Inspirational content at Housewares Conference

Housewares in garden centres; housewares design trends and influences; a behind-the-scenes look at Selfridges; and the story of one cookshop’s half-century of success – just some of the topics in store for delegates at next month’s Housewares Conference.

Inspirational content at Housewares Conference

The annual event, which will take place on April 16 at Heythrop Park in Oxfordshire, has signed a stellar line-up of speakers for an unmissable day of housewares-focused content.

First up, Garden & Leisure Group’s operations director Carol Paris will discuss whether garden centres represent genuine incremental business or if they are just competing with the high street.

Home interiors trend specialist and Trend Bible founder Joanna Feeley will follow on with a look at the social, cultural and economic drivers of trends and the changes in taste, colour and design for the housewares industry.

Town centres will be the focus of the presentation by BIRA deputy CEO Mick Weedon, who promises to “confound expectations and tell the real story of the high street”. Then, moving from the traditional to the digital, the team from recipes phenomenon Sorted will explain its success as a social media cooking channel.

After lunch the founders of the highly-sucessful housewares supplier Joseph Joseph – Richard and Anthony Joseph – will look at the risks and rewards of taking an innovation approach to housewares design. Then Selfridges’ buying manager – cookshop & dining, Chris Gardner, will reveal how the department store creates a distinct and differentiated retail identity in the housewares market.

Two years ago, Habitat founder Sir Terence Conran headlined at the Housewares Conference – and this year’s event welcomes his daughter Sophie Conran. One of the UK’s most respected homewares designers, she will be taking part in a Q&A session with interviewer Julia Goodwin, editor of House Beautiful, covering her history as a designer and business success.

Finally, now 50 years old, Divertimenti is one of the UK’s original cookshops, and managing director Maureen Williams will be revealing the secrets of its long-standing success.

The Housewares Conference will take place alongside the Housewares Innovation Awards. Host for the awards evening will be interior designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, while BHETA’s Will Jones will act as awards compere.

There’s still time to book your own place at either the conference or awards or both. Please visit

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