A fortnight ago (June 4), Progressive Greetings Live 2019 had just opened for business and the two day greeting card ‘festival’ was well underway, bringing together retailers, overseas distributors and publishers of all shapes and sizes.
Here PG Buzz shares the views from Abigail Ball, assistant card buyer of Fenwick; Ellie Kleinlercher, buyer of Between the Lines’ and Denise Laird, co-owner of Glasgow’s Spirito as to what they felt was the cream of the crop on the product front at the show.
Abigail Ball, assistant buyer of cards and stationery of Fenwick department store group: “Well done on another amazing PG Live, it was certainly a great show from our point of view and we got a lot out of it!
PG Live is a great opportunity to surround yourself with everything to do with the greeting card industry, see lots of new ranges as well as catch-up with suppliers and good friends. This year’s show saw suppliers really upping their games, which made it very hard to narrow down our selections for our stores.”
Abigail’s top picks: “Louise Mulgrew particularly caught our eye, expanding her range into many more categories, such as occasions and relations. Her ranges always stand out on our display stands offering a completely different look to any other brand with her delicate use of watercolours, therefore we are very excited to expand her range in our stores!
Poet and Painter’s new range, Well Said also caught our eye, capturing topics on a card which are very much relevant in the media today.”
Ellie Kleinlercher, buyer of Between The Lines: “Florian Kleinlercher, md and Ellie’s father and I had a really lovely time at PG Live. We deal with a lot of the suppliers exhibiting so it was great to see everyone and their beautiful new ranges.”
Ellie’s top picks: “I was particularly impressed with all the suppliers that have brought out new ranges featuring plastic-free packaging. We have stocked the plastic-free cards from Woodmansterne since March and have received fantastic feedback from our staff and customers, who now seek out the plastic-free cards over the cellowrapped cards, so we are really looking forward to adding more of these cards to our selection.
We also really loved Toasted Crumpet’s Christmas range. We originally discovered the company at the GCA’s Dragons’ Den event in 2018 and are so happy to see the extension to the original ranges.”
Denise Laird, co-owner of Spirito, Glasgow: “Allan Laird, Denise’s husband and I had such a fantastic time at PG Live, such a lovely way to do business.
It is such a friendly show with a lovely atmosphere and we were so well looked after with wonderful hospitality.
At many of the other shows we can only set aside a limited time to concentrate on greeting cards and with them being such an important part of our business it is fantastic that at PG Live we can see hundreds of suppliers showcasing their latest designs and ideas all together. We really loved catching up with many old friends and also met some lovely new ones. It was also nice to have a chance to chat with other retailers and compare notes in such a nice atmosphere. I was left feeling really inspired by what I saw at the show and have already made plans to attend next year’s event.”
Denise’s top picks: “There were so many fantastic ranges present that it was really difficult to choose, some of the ranges that caught my eye were Paper Salad’s Jumbo Jamboree, these new additions launched at the show were fabulous. This beautiful boutique range with neon colours, deep embossing all matched with a lovely envelope is so nice and right on trend. I just loved the newly designed colourfully painted Auntie card, which was reminiscent of Frida Kahlo.
I also loved Real and Exciting Designs’ Panache Fleur range. This tropical-inspired collection with bright colours, rich textures and packed with all the wonders of the jungle was set-off so well by the fabulous centre piece on the stand – very cleverly created by designer Sarah. In fact we so loved it that we arranged to have it shipped to our shop where we will put it to good use!
I also picked up some new companies at the show, one was Jessica Hogarth. We really liked her Christmas bauble cards. These beautifully illustrated cards include a ‘keepsake bauble’ decoration made from sustainably sourced eucalyptus board base that is printed on both sides and finished with a melamine surface. Jessica also had some equally wonderful relations designs, which were exactly what I was after.
Second Nature is another company that we connected with at the show. I liked the fact that there was such a large choice within the collection. I ordered some new large age cards with a touch of glitter, which stood out and. I also really liked its Paper Dazzle 3D cards. The fact that they stood on their own and are double sided made them a little different and fun with lots of nice details such as pom poms and tassels.”
* To re-live all the fun of the fair, click onto the PG Live photo gallery from which all the photos can be downloaded (https://maxpublishing.shootproof.com/gallery/pglive2019/).
Top: (left-right) Fenwick’s Abigail Ball, Between the Lines’ Ellie Kleinlercher and Spirito’s Denise Laird.