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Laughter, Cheers And Tears At The Greats Awards 2021

As temperatures sizzled in the ‘70s, the sun couldn’t have shone  any brighter at The Greats Awards yesterday (September 23) as the gift industry came together – retailers, suppliers, reps and agents – at London’s historic Honorary Artillery Company.

As the category winners names were read out, there were rousing cheers, the biggest smiles – as well as a few tears – as winners went up on stage to collect their trophies.

Some of the winners shared their reactions with GiftsandHome.net:

“It was totally unexpected, I’m still in the moment, it hasn’t really sunk in,” said a delighted Kirsty Hammond, manager of No. 14 Ampthill, Ampthill, winner of the Retail Employee of the Year category, sponsored by Method UK, who shed a tear when she collected her trophy. But No.14’s owner Jo Barber couldn’t stop smiling. “I could not be prouder. We’ve had the best day and we’re going to celebrate for weeks! We’ve met the most incredible people today.”

Above: Kirsty Hammond, manager of No. 14 Ampthill, Ampthill received her award from category sponsor Method UK’s John Barry.
Above: Kirsty Hammond, manager of No. 14 Ampthill, Ampthill received her award from category sponsor Method UK’s John Barry.

Jon May and Luke Jacks, co-owners of two Mooch Gifts & Home gift shops in Bewdley and Stourport-on-Severn, winners of the Independent Gift Retailer of the Year – Midlands and Wales category, sponsored by Harrogate Christmas & Gift, commented: “We’re feeling overwhelmed, flabbergasted that we won. We weren’t expecting it at all. There were such fantastic finalists in this category, and we were so pleased to be one of them. To win is just the icing on the cake.” Added Luke: “We’re completely chuffed!”

Above: Jon May (left) and Luke Jacks, co-owners of Mooch Gifts & Home, Bewdley and Stourport-on-Severn, are shown on stage with Simon Anslow, exhibition organiser of the Harrogate Christmas & Gift Show, sponsors of the category.

Helen Nicholson, owner of Robert and Ruby In Helmsley, who won the Independent Gift Retailer of the Year – North & Northern Ireland category, sponsored by Joe Davies, was overjoyed with her success. “I’m delighted, over the moon to win such a fantastic award,” she enthused.

Above: Helen Nicolson, owner of Robert & Ruby in Helmsley, received her award from David Cree, sales manager of category sponsor Joe Davies.
Above: Helen Nicolson, owner of Robert & Ruby in Helmsley, received her award from David Cree, sales manager of category sponsor Joe Davies.

There were also big smiles from Aga and Richard Marsden, co-owners of Highworth Emporium in Highworth, winner of the Independent Gift Retailer of the Year – South West category, sponsored by Progressive Greetings Live, who were there with assistant manager Paula Zielinska, a finalist in the Retail Employee of the Year category. “We are amazed and delighted,” said Richard, with Paula revealing: “We had to tell Aga, yes, this is real,” with a thrilled Aga admitting: “I didn’t expect it at all!”

Above: Aga Marsden, co-owner of Highworth Emporium, Highworth, was presented with her award by category sponsor Warren Lomax, joint managing director of PG Live.
Above: Aga Marsden, co-owner of Highworth Emporium, Highworth, was presented with her award by category sponsor Warren Lomax, joint managing director of PG Live.

For Jumping Bean, winner of the Independent Retailer of the Year – London category, sponsored by Gift Republic, it was a mix of jumping – and dancing! – up to the stage to collect the award.

“We’re absolutely jumping for joy!” enthused co-owners Nilou Noorbaksh and Terry Newton. “I did a cross between a jump and dance on my way to the stage!” laughed Nilou. “We were so surprised. After 20 years of trading this award really means so much to us.” 

Above: The Jumping Bean’s Nilou Noorbaksh, received a big congratulatory hug from category sponsor Sam Wahid, managing director of Gift Republic.
Above: The Jumping Bean’s Nilou Noorbaksh, received a big congratulatory hug from category sponsor Sam Wahid, managing director of Gift Republic.

Also revelling in their success, were Priya Aurora-Crowe and Dominic Crowe, co-owners of seven Lark London stores, who won the Best Specialist Multiple Gift Retailer category,sponsored by Products of Change.  “We’ve been in the industry for over 20 years, and this is one of the most amazing moments of having a gift shop,” said Priya.

Above: Priya Aurora-Crowe, director of Lark London, was presented with her award by category sponsor Helena Mansell-Stopher, founder of Products of Change.
Above: Priya Aurora-Crowe, director of Lark London, was presented with her award by category sponsor Helena Mansell-Stopher, founder of Products of Change.

For Sarah Cox, gift buyer at Roys of Wroxham, the award for Best Department store,sponsored by Ashleigh & Burwood, was a true accolade. “I’ve been the gift buyer for 21 years, and I couldn’t be more surprised and delighted with this award,” she exclaimed.

Above: A delighted Sarah Cox accepted the Best Department Store trophy from Helena Riggs, sales and key account manager of category sponsor Ashleigh & Burwood.
Above: A delighted Sarah Cox accepted the Best Department Store trophy from Helena Riggs, sales and key account manager of category sponsor Ashleigh & Burwood.

For some winners however, winning a Greats award was a very emotional moment. James Webster, owner of Josie’s in Bideford, winner of the Best Lifestyle or Homewares Retailer award, sponsored by HousewaresNews.net, shed a tear when he heard Josie’s name called out. “I felt very emotional. I didn’t expect it all. We were up against such amazing competition, so I’m feeling very proud.”

9-BEST LIFESTYLE - JOSIE'S BIDEFORD
Above: A big smile from James Webster, owner of Josie’s Interiors in Bideford, winner of the Best Lifestyle or Homewares Retailer of Gifts category, sponsored by HousewaresNews.net, who received his award from Rob Willis.

And for Anne Barber, owner of In Heaven At Home in Market Harborough, winning the Best In-Store or Window Display category, sponsored by Gisela Graham, brought back some poignant memories. “The HAC is a very special place for me. It was where I had my first proper date with my husband Justin in 1988 who was in the Artillery Corps. He has sadly has passed away but I felt that he was here with me. Winning the award was the very last thing I was expecting.  I was completely gobsmacked, and I would particularly like to highlight the ladies who work at Heaven At Home and do the window displays. They will be absolutely thrilled.”

Above: Piers Croke, marketing director of Gisela Graham, sponsors of the Best In-Store or Window Display category, presented Anne Barber with the Best In-Store or Window Display Greats tray.
Above: Piers Croke, marketing director of Gisela Graham, sponsors of the Best In-Store or Window Display category, presented Anne Barber with the Best In-Store or Window Display Greats tray.

More retail winners photos are shown here:

Above: Lisa Carberry, owner of Original Artists in Gourock, won the Independent Gift Retailer of the Year – Scotland category. Her award was presented by category sponsor Lincoln Exley, managing director of Allsorted.
Above: Lisa Carberry, owner of Original Artists in Gourock, won the Independent Gift Retailer of the Year – Scotland category. Her award was presented by category sponsor Lincoln Exley, managing director of Allsorted.

 

Above: Libby Holden, owner of Lovely Libby’s and Oliver Branch, received the Independent Gift Retailer of the Year – East Anglia award from Peter Goodman, co-owner of Heritage Art And Design, category sponsor.
Above: Libby Holden, owner of Lovely Libby’s and Oliver Branch, received the Independent Gift Retailer of the Year – East Anglia award from Peter Goodman, co-owner of Heritage Art And Design, category sponsor.

 

Above: Jo McHugh and Emma Richardson of Lulu Loves Home in Stubbington, were presented with the Independent Gift Retailer of the Year – Home Counties, South and South East award by Hannah Dale, creative director of Wrendale Designs, category sponsor.
Above: Jo McHugh and Emma Richardson of Lulu Loves Home in Stubbington, were presented with the Independent Gift Retailer of the Year – Home Counties, South and South East award by Hannah Dale, creative director of Wrendale Designs, category sponsor.

 

Above: Scott Nichol and Stephen Nichol, owner of Keepsakes Scotland, with shops in Inverness, Loch Lomond and Pitlochry, received won the Best Newcomer – Midlands, North & Scotland category. They received their award from Jakki Brown, joint managing director of Max Publishing, category sponsor.
Above: Scott Nichol and Stephen Nichol, owner of Keepsakes Scotland, with shops in Inverness, Loch Lomond and Pitlochry, received won the Best Newcomer – Midlands, North & Scotland category. They received their award from Jakki Brown, joint managing director of Max Publishing, category sponsor.

 

Above: Delighted smiles from Davina Parkhouse (right) and her daughter, owners of The Bean Hive, Kettering, and The Bean Hive By The Sea, Falmouth, winners of the Best Newcomer – South & Wales category, who received their trophy from Richard Holmwood, national account manager at Carte Blanche Greetings, category sponsor.
Above: Delighted smiles from Davina Parkhouse (right) and her daughter, owners of The Bean Hive, Kettering, and The Bean Hive By The Sea, Falmouth, winners of the Best Newcomer – South & Wales category, who received their trophy from Richard Holmwood, national account manager at Carte Blanche Greetings, category sponsor.

 

Above: Gabi Thomas, press officer at Oliver Bonas, collected the Best-Non-Specialist Retailer of Gifts award from Ian Downes, managing director of Start Licensing, category sponsor.
Above: Gabi Thomas, press officer at Oliver Bonas, collected the Best-Non-Specialist Retailer of Gifts award from Ian Downes, managing director of Start Licensing, category sponsor.

 

Above: Delighted smiles from Julianne Moore, director of MiMi in Hartley Wintney and Wokingham, and manager Sarah Laurence, winners of the Best Gift Retailer of Jewellery & Fashion Accessories category, sponsored by Life Charms. Julianne and Sarah received their award from managing director Tony Barrett.
Above: Delighted smiles from Julianne Moore, director of MiMi in Hartley Wintney and Wokingham, and manager Sarah Laurence, winners of the Best Gift Retailer of Jewellery & Fashion Accessories category, sponsored by Life Charms. Julianne and Sarah received their award from managing director Tony Barrett.

 

Above: Bryony Taylor-Edwards, head of marketing and gift buyer at Yarnton Home & Garden, Yarnton, was delighted to be presented with the Best Garden Centre Retailer of Gifts award from Danny O’Halloran, buyer at Premier Decorations, category sponsor.
Above: Bryony Taylor-Edwards, head of marketing and gift buyer at Yarnton Home & Garden, Yarnton, was delighted to be presented with the Best Garden Centre Retailer of Gifts award from Danny O’Halloran, buyer at Premier Decorations, category sponsor.

 

Above: Winner of the Best Museum or Visitor Attraction Gift Shop was Milestones Living History Museum in Basingstone. The trophy was presented to retail manager Lorna Standing (second left) by Samantha Loveday, editor of licensingsource.net, category sponsor.
Above: Winner of the Best Museum or Visitor Attraction Gift Shop was Milestones Living History Museum in Basingstone. The trophy was presented to retail manager Lorna Standing (second left) by Samantha Loveday, editor of licensingsource.net, category sponsor.

 

Above: The Best Retailer Initiative category, sponsored by Candlelight, was won by The Celtic Company, Welshpool, for its video appeal to the Welsh government. The award was presented to Emma Cain by Candlelight’s sales director Emma Yeardley.
Above: The Best Retailer Initiative category, sponsored by Candlelight, was won by The Celtic Company, Welshpool, for its video appeal to the Welsh government. The award was presented to Emma Cain by Candlelight’s sales director Emma Yeardley.

In addition, the winners of The Greats Awards Best Service to the Independent Gift Retailer categories, sponsored by Expose Travel, were:

Above: Winner of the Bronze Award was Gisela Graham.
Above: Winner of the Bronze Award was Gisela Graham.

 

Above: Winner of the Silver Award Joe Davies.
Above: Winner of the Silver Award Joe Davies.

 

Above: Winner of the Gold trophy was Widdop & Co.
Above: Winner of the Gold trophy was Widdop & Co.

 

A raffle at The Greats raised over £3,000 for The Light Fund charity.

The Greats Awards are organised by Progressive Gifts & Home and GiftsandHome.net

Visit www.thegreatsawards.co.uk

 

Top: Yay! We won! Big smiles from this year’s delighted Greats Awards winners.

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