Gift & homewares industry celebrates Australia’s finest

Australia’s best retailers and products were celebrated at the annual Gift and Life Instyle Awards (GALA), held at the end of the first day of the Sydney Reed Gift Fair.

Hosted by TV personality David Campbell, the awards were announced during an evening full of excitement, surprises and entertainment.

“The magnificent grand ballroom at the new ICC Sydney Convention Centre played host to 300 guests, who enjoyed spectacular aerial performances alongside entertainment by MC David Campbell,” says Louisa Theobald, Reed Exhibitions exhibition director.

“The GALA awards brought together the absolute crème de la crème of our vibrant community; culminating in the industry celebration of outstanding talent and achievement.”

New to the program is the retail category, which included retailer of the year for 1-5 employees and 6+ employees, won by Icon by Design and Biome Eco Stores respectively.

Hunting for George scooped the other two awards for best online retailer and best retailer marketing initiative with its ‘how to fold a fitted sheet’ video.

“This year we were also thrilled to introduce a selection of brand new categories for retailers. The calibre of entries across 23 categories was truly incredible―a reflection of burgeoning innovation, talent and creativity within our lively community.”

Among the product category winners was Urban Rituelle for body, bath and fragrance. Impressing with its Flourish Organics collection, the business was named winner in the eco category for speciality products. Albi took out the gadgets & novelties category with its popular Angry Mama by Davis & Waddell and Pouch Australia won in the kids, toys and games category with its Play Pouch.

Sales person of the year was Gibson Imports’ Vivienne Lee while independence Studios’ James Smail was given the Lifetime Achievement award.

Each of the 23 categories was judged by a panel of independent industry professionals who shared their experience and insight in the world of design, trends, merchandising, business and buying. This year’s prestigious judging panel included The Block’s Shannon Vos and architect Joe Snell.

By Marion Gerritsen

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