Articles

Here is a selection of features from Gift Focus magazine.

Gifting for men

A recent survey by Perspectus Global highlights how men have evolved in their gifting desires, with many now feeling their gifts are repetitive and are excited by options traditionally reserved for women. The research found as many as one in ten (11 percent) dads feel jealous of the women in their lives when it comes to the gifts they receive, while 80 percent insist women always receive more thoughtful presents. A quarter (28 percent) would go so far as to describe the gifts they receive as repetitive and uninspiring (24 percent). In fact, one in four (26 percent) say a present has made them feel unloved, while 30 percent feel regularly hard done by.

Anniversary achievements

To mark Eco-Friendly Card's 30th Anniversary, Louise Prance speaks to Sue Morrish about the company's journey. Congratulations on your 30th anniversary! What were the reasons behind the initial launch of Eco-Friendly Cards? Glebe Cottage Studio (the original name of The Eco-friendly Card Co) was established with the help of the Princes Youth Business Trust by a young photographer, Scott Morrish, who was fresh out of art college and looking for a way to fund his new darkroom. Publishing cards with images of rural Devon, where he lived, seemed a good idea and Scott drove around the country lanes visiting selling his cards to independent retailers such as post offices and garden centres and Glebe Cottage Studio was born. A few years later after I (Sue) joined the business we started offering cards from south-west artists to increase the diversity of our offering to independent retail.

Check out Gift Focus' September/October bookstand!

This issue Gift Focus Magazine showcases the latest releases in the literary world, from books for coffee-lovers and pet owners, to 'The little book of flirting' and Amazon Prime's fan-favourite Kaleb, from Clarkson's Farm, has a book out too - there really is something for every one! Could one of these exciting new titles be your next big seller in store?

Merci Maman makes personalised jewellery

Merci Maman founder Beatrice de Montille shares how the company holds motherhood at the heart of everything it does, and how it grew from a work-from-home job to the successful jewellery business it is today. Beatrice de Montille started Merci Maman over 15 years ago. After the birth of her second child, her employer rejected her request for a part-time role and she couldn't get the work-life balance she needed, so she started her own activity, originally as a sole trader working from home. However, she always had that entrepreneurial flare. She was hoping to create a few jobs but did not envisage that it would become so big. The company has had over 60 employees spread between London, Paris and Belin at the peak last year!

Head to Home & Gift and check out the product on offer

July is just round the corner which means only one thing - Home & Gift is nearly upon us!

The buyers' festival of the summer is gearing up for another spectacular show, which will transport visitors back to the summer of love. Socialise and connect in the laid back atmosphere of Home & Gift, which embodies the essence of togetherness and pressure-free connecting centred round a passion for quality products.

Taking over the grounds of the DoubleTree by Hilton and the Harrogate Convention Centre from the 16-19th July, buyers will have 5 halls and multiple Design Points to explore - bursting with thousands of lust-worthy products from over 500 brands.

Gisela Graham celebrates its 40th Anniversary milestone

Gisela Graham is celebrating its 40th anniversary – check out how the company got to this milestone achievement. Gisela registered the business in 1983 and have just had a glamorous celebration of its 40th anniversary. Looking at what's to come, Gisela is launching an endless stream of good and original ideas and outstanding service! And in the near future will be launching her 2024 Easter/Spring collection in July.

Navigating the supply chain

The supply chain affects every industry to some degree, from the movement of products and labour to finding the right tools for the job. And making sure that you can provide your customers with the best experience is key for the running of any business. Customer satisfaction can cause loyalty for your business, making it an important factor to consider. To maintain this, you need to adapt to changes and challenges which you will face, including problems with the supply chain. Here, Peter Campbell of Snowshock, a UK based slush machines and slush syrups business, explores what the supply chain is, what issues it can face, and how businesses are managing to navigate these issues successfully.

Pet Appeal - Wag&Wool saw a gap in the market

Starting in the height of the Pandemic, Wag&Wool creates matching pet and human accessories – a growing trend in the UK. March 2020, the pandemic gave us all a chance for pause and introspection. For me, it was an opportunity to put the vitality of the high fashion industry on hold and concentrate on a project closer to my heart. Having shared my life with dogs since I can remember, I wanted to begin designing a beautiful range of gift-worthy knitwear for dogs. The lightbulb moment came to me when I met my friend and her dog, Monti, on a particularly chilly day in Brighton. We wrapped Monti up in one of my hand-knitted lambswool scarves to keep him cosy and I never looked back. Wag&Wool was born.

Home organisation with JPT Europe

Shinya Masuda, Managing Director of JPT Europe Ltd, discusses their brand King Jim and the demand for Japanese products in the UK. "We're a Japanese company and importer of Japanese products. King Jim is one of our Japanese brands we distribute in the UK. Our parent company in Japan established in 1942. And we started our UK branch in London in 2000. Originally, our company started exporting Japanese publications including newspapers to Japanese emigrants overseas. As the times changed, our mission shifted more to exporting Japanese culture worldwide. In the UK, nowadays we present an extensive range of items such as characteristically well-designed stationery and traditional gifts directly imported from Japan.

Get noticed in business!

Sara Davies gives us tips on how to make your business stand out amongst the rest.

She says: In the business world, first impressions count and standing out in the right way can really pay off. There are so many ways to present your business in the best way so it can shine brighter than the rest.

Firstly, get creative with your ideas!

To dad, with love... what to stock for Father's Day

Father's Day is one of the prime gifting events throughout the year, with the product choices continuing to expand...

Forget the socks this Father's Day and instead send your love with a fabulous "Man Candle" or "Mandle". With over 40 fragrances in its range, Pintail Candles has a great range of masculine and gender-neutral scents and styling to suit every dad, daddy, father and pa. A popular choice for men is the Driftwood fragrance which comes in many different candle sizes to suit every pocket. This is an invigorating clean, fresh fragrance, combining notes of massoia wood, vetiver and oak moss intertwined with refreshing citrus hints of bergamot and lemon.

Sustainable solutions

The Beeswax Company was launched due to Founder Fran Beer noticing a gap in the market for sustainable alternatives to cling film. The venture was a success from the start, with collaborations forged between the likes of the National Trust and Cath Kidston. When did you start up and why? I founded The Beeswax Wrap Co. in 2017 in a bid to live more sustainably and plastic-free, starting within my home. Sadly, I found little to no alternatives to cling film on the market. So, blending my love of crafting and the planet, a journey to create a product that was planet-friendly, useful and beautiful began – and The Beeswax Wrap Co. was born!

Home grown - British made

Capitalise on the trend for products made in Britain with these gorgeous offerings. The Queen's Platinum Jubilee collection celebrates 70 years since HRH Queen Elizabeth the Second's coronation. The intricately hand-drawn design was inspired by the magnificent dress worn by The Queen during her Coronation in 1952 featuring embroidered flowers from across the Commonwealth including the Tudor rose (England), thistle (Scotland), leek (Wales), shamrock (Ireland), wattle (Australia), maple leaf (Canada), fern (New Zealand), protea (South Africa), lotus flowers (India and Ceylon) and wheat, cotton, and jute (Pakistan).

Attention to detail is where Lesser & Pavey excels

With a strong range of products on offer, Lesser & Pavey prides itself on its customer contact and bringing creativity and innovation to the marketplace... When did you start up and why? Lesser & Pavey was established in 1971, becoming a leading UK trade supplier of giftware and homewares. We recognised an opportunity at a time when the established importers lacked innovation and new products at value for money prices. Today the company prides itself on exceptional quality with on trend products at great value for money prices and our brand 'The Leonardo Collection' is renowned worldwide.

New ideas coming from Groovy UK

Groovy UK has a wide product offering that is steeped in quality design. Despite finding the pandemic challenging, the company is excited to try new ideas. Here Monique Scott, Managing Director and Owner tells us more...

When did you start up and why? Groovy UK was launched in 1991. I always had a love for design and items with unusual features – art college taught me to create and work from concept to finished product. I opened gift shops but still couldn't find the things I wanted from many suppliers, so I found out about manufacturing in China and started to make my own products. Due to the size of the MOQ's I needed to sell the extra stock, so I set up a wholesale/distribution company.

Online excellence: Optiseller

E-commerce experts Optiseller spotlights five new online trends that will affect all online sellers in 2022...

In the past two years, we have seen e-commerce change and grow to meet the demands of the new COVID-19 world. As we continue into 2022, it is vital for all online sellers to look ahead and plan for what is to come. According to e-commerce experts Optiseller, there are five new e-commerce trends that will affect all online sellers this year. Optiseller experts say it doesn't matter what platform or marketplace you sell on, these trends can and will affect every aspect of selling online in the year ahead.

Anniversary Celebrations with D&J Glassware

Having overcome challenges as a start-up, D & J Glassware is now a mainstay of the gift industry, having built up a loyal customer base over the past twenty years. Here, co-founder Jocelyne talks to Gift Focus about the brand...

When did you start up and why? We started D & J Glassware in 2002. David had worked for many years in a senior sales role for blue chip companies, latterly in the horticultural industry. Jocelyne is a chartered accountant with experience of both large multi-national and small family-owned companies. However, we both had an entrepreneurial leaning: David's starting at a very early age hiring out fountain pens to his classmates!

Support for business to combat climate change

FSB's National Vice-Chair Martin McTague looks at how the UK government must offer support to small businesses in order to help their fight against climate change. We often talk about small businesses and the self-employed being central to their local communities, embedded in their villages, towns and cities, supporting local groups and volunteering. But most have a much wider view of the world too, with increasing awareness of global climate issues and keen to play their part in becoming more sustainable. The consequences of not acting on climate change are well documented, and it's up to every part of society to meet this challenge – small businesses included.

Sustainability, success and the future - Gift Focus chats to The Canned Wine Co.

The Canned Wine Co. was launched as a way to innovate sustainably in the wine industry – and despite the pandemic throwing up some problems, Founder Abi Chell is enjoying early success. When did you start up and why? Canned Wine Co. started in 2019 with the aim to make exciting wines more accessible, sustainable and convenient for all wine drinkers. We wanted to provide exceptional quality wine in the smaller format and, given the sustainability credentials of cans over glass bottles, this had to be the way to go.

How does 2022 look for ExaClair

Lawrence Savage, UK Marketing Manager at ExaClair gives us the lowdown of what to expect from the company in 2022. How was 2021 for ExaClair? Although there have been many obstacles during the past year, we've seen steady progress since the lockdown periods. Both the pandemic and Brexit have given us opportunities to review and enhance our operations as a whole. The business has become much more dynamic in relation to order processing and we developed a greater flexibility in our distribution logistics, which has helped us to accommodate the increasingly varied customer delivery requirements.