With products ordered at Progressive Greetings Live 2019 now earning their keep on retailers’ racks up and down the UK, PG Buzz put a trio of buyers – Hazel Walker of Waterstones, Angie Goosen of Blue Diamond and David Robertson of JP Pozzi – on the spot as to what they felt was the cream of the crop on the product front at the show.
Hazel Walker, senior buyer of cards and wrap for Waterstones: “What a great show! Having been away, it was my first show of 2019 and what a feast for the eyes – so much newness!“
Hazel’s top picks: “Ling’s range collaboration with Prue Leith really caught our eye and it was a real bonus to meet Prue herself! We also really liked Archivist’s new range of small foiled cards – the strong colours really set off the foiling on these and we loved the coordinating matches.
As ever, ArtPress had some really lovely new ranges too, we especially liked the new vintage floral and seed packet designs it’d added to its portfolio.”
Angie Goosen, category manager for books, cards, gifting and giftwrap at Blue Diamond Group of garden centres:
“It was my first PG Live and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The show had such a good energy about it. I really liked that the stands were smaller as this meant the suppliers were showing their best lines which meant it was easy to appreciate what was on offer without feeling overwhelmed.
I saw a lot of individuality from the suppliers, whether it was pop-ups, laser-cut wooden accessories, flowers and embellishments – everyone seemed to make a real effort to stand out and be unique.”
Angie’s top picks: “There were loads! I really liked Middle Mouse, specifically its Cardlets and also the ‘grow your own pot’ lines. The company seemed to go back to the roots of what giving a card to someone means – sentiment. I feel my customers would really want to keep a card like that.
The talent of some of the artists, notably Sophie Brabbins, Deckled Edge and Dollyhotdogs, blew me away. Lucy Ledger and Catherine Lewis also stood out for me, predominantly because they epitomise the garden centre customer, with a contemporary edge.”
David Robertson, managing director of JP Pozzi and Bijou in Elgin and Buckie:
“PG Live is a very social show. Everyone mixes from all elements of our industry, which just does not happen in such an intimate way at any other trade event.
I also find that as we are all focusing on the one product category so you really properly concentrate on the cards you are buying. I know that I arrive with a hit list of categories/styles that I am looking for and once I have fulfilled this I then go out to discover new companies/styles.”
David’s top picks: “Among the product highlights for me this year were: Louise Tiler – a company I feel is on the rise. It makes lovely use of different finishes/foiling. I liked the plastic-free solution and I thought her new sentiment range was beautiful and had the right balance of words/cheese!
Bold and Bright – while I didn’t buy them as they are just too close to the bone for my customers, they made me cringe and laugh out loud. I have no doubt I will be buying some of these cards in Scribbler!
Emotional Rescue – seems to have its mojo back with the new guys at the helm truly understanding the product, it makes such a difference.
Hammond Gower – its new small boxed 3D cards is a different concept, I loved them. The range is traditional in design yet modern in execution and kind of links into the current trend of unboxing that is big on YouTube.
My Design – its Christmas music and Advent calendar was quirky and as much a gift as a card.”