A ‘Gorjuss’ Queen’s Award for Santoro

Continuing the UK greeting card industry’s high profile in The Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade 2018 roster, Santoro Licensing (a sibling business to the brand’s greeting card and gift company) has been awarded this prestigious and highest accolade for international business success.

Santoro Licensing, a division of the London-based design house, Santoro (that was founded in 1985 by Meera and Lucio Santoro) has been phenomenally successful globally, notably with its Gorjuss brand.

Santoro Licensing has been awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade.
Santoro Licensing has been awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade.

Meera and Lucio started the business by publishing postcards, before moving into greeting cards and gift lines with the licensing activity having kicked off 20 years ago.

Santoro’s good news comes only year after Nottingham-based greeting card publisher The Art File was awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade following on from Brighton-based card publisher Blue Eyed Sun achieving the same accolade in 2016. UK card publisher, Second Nature was also recognised by these prestigious awards way back in 1991.

Santoro co-founder Meera Santoro (right) with the company’s general manager, Jo Campbell.
Santoro co-founder Meera Santoro (right) with the company’s general manager, Jo Campbell.

Commenting on how it feels to be flying the flag for the industry globally, Meera Santoro, co-founder of Santoro said: “We can finally use the flagpole on top of our building! I am extremely proud that Santoro is one of only 152 companies across all industries in the UK to be honoured with the award for international trade this year.” Meera said the award recognises the “dedication and passion” of the Santoro team in driving the business forward internationally. “Winning this export award is a great honour but it is also recognition that our creativity and innovation combined with sound international overseas sales strategies is keeping us at the forefront of our industry,” Lucio added.

Meera and Lucio will go to Buckingham Palace to collect the award from the Queen over summer.

Santoro’s Gorjuss brand spans multiple categories including greeting cards, stationery, gifts, collectables, jewellery, fashion apparel and beauty products.
Santoro’s Gorjuss brand spans multiple categories including greeting cards, stationery, gifts, collectables, jewellery, fashion apparel and beauty products.

A major factor in Santoro’s growth has been the success of its Gorjuss brand. Launched in 2009, Gorjuss is now available at over 35,000 points of sale across 92 countries and is already a £120m brand.

Santoro is to exhibit at PG Live for the first time next month (June 5 and 6), but the company is no stranger to trade shows.

Looking back, Lucio recalls: “The first ever show Santoro exhibited at was Top Drawer at Derry Street. (Anyone who says “I can remember Top Drawer at Derry Street”, is getting old!!). The first collection we published was a set of 32 postcards, so Santoro’s roots and heritage are deeply and fondly intertwined within the card industry”.

The Santoro shop in Bath.
The Santoro shop in Bath.

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the UK’s most prestigious enterprise awards to celebrate and encourage business excellence in the UK.

The winners are chosen by the Queen, on the advice of the Prime Minister, and were announced on Saturday, April 21 – the Queen’s 92nd birthday.

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