Supplier Blog

  • Introducing....Emily Coxhead, creator of The Happy News

    Posted by postmark on 13/09/18

     

    At Postmark we are incredibly lucky to work with talented designers and illustrators in the card industry. We often get asked by our customers how these people got started in this industry, so we thought it would be a great idea to try and find out how these talented people started.

    This month we have asked the exceptionally talented Emily Coxhead creator of The Happy News a few questions. Emily's cards are are bright and sparkly, sprinkling tiny pieces of happiness all over the planet.

    In the world’s tiniest, most rainbow-filled office, in a little village in Lancashire

    When you design a card, do you plan it out or is the process spontaneous?

    A bit of both really, there’s always a plan in terms of which occasions/relations I’m working on and then I usually think up the words first and often talk through these with my card publisher, Pigment and then the fun bit is doing the artwork which I sometimes sketch as rough thumbnails first and then illustrate/design each individually. Sometimes I will just have an idea or an illustration/sentiment that I’ll sketch which ends up being a successful card so it’s a good mix of both.

    What is your favourite card/range and why?

    Is this mine or somebody else’s? If mine…
    I’m loving the brand new range of open birthday cards I have recently designed, it’s a fresh new look and colour palette that fits very well with my products launching in Spring.GF71_BIRTHDAY_FIZZ1478094923.jpg
    If somebody else’s…
    Rosie Who Made A Thing (birthday card below by Rosie), I love her stuff so much it really tickles me and after meeting her at a few tradeshows I have the pleasure of calling her a pal (I think?! We haven’t really confirmed that so this might sound strange to her).

    Have you always worked in the card industry? If yes, what did you do before setting out on your own? If no, what were you doing before?

    I have always made my own cards, literally as soon as I could stick beads and glitter on card I was making them for anybody who would accept them. When I was at JN802AManchester School of Art, I set up an Etsy page which I used for several years to sell my cards and happy products. I graduated in 2014 and in 2015 I was approached by Martin Powderly at Pigment who wanted to help produce my cards on a larger scale, they saw something in my words and style before anybody else did really and they have been amazing in more ways that I could’ve imagined in terms of opening more doors for me and my brand …and the rest is history, as they say.What was your motivation to go into business?

    What was the biggest hurdle you had to jump to set up your business?

    Having zero money. As anybody knows, these days graduating from university doesn’t leave you in the best place financially, I had worked part-time at Topshop the whole time I was at university, so I could buy food, basically. I knew that if things didn’t work out after uni I’d have to get a part-time job which I was fine with but I didn’t get to that point, I lived off as little as I could, still living at home, not socialising very much and definitely not going on any holidays and slowly but surely things started working out, one small freelance job and card sale at a time. A lot of people who work for themselves or ‘go freelance’ have had a stable job and income before so it can be very difficult to step away from, I didn’t have that – I decided to do it straight JN805Aout of uni so I had nothing to lose really.SPARKLE

    Describe your business in less than 50 words

    JN805AThe Happy News aims to sprinkle a tiny bit of happiness all over the planet, it's a platform to share positive news and wonderful people as well as making people smile through the cards and gift/products they receive. We basically want to make you smile!

    When it comes to business what would you say is your biggest weakness and your greatest strength?

    My biggest weakness is absolutely, definitely delegating… I’m terrible at it and I know I need to get better at it as quick as possible. My theory is, if I can do the job, even if it takes me until 5am, I will do it, which doesn’t always need to be the case. I’m starting to realise there are amazing people who have their own amazing thing going on, stuff they are passionate about which can help different sections of my own business… whether that be my virtual assistant, my accountant or web developer… I got myself in to such a pickle trying to do all of these things when there are actually people who can do it ten times better and faster than you. My greatest strength.. eek this is a tough one! Possibly not giving up, I feel like when I want something or when I’m super SPARKLEpassionate about something I won’t stop until I get there, and probably won’t stop even then.

    If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?

    If you asked 4-year-old Emily she wanted to be a vet until she realised it wasn’t just cuddling fluffy animals all day. But in all seriousness, I don’t think I could not be doing at least something very similar to what I’m doing now. I have always wanted to just draw, create and make stuff, I’ve always been a little entrepreneur at heart and I think all of those things combined have created what I do today.

    Who would play you in a movie of your life and why?

    the-happy-newsI actually have no idea?! I’d love somebody like Renne Zellweger, but I think she’d be too old by the time the movie’s out (it is happening, isn’t it? Haha)… Maybe Amanda Seyfried?! She’d be a good fit I think, My mum always thought she was similar to me in Mamma Mia so that’s literally all I’m going off.

    What’s your favourite way to relax?

    Either a little walk to my secret happy place, a little waterfall near my home or the classic bubble bath always helps me relax… followed by a homemade cookie and cup of tea if I’m really pushing JN801Athe boat out.

    What’s your idea of food heaven and food hell?

    Heaven: doughnuts, cake, biscuits… basically anything sweet and sugary. Hell: (I don’t have much food hell) I tried caviar once, it was hideous… never again, thankfully

    And finally what advice would you give someone thinking of getting into the card industry?

    70028-doughnutsResearch, talk to people in the industry, go to events and tradeshows, email people and ask questions… Never think what you’re wondering is a silly question, because we’ve probably all thought it before and there really are a whole heap of people who are willing to help and give you advice. You might send 20 emails and get only one reply/spark of interest, but that one person could change everything. I’d suggest starting off my showing people some of your designs, make/sell some yourself on Etsy and at craft fairs etc and slowly build interest from there. If you’re passionate enough about anything and want it enough, you can make it happen!

    Thank you Emily for answering our Q&A! It's been great finding out more about you! If you would like to see more of Emily's work then pop into one of our London stores, Balham, Chiswick, East Dulwich, Greenwich and Kingston or have a look online. Emily's cards will definitely bring a smile to you face and warm your heart.

    Until next time,

    Mrs PM

     

  • Introducing........Louise Mulgrew Designs

    Posted by Mark on 14/06/17

    Louise Mulgrew Designs Louise Mulgrew

    At Postmark we are always searching for new and exciting cards, so when we stumbled across Louise Mulgrew at PG Live 2016 we instantly knew she would be a hit.  As it turns out it was her first trade show! As a new comer to the industry we thought we should find out a little bit more about Louise and what inspires her to draw her quirky little creations.

     

     

     

    Brighton's North Laine Brighton's North Laine

     

    Where do you do most of your creative work?

    In my studio in the North Laine in Brighton.

     

    When you design a card, do you plan it out or is the process spontaneous?

    I lots of scribbly, sketchy plans that I tend to ignore.

     

    Pufferfish card from Louise Mulgrew Designs at Postmark Online Puffing favourite card

    What is your favourite card or range and why?

    ‘Have a blow out – puffer fish’ because he’s adorable.

     

    What training did you have before starting your company?

    I did an Illustration Degree at Loughborough University.

     

    What was your motivation to go into business?

    Giraffe card from Louise Mulgrew Designs at Postmark online Hi up there!

    I actually sort of stumbled into starting my business but it came from just loving to draw my characters. Insert image of zebra WL08

     

    What was the biggest hurdle you had to jump to set up your business?

    Funding my first trade show felt like an outrageous expense… and risk haha!

     

    Peacock card from Louise Mulgrew at Postmark Online Hey good looking!

    Describe your business in less than 50 words

    Louise Mulgrew Designs creates quirky, illustrated cards.  As a massive animal lover, most of my designs feature playful, pen and ink characters and delicate hand-written typography; perfect for celebrating all occasions!  My ever-growing range of colourful, arty cards are designed, printed and packaged locally in the UK.   Insert image of PEACOCK FF13

     

     

    If your employees were to be asked to cite your biggest weakness, what do you think the answer would be? And your greatest strength?

    Having just consulted my employee (also my Dad), we came up with an extensive list of weaknesses… I won’t name them all.  Top of the list is my attention span: I get distracted by clouds.  Greatest strength?  I hope, my illustrations!

     

    If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?

    Sloth Card from Louise Mulgrew at Postmark Online Just hanging out...

    I’d be in charge of cuddling all the cats at Cat’s Protection.

     

    If you were a movie star, who would it be and why?

    I don’t think I’ve ever been compared to a movie star… do animations count?  I’d be the dormouse in Alice in Wonderland.

     

    What’s your favourite way to relax?

    Listening to the Harry Potter audio books.

     

    If you won 4 VIP tickets to any city you like, which would it be and who would you take?

    I’d love to go to Istanbul with a few friends.

     

    Romantic or humorous: what card do you give your loved one on Valentine’s Day?         

    Humorous!

     

    Bear card from Louise Mulgrew at Postmark Online Thanks for stopping by

    If your partner was asked what is the most infuriating of your characteristics, what would they say? And your most loveable quality?

    Infuriating: I’m not very good at sharing food.  Loveable: my very awful Geography skills.

     

    Thanks Louise for answering our Q&A.  If you would like to see more of Louise’s wonderfully original cards head over to one of our stores or  have a look online

     

     

    Until next time,

     

    Mrs PM

     

     

  • Introducing.....Hotchpotch

    Posted by Mark on 23/04/17

    Card from the Hello Neon range from Hotchpotch cards Hello Neon from Hotchpotch

    At Postmark we're often asked who designs our lovely cards?  As we stock over a thousand products designed by lots of different people – we thought it would be an interesting idea to take a closer look at our suppliers and see how they started.

    Continue our series of behind the scenes Q&A's this month we head over to the award-winning Hotchpotch cards and say 'Hello' to Anna Price (Head of Design), Helen Wallace (Senior Designer) and Emma Pearce (Senior Designer) as we talk getting started in the card industry, design and pyjamas!

    Have you all always always worked in the card industry?
    Yes we’ve all been in the card industry since graduating. Whilst at university we studied different subjects including Graphics, Fashion and Textiles.

    Pin badge cards from the Flair collection, Hotchpotch cards Pin badge cards (Flair)

     

    What was your motivation to go into greeting cards?
    The freedom of creativity, illustrating, and seeing our designs out there in store.

    Describe Hotchpotch in less than 50 words.
    We create beautiful, luxury cards, stationery and gift wrap. Our award-winning design team are based in our charming London studio and we proudly print and hand assemble all our greeting cards in the UK.

     

    Card from the Luxe birthday card range Hotchpotch Birthday cards with serious style

    When it comes to business what would you say is your greatest strength?

    Our multi-award winning design team is our biggest strength.

    How does your design process work?
    We produce all our artwork in house; we start with a seed of an idea and play around with illustration techniques, then we work up designs by hand or straight onto the mac. We give equal thought to the caption, lettering and layout.

     

     

    Its not just cards, Hotchpotch stationery for some seriously hot writing notes Write it down - Hotchpotch stationery

    If you weren’t involved in the card industry, what would you be?

    Emma – I’ve always wanted to work in design so if not in cards then potentially kids clothing or childrens books.
    Anna – I love design, but if I wasn’t a designer, I’d still want to be creative in some way, I’ve always thought I’d be good at cutting & styling hair!
    Helen – I would love to work with horses.

     

    Who would play in a movie of your life and why?

    Emma – Ellen Page - grungey and cool.
    Anna – Gwyneth Paltrow or Michelle Pfeiffer – funny and sophisticated
    Helen – Jennifer Love Hewitt – super cool

    Not just for birthdays, cards for all occasions from Hotchpotch cards Cards for all occasions

    What’s your favourite way to relax?

    Emma – Eating out.
    Anna - doesn't relax!
    Helen –pyjamas!

     

    If you won 4 VIP tickets to any city in the world, which would it be?

    Emma – Tokyo.
    Anna – New York.
    Helen – Macchu Picchu – lost city!

    Hello Neon pencils as featured in the Mail on Sunday, Hotchpotch Top me up - Hello Neon pencils

    What’s your idea of food heaven and food hell?
    Emma: Heaven – Cheese. Hell - Cloves
    Anna: Heaven – 3 course brunch. Hell - Macdonalds
    Helen: Heaven – Icecream. Hell - Olives

    And finally what advice would you give someone thinking of getting into the card industry?
    After graduation you have to be design-savvi and produce commercial work in order to be able to make a living from it - whether its freelance or for a publisher. The digital revolution certainly makes it far easier to network and break into the design world though. The greetings card industry is a small one, and it doesn’t take long to get to know your peers/competitors and make industry friends. Create something original and different to stand out from everyone else!

    Thanks guys, that was great.

    If you'd like to check out Hotchpotch's award-winning designs head over to the Hotchpotch brand page and take a look around, you won't be disappointed.

    Until next time

    Mrs PM

  • Introducing.....Wendy Jones Blackett

    Posted by junowebdesign on 21/03/17

    At Postmark we're often asked who designs our lovely cards?  As we stock over a thousand products designed by lots of different people – we thought it would be an interesting idea to take a closer look at our suppliers and see how they started.

    This month we say 'Hello' to Wendy Jones-Blackett, the owner and designer of Wendy Jones-Blackett and their fantastic award winning cards!

    So lets see how it all started for Wendy.....

     Have you always worked in the card industry? WJB LOGO

    No, my first job was with a giftware company in Devon, painting and later designing gardening-based gifts for the likes of Laura Ashley and Pier 1.

    What was your motivation to go into business?

    I like being my own boss! In the beginning I really put long hours in, and reaped the rewards. My time at work is less now but more concentrated on production and design work.

    What was the biggest hurdle you had to jump to set up your business?

    It was a very gentle start and the company has grown steadily year-on-year. The biggest leap is going from working at home to getting premises and hiring staff - more pressure! Luckily that hasn’t stifled creativity.

    wjb 50Describe your business in less than 50 words

    Wendy Jones-Blackett Ltd is a British design-led greetings card company, established in 2001 and based in Yorkshire. Our cards are all designed by Wendy (me!) and are hand finished at our studios in Leeds. We are also very proud to have won three ‘Henries’ awards (the Oscars of the industry) over the last 8 years!

    When it comes to business what would you say is your biggest weakness and your greatest strength?

    My personal weakness is people - I love chatting and meeting new people when really I should be in a quiet room designing! So, easily distracted. My greatest strength is realising this and managing my time so that I get the essential design time and also the social aspects of the business.

    How do you find the artists you work with?

    I don’t work with any other artists, but I do like helping out with the Ladder Club Facebook page when I can, and I’ve done a bit of mentoring with newcomers.

    Do you design in-house? If so how does this process work?

    Yes it’s all done in-house. I draw my ideas in sketch books and then turn them into card designs on an iMac, which can be used to split them into print and finish layers for the printers. There’s usually a six week wait before we get the actual cards back, as metal dies have to be made for each design, and then they go in to the studio to be hand finished.

    If you weren’t involved in the card industry, what would you be?

    After spending 5 years at Art College in Architectural Metalwork and 3D metal design, I’d quite like to go back into that! I’d also like to try ceramics and glass.

    Who would play you in a movie of your life and why?Q849

    Reece Witherspoon has been mentioned as I’m a bit fluffy on the outside…

    What’s your favourite way to relax?

    Walking my dogs - Bramble the Golden Retriever and Whiskey the German Shepherd. They’re adorable!

    If you won 4 VIP tickets to any city in the world, which would it be and who would you take?

    Australia is on my ‘hit list’ - I’ve never been - so it’d have to be Sydney with my husband and two boys. We would catch up with old friends.

    What’s your idea of food heaven and food hell?

    I love French and Japanese food, and fine dining. There’s very little I don’t like unless it’s badly cooked (although I was recently served a cold, haddock-based version of Angel Delight as a starter…not to my taste!)

    And finally what advice would you give someone thinking of getting into the card industry?

    Do it! It’s great.

    Thank you Wendy, what a  great insight into the world of an award winning card designer!

     

    Until next time,

    Mrs PM

  • Introducing.... Alice Scott

    Posted by junowebdesign on 28/06/16

    Card from Alice Scott. Seize the Day or you know mess about on the internet written on it in black typography. On white matt board Seize the Day!

    At Postmark we deal with an incredible range of publishers and card designers who produce some of the best cards and paper goods around.

    Our customers often ask us about the people behind our products so we thought it would be a great idea to take a closer look at their work and find out more the card industry.

    This month we say hello to Heather Flynn, the creator and owner of 'Alice Scott' one of  Postmark's bestselling ranges.

    Where do you do most of your creative work? I live in Shoreditch and have a lovely space at

    Alice Scott birthday card. Featuring black and white hexagonal stripes with a pink circle in the middle with 'Well hello Birthday o'clock' written in it. Ding, dong!

    home, but unless I need to be printing and testing artwork at my desk, I tend to head out and work in various cafes and shops nearby. I really enjoy being around people ( and eavesdropping!) and often pick up inspiration walking to and from home.

    When you design a card, do you plan it out or is the process spontaneous? It totally depends. Often I’ve written up ideas for a card a long time ago and only begin to work them up fully much later. As I’m designing them, the style and look will evolve or a new idea will emerge – sometimes taking a long time to complete, sometimes it’s fresh and quick. Then my mac crashes and I begin the whole process again. Well, that’s how it’s been this month!

    Gemma Correll card, blank card from Gemma Correll, humour card, fish, vodka Gemma Correll

    What is your favourite card/range and why? Well I ought to say my other baby Happy Jackson, but that’d be cheating! I think Gemma Correll is a very clever writer and I love her wit and Illustration. I’m also partial to a classic New Yorker sketch, especially the dogs. Any dog owner can’t help but smile at those.

    Have you always worked in the card industry? If yes, what did you

    Alice Scott greeting cards Alice Scott range at Postmark Online

    do before setting out on your own? If no, what were you doing before? I’ve worked in cards for 15 years. I started at UKG and moved to Hallmark where I worked on a huge variety of accounts and ranges. That gave me a real grounding in the industry and also helped me fine tune both what I wanted to do and avoid when I set up on my own. It’s also where I met my business partner Giles Andreae (I worked on his Purple Ronnie licence for a long time). We went on to create Happy Jackson together, which keeps me very busy alongside Alice Scott, but that’s a whole other story!

     

    happy birthday mum card from Alice Scott, Alice Scott happy birthday mum card Happy birthday Mum

    What was your motivation to go into business? I wanted to design products I would both buy myself and send to friends and family. Specifically, with cards, I wanted them to say what I wanted to say, the way I’d actually say it. That kind of casual editorial has become much more mainstream now, but when I started Alice Scott, it was harder to find. I felt that humour cards were often a ‘classic humour’ style and sentiment cards were all a bit gushy or traditional. I wanted both - all in one house style, with a contemporary look and tone and couldn’t see why no-one was doing that. That’s where Alice began and it’s still my principal motivation when writing. Sometimes you want silly, sometimes you need serious, but you always want it to be beautiful and feel special.

    What was the biggest hurdle you had to jump to set up your business? In licensing, your

    Happy birthday grandson card, Alice Scott birthday card for grandson Alice Scott cards for all the family

    biggest hurdle is always persuading a publisher to take on your work, especially with a new brand. I was lucky that I’d worked with Pigment for some time and they saw the potential in Alice from the beginning. I think the duality of the range, with it’s humorous and sentimental mix, was a hard one for some retailers to get initially, but fortunately we had a lot of support across the high street (including the wonderful Postmark!) and it all grew pretty quickly from there, both with more stores and more licensees in gift and stationery.

     

    Alice Scott greeting card Add some sparkle!

    Describe your business in less than 50 words Alice Scott is a British stationery and gift brand, creating contemporary design and pattern, in our black and white house style, (but we’re not immune to the odd colour pop here and there!).

    When it comes to business what would you say is your biggest weakness and your greatest strength? Biggest weakness is procrastination and I suspect always will be! Greatest strength? My experience has taught me to think commercially and look at what will work for consumers and retailers while developing product. Sometimes that means compromising on your initial idea, so the key is to know when it’s right to do that and when you need to hold your nerve and do something that pushes traditional conventions. Getting that balance right really is the

    Greeting card from Alice Scott. Happy birthday brother, birthday card for brothers Happy birthday bro!

    key to getting great product that sells.

     

    If you weren’t a designer, what would you be? Food writer or dog whisperer.

    Who would play in a movie of your life and why? No idea – all suggestions welcome!

    What’s your favourite way to relax? Long bath with an amazing bath oil and something alcoholic, followed by a box set binge.

     

    Wedding cards from Alice Scott, Alice Scott wedding card, wedding cards Happy I do day!

    If you won 4 VIP tickets to any city in the world, which would it be and who would you take? Ooh, tricky. Hanoi is one of my favourite cities and I’d love to go back, but I’d go for a new adventure and head to Rio de Janeiro. I’d take my husband and give the other 2 away. I’ve been lucky to travel a lot and know how inspiring an incredible trip can be, especially in kick starting new ideas or interests, so would love to gift that to someone who might not otherwise get the chance.

    What’s your idea of food heaven and food hell? Heaven – a great cheese board with red wine, Hell – liver or kidneys. No. Just no.

    And finally what advice would you give someone thinking of getting into the card industry? Well of course, I’d say go for it! It’s a great industry with some wonderful people and

    good luck card Alice Scott, Good luck cards with cats, good luck cards with fancy writing, fingers crossed cards Good Luck!

    nothing beats seeing someone choose your card off the rack over all the other ones they could pick. That’s a pretty cool moment. Try to avoid procrastinating ( I know…pot, kettle!) and just get your ideas down, even in a rough form. You can learn and improve them by sharing them with friends, family or folk in the industry, but not if they’re still only in your head. Think originally but commercially and you’ll be on to a winner –  good luck!

    Thank you Heather, that was really interesting.

    Alice Scott is one of our favourite brands at Postmark and is incredibly popular online and instore, check out the full range for yourself today.

    Until next time

    Mrs PM

  • Introducing.......The Art File

    Posted by Mark on 11/05/16

    James Mace - The Art File James Mace - The Art File

    At Postmark we deal with an incredible range of publishers and card designers who produce some of the best cards and paper goods around.

    Our customers often ask us about the people behind our products so we thought it would be a great idea to take a closer look at their work and find out more the card industry.

    This month we say hello to James Mace, Sales and Marketing Coordinator at The Art File, an award-winning independent publisher of cards, stationery and gifts.

    Based in Nottingham, the family run business is the force behind

    New Home card from The Art File New Home card - The Art File

    some of Postmark's best sellers and their constantly evolving ranges are hugely popular with our customers throughout the year.

    James, have you always worked in the card industry?
    Yes, my whole working life. I finished University when I was 21, then went straight into The Art File where I have been working for 4 years now. I’ve been exhibiting at trade shows on The Art File’s stands since I was about 15 though.

    Engagement, wedding card - The Perfect Pair from The Art File Perfect Pair

    What was your motivation to go into business?
    I can only speak for my parents here, who created the Art File back in 1997. They both have artistic backgrounds and my father Ged, who had experience in the Greeting Card industry, thought there was an opportunity at the time to form the business.

    Describe your business in less than 50 words?
    We are a forward thinking, design led Publishing Company based in Nottingham. We specialise in the design, production, and supply of high quality contemporary Greeting Cards, Stationery, and Gifts to design inspired

    Just a note - notecard pack from The Art File Just a note - notecard pack from The Art File

    retailers across the world.

    When it comes to business what would you say is your biggest weakness and your greatest strength?
    My greatest strength is my determination- whether it be on a sports field, in a classroom or in the workplace, I will never give up on my ambitions, or any task I carry out. My weakness you ask? That would have to be tequila.

    Baby Girl - Diecut card, The Art File Baby Girl - Diecut card, The Art File

    How do you find the artists you work with?
    Karen Mace, Art Director,  is constantly on the look out for fresh new talent. She’ll use the internet, Pinterest, word of mouth, family, friends. We'll also advertise on our website and on the GCA (Greeting Card Association) website for submissions and we've had our customers forward artists onto us.

    Do you design inhouse? If so how does this process

    Happy Father's Day - The Art File Happy Father's Day - The Art File

    work?
    We do. We have some hugely talented designers working with us on a full time basis. The designers have weekly meetings with Ged and Karen to discuss future trends, colour ways etc, and then take it from there.

    If you weren’t involved in the card industry, what would you be?
    I would probably have started my own business by now.

    Who would play in a movie of your life and why?
    Robbie Coltrane. A big friendly giant!

    Pop-up London card, designed by Elod Beregszaszi, published by The Art File Pop-up London card - The Art File

    What’s your favourite way to relax?
    A nice long gym session, followed by a steam/sauna and some healthy eats. Then after I’ll meet with some mates and head to the local…

    If you won 4 VIP tickets to any city in the world, which would it be and who would you take?
    Hong Kong- Easily the most exciting and diverse place I’ve ever been to. So much to see and do. I would have to take my better half, otherwise I wouldn’t hear the end of it… (I hope she doesn’t read this)

    What’s your idea of food heaven and food hell?
    Food Heaven- would have to be a never ending amount of wasabi prawns from the

    Sorry you're leaving card - The Art File Sorry you're leaving card - The Art File

    OrchidnRestaurant in Harrogate.

    Food Hell- CELERY, its literally like eating something you would see popping up through your decking, no wonder you lose calories eating the stuff…

    And finally what advice would you give someone thinking of getting into the card industry?
    Make sure your production methods are sorted out before you start presenting product at trade shows, you never know who could walk onto the stand and order a 1000 units of 10 designs.

    Thanks James!

    If you'd like to check out The Art File at Postmark then just click here. Looking for more information about The Art File and what they do, then just visit their website

    See you soon

    Mrs P

  • Introducing......Sara Miller London

    Posted by junowebdesign on 16/03/16

    At Postmark we deal with an incredible range of publishers and card designers who produce some of the best cards and paper goods around.

    Our customers often ask us about the people behind our products so we thought it would be a great idea to take a closer look at their work and find out more the card industry.

    Sara Miller in her studio Sara Miller in her studio

    This month we say hello to Sara Miller. Sara has recently launched her own brand, Sara Miller London, having spent the last eight years working in the card industry.

    Where do you do most of your creative work?
    I have a little studio a stone throw away from my home in North London. With mood boards, inspiration and my products all around me I am definitely most creative in this environment.

    Sara Miller London. Happy Birthday card flamingos and gold foiling Happy Birthday Flamingo

    When you design a card, do you plan it out or is the process spontaneous?
    It’s a little bit of both. I get ideas from all sorts of things, let them ‘bubble away’ and then blitz out a whole series of deisgns in one go!

    Have you always worked in the card industry?
    I’ve spent the last 8 years in the card industry. Before I got into greeting cards, I designed prints for fashion in both London and New York. Ocasionally I would go to retailers like Miss Selfridge or Warehouse and see a print I’d designed on a new dress. It was fun, but I much prefer the greeting card world!

    Sara Miller London thank you card with green background and birds perched in trees. Gold foiling on tree Thank you birds

    What was your motivation to go into business?
    I have always been incredibly ambitious and whilst many designers only want to design I have always enjoyed the business side of things, from strategic thinking to the commercial side. It’s quite unusual for a designer to want to do all of this too but when coupled with my determination and creativity going into my own business was always something I was going to do.

    What was the biggest hurdle you had to jump to set up your business?

    Pink Sara Miller London happy birthday card on table with glass of mint water next to it. Card has bouquet of flowers on front and is embossed with gold foiling Happy Birthday

    I actually left my job to set up an entirely differnet business but it didn’t really pick up and after a little while I decided to try establish Sara Miller London as a brand. Ironically, I thought this would be far more difficult to achive as it is such a competitive market. However within weeks of exhibiting at my first trade show I had 6 offers from prestigious manufacturers to license Sara Miller London as a brand internationally.

    Describe your business in less than 50 words
    Sara Miller London is a new aspirational brand which celebrates a love for print, texture and colour. Initially we have launched with collections of greeting cards and gift packaging and now we are planning to expand into all sorts of other product categories including gifts, home fragrance and soft furnishings all for launch in 2017.

    Four colourful geese in bow ties. Blank card inside. Sara Miller London Geese in bow tie

    When it comes to business what would you say is your biggest weakness and your greatest strength?
    Weakness – having to do EVERY aspect of the business with a limited resource.
    Strength – forward thinking and a unique identity.

    Pink new baby girl card with stock flying across pink sky carrying bundle. Sara Miller London range New baby girl

    If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
    I really was always going to be a designer!! But…. if I couldn’t then perhaps something to do with Finance!

    Who would play in a movie of your life and why?
    Anne Hathaway, but I probably say that because I’ve been mistaken for her so many times!!

    What’s your favourite way to relax? I love going for a really long walk and ending up at a lovely place for lunch.

    Sara Miller London birthday card featuring the outline of a stag in a field. Browns, taupe and gold colours used Happy Birthday

    If you won 2 VIP tickets to any city in the world, which would it be and who would you take?
    Ha Noi in Vietnam and I would want to go with my Fiance who has been the most amazing support to me (and whom I am marrying in 3 weeks time!)

    Sara Miller London group shot of range Sara Miller London

    What’s your idea of food heaven and food hell?
    Love Sushi. Hate tofu!

    And finally what advice would you give someone thinking of getting into the card industry?
    I think it’s a wonderful industry with a huge amount of opportunity. The pure nature of a greeting card being a purchase you are sending to make somebody happy or show you care creates a world of opportunity from a designers perspective. And if you are looking to start-up your own company there is wonderful support with Progressive Greetings and the Greetings Card Association.

    Thanks Sara for the insight, it really does show what a fascinating industry we work in and we're delighted to welcome Sara Miller London to Postmarkonline and to our three Postmark stores in Balham, East Dulwich and Chiswick.

    For a look at the full collection, published by The Art File, click here I'm sure you'll love it as much as we do.

    Until next time

    Mrs P

  • Supplier Feature - Alice Palace

    Posted by Mark on 01/11/13

    This month's feature takes us over to Evesham with the wonderfully talented Alice Boston from Alice Palace Studio, owner & designer. Here we run her through her paces and ask her our usual selection of questions:

     

    The Alice Palace studio Where all the Alice Palace magic happens!

    1) Where do you do most of your creative work? - In the crafty room at the AP studio in Evesham – it’s full of pens, paints, papers, books, magazines, crayons, everything you could imagine etc etc

    2) When you design a card, do you plan it out or is the process spontaneous? - It always used to be spontaneous, but I have learned to plan more – this is down to requests for specific designs, and also because these days I have to fit a whole working day into 5 hours (while Albi’s at nursery) and so don’t have so much time to be spontaneous!!

    Alice's all time favourite design - The occasional star jump

    3) What is your favourite card or range and why? - This changes all the time. My all time favourite is the star jumping badgers - I could hardly finish the design because I found it so funny (I can remember the exact scene so well in my head). At the moment my favourite is handsome birthday, again because I find it amusing that it says ‘call him handsome’.

    4) What training did you have before starting your company? - I did a degree in graphic design and came away with a first and a love of illustrating.

    5) What was your motivation to go into business? - I wanted to follow my own ideas – otherwise it’s very rare to be able to do the exact design you’d like.

    6) What was the biggest hurdle you had to jump to set up your business? - Going for it full time – I was worried about money/time etc etc!

    7) Describe your business in less than 50 words - I set up the business with the idea to bring some easy happiness into everyday life – Other Alice Palace productssending cards is a good way to do that. We’ve since added other products such as wrap and personalised gifts to bring even more smiles.

    8) If your employees were to be asked to cite your biggest weakness, what do you think the answer would be? And your greatest strength? -  They’d say I’m very impatient, always in a rush and flit from one job to another! On the plus, I can come up with unique designs and I work hard.

    9) If you weren’t a designer, what would you be? - Working in a horse yard – or a garden designer.

    10) If you were a movie star, who would it be and why? - Ferris Bueller from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – because it’s funny and reminds me of days of old!

    11) What’s your favourite way to relax? - Getting in our green campervan called sprout!

    12) If you won 4 VIP tickets to any city you like, which would it be and who would you take? - I think I’d go back to Hong Kong – I went years ago and loved it. I’d take Mark and Albi (husband & son).

    13) Romantic or humorous: what card do you give your loved one on Valentine’s Day? - Handmade and humorous.

    14) If your partner was asked what is the most infuriating of your characteristics, what would they say? And your most loveable quality? - I asked Mark what he thought and here are the results!

    Alice's current favourite card design Alice's current favourite card design

    most infuriating -  Sometimes being over excitable, having lots of ideas about lots of separate things all at the same time... too much info for his tiny brain... brain overload... it normally takes him a day or two to digest all my thoughts and then come back to me!

    loveable quality - Being happy and fun loving, all year round. He often says he used to dislike the winters but I love doing stuff whatever the weather. I'm his winter ray of sunshine!

    A great big thank you to Alice for taking the time to let us enter her world and you can see all of Alice's work on her website or you can buy a selection of her designs here at Postmarkonline.

  • Supplier feature - Think Of Me Designs

    Posted by Mark on 03/10/13

    This months supplier feature, we bring you Dan and Freya from the wonderful Think Of Me Designs who have rightly so, recently been nominated for 2 Henries awards which for those of you who don't know, are the greeting card publishers 'Oscars'. I have been dealing with Dan and Freya since the very beginning and have watched their company evolve beautifully as time has gone by. Here they take time out of their busy schedule to answer a few questions on what makes Think Of Me Designs tick.

    1) Where do you do most of your creative work?  - At our studio in Islington, London.

    2) When you design a card, do you plan it out or is the process spontaneous? - Sometimes we can see the finished design in our heads and it doesn’t take long to design. Other times it’s a case of playing around for hours with ideas and styles until we find the look we’re after.

    One of the Kiddiwinks range Age 5 robot from the Kiddiwinks range

    3) What is your favourite card or range and why?  - Kiddiwinks as it was designed with our children in mind.

    4) What training did you have before starting your company? - Freya has a background in Fine Art and Acting. Dan briefly trained as a lawyer in America before moving to New York and training as an actor. We met in 2000 on a film set in London.

    5) What was your motivation to go into business? -  Desperation combined with the need to do something creative whilst ‘resting’.

    6) What was the biggest hurdle you had to jump to set up your business? -  Sacrificing time with friends and family for the sake of making Think of Me a success. Our motto in those early years was ‘We’ll sleep when we’re dead’!

    7) Describe your business in less than 50 words – We try to produce unique contemporary, design-led greetings cards that we’d like to send ourselves. We are known for our clean, contemporary, colourful and fun style.

    8) If your employees were to be asked to cite your biggest weakness, what do you think the answer would be? And your greatest strength?Freya: My weakness would have to be that I have trouble meeting design deadlines. Dan: I have a tough time clocking off from the business.

    I think our strength would have to be that we work really well as a team and we love what we do.

    9) What’s your favourite way to relax? - It used to be spending Friday nights in the pub. Now it’s spending time with the kids at the park.

    10) Romantic or humorous: what card do you give your loved one on Valentine’s Day? - Romantic, but always one of our own!

    Moustache Gracias Dan and Freya! A brilliant card from their Sasparilla range Moustache Gracias Dan and Freya! A brilliant card from their Sasparilla range

    Dan and Freya, thank you so much, you have been brilliant! Check out a wide range of Think Of Me Designs cards in our shop now or take a look at their website: www.thinkofmedesigns.com If you see anything you like we don't stock, just get in touch with us and we will try our best to help!

    We stock the following ranges: Polka Tots, Kiddiwinks, Sasparilla, Ace Of Fades and many more

     

     

  • Supplier Feature - Frankie Whistle!

    Posted by Mark on 03/09/13

    We deal with so many wonderful publishers and designers doing this job we have decided to do a regular feature on our blog showcasing the brains and brilliance behind the amazing cards you find on our site. First up we have the genius behind one of our current favourites, Michael from Frankie Whistle.

    1) Where do you do most of your creative work?   -   At home, staring out of the window with a vacant expression on my face.

    2) When you design a card, do you plan it out or is the process spontaneous?  -  Usually spontaneous, though I will refine it endlessly for no real gain

    The inspiration behind the brilliant Frankie Whistle range. The inspiration behind the brilliant Frankie Whistle range.

    3) What is your favourite card or range and why?  -  I like the rude ones, so probably That’s What Friends Are For.  Though I have a soft spot for Man’s Best Friend because it makes me laugh every time I look at it, and it was the inspiration for the whole range.

    4) What training did you have before starting your company?  -  None, I’m just hoping nobody asks to see my Greetings Card Designer’s License. If you ask me, there are far too many trained designers in this business, which is possibly why so many cards are a bit bland.

    5) What was your motivation to go into business?  -  Money and greeting-card groupies.  Haven’t had much of either so far.

    6) What was the biggest hurdle you had to jump to set up your business?  -  Inertia and trying to fathom the dizzyingly confusing world of print

    7) Describe your business in less than 50 words  -  Like a dachshund I suppose - small but very feisty, clever and funny, tenacious and loyal, not afraid of standing up to bigger dogs.  And likes having its tummy tickled.

    8) If your employees were to be asked to cite your biggest weakness, what do you think the answer would be? And your greatest strength?  -  I don’t know what I’m doing.  But that’s probably my greatest strength too.

    9) If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?  -  Possibly a canine cosmetic surgeon, constructing proper noses for pugs.

    10) If you were a movie star, who would it be and why?  -  John Travolta - have you seen me dance?

    11) What’s your favourite way to relax?  -  Dancing like John Travolta

    Michael's dream trip with his family (Should he win some tickets that is!) Michael's dream trip with his family (Should he win some tickets that is!)

    12) If you won 4 VIP tickets to any city you like, which would it be and who would you take?  -  South Beach, Miami - with my wife and our two girls, for the Cuban food, the sunshine, the Art Deco hotels and the seven-foot tall transvestites on roller skates.

    13) Romantic or humorous: what card do you give your loved one on Valentine’s Day?  -  Romantic or I’m a dead man

    14) If your partner was asked what is the most infuriating of your characteristics, what would they say? And your most loveable quality?  -  Infuriating: Saying the same thing again and again.  Loveable: Saying the same thing again and again.

     

    A big thank you to Michael, I think you'll all agree he has been brilliant! Check out the full range of Frankie Whistle cards or come by and check out our full collection at Postmarkonline.

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