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Fold-Ease, the business behind the innovative paper and card-folding tool, is for sale. The company's patented product is worn on the finger, and allows the wearer to fold paper easily, without risking friction burns or paper cuts. With a firm foundation and a finalised product that is fully intellectually protected, it represents a profitable platform with much scope for further development.

The multipurpose tool has a large target market, and can be used across a variety of industry sectors including papercrafting and origami, not to mention in offices or at home.

The business does not operate from a fixed premises and the product is manufactured and shipped in the UK for sale, which means a new owner can be based in any national or international location. For more information, contact Laura Ineson at Intelligent Business Transfer Limited. Call 0800 612 7718 or visit www.intelligent.co.uk for details.
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Search Press has appointed a new craft agent, Mike Chappell. Mike has extensive experience in the art and calligraphy markets, and will cover Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire and Leicestershire. Art and craft retailers in these areas can contact him on 01604 880 526, 07713 481 466 or mikec@hillcrest-marketing.co.uk. To find out more about the extensive range of publications available from Search Press, go to www.searchpress.com.
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A new report into the Craft Industry's biggest trends was unveiled yesterday at CHSI Stitches. Commissioned by ICHF and undertaken by an independent research company, The Craft Report – The Future Is Ours To Create reveals a wealth of invaluable information about the UK marketplace.

The report is based on data collected from 3,000 keen crafters, as well as information from six key discussion groups. The findings were presented by research specialist, Linda Jones, at CHSI Stitches on Sunday 18th February. Notable areas included craft audiences, industry trends and the lifecycle of the craft project journey, as well as action points to help drive sales and inspire repeat business.

The report showed that the importance of the social side of craft has increased since 2014, while saving money is the only satisfaction to slip down in value. In addition, enthusiasts spend over 10 hours each week crafting – longer than a standard working day. Most have an average of three projects on the go at any one time, and four out of five crafters like to keep on experimenting with new mediums, which often requires some serious initial investment. The median monthly spend on supplies is over £25, and enthusiasts are multi-disciplined, undertaking an average of 2.7 main crafts each.

“Visitors and exhibitors at CHSI Stitches today have heard incredibly detailed research analysis on the craft industry that is just not available anywhere else,” says Dominic Fleming, head of events at ICHF. “Not only are the statistics vital for our industry, the presentation also described how to turn that knowledge into real business actions to increase profits. It has been an eye-opening morning and visitors to the show on Monday and Tuesday should make attending The Craft Report presentation an essential part of their day.” The presentation will be repeated at 2pm on Monday 19th February and 11:15am on Tuesday 20th February. Visit www.chsi.co.uk for details.

We'll have a full round-up of this year's CHSI Stitches in our April/May issue, out on 6th April, 2018. Go to www.craftfocus.com for more information.
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Higgs & Higgs has recently become the UK distributor for French textile company, Le Tissu by Domotex. Since 2015, Domotex has been developing an exciting range of coordinating fabrics in modern designs for the children's and interiors markets. The striking design shown here is called Lion Love, and it is pictured with coordinating prints in fresh blue and citrus tones.

Don't miss Higgs & Higgs at CHSI Stitches, starting this weekend at NEC Birmingham. The company will be showcasing the Domotex collection on stand A26. Go to www.higgsandhiggs.com for details.
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Craft designer, Corinne Lapierre will be launching a new range of kits this month. Following several sell-out shows on Create and Craft TV, the latest collection will be introduced to the trade at CHSI Stitches, which takes place at NEC Birmingham from 18th-20th February. Eye-catching designs include this beautiful pincushion, which retails at £9.60.

All kits are made in the company's Yorkshire studio and come with everything needed to complete the project. The felt used is made from wool and viscose, with a soft tactile feel that really brings each design to life. For more information, go to www.corinnelapierre.com
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The Royal School of Needlework will display a menagerie of hand-embroidered animals at its Hampton Court Palace base this spring. Opening on 18th April, the new exhibition will feature more than 80 different designs worked in a range of techniques including silk shading, goldwork, blackwork and Jacobean crewelwork. All the pieces on display will be from the school's current and past students, as well as a range of works from its archive collection.

“After flowers, one of the most popular subjects for embroidery is animals,” says Dr Susan Kay-Williams, show curator and chief executive of RSN “The pieces in the exhibition are worked in many different techniques, especially silk shading, which focuses on the most lifelike rendition. Whilst many hand embroidery techniques demonstrate a realistic interpretation of a chosen animal, look out for the mythical aspects of Jacobean crewelwork, where size and scale are less important and large birds perch on tiny branches and insects reach epic proportions. The animals, insects and birds represented will include the familiar and the fantastical.”

Tours start from £16 and the exhibition runs until December 2018. To book, visit royal-needlework.org.uk
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New, independent research into the craft industry will be presented for the first time at CHSI Stitches 2018, the UK's trade show for the creative craft industry. The Craft Report – The Future Is Ours To Create is a major new piece of industry research, carried out exclusively for CHSI Stitches, based on data collected from more than 3,000 people in the UK. Dominic Fleming, Head of Events at ICHF, says, “The Craft Report is only available to visitors to CHSI Stitches 2018. The presentation will provide visitors to the show with essential information about their customers, practical ideas to improve their business and unique, up-to-date insight into the market trends and opportunities.”

The Craft Report – The Future is Ours to Create will be presented by research specialist Linda Jones at 10am on Sunday 18th February, 2pm on Monday 19th February and 11.15am on Tuesday 20th February in the new Presentation Theatre.

Throughout the three-day trade show, an impressive line-up of speakers from Pinterest, M&S and national magazine brands, will be sharing their knowledge and expertise in the Presentation Theatre.

Key business names presenting seminars at CHSI Stitches 2018 include former head of M&S womenswear colour department, Stef Steen, giving visitors insight into colour trend forecasting and Ayumi Nakajima, head of growth and partnerships at Pinterest UK, revealing how to make the best use of the site for business growth.

Talking about the big trends in interiors and homes are Suzanne Imre, editor of Livingetc and Deborah Barker, editor-in-chief of Homes & Gardens. Rhoda Parry, editor of Country Homes and Interiors and Diane Kenwood, former editor of Woman's Weekly will discuss experiential marketing and growing a brand profile.

Maeri Howard of the Make and Do Studio and Anne Gould of Workingwordz Media provide invaluable advice and practical tips on creating and using video and photography on social media and digital expert Warren Knight sets out his four steps to a successful social media plan.

Duncan Smith, compliance training specialist, will be giving visitors a vital checklist of essential actions for holding customer data before the GDPR comes into force in May; Aceville Publications will announce the winners of the International Craft Awards and the teams behind Yarn Shop Day and Sew Saturday offer insight, expertise and tips on their key retail campaigns.

Registration for CHSI Stitches is free – visit www.chsi.co.uk to register. All seminars will take place in the Presentation Theatre. No booking is required but it is advisable to arrive early to get a seat.

Organised by ICHF Events, CHSI Stitches has been at the heart of the craft industry for more than 40 years. The trade event also features workshops and seminars, a catwalk show, new product showcase and The Next Best Thing for the newest designers and creative companies and over 200 key industry exhibitors from across the world.

CHSI Stitches 2018 takes place from 18th – 20th February at the NEC, Birmingham, UK. For more information visit www.chsi.co.uk. For up to date trade show news follow Twitter @CHSIstitches.
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After a successful first year in Creativeworld, Shachihata (Europe) Ltd. will be returning to Hall 4.2, Stand E03 to once again exhibit their Artline, Xstamper & QUIX brands.

Over the past year, the Shachihata team have continued to create a strong sales network through carefully selected distributor partners in key markets worldwide.

With an unrivalled selection of products, the brands are active in multiple channels, offering solutions to the office, education, retail and industrial sectors.

Derek Evans, UK Sales & Marketing Manager said: “We are looking forward to presenting the latest additions to our exciting Artline Supreme range, which will further enhance our creative product offering.

Alongside this, visitors will be invited to experience the QuiX stamping system, which can produce a unique stamp in only three minutes”.

Jasmine Jones, Export Sales Manager added: “We are delighted to be returning to Creativeworld and will be interested to meet potential distribution partners wishing to work with us to represent our portfolio of brands as we increase our European network.”

Members of the Shachihata team will be joined by renowned UK artist Judith Selcuk, who will be demonstrating Artline's broad selection of unique products throughout the four days.

To find out how you can get involved with Artline, visit Hall 4.2 Stand E03 and speak to our dedicated team about the options available.
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John Athwal, Managing Director of leading Christmas supplier Premier Decorations, has been honoured as Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen's 2018 News Year's Honours list for his services to business and charity.

Having already been announced as Asian of the Year in 2010, John has been recognised for his outstanding contribution to the British economy for his thriving business, Premier Decorations Ltd, established almost 30 years ago which now provides employment in the UK for 84 permanent staff rising to 250 during the delivery season. Premier Decorations has twice appeared in the Sunday Times Profit track for the fastest growing profitable companies, and once in the International track 200 for the fastest growing exporters.

John is also renowned for his philanthropy committing time and money to a number of charitable organisations including the Make a Wish Foundation which grants wishes to children and young people with life-threatening conditions, where he spent 14 years on the fundraising committee. John also devotes time to The Fence Club, a members' only club for people in the toy industry which raises money for sick and disadvantaged children in the UK, in the role of treasurer and previously chairman.

In 2014 John took part in the CEO Sleepout to raise awareness and money for Action for Children – a charity concerned with 100,000 or so children who sleep rough in the UK every year – and continues to work with children's charities including the Loomba Foundation and Silver Star, a diabetes charity. Latterly, he has been sitting on the Chairman's committee for the Children with Cancer charity.

John comments, “Receiving an OBE in the Queen's 2018 New Years Honours list is a fantastic tribute and I'm overwhelmed to have been recognised and nominated by colleagues and peers. Life has not always been as easy as it is today; having arrived at the age of eight in the UK in 1961 with my parents from very humble beginnings in Punjab, I have embraced the opportunities this country has offered me, and it only feels right to give a little something back to society.”

John's entrepreneurial skills unearthed at college at just 17 years old, where much against his parents wishes, he formed a business with a friend as a music promoter hiring bands for the local town hall and student's union. His parent's disapproval of this venture, which involved late nights and selling alcoholic beverages going completely against his Asian culture, led John to run away from home – a decision that he now regrets because of the worry and anxiety it caused his family; but which also altered the course of his life.

As a self-confessed workaholic, John landed a job as a trainee manager in a filling station and, in the days when these generally only sold fuel, recognised the potential to stock add-on merchandise such as jackets, briefcases, garden accessories, bread, milk – in fact anything that caught the customer's eye. This business model proved so successful that it expanded to filling stations across the country and having been promoted to marketing manager John approached the board of directors to establish a business wholesaling non-petrol products to other filling stations. At the business's peak it was selling to 2,500 filling stations in the UK.

At the age of 29, John was appointed to the Board of Directors and established an importing arm for the company, and a couple of years later, a friend approached John with an order to supply Christmas decorations to Asda – as his friend did not have the funds to fulfil the order himself. Travelling to factories in Taiwan and discovering the considerable excitement involved in this type of product, John decided that this was where his future lay. He formed Premier Decorations Ltd – the UK's first Christmas brand and one which remains a market leader for this type of product today.

This year, Premier Decorations will celebrate its 30th birthday, while John celebrates his own 65th birthday. Although he no longer works full-time in the office John is still an ever-present figure in the company, supporting his staff and guiding the company strategy. He concludes: “Professionally I think that I have achieved most of my ambitions – and receiving an OBE really has to cap it all. I will continue to be active in both my business and charitable work, but also look forward to spending more time in the future with my wife Jito, children and grandchildren.”
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New features, a great speaker line up, plenty of 'hands-on' opportunities and a bumper exhibitor and brands line-up is on the cards for next year's London Stationery Show.

The organising team, led by event manager Hazel Fieldwick, is currently finalising the details of what promises to be the UK's biggest specialist retail stationery trade show to date.

Running over two days at the end of April at the Business Design Centre in London, 2018 will mark the show's eighth year. It's on target to top the 145-exhibitor, and hundreds more brands, line-up from 2017 and will include the industry's premier stationery new product awards, an engaging Creative Stationery workshop area, two days of live talks and presentations for retailers, plus a new 'On Trend' display area and new 'Trend Tours' of the show for visitors run by trend forecasting agency Scarlet Opus.

“We're introducing some great initiatives this year – which includes a special pre-show briefing session in January for exhibitors and any other suppliers interested in taking part in our workshops and 'On Trend' initiative, or just finding out more about the show and who visits,” says Hazel.

“Since the show started in 2011 it has changed tremendously, moving from office products to retail and design-led stationery. So, if suppliers haven't exhibited or visited for some time we urge them to come along and find out what's changed and more about our plans for 2018.”

Any suppliers who'd like to find out more about the show's plans for 2018 are welcome to attend the briefing,which will be held on 10th January at the Business Design Centre in London. Just contact Zoe Chinery on +44 (0)20 7772 8417 or via zoe.chinery@stationeryshow.co.uk for more details.
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