The Giftware Association and former buyer and retail expert Jenny Spivey will be hosting a seminaron how to approach and pitch to larger retailers to help scale up your business.  
Following a 36- year career within two of the UK’s most prestigious department stores – Harrods and the John Lewis Partnership – Jenny now uses her knowledge and experience in running her own retail consultancy. As ‘Sense Of Retail‘, she works with both established retailers and suppliers across the home and giftware categories. She also mentors SMEs in the sector, including brands new to market – helping them reach a wider audience and present themselves effectively in a professional and competitive environment, online and offline. 
This is a presentation by Jenny Spivey to smaller businesses who are contemplating extending their business to larger retailers. Jenny will outline the opportunities and the challenges that they are likely to be presented with and what they need to do in their approach. It’s a reality check as to what potentially lies ahead. Networking Lunch and Q&A included 

To book your place on this event book use the above link or to arrange a 30-day invoice, please contact Simone on 



The Giftware Association welcomes Louise Welsby from Buy From Creative Agency with her Instagram masterclass. Louise says about Social Media “Instagram is the best way to reach your gift buying audience, but it can be challenging managing the platform in house and growing your audience so that you can make a real difference on your ROI” 
This four-hour masterclass is designed for anyone who is looking to build their brand online – whether you are a solo entrepreneur or are looking to bring your social media in-house and want your team to feel empowered to take it on. 
How Instagram’s algorithms work 
Knowing your audience 
What is the differences between your ‘Feed’ and your ‘Stories’ 
Creating dynamic content 
Telling your story 
Influencer engagement 
* An MOT of your current social media output 
* A content creation guide 
* An Instagram Success Guide 
* Knowledge, excitement and motivation 
This will be a practical workshop, so you will need both a laptop and the phone that is used to update Instagram. If you don’t yet use Instagram but this is the beginning, please get the app set up before you come and we can take it from there. 

To book your place on this event use the above link or to arrange a 30-day invoice, please contact Simone on 



Independent retail advisor, Henri Davis will be presenting a workshop on ensuring that your business is fit for the future. The event is part of The Giftware Association’s education seminars. Henri Davis explains “The current economic uncertainty is impacting consumer spending, but people will always want relevant, quality products that represent good value for money. To be fit for the future I believe you need to have three key things: great products, great service and a realistic plan that gets you results.” 
Workshop Objectives 
This workshop will help you become ‘fit for the future’, we will look at the three elements mentioned above so you understand what this means for your business, you can then go away and start to develop realistic plans to take you through 2019 and into 2020 and beyond. 
If you are a small business owner thinking about the year ahead or someone in a bigger company involved in business planning, this workshop will suit you. Stepping away from your business for a day to discuss your thoughts and share ideas, allows you to be objective and see it from a different perspective. 
Workshop Content 
In this workshop, you will work individually and in groups and leave with a plan of action. 
Whether you are a supplier or retailer we will look at: 

  • Your business 
  • Your competitors 
  • Your current customers 
  • Your target customers   

This workshop will be participate, relaxed, enjoyable and satisfying; I hope you feel it is a day well spent and look forward to working with you.          

To book your place use the above link or to arrange a 30-day invoice, please contact Simone on 


New UK import VAT rules if UK leaves EU with no deal

With the UK been given a six-month extension to leave the European Union, a no deal could still every much be on the cards. If the United Kingdom (UK) leaves the European Union (EU) without a deal, the UK import VAT rules will change for goods sold to UK buyers that are sent in parcels. The changes will affect the rules for reporting and paying UK import VAT and will impact sellers outside the UK.

Current rules while the UK is in the EU

Under the existing rules, parcels imported into the UK from the EU are not subject to import VAT. For imports from non-EU countries, the goods are subject to import VAT unless they are covered by low value consignment relief, currently £15 or less per packet.

Rules after the UK has left the EU

The rules differ depending on the value of the goods in the parcel. Low value consignment relief is withdrawn.

  • Parcels with a value of £135 or less

Sellers outside the UK sending parcels to the UK where the value for all goods in the parcel is £135 or less, must pay the UK import VAT for any parcels sent to UK buyers after the UK leaves the EU. This includes the situation where goods were sold before the UK leaves the EU, but not sent until after. Sellers outside the UK include those in the EU, those outside the EU and the Channel Islands.

For the Isle of Man (IOM) and UK, VAT is treated as one, so VAT will have been charged by the IOM supplier, where appropriate.

This will include any goods worth £15 or less as they will no longer be eligible for the existing tax relief.

VAT will only be applied where the goods being purchased would be subject to VAT if purchased within the UK.

  • Parcels with a value of more than £135

When the value for all goods in the parcel is more than £135, UK buyers will need to pay the UK import VAT and any customs and / or excise duty on these goods. The parcel operator will apply any necessary charges to the parcel and seek the payment direct from the UK buyer. For excise goods – import VAT, Customs and Excise duty is due regardless of value, and will be collected directly from the UK buyer by the parcel operator.

If sellers outside the UK sell goods above and below the £135 threshold to UK buyers, the seller should only report and pay the UK import VAT on parcels containing goods worth £135 or less .

There will be two ways for sellers outside the UK to pay the UK import VAT. HMRC’s new online parcel registration service is open and overseas businesses are encouraged to register now and get their parcels reference so they are ready to use it if the changes are introduced in case of no deal. Alternatively, they can pay a parcel operator that offers a service to pay the UK import VAT to HMRC on the sellers’ behalf.

If sellers do not follow the new UK import VAT rules, parcels may be delayed or stopped from entering the UK. In addition, the UK buyer may have to pay extra tax and fees, and the seller may have to pay a penalty of £1,000.

More information about these potential changes, or others in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal can be found at A communications pack on this topic is also available on GOV.UK.


The winners of the BCTF Awards 2019 were revealed at a ceremony held on the afternoon of Monday April 8 at the Yorkshire Event Centre, Harrogate, where the very best designer-makers are presenting their latest collections to the trade.

The winners are as follows:

Form & Function Award sponsored by The Platform Gallery: Joint Winners – Ellen Monaghan, Helen Eastham Studio, Kevin Hutson, Sarah Saunders Ceramics, Rebecca Perry Ceramics and Cinda Clark Design.

BCTF Award for Excellence sponsored by the Pyramid Gallery: Winner – Melina Xenaki Ceramics; Highly Commended – Ugly Jewellery and DW Glass

Best Newcomer Award sponsored by the Heart Gallery: Winner – Faye Hall Design; Highly Commended – Betsy & Els.

Winner Sandra Vick

Post Newcomer Award sponsored by ACID: Winner – Sandra Vick

Winner Rachel Thornton

The Giftware Association Award for Excellence: Winner – Rachel Thornton

Winner Francesca Marcenaro

The NAJ Award for Excellence: Francesca Marcenaro

Greeting Card Award sponsored by Greetings Today magazine: Winner – Citrus Bunn; Just Because – Betsy & Els; Highly Commended – Claire Baxter Fine Art; Commended – The Three Foxes and Jill Ray Landscapes

Wow Factor Award sponsored by DesignGap/ArtGap: exhibitors selected Kate Toms as the winner from a short list of three, which also included Melina Xenaki Ceramics and Jack McGonicle Ceramics.

Show organiser, Margeret Bunn said: “BCTF is a real celebration of all things British and handmade, and our award winners represent that brilliantly and I am delighted to congratulate them all for their well-deserved accolades. We are very fortunate that our awards are supported by important industry associations, prestigious galleries and trade press, so a big thank you to them all for getting behind the show and supporting the best of British here today.”

BCTF 2019 has proved to be a success, with visitor numbers up and many exhibitors reporting that trade has been exceptional as retailers lined up to place orders on their stands.

“It has shaped up to be a fabulous edition of BCTF,” Margeret confirmed. “Buyers are aware that demand for handmade British products has increased over the years and they are keen to offer something new and unique to their customers. We have some incredibly talented designer-makers from all parts of the UK who are creating the most beautiful crafts, so it’s well worth the visit for gallery owners, gift shops, tourism destinations and other discerning retailers”.

For more information visit

Press contact: Charlotte Cowell: 01442 863646 / 07725 181974 /