Government Joined In National Stationery Week By Championing Export Success

‘Increase in global exports for UK stationery’ was the headline of an official press release sent out by the Department of International Trade (DIT) that it timed to coincide with National Stationery Week (which ran until Sunday May 5), instigated by Ocean Media, which owns and runs Stationery Show London, which took place last week.

‘National Stationery Week is in full swing and recent statistics show that global demand for UK stationery is high as exports of British-made notebooks alone increased by 20.6% to £23.62m in 2018’ began the upbeat announcement that is hosted on the GOV.UK news site (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/increase-in-global-exports-for-uk-stationery.)

The release then championed the success of Cheshire-based greeting card, stationery and gift company Chase and Wonder, for whom exporting now accounts for 45% of the business’ turnover.

Above: Chase and Wonder’s co-owners David and Faye Aspinall.
Above: Chase and Wonder’s co-owners David and Faye Aspinall.

David Aspinall, who co-founded Chase and Wonder with his wife Faye in 2010 said: “Our products are full of British personality so exporting seemed like a logical step. It’s a big world out there, full of great opportunities and overseas sales have really helped us to grow as a company. DIT provided a number of really useful resources for us, and I would certainly recommend their services to other businesses looking to explore opportunities to export. The best thing is that their advice and expertise comes free of cost for the most part, and their international trade advisers are genuinely invested in making sure you succeed. If we can export successfully, so can other independent UK companies.”

Above: Export sales now account for almost half of Chase and Wonder’s turnover.
Above: Export sales now account for almost half of Chase and Wonder’s turnover.

Adding her endorsement, Natalie Bain, DIT’s head of northern powerhouse said: “It’s always rewarding to see a company like Chase and Wonder successfully exporting to every continent in the world after coming to us for advice and support five years ago.This serves as a perfect example of how a small independent business can find success in vibrant new markets, and it’s the passion of individuals like David and Faye that enables British brands to flourish overseas. I have every confidence that a bright future awaits UK-made craft and stationery producers, and I encourage more British companies to consider exporting.”

Above: Blue Eyed Sun md, Jeremy Corner, is among the chief executives, managers and directors that have been recognised as Export Champions by the Department for International Trade (DIT).
Above: Blue Eyed Sun md, Jeremy Corner, is among the chief executives, managers and directors that have been recognised as Export Champions by the Department for International Trade (DIT).

While multiple retailers, including Paperchase (https://www.pgbuzz.net/paperchasers-embrace-the-love-of-lists-as-stationery-week-kicks-off/) and Ryman banged the drum for Stationery Week on social media and instore, it was independent retailer, Sarah Laker, owner of Marple-based Stationery Supplies who reached the ears of millions by appearing on Radio 2’s Drivetime programme, presented by DJ Sara Cox.

Above: Radio 2 DJ Sara Cox admitted on air that she is a stationery addict to Sarah Laker, owner of Stationery Supplies in Marple.
Above: Radio 2 DJ Sara Cox admitted on air that she is a stationery addict to Sarah Laker, owner of Stationery Supplies in Marple.

Plucky Sarah was at the hairdressers last Friday (May 3) when she grabbed the opportunity to get on air and promote National Stationery Week, notably, the inaugural Stationery Shop Saturday on May 4, instigated by Sarah to encourage people to shop indie for stationery. (https://www.pgbuzz.net/indie-card-retailer-marple-stationery-supplies-spearheads-stationeryshopsaturday/) She didn’t let the small matter of wet hair and the fact that she was still wearing a hairdresser’s cape stop her as she grabbed her phone and ran out of the shop to get a decent phone signal. Ever the star, Sarah (bonded with Sara over their mutual love of stationery.

Above: One of the young supporters of Stationery Week who spent his pennies in Stationery Supplies in Marple on Stationery Saturday.
Above: One of the young supporters of Stationery Week who spent his pennies in Stationery Supplies in Marple on Stationery Saturday.

Top: Stationery Supplies Marple had loads on the ‘menu’ to promote Stationery Shop Saturday.

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