GOTY Email - One Day To Go...

It’s the final day of our competition!! Yes, you only have one day left to enter our Gift of the Year 2019 competition. Entries will close at 11pm tonight! so you still have a full day to enter and complete your entries.

Thank you to all those have entered and good luck for the initial stages of judging. For those that have not entered yet, what are you waiting for?…The competition is a great way for you to raise the profile of your products and businesses as well as all your hard work as you get them in front of our judging panel of industry judgesincluding, buyers, retailers, and key industry experts. To find out more about the benefits then speak to a member of the team.

If you’ve already filled in your product details, you might want to make sure your entries are all present and correct or even enter a few more categories out of the 20 we have in this year’s competition.

Take a look at last years winners…

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All entrants will receive branding they can use online or in print, with even more exclusive marketing goodies if your products are shortlisted, become finalists or even win. The winners will be announced at an all-inclusive, free to attend a special ceremony hosted at Spring Fair.

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The timetable for the competition is as follows:

  • The closing date is this Wednesday, the 5th November 2018 – 11PM;
  • Shortlisted companies will be notified w/c 13th December 2018;
  • Shortlisted samples will be required by 8th January 2019

We look forward to seeing what you’ve got in store for the judges. The Gift of the Year team is here to help, so if you need guidance please contact us on 0121 237 1142 or email

Good Luck

The Giftware Asociation Team



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Shifa Aromas’ is on a journey, from their artisanal market beginnings in Sheffield two years ago to now engaging in talks with high street stores like Fenwicks, House of Fraser and other top retailers across the country. Their business goals? To get their products recognised as a luxury lifestyle brand that is a trusted UK made product, as well as maintaining the quality of their scents.

Speaking to Jabar from Shifa Aromas, he explained that this journey hasn’t always been straightforward, and sometimes far from relaxing with many changes along the company’s lifespan. While lecturing at Sheffield Hallam University, Jabar and his wife Nafeesa recognised the changing attitudes towards healthy lifestyles and wellbeing ,and wanted to create a product that reflected their interest in this growing industry. The Shifa Aroma candle was born, with no two candles the same; each luxury candle and diffuser are carefully and finished with high quality botanicals making each piece unique and special to the purchaser. The effort into sourcing the materials are also very important for the family team, ensuring all ingredient are from the UK and of high quality, to create their unique beautiful scents.

Jabar says that the inspiration behind ‘Shifa Aromas’ came from nature itself, “whilst using natural botanicals and resins in our products we realised that we could not only achieve an aesthetically pleasing product with captivating aromas but at the same time we could also enjoy a therapeutic experience which is much needed in today’s hectic lifestyles. We wanted our products to provide comfort, peace and relaxation creating a positive impact on one’s wellbeing.”

Taking the less than relaxing plunge into create these candles in their own home, they converted the downstairs of their house into a studio where they could create, experiment and design the beautiful scents of Shifa Aromas that you can buy today. They are always on the lookout to expand their range and learn from their experiences.

Jabar told us, “After enjoying success and building up a loyal following amongst the health and wellbeing crowd, we wanted to diversify our product into something more commercial that could be sold on the high street, but not over saturated, we want our product to speak luxury lifestyle as well as being recognised as a British made brand… we aim to continually design collections that are based on enhancing our lifestyles. This has been achieved with uniquely crafted fragrances that reflect our experiences and are inspired by our heritage.”

It is this determined attitude that has taken them to trade shows such as Top Drawer, new skincare ranges and three brand incarnations to get the look and feel of the brand right for their audience. Shifa Aromas’ approach to their packaging and brand design was to get direct feedback asking passing buyers what they thought of the brand and what it said to them, allowing them to sculpt a more commercially attractive product from their already existing offering.

The first incarnation of the packaging was Jabar’s own take on what he thought the brand should look like and what his perception of the product was. ‘Shifa Aromas’ was successful in receiving a grant for the second incarnation, which gave them access to a digital and design agency who would reinvent the brand and packaging again, after some further tweaking and adjustments you have Shifa Aromas that you see today: a luxury candle company with roots in wellbeing.

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It’s this energy behind the brand that keeps pushing Shifa Aromas forward; focusing their energy on their business goals while not compromising the quality of their product is key. “Within the next two years I would like our brand to be recognised as a luxury lifestyle fragrance brand. We want there to be a thought process involved in selecting our products and more about the experience that it can offer. We want it to have a long life and build up a legacy, so our children can carry on the company in the future.”

Jabar and Nafeesa should be happy with the strong foundations that they have already built and the inroads they have made on their journey so far in a market that can lack buyer confidence, by building up the relationships that matter they have taken strong actions to futureproof their business for the future and to achieve their goals.

Shifa Aromas can be found at Harrogate Home and Gift in Hall G – D27, and Autumn Fair in Hall 3, Stand 3K38.

To find out more about this exciting candle brand immediately visit or follow their journey on their social channels:

Instagram – shifa_aromas/

Twitter –  @shifaromas1

Facebook – ShifaAromas

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With two of Autumns biggest trade shows for Home and Gift, Autumn Fair and Top Drawer Autumn taking weeks apart and in Birmingham and London respectively, the Giftware Association has had an enjoyable but busy task of visiting as many member and potential new members as possible as well as promoting the Gift of the Year awards across them both.

Autumn Fair opened on 3rd September at Birmingham’s NEC, taking up four halls of the NEC and smaller than its Spring counterpart, but still manages to pack in as much design led and innovative products as possible. Over the next four days the Team at the Giftware Association has the task of meeting as many of its members and promoting The Gift of The year competition. Sarah Ward, CEO of The Giftware Association said of the show “ Autumn Fair is a great show to catch up with our members to see how well the year has gone, as one of the final shows of the year this tends to be the last big show that some companies do, so from meeting them at earlier shows or recruiting new members at Spring Fair, it’s an opportunity to catch up to see how the past months have gone and also to listen to the views of our already existing members” on the Gift of the year promotion she continues “It’s always a fun time of the year after the  competition opens, as we are on the lookout for new  and innovative products , so it gives us a chance to really see what our members are offering and what is new for the year, I’ve already seen so many fantastic products that are all worthy winners already”

The GA instead of taking a stand this year, had a separate display area in Hall four to showcase the ‘Gift of The Year’ 2017 previous winners and highly commended, allowing visitors to get a real sense of the competition and the variety of products which enter, This allowed the Giftware Association Team and new partners, organisers of Autumn Fair, Ascential, to go out and spread the word about this year’s competition and how it has evolved and is set to be the biggest competition yet.

The GA’s Chairman Henri Davis was on hand to give an informative seminar on how independent retailers can make the most of being an independent,  and also taking advantage of being agile and lean citing examples such as independents can move quickly on trends and have smaller buying processes to allow new stock in their shops at a quicker rate as well as having a more personable relationship with customers to keep them coming back.

The mood at the show was buoyant with many exhibitors exclaiming that they were having great shows for the end of the year, and meeting new buyers  with a lot of excitement around ‘Gift of the Year’ with choosing which products to enter.

Top Drawer

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Top Drawer just down the road in London opened on Sunday 10th in the grand venue of Olympia. Celebrates everything about Home, Gift , Craft and Fashion with a very contemporary vibe showcasing all that is design led and innovative in the gift and home industry.

Since 1984, Top Drawer has been synonymous with top quality products and innovative design. Home  was introduced in 2012; Craft in 2014 and by expanding into fashion accessories and the greetings sector too, cemented the show’s unique position as the UK’s leading international design-led event for creative retailers and brands.

2016 saw the event’s latest evolution, presenting four distinctive worlds – Home, Gift, Fashion and Craft – under one, united Top Drawer brand, creating one major destination for design-led products and buyers from all over the world.

Simone Rose, visited the show on opening day and spoke to a few of the exhibitors about Gift of The year. She said of the show “ It’s great to see all the new product so display, as I can see some of them entering our Gift of The Year competition. It’s such a beautiful show with a really nice feeling to it, The food area is buzzing and can’t wait to see what’s on offer and what will be suitable for the competition” a lot of companies have already entered the competitor allowing themselves dome promotion with our nominated tent cards which is a talking point for visitors and buyers alike as an instantly recognisable badge of honour which has been built up through years of history from previous competitions. Please see below few of the products proudly displaying the nominated cards.

The show Itself was busy with a really upbeat mood with a  focus on design and innovation, with all the exhibitors displaying their products beautifully and showcasing them in the best light.


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Top UK and international design-led brands prepare exclusive new launches for Top Drawer Autumn/Winter17 edition.

This September, Top Drawer brings a refreshingly diverse and innovative selection of thousands of products with superb design credentials, excellent commercial appeal and real originality. With more exclusive brands than ever, the refined edit of brands is the ultimate destination offering creative retailers exceptional choice for a really successful new season ahead.


Cubic, Dassie, Helen Moore, Noodoll, Palomar, Portico Designs, Rice, Sunnylife, True Grace, Turnaround Gifts, Wild and Wolf and Woouf are amongst the expertly curated selection of design-led brands that will be showcasing their new ranges and best sellers. New names on the scene set to leave an impression feature UK based Doiy and Worry Less Designs and International newcomers Jacobsen and Friends, Lifeguard Press, Londji, and Zootility.

Top Drawer 1         Top Drawer 2             LIFEGUARD PRESS + BAN.DO | GIFT J11                Lund London | GIFT K40

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Buyers can discover the most exclusive and indulgent wellbeing ranges for an irresistible seasonal offering with year-round appeal from a sumptuous edit of brands including Sevin, Cochine, Apothercary & Barbers, Castelbel and hipster’s favourite L:A Bruket plus new to the show Isla Apothecary and Cocofour.

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SEVIN LONDON | GIFT H39                                          CASTELBEL | GIFT R14


The fantastic Children’s edit offers gorgeous and original ideas for cherishable treasures that will make kids’ hearts jump. From toy chest delights to wardrobe wonders, inspiring covetable cuties will be showcased from 1 Two Kids, Blade and Rose, Clockwork Soldier, Playforever and Stitch and Story and joined for the first time by much loved aden & anais and super cool Wildfire Teepees.

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As the world’s leading curated show for this category, this is the place for creative retailers to discover the most beautiful and original greetings cards and stationery from brands including Blank Inside, Chau Art, Kate Housley, Katie Leamon, Roger La Borde and Stephanie Davies. The School of Life returns to the show presenting a new range of stationery, homeware and gift products that are useful, thought-provoking and stimulating for the eye and mind. New to the UK is Bespoke Letterpress, one of the world’s leading letterpress studios designing and printing fine letterpress and hot foil stationery. PABUKU, The Queer Paperie, is an exciting newcomer on a passionate mission to create high level greeting cards in a queer diverse context, featuring captivating whimsical illustrations.

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The hugely successful PaperFest and the PaperAwards, sponsored by G.F Smith, returns with the strongest shortlist of nominated brands and dynamic programme of talks from industry experts including Holly Tucker Founder of Not on the High Street, Rina Bhansali, Head of Merchandising at Harrods, Mark Jessett of G. F Smith and Rebecca Merrifield from We Were Curious amongst others.

In addition to Gift, Top Drawer encompasses the beautifully curated worlds of Home, Craft, Fashion and Food Emporium, offering extraordinary scope for buyers across all lifestyle sectors, making Top Drawer the design-led destination of choice for successful lifestyle buyers to discover innovative products from both fresh new talent and leading established brands.

Top Drawer will be held on 10-12 September 2017 at London Olympia. Trade buyers and press are now invited to register online at


Follow the latest news and new launches @TopDrawerLondon #AdventuresInDesign



TDALargeTop UK and international design-led brands present a host of exclusive new launches at Top Drawer Autumn/Winter 17 (A/W17)

A new adventure in design begins with an unrivalled world class edit of the very best design-led products across the unique worlds of Home, Gift, Fashion and Craft.  An expertly curated pick of over 1,500 exceptional top brands and new talents, makes Top Drawer the destination of choice for discerning buyers this September.

More new brands, more new products, more new talent…

The Food Emporium makes its Autumn debut, adding a delicious selection of the finest ‘giftable’ food products from the best producers and artisans including Avlaki, Brooklyn Brew Shop, Willie’s Cacao, Stateside Treat Emporium and In A Matchbox.

Buyers hunting for something totally new will find it at Spotted, offering a thrilling introduction to today’s most innovative, market-ready new products and designs. Ali Joe Design, Danny Lee Design, Leigh Bagley, Delicate Owl and Lara Quin are amongst the hot new talents to look out for.

HOME presents an exclusive choice of homeware from Britains finest brands to leading global players, from the cutting edge to the classic, new trends to firm favourites across interior Accessories, Kitchen & Dining, Furniture & Lighting and Outdoor Living. Top names include Zaha Hadid Design, Bold Tuesday. Thomas Belmont, Frederica Bubani, ISTLONDON and Auskin Europe join Alessi, Bliss Home, Garden Trading, Wild and Wolf, Orla Kiely Home, ALSO Home, Leonardo, Parlane International and Avenida Home.


GIFT unveils a carefully curated edit of the most original, beautifully designed products across Gift, Wellbeing, Children’s and Greetings and Stationery. UK and International exhibiting brands include : True Grace, Nnuku, Rice, Sunnylife, Katie Leamon, Cubic, S-C Brands, Apothecary & Barbershop Supply Co, Castelbel, as well as new names: Aden+ Anais, Wildfire Teepees, Doiy, Siabann, Grey + Lily, Bespoke Letterpress, PABUKU, Isla Apothecary and Coco Four.


Fashion Spy premieres in the UK a selection of cutting–edge accessories and jewellery brands, handpicked for their original designs. Amongst the 200 labels in FASHION, new names include Caroline Watson London, Time Flies, Also the Bison, Les Petits Bisous and Tightology, as well as firm favourites Estella Bartlett, Rachel Jackson, Ottoman Hands, Helen Moore, Nooki Design, Gecko Jewellery, Rodgers & Rodgers and Mirabelle. UK Jewellery Collections returns with an array of exquisite designs made in Britain. And, of course, to complete this incredible line-up, unique handmade pieces can be found in CRAFT.


At CRAFT, buyers can expect the unexpected with an inspiring and expertly curated selection of one-off pieces from over 150 hand-picked international makers across Ceramic & Glass, Fashion & Textiles and Mixed Media. Top names feature StolenForm, Jane Pritchard Ceramics, Claudia Biehne, Promises Promises, Chao & Eero, Materia Rica, CHELACHE, Rosanna Clare, Jo Cranston, Sarah Jane Brown, Faunart, Rosie Brewer and Sarah Cemmick Lino Cuts.


Top Drawer will be held on 10-12 September 2017 at London Olympia. Trade buyers and press are now invited to register online at

Follow the latest news and new launches @TopDrawerLondon #AdventuresinDesign