Member profile: Blue Phoenix

Blue Phoenix specialise in city themed gifts which celebrate the architecture and landmarks of cities across England and Scotland. Having already created a whole new market for Birmingham-themed products by partnering with independent creatives, they are now looking to create further design lead products for Sheffield and grow their retailer network in the city.
To do this they are looking to partner with retailers that share their vision for quality products made in the UK that support independent designers and photographers. This way you can help shape the new product lines to what you need for your store and get them exclusively first. The Blue Phoenix team will endeavour to include all landmarks and key locations around Sheffield that you suggest in their upcoming product designs. Below are the product ranges they are looking to partner in creating plus one that is already available.

 

Sheffield Tote Bags – This will be designed to capture the essence of the city through its imagery of architecture and history. The tote bags are 100% cotton with a wide gusset so they are practice for carrying shopping whilst still stylish and would be printed in Sheffield. We would plan to launch the new design in April with you having 60 days exclusivity before it is made available to more retailers. This will be created by the same designer as the below Tote Bag of Birmingham.

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Sheffield Postcards & Notebooks – This design will be a collage of Sheffield’s key landmarks created by the artist drawing each one with calligraphy ink brushes before collaging them digitally. The design will then be available in three postcard colours and also as a recycled and lined A5 notebook which features the story of how the design is created on the back.

 

Sheffield Clocks -The acrylic ‘Born & Bred in Sheffield’ and ‘Sheffield Skyline’ Clocks are styled to look like vinyl records and include mention of notable musicians from the city on the label. Each one comes in white box packaging including instructions so they can be handed strait over to your customers. The clocks are already proving very popular at two of Sheffield’s largest museums.

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Edinburgh:

Blue Phoenix specialise in a growing range of Edinburgh themed gifts which celebrate the architecture and landmarks of the city from their Edinburgh base. They currently have a number of product ranges you may be interested in and I can arrange for one of their team to come in to meet you and provide product samples if you would find this useful.

Photography postcards and magnets – With images were exclusively commissioned with their photographer to capture stunning images of Edinburgh that would stand out against the usual postcards for the city. Printed on premium and sustainable card stock the photographer specialises in capturing sunsets and sunrises for the most stunning images. These are then printed as postcards and made into magnets that thanks to specialist paper glistens in direct light.

Collage postcards and notebooks – This design features many of Edinburgh’s most iconic landmarks each hand drawn using ink brushes before being collaged digitally. The postcards come in green, red and blue. The A5 lined and recycled notebooks come in green.

Manchester:

Blue Phoenix specialise in city themed gifts which celebrate the architecture and landmarks of cities across England & Scotland. Having already created a whole new market for Birmingham themed products by partnering with independant creatives, they are now looking to create further design lead products for Manchester.

To do this they are looking to partner with retailers that share their vision for quality products made in the UK that support independant designers and photographers. This way you can help shape the new product lines to what you need for your store and get them exclusively first. The Blue Phoenix team will endeavour to include all landmarks and key locations around Manchester that you suggest in their upcoming product designs. Below is the next product range they are looking to partner in creating plus one that is already available.

Manchester Postcards & Notebooks – This design will be a collage of Manchester’s key landmarks created by the artist drawing each one with calligraphy ink brushes before collaging them digitally. The design will then be available in three postcard colours and also as a recycled and lined A5 notebook which features the story of how the design is created on the back.

Manchester Clocks (available now) – The acrylic ‘Born & Bred in Manchester’ and ‘Manchester Skyline’ Clocks are styled to look like vinyl records and include mention of notable musicians from the city on the label. Each one comes in white box packaging including instructions so they can be handed strait over to your customers.

You can get in touch with info@bluephoenixproducts.co.uk for more information.

TRADE SHOWS

GOING GLOBAL

The Giftware Association are proud to be supporting Going Global 2018.

Going Global is taking place at the ExCeL London, 16 – 17 May. It is Europe’s leading event dedicated to providing businesses with absolutely everything they need to expand internationally, and trade overseas, in this uncertain economic climate.

Packed with leading experts, over 70 educationally-rich seminars, unlimited 1-2-1 networking opportunities, interactive masterclasses, and more than 60 of the world’s most innovative exhibitors; this is THE show to help your business trade in the world’s most lucrative cities, countries, and regions.

Join us there by claiming your FREE ticket here.

 

BRAND LICENSING EUROPE

Brand Licensing Europe is the only place to discover what the European licensing industry has to offer under one roof. With 2,500+ properties and brands showcased across sports, heritage, characters, entertainment, food & beverage and more, BLE truly celebrates the newest innovations in brand licensing. In 2017, 7,500+ retailers and manufacturers from 77 countries came to discover the latest trends and build new partnerships with the hottest brands. Can you afford to miss it?

 

THE STATIONERY SHOW

The London Stationery Show is a two-day stationery extravaganza featuring the biggest selection of writing and paper products from around the world in one place.

This year marks the show’s eighth and its largest exhibitor line up to date with over 150 stationery suppliers, and many more brands taking part. Featuring everything from everyday to high end, it’s easy to see what’s new and who’s new. There are a lot of exhibitors and brands at the London Stationery Show that you won’t see at other UK trade events.

If you buy or sell writing and paper products, or are thinking of doing so, this is the exhibition for you. There is nothing else like it. It’s where fashion meets function.

 

PULSE

At Pulse, you can find something different, unique and invaluable. Whether it’s emerging designer-makers, new A/W 18/19 launches, trend forecasts, business advice,

undiscovered international brands or Christmas collections ahead of the busy autumn period, Pulse is designed with your business in mind.

Pulse is home to design innovators: From our quirky collection of new designers in our Jewellery Emporium to our trail of international discovery in FOUND, Pulse is a hotbed of cutting-edge product and talent.

Curated by a panel of market-leading experts, Pulse lets you align your brand with the very best in the design world, ensuring only the finest edit of products are showcased to its audience of discerning retailers. The experts’ role is to pinpoint new and exclusive products, and highlight the very latest trends, talent and directional brands.

BCTF

The British Craft Trade Fair (BCTF) is a three-day event taking place at the Great Yorkshire Showground in beautiful Harrogate. The next Harrogate fairwill take place on 8th-10th April 2018.

The fair is strictly trade-only and showcases work from exclusively British and Irish makers. BCTF differs from other trade fairs in that no mass-manufactured products or products made overseas are allowed. Visitors can be confident, therefore, that they will be presented with a selection of the best hand-made British giftware available in the UK.

BCTF Harrogate has been running for more than 43 years. For the past 25 years it has been in the ownership of PSM Ltd, under the personal supervision of Margeret Bunn who is responsible for maintaining the fair’s high standards and selecting the makers that attend. Margeret’s passion for craft and art has seen her work with British designer-makers for over 35 years, she has helped many hundreds of young makers take their first steps in dealing with retail buyers. The fair includes a dedicated Newcomers Gallery where emerging makers are supported with BCTF’s extensive business mentoring program, ensuring that they are all ready and confident to write trade orders.

 

INTRODUCING THE LAUNCHPAD LONDON WINNERS 2018

After much deliberation by this year’s three leading judges, 12 LaunchPad winners have been chosen.  Each winner will receive a free exhibition stand at the London Stationery Show in April from which to introduce their product to the industry.

The three judges, Sidonie Warren, founder of design-led stationery retailer Papersmiths, Daniel Mark Carr, global brand director of international art supplies company ColArt and award-winning textile and stationery designer Nikki Strange commented on their judging experience:

Designer Nikki said, “It’s been amazing to see such a high standard of creative and varied entries for LaunchPad, particularly with the attention to detail in presentation, packaging and finesse for such newly launched designers and brands.”

Papersmiths founder Sidonie said, “I really enjoyed seeing the product designs and hearing more about how the show is put together.”

Whilst Daniel commented, “It was incredibly difficult judging all the submissions for this year’s LaunchPad as the quality was absolutely top notch! I was so pleased to see applicants from across the UK and from Croatia, Spain and Australia. I was also impressed at the variety of submissions; a clear sign of the exciting future that is in store for the UK stationery industry.”

The 12 winners were chosen from just over 50 entries, and are:

Octàgon Design – a company based in Barcelona producing a range of planners and calendars featuring a pared back minimalist design style.

Back Pocket Notebooks – a premium quality range of pocket notebooks that are designed in Oxfordshire by Justin Avery to inspire and educate.  The niche design range so far covers Web, Space, Cricket, Guitars and will expand to cover the Solar System and Color Theory.

Clipmatic – a Bristol based company which has a patent pending for their minimalist organiser that works with any spiral bound notebook, regardless of size, which are ideal for individual use or easily customised for promotional or corporate use.

Regiftwrap™ – currently available in six classic colours Regiftwrap is reusable gift wrap which maintains its good looks regardless of the number of times is it used. Each sheet is stored in its own reusuable gift tin, soft to handle, tear-resistant and handles sticky tape with ease!

Yo Boki – Inspired by Japanese kawaii culture, this first UK collection of Boki products will feature greeting cards, wrapping paper, notebooks, stickers, collector’s pin badges and its own activity pack and gift wrap set.  It’s time for the UK to claim its own kawaii character and Boki (a little pink heart) is set to start its own wave of positive vibes for children of all ages.

VAU – this premium range of desktop accessories designed in Croatia is refined, understated and made from solid metal. Each piece is designed in-house and combines both traditional and contemporary technologies, with a meticulous final touch from VAU’s craftsmen.

 

 

How Funny – this large range of greeting cards and prints are the work of Jez How, based in Brighton.  His unique style is bright, striking and eye-catching with every design accompanied with a funny caption and a great coloured envelope!

Type and Story – a ‘contemporary paper goods brand’ with a graphic design twist founded by London-based graphic designer Niccy Iseman.  Type and Story operates as a mini fashion house, creating two ‘stories’ every year (spring/summer and autumn/winter) that are always different but always use typography and storytelling.  The range includes notebooks, cards, notecards and wall prints.

Not Only Polka Dots – fun prints and cute illustrations are used across notebooks, planners, calendars, clipboards, pencils, pencil cases and greeting cards. Designed in Huddersfield, many elements are currently handmade, so can be customised easily, but in all cases production can be scaled up to meet demand.

High Meadows Stationery – a range of beautiful pencil cases and desk accessories crafted to perfectly accompany other high-quality stationery pieces. Transparency regarding heritage, provenance and workmanship, along with the use of classic materials such as waxed cotton and vegetable-tanned leather, all sourced in the UK and designed in Bolton, make these items unique and desirable.

The Curious Department – a passion for under-appreciated aesthetics found in nature and the notion of transformation led the London-based Curious Department designers to create two great collections of stationery – Metamorphosis and Elemental.  By using the best paper stocks and digital foiling they produce a luxurious feel in an affordable price range.

BATCH.WORKS – HEX is a new modular system to arrange your workspace ensuring everything you need is always to hand. Made from a combination of solid wood and 3D printed magnetic accessories, Hex can be customised with over 50 colours available to choose from.  Designed and made in East London.

All the winning companies will be exhibiting at the London Stationery Show on Tuesday and Wednesday, 24 & 25 April – stationery buyers are urged to come along and see the products, meet the designers behind them, give them feedback and advice and help them onto the next stage in their business – supplying great stationery products to the UK market.

ENDS

 

 

‘Meet the Buyer’ with TK Maxx, Homesense

The Giftware Association is excited to announce their next Meet the Buyer event working closely with buyers from the TJX Europe, more commonly known as TK Maxx or Homesense across its 600 UK Ireland and European stores. The GA is creating a more curated event and we are specifically targeting gift food suppliers to be stocked across many of these stores.

TJX Europe is part of a wider group with over 3000 stores across the globe, they are a fast growing organisation and are looking for suppliers who can provide gift food products and interested in finding a way of working with suppliers that works for parties.

The only requirement for anyone interested in taking part, is that the products need to be exciting, and by exciting we mean great quality, interesting and fairly priced. TJX Europe believe in brands, recognising the effort that goes into creating and evolving brand, which is why the stores don’t sell own brand products

Speaking to a buyer from the upcoming event about what they are looking for, they said “Because we are trying to keep things simple and efficient we do look to get a great price from you (I know, who isn’t?) and we do not work on huge mark-ups so the customer should get a great value which  helps us sell through quickly so that we can talk again about the next order.”

The event to be held in Birmingham at a confirmed date in April will be open to members only, but if you are not a member and would love to be part of this exciting opportunity then please get in touch. If you are interested in this event or would like to find out more information, then please get in touch with simone.rose@ga-uk.org or fill in the attached form for you to complete.

 

Head to Harrogate for the best of British Craft

For the past 43 years, the British Craft Trade Fair (BCTF) has offered a wonderful platform from which the best of British artisan producers, designers and crafts people can bring their products to retail.

The 2018 show will run from April 8-10 at The Great Yorkshire Showground, a purpose-made exhibition venue on the outskirts of Harrogate.

Highlighting the amazing diversity of British craftsmanship, product sectors represented at the show will form a comprehensive range of home and giftware across categories that include: Ceramics and tableware, fashion accessories and jewellery, greetings cards, wall art and paper products, home accessories, collectables and gifts.

The most delightful ceramic and glass sculptures will share an exhibition space with exquisite silk scarves and covetable soft furnishings, side-by-side with quirky and unique home accents, hand-poured candles and other fantastic gift ideas.

With every item on display guaranteed to have been designed and made exclusively in the UK, retailers visiting BCTF can be assured the products they choose will be of superb quality and traceable provenance, with strong sustainable credentials.

Everything presented at BCTF will have been created using non-industrial methods and specialist crafting techniques, often with a wonderful back-story and heritage. Keeping with the vital spirit of sustainability, many BCTF exhibitors offer ‘upcycled’ products made partially or exclusively from reclaimed materials.

These are unique items created with tremendous dedication but a low carbon footprint, setting an important standard for the UK gift market as consumers grow increasingly concerned about environmental issues.

BCTF is also an easy event to visit and to get around. There is plenty of free parking at The Great Yorkshire Show Ground, whilst outdoor seating allows visitors the chance for some air and time to enjoy the views of Harrogate. A shuttle car service is also available between the venue and Harrogate main line train station, plus a second service that runs between Leeds/Bradford Airport and the venue. Attendance is strictly trade only.

For more information and to register for free visit the website: www.bctf.co.uk

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