Spring Fair, which kicks off at the NEC in Birmingham from February 5, will host the 2023 Gift of the Year live judging round – featuring all the shortlisted products in the annual competition – in a dedicated showcase, and welcome more than 70 judges from across the industry during the four-day show.

The judging panel is made up of experts and leading retailers in the gift industry including Moonpig senior design manager Dale Boreham; Jen Baptiste, founder of the Black Culture Market; The Resilient Retail Club founder Catherine Erdly; brand licensing expert Emma Russell from the Natural History Museum; Hobbycraft trading director Heather Robbins; F.Hinds giftware buyer Amanda Evans; Paper Tiger owner Michael Apter; and Adam Bass, founder of Golden Goose brand licensing consultancy.

Highly respected as a top industry accolade, Gift of the Year recognises the best products, talent, and inspiration across the gift industry. The shortlisted brands include a large number of Spring Fair exhibitors. These are the categories:

My Gift of All Time celebrates the best of the best. Shortlisted exhibitors include Sock Academy with A Very Oddsock Christmas – a festive kids advent calendar; Fallen Fruits with its DIY Terrarium Kit; Rainbow Designs’ Large Classic Cuddly Paddington Bear; RHS Gifts for Gardeners from Burgon & Ball; The Bottled Baking Co Baking Mixes in a Bottle, with handmade baking kits; Puzzle Post’s The Deceit at-home escape room; Warmies Premium Hot-Paks; and Heathcote & Ivory’s William Morris At Home Canine Companion Dog Walker’s Kit of hand cream, hand warmers, cloths and more.

Lesser & Pavey

Beauty, Bath & Spa celebrates grooming, beauty, health and wellbeing products, as well as those that bring a spa-like touch into the home. Shortlisted exhibitors include County Collection Candles from Home County Co.; Warmies’ Luxury Bottle; Crystal Candle by Gift Republic; Eau Lovely from Enesco; and the William Morris At Home Forest Bathing Take A Breath Set by Heathcote & Ivory.

Branded Gift includes products linked to well-known characters or brands, and those licensed by famous designers, organisations or household names. Shortlisted in this category and exhibiting at Spring Fair are Build Your Own Fire Engine by Clockwork Soldier; Disney Home by Widdop & Co with its Mickey Pattern Circle Vase; M&S Colin & Percy Baking Kits in a Bottle by The Bottled Baking Co; Minecraft Fine Tip Pen by Puckator; Peter Rabbit Pop Up Card Collection by Cardology; The Crafty Kit Company X Moomin range of Moomin craft kits; Three Wise Stormtrooper by Nemesis Now; and V&A Bookaroo Collection by IF.

Cards, Wraps and Stationery includes diaries, calendars, paper, gift boxes, pens, notebooks and more. Shortlisted exhibitors include Acid Drops by Wendy Jones-Blackett; Boxed Sterling Silver Jewellery Greeting Cards from Crumble & Core; Dinkies by Paper Salad; Eco Plantable Seed Paper Calendar and Eco Plantable Seed Paper Crackers from Little Green Paper Shop; Fabulously Flat Paper Pens from IF; Miniature World Pop Up Cards by All Joy Designs; and Lola Design’s Wildlife Botanical Wiro-bound notebook organisers.

Children’s Educational and Pre-School includes toys, kits and gadgets for children. Exhibiting at Spring Fair will be shortlisted businesses including Global Journey with Grow Your Own Name – a personalised plant that appears with your name on it; Grubs & Bugs – Little Green Fingers Gardening Range by Fallen Fruits; Jumini PLAY Garden Collection by Inside Out Toys; Make Your Own Dinosaur Timeline & World Map from Clockwork Soldier; Mini Sausage Dog In A Little Box by Rex London; Puzzle Post’s The Space Station; and the Tom Gates Games Range – Monster Games Compendium from University Games and The Lagoon Group.

Commemorative, Collectable and Charitable celebrates gifts for any occasions, including collectables, souvenirs, personalised products and trinkets. Shortlisted exhibitors include Enesco with Beatrix Potter Soft Toys; Gift Republic with Bucket List Scratch Books; Build Your Own London Fire Engine by Clockwork Soldier; NMR’s David Bowie Album Jigsaw Puzzle; and Just Like Us by Gibsons, a special puzzle to commemorate 50 years of Pride.

Contemporary Gift offers funky, design-led gifts with a modern feel. Spring Fair welcomes shortlisted exhibitors including Made Happy Gifts with its Brick Compatible Letters; Stitching Me Softly’s Crochet Basket Craft Kit Range; Gingko Design’s Lemelia Light; Samantha Morris Mug & Pet Bowl from Mclaggan Smith Mugs; Scion Living’s Baby Collection from Enesco; Seeded Pet Loss Sympathy Gift by Letterbox Love; Gingko Design’s Velvet Accordion Lamp; and Warmies’ Long Hot Water Bottle.

Design and Craft covers products designed and made in smaller studios. Shortlisted exhibitors include The Craft Kit Company with its Bertie Bunny Needle Felting Kit and Seasonal Fruit Needle Felting Kit; Clockwork Soldier’s Create Your Own Paper Pocket Money Kits and Create Your Own Plastic-Free Magic Tricks kits; Stitching Me Softly’s Crochet Basket Craft Kit Range; and MetalMotif’s Woodpecker Wall Mount.

Ethical and Sustainable Gift comprises Fairtrade and eco-friendly gifts. Shortlisted exhibitors include FaBrix WWF Collection of from Inside Out Toys; Honest Bottle from Honest – a reusable bottle designed and made from UK-sourced recycled bottles; The Silicone Straw Company’s Reusable Silicone Straws in Handy Travel Tins; and Seeded Pet Loss Sympathy Gift by Letterbox Love.

Fashion Accessories and Jewellery includes wearable accessories and jewellery made from a multitude of materials. Exhibiting at Spring Fair will be shortlisted brands including Goodlookers with Deirdre Reading Glasses; Sock Academy with Hippy Go Lucky odd socks; Magnetic Brooches from Miss Milly; Recycled Polycarbonate sunglasses by Peace of Mind .925; Pretty Pink Eco-Jewellery’s Tagua Nut Rings; The Leela Collection from Shrieking Violet; and The Signature Collection Compact Mirrors by Meg Hawkins Art.

Festive and Occasions wraps up products specifically designed and themed around key calendar events or parties. Shortlisted exhibitors in this category include the Christmas Slate Hanger with Pebbles by Richard Lang & Son; The Craft Kit Company with its Christmas Jumper Needle Felting Kit; the Christmas Reversible Squidgly and Festive Gingerbread Cat Playhouse by Puckator; Greeting Cards For Difficult Times from Fox Under The Moon; Harry Potter Charms Advent Calendar from Widdop & Co; Puzzling Crackers from Puzzle Post; and House of Marbles’ Santa’s Snowball Ski-Jump Game.

Food and Drink celebrates gifts you can eat, drink or make. The shortlist includes Spring Fair exhibitor Ross & Ross Gifts with its Gastronomic Trio Tubes of premium seasonings and condiments, as well as its Steak & Chips Gift Sets; and Popcorn Kitchen’s Giant Moneybox Popcorn Bottle.

Games offers board games, card games, party games and non-traditional games. Shortlisted exhibitors include 5-Letter Wordlet from University Games and The Lagoon Group; NMR’s David Bowie Album Jigsaw Puzzle; Hexagone and Rainbow Go! by Professor Puzzle; KIDOKI Animal Mix Up! Wooden Puzzle and Knot Game from Kikkerland; Ocean Memory Game from Rex London; Sounds Fishy by Big Potato Games; Stackosaurus from Gift Republic; and The Missed Flight by Puzzle Post.

Home and Garden includes any item that adorns the home, from modern, traditional, classic and country to urban living or fun and quirky. Shortlisted exhibitors include Enesco with Allen Designs; Fallen Fruits’ Avocado Floater; Widdop & Co’s Frida set of two leopard print glasses and its Hestia recycled vase; Grow Your Own Name with Global Journey’s personalised bean plants; Fizz Creations with Peter Rabbit Grow Your Own Herbs; Solar Powered Light Up Terrarium by Gift Republic; Wildlife Botanical Wallpaper Collection by Lola Design; and Sophie Conran for Burgon & Ball heart-shaped trowel, an eye-catching garden tool.

Home Fragrance includes products that bring fragrance into the home. Shortlisted exhibitors include Wild Olive with its Artisan Candle Collection; The Foxglove Tree’s Botanical Cast Fragrance Diffusers; Home Fragrance Signature Range from Meg Hawkins Art; and St Eval’s Nature’s Garden Collection, Large Pots.

Kitchen and Dining showcases gifts for budding chefs and those who love to entertain. Shortlisted exhibitors include Rex London with its Fish Salt and Pepper Shakers; Fizz Creations’ Mr Creations Ice Cream Station; and Mclaggan Smith Mugs with the Samantha Morris Mug & Pet Bowl Set.

Novelty, Tech and Gadgets incorporates techy, gadgety gifts with a touch of silliness. Shortlisted exhibitors in this category include Big Potato Games with its Big Screen Games of online party games; Gingko Design’s Drum Light Speaker; a squeezy stress Homosexuwhale from Gift Republic; Kikkerland’s 16 in 1 Bike Tool; Personalised Memento Company’s Personalised LED Gaming Controller Stand; a Rainbow Catcher light using solar power from Gift Republic; and the Wayfarer Range from Fizz Creations.

Under £15 is the category for any gift product retailing at £15 or below. Shortlisted exhibitors include Widdop & Co. with its Tractor In A Tin; Bucket List Scratch Cards from Gift Republic; Mindful Picture Books For All Ages from Fox Under The Moon; The Silicone Straw Company’s Reusable Silicone Straws in Handy Travel Tins; Seeded Pet Loss Sympathy Gift by Letterbox Love; and Weekly Wellness Cards – Happiness, Yoga, Mindfulness, from Gift Republic.

The winners of the Gift of the Year Awards will be announced on May 11. More information on the complete shortlist and judging panel can be found at www.giftoftheyear.co.uk.


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