Photographic Memory: Greg Shepherd Reflects On Photowrap’s Two Decades

One met, never forgotten, harmonica playing founder of Photowrap Greg Shepherd reflects on the first two decades of the giftwrappings company and how he is to mark the milestone this Wednesday (2 February).

“A ‘Baptism by fire’ was how my fellow traders described my launch of Photowrap. The date was 02/02/02 and there I was launching ten designs of giftwrap on the first day of Spring Fair.

Right from the start it was evident I was not the usual trade show material, more interested in telling the stories behind the images than trying to sell my products. I have always let the designs sell themselves, and then wait until the reorders come in rather than pushing a sale. Photowrap has been as eco-friendly as possible right from the start, not as a selling thing, but because I felt it was the right thing; the only way to go.

Above: Greg in the early days of Photowrap, styling his teddies design.
Above: Greg in the early days of Photowrap, styling his teddies design.

Looking back to those early, the noughties were fun. Rather than being competitors fellow traders felt more like colleagues and we would enjoy an evening together. During Top Drawer it would invariably start over the road from Earls Court in The Atlas.

And of course, there were the capers we had in the NEC during Spring Fair – “There’s a game of cricket going on in aisle K, we thought you’d be interested Greg” – for the life of me I can’t imagine why they singled me out?!

And of course, my harmonica playing saw us through quiet times!

Above: The Costume Jewellery design from Photowrap.
Above: The Costume Jewellery design from Photowrap.

Arguably the success of my wrap eventually worked against me as some large companies copied the idea of photographic wrap, which obviously diluted Photowrap’s novel appeal. I’ve since heard comments such as “I think we’re looking at the original here”. The quality of my images prevail and I am proud of every one of them.

Photowrap gets framed, Ravensburger used my extravagant still-life images for its now collectable Perplexing Puzzle range, Visa used my Sky image in an advert, Buttons appeared in the TV show Flowers, while three deigns were used as posters in an episode of Doctor Who!

Above: Photowrap’s Buttons design appeared in the Flowers TV show.
Above: Photowrap’s Buttons design appeared in the Flowers TV show.

As well as doing some harmonica playing, to mark 20 years of Photowrap there will be a one day sale on 02/02/22. And to keep up the twos it has to be a 20% discount!

Just to remind yourself that Greg’s musical talents are ‘one step beyond’, click on the film below…


To be part of the 20th birthday ‘party’ go to, at checkout enter the coupon code 020202 to 22 or you can order via email or phone.

I would like to say a big thank you to every retailer who has bought Photowrap over the years and for being part of its colourful journey so far.”

Above: Greg Shepherd today.
Above: Greg Shepherd today.

Top: Part of the Biscuits design from Photowrap.

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