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GCA’s Speed-dating Event In Thoughts And Pictures

Last Tuesday’s (February 26) GCA Speed-dating with Dragons 3 sell-out event, hosted at London’s Business Design Centre, was memorable for all involved. It was an afternoon to be remembered for the newbies presenting their wares for the very first time to retailers; for more established players demonstrating how they have reinvented their portfolios; for retailers on the lookout for publishing gems; for how industry stalwarts selflessly shared their wealth of knowledge and experience and for the palpable sense of camaraderie that was all pervasive.

Here PG Buzz shares a photographic flavour of the afternoon (all photos can easily be downloaded) with some mini videos bringing it all to life.


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Above: Publishers putting their card samples into the Dragons’ goody bags.


Above: Lindsey Kleinlercher


Above: Laura Murphy


Above: Deadpan


A dragon’s fire… Liz Killick, owner of Calladoodles in Carshalton

Above: Calladoodles’ Liz Killick in Dragon mode.
Above: Calladoodles’ Liz Killick in Dragon mode.

Making reference to the BBC’s Dragons’ Den series, Liz Killick, owner of Calladoodles in Carshalton shared how she “thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to channel my inner Deborah Meaden”. As well as meeting “so many excellent designers/publishers” she also relished “the chance to compare notes with fellow indies too”. Highlighting the merit in meeting the individuals behind the card companies, Liz feels it is important as an independent retailer “to be able to tell customers about the people and stories behind the cards that we sell”, saying that the event delivered “the ideal arena to acquire that knowledge in a friendly relaxed way.”

When asked to highlight some her product highlights from the publishers she met at the event as well as from the sample cards that were in her goody bag from all publishers who attended, Liz was spoilt for choice…

Here, Liz shares some of her top picks from the event:

* “Andrew Davis of LS20 Letterpress really impressed (no pun intended) with his modern interpretation of a traditional craft process, which he clearly loves and excels at. The quality of the cards is exceptional and I’m looking forward to stocking a selection of its Funky Neon and foil embossed notelets.”

* “Susan Lovell Design’s gloriously colourful cards represent the various influences from her interesting design background, I will definitely be ordering!”

* “For sheer exuberance Jessica Hogarth is hard to beat and her Christmas cards with detachable decorations will definitely be on my ‘must have’ list.”

Above: One of Jessica Hogarth’s new Christmas designs.
Above: One of Jessica Hogarth’s new Christmas designs.

* “The flexibility on offer with the laser-cut Just Gemma ranges is very appealing. We like to satisfy our customers’ every card need and I can see the potential with Gemma’s approach to do just that!”

* “Paper Plane, aka the lovely Laura and Jack has super cards, including one featuring bathwater – brilliant!”

Above: A Paper Plane design.
Above: A Paper Plane design.

“I could go on, and there is definitely a possibility of ordering from many of the people I met. I have yet to have a serious look through the goody bag but it was impressive to see how many bundles were personalised and featured hand-written messages – a nice touch.”


Top: A pitching session in action with Calladoodles’ Liz Killick second right.

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