Retailers’ Henries’ Judging Day Confessions 

A savvy group of 50 retail card buyers (listed below) had their work cut out on Wednesday (July 31) when they had the collective responsibility of deciding which of the 14,000 cards and wrappings entered into The Henries should reach the finals.

All cards entered were mounted on boards, thereby concealing the identity of the publisher so that the judges were not affected by preconceptions. They were each asked to individually select the five entries (in order of merit) in each category that they felt were the best. Points were then attributed to their votes with the six top scoring entries in each category being hailed as finalists.

Above: Steph Lloyd of Utility giving careful consideration to the entries.
Above: Steph Lloyd of Utility giving careful consideration to the entries.

Here’s what a selection of judges had to say about The Henries Judging Day….

Nigel Hamilton-Evans, co-owner of Boroughbridge Post Office: “BRILLIANT, FANTASTIC, AWESOME!!!!!!! I loved it. It was great to see new designs and ranges that excite me and in turn will excite my customers. I also met some great people who share the same passion as I do for greeting cards. I thought that Progressive Live was fabulous because it felt like we were a group of buyers that were part of a big family and at The Henries judging you all pulled it off again.”

Above: Still buoyed up from his recent Retas win, Nigel Hamilton-Evans of Boroughbridge Post Office loved being a Henries judge.
Above: Still buoyed up from his recent Retas win, Nigel Hamilton-Evans of Boroughbridge Post Office loved being a Henries judge.

Sarah Moughtin, John Lewis & Partners’ assistant buyer: “Being a Henries Judge is an amazing experience. I just so love cards, both as a buyer and a consumer. Being faced with such a vast array of great designs, it was wonderful to be able to vote for those which really stood out by clinching that all important emotional engagement.”

Above: John Lewis and Partners’ Sarah Moughtin making a judging decision.
Above: John Lewis and Partners’ Sarah Moughtin making a judging decision.

Hazel Walker, senior buyer for Waterstones: “I felt so exciting to be back as a judge, especially now I am Waterstones. There were so many good quality entries that just selecting five in each one was tough. The area I felt had really moved on was Relations & Occasions that so many publishers are now putting  so much effort into, which was great to see.”

Above: Waterstones’ Hazel Walker (left) and Claire Quinn.
Above: Waterstones’ Hazel Walker (left) and Claire Quinn.

Sally Matson, owner of Red Card, Petworth: “This is my favourite day of the year. It is a fabulous ‘buying trip’ – getting to see the best of what is out there altogether as well as track the trends.”

Daisy Enticott, assistant card buyer of Paperchase: “Having recently moved into the card buying department from giftwrap, this was a perfect and positive baptism of fire. Been great to spot the upcoming talent and emerging trends.”

Above: As sponsor of The Lynn Tait Most Promising Young Designer or Artist award, Paperchase’s Daisy Enticott (left) and Megan Douglas especially enjoyed judging that category.
Above: As sponsor of The Lynn Tait Most Promising Young Designer or Artist award, Paperchase’s Daisy Enticott (left) and Megan Douglas especially enjoyed judging that category.

Nigel Williamson, co-owner of House of Cards: “I feel very fortunate to have been a judge for every single Henries, except one when Miles Robinson, Nigel’s business partner came. It is great to appreciate the industry’s evolution. For me, this year, it was the male cards selection that had moved on the most since last year.”

Above: Nigel Williamson is a stalwart Henries judge.
Above: Nigel Williamson is a stalwart Henries judge.

Ruth Young, buyer of Clintons: “I feel so honoured and proud to be a Henries judge. Showing that the publishing side of our trade is in very good shape, the entries this year were all such a high calibre, which meant I had to live up to my name and be ‘Ruth’less with my voting decisions.”

Emma Tanner, buyer of Sainsbury’s: “It’s my first year as a Henries judge and I’ve loved it. As I am working on our standalone card selection, that will go live in stores on Boxing Day, this was perfect. I will definitely be contacting a fair few publishers after spotting some fabulous designs.”

Above: (centre) Emma Tanner of Sainsbury’s with Stuart Delahoy of Set and Unit 7’s Andrea Pinder.
Above: (centre) Emma Tanner of Sainsbury’s with Stuart Delahoy of Set and Unit 7’s Andrea Pinder.

Stuart Delahoy, owner of Set, Leicester: “Being a Henries judge is fantastic. It makes you good to be part of something that is bigger than you. As a retailer you work largely in isolation, being part of this judging panel means you feel connected with so many other like-minded people. Another positive is that I have picked up on several ranges that I was not aware of and will be ordering!”

Andrew Webb and Sarah Bertram, buyer and merchandiser for Scribbler: “It’s been great and so valuable. Being part of the judging day makes you fully appreciate how much the creativity has moved on. The humour category was exceptionally strong this year.”

Above: Scribbler’s Andrew Webb and Sarah Bertram.
Above: Scribbler’s Andrew Webb and Sarah Bertram.

The Henries Judges 2019 

Abigail Ball – Fenwick

Anne Barber – In Heaven at Home, Markey Harborough

Sarah Barrington – Blue Dog, Clare

Sarah Bertram – Scribbler

Georgina Black – Pretty Shiny Shop, Stroud Green

Dale Boreham – Moonpig

Debbie Brown – First Class Greetings and Plum Green, Hadleigh

Jerry Brown – First Class Greetings and Plum Green, Hadleigh

Stuart Delahoy – Set Design, Leicester

Megan Douglas – Paperchase

Michelle Ellingham – Box of Delights, Flitwick

Daisy Enticott – Paperchase

Jo Georgiou – The Ark, Stoke Newington

Sara Gibson – Tesco Stores

Sarah Green – High Tide, Southwold, and Wave, Bungay

Nigel Hamilton-Evans – Boroughbridge Post Office

Emma Hawkins – Fortnum & Mason

Sarah Lishman – Barkers, Northallerton

Steph Lloyd – Utility, Liverpool and Manchester

Sally Matson – Red Card, Petworth

Sarah Moughtin – John Lewis

Kate Neligan – Morley Stores

Amanda Oscroft – Love It, Stamford and Bury St Edmunds

Will Oscroft – Love It, Stamford and Bury St Edmunds

Emma Paisey – Daisy Park, South Molton

Louise Parker – Daniel of Windsor

Andrea Pinder – Unit 7 Cards and Gifts and Presentation Cards and Gifts, Manchester, and Barrowford

Gina Pittendriegh – Rad Studio, Saltaire

Zoe Proctor – Card Factory

Claire Quinn – Waterstones

Tim Reynolds – Medici Gallery, Kensington

Rachel Roberts – Mooch, Olney, Towcester and Northampton

Paul Roberts – Mooch, Olney, Towcester and Northampton

Jo Sorrell – Cardies, Stevenage

Emma Tanner – Sainsbury’s

Paul Taylor – Cardzone

Fiona Trees – Memorable Moments, Ripon

Hazel Walker – Waterstones

Andrew Webb – Scribbler

Nigel Williamson – House of Cards, Home Counties

Ruth Young – Clintons

The winners of all the award categories will be revealed at a spectacular Henries Ball on a ‘100 Years of Greeting Cards’ theme, in celebration of the GCA’s centenary year, on Thursday 3 October at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, overlooking Hyde Park. If you have not yet booked your tickets for the ‘industry’s big night’ you can do so online via Max-Tickets.net. or contact Clare Hollick, The Henries awards manager on T:  01733 294524 M:  07769 905959 or via email: clare@keystonecomms.co.uk.

Top: (left-right) Waterstones’ Claire Quinn and Hazel Walker with Paperchase’s Megan Douglas and Daisy Enticott at the judging. 

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