Views From The Den: RHS’ Hazel Small And Sainsbury’s Kate Goss breathe fire…

The love is still blossoming following the recent GCA ‘Speed-dating with Dragons’ event. Newbie publishers presented their wares for the very first time to retailers; more established players demonstrated how their ranges have moved on; the ‘dragon’ retailers were on the lookout for publishing gems while industry stalwarts shared their wealth of knowledge in a panel discussion.

In the second of a series, PG Buzz caught up with Hazel Small, card and gift buyer for the RHS and Kate Goss, senior buyer cards, wrap and party for Sainsbury’s to find out what they got out of being a ‘dragon’ at the event as well as which publishers’ products stood out for them…

Above: Hazel Small (right) being pitched to by Rose Tratt of Rose Madder.
Above: Hazel Small (right) being pitched to by Rose Tratt of Rose Madder.

Hazel Small, card and gift buyer for the RHS

What was it like being a dragon?

“It was a very enjoyable afternoon; so great to be part of such an upbeat, positive event. Each supplier brought such enthusiasm and energy to the table and although I have been buying cards for a very long time there were plenty of new faces for me to meet. The time flew by and I left feeling really inspired by all the creativity I’d seen.

The hardest part of being a ‘dragon’ was having to choose who to meet with in a split second – I would have loved to have talked to everybody!

Although I didn’t get to spend a huge amount of time with each person, it felt more personal and I gained more insight into each company than if I’d been at a trade show.”

Above: Hazel in full flow with Laura Darrington Design’s Ross Harrison.
Above: Hazel in full flow with Laura Darrington Design’s Ross Harrison.

What were your den delights?

“I’ve definitely found a few new suppliers that I’m going to follow up with but I’m keeping those under my hat for now…”

Above: The attendees’ cards went through a much tougher selection panel when Hazel got home and showed them to her feline critics.
Above: The attendees’ cards went through a much tougher selection panel when Hazel got home and showed them to her feline critics.

Kate Goss, senior buyer cards, wrap and party for Sainsbury’s

Above: Sainsbury’s Kate Goss (left) being pitched to by Neela Chatakondu of Glass Deva.
Above: Sainsbury’s Kate Goss (left) being pitched to by Neela Chatakondu of Glass Deva.

What was it like being a dragon?

“I don’t think I have ever been called a dragon before! What a fantastic day. It was just wonderful to come together in a safe way, experience seeing talent first hand and interacting with product.

Hearing publishers back stories, understanding their inspiration and journey made being a dragon such a positive and privileged experience.”

Above: Kate with Sainsbury’s colleague Emma Tanner and Ezen’s David Wertheim.
Above: Kate with Sainsbury’s colleague Emma Tanner and Ezen’s David Wertheim.

What were your den delights?

“All the publishers we met brought something new and different to the table which challenged us to think differently.

Penguin Ink’s letterpress cards blew us away with their simplicity, quality and sheer beauty.”

Above: Penguin Ink’s cards impressed Kate and Emma.
Above: Penguin Ink’s cards impressed Kate and Emma.

“Plus, After the year we have all had it was refreshing to review Deadpan’s cards and enjoy the power of laughter.”

Above: A topical Christmas design from Deadpan Cards.
Above: A topical Christmas design from Deadpan Cards.

Miles Robinson, co-owner of House of Cards shared his experiences of being a Dragon in a previous PG Buzz story. Click hereto see what Miles had to say…

Top: Kate Goss (4th right) selecting which publisher to take back to the ‘den’ from one group.

 

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