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Thinking about expanding your business overseas?

Going Global Live is the leading event for any company looking to take the steps in order to join the international market. From internationally recognised brands through to world class seminars from some of the leading professionals in the industry, this event will be the one stop shop for all brands moving into the global arena. Tickets are free and readily available from Going Global website, where the full show guide is also digitally available to help plan what will be a busy schedule!

With the focus this year very much on understanding markets before progress is made, the speaker line up this year features individuals from across the globe coming to discuss a variety of topics. The speakers will all have expertise within their chosen market, with experts leading seminars about expanding into markets from the likes of China, Japan, USA, Qatar, Germany, Spain, Russia and more. Having this access to such a diverse range of speakers really is unparalleled and will provide visitors with second to none knowledge to utilise moving forward.

As well as these amazing sessions, the event will also run alongside The Business Show and Foreign Direct Investment Expo, allowing for unrivalled networking opportunities across all the events. Tickets to Going Global will grant access to the surrounding shows, opening up visitors to all the benefits of the surrounding events. With every show doing masterclasses as well, the opportunity to learn from international professionals has never been easier to take advantage of! Qatar Financial Centre will be hosting masterclasses throughout Going Global to help business break into the booming economy. Book your slot now to avoid disappointment!

With sponsorship coming from the likes of American Express, Qatar Financial Centre and Sohar Port and Freezone, as well as being in association with the Department of International Trade, Going Global has serious backing! Going Global is the UK’s first in aiding businesses expand overseas, and with tickets readily available here, the reasons not to attend are thin on the ground!




The HMRC has today launched a pilot scheme for the new online VAT service. The Making Tax Digital scheme, which The Giftware Association has attended meetings in its initial phases, will bring all but the smallest businesses to self-manage their tax affairs in a real time online relationship with the HMRC. Today over half a million businesses are invited to try out the new system before its roll out in April 2019.

Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT will make it easier for businesses to manage their tax and will save them, and their agents, time which can instead be devoted to maximising business opportunities, encouraging growth and fostering good financial planning.

Sarah Ward, CEO of The Giftware Association said:

“This is great for the productivity of many SME’s, as an association we speak to so many of our members who are struggling to manage every aspect of their businesses. The MTD will help with basic tax processes and takes away human error and delay, giving more time to focus on other aspects of their businesses. As a trade association, it’s one of our jobs to educate our members and champion brilliant schemes like this and a move towards digital engagement”

From 1 April 2019, under MTD, around 1m businesses registered for VAT with a taxable turnover above £85,000 will need to keep their VAT records digitally and file their returns using MTD-compatible software.

The pilot will be made available to company whose taxes are straightforward and or tax affairs are up to date. It will have a phased roll our to more businesses throughout the year.

With many companies now using online portals for banking and stock-taking, the digital skills gap is closing and this new way of recording tax is set to narrow it further, especially amongst SME’s as it offers them the greatest opportunity to maximise the success of the MTD and the benefits it can present for UK productivity.

Theresa Middleton, Director for Making Tax Digital for Business, said:

“Millions of people are already banking, paying bills and interacting with their suppliers and customers online. Using digital tools to help businesses manage their business income and expenses and get their tax right builds on this momentum and will also help them get more control over their finances.”

Find out ore here at the HMRC website here GOV.UK. or get in touch with us at The Giftware Association.

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The Giftware Association yearbook is back for 2019. After last year’s success in helping promote our members and raising their exposure in a printed format distributed to our network and further. This year we are aiming for a bigger and better yearbook for 2019 with a beautiful and specially designed cover by designer and Giftware member Josie Shenoy.

The yearbook is a great way for you to promote your business. As print isn’t dead and is utilised in our creative industry to its full potential, we are creating another yearbook of all our members to showcase their products and ranges, and this year everyone gets a double page spread! which means more room to let your products shine. We will take the yearbook to all the trade shows that we visit (27 shows so far this year!) distribute amongst our buyer and supplier networks and a copy will be given to all the buyers that attend our ‘Meet The Buyer’ events throughout the year. This is a huge amount of exposure all year round for your business, at trade shows up and down the country.

This year we want to give our members more space, so everyone will get a double page spread to show off your beautiful products and will also feature your company details for buyers to get in contact with you. It will be in an easy to read format and the buyers we have spoken to have loved its image led approach and praised its ease of use when looking for products and inspiration.

If you want to take part in the 2019 yearbook, would like more information or if you want to receive a copy of last years book then please get in touch with a member of the team who will be more than happy to help.

contact Callum Thompson on callum.thompson@ga-uk.org or give us a ring on 0121 2387 1149

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Meg Hawkins Art Wins in the Midlands Best Rural Business Start Up Category of the Rural Business Awards 2018/19!

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Shropshire lass, Meg Hawkins is a licensed, published watercolour artist whose work features on greetings cards, prints, gifts and homeware. Her unique style and prolific work rate have earnt Meg loyal fans and customers throughout the UK since her brand was launched. Last night her skill, dedication and hard work were recognised by the Rural Business Awards when she was awarded Best Start Up Business. She is thrilled to have been awarded this prestigious accolade, particularly as she was amongst some stiff competition from throughout the region.  The award also recognises her brand’s intimate relationship with the countryside in which it was born.

The Rural Business Awards (RBAs) began in 2014 and are now in their 4th year.

The aim of the awards has not changed over the years and they aim to give recognition to businesses operating right across the Rural sector, to acknowledge the breadth and depth of opportunity presented by the Great British countryside, as well as to celebrate the achievements of rural businesses, from engineering through to artisan food producers and professional services organisations.


The thirteen award categories were decided by an independent panel of judges drawn from the rural business sector, official agencies and rural charitable organisations. The aim is to grow The Rural Business Awards to become the UK’s most prestigious and respected awards for rural businesses and to develop a strong network and community of rural business owners.

Speaking of her achievements in being awarded, Meg says, “I am really honoured and humbled to have won my category of the prestigious Rural Business Awards. This means such a lot to me and the whole MHA team who all work so hard. Being a rural business in many ways defines our story and our journey to this point. It was so much fun celebrating rural businesses at the awards ceremony and I can’t wait for the national awards in February.”

Discover Meg Hawkins Art  by visiting www.meghawkins.co.uk.

For more information, photos and interview requests please contact: Meg Hawkins, M: 07811 672460 and E: meg@meghawkinsart.co.uk





The Giftware Association first met Julia, owner and founder of Joolzery at one of our Meet The Buyer events, and her products didn’t disappoint with her beautiful handmade sterling silver wire freshwater pearl and/or semi-precious gemstone jewellery, including statement necklaces, bracelets, earrings and cufflinks, getting significant interest from the buyers present. With a huge amount of thought process and work going into each piece and the ethos behind the brand, it made a very interesting story in a time where wellbeing and wellness is at the forefront of society.

Julia actually works full time, with her award-winning IT Training Consultancy company, Maximum Impact Solutions, which specialises in creating business intelligence reporting solutions using Crystal Reports and SQL Reporting Services, which she set up in 2001.

The beautiful pieces that Julia makes are unique, handmade with a spiritual meaning behind them. She sources the gemstones that feature in her products herself and ensures that when combined with other gemstones that they complement each other.


Julia’s process time from inspiration to production varies depending on the pieces and the availability of the raw materials; she enjoys designing and creating her own unique handmade products and wants to provide an alternative to the mass-produced market.

When sourcing gemstones, she looks for the more unusual gemstones, or if working with common gemstones she will source the unusual colours and/or cuts or shapes, for example when sourcing Amethyst, which is typically purple, Julia will look for the different cuts, a rough or raw gemstone, or alternatively will find the green version.

Working out of her home studio, she is everything most designer-makers are these days. Designing and making the jewellery, photographing the pieces for her website and ultimately marketing via Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter, and selling her jewellery creations via her website or at handmade craft markets. A bit of a weekend warrior Julia has to slot her daily life around her jewellery business.

Discussing her work and the issues that are sometimes faced “You work with the materials that you have, sometimes you can get a curveball in your raw materials, like the beads are too small or big for the design, that they are not the shape or size expected, or that they are not all a uniform shape and/or size but you can always work around this to create the end product, sometimes it might be the materials that you require are out of stock. You just have to change your designs accordingly and more often than not these adjustments add to the uniqueness, organic-ness and interest of the completed jewellery pieces.”


Based in Liverpool, Joolzery has a dedicated following, but Julia wants to spread her wings and leave that bubble. She is starting to explore different avenues to business having signed up to trade shows and the GA’s ‘Meet The Buyer’ events. Julia exhibited in the BCTF and Pulse this year and will soon to attend the UK’s biggest trade show Spring Fair in February 2019, but not before exhibiting up at The Scotland Trade show in January.

Julia started selling her handmade jewellery at Handmade Arts and crafts markets, initially in Liverpool, and then branched out into the North West area.

Wanting to promote her products to new audiences, Julia has attended events in the North West region of the UK that concentrate on veganism, wellness and healthy living and specific handmade trade shows, she wants to get into independent boutique style shops, galleries and hotels looking to offer their customers something a little different, as well as geological, spiritual and alternative shops as this is the audience that understand the significance of her products and who are ideally targeted to.

Julia has created a separate collection of handmade gemstone jewellery pieces for the trade, which can be accessed on the Joolzery website.

The four themes of the collections are Manifestation, Abundance, Joy and Protection, and consist of Bracelets, Pendants, Necklaces, Earrings, Ear climbers, Anklets and Cufflinks.

Speaking of her Trade Show experience, Julia said, “There need to be more specific trade shows for handmade products, as there is a lack of them in the current trade show climate, and sometimes an area in a trade show is not enough to raise interest in her specific products.”

As we have heard from many of our members, the jewellery industry is very much oversubscribed, with a lot of the same designs being seen. It is tough out there, there is a very clear divide between the high-end market and fashion or costume market. Julia prides herself on the durability of her designs, as well as the unique character of each piece.

“It’s important that my jewellery is designed and handmade to last as well as being highly wearable. I don’t want my jewellery to be worn a few times and then break, only for the owner to have to get it repaired or have to go out and buy the same thing again. I want my products to be known for their high quality, durability and wear ability,” Julia says.

It is clear in Julia’s work that she is very hard working, passionate and absolutely loves what she does, three words to describe Joolzery would be ‘Unique’, ‘Authentic’ and ‘Spiritual’, and she does not disappoint.

To view Joolzery’s products visit her website here – https://www.joolzery.co.uk/

Email: Trade@joolzery.co.uk

Or catch her at the following shows:

Scotland Trade Show: Stand K79

Spring Fair: 20M02