“It’s great to be back!”

“It feels so good to be back” was the general feeling from those in Hall 3, the main greeting card hall at Spring Fair 2022 during the first day of the show yesterday (6 February) as independent retailers marvelled at the wealth of new products on show and enjoyed catching up with the people behind their creation.

Here PG Buzz shares some snippets and snapshots from yesterday – and there are still three days to go…

Above: Jonny Spears (centre) with Dragonfly’s Rachael Barnes (left) and Rita Knibbs
Above: Jonny Spears (centre) with Dragonfly’s Rachael Barnes (left) and Rita Knibbs

“I came with mixed feelings, but it has been a buzzy first day. A get-your-sandwich-down-your-neck-quick type of a day!” – Jonny Spears, managing director of Jonny Javelin.

“We started in the card hall so we could say hello to everyone and it’s been lovely. Even though Jonny Javelin is only based a few miles from our shop, this is the first time we have met the team in person for two years,” – Rachael Barnes and Rita Knibbs, co-owners of Dragonfly Cards & Gifts, Knaresborough.

Above: Panda’s Mary Singleton-Jones with Redback’s Chris Stanley
Above: Panda’s Mary Singleton-Jones with Redback’s Chris Stanley

“I have so missed all my industry friends…and being able to chat to them face to face,” – Mary Singleton-Jones, owner of Panda Cards, St Albans.

“So good to see everyone and witness the positive reactions to the new ranges,” – Chris Stanley, managing director of Redback Cards.

Above: (left-right) M&G’s Tom, Debbie, Alan and Sophie
Above: (left-right) M&G’s Tom, Debbie, Alan and Sophie

“All my pre-show nerves went immediately the show started. People are here and they are liking the product,” – Alan Williams, co-owner of Museums & Galleries.

Above: Brainbox Candy’s Ben Hickman with Laura Darrington
Above: Brainbox Candy’s Ben Hickman with Laura Darrington

“I am feeling very dangly and hairy about it all!” – Ben Hickman, co-owner of Brainbox Candy

“So nice to be sociable again,” – Laura Darrington, founder of Laura Darrington Design

Above: (left-right) Suzanna Mitzi from Paperworld in Malta; Paper Salad’s Claire Williams, Karen Wilson and Jack Wilson, with PG’s Warren Lomax and Ian Hyder
Above: (left-right) Suzanna Mitzi from Paperworld in Malta; Paper Salad’s Claire Williams, Karen Wilson and Jack Wilson, with PG’s Warren Lomax and Ian Hyder
Above: Sean Austin with The Art File’s Sarah Duggan
Above: Sean Austin with The Art File’s Sarah Duggan

“So wonderful to see stuff for real!” – Sean Austin, owner of Austin & Co, Malvern

Above: Cardgains’ Chris Dyson (left) and Penny Shaw with Cards & Gifts’ Carl Dunne (second left) and Ollie Guise-Smith
Above: Cardgains’ Chris Dyson (left) and Penny Shaw with Cards & Gifts’ Carl Dunne (second left) and Ollie Guise-Smith

“It’s fantastic that Spring Fair is back…so happy to be able touch the new products,”  – Carl Dunne, owner of Cards & Gifts, Sheffield.

“It feels brilliant to be back – and with the biggest Cardgains Village stand that we have ever had, right at the front of the hall, with a great mix of companies participating,” – Chris Dyson, joint managing director of Cardgains.

Above: IC&G’s co-owner Ian Wagstaff with his daughter Lexi and wife Ursula with the first-ever Barley The Bear plush
Above: IC&G’s co-owner Ian Wagstaff with his daughter Lexi and wife Ursula with the first-ever Barley The Bear plush
Above: Pigment’s Steve Baker (second left) and Wendy Jones-Blackett’s (right-left) Jacqui Godlove, Wendy and Steve Jones-Blackett
Above: Pigment’s Steve Baker (second left) and Wendy Jones-Blackett’s (right-left) Jacqui Godlove, Wendy and Steve Jones-Blackett

“Lovely to hear how good Christmas trade was for so many independents which has been reflected in them feeling positive about the year ahead. It has all been tremendous, apart from the catering!” – Steve Jones-Blackett, co-owner of Wendy Jones-Blackett.

“It’s been good and steady with lovely positive people who have come to do business,” – Steve Baker, sales and marketing director of Pigment.

Above: Ling’s David Byk with (left) Christina Milstead and Jenny Cummins from McMillan Cards in Sydney, Australia
Above: Ling’s David Byk with (left) Christina Milstead and Jenny Cummins from McMillan Cards in Sydney, Australia

“Just great…and we smashed our 2020 figures which makes it even better!” – David Byk, managing director of Ling Design, GBCC and Penny Kennedy.

Above: Just Cards’ Maggie Wynn (left) and her sister Angie Prior
Above: Just Cards’ Maggie Wynn (left) and her sister Angie Prior

“Feels so good; proof that we really are getting back to normal!” – Maggie Wynn, owner of Just Cards, Honiton.

Above: (left-right) N Smith directors Nigel Reynolds, Steve Wilkinson, and Kerry Tyers
Above: (left-right) N Smith directors Nigel Reynolds, Steve Wilkinson, and Kerry Tyers

“Fantastic. Really good first day. We took our first order 10 minutes after the show opened,” – Steve Wilkinson, sales director of N Smith.

Above: Flame Tree’s Frances Bodiam (right) and export manager Christine Delaborde
Above: Flame Tree’s Frances Bodiam (right) and export manager Christine Delaborde

“So good to be back. There are so many new products here that customers need to see and hold in their hands to appreciate the colours and finishes,” – Frances Bodiam, managing director of Flame Tree Publishing.

Top: Buyers lapped up all the newness on show

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