This time last week (June 4), Progressive Greetings Live 2019 had opened for business and the two day greeting card ‘festival’ was well underway, bringing together retailers, overseas distributors and publishers of all shapes and sizes.
Here PG Buzz shares the views from John Lewis’ buyer Lisa Rutherford, Postmark’s Mark Janson-Smith and indie Carl Dunne of Cards & Gifts in Sheffield of their top product picks from the show.
To re-live all the fun of the fair, click onto the PG Live photo gallery from which all the photos can be downloaded (https://maxpublishing.shootproof.com/gallery/pglive2019/).
Lisa Rutherford, buyer of stationery and seasonal events for John Lewis & Partners: “What another great PG Live! As always there was a super vibe making it a real pleasure to chat to publishers old and new.
The timing of the show and being able to compare and contrast cards under one roof without other distractions is why this show is so beneficial. Springboard is also a big part of the draw for us because we love working with up and coming publishers as well as the established ones.”
Lisa’s top picks: “We were looking for some specific categories this year and as part of this I was delighted to meet Wendy Bell whose photographic florals were stunning – a real highlight of the show.
Also great to see Raj Arora at Davora with a new contemporary look across his multi-faith assortment.
We were also really pleased to see the number of publishers who have quickly embraced ‘plastic free’ into their offer, making those discussions very straightforward.”
Mark Janson-Smith, managing director of Postmark, four stores in London:
“The show was fabulous. We have been to every single PG Live and it is an essential part of our trade show calendar. We love heading straight up to the Springboard section to see all the new emerging talent before heading back downstairs to catch up with the well-known faces of the industry. To have a show focusing just on cards, in London is obviously ideal for a London-based card retailer! The lunch and after show party are great touches too and the people at Tache and Louise Tiler really did themselves proud with the lunch hall this year.”
Mark’s top picks: “There were so many product highlights this year it is impossible to mention them all. We spent our Silver and Sunshine tickets on the Hello Geronimo and Rosanna Rossi stands. They both had some really fresh looking designs and styles we don’t currently stock. The Art File as always was showing some cracking new ranges and we loved the new styles from Tache, including its new Lashes’ range, Modern Missy. Another favourite was the Highly Sprung range from Paperlink, which was really fun.”
Carl Dunne, owner of Cards and Gifts, Sheffield: “OMG where do I begin?!? PG Live is by far our favourite trade event. Its size, dedication to the industry and having literally every good quality supplier under one roof it trumps all other shows – and that’s before you add on lunch, free tea and coffee and the icing on the cake are your fabulous ladies in the amazing dresses. Last year was our first visit and we felt slightly nervous and like outsiders on arrival though immediately felt at home. This year we felt like old hands and as though we really belonged!”
Carl’s top picks: “Supplier and product wise, we really were spoilt for choice. First stop for us was Cherry Orchard where we spent our Sunshine Ticket on its Razzle Dazzle and new giant cards. Then onto UKG where we placed a new order for its revamped Boofle and Watermark. We were delighted to spend our Cardgains’ £30 anniversary voucher with IC&G on its new Just To Say open humour and new Barley the Bear designs.
We also placed an order with Portfolio and this wasn’t even a stand that we went on originally. We were eating the lovely lunch and began chatting with one of their ladies and couldn’t believe it. We’d just been talking to another finalist at The Retas’ reception who mentioned Portfolio and next thing we’re sat next to a rep, that was a sign! We headed straight down to see what they had to offer. Order placed and with legs that were ready to give up after two days of hard slog, we were done! On the train home I didn’t realise that Oliver [Carl’s partner] had picked up one of the Tache/Louise Tiler booklets from the dining table and I loved, so I’ll be following up on that!”
Top: (Left-right) John Lewis’ Lisa Rutherford, Mark Janson-Smith from Postmark and Carl Dunne from Cards & Gifts in Sheffield.