This guest blog was supplied by Isabel Martinson, Chief Executive of The Giftware Association who are dedicated supporter of independent retailers in general and specifically of the “Celebrate an Independent Christmas” campaign.
Often, when someone trots out the line, ‘The gift industry is worth an estimated £10 billion a year at retail,’ it makes me stop and think what an enormous privilege it is to be chief executive of The Giftware Association…
Who are The Giftware Association?
The Giftware Association is the trade body that looks after the interests of the companies that make up the gift and home industry – a membership that spans retailers, suppliers, manufacturers, designers, wholesalers, importers and exporters.
I’ve been at the helm of The GA now for 12 years – and I use the word ‘helm’ advisedly, having enjoyed a career at sea with the Royal Navy before navigating my way to terra-firma!
Working for the best interests of the whole Giftware Industry
At the risk of sounding like a pastor labouring a point on Radio 4’s Thought for the Day, the two jobs do have some similarities. Aboard a ship, the entire crew is working for the good of whole – and that’s the way it is in The Giftware Association.
My current crew does its best for the whole membership, giving everyone the maximum return on their investment in the association.
How The Giftware Association has evolved in it’s 65 years of existence
Today, The Giftware Association offers many more services than it did when it was launched over 65 years ago.
Now, retailer members enjoy savings on credit card processing through the Streamline scheme; legal fees protection insurance in the event of various inspections and employment law claims, as well as commercial legal help and advice through the Legal Helpline; savings on overheads (via Costwatch) and healthcare and insurance, as well as a newly-introduced scheme that entitles them to special offers at trade shows from GA supplier members. Just go to our excellent website, www.ga-uk.org to discover the full range of what we have to offer.
As part of the British Allied Trades Federation The GA has greater negotiating power and a stronger voice to shout about matters that concern members.
The Giftware Association is a community that cares about it’s members
We like to think of The GA as a friendly arm around the shoulder – a community where those who belong care about each other and which means more than just the membership fee.
I am proud to be its chief executive because I genuinely believe we take care of our members and help their businesses to grow.
If you are in the giftware industry do let us know. You can follow us on twitter via @The_GA_UK or contact us via the website www.ga-uk.org. I look forward to hearing from you.
Blog kindly provided by Isabel Martinson, Chief Executive of The Giftware Association.