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Alphablots has only gone and won the Top Drawer Paper Awards AW19. For those of you not familiar with the greetings card awards circuit, this is basically a BAFTA. The BAFTA of birthday cards. The award has been running for seven years at the Top Drawer trade fair, is sponsored by GF Smith and is a pretty big deal.



I mean, if you were going to design an award specifically for me to enter my work in, this would be it. So thanks Top Drawer, you’ve got my back. My Who’s Counting? range of age cards won the Exciting Use Of Colour category, with the super talented Stormy Knight and Paper Plane designs bagging the runners up prizes.

I really wasn’t expecting to get anywhere near the top of the pile in my first year exhibiting. I only really entered because I knew that the judges were people like Sidonie Warren from Papersmiths and Rheanna Lingham from Luna and Curious (two of my all time favourite shops). The thought that they would see my work was huge, and really was enough to get me excited. But to win has completely blown my mind. I’ve gone from selling my prints and cards on market stalls to having it seen alongside such greetings gods as1973 in a year. 




So what does this mean? I means I’m going into Top Drawer with a little spring in my step. Oh alright then, a massive spring in my step. I’m pogoing through the door, bang up for meeting all those buyers and showing them my wares.

Doing your first trade show is truly terrifying. You have to pay out a load of money with no guarantees you’ll take any orders. And you have to stand there for three days while people come and judge your work. You’ll see when they wrinkle up their nose and make a b-line to that stall across the way with all the rainbow unicorn designs (no offence rainbow unicorn designers). So anything that can give you some confidence is worth a try.

So if you’re thinking about entering something but you’re holding back, worried that you’re not ready or that people might not like what you’re putting down I say screw it, what have you got to lose? I genuinely didn’t expect to get anywhere, but here I am going into my first ever trade fair with a huge confidence boost and my brand on an actual pedestal in front of all those buyers. 

I’ll report back after the show with any tips or lessons I learn (I’m sure there will be loads). But for now, this is me bouncing off to pack more boxes and dance around the studio.


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