on their stands.


  • Finalising some exciting Meet The Buyer days for later on this year, which we know many of our members are ken to get back into after last years success as well as getting some exciting new ideas for our AGM.


  • And how can we forget the Gift of The Year competition, we have been collecting entries, judging entries, transporting and displaying products, culminating in a huge awards night (pictured) with Ascential and hosted by none other than Rory Bremner

…and we are still only in February!

We would love to hear your stories from the last  few months as well, whether you have any success stories from any of the trades shows, want us to showcase your new products, if you have discovered any new promising trade shows that we can work with or if indeed you were a winner or finalist at Gift of the Year  and have had some success straight after the awards or from your product being on display.

To find out more about The Giftware Association click here or get in touch with us at

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Meer the Buyer

The Giftware Association is excited to once again be facilitating a Meet the Buyer day with the Tillington Group.

About the Tillington Group
The Tillington Group is an association of some of the best independent garden centre businesses in the UK. There are currently 11 member companies with a total of 38 garden centres, and all members will be represented by at least one buyer at this event. For further information, and details of the garden centres that make up the Tillington Group, please take a look at the Tillington website.

All Tillington garden centres sell a wide range of gifts, including books, cards, toys, home furnishings, fashion accessories and seasonal items.


A beautiful setting
This year, the event will be held at the beautiful Low Wood Bay resort in the Lake District, on Thursday, the 17th of May. It will run from 11am until 1pm, with setup starting at 9.30am on the day.

Attendees will have quality time with each buyer to pitch their products and ranges. The Giftware Association team will be there to facilitate the day and to make sure that buyers can get contact details for the suppliers they want to follow up with.

How to apply
Space at this meeting is extremely limited, and we want to make sure that both the buyers and suppliers present make the most out of their day, so attendance will not be on a first-come-first-serve basis. Instead, the Tillington buyers will decide on a maximum of 20 suppliers to meet with, and all applications will be considered equally.

Applications to join this exclusive event entail a £30 administration fee. There is no cost to attend the event itself, except for travel, and we will arrange and pay for accommodation for those who are lucky enough to be chosen to attend.

Please note: we do not have any influence or control over the selection of suppliers. The Tillington Group makes those decisions entirely, and we are not party to their decision-making process. We can guarantee that all submitted and paid applications will be delivered to the Tillington Group for their perusal.

To apply, please download the Meet the Buyer – Tillington application form[1] and return it to by Friday, 6th April.

Thank you, and good luck!

The Giftware Association