Tomorrow (July 10) is ‘D Day’, when the winners of The Retas 2019 greeting card retailer awards will be revealed, but at the start of last month it was the new product launches at PG Live that were being hailed as ‘winners’ by so many of the UK’s leading retailers. Here a trio of Retas 2019 finalists – reveal what they felt were the cream of the crop at the show.
Sarah Holmes, owner of Pencil Me In, Elgin whose shop has reached The Retas finals in the Best Greeting Card Retailer Newcomer or New Branch – North:
“I really enjoyed the show! We work with lots of smaller publishers so I was really looking forward to the Springboard section and it didn’t disappoint.
There was such a lovely atmosphere and I especially liked that there was space to sit down and chill out, as sometimes the choice was overwhelming.”
Sarah’s top picks: “We already stock Bird Brain and Mock Up so it was lovely to catch up with them. We used our Silver Ticket with Rhian Nicholas at Passenger Press who had been on my radar before the show. I think one other designer who caught my eye was Type and Story and I’ve taken her details for the future.
Mister Peebles is a publisher who I have always loved, and I used to buy her cards from my local card store when I lived in Manchester, so I spent one of my Sunshine Tickets with her (and the cards arrived super quick on the Saturday after and were immediately popular with customers, especially her David Meowie card.
Katie Wagstaff from Oh Squirrel we have stocked on and off so we also spent our other Sunshine ticket with her to bring in some new ranges from her and also try some of her A4 prints.”
Maggie Wynn, owner of Just Cards, Honiton whose shop has reached the finals in the Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – South West category:
“I really love the Progressive Live show – if you are a retailer reading this and have never visited I implore you to put it on your list to go. We have been going for the last three years and we always come back with new and exciting ranges. The show is so well laid out, with all the new exhibitors in the Springboard section showcasing new and emerging companies, and then with the well-established companies in the main section.
The hospitality at the show, as ever, was brilliant!
After a lot of ordering we went to the after party for some socialising with old and new friends, which was a great end to a very successful day.”
Maggie’s top picks: “In the Springboard section this year we really liked Dollyhotdogs. The company is based in Devon so it is nice for us to have local cards to sell in our shop, and we thought the cards were very different and the colours were so vibrant.
We were also impressed with Apple and Clover, its bow-ties range was fantastic. We also ordered the Nice male range from Richard Partis.
On the humorous front I really liked Some Ink Nice, the captioned occasion range was really good and I can’t wait for them all to come in to the shop.
Other highlights were the new designs from Jonny Javelin, IC&G’s new juvenile range, plus all the great new stuff from Redback, White Cotton Cards and Emotional Rescue.”
Anita Thorpe, owner of Diverse, Brixton, whose shop has reached the finals in the Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – London (inside the M25) category:
“I really liked that that it was possible to cover the show in a day and that it was easy to navigate. Also, I loved the hospitality – I don’t think I’ve ever been treated so well in 20 years of attending trade shows!”
Anita’s top picks: ”Any company that reflected diversity and inclusiveness caught my eye – it’s a real move forward in the industry and good for business. Shout out to: Huetribe, Kitsch Noir, Roger la Borde, Dayo’s Cards, Davora, My Ethnic Cards, Out of the Box Cards, Njeri Illustrated and Karmuka, among others who all had some great designs on show that celebrated diversity.”