LIFESTYLE businesses from across York showcased their skills and services to more than 1,500 people during a two-day exhibition in the city.

Independent retailers joined forces to stage the York Lifestyle 2013 event at Dean’s Garden Centre on Saturday and Sunday, celebrating local firms and giving tips on how to carry out a spring makeover for homes and gardens, enjoy good food and entertainment and seek ideas for travel.

The free exhibition, supported by The Press, involved 12 York firms. Visitors to the centre in Stockton-on-the-Forest received one-to-one advice from experts and checked out the launch of new collections, products and designs for 2013, as well as interactive demonstrations and taster sessions.

The event helped raise funds for York House Ventures, an independent hospital which provides rehabilitation and assessment for brain injury victims, and York Against Cancer, Dean’s chosen charity.

City of York Council leader James Alexander opened the exhibition on Saturday, and the Lord Mayor of York, Coun Keith Hyman, yesterday conducted a draw to win £1,500 of vouchers for any of the exhibiting businesses.

The retailers involved in York Lifestyle 2013 were brought together through a forum organised by The Press, designed to allow them to share expertise and experiences of marketing themselves.

Jason Chinnian, multi-media consultant for Newsquest, the owners of The Press, said: “It’s been absolutely fantastic – the exhibition has been inundated, new orders have been placed, and the key is that it’s created a real business opportunity for independent retailers.

“It’s great to have been involved, and we will now be looking to the future and organising another exhibition.”

The firms involved were Herbert Todd & Son – whose staff demonstrated the new “intelligent” Siemens iDos washing machine and smart TVs – Quick Slide Windows, Heworth businesses Style Flooring and Quartz Travel, Huntington-based Astek Landscapes, Direct Tile Importers of Clifton Moor, Focus Fireplaces of Stockton-on-the-Forest, Moonlight Bedrooms of Pocklington and Jaipur Spice, based on Haxby Road.

Fabric Gallery & Interiors, of Dunnington, gave visitors hints on co-ordinating colours and room design, while a team from Allerthorpe Lakeland Park, near Pocklington, outlined its array of watersports activities. Dean’s Garden Centre staff gave tips on creating an “eco-friendly garden”.

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