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.
In the next month I’ll be collaborating with Megan, from Sandwick Bay Candles. Megan makes soy candles and each month has an exclusive scented candle for her subscription box. In July it was lavender. Subscribers not only received her gorgeous candle but they also got a free card from me too. And in return…well it just so happens that my cards and gift wrap subscription box for September will be garden themed and Megan has kindly agreed to do some tealights, in the same exclusive scent, for my box too! But what’s so good about lavender? Why use it? Well here are 13 uses for it taken from mindbodygreen.com
If you only use one essential oil, this is it!
Lavender (lavandula angustifolia) is the most versatile of all essential oils. Most commonly known for its relaxing effects on the body, therapeutic-grade lavender has been highly regarded for the skin. It may be used to cleanse cuts, bruises and skin irritations. The fragrance is calming, relaxing and balancing – physically and emotionally. Carrying a bottle of lavender around with you is like having your own personal first aid kit, perfume and pick-me-up.
Here are 13 ways you can incorporate lavender in to your daily life:
Rub 2-3 drops of lavender oil in your cupped palms, then use the inhalation method to draw the scent all the way into your amygdala gland (the emotional warehouse) in your brain to calm the mind. Then, rub on the feet, temples, wrists (or anywhere) for an immediate calming effect on the body. Great for use in crowded areas like planes or subways to carve out your own personal oasis.
2. Sleep aid
Again, use the cupping and inhalation method. Then, rub a drop of Lavender oil on your palms and smooth on your pillow to help you sleep.
3. Bee sting / Insect bite
Put a drop of Lavender oil on a bee sting or insect bite to stop itching reduce swelling.
4. Minor burn
Put 2-3 drops Lavender oil on a minor burn to decrease pain. I recently did this after I spilled scorching hot tea on my hand at Starbucks and luckily had my lavender with me. Result: NO redness, swelling or pain. NO sign of any burn. Lavender works wonders!
Drop Lavender oil on cut to stop bleeding, clean wound, and kill bacteria.
6. Eczema / Dermatitis
Mix several drops of Lavender oil with a nut or vegetable mixing oil (coconut, sesame, etc) and use topically on eczema and dermatitis. I have a dear friend who suffers from severe eczema and swears by this.
7. Nausea or motion sickness
To alleviate the symptoms of motion sickness, place a drop of Lavender oil on end of tongue, behind the ears or around the navel.
To stop a nosebleed, put a drop of lavender oil on a tissue and wrap it around a small chip of ice. Push the tissue covered ice chip up under the middle of the top lip to the base of the nose and hold as long as comfortable or until the bleeding stops (do not freeze the lip or gum).
Rub a drop of lavender oil on chapped or sunburned lips.
11. Hay fever.
Rub a drop of lavender oil between your palms and inhale deeply to help alleviate the symptoms of hay fever.
Rub several drops of lavender oil into the scalp to help eliminate dandruff.
13. Cold sores.
Put a drop of lavender oil on a cold sore.
***BONUS: Flavor booster!
Add a few drops of lavender to any recipe you want to enhance. Favorites: add to your water or tea (especially sparkling!), brownies, bars, cookies, dessert recipes, raw chocolate or salad dressings. Enjoy!
As you can see, Lavender is an essential oil (get organic lavender oil here if you don’t have it yet) that can uplift your life (and mood), heal and entice in a variety of ways. It’s a great secret weapon to have on hand at all times!
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…
You’ve seen Blue Planet, right? We all know that we shouldn’t be using plastic straws and disposable plastic cups. I’m sure we’re all trying to do a bit here and there to make a difference. Well here at cardsandgiftwrap.co.uk we’re going one step further and going naked!
Should you avert your eyes if I’m going naked?!
It’s ok, no censorship required. Here at Cards and Gift Wrap we have been trying to cut down on plastic for a few years now. It’s a long time since I sent out any greeting card orders in cellos. There is just no need. When you buy a box of cards I will wrap them in reused bubble wrap where they do need some protection. But the Naked Cards challenged has made me think bigger. Even now, I’m looking at how to send the cards in cardboard instead. Most of my orders now go out in a cardboard box. This protects the cards but sometimes there does need to be something wrapped round the cards to stop them being damaged in the post as they shoogle about in the box. (I do love the word ‘shoogle’, don’t you?!).
Packaging is something I’m still working on. I’ll continue to use bubble wrap as long as I receive it with deliveries. However, I will never buy bubble wrap for packaging.
What about cards in baskets and at events?
Another aspect of my selling is through baskets in workplaces. I would love to go cello free here too but I know from experience that baskets get dropped. There have been a few times I’ve collected baskets with the entire contents in disarray and upside down, clearly after someone dropped everything out of it. Accidents happen. That’s fine, I’m not complaining. But because accidents happen the cards need to be protected. However, I would be quite happy if people took cards out of the baskets and left the cellos for reuse. Where I use celloed cards to fulfil an order I remove them from the cellos and reuse the cellos where possible. If you’ve ever had one of my baskets in your work place you will probably have seen the odd dog eared cello on a card. It doesn’t always look good but know that it’s because I’m trying to do my bit for the environment; the turtles and the whales, and reduce my use of plastic.
We have just launched a new range of pocket notebooks. These will not go in cellos. If people buy packs of notebooks I’ll wrap them in a paper sleeve.
I would love to hear more suggestions of what I can do to save our beautiful blue planet. Comment below or contact me with your ideas.
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.
I am an Independent Executive Flamingo Partner. I sell the fabulous Flamingo range of cards, gift wrap and stationery and I also stock other non Flamingo items such as colour in tablecloths and other gift wrap on this website.
Become a Flamingo Paperie Partner today. Choose from three special start up packs, each containing everything you need to start your business at the level that’s right for you. Fill in your name and email and I’ll send you the information you need to start today. I would love to have you on my team.
You can still get hold of a few Phoenix Trading products. Just ask me if there is something from the old range you want to get hold of. I may well have it in stock and if not I’ll do my best to find it!
If you have questions about becoming a Flamingo Partner then perhaps my FAQs will help. Get in touch and we can work out what’s best for you.
Contact me today to be the first to get involved in this exciting venture. Join my fabulous Flamingo Paperie team either as a customer or a partner. Let’s work together to build something great.
Sign up now to my Customer Club if you would like me to send you special offers, sneak previews. You can also be involved in the design of new products and more.
If you’re looking for information on submitting artwork then take a look at Artists Wanted!
10th June marks the start of National Bike Week. Are you a cyclist or a biker? Then you’ll want to read on to find out about events and more.
What is National Bike Week?
Bike Week is an annual opportunity to promote cycling, and show how cycling can easily be part of everyday life by encouraging ‘everyday cycling for everyone’. Demonstrating the social, health and environmental benefits of cycling, the week aims to get people to give cycling a go all over the UK, whether this be for fun, as a means of getting around to work or school, the local shops or just to visit friends. The 2020 event will take place 6-14th June. (taken from cyclinguk.org)
National Bike Week Cards, Gift Wrap and Stationery
Whether you’re looking for a birthday card, wrapping paper or even just something with a bicycle on it, here are all the things we have to offer you with a bike on them! Our favourite has to be the wrapping paper.
National Bike Week Events
If you want to find out what’s happening near you then check out #BikeWeekUK on Social Media. Alternatively you can pop over to the bike week website.
Top ten tips for looking after your bike
Taking care of your bike is important, if it doesn’t work you won’t ride it. That is why this summer Cycling UK’s Big Bike Revival is encouraging people to take their bikes out of their sheds and get them back in action. Follow our tips to see how to keep your bike in good working order.
1. Little and often is good
Give your bike a little TLC. A regular check-over and a squirt of oil helps to keep problems at bay.
2. Just ride your bike
Riding your bike gets all the moving parts working and can delay and reduce problems.
3. Learn the simple check – it’s as simple as A B C
A is for air – keep the tyres pumped up and check the wheels go round unimpeded. If they don’t, look for brakes or mudguards rubbing or a possible sideways wobble of the wheel.
B is for brakes – the most important part of a bike. To check the front brake, push the bike forward and then apply the lever (usually the right hand one). The bike should stop. For the back brake, do the same but push the bike backwards. If in doubt, get it checked
C is for chains, cables and cogs. Look for frayed cables, oil the chain, and do check the handlebars and saddle don’t move. Look for anything unusual with the bike.
The main moving parts are the chain and cogs and they only need a light dab of oil (again little and often). There are many products on the market. Light lubricant sprays work in the summer and thicker oils deter the weather, especially in the winter. Just don’t use cooking or engine oil or WD40!
5. Keep it clean
It’s good to remove dirt and grit but you don’t necessarily need specialist products. But remember to always oil the bike chain after washing, allowing for it to dry first. A lovely, sparkly chain will soon creak otherwise.
6. Learn to fix a puncture
The dreaded puncture might be fiddly but you CAN do it, following some standard steps. Practise at home first, maybe with a friend. Take your time. There’s no rush and it’s better to get things in place first time, rather than having to do it twice. You’ll be amazed that after a few gos, you will be able to do it without too much bother. Our friends at BikeRadar have comprehensive step-by-step puncture repair videos for both road and mountain bike tyres.
7. The moving parts of a bike do eventually wear out
A bike has numerous moving parts and they are subject to quite significant forces. So, be prepared to replace parts. It’s a good investment for your beloved bike and will keep it in action for longer.
8. Go on a bike maintenance course
If you want to try and fix your bike yourself, but aren’t sure how to, look up your nearest bike maintenance course. Do ask them what they cover. You want friendly instructors who don’t blind you with science. If they do, they’re doing it wrong. Learning bike maintenance will save you lots of money in the future.
9. When to use a bike mechanic
You will be amazed that you can do more to your bike than you imagine. It can be fiddly but take your time and much of it is within your grasp.
A good bike maintenance book and lots of good advice from the Cycling UK Forum will help. If you are just using Google, compare a couple of sites to avoid poor advice. Just keep the hammer and Stanley knife away from the bike!
If you get stuck with something, it’s good to keep trying but don’t force it and don’t beat yourself up about it. There are good mechanics that can help and they’ve had training.
If you are in a hurry, or if the problem really stumps you, go to your nearest independent bike shop or call a mobile bike mechanic to come to you.
The most important thing is to get your bike back on the road and to enjoy cycling.
10. Revive your bike
If your bike has been gathering dust in your garage or shed, get it out this summer and take it to our Big Bike Revival, where there will be experts on hand to help you fix your bike and learn about looking after it.
Just enjoy exploring the world on a bike, even if it’s just your local neighbourhood. And, remember you don’t have to be able to fix everything on a bike before you’re allowed to ride it. As long as it is road worthy, just get out there and do it!
water, a sponge and an old toothbrush is all you need, though a proper degreaser will help break down the oil and grit in the chain and gear
Find the perfect card from our exclusive range of illustrated designs. With plenty of cards to choose from, including blank floral greeting cards and new designs added regularly. The card you need is right here, whatever the occasion.
If you like your sympathy cards to say something on the front then we have some great ones to choose from. If you think a floral illustration does the job just as well then take a look at the floral range.
If you think I’ve missed something in this selection please leave a comment so I can add it in, thank you. If you’d like a mixed pack of cards then you can get on in my shop. I’ll email you to ask what cards you’d like in your pack.
This year I am excited to announce that Phoenix are providing special packs of 7 cards for you to send during Thinking of You week (26th Sept to 2nd Oct).
Normally a pack of 7 cards would cost you £12.25 but these are being made available at a special price of £8.40.
Last year I made my own packs and donated £2 from each pack to my local charity Hebrides Alpha Project. It was obviously such a good idea that Phoenix have decided to roll this out nationally!
Thinking of You week is all about lifting people’s spirits, letting someone know you care. #sendingcards can have such a positive impact on mental health that these packs will support Mind and Hebrides Alpha supported housing project (1 and 2 pounds from each pack respectively)
Last year you helped me to raise £100, can we do it again?
If you can’t order online then you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a pack (£1.30 postage) thank you x