We are delighted to announce that our NEW trade website is live now. To celebrate the launch we have an amazing launch offer and prize and a mailer was sent out last week.
The website allows our lovely trade customers to browse and order from all collections available. They can also download the e-catalogue in a magazine style fashion and the chat option gives an instant contact, should they need to discuss anything with us.
Some of the NEW designs we are launching at Spring Fair in February 2018 are available now in ranges Lucid and Fly.
Creatively, Christmas is one of the most difficult ranges to do. It is probably because it has been done over and over again but is also the one where experimenting is most restricted. People like traditional designs. What is a Christmas card without robin, Santa, snow, presents etc. Would you buy a Christmas card in pink, blue and yellow or would it be in green, red with gold and glitter?! The answer is that you might experiment with the colours but my wild guess is majority of people will buy the latter.
Christmas is also one of the most commercially justifiable worth spending time on design collections. Would there be a gift store, boutique, garden centre without a Christmas card selection?! Probably not. So, roll up your sleeves and get to designing lovely ranges.
This year, I have built on the success of my Fly range and decided to expand into Christmas. I have birds, birds, birds. As usual, I have experimented with ‘safe’ and with ‘wild’ designs. Some I know will sell well, others I think are a bit of a risk. However, they all help me understand my customers, old and new, so I can continue to create better greeting cards.
This blog post has just a tiny selection of what retailers have been ordering since February. They will be available for retail customers from August. Hope you like them and some of our cards are enjoyed by your loved ones.
I know people always love the stories behind the names (well, I do), so I will try to give you a glimpse of how it all started.
For me, greeting cards were meant to get something out of my system. With enough retail experience to know that lacking design credentials and technical knowledge would give very limited legs to my venture I set plan A to go to the Ladder Club (I mentioned this Club back in one of my posts), so I would get design help, then do a trade show and put it all to bed. That plan massively failed as I’ve later learnt that the Ladder Club doesn’t actually help with design critique and was fully booked up when I did my query. So, I did that first trade show (Top Drawer) anyway, which surprisingly turned out brilliant. I had to quickly come up with plan B, which I am still working on. My husband keeps me sane and helps a lot with admin, IT and at trade shows. He passes expert opinion on new designs, so when he doesn’t like something I know it’ll sell well.
Nowadays, I learn a lot about design from You Tube videos, reading online magazines like Moyo, from fellow publishers in the greeting card industry, the Ladder Club and spend reasonable time on visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.
My designs style has changed over the years and this year I am hitting the spot with what is closer to me. I have some contemporary birds with metallic, which proves to be very popular with buyers.
I keep the best bits from my previous life as a Business Mentor at The Prince’s Trust and occasionally have meetings/invited talks with entrepreneurs at the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy at Leicester College. I say/fool to myself that all this keeps me young.
Last but not least, cheers to plan B. It often turns out to be plan A.
Hope this inspires you to go on and make your plan B a very successful one.
I have been very busy designing and we have added more than 100 new designs for Spring 2017.
The new designs are across four new ranges, all with distinctive contemporary look. Fly is nature inspired, Charms is delicate and feminine, best-selling Bijoux has been expanded with over 50 new designs and last but not least, we now have a male range, Great Times. All typography is hand-lettered or trending brush-lettered.
The cards are across open birthdays, occasions and popular family relations. They are available to order now and most ranges can be ordered as a handmade or printed version. We proudly hand-illustrate, print and hand-finish our cards in England. Our FSC approved boards are from England and Italy and we pack with envelopes from Yorkshire.
A small selection of the new designs is available via our retail website or if you are a trade customer please ask us for a catalogue and a sample card and we will be happy to send one.
You could also view the new designs when visiting our stand 3W18 at our forthcoming exhibition, Spring Fair, 05-09 Feb 2017.
Let’s admit it, unless you are a retailer Christmas doesn’t really enter your mind until you realise you have some bulk gift shopping to do. So, for you to be able to complete that exciting exercise, retailers generally start planning their new Christmas offering as soon as the….previous Christmas finishes. We, as a publishing house, have to be even further ahead of retailers, therefore Christmas for us all year round design job.
For Winter 2016 we have expanded our best-selling range Bijoux with 40 open and occasion captions for Christmas.
The contemporary range features delicate line work with pops of red and gold dots and on-trend hand-lettering. The designs are hand-illustrated and hand-finished with cup flower jewels and red festive bows. We proudly design and finish our cards here in England. They are competitively priced, 145 mm square, wrapped in gold envelopes and cello bags.
Retailers can benefit from complementary change of captions to suit their customer profile. If you are a gift retailer reading this blog post and feel our cards would be loved by your customers, simply get in touch and we will send a catalogue and a sample card along. Alternatively, if you wish to see the while range in the flesh, we will be showcasing it for the first time at Autumn Fair in September 2016. Find us on stand 4D26.