With products ordered at Progressive Greetings Live a few weeks ago now earning their keep on retailers’ racks up and down the UK, PG Buzz put some key buyers -– Natalia Kostereska, buyer and Siobhan Watkins, assistant buyer of Oliver Bonas, Steph Lloyd, retail buyer for Utility as well as Rachael Barnes and Rita Knibbs, co-owners of Dragonfly Cards and Gifts, Knaresborough – on the spot as to what they felt was the cream of the crop on the product front at the show.
Natalia Kostereska, buyer and Siobhan Watkins, assistant buyer of Oliver Bonas:
“PG Live is just always great as it is the perfect place to catch up with suppliers (new and old) and also other retailers. It’s always has such a great atmosphere!”
Natalia’s and Siobhan’s top picks: “We spent our Retas’ Silver Ticket with Rumble Cards and this year’s Sunshine Ticket with Sadler Jones – great products!
We are really loving the Oh Squirrel glitter text range, and some recently added lines have had really great reactions for us.
Also Ohh Deer’s new pin range looks great and we’re really excited to see these in stores. Cards with added extras are real winners at the moment for us, and are really driving sales.”
Steph Lloyd, retail buyer for Utility, four stores in Liverpool and Manchester:
“My colleague Paul and I had a great day at the show and have already placed some new orders.
What I really liked about the show was that it felt very relaxed but well organised. The layout was easy to follow and all the staff were friendly and helpful. Complimentary tea and coffee was much appreciated (and needed for a long day on your feet!) and the lunch was delicious. As cards is our number one department in terms of sales it’s great to spend a whole day focusing on this. It’s brilliant that so many suppliers exhibit and we love seeing them all face to face.”
Steph’s top picks: “There were many stand out ranges from firm Utility favourites – Sooshichacha’s extension to the Fuzz range, Rosie Made A Thing’s new Mini Mischief cards and Noi Publishing’s new Men’s range, all of which we placed orders for! Other potentials that we’re going to look at feeding in later in the year were Natalie Alex’s fun Party Cats, Llamas and Dogs designs and Modern Icon’s from Cath Tate Cards as we have had great success with some of these designs on keyrings and coasters already from gift company Wotmalike.”
Rachael Barnes and Rita Knibbs, co-owners of Dragonfly Cards and Gifts, Knaresborough:
“PG Live 2019 was a first class show! We had a fabulous time at the show as always, ordering lots of new ranges and catching up with old friends. It’s so nice to focus just on cards.
The industry really is like one big happy family and PG Live demonstrates this wonderfully!”
Rachael and Rita’s top picks: “Companies that caught our eye were Sweet Design – an entirely new company to us, and so on trend. We fell in love with its Endangered Collection, which evidenced by the popularity of the BBC’s Blue Planet series are sure will be a success. The detail in the artwork is amazing.
Paper Salad’s collections with the neon colours it uses really jumped out at us too. The designs have changed so much and are more gorgeous than ever. Lilliput and Opal were my personal favourite ranges.”
Top: (left-right) Oliver Bonas’ Natalia Kostereska, Utility’s Steph Lloyd and Rachael Barnes of Knaresborough indie, Dragonfly Cards and Gifts.