This year we've entered some of our latest best-selling products into 5 different GOTY categories. Our Winter Scarves available in 8 different designs and perfect for wrapping up warm on a cold winter's morning and our very exciting plush character collection, bringing 4 of our most-loved designs from our card collections to life in soft and cuddly 3D form.
Tell us about your business
Wrendale Designs is a multi-award winning publisher of cards, stationery and gifts featuring beautiful, quirky watercolour illustrations by Hannah Dale. Inspired by the natural world, the cards quickly became best sellers and are now complemented by an extensive stationery collection, homeware, giftware and most recently a fabulous plush character collection.
What can you tell us about your entered products?
This year we've entered some of our latest best-selling products into 5 different GOTY categories. Our two big product launches for Autumn/Winter this year were our Winter Scarves available in 8 different designs and perfect for wrapping up warm on a cold winter's morning and our very exciting plush character collection, bringing 4 of our most-loved designs from our card collections to life in soft and cuddly 3D form. The collection has been painstakingly developed over the last few years, to capture the essence of the artwork. With careful sourcing of fabrics and lots of sampling we were able to achieve this and we're delighted with the outcome. We have also entered the wonderful Diary Planner in the Stationery category. This diary is packed with useful content with a week to view, meal planners, things to do checklists and weekly budgets, as well as a monthly planner. Filled with our designs throughout it's beautiful too. Our completely plastic free Christmas crackers are also another product we're really proud of. With a domed glass magnet gift in each instead of the usual mini screwdriver, they're sure to be a hit on the big day, and are printed on high quality textured board adorned with intricate festive pattens. For the contemporary gift category we knew we had to enter out fantastic water bottles. Printed with a different design on either side and an illustrated tube they are extremely giftable and come in so many of our designs. Colourful and stylish they really are the very best way to stay hydrated, keeping contents hot or cold for 12 hours.
Why did you choose to enter Gift of the Year 2021 and has the competition helped boost your brand in the past?
We enter the Gift of the Year awards every year. Over the years we have had products shortlisted and win in various categories and it's great to receive that recognition when we take so much pride in the development of new products and collections.
Has your business been affected by Covid-19?
Things were obviously very difficult during the lockdown with all of our stockists across the world closing within a matter of days of one another. It’s something we could never have planned for and I think we were in shock for a few days seeing everything shut down. It’s also had a huge impact on new product launches - usually we would be introducing new collections to our customers at trade shows and taking the opportunity to see them in person. With lots of our colleagues working from home, it’s also more difficult as a creative business to share ideas and have the usual evolution of projects in this way.
What changes have you made as a result?
The obvious changes are things we’ve done to protect our workforce so the office feels very different and quiet. Because we haven’t been able to launch our new collections at trade shows, we set up a showroom here at the office which enabled 1-1 meetings with stockists in a safe environment. We’ve also done a few different things such as producing a short film to introduce customers to our new plush collection as they aren’t able to see the quality and feel them in person.
What other products have you brought to market for 2020, can you share them here?
Our greeting cards are where Wrendale first started, so every 6 months we add a selection of new designs to our existing collections. This year for Autumn/Winter, we launched 12 new designs to our award-winning 'Country Set' collection and 19 other occasion cards covering a range of different celebrations. Many of these our latest best-selling illustrations were also introduced across notecard packs, spiral-bound notebooks and handy paperback notebooks. We also added a variety of these new designs as canvas prints, proudly 'Made in the UK' and available in 3 different sizes. The canvas prints are fine art quality, printed on archival standard 300gsm polycotton canvas with eco friendly inks and make a lovely addition to any home.
Where can your products be purchased?
Our products can be purchased from independent gift shops and garden centres across the UK and our website www.wrendaledesigns.co.uk