Meet the Judges

Retailer Judges

Adam Smith,

Adam joined Eddingtons in 2016, and during his short time he has taken the lead role in developing the company brand identity and marketing materials, along with the major overhaul of the Eddingtons website and the introduction of new iPad ordering technology for the sales team.

Prior to joining Eddingtons, Adam worked for companies such as Neptune Home Interiors, Pentel, Pilot Pen and Watson Fuels.

Darren Nickolls,

Darren joined the Fenwick Department Store in 1990, and soon after joined the management training scheme.

He spent 10 years working his way around the store before ending up in Cookware, but when the opportunity arose to join KitchenCraft in 2001 he just couldn’t resist. After learning the ropes as an Area Sales Manager, he progressed through the company – eventually becoming the UK Sales Director for both KitchenCraft and Creative Tops.

Dr Sam Attia,
SMART Worldwide

Dr. Sam Attia is the chairman of SMA, the owners of SMART Worldwide. 

As industry disruptors, SMART believe in innovation, enriching the cooking and kitchen sector and creating something unique and pragmatic every time. We assist all retailers in positioning them ahead of the curve and making them fully in control of the rapidly changing SDA Markets.

Helen Simpson,

Helen has worked in the housewares sector for over 10 years and has been instrumental in the strategy development for some of the UK’s most famous small electrical brands. 

The remainder of 2018 will involve planning for the Centenary in 2019, whilst driving growth of the entire UK portfolio.

Rob Blackburn,
David Mason Design

Rob has over 25 years’ experience in the housewares sector in sales, marketing, product development and sourcing. His career started at JVL Products, and following a couple of stops along the way, he ended up at Creative Tops where he really fell in love with the industry, in particular the tabletop and gifting sides of the business. He now enjoys what he does as much as ever with David Mason Design and looks forward to many more years in the business.

Tom Basford,
Meyer UK Ltd

Tom Basford is the newly appointed Field Sales Manager for Meyer UK Ltd.

Having only just joined this award winning company, his career in the industry started nearly 17 years ago at Brabantia before joining importers Grunwerg. Tom is highly thought of in his field of work and is excited about his new challenge for this fast moving and innovative cookware manufacturer.  He leads a professional and talented sales team for the UK and Ireland where passion for Meyer and their brands is paramount.

Christian Dalton,
IIC Brands

Having completed a marketing degree, Christian worked the traditional sales path from rep through to national accounts and then into sales management before becoming UK Country Director for Dutch Creative Brands.

Outside of presenting Vacu Vin or Tomorrow’s Kitchen products, Christian can often be found speeding to whatever activity his son and daughter have planned for the day!

David Agnew,
RKW/We are ghost

David Agnew has 30 years of expertise and knowledge from the fields of design, product design and marketing. The history of his housewares journey began 29 years ago working on the Curver brand and to this day, he is still working alongside Curver and Newell brands. He is the founder of independent branding and design company We Are Ghost, alongside his role as Marketing Director at R K Wholesale Ltd, whose own brands include Tower, Akai and Carmen.

Geoff Hounslea,

Geoff Hounslea has been involved in the housewares industry for more years than he cares to remember!

He has extensive knowledge of the market and is the sales and marketing director of JWP Limited, a subsidiary of Meyer Group Ltd. Geoff has been with JWP for 10 years, having held similar positions with Austin White and JVL in the past.

Linda Ayres,
Katy Sue Designs

Linda is sales director for multi-award winning cake and craft company, Katy Sue Designs, having accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience during 30 years in the magazine and book publishing industry across cookery and craft.

Linda has an extensive knowledge of these markets and is keen to grow and develop the sugar & cake decorating marketing to a larger audience in housewares.

Stephen Fennell,

Stephen’s opening into Field Sales came in 1997 when he joined the team at Fissler, then moving to T G Woodware, Le Creuset and Kenwood Delonghi. He has built up a wealth of knowledge over the 20 years he has worked within the Housewares Industry.

Stephen currently works at Pyrex and is a member of the UK Field Sales Team, managing a variety of accounts from Wholesalers, Independents, to Key accounts within his area.

Supplier Judges

Alison Hobbs,
Potters Cookshop

Alison Hobbs is a visual merchandiser and sales assistant at Potters Cookshop in Hockley, Essex.

With her background in sales – having been at Jegs Electrical for 13 years – she is also a trained window dresser, creating stunning displays. With great product knowledge and demonstration skills, plus a passion for sales, she is a great asset to the company.

Nicole Mapplebeck,
Blue Diamond

Nicole joined Blue Diamond in September 2017, following 14 years with The Nuance Group UK Ltd and previously Bentalls of Kingston.

Nicole’s role at Blue Diamond is buyer/category manager for the kitchen department, and she is delighted to be part of the continued growth and success of the company – in particular her involvement in the opening of Bridgford in March 2018.

Samm Swain,

Samm’s retail career spans 25 years, working for a number of well-known high street retailers before joining Lakeland in 2009.

Samm was appointed to buying & merchandising director in February 2017, and is delighted to have taken on the role at a time when so much is happening both at Lakeland and in retail generally.

Tom Carter,
Potters of Hockley

Tom Carter is the director at Potters of Hockley and Potters Cookshop in Hockley, Essex. Having started out at as a sales assistant at the company 17 years ago, he has worked his way up to director running an award-winning cookshop.

With a passion for retail, he is also a great believer in supporting the independent sector.

David Conduit,
Harts of Stur

David has worked at Harts of Stur for over 25 years, being part of the team that took the former agricultural merchant and hardware store into kitchenware and housewares. He was also part of the team that embraced the digital and online market revolution with the company’s multi-award winning website.

He spends his time now either asleep or thinking of sleep.

Rachel Taylor,
Home Hardware

Rachel has worked for Home Hardware for almost 6 years, and she is the buyer for SDA, cleaning, bathroom, fireside and cookshop.

As part of this role, she submits products for six consumer advertising brochures and oversees a 48 page cookshop catalogue and 20 page fireside catalogue. She cites that she couldn’t do her job “without the fantastic help and support from [our] suppliers and their sales teams”.

Siobhan MacMillan,
Steamer Trading

Siobhan is a homewares specialist with 20 years’ experience in the industry.

She has worked across major brands from department stores to grocers, working with both brands selecting the best innovation to developing own brands. Siobhan now runs her own consultancy, advising retailers and suppliers on buying & sourcing.

Tom Grinnall,
Blue Diamond

Tom Grinnall is head of home for Blue Diamond Group, which bills itself as the third largest garden centre group in the UK and Channel Islands.

Managed and controlled in Guernsey, the retailer announced the opened its 20th garden centre – at East Bridgford – in March 2018. It joins 17 centres in England, plus two in the Channel Islands at St Peter in Jersey and Castel in Guernsey.