The Giftware Association “Gift of the Year” Awards were presented during a lively event which was well supported by exhibitors and finalists at the Spring Fair International, NEC, Birmingham on Sunday 3rd February. Sponsor, i2i Events ensured the evening got off to a sociable start with a plentiful supply of drinks and nibbles for invited guests.
Andrew Illingsworth, Chairman of the Giftware Association called the proceedings to order, introducing Louise Young, Divisional Director of i2i Eventsand Chief Executive of the Giftware Association, Isabel Martinsen to thank all those who had been involved with the Awards and to congratulate the finalists.
Anticipation and excitement were mounting when Michael Allchin, Chief Executive of The Birmingham Assay Office stepped up to present the awards. This was the first time The Laboratory at The Birmingham Assay Office had sponsored the event. The Laboratory is working increasingly closely with Fashion Jewellery, Accessories, and Giftware Suppliers, testing for Nickel, Lead, Cadmium, and Azo dyes as well as checking compliance with flammability and other regulations. It was therefore fitting for The Laboratory to sponsor the Fashion Jewellery and Accessories Award.
Michael confessed to being “very excited” and after a few opening words congratulating the finalists on their innovation and creativity he began the award presentations. He ripped open the envelopes to reveal the winner of each of the 17 categories with his usual enthusiasm and humour. Recipients varied from individual representative to whole teams of happy winners, all cheered on by a very supportive audience.
The Fashion Jewellery and Accessories category was won by “Zip Earphones” from thumbsUp! The team from thumbsUp! were also sporting striking turquoise blue and pink bubble wrap ties – Cool! It could never happen at the Jewellery Awards…..
The Judges Choice Award went to Birdy Ceramics Range – a very popular choice. A particular favourite of Michael’s was the winner in the “Kids” category – The London Underground Children’s Play Tent from The Monster Factory.
Many guests reported a busy first day’s trading and the event was an excellent, positive start to Spring Fair International for the Giftware Industry.