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Clutch Of Key Appointments at Ling/GBCC/Penny Kennedy

The Swanmill Group, which incorporates Ling Design, GBCC, Penny Kennedy and Waterwells, has made a raft of new appointments to strengthen the team on the management, brokerage marketing, licensing, sales fronts, with more to come on the creative side.

Former Paperchase greeting card buyer, Emma Clooney has joined the Waterwells team as its new brokerage category controller. Emma is standing in for Bianca Mastrodomenico who is on maternity leave.

Above: Emma Clooney’s market experience has meant she has fitted into the role swiftly.
Above: Emma Clooney’s market experience has meant she has fitted into the role swiftly.

“Emma is known by most of the great publishers that Waterwells works with, that coupled with her knowledge of the market has meant she has really hit the ground running to provide the full brokerage offer to garden centres and department stores,” commented David Byk, ceo of the whole group.

Meanwhile, Emma Puzey has joined the company to run its Penny Kennedy division and look after some key Penny Kennedy customers too. Formerly licensing manager of Wild and Wolf, Emma brings a wealth of product, sales and licensing experience and expertise to the role. Joining the Penny Kennedy product line-up is a licensing collaboration with Toasted Crumpet for gift packaging featuring its designs for Spring 2022. This news coincides with Toasted Crumpet joining the Waterwells brokerage programme too.

Emma’s appointment coincides with Viv Barlow’s decision to retire. Paying tribute to Viv, David said “she’s everyone’s favourite and will be sorely missed.” Viv initially joined the team as part of the Saffron acquisition, but most recently has been looking after PK and also some of the group’s speciality national accounts.

Above: The lovely Viv Barlow has just retired.
Above: The lovely Viv Barlow has just retired.

“I am going to so miss this industry and all the folks in it,” said Viv, who officially retired last Friday. “A big milestone birthday (obviously 40!) this year and arthritis has got the better of me, so I am off to have a few more bits of titanium stuck in and then time to relax and recover and then take life a little slower,” shared Viv. A real ‘glass half full character, whose warmth and interest in people earned Viv countless fans.  “I am going to miss Ling and PK, I really respect David and the people here who work so hard. It’s been a pleasure to be able to tout our lovely wares to all my customers! I’ve had some amazing emails from all my customers and people I’ve met over my 17 years and I am feeling very loved up just now but also very sad too.”

Above: David Byk (right) with the company’s creative director Claire Twigger (second right) and Prue Leith on the Ling stand at the last PG Live.
Above: David Byk (right) with the company’s creative director Claire Twigger (second right) and Prue Leith on the Ling stand at the last PG Live.

While Viv has just left the business, today (May 4) is Charlotte Wiberg’s first day as marketing manager for the group. Charlotte’s marketing experiences includes working for Lego and more recently was a marketing manager for English Heritage. “Charlotte is going to be busy as we are about to do a rebranding for Waterwells brokerage, Ling and GBCC have loads of new card releases and GBCC has launched new rollwrap and gift packaging plus will be launching amazing William Morris stationery at PG Live on the back of the success of the official WM cards and gift packaging,” details David.

Above: Penny Kennedy’s Autumn and Winter 2021 collections features designs based on the iconic Morris&Co licence.
Above: Penny Kennedy’s Autumn and Winter 2021 collections features designs based on the iconic Morris&Co licence.

With the expansion of the group’s creative departments recruitment is also underway for a senior design manager, designers and illustrators in both its Bath studio as well as the company’s new site in Gloucester.

Top: Emma Clooney has joined Waterwells as maternity cover for Bianca Mastrodomenico.

 

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