Meet our debutantes

Last week the annual Queen Charlotte’s debutantes Ball took place at Leeds Castle in Maidstone, and from the pictures in the press, it would appear to have been a very glamorous affair indeed! The first debutante’s Ball was held by King George III in 1780 to celebrate the birthday of his wife Queen Charlotte, and the tradition lives on. Giving & Living may not have been going for quite that long…but we do have our very own debut-tantes. There will be an exciting variety of first time exhibitors at the show; plenty of new faces for you to meet, with products not seen at the show before. Here’s a brief introduction to a few of them – no curtseys required here though!

Boxworth Botanicals
Boxworth Botanicals has a beautiful range of natural skincare and botanical gifts. Not only do they smell wonderful but plants and oils with their healing properties have been beneficial to the skin for centuries, making you look and feel good and creating a sense of wellbeing.  They have been working with essential oils and herbs for over 20 years and make a wide range of skincare and an ever growing range of gifts. Their products are freshly made with care for the best results, and have no toxic ingredients – no parabens, sulphates or petrochemicals. Just high quality, natural plant based skincare, made with 100% pure essential oils – the healthy and natural way to look after your skin.

Iona Buchanan
Iona Buchanan is an artist and illustrator whose original works have been in constant demand since she gave up work in an art gallery 20 years ago to create paintings rather than to sell them. A botanical illustrator by training and inclination, her first passion was carefully observed and beautifully detailed watercolours of flowers, fruit and vegetables. Her range of subjects now includes birds, sea life and cartoons. Frustrated by the inability to keep up with demand for originals and encouraged by clients, friends and relatives, she looked for opportunities to make her illustrations and images more widely available. It soon became evident that many of her images added charm, beauty and, sometimes, humor to numerous everyday household items, and her range now includes homewares in addition to her illustrations, and cartoons  – all inspired by her original watercolours. Why shouldn’t everyday things be attractive and life-enhancing as well as useful?

Tobar Group Trading
Tobar is an award-winning wholesale toys supplier of many much-loved items, both in the UK and in the growing export market. Their huge collection includes a great mix of wholesale soft toys for children on all ages, diecast cars, pocket money lines that make great impulse buys, gifts for the whole family and more. They’re also home to an incredible selection of branded and licenced products from the likes of Ferrari, Star Wars, Syma, Maisto and Bburago.  Founded in 1973, as an innovative multi channel supplier and development centre for toys, gifts and gadgets, Tobar is run by an experienced senior management team with extensive market knowledge. They provide full supply chain solutions from product innovation, sourcing, packaging, storage and logistics.  Goods usually leave on a next-day delivery within 24 hours of being ordered, so you never have to carry huge stocks of anything, not even the lines which you will sell immediately.

Pippi and Me
Born from a love for all things cute and fluffy, Jeannett Stevenson, mother of three boisterous boys, took the decision to give up her fast-paced job as a Neuro Intensive Care Nurse, and follow her heart instead. Combining her passion for photography with her skills in creativity, she began designing her own unique range of greeting cards from her Devon studio. Jeannett’s Danish childhood was influenced by the colourful and quirky character of Pippi Longstocking (her heroine to this day!) which was the inspiration behind ‘Pippi & Me’. The journey began with a range of beautiful flowers and skies and then went on to include a friend’s exceptionally cute, hand-made creatures, which became perfect models for Pippi & Me cards. They try to be as sustainable as possible using recycled materials where they can on their products and packaging, and all their cards are designed, printed and packaged in Devon. If one thing is for sure Pippi & Me cards will make you smile – we challenge you not to!

That’s only four of the many new exhibitors you could be seeing in January. You’ll just have to come to the show to find out who the rest of them are! Maybe there’s a company that you’d really like to meet at the show? If so, let us know in the comments below and we’ll see what we can do!

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