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Blue Eyed Sun Blog

  • How to find Design Point 5 at Home & Gift Harrogate - DP5

    Find Design Point 5Design Point 5 or DP 5 is a new card and gift hall at the Home & Gift trade show in Harrogate, which has a wonderful selection of greeting cards for design-led gift shops. We've made a video below to help you find it easily.

    Many of the leading greeting card brands and top up and coming card publishers show in this hall, which is located outside the Majestic Hotel and not far from Halls G and H next to the nearby Premier Inn. It's also near DP 1 and DP 3.

    Billed as a new hall for design-led gifts the Design Point 5 marquee is, in truth, filled with a wonderful array of card publishers and a beautiful selection of greeting card products for shops looking to stand out on the high street.

    Click the play button of the video below to see how to find Design Point 5 in less than 90 seconds.

    Find Blue Eyed Sun on Stand DP5-58 at Home and Gift Harrogate

    4 Great Restaurants near the Harrogate International Centre

    Click here for all the essential info you need about Home and Gift

    Watch How to find Design Point 5 at Home and Gift from Blue Eyed Sun on Vimeo.

  • Blue Eyed Sun launch new Impressed card range

    Impressed greeting cardsBe the first to see this delightful new handmade Impressed card range from Blue Eyed Sun.

    Designed by artist, Jo Corner, these beautiful cards are all handmade with love and clay in the UK. The Impressed card range currently includes 7 open birthday captions and 26 occasions cards with more being launched in the coming months including 12 Valentines and 12 Mother's Day cards. 

    Impressed cards are blank inside and all come cello wrapped with a beautiful white envelope that is 102mm x 147mm. Sold in sixes the designs are available for trade customers to order through our agents, by brochure, at shows or on our website. All paper used is responsibly sourced from sustained and managed forests.

    See this wonderful Impressed card range first in person at the events below:

    Home & Gift at Harrogate 19-22 July 2015 - Stand DP5-58

    Autumn Fair International at the NEC in Birmingham 6-9 September 2015 - Hall 4 - Stand 4D03

    To stock these cards in your shop click here. If you'd like to see them in your local shop please tell them and point them in the direction of www.blueeyedsun.co.uk or recommend a shop to us by clicking here. You can also visit our stockists page to find a store near you that may be selling them. To see an overview of Blue Eyed Sun ranges click here.

  • 6 Great reasons to visit Harrogate Home and Gift

    Harrogate Home and GiftThe Harrogate Home and Gift trade show opens it's doors on Sunday 19th July at 09:00am and runs until 4:00pm on Wednesday 22nd July at the Harrogate International Centre. Harrogate Home and Gift is the industry's much loved summer trade show for retailers, distributors and trade buyers looking to stock the finest gifts and greeting cards.

    Here are six great reasons why retailers must visit Home and Gift Harrogate:

    1. Great Opening Hours

    Harrogate Home and Gift opening hours run from 09:00 - 18:00 each day from Sunday to Tuesday and until 16:00 on Wednesday so there's plenty of time to get your buying done.

    Click here for visitor information

    2. Admission is Free!

    As long as you pre-register for Home and Gift, admission is free to trade visitors looking to source products from exhibitors attending. If you don't re-register it's £20 and you will need to prove you are a trade buyer at the door.

    Click here to pre-register for Home and Gift

    3. Beautiful Location

    Held in the picturesque spa town of Harrogate, the venue is surrounded by beautiful shops and lovely cafes, bars and restaurants. The weather never fails to disappoint and many visitors enjoy lunch on the terraces in the grounds of the wonderful Victorian 4 star Majestic hotel accompanied by the melodic tones of the jazz band who frequent the show. 

    Click here to find out more about Harrogate

    3. Dining Out

    You really are spoilt for choice in Harrogate as there are loads of great restaurants and the world famous Betty's tearooms to sample. Come and see for yourself why Harrogate was voted the happiest place to live in the UK.

    Discover 4 Great Restaurants near the Harrogate International Centre

    4. Get Social

    Home and Gift has always been well regarded as one of the most fun and social show shows on the industry calendar. This year will be no exception with the after show drinks on Sunday and other events to network and relax at.

    For details of some of the events being held at the show click here

    5. Source New Product

    There are literally thousands of new products across a range of sectors being launched at the show from hundreds of exhibitors including the very best of both large and small British brands. The new greeting card marquee in DP 5 outside the Majestic is particularly well stocked with some very talented new artists and designers.

    The show has a wonderful buzz about it and is attended by many of the UK's leading retailers. If you've never been, perhaps it's time to check it out?

    Do remember to come and say hi if you visit. Click here to see what's new from us.

    Find Blue Eyed Sun on Stand DP5-58 at Home and Gift Harrogate

    4 Great Restaurants near the Harrogate International Centre

    Click here for all the essential info you need about Home and Gift

    Visit the Home and Gift website

    Order Blue Eyed Sun cards online

  • The Retas Awards 2015 - Winners and Finalists

    The Retas Awards 2015 - WinnersCongratulations to all of the finalists and winners of the Retas Awards 2015 celebrating Greeting Card Retailing in the UK. We would especially like to thank all of you who stock our cards! We consider ourselves very privileged to be serving such a fine host of retailers. 

    3 Wishes won The Retas Award for Greeting Card Retailer of the Year

    The Retas Awards Winners 2015:

    Kerry Young from Thoughtful Expressions won Greeting Card Retail Employee of the Year

     

    Finalists 2015:

    Matthew Anderson, manager of 1st Stop Stationers, ReigatePostmark - The Retas 2015

    Kym Baker, manager of Cardzone, Farnsfield

    Lynda Hilbert, manager of Just Write, North Finchley

    Lauren Keen, manager of Sentiments, Burnham on Sea

    Vivian Laing, sales assistant of Signatures From The Heart, Preston

    Sharon McMahon, manager of Nice Thoughts, Coleshill

    Lynda Wells, manager of Love It, Stamford

     

    Postmark won Green Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer - London

     

    Finalists 2015:

    All Good Gifts - Battersea

    Card Bureau - Holland Park

    Gift - Crouch End

    Paperlane - Chislehurst

    Presence - Watford

     

    Box of Delights won Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer - Home CountiesBox of Delights The Retas 2015

     

    Finalists 2015:

    1st Stop Stationers - Reigate

    Kado – Princes Risborough

    Creased Cards - Brighton

    Panda Cards - St Albans

    The Secret Garden - Borough Green

     

    Just Cards won Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer - East Anglia

     

    Finalists 2015:

    Cards R Us - South Woodham Ferrers

    Pedlars Gold - Swaffham

    Simply Cards - Wymondham

    Sincerely Yours - Shenfield

    Thoughtful Expressions - Holt

     

    Tidings won Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer - South West

     

    Finalists 2015:Tidings - The Retas 2015

    Card Gallery - Wimborne

    Saltash Cards - Saltash

    Sentiments - Burnham on Sea

    Skoops Cards - Cinderford

    Soukous - Bristol

     

    Something Special won Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer - Wales and the Midlands

     

    Finalists 2015:

    Every Occasion - three stores in Bedworth, Altherston and Wigston

    Nice Thoughts - Coleshill

    Sentiments - Whitchurch

    Set - Leicester

    The Tutbury Present Company - Tutbury

     

    Unit 7 and Presentation won Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer - North and Northern Ireland

     

    Finalists 2015:Unit 7 - The Retas Awards 2015

    The Card Gallery - Pontefract

    Dragonfly Cards & Gifts - Knaresborough

    Gorgeous Gifts and Cards - Birkenshaw 

    Mantons - Isle of Man

    More Than Just Cards - Sheffield

     

    Clocktower Cards won Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer - Scotland

     

    Finalists 2015:

    Everyone's Designs - Edinburgh

    The Gift Boutique - Fraserburgh

    Hallmark Gold Crown - Parkhead Forge

    Kairds - Kirkwall

    Strachans - Inverurie

    The Bookshop Loughton - Retas 2015

    Rhymes with Orange won Best Greeting Card Retailer Newcomer - South

     

    Finalists 2015:

    ETC - Islington, London

    Hallmark Celebrate - Chigwell, Essex

    Maythers - Westminster, London

    Memories - Twickenham

     

    Penny Black won Best Greeting Card Retailer Newcomer - North

     

    Finalists 2015:

    Cool! Cards & Gifts - Skipton

    Little Paperie - Ashbourne

    Love Letters - Anlaby, Hull

    Quirky Coo - Dundee

    Signatures From The Heart - Preston

    3 Wishes - The Retas 2015

    The Bookshop Loughton won Best Indie Bookstore Retailer of Greeting Cards

     

    Finalists 2015:

    Barnes Bookshop - Barnes, Kew and East Sheen

    Bookends - Christchurch

    Chorleywood Bookshop - Chorleywood

    St. Paul's Bookshop - Ramsey

    Walkers Bookshops - Stamford and Oakham

     

    Harriet & Dee won Best Non-Specialist Indie Retailer of Greeting Cards - North

     

    Finalists 2015:

    Church Gallery - Kirby Stephen

    Pippin - Edinburgh

    Polka Dot - Castle Douglas and Dumfries

    Tippecanoe - Portree, Skye

    Tebay Services – Tebay, Cumbria

     

    Calladoodles won Best Non-Specialist Independent Retailer of Greeting Cards - SouthCalladoodles - The Retas Awards 2015

     

    Finalists 2015:

    Art For Art’s Sake - Muswell Hill

    Calliope Gifts - Dorking and Alton

    The Country House Gift Company - Winscombe

    Darts Farm Village - Topsham

    KP News and Stationers - Wallingford

     

    3 Wishes won Best Greeting Card Small Multiple (4-20 Branches)

     

    Finalists 2015:

    All Wrapped Up - Thame, Heathfield, Uckfield and Cranbrook

    Funky Pigeon/Paper & Script - 12 stores

    House of Cards - seven stores in the Home Counties

    iCandy - 14 stores in Essex and Herts

    Occasions Cards & Gifts/M&P Cards - 8 stores in the Home Counties and the south

     

    Barkers won Best Department Store Retailer of Greeting Cards

     

    Finalists 2015:
    Beales - Worthing
    Fenwick - Newcastle
    Jarrold - Norwich
    House of Cards - The Retas 2015
    John Lewis - Oxford Street, London
    Tynwald Mills - Isle of Man

     

    Asda won Best Supermarket Retailer of Greeting Cards

    Finalists 2015:

    Booths

    Morrisons

    Sainsbury’s

    Tesco

    Waitrose

     

    Oliver Bonas won Best Non-Specialist Multiple Retailer of Greeting Cards (4+ branches)

     

    Finalists 2015:

    Blackwells - 46 stores nationwide

    Foyles - five stores in London and Bristol

    The Lemon Tree - Seven stores in Surrey and Kent

    National Trust - 200+ stores nationwide

    Utility - Four stores in Liverpool and London

     

    Scribbler won Best Specialist Multiple Retailer of Greeting Cards (20+ branches)

     

    Finalists 2015:Scribbler - The Retas 2015

    Card Factory

    Cardland

    Cardzone

    Clintons

    Paperchase

     

    Frosts won Best Garden Centre Retailer of Greeting Cards

     

    Finalists 2015:

    Gordale Garden and Home Centre - South Wirral

    Grosvenor Garden Centre - Chester

    Hawley Garden Centre - Canterbury

    Klondyke/Strikes - 24 branches nationwide

    Longacres - Bagshot

     

    House of Cards won Best Greeting Card Retailer Initiative for its Ladder Club promotion

     

    Finalists 2015:

    Austin & Co, Malvern - for its dog friendly promotion Forget Me Not, Stubbington - for its WW1 centenary activities

    The Gift Box, Peebles - for its Thinking of You Week promotion

    The Lynn Tait Gallery, Leigh-on-Sea - for its WW1 design competition

    Red Card, Petworth - for its Valentine’s calligraphy event

     

    Greetings House won Best Greeting Card Service Based Wholesaler

     

    Finalists 2015:

    Archway Cards - Norwich

    Budget Greeting Cards - Seven Branches

    CAPS - Bury

    Crosswear Trading - Enfield

    Jackson’s - Sheffield

     

    Now in their eleventh year, The Retas Awards are established in recognition of the tremendous contribution that retailers - both large and small - make to the success of the greeting card industry. Launched by Progressive Greetings magazine in 2005, The Retas Awards recognise and celebrate not only the top independent and multiple greeting card retailers regionally and nationally, but also the new generation of retailers as well as employees of outstanding excellence.

    This year the Retas Awards, the ‘Oscars’ of greeting card retailing, were held at at a Vintage Travel themed luncheon at at The Dorchester Hotel on Wednesday 8th July, where the 2015 winners were announced by comedian Sean Collins. Congratulations to all of the winners and finalists!

    Click here to see previous winners of The Retas Awards

    To visit the Retas Awards Website click here.

    Click here to request more information on Blue Eyed Sun.

  • Blue Eyed Sun launch new Pincushion cards

    Pincushion cardsBlue Eyed Sun are proud to present their gorgeous new range of forty eight Pincushion cards.

    Based on original hand stitched artworks by market leading textile designer, Jo Corner, these delightful cards are all hand finished with jewels. The new handmade Pincushion range currently includes 13 open birthday captions and 11 occasions cards with more being launched in the coming months including 12 Valentines and 12 Mother's Day cards. 

    Pincushion cards are blank inside and all come cello wrapped with a pearlised envelope that is 165mm x 165mm square. Sold in sixes the designs are available for trade customers to order through our agents, by brochure, at shows or on our website. All paper used is responsibly sourced from sustained and managed forests.

    You can see these wonderful Pincushion cards first in person at the events below:

    Home & Gift at Harrogate 19-22 July 2015 - Stand DP5-58

    Autumn Fair International at the NEC in Birmingham 6-9 September 2015 - Hall 4 - Stand 4D03

    To stock these cards in your shop click here. If you'd like to see them in your local shop please tell them and point them in the direction of www.blueeyedsun.co.uk or recommend a shop to us by clicking here. You can also visit our stockists page to find a store near you that may be selling them. To see an overview of Blue Eyed Sun ranges click here.

  • How to get started with digital marketing

    Digital MarketingWe’ve been using various types of digital marketing with both our businesss, Blue Eyed Sun and Ivy Ellen, for several years now with some success. I have also written on digital marketing in several magazines, on blogs and given talks at major trade shows. Here’s how you can get started with some key digital marketing tools along with some practical case studies:

     

    Strategy

    Check that your customer base or target customer base use social media. The easiest way is to ask which platforms they like to use. If you have an email list of your customers, many of the social networks have ways of using this to connect straight to them.

     

    Before you dismiss it as fad, you should be aware that 72% of all internet users are active on social media and it’s not just the young; 60% of 50-60 year olds use these tools to connect with others.    

     

    It’s worth having a website (even if it’s basic) and adding a snippet of code to it from Google Analytics, which will provide you with statistical data. Knowing who comes to your site, where from and how they use it will help you to manage your digital marketing effectively.

     

    Finally, social media is not like marketing in the traditional sense. Do not simply shout out your wares. Try to be useful, fun, informative and most importantly engaging. Ask questions, be friendly and be as useful as possible online. 

     

    Facebook

    Facebook has 1.39 billion users and is a free social networking site that allows users to create profiles, upload photos and video, send messages and keep in touch with people. You will need to set up a profile as an individual as well as a page for your business. Start by connecting with friends to grow the number of people following your page. Those pages that are most successful share images relevant to their followers. Remember to include your Facebook details on your till slips and carrier bags, etc.

     

    One of our retailers, Bijou in Elgin, uses Facebook very well to engage locally with customers. With a population of 22,980 their page has 4,462 likes and people actively comment on the pictures Bijou post of the delicious looking food (aka #foodporn) in their cafe and new products just in. They also engage with groups that discuss products they sell (like collectible teddy bears) in helpful, non-selling ways. 

     

    Twitter

    Twitter is an online social networking service, with 280 million active users, that enables users to send and read short 140 character messages called “tweets.” It’s popular with celebrities,  journalists and PR folk so is great for promoting your business and engaging with fans. Tweeters are more active web store visitors and buy more from tweeting retailers. Watch and listen before tweeting. Engage and interact in helpful ways and don’t be pushy. Never drink and tweet. Grow your followers by following those with shared interests.

     

    With a local population of 19,274, Gift in Lindley has almost 400 followers on Twitter which the shop uses to engage with suppliers and locals. They share or retweet local stories and show lovely pictures of exciting new products that have arrived in their shop without pushing them in a hard sell kind of way. They’ve also been able to boost their PR, grow their brand locally and win awards through using  Twitter.

     

    Pinterest

    Pinterest is an online visual discovery tool that you can use to find ideas for all your projects and interests. With 70 million users worldwide it is the social network that is most likely to drive spontaneous purchasing. Referrals from Pinterest are more likely to buy and tend to spend more than those from Facebook. Pin products you sell on to your Pinterest page and link back to your website. Make your pins fun and visually stimulating to share your company’s personality.

     

    The John Lewis Pinterest page focuses on timely, relevant and useful content for their followers. For example, in January John Lewis created a page that included tips on nutrition and fitness as well as useful products that would help customers achieve their New Year Resolutions.

     

    Instagram

    Instagram is a fun, quirky application used to share your life with your community through a series of images. You have to download the app to your phone or mobile device and then take and upload images from it to your profile. Use it to tell the visual story of your brand. High quality images drive higher engagement. Try posting images of new product arrivals to your shop and aim to create compelling content. Use the # symbol before keywords relating to your images when posting. 

     

    The Dressing Room in St Albans uses Instagram to tell the visual story of their fashion boutique brand and share exciting new arrivals of products in store. They drive high engagement and offer compelling content that their fans love.

     

    LinkedIn

    LinkedIn is a professional, business orientated social network that strengthens and extends your existing network of trusted contacts. It’s great for controlling your online presence as a professional and is used by 50% of companies when hiring. It’s also a brilliant way of rising to the top of Google searches for anyone looking to connect with you or your business online.

     

    With over 15 million UK users I am amazed that more sales agents, suppliers and retailers don’t use LinkedIn. It’s the fastest and easiest way to create a professional, credible website for attracting new business to yourself. I also use it as a live address book to keep track of my professional relationships as well as to share company news and gain knowledge in relevant groups. Click to see: Blue Eyed Sun's linkedIn company page.

     

    Google

    Google’s social network is Google+, which is worth using if online search is important to your business. Registering for free with Google Business is an absolute must for retailers so that their shops show up on Google and map searches. Another service you can pay for is Google Maps Business View, which allows people online to walk off ‘Google Street View’ straight into your shop and wander around it in cyber space. If you do have an ecommerce site it’s also worth using Google Adwords for searches that are made locally to you for products you sell.

     

    If you look up Le Bizz in West Kirby on Google Maps you can wander around the shop via street view, which they paid to have done by Google Approved photographer, David Firth, at a cost of around £500. There is also software available that can connect this tool to ecommerce websites so that customers can click and buy online! Business View is great if your town has day-trippers who like to plan their day in advance and can check you out before they visit.

     

    Online Marketplaces

    Ecommerce is a fast moving, competitive environment and small retailers will struggle to compete for the top spots on Google searches against bigger retailers and online marketplaces. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is incredibly involved and time consuming to take on. I believe the race to to the top spots has been won by the big marketplaces like Ebay, Amazon, Not on the High Street and Etsy. It’s easier to set up an account on them than to run your own site.  They have pre-established customer bases with millions of visitors each month. They’re powerful on SEO and are cheap and easy to list products on. 

     

    Emailing Lists

    A really powerful way of connecting with your customers is to send them an email which offers them deals they want or information they’ll find useful. We use software called MailChimp to contact our customers before trade shows or when we have clearance sales. The software helps our emails to look good, monitors click throughs and avoids emails getting blocked in SPAM filters. They are always packed with useful bits and pieces and are not all about selling our cards. Try not to bombard your customers with these or they will unsubscribe.

     

    Summary

    Be aware that digital marketing is a beast that needs feeding on a regular ongoing basis. It’s good to have a strategy for your content and a plan for how you will deliver it. People love good images and helpful, funny or interesting insights more than hard sales tactics (although they also like a good special offer too). Make sure you plan a system that allows you to keep up with digital marketing and be patient as social media networks take time to grow. 

     

    10 Business basics to get right before using social media

     

    Read more social media tips on our blog here

     

    Discover our top ten business tools

  • Thinking of You Week 2015 from 21-27 September

    Thinking of You Week 2015

    Thinking of You Week 2015 is the Greeting Card Associations campaign to send a card a day and create a worldwide wave of love, caring and happiness during the last week of September each year. This year the week runs from the 21st to 27th September 2015.

    More people than ever are getting involved in Thinking of You Week this year including retailers, publishers, suppliers, schools, charities and individuals all organising special activities to promote this exciting event and to create that special feel-good wave.

    Below is a copy of the A4 flyer that you can download and print out for your shop window display. The GCA are also giving a prize for the Best Event and Best Window Display this year so be sure to share your images on social media using #ThinkingOfYou for a chance to win!

    Feel free to download the banner from the top of this page by right clicking and selecting 'save image as' to add it to your desktop. From there you should be able to use it as a cover image for your Facebook and Twitter pages during the months of August and September.

    We'd love to share what you are doing for Thinking of You Week so do let us know what you get up to.

    Why you should care about Thinking of You Week

    Download the GCA Thinking of You Week PR toolkit

    Science proves that receiving cards is good for people

    Thinking of You Week flyer

     

  • Visiting 10 Downing Street with the StartUp Britain Bus

    startup britain bus downing streetStart Up Britain Downing Street 2015I just had the most amazing day at 10 Downing Street with the StartUp Britain bus tour. Having mentored many small businesses over the years and being a Sage Business Expert, I was invited along by sponsors Sage to meet the Prime Minister David Cameron, Anna Soubry (Minister for Small Business) and Sajid David (Secretay of State for Business). 

    StartUp Britain's bus tour is traveling throughout Britain until the 7th August. The bus offers free mentoring and workshops to support businesses who starting out or are looking to grow. It's similar to the The Ladder Club seminars we do in the greeting card industry each year. This kind of encouragement is invaluable for small businesses and it's great to see such strong support for it by the Prime Minister, MP's and sponsors involved. Click here to see the schedule of stops

    It's always great flying the flag for greetings cards at these events. So often people seem surprised to meet someone running a successful and growing card business. I guess many assume things have changed because of Moonpig, social media and texting. The truth is we all love to receive greeting cards. Last year the UK spent £1.29 billion on single cards alone - more than tea and coffee put together! Despite technology, cards are still such a lovely personal way of connecting with friends, loved ones and with customers.

    I also had the pleasure of meeting few of the other business people at the event including Gemma Price who runs Superfood Market, a company that specialises in Vegan produce. The growth of her StartUp in the last two years been phenomenal. Starting with her vegan blog, she now has a 54,000 square foot warehouse selling over 10,000 lines from her website www.superfood-market.com! I'm veggie and my diet is 90% vegan with a lot juicing, so I'm looking forward to exploring her company's beautiful site and ordering something soon! 

    Carol Smillie was also there and talking pants! She too has started a business in the last couple of years called Diary Doll, which specialises in pretty underwear which have a waterproof panel to protect women against potentially embarrassing situations. As you'd expect she is as lovely in person as she is on TV. I also bumped into my good friend, Maria Allen, whose laser cut jewellery and gifts we sell on our Ivy Ellen wedding website. Maria's company has had fantastic success on NotontheHighStreet.com and it was great to catch up with her and hear her news. 

    I have to say a special thanks to my lovely friends at Sage for inviting me along. I look forward to seeing them again soon when I run the Great North Run in September with Team Sage to try and #BeatTheCEO

    Jeremy Corner, Carol Smillie, Gemma Price and Maria Allen

  • Home and Gift 2015 - The Essential Information

    Home and Gift 2015 - Essential InfoBlue Eyed Sun will soon be exhibiting at the Home and Gift 2015 trade show in the new DP5 Marquee by the Majestic. Officially launching at this well loved show are additions to our beautiful Enchantment range. We will also be previewing our new 2016 Spring Seasons designs and our new Pincushion and Impressed card ranges. All of our best selling greetings cards, including new Enchantment, Picnic Time and Vintage designs will also be on display so be sure to stop by and see us.

    Quote Voucher code HG2015 when ordering during the show (online or offline) for FREE CARRIAGE.

    About Home and Gift

    This annual trade show is a highlight on buyers' calendars for it's relaxed Summery atmosphere and great range of products on offer in the run up to Christmas. It runs for four days from Sunday 19th July to Wednesday 22nd July from 09:00 - 18:00 at the Harrogate International Centre. It really is a pleasure doing business at this show, so don't miss it!

    To register for Home and Gift 2015 please click here.

    Where to Stay at Home and Gift

    The closest hotels to the show are the Holiday InnTravel Lodge, Premier Inn and The Old Swan a short walk away with prices from £55-£150. However as the show opens next week they seem to be fully booked now. You can search a List of Hotels in Harrogate by clicking here. A good tip if you can't find a room is to stay in York, a short train ride away.

    Where to Eat at Home and Gift

    Harrogate has many wonderful restaurants and cafes including the world famous Betty's Tea Rooms. We've sampled lots of them over the years and have short listed some of our favourites for you to try below: 

    4 Great Restaurants near the Harrogate International Centre

    How to get to Home and Gift

    The roads into Harrogate can get very congested so allow plenty of time if you are coming by car. The Harrogate International Centre post code is HG1 5IA and there are 400 car spaces on site with a daily cost of £13. These spaces get pretty full so you may like to use the park and ride scheme running from the Great Yorkshire Showground on the A61 (Post code HG1 5IA).  All parking will be available on a concrete surface, which will be safe for use for any visitors.

    Trains run every half hour from Leeds and every hour from York. There is a free shuttle bus from Harrogate train station to the show. You can fly to Leeds Bradford airport (20 minute drive from the show). Buses go every 90 minutes and take half an hour.

    For more information on travel for the show click here.

    When you get to Harrogate do remember to come and see us in the new card marquee by the Majestic DP 5 - Stand 58.

    Can't make the show? Click here to request access all of our designs online.

    Home And Gift 2015 Show Map


    View Larger Map

  • The Ladder Club 2015 dates have been announced

    The Ladder Club 2015 Seminar DatesThe Ladder Club 2015 dates have been announced. These are day long crash course seminars in card publishing held in Westcliffe on Sea each year and run on a not-for-profit basis by Lynn Tait of the Lynn Tait Gallery. You must choose one of the following days to attend as you cannot do both in the same year:

    The first seminar, Getting on the Ladder, for brand new greeting card companies or those considering card publishing will be held on Tuesday 17th November 2015 with the highly recommended networking dinner the night before. If you haven't done the first day before then book this one first.

    The second day, Climbing the Ladder, which is for more experienced new publishers who may already have been to the first day seminar the year before, is to be held on Wednesday 18th Novmber 2015. There will also be a dinner the night before for these delegates to network and meet the speakers one on one. Only choose this seminar if you have a turnover of at least £3,000 and have exhibited at least one trade show.

    The seminars are packed with great speakers and industry experts including Karen Wilson and Claire Frost from Paper Salad, digital printers from The Imaging Centre, litho printers from Sherwood Press, paper merchants GF Smith, envelope suppliers Enveco. There will also be retailers, sales agents, trade show organisers from PG Live, Jakki Brown from Progressive Greetings and Sharon Little from the Greeting Card Association.

    This will be my eleventh year of speaking at these seminars and I highly recommend them to new greeting card publishers. They are an invaluable source of great information that will help you make the most of your greeting card business. If you are considering card publishing they will give you everything you need to be able to decide if it is right for you.

    Held in Westcliffe on Sea, Essex these Ladder Club 2015 dates should go straight into your diary if you want to improve your new greeting card publishing business. The cost for each day is an incredibly low £48 and includes lunch. 

    To book a place at the Ladder Club contact Trudi or Pauline on 01702 480180 or email waiteandtaitbakery@hotmail.com 

    Click to read about previous Ladder Club seminars

    Read more business tips on our blog

    See how we doubled the income from our handmade card business

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