Happy New Year, hoping that you all had a great Christmas whatever your plans were. Like most people I made a few New Year’s Resolutions relating to the shop, many of which I will share with you over the coming weeks. However one resolution that was high on my list for this year was to not put our business forward for any more business awards. We have worked really hard since opening our doors in 2013, and the business has grown, despite the closure of our Ashton store.  Our awards all focus on being an excellent retailer, which is what is important to us. Being the best you can be in your field separates you from competitors and gives you many opportunities that you would not ordinarily have been given. We have been fortunate enough to experience visits to Downing Street and the Houses of Parliament for our efforts in the retail sector. Offering the best we possibly can in terms of retail experience for a small independent business in Stalybridge is at the core of what we do. I want to be able to connect more with other people in the retail industry and give something back.

Imagine how thrilled I was to have been approached by the Giftware Association https://www.ga-uk.org/ to be a judge for this year’s competition. It fits perfectly with the direction of what I wanted to be doing with the shop on a corporate level, and met one of my New Year’s Resolutions – all before the middle on January!  It was great to be a part of the process this year and be able to look at new products and new product ranges.

The gift of the year competition is the largest and longest running competition celebrating the Giftware Industry. From its humble beginning of just three categories, the competition now boasts twenty categories covering everything from “Toys and Games” to the increasingly popular “Eco friendly gifts”. Now in its 42nd Year, this year has been the biggest yet with hundreds of companies competing for the title of Judges Choice. The Judge’s Choice award is the ultimate winner and is the top pick of all the category winners. Previous years have seen BBQ smoking kits and design led desk lamps take the crown, so the anticipation to see who we voted for this year was high. The Giftware association works with a huge roster of judges covering industry press, retailers, buyers and industry experts who know the home and giftware world.

The event was held at the Button Factory in Birmingham’s Jewellery quarter http://thebuttonfactorybirmingham.co.uk/ which was a short hop in a taxi from the train station. After an interesting day looking at a vast range of gifts we chose the winners for each category and of course the overall winner, which will be announced at a special ceremony after the first day of trading at Spring Fair https://www.springfair.com/seminar-programme-2020/gift-of-year-awards I know I saw at least one new range that I can’t wait to get stocked in the Nest, so keep your eyes peeled for new products, and who knows they may well be award winning products by the time we take stock of them! Keep checking our new product ranges out, as we have got a few new lines planned for this year which we are sure you will love. https://magpiesnest.co.uk/product-category/new-arrivals/