Playful. Ethical. Collaborative.
Ive been lucky enough to join the business just as we look to start working with a local luxury chocolate brand, so testing that product has been a highlight.
We work so closely with our artists and clients that the old cliché of “No two days are the same” really feels like it applies. One day Ill be at a trade show meeting hundreds of new people, the next, Im stocking the shelves at a local store.
Meeting and collaborating with so many different people. There are always so many great ideas and its fantastic to be able to see a line grow and evolve by listening to feedback from our clients.
Id love to say something more cultured, but if Im being truthful, it’s the Rutland Arms. Its been my favourite pub as far back as I can remember.
Being able to work with some amazing local makers as we introduce new product lines has been fantastic. Over the next year, Im looking forward to my turn at the international trade shows – just hope I find the time to get out and about!
Its not an off the shelf product. We can listen to our clients and work with you to get the product right for your customers.
Kavos, summer 1999. Ill never forget the bits that I remember.
It’s a lot easier to be sustainable than ever but I think buying local is the best decision you can make. Firstly, the quality is almost always better, the money stays in your own economy and its one of the most sustainable changes that you can make. And if you’ve paid attention to supermarket prices, youll find that its been a lot less impacted by the raising prices than national brands.
I learned to skateboard at 40
Through a commitment to a clean and ethical supply chain, we lead the way in providing eco conscious, beautifully designed giftware ranges with minimal environmental impact. Hence, we are very pleased to announce that we have been shortlisted for the KiLife Sustainable Award®
The prize is designed and promoted by Kiki Lab (Promotica Group) That rewards the best sustainable projects. There are four award categories: Sustainability, Environmental Respect and Social Responsibility. A panel of managers, professionals, retail and sustainability experts in the environmental and social spheres will select the winners.
As we have shortlisted for the award our products will be exhibited in the Ki-Life stands in the different pavilions of the Fair at the Homi tradeshow in Milan next week.
Parkwood Spring's environmental commitment
Parkwood Springs, produces exceptional merchandise by putting the environment first. The world has a finite number of resources. Protecting and prolonging these resources whilst also providing exceptional giftware is our priority.
Ethical production and print quality are at the center of everything we do. Likewise, PWS products are durable and long-lasting; using only the very best of mother nature’s ingredients that have been sourced specifically for their sustainability and decomposability credentials.
We pride ourselves on the transparent nature of our business structure, which includes sharing the exact practices we follow in order to keep our impact on their environment to a minimum.
All our textile products such as tote bags, make up bags, cushion covers, tea towels and aprons are created and printed at factories that have traceability throughout the supply chain and carry recognisable certifications like SEDEX and Fairtrade which ensure that workers are looked after. Our UK Partner Factory recycles leftover ink from print jobs and then converts it to black to be re-used on other projects.
In addition to this, our UK partner Factory is GOTS certified by the Soil Association and is a Fairtrade Processor and as such operates to these higher standards. Moreover, only non-toxic dyes are used for producing dyed textile products. All the materials used for our product production are sourced responsibly from a sustainable and ethical supply chain. Even our inks are vegan, GOTS-certified based. Additionally, they carry the Standard 100 by Okeo-tex. ECO PASSPORT by OEKO-TEX®, which authenticates the safety of chemicals used during the production of textile dyes, pigments, and finishing agents.
In addition to this, all our products are predominately manufactured in the UK to cut down carbon emissions from importing from overseas. Our products are made to order so therefore we do not carry unnecessary amounts of stock as designs change through the seasons. Throughout the supply chain, the manufacturing process incurs little wastage and the manufacturing process is sympathetic to the environment.
Furthermore, all finished goods are packaged in plastic-free packaging where possible and if an item needs protection, an ecological option is sourced; for example, we use potato starch cello bags to package our art prints. It is important to note, that all of our goods are shipped and packaged in recyclable card packaging. Shipping boxes are recycled from original suppliers, thus, all of our packaging are reused. Overall, we keep plastic packaging to a minimum and wherever possible it is recycled plastic.
Read more about Parkwood’s Spring sustainability commitments
The award ceremony for the KiLife Sustainable Award will take place on the 27th of January at the HOMI show in Milan. Wish us luck!
Visit us at the HOMI tradeshow from the 26th –29th of January stand number S09
New year’s traditions vary from country to country. From fun, quirky traditions to more unusual customs, we’ve pulled together a list of interesting New Year’s traditions from different countries. From food-oriented traditions to traditions that take place in your own home, there’s a myriad of new year’s traditions which happen around the world that bring good luck and prosperity for the new year. So, if you need more luck for the upcoming year go ahead and try these traditions.
One interesting new year’s eve tradition in Spain is the fact that they wear red underwear for good luck but they have to be a gift from someone otherwise it doesn’t count. Moreover, on New Year’s eve, once the clock strikes midnight, the Spanish take 12 grapes and eat one per second to represent luck in the next 12 months.
Furthermore, in Spain, the act of gift-giving occurs two times during the holidays. The first time is on the 25th of December when Santa Claus brings the presents and the second time is on the 6th of January when the Three Wise Men bring gifts. Specifically, young children leave food for the men and water for the camels. The day before the Wise Men arrive, the locals eat a special cake called El Roscon de Reyes (the cake of the Wise Men), which has little presents hidden in them. However, on the cake there is one bad present and whoever finds that has to pay for the cake.
You wouldn’t think you would find Denmark on this list, did you? But think again, the Danish love celebrating the festive holidays and have many new year traditions to go with them. One of the most fascinating new year traditions in Denmark is breaking
dishware on the doorsteps of friends and family for good luck. Hence, the more shards there are in front of your home the next day, the luckier and more well-liked you are by everyone. Another Danish new year’s tradition is people standing on their chairs on New Year’s Eve, while the new year enters. This ultimately brings good luck and removes all bad spirits, so you can have a fresh and positive start to the year.
United States of America
Possibly one of the most famous New Year’s Eve events across the world is the New York, Times Square “ball-drop” event. Approximately, one million people will crowd into the square to watch the famous ball drop and around one billion people will watch it from home from all around the globe. Hence, attending this event and having a midnight kiss at the event is on many people’s bucket lists.
A common question around this topic is “Why do you kiss on New Year's Eve?”. According to Dr Compora, a professor at the University of Toledo, the tradition of the nye kiss originates from English and German folklore and indicates that the kiss will bring luck to the couple throughout the year.
If you are considering attending the busiest event of the year, make sure you attend early to get a good spot and dress in warm clothes.
One of the most common New Year’s traditions in Greece is eating vasilopita, a sweet cake which has a little twist. The Vasilopita is made in honour of St.Basil whose name day is celebrated on the 1st of January and is eaten a few minitues after the new year comes. The cake has a lucky coin baked into it, so whoever finds it has good luck for the next year. The cake is cut by the oldest member, households in most cases the grandparents who will set a slice of cake aside for the saint and another portion for those in need. These special pieces are eaten the next day by members of the household.
Another interesting new year’s tradition in Greece is the hanging onion bundles above their house doors, which invites prosperity, fertility and good luck into the house. This tradition is more common in the villages in Greece.
Well, that’s Parkwood Springs's top list of new year traditions around the world. Let us know, which traditions fascinated you the most in the comment section below.
Do you know that we stock internationally? Get in contact with our team ( add link) and get a quote today for our unique ethically-sourced giftware ranges.
Our FAQ page includes questions that our team gets frequently asked by our clients. This includes questions about our products, services, deliveries, payments and many more. Here are a few of our top FAQs.
Can we have a personalised design?
Yes, two of our artists are destination based can create artworks bespoke to you, whether this is based around your town/city or specific to your business. Julia Gash and Urban Illustration can create designs that include buildings, animals, nature…anything you want!
Can we add additional branding to the products?
Yes, we can discuss this with our artists and design your packaging to include your branding/legal text if necessary, this tends to be popular with heritage sites or companies who have set brand guidelines.
Can I see your products in person?
Yes, we exhibit at multiple trade shows and showcase each of our artists to venues across the globe! In 2022, we have exhibited at Top Drawer, Maison et Objet, New York Now, the NUS show and Autumn Fair. We will also have a pop-up stand in John Lewis, Nottingham, UK 28th November to 4th December.
View the full list of FAQs here.
In this week’s blog, we are introducing Parkwood Spring’s Business Development Manager, Cristina Mocchetti. Read along to find out more about her interest and her role at PWS.
Describe PWS in three words – It is a young, customer-oriented, contemporary company.
What’s your favourite product?
My favourite product is the Madrid Large Tote by Julia Gash, such a great and original representation of the city.
What’s your working day like?
My working days are very busy and self-rewarding. Each day is different from the other. I allocate time for the different areas of the world, in the morning I focus on the Far East, and my afternoons are mainly dedicated to Europe.
What do you enjoy most about working at PWS?
The customized aspect of the products we sell. Each design is a “little project”. I interact on a daily basis with people from all over the world, from Hong Kong to Paris, from Bermuda to Milan…
Favourite place in Sheffield?
The Damflask reservoir. It is not far from where I live, I love a run around the area or a bike ride with my kids.
Which part of your job do you enjoy the most?
After going through a pandemic, I would say getting back in touch with all our customers and building up and consolidating our professional relationships has been the most exciting part of my role. Each business has reacted to the current climate in a different way. But we are all still working together and planning our future success. I am really looking forward to the next few years, I have exciting projects in the pipeline and I am confident they will all turn into a success.
What makes PWS products unique?
The fact that everything is Made in the UK. Our products are ethically sourced and printed with ecological inks.
What sustainability acts do you do in your daily life ?
I recycle as much as I can in my daily life and I try to be plastic-free by using reusable products.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself
I love my daily run or bike ride. I couldn’t start the day in any different way!
With billions of active users, social media is getting bigger by the minute hence it’s here to stay. When it comes to marketing, it’s a cheap and effective way to reach lots of people. But with so many other businesses already out there on the internet, it might be tough to stand out. Therefore, achieving social media success as a small business requires knowledge of the right platforms, a comprehensive strategy, and persistence.
And that’s why you’re here today. We have prepared a list of tried-and-tested strategies that will help your business grow using social media marketing.
Social media should be treated in the same way as any business function. There needs to be a purpose and you need to establish what your objectives are, plus what you want it to achieve for your brand. This will enable you to build up an effective social media marketing strategy. In addition to this, it is prudent to review competitor profiles and research relevant content. Brands can also take advantage of seasonality with content, so consider what’s coming up on the calendar and plan your posts to be relevant.
There’s a variety of tools that can help formulate your content and make regular posting much easier. For instance, If you create a business profile on Facebook, you have access to free publishing tools and post insights, and for other platforms, Later HootSuite and Buffer are examples of free-to-use tools that will help you schedule content. Overall creating a social media content calendar will ensure you are always posting consistent and relevant content that will encourage sales.
Another social media marketing tip to boost engagement, get more followers and increase sales is to add your social media feeds on your site. You can utilise widgets to cleverly showcase your social media content directly on your sidebar or footer. In this way, your social media posts can always be visible to people on your site. And what’s more, since more people see your posts, you’ll get more interactions and followers.
It’s always a good idea to have a direct connection between your website and social media pages. Instead of just telling them to follow you or share your posts, you’re showing them interesting content and giving them a reason to follow you. By doing this, you also get “free” engraining photographic content for your website, without having to add more pictures to your website that could gradually decrease website speeds. Lastly, always make sure you have UGC (User- Generated - Content) on your feed such as testimonials or photos of your customers using your products in order to increase the trustworthiness of your product and will convince prospective customers to purchase from your store.
Social media has now become the ultimate tool for promoting your brand, increasing public awareness and nurturing a connection with your target market. A great way to show your appreciation towards your customers is to host a contest or giveaway. By giving people something to win, you can easily motivate them to engage and share your posts.
Contents and giveaways are an easy way to increase your followers as the participants of the giveaway will have to follow to enter the competition. They will have to tag their friends in the comment section which will increase word-of-mouth conversations regarding your brand. Correspondingly, collaboration giveaways always tend to be a success as this leads to double engagement and following rates. The prizes don’t need to be expensive either. You can give promo codes, free trials, discounts, gift cards, and similar small prizes. In the long term, the campaign will definitely pay off with more followers, interactions, and sales.
Building a following requires interaction, so while content planners and strategies are important, reacting to the conversation and engaging with influencers is essential if you are to make your mark. By interacting with people on your page, you are creating a positive impression of your brand. Then, they’re more likely to engage with you and even promote you on social media. It also helps you build a relationship with your followers and learn more about them. So, it’ll be easier to turn them into dedicated customers. In fact, when you ask your customers for their opinion, they feel valued and appreciated by your brand thus strengthening brand loyalty.
There are different ways in which you can interact with your audience. For example, you can start discussions, answer their questions, create polls to ask them questions in return, and the list goes on. Interactions can be as simple as sharing, retweeting, and commenting on their posts when they are relevant to your business. For example, you can share social media posts of people interacting with your product.
80% of marketers have said that video content helped them boost sales. This leads us to the last social media marketing tip for small businesses which is video creation. Instead of just telling people about your products with a text post, you can use videos to show them.
Facebook averages 100 million hours of video use per day. But while the potential for video content seems extremely promising, not every video is successful.
With so much content available online, customers on the go are in a rush and tend to skip to the next video if the initial one doesn’t capture their interest in the first three seconds. Therefore, when creating video content, you need to keep in mind the three-second rule to maximise the return on investment. Additionally, there are a plethora of video types you can create such as announcements, tutorials, reviews, testimonials, and more. Nowadays, videos for social media can be easily created via mobile phones which are very cost-effective.
And that’s it! Those were our social media marketing tips for small businesses. Hopefully, this will show you how you can get more followers, boost engagement, and turn people into dedicated customers. Always remember, that in the beginning social media requires a lot of trial and error. However, if you continue to keep track of analytics and search for popular relevant keywords your content will become stronger than ever! From uncovering new customers to increasing the value of the ones you already have, the amount of creative business opportunities available to small businesses on social media is seemingly endless.
Best social media tips for small businesses and independent shops:
Summer is officially here and PWS has the perfect summer essentials for you. Whether you are planning a relaxing staycation or jet-setting to a far-away location, we have the best summer accessories for you and your customers.
Packing your catalogue or shop with the recommended products will ensure a steady trickle of sales throughout the summer season. For summer 2022, you can start by picking some (or all!) of the items from our summer items list to kick off your best season yet. The best PWS products to sell in the summer season are… drumroll, please!
No summer outfit is complete without a tote bag to carry all your summer essentials. Why not jazz it up with a cityscape denim tote bag designed by the legendary designer Julia Gash. This exclusive denim tote bag features all the top tourist attractions of your favourite city. Moreover, this beautiful, gusseted bag is made from heavy denim, with great stitching detail and has Julia’s eye-catching colourful straps. It's spacious and practical, making it perfect for any plans you might have. Definitely one of our top summer picks! View the full Julia Gash collection here.
Did someone say beach getaway? Well, look no further because we have got the perfect bag to accompany you on your beach trip, which will help you carry all your summer products. This gorgeous Happy Skies Beach Bag designed by Candian-born designer Elizabeth Olwen is the ideal beach bag. A chic and spacious bag. Looking like a tote’s larger, cooler cousin, this beach bag is an instant hit and will get you style points.
Another summer must-have is the Happy Skies exclusive compact mirror. These beautiful compact mirrors are always on hand when you need them, just pop them in your handbag, pocket, or cosmetic bag. Featuring two standard mirrors with snap closure, and a printed Elizabeth Olwen design on the front and back. A handy and practical, summer accessory perfect for travelling and touching up your makeup wherever you are! View the full Elizabeth Olwen collection here
When travelling, a zip purse or makeup bag is a must! We offer a wide range of printed zip purses, however, our favourite one is the Rosie Smith accessory pouch. These elegant accessories are beautifully designed with animal creatures including robins, stags, hares and penguins. Elevate your holiday style with a signature and animal-themed Rosie smith accessory pouch. Perfect as a special gift or simply a treat for yourself. Efficient, stylish, and made with fantastic quality. Dive into our collection of beautiful accessories celebrating our love of nature, print, pattern and colour. View the full Rosie Smith collection here
Say goodbye to your boring monotonous travel mug and say hello to this colourful travel mug designed by Katie O’Shea. A modern and practical travel mug with a refreshing natural mushroom and plant design. Take your drink of choice on the go with our Autumn Evening Travel Mug! The ideal travel mug size as it has the capacity of 350ml. Keep your coffee or tea warm as you go from place to place. A summer must-have in your store!
Isn’t this tote bag so dreamy? We are presenting to you the Eucalyptus Leaves Flat Tote design by Australian based designer Julie Marie Hansen. Ditch your plastic bags and bag your goodies in this 100% cotton tote bag. There’s more than enough room for groceries, books, and anything in between. Tote bags like this one are easygoing. They’re as much a practical item as a unique fashion piece that works well on its own, without clashing with apparel trends. The lightweight material means that it can be folded up and stored when not in use. Your go-to summer accessory. View the full collection by Julia Hansen here.
This one is for our architecture fans. This is the Luxury Attenborough Bag, printed with a unique map design, created by the team of designers at Urban illustration. This luxury large shopper showcases each city's most loved landmarks in a bright and bold geometric design. The gusset features a contrasting large text print of the name of the city and contrasting coloured lining. The perfect day-to-day shopping bag and unique summer accessory. Additionally, these bags are 100% cotton and are available in over 20 different colourways. With its long-form and long handles, the Luxury Attenborough Bag provides ample room for a load of groceries but remains sleek enough to be thrown over your shoulder and used as a day bag on your next adventure. Carry your city with you, wherever you go this summer. View the full Urban Illustration collection here.
Summer holidays mean summer BBQs, and we’ve got the perfect BBQ summer accessory for you! WOW, your BBQ visitors with our white and blue Lauren Thorley Lobster apron. This elegant nautical print chef style apron includes two very detailed lobster designs, further reinforcing the summer theme of the season. The adjustable neck and waist strap allow it to fit various sizes. The large print shows even the tiniest features of this wonderful sea creature. It will bring an ocean vibe to your kitchen or BBQ! We know it will make all your warm-weather dreams come true. View Lauren Thorley's full collection here.
There you have it! A complete list of the top PWS summer essentials. The sun is shining, and music is pumping, so it’s time to enjoy the summer season with beautifully designed products from PWS. With this vibrant season comes a new wave of summer products to sell in-store and online.
The Parkwood Springs team started the new year full steam ahead! We have attended trade shows all over the world and have launched some exciting new ranges. Read on to see what we’ve been up to over the past few months.
January through to March are known as ‘Tradeshow Season’. During these three months, our team travels to various tradeshows and exhibitions around the globe to meet both current and prospective clients whilst showcasing our gorgeous giftware ranges created by our designers. It is a great opportunity to speak to get to know our customers better and to give them a chance to get to know us better too. It is also great for trend spotting, our team love to walk through the endless aisles browsing the products and chatting with other exhibitors.
The first tradeshow of the year took place was NY Now, in New York City. This was PWS’s first tradeshow outside of Europe, which was very exciting! Twice a year, thousands of vendors show up to the “NY Now” Tradeshow at NYC’s famed Javitz Center to showcase their newest home and lifestyle products. Our two Business Development Managers, Rachel and Dan attended the tradeshow. They describe the trip as a once in a lifetime experience that they will never forget.
Top Drawer is the number one destination for the retail community to discover the latest trends, learn invaluable insight from leading experts from across the design and retail worlds and get inspired by unique show content and features. Our team attended Top Drawer in London Olympia where they showcased our ethically sourced ranges from our artists.
Urban Illustration kicked off the new year with a brand-new collection featuring a unique checkboard city design. This modern checkboard city design showcases in more detail the most famous tourist attractions of each city. This beautiful design style can be customised with any city of your choice. A great design that celebrates each places most iconic and important buildings.
In March, our team attended various exciting tradeshows all around Europe. The month kicked off with HOMI in Milan, Italy. This is one of the biggest homeware and giftware tradeshows in South Europe. Our international account manager Cristina represented our brands at the Firemilano from the 11-14th of March.
Next up, was Maison & Object in Paris, France from the 24th – 28th of March. This tradeshow is an international hotspot for everything from decorations, design to lifestyle. Attending this tradeshow was a great opportunity for PWS to spark new business opportunities and create interactions with new buyer’s for our beautiful ethically sourced ranges.
The last tradeshow of the spring season was Museum Connections in Paris which took place from the 30-31st of March at the Porte De Versailles. Museum Connections is an International trade fair, focusing on the business and sustainable challenges of museums, and cultural and touristic venues. Our team had so much fun, showcasing our colourful ranges and interacting with current and new PWS fans.
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Julia Gash x Queen Jubilee Collection
Parkwood Spring’s artist Julia Gash has created a Platinum Jubilee collection in honor of the Queen of England: Elizabeth II, in celebration of Her Majesty’s service to her people and country for 70 years.
The Giftware of the Year award winner’s artwork has a playfulness, honesty and tenderness that connects with people’s hearts and is evident in her illustrations of the Queen. Julia created a collection to mark the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 2012 and now 10 years on, Julia’s artwork continues to offer a unique vision of the world in which we live and one in which HRH Queen Elizabeth II continues to reign with dignity and resilience.
There are four designs to choose from including God Save the Queen, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, HRH Coat of Arms and Queen Elizabeth II on Horseback. These designs are available on various printed textile and giftware products such as cotton tote bags, mugs, magnets, makeup bags and many more. This unique and celebratory collection would be a perfect fit for gift shops around the globe that are joining the Jubilee celebrations. Let us have a look at each design of this beautiful collection.
In the ‘God Save The Queen’ artwork, Julia has drawn a portrait of the young Queen Elizabeth, at her coronation, sat on the royal throne, with sceptre and orb in hand. In the background there is a glorious rainbow around The Queen which includes the words of the British national anthem. As such, Julia links the Queen’s past with the present, with the rainbow acting as a reminder of her reigning over adversity during the recent times of loss and lockdowns. The rainbow is meant as a symbol of the Queen’s stoicism and optimistic nature.
Julia has created an endearing portrait of the Queen in present times. Surrounded by a blue circle, representing the globe, and laced with a gold olive branch, the illustration shows Her Majesty as a world peacemaker. Julia’s naïve illustration reminds us of a kitsch, snow globe, one of millions of souvenirs decorated with the images of the Queen throughout her lifetime and which enables people to find a meaningful connection with their monarch, as does this delightful illustration of Her Majesty.
Julia has drawn Her Majesty’s coat of arms in her iconic, naïve style of illustration. Moreover, the lion and unicorn flank the shield, which is quartered into symbols of the four nations and topped with her crown. Drawn in regal purple, gold, pillar box red and azure blue, Julia’s artwork conveys a royal heritage with a modern twist.
The Queen’s love of horses is renowned and throughout her life she has been an ever-present figure at equine events. She has often been photographed riding and caring for horses and here Julia has drawn a young Queen Elizabeth riding side-saddle through London on one of her beloved horses, in her military uniform with two guardsmen striding behind her.
Is your gift shop ready for the Queens Platinum Jubilee?
The entire collection is available to purchase wholesale from Faire.
To stock the Julia Gash, Jubilee, range of contemporary and sustainable giftware in your store please contact us.
📲 Call us on 01142 698 0120
📧 Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow Julie Hansen on Instagram: @julia_gash
We are very excited to present to you our new and exclusive ‘Sea Critter’ range by the award-winning artist Julia Gash. This is a unique summer giftware collection celebrating the UK's top coastal staycation locations. A spirited collection of crustaceans to accompany her astrological friend, hand-drawn in blank ink with splashes of neon pink and sun-soaked yellow and orange.
These colourful and vibrant designs can be personalised to any seaside city of your choice. Julia's artwork is available on a range of sustainable and stylish souvenirs. Level up your shop's giftware by stocking Julia's exclusive summer giftware and souvenir range in your store. Manufactured in the UK by our trusted factories and print houses.
We would also like to give a huge congratulations to Julia who has been shortlisted for the Finals for the Gift Of The Year Award 2022, specifically for the International Gift of the Year category. What an amazing achievement!
Speak to Rachel about stocking Julia's special sea-side giftware range in your store.
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