It’s nothing new really. During WW1 and WW2 sending cards and letters increased from the weekly norm as people tried to keep in touch and boost morale. It’s happening again. Not a world war as such but during this pandemic the British people are turning to post to help lift spirits. Find out how people are connecting with cards during lockdown.
Sending greeting cards – the British way
Recently the ITV reported on the surge in mail that postal workers are experiencing. From 100th birthday cards, correspondence with loved ones and mail sent to those in care homes, the great UK greeting card is out to boost morale again. In ‘normal’ times the UK people send more greeting cards on average than anyone else in the world. With the average person in the UK sending 33 cards a year I think the figures for 2020 will be much, much higher. But we’ll have to wait for the Greeting Card Association annual report in a year or so before we find out exactly how many.
What does Connecting with Cards mean?
This week is UK Mental Health Awareness Week. Sending and receiving cards has been scientifically proven to help with mental health. I’m not sure we need science to tell us that. We all know the joy of a handwritten letter or card arriving on the doormat. Sending a card is an act of kindness. ‘Kindness’ is the theme for Mental Health Awareness Week 2020. But a handwritten card isn’t just an act of kindness it’s more than that too. It means taking a little time to think about someone else. Writing a card means you’ve thought about someone who quite possible feels very alone. And a beautiful greeting card isn’t easily forgotten. Instead it’s given pride of place to be seen and smiled at again and again and again.
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…
Well what a week that was, feel like nothing will surprise me anymore! Wonder what this week will hold for us all?
Whatever your dreams are; dancing, presidency, and shortly before all that Ireland beat New Zealand at rugby for the first time in 111 years (OK – that might not interest you but being married to an Irishman, it was big news in our house!)….anyway with a big Supermoon in the sky tonight I think it might be time to dream big and reach for the stars.
I’ve just had a fabulous 2 days at one of the best agricultural shows in the UK, the Black Isle Show. While I do some of my business online, I think it’s really important to get these fabulous Flamingo cards and gift wrap in the Highlands and Islands.
Despite the rain, the footfall was good, people’s spirits weren’t dampened and everyone seemed impressed with my fireplace (held in place by some paper chains – just shows how sturdy they are!)
As they oohed and aahed over the cards, I asked quite a few customers, ‘Have you heard of Flamingo Paperie?’ and to my surprise many of them said, ‘No.’
Who is Flamingo Paperie?
Flamingo Paperie (formerly Phoenix Trading) have been going for 22 years. You can’t buy Flamingo cards in the shops. However there are 1000s of Partners across the country selling cards in workplace baskets, holding coffee, cake and cards in people’s homes, setting up stalls like mine. Ultimately these people become ‘The Card Lady’ (or man) to their friends and relatives.
Yet many have still not heard of Flamingo Paperie and don’t know a Flamingo Partner.
People want to buy these cards and gift wrap in the Highlands and Islands so we need more Flamingo Partners.
Do you love cards? Are you a stationery addict? Do you know even a small handful of people who would love to have access to good quality, reasonably priced, ethical, and charitable greeting cards? Would you like to make a little money selling these fabulous products? Would you like to be able to buy these cards and gift wrap in the Highlands and Islands?
If so, then you could be the next card lady (or man).
You can become a Partner from as little as £45 starting you off with cards, a
few brochures and some business stationery. These are at a high discount to get you started so if you’re a card lover you will save money whatever happens.
Perhaps you want something bigger than that?
Then start with the £200 business pack. This contains over £500 of cards and stationery, more brochures and plenty of business material to get you going.
Or if you’re somewhere in the middle then there’s a £95 pack too. Which ever pack you choose the start up covers stock, business materials and your first year registration fee. It also covers your public liability insurance (usually about £50 a year) and a free personalised ecommerce website.
Statutory Notice – It is illegal for a promoter or participant in a trading scheme to persuade anyone to make a payment by promising benefits for getting others to join a scheme. Do not be misled by claims that high earnings are easily achieved. The promoter of the Flamingo Partner scheme is Flamingo Paperie 60 High Street, Wimbledon Village, London, SW19 5EE
If you’re attending the Black Isle show this year I’ll be there in the craft tent. The Black Isle Show is always the 1st Thursday in August. So it’s 2nd August 2018. Pop by and say hello! Even if you need just a card (it’s never just a card!)
Found this great article about why sending ‘holiday’ cards is great for business but I think there is far more potential than just Christmas cards. So I’ve added in my own suggestions of what cards businesses could send. Do you have any other ideas – I’d love to hear them. Business thank you cards are the obvious ones but what others could you use?
Business thank you cards
Inspire your employees
Let them know you’re thinking about them
Business specific cards
There are many different kinds of businesses available to the consumer today. Customers can choose who they want to do business with and with more businesses opening daily, and the explosion of internet businesses, customers are looking for the best places to do business with. Never before has it been more important to try and keep the clients your business currently has.
The number one reason customers will tell you that they want is good service. They want to feel as though the business cares whether or not they choose their service. In order to keep the clients you have and build new clients you need to keep the customers feeling important.
Business greeting cards are an excellent way to let your clients know that you appreciate their business and welcome their return. During the holidays more and more businesses are sending greeting cards. Most customers will welcome the little surprise as long as some general rules are followed.
First of all it is very important to have current information on the customer such as address and name. A business that sends a greeting card with good intentions to the wrong address or with a misspelled name will come off as impersonal and pushy.
Secondly it is imperative that the greeting cards are kept with a neutral tone, so as not to offend. However there are exceptions to the rule, if a business chooses to stand by their religion choice and is willing to risk losing a customer, then a religious card is acceptable.
Finally the most important part of sending a holiday greeting card to a customer is to have the head of the company sign the cards personally. This is the only way to ensure the client feels touched by the company’s awareness and compassion. An unsigned card will be the same as a flyer in the mail.
Holiday greeting cards sent out by businesses are an excellent way to remind the client that you are it for them, even if they don’t require your services at present time, the card will ensure they will return when they need your services next time.
The personal greeting cards are just that, personal. Customers want to feel as though you need and want their business. The customer also wants to feel as though they are important to your business.
Another benefit to holiday greeting cards are they serve as a type of reminder notice, reminding clients of the need to make a return appointment or a servicing due on a vehicle. The client will be more likely to pick up the phone and request your business after they receive a personal greeting. Keeping the camaraderie going between client and business will pay back when they return and have told others that you remembered them during the holidays.
If you love Phoenix cards, then this really is a no-brainer for you!
If you send more than 25 cards a year then this will save you money. You can decide to share it amongst friends and it may even make you money!
It is illegal for a promoter or participant in a trading scheme to persuade anyone to make a payment by promising benefits for getting others to join a scheme. Do not be misled by claims that high earnings are easily achieved. The promoter of the Phoenix Trading scheme is Phoenix Trading Unit 6 307-309 Merton Road London SW18 5JS
Phoenix Trading were always looking for new artists to add to the fabulous range of Phoenix cards that they produce. I’m sure Flamingo Paperie will be too. I thought it might be helpful to share some information about some of the artists. Julia Rigby produced illustrations for Phoenix since 2002, with her very colourful artwork featuring designs with people, vehicles, beach huts, farmyard scenes and even a tower of shoes!
Julia Rigby about herself when illustrating for Phoenix Trading
‘“I can’t seem to stop!” she admits. “Working for Phoenix is a total delight – I can work around my children’s needs, in my own home, doing something I love. It is so exciting to see my work printed and the Phoenix team are so friendly and supportive. Whenever I meet Traders they always come up with lots of new suggestions for cards so I am never short of inspiration.’
She works mostly in watercolour, ink and gouache resulting in very bright, colourful designs.
You might not know that everyone who was an Independent Phoenix Trader could vote on which designs got through to each new product launch. The same will happen with Flamingo Paperie. What’s more, even being a member of my new customer club will mean you have access to these surveys too. Becoming a Flamingo Paperie artist is not necessarily as subjective as you might expect as 1000’s of people could vote on your design.
Alongside her cards her designs often become cross-stitch kits, most notably by Bothy Threads, and she also has a range of designs licensed to Wentworth Puzzles (whose jigsaws I adore!) including some of the Phoenix card designs like ‘Le Grand Depart’ and ‘Harbour Town’
If you’d like to know more about becoming a Flamingo Paperie artist please ask me. Go on – give it a try – and I look forward to seeing your work in the next survey!
Just as Phoenix Trading were always looking for new artists to add to the fabulous range of Phoenix cards that they produced, so too are Flamingo Paperie. I thought it might be helpful to share some information about Amanda Loverseed. Amanda is one of the artists that design Flamingo Paperie cards, stationery and gifts.
Amanda Loverseed is probably one of our most well-known and perhaps most recognisable artists. That is to say her artwork is easily recognisable as it is very distinctive!
She works mostly in pen and ink and watercolour, making her work very detailed and very bright. She likes working in a variety of styles and on different subjects, one day drawing black Skull and Crossbones and the next Blue Butterflies. And yet her work always has that distinctive ‘Amanda’ look and most of her work has a signature snail too!
What Amanda said about herself:
‘I have always worked as an illustrator. I studied illustration at Cambridge College of Arts and Technology and immediately, after leaving college, had my first two children’s books accepted. It is particularly interesting to work on designs that require research such as the ‘Kings and Queens’ poster.
I live up a track in the middle of a field with my husband and two cats, Millie and Spinach. I have a wonderful view of the South Downs from my studio window and, whenever I get tired with drawing, I walk along the track and the two cats come with me. If I am out and about I am always looking for inspiration, such as a quirky building or car that will make its way into a ‘Cut Thru’ design or an idea for Christmas cards seen in the spring.
I love illustrating for Phoenix and the creative freedom it allows me and enjoy working with people who care passionately about the quality and integrity of their products. I am delighted that a chance meeting with a Phoenix Trader at a Christmas fair in 1999 should have led me to work with such a friendly and dedicated company.’
I’m glad that meeting happened in 1999 as it’s a privilege and joy selling her designs!
Choosing our artists
Everyone who is a Flamingo Paperie Partner gets to vote on which designs get through to each new product launch. This means that 1000’s of people could be voting on your design. Not as subjective as you think is it?
Alongside her cards her designs are often made in to cross-stitch kits, most notably by Bothy Threads. In particular her cut-thru designs that have also often appeared as Phoenix cards too. Some of these have been made in to giant posters and jigsaws. One of my favourites was her cut-thru spaceship!