Choosing which starter pack really depends how you want to run your business. Will you be mainly selling your stock, then maybe starter pack 3. If you’re mainly going to do online then perhaps starter pack 1. If you’re thinking of a bit of both then perhaps pack 2. If you’re not sure, get in touch and we can brainstorm what’s right for you and your start up budget.
Each pack starts you off with extra profit to get you going.
Even the smallest pack contains plenty brochures to hand out.
Every pack includes a personalised website that is activated as soon as you join, even before your pack arrives!
Every pack includes a year’s public liability insurance if you’re thinking of selling at craft fairs etc.
From over 40% profit on Pack 1 to over 50% profit on Pack 3 plus a £20 bonus on Pack 3 each pack has been designed to kick start your card business.
So you’re looking for a new way to earn some money. Direct Sales seems a good option with its flexible working hours and it looks like it has some good prospects. But you haven’t quite worked out how to fit it in to the nooks and crannies of life. I’ve been in direct selling for over 12 years now and promoted to Executive Partner with Flamingo Paperie in the first month it launched. I have 4 children aged from 2 to 12 and as you can imagine that keeps me very busy. The flexibility of direct selling works really well for me and my strategies for success in direct sales are really different ways you can make your chosen company work for you.
The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.
My strategies for success are based on my experience with Flamingo Paperie, a direct sales company that produces cards, gift wrap and stationery but I believe these ideas could be adapted to most direct sales businesses. If one way of working seems to fit your lifestyle but the direct sales company you’re looking at doesn’t offer it then my top tip is to think twice before you join. All my strategies for success are possible if you become a Flamingo Partner. You don’t need to turn your life upside down or find more hours in the day. Here are ways you can make it work by using what you already have or do.
1 Add it on to something else you’re already doing
It doesn’t have to be either/or. It’s unlikely that you will want to drop everything else to try and make room for a new business. Choose a product that will compliment your lifestyle, hobbies or other business. If you’re making crafts for sale then gift wrap will add an extra to your service, or a greeting card to go with a gift gives you the ability to offer the complete gifting package.
2 Take it with you
Can you take your products to the office, to the school gate, to yoga class, to toddler group or wherever you go on a daily or weekly business? Use the networks you already have to show off your products and attract repeat customers.
3 Use your products
In theory you don’t have to like to your products to sell them. A good salesperson might be able to sell water to a well but it does help if you love what you’re selling and use it regularly. Not only does it give you confidence in what you’re selling but giving your products, in my case by sending cards or wrapping presents in style, is an opportunity to show them off.
4 Raise some money for a good cause
Are you involved in a community group or is there a charity close to your heart. Use your products to raise some money. Offer 10% or more of your sales to your cause. People love to help and love to feel that others are benefitting from their purchases. Make use of that and help others while building your customer base with some good publicity.
5 Enhance your subscription box
If you already run a business that sends out a regular subscription box then use the new products to enhance your box. Gift wrap or tissue could be used to wrap the contents while advertising the same gift wrap and tissue for customers to buy for their own wrapping needs. An appropriate card could be included to match the theme of your box or the time of year, again advertising the range of cards available for sale. The average person in the UK sends 33 cards a year. Be creative with how you present your products, this will make you different to the rest and attract others to your business.
Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.
6 Add the personal touch
Do you run a company that provides a service to others, or does your partner or another family member? For example, I know estate agents who like to give a ‘New Home’ card to their clients when they pick up their keys. Or a Vet who likes to send a sympathy card when a loved pet is put to sleep. I have a customer who runs a Beauty Salon who likes to send cards to her clients when they have get married, have a baby, suffer a bereavement etc. Sending greeting cards can add a very powerful personal touch to your business.
7 Treat your employees
Similar to the previous idea but if you already employ staff then can you use your products to treat them? Can you reward them for a job well done? Send a birthday card or occasion card to show you take note of their lives outside of work. Personal touches make people feel valued and that builds loyalty within a workplace. Little acts like these can make you stand out from the crowd as an employer.
Everyone talks about building a relationship with your customer. I think you should build one with your employees first.
8 Provide a community service
No I don’t mean of the criminal penalty kind! Do you live somewhere that people find it hard to access the products you offer? I have a good friend of mine who got so fed up of hearing her neighbours say they were off to town for a birthday card that she asked to take one of my baskets of cards to have at home so she could offer a better and more convenient service and product to her community.
9 Help a hospital or care home
Do you work in or visit a hospital or care home on a regular basis? Similar to the community service idea, many people who live or work in these places have great difficulty in getting to shops to purchase things. Bring your ‘shop’ to them. Ask if someone can care for your ‘shop in a basket’ which you can leave in a safe, convenient place for them to buy from when they need to.
10 Build an online business
Do you spend time on social media? Are you a Pinterest addict or an Instagram lover? Use that time to build a business. Share images of your products with links to your direct sales website. No need to even buy stock, just let people love what they see and tell them how to click and buy for themselves. Rather like affiliate marketing but usually with higher profit margins. If you’re already doing affiliate marketing then treat your direct sales business as an extra string to your affiliate bow.
The secret of getting ahead is getting started.
Whatever you do, however you do it, get started. Don’t put it off by waiting for the prefect business model to come along. Find the products you like then make the business opportunity work for you, in your situation. Use the strategies for success that fit with where you’re at. Start there and build out as you grow.
Other than the quality and affordability, which Flamingo cards and gift wrap has in abundance, what makes them any different to other greeting cards on the market? In short – what’s special about Flamingo Paperie?
All Flamingo gift wrap and gift tags are recyclable, 100%! That’s quite something in a day where there is still a myth spread on social media that only brown paper can be recycled. The gift tags all have jute string ties and jute is totally biodegradable and therefore compostable.
What about the cards? Good question! All the greeting cards without effects added are 100% recyclable. Until now the glitter on some of the cards wasn’t environmentally friendly but Flamingo have just launched the first cards with eco-friendly vegetable based glitter.
Flamingo Partners, like myself, got to choose which charities would benefit in 2018 and we chose Macmillan Cancer Support, Together for Short Lives and the Alzheimers Society for UK donations. You can read more about Flamingo’s charity here.
Have you ever seen or bought a greeting card after liking the image on the front only to wonder who created it? You turn over the card and all you see is ‘Made in China’. Not so with Flamingo!
Flamingo are proud to promote each and every one of the artists who design for them. And if you read their profiles the artists are pretty pleased to supply Flamingo with their designs.
Flamingo Paperie are a design led company and are always looking for new artists. If you have something to offer, it could be your name on the back of the next new Flamingo greeting card.
If you’d just like to get your hands on these charitable, ethical and desing led cards and gift wrap then you can buy them from my Flamingo shop. Shop now and find our what’s special about Flamingo Paperie.
You’ve watched Blue Planet, you love turtles and you want to do your bit to be eco friendly. But you are a bit confused by mixed messages about whether you should be using gift wrap, brown paper, newspaper or even wrapping presents at all. Whether it’s for Christmas, a birthday or for any occasion you can gift wrap in style without costing the earth. I’ve put this little post together to help you answer the question; Is gift wrapping paper recyclable?
A really quick test is the Scrunch Test but it’s not quite as simple as that.
So which gift wrapping is recyclable?
Supermarket ‘cheap as chips’ wrapping paper
Probably not recyclable. Even if it doesn’t contain any glitter, foil or added extras, the thin wrapping paper that is often found at the checkout is unlikely to be accepted by paper mills for recycling as it contains few good quality fibres for recycling.
Gift wrap with foil or glitter effects
The paper might be recyclable but the glitter and foil effects make it difficult and too expensive (if it is even possible) to recycle. At least the paper will biodegrade if put in general household waste but the foil and glitter additives might not.
Recycled wrapping paper
Yes, most probably recyclable, providing no glitter, foil etc is added. You can get recycled wrapping paper. However, there is a debate as to whether it is better to produce recycled paper or use virgin pulp from FSC certified sources as the recycling process itself is expensive and energy consuming. Another alternative could be using paper from easily replenishable sources such as bamboo that grows quickly.
This shouldn’t be recycled but should go in the compostable bin along with brown cardboard but that’s ok. Good environmental option! Not so good if you want a pretty design as you’ll have to do one yourself and make sure any design you apply is also compostable! Check out my Pinterest board for some ideas. Use vegetable based inks to stamp the paper and add natural embellishments like twigs, flowers and berries that can also be composted.
Yes, this wrapping paper is recyclable. One thing you might like to check is what inks are used in the print. Some companies use eco friendly vegetable based inks that do not harm the environment. Also check if the paper used is from FSC sources.
All of the gift wrap in my Flamingo shop is 100% recyclable, uses vegetable based inks and is from FSC sources.
We can confirm that all Flamingo Paperie gift wrap is recyclable. It is printed on Amber Graphic Material which is ECF (Elemental Chlorine Free). This is a technique which uses chlorine dioxide for the bleaching of wood pulp and does not use elemental chlorine gas during the bleaching process, so preventing the formation of dioxins, dioxin-like compounds and carcinogens. We also use vegetable inks with water rather than the alcohol damping process. Individual local authorities have their own rules on what they will and will not recycle, but we can confirm that our paper is fully recyclable. (statement from Flamingo HQ)
If you are a designer looking to print your own gift wrap then there are UK print companies that have a very high standard of eco friendly printing like Ashley House.
General tips on making gift wrapping paper recyclable
Before recycling or composting your gift wrap make sure you remove all sellotape, tags, ribbons, bows etc. Gift tags might be recyclable/compostable but the ribbon that they are attached often isn’t so make sure you remove it first. If in doubt, ask the company, they will know. Many gift wrap companies have an environmental policy like Flamingo Paperie. In fact all their gift tags, including the jute string, are 100% recyclable. Use washi tape or patterned kraft tape for a recyclable tape option.
August was full of birthdays with 8/10 of the Flamingo Paperie best selling greeting cards in August being birthday cards. Here’s the latest top 10. Look out for September’s list though as Christmas cards start to creep up in!
In reverse order the Flamingo Paperie best selling greeting cards were…
Another new entry at no. 8. Flittered and illustrated by Laura Stone. One of the most versatile cards we have in my opinion. Great for a wedding, engagement, anniversary, Valentine or just to say ‘I love you’. Code LS53.
Not only returning to the top 10 but going straight to the top is this month’s no. 1 bestselling Flamingo Paperie card, Birthday Balloons. Matt textured with gold foil and illustrated by Joanne Cave. Code FP6019.
You can buy any of the above greeting cards by going direct to my Flamingo Paperie shop now or choose a bestsellers mini box to get 1 of each.
If you’ve heard of Flamingo Paperie but aren’t sure what it’s all about then you might find this answers some of your questions. Flamingo Paperie is still a relatively new company, which rose out of the ashes of Phoenix Trading. It’s about to enter its busy period with the Christmas range launching late August. Now is possibly the best time to join and reap those rewards. But you might be wondering how it all works. Whether it could work for you and possibly even who or what is Flamingo? Well here’s my Flamingo Paperie review after 6 months being an Independent Flamingo Partner with the new company.
Who or What is Flamingo Paperie?
Perhaps you haven’t even heard of Flamingo Paperie and that wouldn’t be surprising as the company only launched in February 2018. You might have heard of its predecessor Phoenix Trading. Flamingo is a different company with a new focus but it comes built on 22 years of Phoenix Trading with many of the same staff and independent Partners. Flamingo is a British greeting card company specialising in exclusively illustrated greeting cards, gift wrap and stationery. I’m proud to be part of a company with a strong ethical and charitable vision. All Flamingo’s cards are ethically printed in the UK, using FSC card and vegetable based inks and all our Christmas cards are charity cards. The design team are passionate about supporting and promoting the illustrators and artists who create the designs (I’ve met the design team, their passion really shines through them when you talk to them).
Who am I and what do I know about Flamingo?
Flamingo don’t sell through shops, at least not in the UK (it’s slightly different in Australia and New Zealand). Their fabulous cards can only be purchased through an Independent Partner, which is what I am. I was a Phoenix Trader from 2012 until they closed and have been a Flamingo Partner since they launched in February. I’m an Executive Partner, which means I support a team of my own and their teams too. At the last check I was the top sponsor, which means I have added more people to my team than any other Partner in the business since February. I have a team from Shetland to the Channel Islands and in France. I love sending cards and I’m a complete stationery addict! This is my personal Flamingo Paperie review from my experience.
How does Flamingo ‘work’?
There are prinicipally three ways to earn money as a Flamingo Partner. You can buy and sell stock to friends, colleagues, relatives, at craft fairs, pop up shops and more. You buy stock at 30% off the retail price but you do pay delivery on all your orders (£6 max). It is possible to sell without buying any stock. You can do this by directing people to your personalised website. Here the company ships all the orders direct to your customer and you get 20% profit. The other way to earn is by building a team of Partners who you support, with the help of your upline Executive Partner. E.g. if you joined my team and someone joined your team then I would support both you and your team member in your businesses. When your team sell you earn a commission from the company depending on how much you sell and they sell etc. If you would like the details of how this works exactly just ask.
Flamingo Paperie review of the good stuff so far?
I live in the Outer Hebrides and pay the same delivery on all my orders as everyone else in the UK. It means we all have the same opportunity.
The quality of the cards and gift wrap is outstanding. Phoenix were reknown for their high quality affordable cards and gift wrap. I think the designs and quality that Flamingo now have are even better. The gift wrap always had a reputation for being quality and ‘unrippable’. Now it’s even thicker with Flamingo than it was with Phoenix. It still has the same invaluable cutting grid lines on the back. This helps to make gift wrapping a pleasure not a chore.
Everyone gets a personalised website as standard. This is simpler because we all get the same but it’s included in the starter pack cost and everyone has the same opportunity to sell online if they want to.
We have a narrower range than we had with Phoenix. This gives the company more focus on what they do and doing it really well.
The ‘team’ feeling is outstanding. The mutual support that most Partners give each other in Flamingo is something I’ve not seen anywhere else. Given that we earn commision on our own teams and not on other people’s you’d understand if it was all a bit cliquey but it’s not. I’ve had support from other teams. I also have quite a few Partners who have asked to receive my team emails and be part of my Facebook team support group. In the long run if we support each other we all grow as the company grows.
30% profit is a really good rate. I find it pretty easy to reach a monthly level of sales where I earn a further 10% on my bonus sales volume.
There are no targets that have to be met or sales levels that have to be achieved. There are rewards for selling and growing a team but it’s up to each Partner to decide what they want to achieve.
What could be better about Flamingo Paperie?
We have a narrower range than we had with Phoenix. Wait a minute, I said that before!? Well while I think it’s a good thing on the whole there are products that I loved that we don’t do now. So I have supplemented my business with colouring in tablecloths from Eggnogg and gift wrapping accessories from British wholesale companies like Deva Designs alongwith designing my own inspirational stationery.
Brand awareness. This is my personal opinion only. I think the company could do more to promote the name and range of Flamingo Paperie. They believe it’s up to us as Partners. I think it’s a joint venture. Without the company using their clout to get us ‘out there’ we are struggling. Too many people have never heard of us.
Social media. I have nearly 1800 followers on Facebook, 3000 on Twitter and 500 on Instagram. As far as I know I’m the Flamingo Partner with the biggest social media following. But I’ve done most of that myself and it’s hard work. Other direct selling companies I know produce a library of images and suggested posts for their Partners to use. We have access to all the stock images. I’d like to see more of the creative eye catching images that work well on social media produced by the company. What is great is how Partners who create their own images and posts are willing to share them with other Partners. The ‘team’ feeling, which I mentioned before, that exists in Flamingo is priceless.
How could Flamingo work for me?
Do you love cards?
If you love cards and/or gift wrapping and/or stationery then by becoming a Flamingo Partner you will have direct access to Flamingo products you will love.
Do you know other people who love cards?
If you know other people who also love cards then you could make some money selling your Flamingo cards to them. There is no doubt that Christmas is the most lucrative time of the year for this especially with our traditional advent calendars. If you haven’t seen our advent calendars before and you love Christmas then you are missing a treat! Selling your Flamingo cards could make you some nice spending money.
Do you fundraise a lot?
Do you support a local charity or are you involved in a local community group? You could direct people to your online website and donate your 20% to whatever cause you are passionate about without having to handle any stock.
Do you want to make money?
If you want to make serious money with Flamingo then you’re going to have to work very hard. You will need to build a team. There is only so much you can sell. Growing a team is like opening new shops to sell to people you can’t get to. This takes time.
Do you have another selling business that needs a little boost?
If you have another business then I seriously suggest that cards and gift wrap will go very nicely hand in hand with almost anything else. If you sell books, chances are they are often bought for gifts. So why not sell the gift wrap and card to go with them. If you sell skincare, jewellery, candles, cosmetics, chances are there are gifts in there too. Your customers will need wrapping paper! Whatever you already sell, or whoever you sell to, everyone knows someone who has a birthday!
Want to know more?
If you think that Flamingo could fit in to your life, your passion, your business then let’s brainstorm together to make it work for you. Ask me for more information or for me to give you a call.
What’s really good about Flamingo is that it’s totally flexible. Every Flamingo Partner runs their own business their way. Join today and start writing your Flamingo Paperie review story.
While there must have been a lot of birthdays in June, the wedding season must be in full swing as one of our best selling greeting cards was an anniversary card. Here’s the Flamingo Paperie best selling greeting cards top 10 for June.
In reverse order the Flamingo Paperie best selling greeting cards were…
There must have been a lot of birthdays in May, but then again, all the best people are born in May aren’t they? (Guess when my birthday is then!) I thought you might like to see what Flamingo Paperie’s top 10 best selling greeting cards were.
In reverse order the best selling greeting cards were…
I adore this card, not just for Mothers Day. I firmly believe all teenagers, especially teenage girls should receive this card on a daily basis! What better way to make mum feel special than showering her with compliments.
When your mum is your friend, maybe even your best friend, then this is the card to send. If you and your mum don’t live close by each other and perhaps don’t see each other as often as you’d like, this is the card for her.
Whichever card you choose, you’ll be sending an exclusively designed one that will make her say, ‘wow, thank you that’s beautiful’. If you need gift wrap to go with it then I would recommend either the Flowers and Stars or Flowers ones from Flamingo or the Magenta swirl from Deva.