Retas finalists jump and woof for joy

The frenzy of celebration kicks off big time for Retas finalists.

Michael Hampson, owner of Holly Blue in Saltburn-by-the-Sea jumped for joy on hearing the shop had made it into the finals of The Retas 2018.
Michael Hampson, owner of Holly Blue in Saltburn-by-the-Sea jumped for joy on hearing the shop had made it into the finals of The Retas 2018.

Retailer Michael Hampson, owner of Holly Blue in Saltburn-by-the-Sea in North Yorkshire jumped for joy (literally) when he heard the news that his shop was in the finals of Best Newcomer – North category in The Retas card retailer awards – and there are photos to prove it. “I’m still in my first year so to be nominated for a Retas award, so this is the cherry on the top!” said a jubilant Michael.

Jo and Martin Johnstone popping the champagne at Paper Moon.
Jo and Martin Johnstone popping the champagne at Paper Moon.

Meanwhile, several hundred miles south down in Devon, Jo and Martin Johnstone, co-owners of Paper Moon in Sidmouth were popped the cork on the fizz to celebrate their Retas finalist news.

“We are absolutely delighted,” said Jo. “There has been an enormous flurry of activity at the shop today.”

Meanwhile between the two, in Stevenage, Jo Sorrell, owner of Cardies exclaimed that she and her team were “wooping and woofing for joy” on hearing the news of the shop reaching the finals in The Retas.

Jo Sorrell with Saturday girl, Poppy with ‘meeters and greeters’ Daisy, Orberry and Jack, outside Cardies.
Jo Sorrell with Saturday girl, Poppy with ‘meeters and greeters’ Daisy, Orberry and Jack, outside Cardies.

As Cardies is celebrating its 30th year in business this year Jo said she can not think of a “more exciting way” to celebrate that being in the running of a top industry retail award. “I really can’t stop smiling,” she told PG Buzz. “With our shop’s ‘meeters and greeters’ (my loveable Labradors), some amazing Saturday girls, family, wonderful customers, great agents suppliers and PG magazine, I have never felt like I’m working alone.”

“Whoop whoop!” was the message from Penny Bailey of Bailey’s Cards & Gifts in Southport on hearing the good news that the shop she co-owns with her husband Martin was in The Retas’ finals.

The Retas 2018 recognise the best greeting card retailers in the UK over the last year.
The Retas 2018 recognise the best greeting card retailers in the UK over the last year.

“It is so lovely to get some recognition for the efforts we have made to grow our business. I had a daydream while working a night shift as a nurse many years ago that I would one day own a card shop,” says Penny sharing a dream that has come true.

“When we opened our previous shop I was still working as a nurse practitioner in a busy doctor’s surgery. We then moved to our new location and after 18 months I am delighted to have increased our turnover by 150% and so, been able to give up the day job – more whoops of joy! I really am very lucky.”

Dragonfly’s Rachael Barnes with her mum and business partner Rita Knibbs celebrating their Retas win in 2016 for Best Retail Initiative.
Dragonfly’s Rachael Barnes with her mum and business partner Rita Knibbs celebrating their Retas win in 2016 for Best Retail Initiative.

Even those not new to the scene have been buoyed up by the good news that their shop is ranked up there as ‘the best in the west’ is Rachael Barnes, co-owner of Dragonfly Cards and Gifts in Knaresborough. On hearing the news Rachael exclaimed: “We are soooo excited about reaching The Retas’ finals again. It is always such an honour as there are some amazing businesses in our industry so to be recognised as up there with the best, really does mean the world.”

Another stalwart who has been relishing the recognition of being in the 2018 Retas’ roll call is Sean Austin, owner of Austin & Co in Malvern elaborated: “I’s always a good feeling when you’ve been nominated by your peers in the industry.” Sean is preparing to issue a press release about the new this week “and we are going to shout about it from the shop windows too!”

Tickets for the 2018 Retas Awards (Wednesday 11 July at the Dorchester Hotel, London) are on sale now! Don’t miss out, order your now!

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