Meet the judges

More judges are added to the panel throughout the run of the competition. If you are a retailer or a member of the trade press, and are interested in joining the panel for Gift of the Year 2020, please contact awards@ga-uk.org.

Deejay Nye - Science Museum Group
Children's, Educational and Pre-School | Contemporary Gift | Design & Craft | Tech & Gadgets

Deejay Nye

Science Museum Group

I've been in the retail industry since 2010 and started my career in buying at Waterstones in 2014, working for their Related Products department.

Since 2017, I have been part of the retail buying team at the Science Museum Group and I am responsible for the toys, tech and gift product offer and exhibition ranges for the five museums within the group - Science Museum in London, Railway Museum in York, Science and Industry Museum in Manchester, National Science and Media Museum in Bradford and Locomotion in Shildon. The Science Museum in London won the Art Fund Museum of the Year 2020.

https://shop.sciencemuseum.org.uk/

Victoria Redshaw - Scarlet Opus
Design & Craft | Home and Garden | Kitchen & Dining | Stationery

Victoria Redshaw

Scarlet Opus

Victoria Redshaw, Lead Futurist at Scarlet Opus, a Trend Intelligence agency working internationally and headquartered in the UK.

SO inform their clients about the future of Culture, Lifestyle & Design; clients are national & multi-national retailers, designers and manufacturers of all products for all interior sectors, as well as property developers, home builders & architects.

Victoria is a media spokesperson for clients, and delivers keynote speeches at trade shows, events & consumer exhibitions internationally; also leading trend tours & curating trend showcases.
Victoria writes for trade journals, consumer magazines and is a panel judge for interior design and architectural awards.

She was recognised as an International Thought Leader when invited to be one of the ‘100Minds’ for the ‘100Dreams, 100Minds, 100Years’ visionary think tank exploring the future of life & work.
Victoria lectures about Trend Forecasting internationally in Universities being the Senior Lecturer of Trend Forecasting at Huddersfield University.

Mike Cook - Choice Marketing Ltd

Mike Cook

Choice Marketing Ltd

Charlotte Cowell - Gifts & Greetings Review
Ethical Gift | International | My Gift of All Time | Pet Gift

Charlotte Cowell

Gifts & Greetings Review

University of Oxford graduate, Charlotte is a gift and home trade press editor / media consultant with over 17 years' experience editing magazines and putting in the mileage on those show floors. Charlotte offers an integrated media consultancy service for companies large and small, supported by inhouse trade publications and social media hubs. In her spare time she writes and publishes books.

Lindsey Straughton - NAJ Industry Ambassador
Fashion Jewellery

Lindsey Straughton

NAJ Industry Ambassador

NAJ Industry Ambassador from a marketing background. I have worked for the federation for 25 years and previously have held marketing and department store managerial roles. I have a keen eye for contemporary jewellery and admire craftsmanship in all its forms. A rounded entry should fit the brief and excel in all element of the criteria

Anna Bryant - Ransoms Garden Centre
Beauty, Bath & Spa | Festive & Occasions | Food & Drink | Tech & Gadgets

Anna Bryant

Ransoms Garden Centre

I have been head buyer at Ransoms Garden Centre for over 4 years and buy for all product groups within the centre. I have worked within retail for 23 years and loved its wide variety of products and challenges! In 2018 we won the Best Garden Centre Retailer of Gifts at 'The Greats' awards which was a great boost for all the team and showed how far we had come in our gifts offering.

Celestyna Houdkova - Senior Trade Adviser
Beauty, Bath & Spa | Fashion Jewellery | Home Fragrance | Stationery

Celestyna Houdkova

Senior Trade Adviser

I am part of the Department for International Trade in Foreign Commonwealth Office. In the role of Consumer and Retail sector lead in the Czech Republic, I am helping UK companies to establish their presence on the Czech market and connect with local partners.

Lindsey Adam - Bonkers
Cards & Wrap | Contemporary Gift | Ethical Gift | Under £15

Lindsey Adam

Bonkers

My business Bonkers Original Gifts was founded in 1983 as a small craft and gift shop in St Andrews. The business is now a two location and online shop and is a past winner of a retail award when Gift of the Year did retail awards, and two Greats awards. I am a past member of the Giftware Association National Committee and have been a GOTY judge before.

I have also been a business mentor, am a board member of the local Business Improvement District and like to work with industry, supplier and local neighbours and colleagues to share knowledge and information.

My shops sell design-led cards and gifts, ceramics, stationery, beauty and bath, home fragrance, toys, games, and potentially anything that is fabulous and makes you smile.

Ian Morris - Map gift shop
Beauty, Bath & Spa | Contemporary Gift | Fashion Jewellery | Stationery

Ian Morris

Map gift shop

We started working together in 1986 , producing hand printed fabrics then moving into design and manufacture of decorated China and glass. We then established our independent retail shop in 1990 we sell the work of local designers as well as established gift industry contemporaries

Rachel  - Greetings Today - Lema Publishing
Cards & Wrap | Design & Craft | Food & Drink | Stationery

Rachel

Greetings Today - Lema Publishing

A media professional with experience across multiple categories and titles in the UK and my native Australia. I'm a busy working mum, juggling family life and my duties as Editor at Greetings Today. Beyond greeting cards, stationery and gifts, my background is in entertainment, homewares and crafts. In my spare time I like baking and travelling (when it's allowed) .

Cathy Frost - Loveone
Ethical Gift | Fashion Jewellery | Home Fragrance | Stationery

Cathy Frost

Loveone

My gift shop has just celebrated 13 years on the High Street in Ipswich. I work closely with many local artists and designers, and are one of the founders of our long running twice yearly street markets. I understand what makes a good product and branding. Loveone was also a finalist in the RETAs few years ago as an independent retailer.

Rita Rooney - Museum of London
Branded Gift | Contemporary Gift | Design & Craft | Ethical Gift

Rita Rooney

Museum of London

Rita has over 15 years’ experience of buying and merchandising in the cultural and tourism sector and has worked for a variety of organisations ranging from the Design Museum, Madame Tussaud’s, Southbank Centre and the National Theatre.

In her current role as Buying and Merchandising Manager at the Museum of London she leads the Retail team in providing visitors with a relevant, quality souvenir as a reminder of their visit to both Museum of London and Museum of London Docklands. She is responsible for all Retail functions including buying, merchandising, product development, licensing, shop operations and the online shop.

Lisa Newlyn Jones - Lovecats
Branded Gift | Fashion Accessories | Festive & Occasions | Home and Garden

Lisa Newlyn Jones

Lovecats

I have two amazing shops that bring back the social side of shopping. Gifts for everyone. Like a bohemian department store in Lovecats boutique and a stunning Glamourpuss clothing and gift options in The Boutique. X

Olivia Reilly - Little Boat Gifts
Cards & Wrap | Contemporary Gift | Home Fragrance | Stationery

Olivia Reilly

Little Boat Gifts

I have worked in the retail industry for 15 years and have run my own gift shop for the last 5 years. Working with my husband we have worked hard to build our shop up through adding new products and suppliers and developing our online presence. We have been finalists in both The Greats and The Retas and this year was chosen by Small Business Saturday as one of their Small Biz 100.

Julianne Moore - MiMi
Kitchen & Dining

Julianne Moore

MiMi

MiMi was born in 2010 the brainchild of Julianne Moore who was frustrated with the lack of different places to shop for individual products in her home locality. Having lived in London and moving to the suburbs she has created an Aladdin’s Cave in a four storey building with excess of 100 suppliers in a village setting of Hartley Wintney, Hampshire. Stocking items from Ladieswear, Jewellery, Accessories, Gifts, Homeware & Gardenware Julianne and her team source from the UK and abroad to bring this eclectic mix to the marketplace.

Since 2013 MiMi has won 10 Awards both regional and nationally and have been nominated for 4 more demonstrating their leadership in their industry. Julianne expanded to a second shop in 2019 in Wokingham, Berkshire and in 2020 has gone online www.mimi-hw.com and created the MiMi App. MiMi Shop to further strengthen the brand.

Jackie Robinson - E T Harvey Ltd
Branded Gift | Cards & Wrap | Festive & Occasions | Kitchen & Dining

Jackie Robinson

E T Harvey Ltd

I have been in the Retail business for 21 years, within a Independent Department store, starting as a staff member in the Housewares Department, then promoted to Department Manager, within a year, working alongside my Managing Director on the buying side visiting buying events through the year to get the experience of the buying side of the job. Eventually I was promoted to Buyer for the Houseware, Gift, Linens & Stationery Departments, where I have sole responsibility for introducing new products to the Departments. I have seen a lot of new products being introduced over the years, and always looking for that something different.

Krystof Holub - British Embassy Prague
Design & Craft | Food & Drink | Garden & Outdoor | Home and Garden

Krystof Holub

British Embassy Prague

As a Trade Adviser for the British Embassy in Prague, I help new and trending products coming from UK market to the Czech Republic. I believe that the high number of products that are currently in demand are organic, sustainable vegan/vegetarian and healthy products. Besides that the biggest moving products is spirits, the gin demand within Czech society is on steep rise and is perfect as a gift for the holiday season.

Maggie Thornton - Alligator Pear
Children's, Educational and Pre-School | Fashion Accessories | Fashion Jewellery | Home and Garden

Maggie Thornton

Alligator Pear

Maggie Thornton has been in the gift industry now for almost 30 years after being trained in store management and buying at Debenhams and setting up her own store in Tadworth. Now a destination store, the shop has grown to include fashion as well as home/lifestyle products and has won Gift shop of the year (South of England) 3 times.

Laura Forsyth - The Village Trading Store
Branded Gift | Home Fragrance | Novelty | Tech & Gadgets

Laura Forsyth

The Village Trading Store

Working in television give you an eye for detail. Have a store make you alway be innovative and costly looking for new ways in being on trends.

Katrina Raill - Etcetera
Cards & Wrap | Contemporary Gift | Fashion Accessories | Home and Garden

Katrina Raill

Etcetera

My mother opened Etcetera in 1982 and I was the original Saturday girl. I returned to the fold 20 years ago and now spend my time buying; displaying, doing the accounts and anything else that needs doing. Mum and I work as a really good team and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. After 38 years Etcetera and the gift trade is in my blood.

Sofia Mazur - Koko Riko Tea
Branded Gift | Cards & Wrap | Home Fragrance | Own Label

Sofia Mazur

Koko Riko Tea

Hi! My name is Sofia Mazur, a young entrepreneur with a lot of ambition in the tea industry. I started back in 2019 my own matcha tea company called Koko Riko Tea. Our matcha was immediately very well-received.

As a former model, I travelled the world for my job, and the one thing I could always count on to keep a healthy and balanced lifestyle was matcha green tea. With this experience, I decided to create my very own matcha that's how Koko Riko Tea was born.


At Koko Riko Tea, we promise you the finest organic matcha green tea from Japan. Our matcha green tea is harvested with the environment and the planet in mind.

Making matcha green tea is a whole meditation experience. In our branded gift sets or starter kits, you will find the four essential utensils which are handmade.

Leanne Winn - L Winn & Associates
Cards & Wrap | Fashion Accessories | Home Fragrance

Leanne Winn

L Winn & Associates

I am the owner of a consulting firm specializing in small businesses within the luxury retail sector offering our clients the full spectrum of business solutions for the company while helping individuals reach their full potential and thrive within their roles.

My broad expertise spans a variety of product categories and enables me to confidently advise towards maximization of profits for your business. This vast knowledge includes a wide range of retailing solutions from designing and executing the customer experience, hiring, training and retaining employees, inventory organization and control, product selection and visual merchandising, retail marketing and branding as well as all aspects of store operations from the front to the back of house.

L Winn & Associates designs solutions based on your needs.

Laura Cooper - Handmade Design
Cards & Wrap | Design & Craft

Laura Cooper

Handmade Design

I have been running Handmade Design for two years. As well as our highstreet shop, we have now expanded to sell online too. I have also recently launched my own range of greeting cards, prints and other printed products that are inspired by our local dialect.

Nicola Wood - The Original Factory Shop
Garden & Outdoor | Home and Garden | Home Fragrance | Kitchen & Dining

Nicola Wood

The Original Factory Shop

I graduated from Bournemouth University with a degree in Retail management in 2006, and since then I have had an extensive buying and sourcing career across many varied homewares retailers including Habitat, B&Q and George at Asda.

Currently the Buyer for Homewares at The Original Factory Shop, I am always on the look-out for brands and products that will excite and delight our loyal customer base. We have stores in small market towns across the UK, are always looking to save our customers money, and now more than ever we are in the heart of high streets in local communities.

Erica Stahl - Pippin Gifts limited
Cards & Wrap | Contemporary Gift | Design & Craft | Fashion Jewellery

Erica Stahl

Pippin Gifts limited

After graduating in Jewellery and Metalsmithing BA Hons in 2007, I ran my own jewellery design business for several years in Edinburgh before moving on to open my gift boutique, Pippin, in 2011.

Pippin has flourished from year to year, being shortlisted for many local and national awards, and winning the title of Bespoke Retailer of the Year at the Scottish Independent Retail awards in 2017.

For me, the joy of running the shop is discovering new talent - finding up and coming designers from all over the UK and bringing them together with established brands to create a uniquely curated collection.

Sarah Halsall - Hand Picked by Henrietta
Cards & Wrap | Fashion Accessories | Home Fragrance | Under £15

Sarah Halsall

Hand Picked by Henrietta

Sarah Halsall founder & owner of Hand Picked by Henrietta. Award winning Card & Gifts shop established in the Peak District in 2011. Working within the industry for over 25 year.

Finalists of the Greats 2019 & 2020 .

Celine Dibert - Press Loft
Beauty, Bath & Spa

Celine Dibert

Press Loft

Press Loft is the largest online PR tool specialising in the Interior & Gift sector with teams set up around the globe. We work to connect brands and PR agencies with journalists, bloggers and social influencers.

Simplifying the PR process between brands and the media is what we’re all about. Gone are the days where journalists have to request a high res image one-by-one. Housing all PR content in an online press room allows journalists to access everything they need to feature a brand in an instant and as a result, increases their press coverage results significantly.

Our clients not only save hours of time with automated image distribution and contact management, but having an online press room also broadens their media reach, bypasses foreign language barriers, and tracks all activity and results with detailed reporting.

Press Loft makes PR simple.

Heidi Schramli - Detail Retail Ltd
Contemporary Gift | Design & Craft | Ethical Gift | Stationery

Heidi Schramli

Detail Retail Ltd

We have been a pioneering retailer of quality and design in The Lake District for over 11 years. Our style is contemporary with a range covering gifts, stationery, homeware, jewellery, childrens' gift and baby.

We pride ourselves on customer service and have gained an excellent reputation shown by repeat custom and a destination shop. Our business is dynamic and reactionary. In the last 5 years we have been focussing on British companies and in particular small British producers.

More recently we have made inroads to reduce our waste and convince our suppliers to consider making changes to their practices as well. Retail is a fluid industry and has the greatest opportunity to make a change to our nations habits and lifestyle for the future. We love what we do.

Smadar  - SL DESIGNS
Branded Gift | Fashion Accessories | Fashion Jewellery | Stationery

Smadar

SL DESIGNS

Personally I love challenges! Approximately 5 years ago, I established SL DESIGNS distribution.
We have been representing a number of International jewellery companies throughout the UK.
In the past, I have successfully built a few small businesses with a wide range of products as cosmetics, fashion,gifts and more. Once these were established, I then moved on to the next challenge.

My last shop, which I am proud of, was in Hampstead, London. We specialised in stationery and pens, we were very successful in our field with many high profile customers. My shop received lots of recognition and interest from the media.

Now that 2020 is almost at an end, it has become more then ever evident that we have to change our habits and find different ways to re-invent ourselves! I believe that creativity is the way forward and this is what I am looking for in this competition.

www.sldesigns.co.uk

Gilles Pierre Masse - WallpaperSTORE*
Contemporary Gift | Design & Craft | Home Fragrance | Kitchen & Dining

Gilles Pierre Masse

WallpaperSTORE*

Bradley Trevelyan - Raven Lifestyle
Beauty, Bath & Spa | Home and Garden | Home Fragrance | Stationery

Bradley Trevelyan

Raven Lifestyle

Bradley launched Raven Lifestyle in 2018 with partner Sean Sweeting, opening their first retail store in Tavistock, Devon (recently a ‘Best Newcomer’ finalist in the Greats Awards). They recently opened their second store in Totnes.

The business offers a large range of home and lifestyle collections, specialising in trend-led design and colourful giftware.

Bradley has over 5 years of experience in eCommerce and a background in retail buying and can’t wait to see all of the great new products to be launched this year.

Gemma Noble - Tayroc Limited
Branded Gift | Ethical Gift | Fashion Accessories | Fashion Jewellery

Gemma Noble

Tayroc Limited

I have been in the industry for 12 years, and worked for a series of international Apparel / Accessories brands - mostly in a wholesale capacity. I have been running a Sales and Marketing agency since 2015 with my partner - Dan Cliffe. We are also the owners of Accessories and Watch brand - TAYROC.
www.tayroc.com

Stuart Lorimer - Stuart Lorimer Consultant
Branded Gift | Fashion Accessories | International | Novelty

Stuart Lorimer

Stuart Lorimer Consultant

Experienced Sales, Sourcing and Design Consultant, working with Online Retailers, Market places, Flash sales, bricks and Mortar, covering both brands and suppliers.

Henri Davis - Coverack Village Stores Ltd
Cards & Wrap | Food & Drink | Stationery | Under £15

Henri Davis

Coverack Village Stores Ltd

I have spent all of my working life in retail working on the shop floor for Habitat and Next before moving in to Head Office roles with WH Smith in own brand development and buying and then on to the National Trust as a buyer. In 2003 I set up as a Retail Advisor working with small and medium size businesses in the card, gift and stationery sectors. 2020 has seen me take a different direction and buy my own shop a village food store by the sea in Cornwall putting into practise everything I know about retail - I am living the dream !! I still work with small businesses be they suppliers or retailers sharing my understanding of the retail environment to help them grow their businesses.

Tereza Vicková - British Embassy Prague - DIT
Beauty, Bath & Spa | Contemporary Gift | Food & Drink | Home and Garden

Tereza Vicková

British Embassy Prague - DIT

I am working as a Senior Trade Advisor at the British Embassy in Prague, specifically I am leading the Export Growth team. My team is focusing on providing support and help to the UK companies in finding the right business partners in the Czech Republic.

My team is covering many FMCG and retail sectors, but mainly we focus on Food&Drink, Beauty&Bath and Home and Garden. I am really excited about the excellent collaboration with the Giftware Association and that I can participate at the Gift of the year award.

Vincenzo Gallone - Department for International Trade
Cards & Wrap | Children's, Educational and Pre-School | Festive & Occasions | Under £15

Vincenzo Gallone

Department for International Trade

Vincenzo has over 25 years working in the FMCG sector, 16 years of which were in International Sales. He has gained knowledge and insight across many sectors within the FMCG non-food categories which have included pre-school Character licensed toys, gift, infant ware, Haircare, skin care and body care products in Mass Market and Natural/Organic sectors.

Fiona Minett - Boss Your PR
Design & Craft | Fashion Jewellery | Home and Garden | Stationery

Fiona Minett

Boss Your PR

Fiona Minett is an award winning PR Coach & Expert. At the age of 24, she set up her own boutique PR agency, working across fashion, interiors, beauty and lifestyle, which she ran for 6 years before taking a short career break. She stepped back into the fold with the launch of Boss Your PR and now, with over a decade of experience in the PR industry, she teaches and supports entrepreneurs in tackling their own PR and building their business success in the most cost effective way.

She was named one of the '20 on the Rise' Coaches and Consultants globally for 2019, as well as an Enterprise Nation Top 5 PR Adviser. She has presented and spoken for the likes of Top Drawer, MODA, Harrogate Home & Gift and AllBright as well as writing for outlets including Pure London and Jewellery Focus.

https://www.bossyourpr.com/

Ella Haynes - Global Licensing Group
Branded Gift | Fashion Accessories | Food & Drink | Kitchen & Dining

Ella Haynes

Global Licensing Group

Ella Haynes is the Event Manager for the Global Licensing Group which includes Brand Licensing Europe and Licensing Expo Vegas, the world’s largest and most influential brand licensing industry trade shows, and the Licensing Leadership Summit, a yearly executive-level conference in New York.

Ella runs the annual Retail Mentoring Programme, a CPD accredited course, which offers insight into the licensing industry to help retail teams gain a competitive edge when identifying new brand partners and negotiating licensing deals.

She also manages the License This! awards which gives young brands and designers a leg up into the multi-billion-dollar world of licensing and brand extension.

Jon May - Mooch Gifts and Home
Branded Gift | Cards & Wrap | Contemporary Gift | Food & Drink | Home and Garden | Own Label | Pet Gift

Jon May

Mooch Gifts and Home

Having worked in the local food and drink sector within the West Midlands for over 15 years then as a Local Food buyer for ASDA, Jon took the plunge to launch mooch with business partner Luke Jacks back in 2015 after noticing a gap in the market locally for upmarket gift and home stores in Worcestershire, five years later with two stores, a very successful online platform and numerous local & national awards mooch is very much a destination retailer for cards, gifts and home accessories with stores in Bewdley and Stourport. Mooch is proud to champion so many British designers and makers in their stores.

Sharon Whiteside - Ulster Stores
Contemporary Gift | Food & Drink | Home Fragrance | Tech & Gadgets

Sharon Whiteside

Ulster Stores

I am a group buyer for Ulster Stores the categories I currently buy for is Gift ,Statioary and Table Top cookshop. I have been in retail in Home categories for 20 years

Louise Hammond - Black flamingo brands
Branded Gift | Contemporary Gift | My Gift of All Time | Stationery

Louise Hammond

Black flamingo brands

I have worked in home and gift industry for a number of years working fir Wild and Wolf, portico designs, gisela Graham and I now have my own sales agency called Black Flamingo Brands

Janet Pudge - The Hop Pocket Craft Centre
Cards & Wrap | Fashion Jewellery | Festive & Occasions | Food & Drink

Janet Pudge

The Hop Pocket Craft Centre

Janet Pudge is one of the owners and the main buyer at The Hop Pocket Craft Centre, the keystone shop at The Hop Pocket Shopping Village, a rural shopping destination in Herefordshire.

Janet started a small craft shop 32 years ago that has grown every year, and is now a thriving independent retail centre. When Janet started most of the products were on a sale or return basis from hand-picked local craftspeople, now the Craft Centre offers many wonderful things from 100s of suppliers and has a large café restaurant.

Janet has a keen eye for detail, particularly enjoying display, she is a talented buyer and she remembers the time when her budgets and her shop space were tiny and so she had to make the most of both. Even though her shop is now many times the size she started with, Janet really understands the basics of gift retail.

Patricia Harding - Kingdom Of Sweets
Branded Gift | Food & Drink | International | Novelty

Patricia Harding

Kingdom Of Sweets

I have been buying confectionery, drinks and snacks over the years in both wholesale and retail environments, as well as work on a consultancy basis with businesses looking to mitigate declines, implement strategies or launch new categories into their businesses.

As far as gifting goes - confec is at the very soul of gifting - you can never go wrong with a great box of chocolates, but it is all about offering the right kind, format and price points for your target customers - which is ever changing with the evolution of customer buying habits. A great challenge that keeps buying fun and educational.

Nathaniel Mobbs - Independent Retail
Contemporary Gift | Design & Craft | Home and Garden | Novelty

Nathaniel Mobbs

Independent Retail

After studying Architecture at the University of Liverpool, Nathaniel started his career as a Buying Assistant at homeware retailer Heal's in 2001, where he progressed to the position of Seasonal Accessories Buyer.

From here he went on to join British fashion brand Paul Smith, where he sourced and developed an eclectic mix of merchandise for the company's international stores.

Most recently he has worked as Head of Buying for the National Gallery, overseeing product range development for the gallery's trading arm.
He has been a Gift of the Year judge since 2012.

Laura Eastwood - Complete Retail Consulting
Food & Drink | Kitchen & Dining | Own Label | Pet Gift

Laura Eastwood

Complete Retail Consulting

I have been working in retail for over 15 years, in both the luxury and grocery markets. I am now working as a retail consultant, and previous roles include Confectionery Buying Manager at Morrisons, and Grocery Buyer at Fortnum & Mason, where creating food gifting was a key part of the role.

The best thing about working in buying is products! I love creating exciting new products, and I'm always on the look out for innovative new launches!

Lucy Benham - John Lewis
Contemporary Gift | Ethical Gift | Garden & Outdoor | Home and Garden

Lucy Benham

John Lewis

Lucy has worked at John Lewis for 26 years since graduating from the University of Keele. Lucy began her career on the selling floor, before moving to head office and working in the newly formed online team in the early days of JL.com.

Since then she has worked in buying across various home departments including bed linen, outdoor living, furniture and finally gifts for the past 7 years. Lucy has bought all aspects of gifts during that time, but currently holds responsibility for buying the games, puzzles, stocking fillers, impulse gift, artificial and live plant assortments.

Paddy Morton - Strickland and Holt Ltd
Cards & Wrap | Contemporary Gift | Home Fragrance | Under £15

Paddy Morton

Strickland and Holt Ltd

Paddy spent his early career in sales and category management at Nestle, working with the major supermarkets. He then moved to independent retail managing Strickland and Holt , a family owned independent department store over 160 yrs old in Yarm, North Yorkshire.

Guiding and growing this regional retail legend over the last 12 years Paddy has amassed a great knowledge and insight into picking winners in the gift industry. He also helped guide Yarm High Street to become winner of the Great British High Street 'Rising Star' award England, in 2020.

Abigail Boston - Leo Paper Products Ltd
Cards & Wrap | Home Fragrance | Novelty | Stationery

Abigail Boston

Leo Paper Products Ltd

Abi has nearly a decade worth of experience in the print industry; working within production/design/editorial in publishing, a buyer in print management, and now as a print supplier.

Having been a print buyer for the gift, packaging, publishing and trade markets she has a wealth of experience in multiple sectors of the industry. Her role as Business Development Manager at Leo Paper Products Ltd has enhanced her knowledge within all global markets as she works closely with clients. She regularly attends fairs in the UK and Europe within the gift, book, game and other sectors.

Sarah Strangeway - Boparan Restaurant group
Branded Gift | Contemporary Gift | Food & Drink | My Gift of All Time

Sarah Strangeway

Boparan Restaurant group

With over 30 years multi category buying experience, working with premium gift, toys, luxury fashion, lifestyle, food and beverage . She has over 10 years product development and innovation.
Passionate about great retailing and discovering great products is a real buzz and keeps Sarah creating retail propositions. Delighted to have created 2 products last year which won airline product of the year awards earlier this year.

Thrilled to currently be working with Boparan Restaurant group and amongst the many tasks in the role, she is challenged to redefine and deliver the retail range for Carluccios. This is already a wonderful range of fabulous Italian delights and food gifts and is famous for having, quite possibly, the best panettone ever, This range will soon be available in both Carluccios and premium gift and food retailers.

Andrea Keniston - Debenhams
Fashion Accessories | International | Own Label | Stationery

Andrea Keniston

Debenhams

I am a Buyer with extensive retail experience across multiple product categories and channels. I speacialise in Men's accessories and was responsible for Own Label sourcing and development of Lether goods, Soft accessories, Ties, Christmas Gifting and sourcing branded product.

With over 1300 hundered options, the most rewarding was alwasy Chrismast - developing a compelling offer in premium packaging.

Cathie Osbourne - Retaissance

Cathie Osbourne

Retaissance

Cathie Osborne is an experienced entrepreneur and the Managing Director and Founder of Retaissance, a first-of-its-kind UK based free B2B marketplace designed to help brands connect and trade with retail buyers. With a long-standing passion for sales and retailing, Cathie has worked with countless consumer goods and giftware brands to help grow their sales, approach new markets and launch new products. In addition to managing Retaissance, Cathie heads up Hatton and Spencer, a UK-based packaging brand specialising in jewellery, gift and heritage.

Victoria Bostock - Leo Paper Products

Victoria Bostock

Leo Paper Products

Victoria Bostock is the Sales Director for Leo Paper Products UK Ltd, a global leader in the printing communications industry. She has over a decade of experience working in both print and publishing. Victoria believes in sustainable development and creating products with excellent presence and shelf life; helping companies to deliver creative, innovative and quality printed products. She is a team leader, CMI chartered manager, a fellow of the RSA, a published author and a champion of equality and inclusion in the workplace.
Website: www.leo.com.hk

Michael Apter - Paper Tiger

Michael Apter

Paper Tiger

I am a retail professional with over thirty years of experience of working in the industry. I have worked for massive market leading retailers such as Tesco, successful high quality specialists such as EH Booth & Co, and innovative, fashion orientated High Street brands such as HMV.

I have more than two decades of experience of successfully running my own business, which is at the very leading edge of independent retailing in the UK. I am proud to be a Living Wage UK employer.

Paper Tiger was founded by John Johnson as part of the Studio One group of companies in Edinburgh, and has been trading since 1981. We have two stores in Edinburgh city centre and a successful website that ships daily around the world.

We sell amazing greetings cards, fantastic stationery and wrapping paper and a fabulous range of gifts and souvenirs. Our ranges are composed of a carefully selected collection of products. They encompass locally made and one off productions, exclusive designs and ‘own label’ products we create ourselves, as well as working with established stationery brands like Moleskine and card publishers like Caroline Gardner and Woodmansterne to give our customers a unique and inspiring range of cards and gifts.

www.papertiger.co.uk

 

Charlotte King - Gifts From Hand Picked

Charlotte King

Gifts From Hand Picked

My name’s Charlotte King and I have worked in the gift industry at Gifts from Handpicked for the past 4 years. With a passion for all things quirky, novelty and different to the regular gift I have always loved working in such a vast, ever changing creative industry.
I enjoy socialising with friends, travelling and seeing what the world has to offer. When I’m not doing these I’m enjoying time with my family on their farm, especially with my newest members 3 pygmy goats!

Working for Gifts from Handpicked makes my gift buying a dream with all of our different suppliers, and over 2,500 product lines to choose from. Christmas and occassionware is big business for us and whether it’s a hanging burger Christmas Tree decoration or a doorstop for your home there’s always a new item waiting to be discovered. Our large range of Childrens gifts and homeware are also very popular amongst our returning customers. 

Gifts from Handpicked is 12 years old this year, having been born out of redundancy and the love for all thing’s gifting and occassionware. Building the vast collection we have today, multiple awards for our business & website later.

www.giftsfromhandpicked.co.uk

Jo Williams - Joco Gifts
Branded Gift | Commemorative, Collectable and Charitable | Contemporary Gift | Festive & Occasions

Jo Williams

Joco Gifts


I am Jo Williams, owner and founder of Joco Interiors Ltd, fondly known as Joco Gifts. The name derives from my name and the initials of my two sons Cameron and Oliver. Joco opened its doors in April 2015 and has grown steadily over the years and has relocated twice due to this constant growth. Housed now within the Ropewalk Shopping Centre in the town centre of Nuneaton, Warwickshire, the shop has become a well known and well loved gift shop with old fashioned values, whilst working in the modern era.

We use social media to advertise what we have to offer and we have won many awards for our hard work, excellent customer service and being able to offer customers something a little different. Having won these awards, I have had the pleasure to be a judge in the Gift of the Year Awards. I have also appeared on BBC News and had many radio interviews especially during the past few months, as I am a very strong character when it comes to supporting the British High Street and Independent Retailers.

Joco has an ecommerce website https://joco.gifts/ where we show off what we have available within the shop, to allow those who do not live locally to shop with us.

Emma Paisey - Daisy Park

Emma Paisey

Daisy Park

Emma has more years experience in the retail, gift and greeting card industries than she cares to remember (over 30 years if you ask her nicely!) She has been the owner and director of the award-winning, gift-shop Daisy Park in the delightful market town of South Molton in Devon since 2007 and runs a beautiful website too. Working with her husband, David and a dedicated team, Emma understands the importance of providing every customer with an outstanding shopping experience. She is interested in sustainable, British products and is always on the look out for the next gorgeous product to sell in her shop.

www.daisypark.co.uk

 

Stephen Spencer - Stephen Spencer & Associates

Stephen Spencer

Stephen Spencer & Associates

Stephen Spencer has worked for or with many of the UK’s most prestigious retail, tourism, and hospitality brands, including the Royal Collection, Historic Royal Palaces, the National Trust for Scotland, Hamleys, The O2 and the Science Museum Group. 


He created “the most successful souvenir shop in Britain” (according to Mary Portas) for Her Majesty The Queen, ran a rock ‘n’ roll museum for legendary promoter Harvey Goldsmith, and developed the team that opened London’s first cable car, linking two of the busiest London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic venues.

He has also led a haunted underground street into Edinburgh’s top five attractions, and re-positioned a chocolate-themed York attraction to engage and inspire its visitors.
Stephen helps ambitious retail, tourism, and hospitality organisations to increase sales, productivity, and profitability through creating POSITIVE Customer Experiences.

Therese Oertenblad - Small Business Collective

Therese Oertenblad

Small Business Collective

Therese has a background in sales and has worked in the home and gift industry for over 12 years selling to both independent retailers and nationals on the high street as an introvert. 


She is passionate about the retail industry and helping product-based business owners make more sales, increase their profit and develop a strategy for growing their businesses with confidence. 


Therese works with businesses both 1:1, runs regular webinars and courses as well as being the host of a small business podcast called Let’s Talk Shop.

 

LINKS

https://www.smallbusinesscollaborative.co.uk/

https://www.instagram.com/small_business_collaborative/

Podcast: Let’s Talk Shop https://www.smallbusinesscollaborative.co.uk/podcast

Alice Cripps - Posh Totty Designs
Beauty, Bath & Spa | Ethical Gift | Novelty | Under £15

Alice Cripps

Posh Totty Designs

Alice has been designing and making meaningful jewellery and keepsakes since 2004. She now has two stores in Brighton and London plus six concessions in department stores. She runs the biggest jewellery workshop (100% female) in the South, handmaking every unique piece.

Posh Totty has continued to be a top seller on Notonthehighstreet since 2007 and they sell on many global marketplaces, still retaining theirhandmade roots. Alice is a proud mum who loves what she does and is happiest behind the counter or designing new collections.

In this competition, Alice is looking for a well-made commercial product with heart and meaning.

Charlotte Biggs - Card & Gift Network
Cards & Wrap | Design & Craft | Home and Garden | Novelty

Charlotte Biggs

Card & Gift Network

Charlotte has been helping greetings card and giftware businesses promote their products online for the last 10 years through her website, Card & Gift Network. As a mentor and educator Charlotte shows companies how they can utilise digital marketing and eCommerce to reach new audiences, promote their products and grow their business. Before moving to the online world, Charlotte worked directly in the industry as a Product Manager for an independent card & gift publisher.

This year, Charlotte is looking for original, high-quality giftware that can inspire buyers and deliver an exciting, memorable moment to the gift's recipient.

Chris Beards - Mantons Cards
Cards & Wrap | Design & Craft | Festive & Occasions | Stationery

Chris Beards

Mantons Cards

Chris runs Mantons Cards with a belief that a business should try to do more than just make a profit, but also benefit its team members, the local community and the industry it trades in.

Mantons Cards have won 18 major awards including British Independent Retailer of the Year.

Elizabeth Attenborough - Magpie's Nest
Beauty, Bath & Spa | Cards & Wrap | Home Fragrance | Tech & Gadgets

Elizabeth Attenborough

Magpie's Nest

We opened in March 2013 in Stalybridge. Sourcing unique items supporting handmade businesses as well as stocking big brands usually found in larger high street & department stores.

We've won a few local & national awards.
2014 – Start Up Business Of The Year, Pride Of Tameside Business Awards.
2014 – Small Business Saturday Champion, – we were selected as 1 of 100 independent UK businesses & invited to Downing Street as part of the national Small Business Saturday Campaign.
2015- Retail Business Of The Year, Pride Of Tameside Business Awards.
2016 – Retail Business Of The Year for Greater Manchester & North Cheshire, Federation Of Small Businesses.
2017 – Retail Business Of The Year, Pride Of Tameside Business Awards.
2018 – Retail Business Of The Year, Pride Of Tameside Business Awards
2018 – Highly Commended Best Small Shop UK, The Independent Retailers Confederation & Indie Retail Uk.

Judith Harris - Sherriffs Foods
Branded Gift | Festive & Occasions | Food & Drink | Under £15

Judith Harris

Sherriffs Foods

Judith has worked in the gift industry for the past 20 years, formerly for large garden centre groups and now Sherriffs Foods.

Sherriffs are a rapidly expanding division of a wider European Group, based in the pretty town of Market Harborough. They supply a vast range of high quality ambient foods to farm shops, garden centres, high street retailers and major supermarket chains. Sherriffs work closely with their customers to maximise the sales of private label food items across product categories which include confectionery, bakery and food gifts.

Judith knows what makes a great gift and has been a judge on "Gift of the Year" since 2008.

Martin de la Fuente - Ocado
Branded Gift | Home and Garden | International | Kitchen & Dining

Martin de la Fuente

Ocado

Martin has been with Ocado for 6 years, having previously worked with Tesco, Holland & Barrett, BHS and Aunt Bessie's! A high profile retail industry professional with over 40 years buying, marketing, quality management and retail experience. His product knowledge ranges across grocery, electricals, homewares, kitchenware, dining, seasonal, DIY, toys, gifts, newsagent and clothing. Martin has a widely regarded and enviable reputation in the Housewares Industry.

Nicola Snell - Press Loft
Commemorative, Collectable and Charitable | Ethical Gift | Home and Garden | Kitchen & Dining

Nicola Snell

Press Loft

Press Loft is the largest online PR tool specialising in the Interior & Gift sector with teams set up around the globe. We work to connect brands and PR agencies with journalists, bloggers and social influencers.

Simplifying the PR process between brands and the media is what we’re all about. Gone are the days where journalists have to request a high res image one-by-one. Housing all PR content in an online press room allows journalists to access everything they need to feature a brand in an instant and as a result, increases their press coverage results significantly.

Our clients not only save hours of time with automated image distribution and contact management, but having an online press room also broadens their media reach, bypasses foreign language barriers, and tracks all activity and results with detailed reporting.

Press Loft, PR Made Simple

Rachael Barnes - Dragonfly Cards & Gifts
Cards & Wrap | Children's, Educational and Pre-School | Fashion Accessories | Under £15

Rachael Barnes

Dragonfly Cards & Gifts

Rachael is the owner of Dragonfly Cards & Gifts, a multi-award winning independent shop in the picturesque market town of Knaresborough.

Trading for nearly 14 years, they have been finalists in the Greats and the Retas a total of 10 times - taking home the title of Best Independent Card Retailer in the North of England in 2013 and Best Retailer Initiative in 2016 for their10th anniversary campaign.

Sara Allbright - John Lewis
Branded Gift | Contemporary Gift | Home Fragrance | Pet Gift

Sara Allbright

John Lewis

Sara has worked at John Lewis since she graduated from Birmingham University in 2001 with a degree in textile design. She started out in lampshades and bases, moving to Living and Dining furniture, followed by the Christmas shop, stationery, gift food, wall decor and currently the gift and home and Candleshop department where she has held the role of buyer for the past four years.

Steph Briggs - La Di Da Interiors
Home and Garden | International | Pet Gift | Under £15

Steph Briggs

La Di Da Interiors

Steph is an interior designer and owner of La Di Da Interiors, Luxuries and Gifts. It is an award-winning independent bricks and mortar and online shop packed full of unusual and quirky items with a country style.

She is looking for something new, different, striking and stylish, perhaps with a little humour and a good price point.

Sue Marks - Progressive Gifts and Home
Contemporary Gift | Fashion Accessories | Home Fragrance | International

Sue Marks

Progressive Gifts and Home

Sue Marks is the longest serving trade press Editor in the gift industry. She has been at the helm of Progressive Gifts & Home for nearly two decades, bringing a wealth of experience to the role. She is also a regular contributor to Progressive Greetings, Progressive Housewares and Progressive Preschool magazines.

Previously in consumer journalism, she has been Editor of a diverse range of magazine titles to include Popular Crafts, Simply Crafts and Home Cooking. In addition, over the years, Sue has been invited to be a keynote speaker on gift trends at many of the leading gift and home shows around the world.

With her in depth knowledge of the gift and home industry, and her close connection to retailers, both independent and multiple, she will be judging this year's Gift of the Year entries with a keen commercial eye.

Tabi Marsh - Papilio at Heritage
Cards & Wrap | Food & Drink | Home and Garden | International | Tech & Gadgets

Tabi Marsh

Papilio at Heritage

Tabi has been co-owner of Papilio at Heritage, a gift and coffee shop just north of Bristol, for 6 years. She has transformed it it from a rather museum like-business to a thriving business, particularly known for its range of Greetings Cards and involvement in the local community. Papilio was a winner in the 2019 Greats.

Tina Goetting - The British Shop
Design & Craft | International | Kitchen & Dining

Tina Goetting

The British Shop

The British Shop is a mail order company specialised on British products of high quality selling in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Its main product fields are fashion, gardening, kitchen, home, food and books. Working as a purchase manager for home accessoires and gifts in the family company for many years is full of different days but always with a lot of heart and pleasure.

Seeing the catalogue developing from the very first step until it is ready to be sent out to our customers means speaking to a lot of people and chosing the right products in the gift sector. I'm always in the search of new or traditional products, especially in the area of gifts. Be it at the big fairs in the UK or shopping on the high street. The gift area is full of opportunities to make people happy.