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The competition to alert individuals and companies to opportunities in the dynamic UK stationery industry is back for its fourth edition at the 2018 Stationery Show Manchester.

The ‘LaunchPad Manchester’ search is now on for up to six individuals or companies with new ideas for products or services for the stationery industry to enter a competition to win a free exhibitor stand at the 2018 Stationery Show Manchester.  The closing date for entries is 31 July 2018.

The bi-annual trade show, which runs in London in April and Manchester on 9 & 10 October, attracts the UK’s biggest retailers, influential buyers and brands in the stationery sector. As part of its Manchester offering of fantastic writing and paper products, six stands are reserved for the LaunchPad competition winners to showcase their ideas and products to visitors and fellow exhibitors.

Run for the first time by the Stationery Show in London in April 2017, and again by the Manchester Show in October, the LaunchPad initiative has so far showcased 30 new hopefuls.

“Finding and alerting designers and those who love working with paper or writing instruments to consider the stationery industry as a great market for their work is important – it’s good for all of us to see and work with new ideas. There are plenty of opportunities for those with innovative ideas and enthusiasm in our sector,” says the stationery shows event manager, Hazel Fieldwick.

“The two trade shows are currently the only dates in the stationery industry calendar where so many key suppliers and retailers come together, so they are the perfect platform for this type of initiative.  We’re looking forward to seeing all the entries.”

The show team was delighted when no fewer than three LaunchPad winners picked up prestigious Stationery Awards at the April 2018 London show – Paper Mirchi (Manchester 2017 winner) won the Gift Packaging & Wrap category, Octagon Design won Diaries, Organisers & Calendars and Back Pocket Notebooks (both London 2018 winners) won the Good Design category.

“This sort of recognition by the industry for new products and suppliers is fantastic and will help each of these companies on their way to develop and grow their sales and ideas,” said Hazel.

The closing date for entries is Tuesday, 31 July 2018. The entry form can be found on the Stationery Show Manchester website home page –

The LaunchPad competition is open to any company which, or individual who:

●   Has not exhibited at either the London or Manchester Stationery Shows previously

  •   Has the rights to sell the featured product/range/service

●   Does not currently sell the featured product/range/service through any UK national retail accounts or distributors in the stationery retail sector

Each winner will receive a free exhibition stand at the Manchester show, coverage on the show website and inclusion in all the show’s marketing materials.  In addition, they will get great exposure to all the UK’s leading retailers and suppliers visiting the show and will receive PR and marketing support from the Stationery Show team.



Handmade In Britain

Handmade in Britain was established over a decade ago by engineer-turned-designer Piyush Suri, an advocate of everything handmade. After working for a few years in the industry, he single-handedly built his initiative to support and promote British designer-makers.

Throughout its existence Handmade in Britain has provided a platform to support and promote design and craft talent through fairs, events, and pop-ups. Workshops and business mentoring are also key to Handmade in Britain’s mission to support the designer-maker communities. As a company, we work hard to increase accessibility, create new market opportunities and maintain high standards in the contemporary craft sector, whilst providing a comprehensive support programme for new graduates and up-and-coming design talent. We continue to grow and expand, increasing opportunities for our members and raising our profile within the sector and beyond.

Handmade at Kew

Handmade at Kew 2018

Thursday 4 – Sunday 7 October 2018

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond TW9 3AB

Deadline for applications: 30 March 2018


Handmade in Chelsea

Handmade Chelsea 2018

Friday 9 – Sunday 11 November 2018]

Chelsea Old Town Hall, Kings Road, Chelsea, London SW3 5EE

Deadline for applications: 30 April 2018


For the past decade, Handmade in Britain’s shows have become the top contemporary craft selling events in UK. Our events showcase the best high-end design and craftsmanship from hundreds of highly skilled designer-makers. The events target and appeal to an informed and highly motivated audience of local and UK consumers, collectors and aficionados as well as a select audience of professionals; including those who represent corporate and public sector buyers. The consumer audience includes local residents; tourists; shoppers and craft/design collectors. Selected press, trade buyers, media and VIPs are also invited to attend.

We welcome applications from individual makers, groups and galleries of contemporary craft working in the following disciplines: furniture, metal, ceramics, glass, jewellery, textiles, woodwork, paper and sculpture.

For more information, please visit our website at and




The Giftware Association have pulled off another successful ‘Meet The Buyer’ event at The Bond in Digbeth, a venue that is becoming a firm favourite with The GA and suppliers.

The event held on the 17th October attracted an impressive and varied roster of buyers from Choice Marketing, Not On the High Street, The National Gallery, Beales Department Store, The National Gallery, Utility, Brookfield’s Garden Centre and Ocado. Building on their ever-growing list of buyer contacts, The GA has built up a keen base of buyers who are very interested in having access to our members’ products and sometimes preferring the relaxed intimate setting of the day.

Simone Rose, Business Development Manager and organiser of the events said “It’s very satisfying to see an event like this come together, as the planning has to be spot on so the buyers see the right suppliers. The buyers reactions to our past events has been very rewarding as well and word has travelled amongst the buying community with more buyers wanting to take part our future events.”  But it’s not always smooth sailing as Simone explains “We had a few buyers drop out last minute due to conflicting schedules, but not wanting to disappoint attendees, we reached out to our network and picked up some surprising last minute ‘wild card’ buyers in the form of Beales and Utility, which was a very welcome pleasant surprise to our suppliers.”

The suppliers in attendance were as varied and diverse as the buyers in attendance, ranging from innovative kitchen gadgets from New Soda, to delightful card ranges from The Art File, Ezen Limited and Two Little Boys as well as newcomer Venus Bears showcasing his new handmade toy bear and Adornement by Gilli Reeves’ beautiful hand finished gifts to celebrate special occasions. There was something for all the buyers and offered them a small glimpse into how varied The GA membership base really is.

The satisfaction of the day from the suppliers speaks for themselves:

“Well done for such an incredible event. I am so so glad that we joined the Giftware Association and the work they are doing is…. I simply cannot put into words. A very proud member, and hope to continue being a big part of your association. The buyers seemed delighted to have discovered us at the event, and we hope to be a solid contribution to any future events that we can participate in” Ezen Designs

“We had a great time, it had a really lovely vibe, it was good to have time to spend with some retailers who simply wouldn’t have stopped at our stand at a show and it was great to meet old and new friends in the industry.” – Two Little Boys

“A very big thank you to you and all the GA team, for such a splendid day. I am very hopeful that a lot could come from the meetings I had, put the input was firstly from you and for that I am really grateful. – Adornemnt by Gilli Reeves

“A really fresh and personal approach to meeting some great potential customers” – The Art File

“The meet the buyer event was brilliant, I got more out of this event than some Trade Fairs! You got the opportunity to speak with buyers, which could lead to big things going forward. The atmosphere was very relaxed and I really enjoyed the event.” – Laura Sherratt Designs

“Meet the Buyer is a must for start-ups, to budding small businesses. The GA demonstrated 100% commitment to ensure both parties, buyers and exhibitors, are well catered for.” – Venus Bears

Sarah Ward spoke of the success of the event “This is our fifth event of the year, and after each one we have been amazed by the success stories we hear back, and the thanks we receive. But importantly, we also to listen to your constructive feedback to make the events even better in the future. We have had a few teething problems which we have ironed out to create a day that works for buyers and suppliers” she continues “ These events are such good value for money and to communicate their value is key amongst our industry and as an Association, we always have our members best interests  at heart.  To be guaranteed to see buyers that you might never see at a Trade Show in a more relaxed calmer environment is becoming ever more popular after the tough year some of our members have had.”

This, and past events have been hugely successful and will pave the wave for future events in the new year. The Giftware Association has found a formula that works but also one that they can build upon and create success for our members in the future.

Sign up to the GA’s newsletter to find out about more events and about The GA itself or contact for information on future events.

Suppliers in Attendance

The Art File Thinking Gifts
Ezen Glover and Smith Ltd
Aorta Ltd Raeside Creatives Ltd
Laura Sherratt Designs Som’or? Limited
Jo Thomas Jewellery Adornment by Gilli reeves
Annabel Langrish Ltd Recent Toys UK Ltd
Emma Lawrence Designs Ancestors Group
Dee Two Ltd Devancer Ltd – TA iBeani
cherry orchard publishing Designed in Colour
Spry Lifestylez Ltd Proppa Toppa
Holy Mackerel (UK) Ltd Xpressions Gifts 4 u
Bottleclocks New Soda
Two Little Boys Ltd Venus Bears
Bubblegum Stuff Ltd Mia Tui
Russian Gifts Treat Gifts
Wrendale Designs  
Alexander Thurlow Co  
Roberts & Dore  
Raeside Creatives Ltd  
Som’or? Limited



 On the 1st October, a new pre-action protocol, specifically for debt claims, must be used. There is currently no specific pre-action protocol for debt claims so this will supersede any existing protocol /  you may have in your business or organisation

The Protocol applies to ‘any business (including sole traders and public bodies) claiming payment of a debt from an individual (including a sole trader)’. It does not apply to business to business debts, so will not apply where a creditor is seeking to recover liabilities from a company or LLP. However, it will apply where a creditor seeks to recover a debt due under a guarantee from an individual.

The Protocol’s aims are:

  • to encourage early engagement between the parties;
  • to enable the parties to resolve the matter without the need to start court proceedings;
  • to encourage parties to act in a reasonable and proportionate manner; and
  • to support efficient case management.

However, there are a number of keypoints to be aware of that may differ from existing practices:

Content of the Letter of Claim

Full details of what should be included are at paragraph 3.1 of the Protocol (scroll to the bottom of the page to download the full Protocol) . This will include:

  • details of the debt, to include the amount, any interest or charges and how the debt has arisen;
  • if repayment by instalments are being offered/paid by the debtor, an explanation of why the payments are  not acceptable and why proceedings are being considered;
  • details of how the debt can be paid; and
  • the address to which the completed Reply Form should be sent.

The Letter of Claim should also include either documents or information which explain the outstanding balance and provide details of all interest and administrative charges which have been charged (see paragraph 3.1(b)).

Where the debt arises from a written agreement, the Letter of Claim should also say the debtor can ask for a copy of that agreement. If the agreement cannot be provided, a creditor will need to provide as much information as possible to evidence the debt is due and owing and the terms and conditions that apply.

New forms

When sending out the Letter of Claim, creditors will be expected to include:

  1. an Information Sheet and Reply Form – the suggested format is attached to the Protocol. It is expected that debtors will use the Reply Form to respond to the Letter of Claim; and
  2. a Financial Statement – (and many creditors already do this).

Provision of documents

The Protocol encourages early disclosure of documents before issuing proceedings.

If a debtor asks for a document, the creditor should, within 30 days of such a request, either provide the document, or explain why it is unavailable.


Under the Protocol, a creditor should not issue proceedings until 30 days after the date:

  • at the top of the Letter of Claim. This is to allow a debtor time to complete and return the Reply Form, and to encourage negotiations. ;
  • of receipt of the Reply Form from the debtor. This includes the return of a partially completed Reply Form; or
  • on which the creditor provides documents requested by the debtor (or an explanation as to why they are not available).

A creditor must also allow a reasonable period of time for a debtor to seek legal advice.

If, following discussions, no agreement is reached, the creditor may give the debtor at least 14 days’ notice of their intention to start proceedings, unless there are exceptional circumstances (like the expiry of a limitation period) which means the creditor cannot wait.

When the Protocol comes into force on 1 October 2017, parties will need to ensure that they are compliant. Failure to comply may well have cost consequences if proceedings are later issued.

The Protocol emphasises the need for parties to make every effort to resolve cases without the need to need for proceedings. This is reflected in the Protocol’s aims, the timescales for responses and the provision of information and documents.

However, the effect of the Protocol is that timescales before issuing proceedings will no doubt increase.  There is a risk that debtors will use these extended timescales to delay meaning creditors could need to wait more than 30 days from the date of the Letter of Claim before proceedings are issued.


The Gift Show 5

After a successful first run last year, from the 2nd – 6th of October, WIDDOP and Co will be hosting their annual gift show in their north Manchester Showrooms. Selecting products in the run up to Christmas, it is key you can ensure your store is stocked up with the most desirable stocking fillers for the festive season; WIDDOP and Co’s annual gift show takes the stress out of stressful Christmas shopping.


There will be show only promotions across the ranges as well as tips and ideas on simple ways to create eye-catching gift displays. With a special focus on their Men’s and Ladies’ giftware, including their brilliant licences Rosanna and Studio Oh!, and their hit making Musicology range, WIDDOP and Co. aim to demonstrate gift giving can be more exciting than a boring pair of socks. As an added bonus, all of their remaining Christmas 2017 range will be half price from the beginning of October, an excellent time to top up on your Christmas stock at a reduced price!


To book your place at The Gift Show, call WIDDOP and Co sales office on 0161 688 1226.