Top Picks And Pics from PG Live 2021

This time last week, PG Live 2021 was still in full swing, but the positive vibes live on…

To relive the show and see all the photos from the event (all of which are downloadable) click here.

Above: Happy times as Brainbox Candy’s Ben Hickman shared the joy with Poet & Painter’s (left) Bryn Dineen and Ness Williams at PG Live.
Above: Happy times as Brainbox Candy’s Ben Hickman shared the joy with Poet & Painter’s (left) Bryn Dineen and Ness Williams at PG Live.

Here, a trio of retailers reveal what products caught their eye at the show….Oliver Bonas’ head of home and gift buying and Jennifer Hutchinson, the senior buyer’s admin assistant; Rachel and Paul Roberts of the Mooch group and Andrea Pinder, owner of Presentation in Barrowford share their views.

Above: Andrea Pinder (left) with Wendy Jones-Blackett in a thumbs-up moment.
Above: Andrea Pinder (left) with Wendy Jones-Blackett in a thumbs-up moment.

Andrea Pinder, owner of Presentation, Barrowford

“I’m just coming down from being on cloud nine. PG Live is so much more than a card buying show, it’s the therapy we all need.

What a show…much better than I had ever expected, especially during these extreme times.

PG Live brought me so much pleasure and helped immensely to build up my buying confidence, especially after last year’s lockdown closures – it has given me the gumption to forward order.

Everyone made such an effort being upbeat, friendly and Covid-safe – the laughter and banter was brilliant. I’m so glad I saved my buying for PG Live and I had placed my first order within 10 minutes of entering the show.

On my way home my thoughts were of years gone by and how I’ve not missed one PG Live show and I certainly won’t be missing any in the future.

My finishing words for those that couldn’t visit or have never visited, don’t miss it in 2022, when it’s going to be the biggest card show ever.

Items to bring in no particular order…

Budget (not a budgie!)

One person more than yourself (if only for taking down notes while you talk)

A sense of humour to match the Brainbox Candy boys and Dean Morris.

A good eye for all the bespoke card suppliers.

And a thirst, to make the most of for the Opening Night Party.

I’m wishing I was back at PG Live, but I am already booked in for the 2022 show.”

What were your top picks at the show?

“I placed card orders with Rush Design, Wendy Jones-Blackett, Five Dollar Shake, Paper Salad and Hearts Designs.

Above: Liberty fabric adds to the appeal of Five Dollar’s latest collection.
Above: Liberty fabric adds to the appeal of Five Dollar’s latest collection.

After my PG Live visit I think I need to squeeze in two card spinners into our bistrot, thanks to Abacus for its Countryfile cards and Blue Mountain Arts’ new sentiment range.

I was excited to see some great gifts from a few companies which I ordered.  These included the ages glassware range and candles from Scentiments, jewellery and stationery from Hearts Designs as well as the coaster and mug range from Belly Button Designs.

I also plan to order from I Drew This for a bespoke products and there were lots of newcomers that I will definitely look at for the future.”

Above: There was lots at PG Live to attract the Oliver Bonas buying team.
Above: There was lots at PG Live to attract the Oliver Bonas buying team.

Kate Salmon, head of home and gift buying and Jennifer Hutchinson, senior buyer’s admin assistant of Oliver Bonas

“We had a great time. It was really inspiring to be somewhere buzzing again! It was lovely to catch up with suppliers and also to see lots of newness. Now the stores are open and coming back to life we came away excited and energised to refresh the ranges, so it was perfect timing.

We have made lots of sample and catalogue requests which we are now collating to do a big range review next month.”

What were your top picks at the show?

“We thought Ohh Deer’s range was great while Stormy Knight, Raspberry Blossom, Noi (what great diversity) and Redback Cards were particularly strong too.

Above: Noi’s ranges stood out for the Oliver Bonas buying team.
Above: Noi’s ranges stood out for the Oliver Bonas buying team.

We also spoke with Alphablots who we hadn’t seen before but thought its range was really colourful and eye-catching.”

Above: Rachel (left) and Paul Roberts with Dandelion’s Jo Wilson.
Above: Rachel (left) and Paul Roberts with Dandelion’s Jo Wilson.

Rachel and Paul Roberts, owners of Mooch, Northampton, Towcester and Olney

“What a treat to be back meeting people face to face! We love PG Live – it’s such a gorgeous, friendly and relaxed show – and although it was a little smaller this year, it was as charming as ever.

It was lovely to see and chat to some of our favourite publishers, and it was great to see what they’d been working on during lockdown – as a result we have lots of lush new cards winging their way to us! It was also a real treat to meet some exciting new publishers and we managed to pick up a few fresh new ranges.

It was wonderful to be able to meet up with lots of our fellow gift and card shop owners and compare notes on how things are going. And it was extra special to meet up with some of our Retail Buddies (the WhatsApp group that we started following the PG&H Retail Round Table at Harrogate two years ago) to thank each other for the amazing support over the last 18months – and enjoy a few glasses of fizz at The Retas/The Greats reception together.”

Above: Having formed the Retail Buddies’ WhatsApp group two years ago, a lot of the members loved the chance to meet up in person at PG Live. (Front left to right) Jo Webber (Jo Armor), Richard and Aga Marsden (Highworth Emporium), Paul and Rachel Roberts (Mooch), Mike Webber (Jo Armor), Tabi Marsh (Papilio at Heritage) and Libby Holden (Lovely Libby’s).
Above: Having formed the Retail Buddies’ WhatsApp group two years ago, a lot of the members loved the chance to meet up in person at PG Live. (Front left to right) Jo Webber (Jo Armor), Richard and Aga Marsden (Highworth Emporium), Paul and Rachel Roberts (Mooch), Mike Webber (Jo Armor), Tabi Marsh (Papilio at Heritage) and Libby Holden (Lovely Libby’s).

What were your top picks at the show?

“Existing card suppliers with great new stuff included Five Dollar Shake, Dandelion, Wendy Jones-Blackett, Hearts Designs and Megan Claire.

Other companies that caught our eye at PG Live 2021 included Shmuncki, Paper Salad and Ling Design, while The Seed Card Company is on our radar.

It was also good to see the non-card ranges from Scentiments and WPL Gifts.”

Above: Contemporary design and verse combine in Shmuncki’s collection.
Above: Contemporary design and verse combine in Shmuncki’s collection.
  • Progressive Greetings Live 2022 will take place Tuesday 7 June and Wednesday 8 June at London’s Business Design Centre.

Top: Two PG Live 2021 meeters and greeters handing out the Hallmark x Kate Smith Company tote bags at last week’s show.

 

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