Manchester LaunchPad's six winners announced

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luxury gift wrap by Paper Mirchi
luxury gift wrap by Paper Mirchi

Hot on the heels of the London LaunchPad competition earlier this year, new sister show Manchester also ran a competition to discover up-and-coming stationery suppliers keen to break into this booming industry.


The six winners, each of whom will receive a free stand at the Manchester Stationery Show at the end of October are:


  • Stationery Geek - useful stationery with a quirky twist aimed at parents, families and kids
  • Peace & Blessings Ltd - greeting cards and notebooks celebrating non-mainstream festivals
  • Green Pebble - ‘Write, Paint, Print’ journals for artists, calligraphers and hobbyists
  • Mayblossoming - cute and fun stationery, cards, art prints and badges for kids
  • Paper Mirchi - beautiful handmade, recycled, eco-friendly gift wrap using traditional textile processes.
  • Emma Lawrence Designs - ‘Little Nature Explorers’ children’s stationery, cards, stickers, gift wrap and notebooks focused on discovering nature


The judging took place at Fred Aldous, Manchester’s iconic stationery, art and craft store, in a classroom used regularly to hold workshops for the city’s creative community. The 130-year-old store holds more than 25,000 products on three levels, and is a fifth-generation family-run business. It provided the perfect back drop for our judges to assess the competition entries.


The judges were:


  • Mark Aldous and Paul Walker, joint MDs of Fred Aldous
  • Helen Riley-Ditchfield, designer at Widdop Gifts
  • Sarah Laker, owner and buyer at Marple Stationery Supplies
  • Nigel Anderson, owner of Silk Hat Greetings and exhibitor at the new Manchester Stationery Show


The judges were looking for products which showed clear thought and execution when it came to brand and offer; a value commensurate with the suggested retail price and which they think will be of true interest to the UK stationery industry and its huge number of stationery loving consumers.


Competition judge Sarah Laker of Marple Stationery Supplies said: “I found it so interesting. I loved the mix of judges, everyone with a different perspective, it felt like a mini Dragon’s Den!”


Vanessa Fortnam, marketing manager for the Manchester Stationery Show added: “We are pleased with the response to our first Manchester LaunchPad competition.


“Collectively the judges know so much about what sells and how to sell it. They will be at the show to meet the winners and discuss their products with them and offer advice and contacts. It’s great for the show to be able to foster this type of support for industry start-ups.”


To see the winning products and their makers, sign up here to register to visit the new Manchester Stationery Show.


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