Gift Focus inc Attire Accessories - July/August 2022

SHEFFIELD TOY SHOP WINS BEST SMALL HIGH STREET BUSINESS A children’s store and community space in Sheffield has been crowned the UK’s best small high street business at this year’s Small Awards, as it made a return at a ceremony in London hosted by presenter, writer, actor, and comedian Sue Perkins. Small Stuff – which combines a children’s store offering sustainable toys and products, and a community hub supporting local businesses and families – won the ‘High Street Hero’ award, sponsored by TSB, for its positive impact on the community. Founder Hellen Stirling-Baker, who has grown the business from its roots as a pop-up in 2016 to having a permanent premises in Sheffield’s Crookes district three years ago, impressed judges for her passionate support of the local high street. In particular, Hellen has created a space above the shop where other local businesses can host workshops, events and pop-ups, as well as a rest area for parents and carers, with children actively encouraged to explore and play in-store. Small Stuff also led on creating an online marketplace to support other local businesses during the pandemic, as well as growing its own thriving online store. “We are so delighted to win this award! The long-term vibrancy of Crookes high street means the world to all of us at Small Stuff,” said founder, Hellen. “We are looking forward to the future of supporting more talented local people in the community, as well as continuing to serve our customers.” Now in its sixth year the Small Awards is a nationwide search for the smallest and greatest firms in the UK. It is organised annually by Small Business Britain which champions, inspires and accelerates small businesses in the UK. Michelle Ovens CBE, founder of Small Business Britain and the Small Awards, congratulated the winners. “Small Stuff’s win is very well deserved. Their passion for helping the high street to thrive, by supporting other local firms, is a great example of the power of small businesses to bring communities together and be a shining light in our town and city centres.” This year, the Small Awards received a record number of applications from small businesses, with over 80 finalists shortlisted across 11 Small Award categories that call out the nation’s most inspirational business, across everything from sole-traders, to digital stars and purposeful community-driven businesses. UK & EIRE RIGHTS FOR GLOBAL ICON MIFFY TO BE MANAGED BY ROCKET LICENSING UK & Eire rights for global icon Miffy are to be managed by Rocket Licensing. After DRI Licensing’s decision to wind down the company it became paramount to find a new home for Miffy. The brand Miffy has been carefully nurtured and grown over the last 20+ years and, according to Mercis, it was important to secure this foundation, but also build on the program to further stimulate visibility and growth. According to a press release, “We believe that award winning agency Rocket Licensing has all the prerequisites to jointly fulfil this mission and are pleased to announce our partnership in the UK and Eire. Finding synergies between our existing partners and Rocket’s established network of best-inclass licensing partners forms a solid base to further build the brand across all categories and age groups.” Marja Kerkhof, Managing Director of Mercis, says, “Our mission is to share Dick Bruna’s work, and Miffy, with as many people as possible, but always with respect for art and the world of a child. It is never easy to make this kind of decision when working with someone’s oeuvre, but it is my belief that Miffy will be in good hands with Rob, Charlie and the Rocket team. We look forward to this collaboration and the exciting possibilities it could bring. But first let’s focus on 2023 Ýear of the Rabbit’. Rob Wijeratna, Joint MD of Rocket Licensing, commented: “We are so excited to welcome Miffy on board at Rocket Licensing. She is a classic design brand and is instantly recognisable across generations, cultures and languages. Her iconic status is largely down to the simple, impactful design and the key core values of fun, imagination, simplicity and a respect for art and the world of a child. “Miffy’s licensing programme spans all ages and categories and has featured some exciting collaborations and experiential events and as we approach the Year of the Rabbit in 2023, our team is really looking forward to building on that and taking the consumer products programme to the next level.” INDUSTRY NEWS 9