The rainbows were designed and made by the company’s founder Ann Maitland to help raise money for Strathcarron Hospice at Denny in Stirlingshire.
The aim of the competition, which ran throughout June, was to highlight the work that giftware suppliers are doing during the health crisis, from raising money for charities, key workers or care homes to giving back to their communities with profits from their products and ranges. 20% of each entry fee went to a charity of the entrant’s choice. To date GA has donated funds to 12 different charities including NHS Charities Together, Mind and St Johns Ambulance.
Entries were judged by a panel of buyers, retailers and industry experts including retail consultant Samm Swain (former buying & merchandising director of Lakeland), who commented: “I’ve loved looking through the wonderful contenders. Some fantastic products! Made me quite emotional.”
Winner Ann said: “My 15-year-old and I were both starting to struggle with lockdown, so we came up with a ‘let’s cheer ourselves up’ project. We took scraps of glass left from making larger rainbows that I’d launched in September, and made sets of two for friends and relatives which we posted or delivered by hand. We gave about 100 away, but so many people got in touch asking for them that we decided to make some to sell, while donating 25% of retail sales to Strathcarron Hospice – and so far, we have donated enough money to run the hospice for 48 hours.”
GA chief executive Sarah Ward added: “We are extremely happy to have a winner from what has been a competition borne out of a crisis. During the first months of Covid-19 we were seeing so many great products that ‘gave back’, so we are happy that [the prize] has gone to such a beautiful product with a touching back story – though all the products are to be celebrated.”
Dragonfly Dichroic will receive ongoing promotion from GA and will be included in the Gift of the Year Awards held at Spring Fair 2021, receiving a special trophy and a place in the winner’s brochure.
GA said the Gift of the Year Awards programme will be back this month when it will be ‘accepting entries into our main competition, with a few key changes which we are excited to announce soon’.