Gift of the Year 2022 finalists announced

Love Country, Origamo Cards, Rocket68, Say it with Songs, Shroot and Wrag Wrap up for GOTY award

Greeting cards, wrap and stationery have hit the headlines at the Gift Of The Year Awards 2022, with an exciting live judging day at Spring Fair seeing no less than 19 nominations from the industry as official finalists across the award categories.

The Giftware Association yesterday (Monday 14 February) revealed the results of counting the judges’ votes, including those in the Cards & Wrap category which saw Love Country (Plantable Seed Cards), Origamo (Florever 3D paper flower vases), Rocket68 (Wooden Postcard Collection), Say it with Songs (musical cards), Shroot (Greens & Greetings card and plant pot) and Wrag Wrap (Reversible Crackle Wrap) making it into the finalists list, giving that category a distinctly sustainable flavour.

Above: Fingers crossed for May 12 (clockwise from top left) Love Country, Wrag Wrap, Origamo, Shroot, Say it with Songs, and Rocket68
Above: Fingers crossed for May 12 (clockwise from top left) Love Country, Wrag Wrap, Origamo, Shroot, Say it with Songs, and Rocket68

In the Stationery category, the six products to reach the finals are From You To Me (Parenting Journals – Bump To Birthday and The Story Of Us), Lola Designs (Wildlife Botanical fabric journal), Makers Cabinet (Ferrule pencil extender), Martha Brook (Vegan Leather Embossed Journals), Vent For Change (Sucseed Notebook), and With Creative (Wooden Elephant Stapler).

There are double nominations for some, with Rocket68 also featuring as an International finalist with its London Calling Global Collection of gifts and cards; Love Country’s Bauble Christmas Cards and Martha Brooks’ 23 Days Of Stationery Advent Calendar make them each double finalists in the Festive & Occasions category, and Shroot’s Greens & Greetings card and plant pot makes another appearance as a finalist in the Food & Drink category.

Cardology’s Battersea Pop-Up Cards are double finalists too, making the list in both Branded Gift and Pet Gift, and publisher Wrendale Designs’ Junior Plush Collection is among the top six in My Gift Of All Time category.

Above: A trio of gift retailers are shown at the GOTY judging held on the last day of Spring Fair (February 9). From left Katrina Raill, co-owner of Etcetera, Hitchin; Tabi Marsh, owner of Papilio at Heritage, Thornbury; and Jo Williams, owner of Joco, Nuneaton
Above: A trio of gift retailers are shown at the GOTY judging held on the last day of Spring Fair (February 9). From left Katrina Raill, co-owner of Etcetera, Hitchin; Tabi Marsh, owner of Papilio at Heritage, Thornbury; and Jo Williams, owner of Joco, Nuneaton

The winners and highly-commended products will be announced at the very first UK Gift Awards event, to be held on Thursday 12 May at London’s Royal Lancaster Hotel. Marking a significant unified step forward for the UK gift industry, the awards event ceremony will bring together the GA’s Gift Of The Year Awards and The Greats gift retailer awards – currently celebrating their 20th milestone year – organised and owned by Max Publishing (publishers of Progressive Greetings magazine). At the lavish awards event, both gift product excellence and retail prowess will be duly recognised and rewarded.

In addition, all GOTY finalists are also in with a chance of winning the coveted Judges’ Choice award, presented last year to publisher Go La La for its Filthy Gorgeous soaps range which complements its naughty cards.

Above: GOTY judges Helena Mansell-Stopher and Rob Hutchins of Product Of Change are shown with Maxine Lister, head of licensing at The Natural History Museum (right)
Above: GOTY judges Helena Mansell-Stopher and Rob Hutchins of Product Of Change are shown with Maxine Lister, head of licensing at The Natural History Museum (right)

The GA said the GOTY live judging day, held on 9 February during Spring Fair, was a huge success, with the judges having enjoyed seeing and touching the shortlisted products as well as discussing their relative merits together.

“It was great to be back to live judging again as it was sorely missed last year,” said The GA’s ceo Sarah Ward.  “And being able to hold the judging during Spring Fair – the most important exhibition on the gift industry’s calendar – makes perfect sense.

“We are delighted that Gift Of The Year 2022 has been so well supported by the whole gift community – from Spring Fair owner Hyve Group’s commitment as headline sponsor to our strong roster of category sponsors – in addition to the widespread engagement from the suppliers who entered, and the great care and attention to detail from our enthusiastic judges. I can’t wait for everyone to celebrate together at The Gift Awards on May 12!”

Above: The Giftware Association’s ceo Sarah Ward
Above: The Giftware Association’s ceo Sarah Ward

Summing up the view of the many retailers and industry experts who formed the GOTY judging panel, Ian Downes, director of Start Licensing, commented: “I so enjoyed reviewing all the shortlisted entries and chatting to my fellow judges. There were a few recurring themes that I noticed across the entries, most notably being a greater awareness of sustainability with regard to product development and packaging.”

Once again, GOTY will also be announcing the People’s Choice award which is judged by the general public, enabling everyone to vote for their favourite product across all categories. This year, The GA has opened it up to all shortlisted products, so there is still an opportunity for a shortlisted company to get through to become only the second-ever People’s Choice winner.

“I’m so excited,” sang Say it with Songs’ owner Ellie Fitzgerald, “and I just can’t hide it, I’m about to lose control and I think I like it! We have not stopped dancing at Say it with Songs’ HQ after receiving the amazing news that we have made the final of GOTY. It’s so brilliant to be recognised in this category and we can’t wait for the final in May.”

Having made his first UK sale of a Florever display to Robert and Caroline Petrie, owners of Kairds, Kirkwall, Orkney, on the opening day of Spring Fair, a delighted Furio Ceciliato, founder of Origamo, said: “I’m so excited! It’s a dream come true – we couldn’t have a better start for our debut on the UK market!”

Above: Origamo’s Furio Ceciliato (centre) with Orkney retailers Robert and Caroline Petrie of Kairds at the recent Spring Fair
Above: Origamo’s Furio Ceciliato (centre) with Orkney retailers Robert and Caroline Petrie of Kairds at the recent Spring Fair

With two finalists’ places under her belt Jill White, owner of Rocket68, added: “Our wooden postcards are the ultimate sustainable gift, I’m thrilled this collection has made it to the finals! In a very disposable world, it’s a gift you would keep forever. I’ve loved illustrating the London Calling Global Collection, as I adore architecture, and so was chuffed that it’s reached the finals. I love the fact so many countries have applied the artwork to such a range of products,”

Meanwhile, Shroot’s marketing director Carolyn Davies said: “We’re over the moon at being finalists. We’re really proud of our Greens & Greetings range, and it means a lot to us to receive recognition from top industry experts too.”

Sharing the joy Nicky Rajska, co-founder Wrag Wrap, commented: “As we are becoming so aware of a need to make adjustments to the way we do things to protect the longevity of our planet, it’s such an accolade for us, our product and the future of our planet that the judges have awarded us a finalists’ position against fierce and beautiful shortlisted entries, in a category that has historically been dominated by single-use paper products!

“We started out with a small ambition of creating a sustainable alternative to single-use gift wrap, while respecting and celebrating the joy of giving and receiving gifts – recognition like this tells us that we are going in the right direction!

“Thank you to Gift Of The Year, The Giftware Association and, of course, to the judges. And a well done to all the shortlisted entries and good luck to the other finalists, we are humbled to be among you all.”

Equally ecstatic is Sarah Reilly, director at Love Country, who said: “We’re over the moon at hearing the news we are finalists for our Plantable Seed Cards and also for our Christmas Bauble Cards. The awards are such a wonderful way to bring our products into the spotlight and reach new audiences, it’s a very exciting time!|

To view the full GOTY finalists list, click here.

The Gift Awards 2022 enjoys a strong roster of sponsors including Spring Fair and Autumn Fair as headline supporter, plus Abysse Corp, Brand Licensing Europe, British Allied Trades Federation (BATF), Candlelight, Cardzone, Carte Blanche Greetings, Gift Republic, Gisela Graham, Home & Gift Harrogate, Joe Davies, Lesser & Pavey, Life Charms, Progressive Greetings Live, Talking Tables, Top Drawer, and Widdop And Co.

Tickets and tables for the awards event on May 12 can be booked via the Max Publishing digital box office event at Max-Tickets.net or by contacting event organiser Createvents: clare@createvents.co.uk or 0118 334 0085

To find out more about The Gift Awards and book tickets click here.

Top: Gift of the Year 2022 finalists’ logo

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