Gifts Today magazine

Art File’s crowning achievement

Royal recognition as Lord Lieutenant presents publishers with Queen’s Award

Gold chains galore crowned yesterday’s gathering in Nottingham which saw the prestigious Queen’s Award For Enterprise officially presented to The Art File for their export achievements – just a week after seeing their cards stocked in the European Parliament gift shop.

The Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council and his Lady, and Deputy Lord Lieutenant were all on hand for the event on Tuesday, July 25, which began with the reading of the Queen’s Citation bestowing the honour.

And The Art File MD Ged Mace’s tribute to the team who have helped build the company was praised by Lord Lieutenant Sir John Peace, who said: 'This is a great family who care passionately about their business.

'It is a very proud moment, not many companies in the UK win this award. It’s a very special company and a special family.'
Started by Ged and Karen Mace 20 years ago, they still run the company together with son James now their sales and marketing manager, and their staff, friends, suppliers, and retailers all joined in the celebrations at the Lace Market Hotel.
Before the presentation, there was a tour of The Art File’s nearby Weekday Cross offices for the dignitaries, with Lord Mayor Mike Edwards showing off his own quite impressive Christmas card design skills.

Then it was time for Deputy Lord Lieutenant Richard Bullock – who admitted The Art File’s Jack Carter has produced his own Christmas cards for the past three years – to read the scroll signed by Queen Elizabeth II 'in the 66th year of our reign,' which he presented to James, before Ged received the Dartington Crystal commemorative trophy from Sir John.

Ged, who went to Buckingham Palace with James on July 11 for the royal presentation, said: “On behalf of James, Karen and myself, and the rest of us at The Art File team, I’d like to thank Sir John for presenting us with this prestigious award.

'Our company celebrate their 21st birthday next year, and I can’t think of a better way to kick start this milestone year than by winning the Queen’s Award for International Trade. I’d also like to add my appreciation to everyone for joining us today. Collectively you are all part of our success story and you’re the ones we most wanted to share this proud moment with.

'We are fortunate to work with some of the most gifted designers in the UK and this, coupled with a highly experienced production team, an amazing customer support and administration team, and an equally efficient warehouse – I marvel at how many orders you can get out in a day – and fantastic sales team, has allowed us to grow our brand to over 20 territories around the globe. I am very proud of all of you.

'Customers are also key to our success, of course, and I’d like to introduce you to Dizzy and Geoff Williams from The Tokenhouse here in Nottingham, who are one of our oldest customers, Mark Janson-Smith from Postmark, just voted Greeting Card Retailer Of The Year 2017, who has four contemporary shops in London and is one of our key retailers down there.

'And, representing our overseas customers of course, Laurent Reiz and Emilie Schickel from Zazous who are our French distributors based in Paros – responsible for promoting our brand to over 800 stores across France.

'Part of our success in France was being able to offer our cards with French text. We now offer cards in Danish, Dutch and German as well as a few other languages, which naturally has secured more sales for us across these areas.

'Our largest export market is the USA and, despite sharing a common language, we still need to offer cards in American.
“This is our Form card, designed and produced here in the UK, and I’m delighted to say that from last week they are available in the gift shop at the European Parliament – and yes, they do have a Union flag on them!

'There’s no doubt that winning this award will heighten our brand awareness further and right now we’re finalising plans to introduce our products to two new markets, Poland and South Africa. In addition we’re targeting the Middle Eastern countries and Asia for further development from next year.

'In short, everywhere we look, we see opportunity for The Art File through product innovation and design-inspired collections. These are truly exciting times.

'Finally, I’d like to say how very proud we are to be based in Nottingham. As a business it’s clear that we have access to a pool of highly talented personnel, the city is vibrant and creative and, of course, on a wider perspective, Nottingham is ideally located at the heart of Great Britain. All in all a terrific springboard to markets around the globe.'

T: 0115 850 7490
www.theartfile.com


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