AN ULVERSTON businesswoman wants to showcase Cumbrian giftware producers to local retailers.

Katie Holmes, owner of Ulverston store Squirrel and wholesale giftware brand Sting in the Tail is looking to create a one-day wholesale exhibition.

The idea comes following years at national trade shows and exhibitions and seeing their dwindling success while local exhibitions are seeing a resurgence in popularity.

“I want to create the opportunities for local retailers to meet local suppliers, the world is changing and not everyone wants to travel to Birmingham or beyond when there are so many amazing suppliers on your doorstep,” said Katie.

“I now just need some help and expressions of interest to get it off the ground. If there’s a Cumbrian giftware business out there, who is set up for wholesale, has perhaps exhibited at a national show before that wants to be involved I’d love to hear from you. The level of interest we get from exhibitors will help us decide if we push on to do a small-scale event in 2023 or hold out until 2024.

“The appetite from buyers is already there, we just need somewhere for them to come and something for them to see and buy!’’ Eve Halliday, Head of Commercial and Business Growth at Cumbria Chamber of Commerce is helping make Katie’s plan a reality.

She said: “This is absolutely the sort of thing we love to be involved in because there is so much opportunity in it for Cumbria. Whilst it isn’t our event, we’re more than happy to help coordinate, especially ahead of some exciting Made in Cumbria news – but I can’t tell you what that is yet!

“The plan is to run it as a cooperative with the exhibitors to keep costs down and anyone needing support to showcase at the event can of course tap into the Cumbria Business Growth Hub for help.”

The event is to be held at Junction 36 Conference Centre in the new year with support from Cumbria Chamber of Commerce and a group of local wholesalers. Katie is calling on local producers who would like to exhibit at the event to register their interest.

Spaces are limited, if you or someone you know would like to be involved please contact Katie at