The recent GCA Speed-dating with Dragons 3 sell-out event, hosted at London’s Business Design Centre, was memorable for all involved. It was an afternoon to be remembered for the newbies presenting their wares for the very first time to retailers; for more established players demonstrating how they have reinvented their portfolios; for retailers on the lookout for publishing gems; for how industry stalwarts selflessly shared their wealth of knowledge and experience and for the palpable sense of camaraderie that was all pervasive.
Here a duo of stalwart card retailing friendly ‘Dragons’ – Jo Sorrell, owner of Cardies in Stevenage, Herts and Andrea Pinder, owner of Unit 7 of Manchester and Birmingham – share their top picks from the event:
Jo Sorrell, owner of Cardies in Stevenage
Top picks: “I was so lucky as the very first publisher I chatted with was Kathy Fern Webster from Dotty Dog Art. I first met Kathy last year at PG Live and loved her work as her favourite subjects are dogs. I placed an order with her at the end of the day.
Among those who stood out for me was Deckled Edge and I will definitely be ordering from. Again I first saw this publisher last year at PG Live and there is now a great choice of product from which to choose. I also love horses so another personal choice. Luckily for me so many of our customers are animal lovers too I can get away with choosing what I love.
I was also very pleased to meet Laura Sherratt. She had kindly sent us one of her beautiful cards last year when we were nominated for The Retas. Her cards really stood out for me. I will definitely be placing an order with her.”
Your view of the event: “I loved the Dragons Den event, it was great fun. I talked to 13 publishers so it was a whirlwind of talking and even I was flagging by the end. It was brilliant to meet and chat with so many talented and lovely cardies.
By the end of the day I was wishing I had a bigger shop to be able to buy from more of the publishers such was the choice.”
Andrea Pinder, owner of Unit 7 of Manchester and Birmingham
Top picks: “I did make orders from Laura Darrington for her new range Halcyon and I’m pleased to say it’s selling well.
I ordered Brainbox Candy’s new celebs range and also Modern Toss, which is now taken under its umbrella.
I have also been in contact with Blue Island Press since the event.
Rhian ApGruffyadd, founder of Gruffpawtraits had some fantastic dog portraits. Rhian specialises in animal photography her work was amazing.
I also really liked the new humour from Cheeky Chops Cards are also now on our ‘new publisher’ list.”
Your view of the event: “As a buyer you get something out of being able to help others, and of being part of something with others who share a passion for this industry.
It’s always good to see new publishers and new trends coming into the industry and I’m sure we will see some new brands coming through as a result.”