Spring Fair will host the Gift of the Year 2023 judging featuring the shortlisted products in a dedicated showcase and welcoming more than 70 expert judges from across the industry during the four-day show.
The judging panel is made up of a diverse and lengthy list of experts and leading retailers in the gift industry, with extensive knowledge and understanding of products and categories. Judges include Senior Design Manager at Moonpig, Dale Boreham; design award-winning judge Jen Baptiste from Black Culture Market; small business retail expert and founder of The Resilient Retail Club, Catherine Erdly, brand licensing expert Emma Russell from the Natural History Museum; Trading Director at Hobbycraft, Heather Robbins; Giftware Buyer at F Hinds, Amanda Evans; award winning retail professional, Michael Apter from Paper Tiger; and Adam Bass, founder of Golden Goose brand licensing consultancy. They make up just a few faces on the panel, with many more retail, sales and brand experts attending Spring Fair and adding their expertise and professional opinion to the judging.
My Gift of All Time celebrates the best of the best. Shortlisted exhibitors include Sock Academy LTD with A Very Oddsock Christmas – a festive kids advent calendar; Fallen Fruits with their DIY Terrarium Kit, with everything you need to plant and maintain an indoor terrarium; Rainbow Designs Large Classic Cuddly Paddington Bear; RHS Gifts for Gardeners from Burgon & Ball, with design-led, practical gifts; The Bottled Baking Co Baking Mixes in a Bottle, with handmade, scrumptious baking kits; Puzzle Post’s The Deceit, an at-home escape room; Warmies Premium Hot-Paks, to keep cosy; and Heathcote & Ivory’s William Morris At Home Canine Companion Dog Walkers Kit, full of hand cream, hand warmers, cloths and more.
Cards, Wraps and Stationery includes diaries, calendars, paper, gift boxes, pens, notebooks and more. Shortlisted exhibitors include Acid Drops by Wendy Jones-Blackett Ltd, a contemporary greetings card range; Boxed Sterling Silver Jewellery Greeting Cards from Crumble & Core, a letterbox card and gift in one, Dinkies by Paper Salad Ltd, cards with bright neon inks; Eco Plantable Seed Paper Calendar and Eco Plantable Seed Paper Crackers from Little Green Paper Shop are shortlisted; as well as Fabulously Flat Paper Pens from IF – tear off pens for convenience. Miniature World pop up cards by All Joy Designs create 3D cards with a range of different designs; and Lola Design’s Wildlife Botanical Wiro-bound notebook organisers are designed with different wildlife images.
The Branded Gift category includes products linked to well-known characters or brands, and those licensed by famous designers, organisations or household names. Shortlisted in this category and exhibiting at Spring Fair are Build Your Own Fire Engine by Clockwork Soldier; discovering the inner workings or a modern day fire engine in miniature, Disney Home by Widdop & Co with their Mickey Pattern Circle Vase; M&S Colin & Percy Baking Kits in a Bottle by The Bottled Baking Co, allowing bakers to create their own cakes; Minecraft Fine Tip Pen by Puckator Ltd, pens representing the four main characters; Peter Rabbit Pop Up Card Collection by Cardology Ltd, bringing to life the lovable characters in greeting card form; The Crafty Kit Company X Moomin with a range of Moomin craft kits; Three Wise Stormtrooper by Nemesis Now Ltd, with three light-hearted stormtrooper figurines; and V&A Bookaroo Collection by IF, offering a stylish way to carry your stationery.
Beauty, Bath & Spa celebrates grooming, beauty, health and wellbeing products as well as those that bring a spa-like touch into the home. Shortlisted exhibitors include County Collection Candles from Home County Co with their beautifully hand poured candles; Warmies Luxury Bottle, with the softest, cosiest grain and French lavender luxury bottles; Crystal Candle by Gift Republic, creating candles with crystals hidden inside; Eau Lovely from Enesco Limited, offering a range of fragranced gifts; and William Morris At Home Forest Bathing Take A Breath Set by Heathcote & Ivory – a self-care set harnessing the power of trees with a William Morris print.
Commemorative, Collectable and Charitable celebrates gifts for any occasions, including collectibles, souvenirs, personalised products and trinkets. Shortlisted exhibitors include Enesco Ltd with Beatrix Potter Soft Toys; Gift Republic with Bucket List Scratch Books featuring a range of topics including 100 movies, 100 dates or 100 things to do with family; Build Your Own London Fire Engine by Clockwork Soldier, a chance to build a cardboard replica; NMR’s David Bowie Album Jigsaw Puzzle; and Just Like Us by Gibsons, a special puzzle to commemorate 50 years of Pride.
Fairtrade and eco-friendly gifts make up the Ethical and Sustainable Gift category. Shortlisted exhibitors include Fabrix WWF Collection, wooden building blocks featuring endangered species, compatible with Lego, from Inside Out Toys Ltd; Honest Bottle from Honest, the only reusable bottle that’s designed and made locally from UK-sourced recycled bottles; The Silicone Straw Company’s Reusable Silicone Straws in Handy Travel Tins, replacing soggy paper straws; and Seeded pet loss sympathy gift by Letterbox Love, with a touching poem of sympathy printed on seeded card to plant.
Festive and Occasions wraps up products specifically designed and themed around key calendar events or parties. Shortlisted exhibitors in this category include the unusual Christmas Slate Hanger with Pebbles by Richard Lang & Son; The Craft Kit Company Ltd with their Christmas Jumper Needle Felting Kit; the soft and cute Christmas Reversible Squidgly and build it yourself Festive Gingerbread Cat Playhouse by Puckator Ltd; thoughtful Greeting Cards For Difficult Times from Fox Under The Moon; Harry Potter Charms advent calendar from Widdop & Co; Puzzling Crackers, offering escape room style games in Christmas crackers from Puzzle Post; and House of Marbles’ Santa’s Snowball Ski-Jump Game for a festive seasonal game.
The Home and Garden category includes any item that adorns the home – modern, tradition, classic, country, urban living or fun and quirky. Shortlisted exhibitors include Enesco Limited with Allen Designs, whimsical pieces designed by American artist Michelle Allen; Fallen Fruits Ltd’s Avocado Floater lets you grow your own avocado tree; Widdop & Co’s Frida – a set of two leopard print glasses and their Hestia – a recycled vase; Grow Your Own Name with Global Journey’s personalised bean plants; Fizz Creations Ltd with Peter Rabbit Grow Your Own Herbs, a garden for little ones; Solar Powered Light Up Terrarium by Gift Republic, illuminating plants at night; Wildlife Botanical Wallpaper Collection, with bold and beautiful designs by Lola Design; and Sophie Conran for Burgon & Ball heart-shaped trowel, an eye-catching garden tool.
Any gift product retailing at £15 or below was considered for the Under £15 category, with shortlisted exhibitors including Widdop & Co. with their DIY Gift in a tin, a tractor to make yourself; Bucket List Scratch Cards from Gift Republic, featuring 52 cards of hidden activities; Mindful Picture Books For All Ages – warm and whimsical stories from Fox Under The Moon; The Silicone Straw Company and their Reusable Silicone Straws in Handy Travel Tins; Seeded pet loss sympathy gift by Letterbox Love, with a touching poem of sympathy printed on seeded card to plant and mindfulness Weekly Wellness Cards – Happiness, Yoga, Mindfulness – from Gift Republic.
Winners of the Gift of the Year Awards will be announced on May 11, and more information on the complete shortlist and judging panel can be found at www.giftoftheyear.co.uk.
For further information and to register to attend the show, visit www.springfair.com