Last week I received a couple of wholesale greeting cards orders and decided to record some of the process to share with you here on my blog. I’ve also added a new Wholesale page on my website so it’s easier to get in touch if you’re looking to buy wholesale from me.
Processing Wholesale Orders
Printing the cards
When I get bulk orders I sometimes outsource the printing to a local printer, but also sometimes print them myself if I have enough time and the orders aren’t too big. The card stock quality is exactly the same either way – lovely thick 350 gsm card stock.
Here’s a clip of my printer working on a wholesale order. It’s speeded up so you don’t die of boredom watching it as it can take a while 😁
Folding greeting cards
Whether I print the cards myself or outsource the printing, every card is then hand folded by me using my bone folder tool. Here’s another speeded up clip to show you. If only I could really fold cards this quickly 🤣
By the way, if you like watching these types of process videos, come follow me on Instagram. I often post reels like these showing what goes on behind the scenes.
Packaging the cards
Once all the cards are folded each one needs to be paired with an envelope and put into a display bag.
I only use biodegradable/compostable display bags to keep my packaging as plastic free as possible. And for retailers who prefer not to have any bags at all I can package them in belly bands instead.
They’re then ready to be put into a box and shipped off to the retailer. I find it really exciting to think of my greeting cards finding their way into various shops and online stores that I might never even have seen before 😃
Interested in my wholesale greeting cards?
If you’re interested in stocking my greeting cards in your own shop, you can head to my Wholesale page to find out more or to get in touch.
I love running a greeting card business! There are so many different aspects to it, from drawing and creating the card designs to learning about SEO and marketing, and from managing a website and other selling platforms to getting the orders from each printed, packed and posted off as quickly as possible.
It’s not all fun and games though, so I thought I’d share a bit about the highs and lows of running a greeting card business, particularly a one man band business like mine.
The good, the bad and the ugly of running a greeting card business
It’s terrific to be able to do something creative and have other people like my creations enough to buy them. Coming up with new ideas, drawing the illustrations and then making them into card designs really is fun. I get to draw whatever I like, come up with silly puns to match and then see my cards in physical form when they’re printed.
And every single time I get an order I still feel that little buzz of excitement. Also, (insider info alert) both the WooCommerce and Etsy apps make a little cha-ching sound every time an order comes in – how fun is that?! It’s great when I’m sitting at the pub, out for a run or watching telly (not even working) and I hear that sound 😁
Another good thing is all the stationery, gadgets and tools I can justify buying for my business 🤣. Lovely card stock and sticker paper to drool over, my iPad and Apple pencil and my shipping label printer are just a few of the things I’ve been able to buy. They all make my business better and/or more efficient so I don’t have to feel guilty for splurging on them!
I also love it when I get great feedback from customers, whether it’s for existing cards or for custom cartoon designs. I often get to hear the back story when I’m creating cartoon portraits – who the card is for and why. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to know that that so many people out there love each other enough to go to the trouble of ordering such a personal card or gift 🥰
And one of the best things about my greeting card business is the lovely people I’ve met through it. I have some very lovely loyal customers who come back again and again (you guys are the best!) And I’m also part of a group of greeting card businesses owners. We cheer each other on, celebrate each other’s successes and help each other through the tougher times. I’ve never met any of them face to face but now think of some of them as very real friends. After all, friendship is knowing that you’ll be there for each other through both good times and bad…
Although most of it is fun, there are still some aspects to running my greeting card business that aren’t. There are some very monotonous tasks involved in getting my products listed on my website, Etsy or wholesale platforms.
Trying to come up with an original description for each product (which has to be different on different platforms too), creating mockups of the card designs and uploading those, and filling in all the info for each card – ugh! These would be the first tasks I’d outsource if my business grew too big for me to manage on my own. But though these aren’t my favourite tasks, they’re a small price to pay for loving what I do overall!
It’s also hard not to take it personally when I go through a quiet patch. Greeting card sales can be quite seasonal and it’s easy to get paranoid when sales slow down during the summer. I sometimes think that it’s all falling apart 😆. But then Christmas comes along. And then Valentine’s Day. And I remember that as the business is growing overall there’s no point agonising over individual months being quieter. So I try to use these times to get ahead on stuff I won’t have time for when it gets busy.
And the Ugly…
There’s only one truly awful part of running a small business. It’s when you do everything you can to make a customer happy and they still assume you’re out to scam them… This week I had a bad review from someone in the US. They didn’t realise I was shipping from the UK and thought I was a scammer when the card didn’t arrive within a few days. And I’ve had a bad review from someone who was disappointed in the size of the card. This was despite the dimensions being listed in the item description and in the photos. There was also being a video of me holding the card (though perhaps they thought I had enormous hands 🤣).
I do sometimes make mistakes. But whether it’s my fault or not I’ll always do everything I can to sort things out and make my customer happy. So it is hard when people leave a bad review without getting in touch first to see if I’ll make things right. Especially when it was something out of my control or a mistake on their part! But I’m learning to just have a good cry and move on…
Luckily these customers are very few and far between. The overwhelming majority of my customers are really wonderful and their lovely feedback makes everything worthwhile 😇.
Running a greeting card business is 99.99% wonderful
So although there are a few lows to what I do, the highs are very much in the majority. I love running a greeting card business and feel very lucky to be able to do it. I’m so grateful to both my terrific customers and my ‘Cardies’ group for helping me get to where I am. I can’t wait to see where we’re headed in the future. Love you all!!!
These dog themed cards, a Shih Tzu card and a Labrador card are two brand new birthday designs just added to my shop. I’m going to be working on a range of pet themed cards and these are the first . What do you think?
As with most of my designs, I drew them using Procreate on my iPad. Here’s a little replay video of each one to show you the process. I use layers a lot so when things disappear and reappear that’s me hiding and showing different layers 🙂
This is the Shih Tzu drawing…
And here’s the Lab illustration.
You can see that it often takes me several attempts to get something right 😆. For example I kept adjusted the Labrador’s head as it just didn’t quite look right. I feel like it’s important to show the real process though, rather than an edited one that looks perfect but isn’t real! It’s a good job I’m an illustrator and not a sculptor using marble or some expensive medium as there would be a lot of waste 🤣
‘Just because’ cards have always been around but they’ve become even more popular over the last year or so. I think that the Coronavirus and lockdowns have made us realise that it’s important to tell people how much they mean to us regularly, not only on special occasions. And because we couldn’t always do it in person, ‘just because’ cards have become a terrific way to do just that.
I know I love to get an unexpected card or letter in the post. I’m sure everyone else feels the same. It’s always nice to know that someone has been thinking about you. Knowing that they made the effort to pick a card, write in it and post it off to you can really make you feel warm and fuzzy inside!
Lots of people are struggling at the moment. Whether that’s because of losing or worrying about loved ones, feeling isolated or just general anxiety about everything that’s happening. Sending a card can help them feel less alone and remind them that we’re all in this together… Even if we can’t actually BE together.
Some Just Because cards you can send to your favourite people
I’ve picked out a few cards from my collections that are great to send to someone just because. Most of us have several people we’d like to cheer up, encourage or just say hi to. So I’m offering bundle deals to make it more affordable to buy multiple cards at once.
Take advantage of my bundle deals by choosing to buy 3 or 5 cards at once. Just add the cards you’d like to the ‘Choose cards’ box. Just use the titles of the cards in my shop so I know which ones you’re after.
You can mix and match from any ready to ship cards and delivery in the UK is free too.
My latest greeting card collection is now live on my website! It’s called Thirsty Business and as you can probably figure out it’s a beverage themed collection. I’ve included hot, cold and alcoholic drinks, so there should be something for everyone 😃
Drinks seem to get us through so many different situations in life. I always have a cup of coffee to kickstart me at the beginning of the day (or to revive me mid-morning). If I want a bit of liquid comfort then a cup of tea or hot chocolate does the trick. A glass of wine unwinds us after a stressful day. We celebrate with a bottle of fizz. We enjoy cocktails, wine or beer on a night out with our friends. And we refresh ourselves with a cold drink on hot days. Pretty much everything we do is accompanied by a nice drink! So this card collection is a celebration of all of that.
All sorts of occasions
A wide range of occasions is covered too – birthdays, anniversaries, friendship, missing you and of course Father’s Day. I offer bundle deals where you can save if you buy 3 or 5 cards at a time, so go ahead and stock up.
Here’s a selection from the range but you can view the full Thirsty Business collection here. Why not sign up for my newsletter while you’re there? My VIP subscribers are the first to hear about a new collection and they also get a special offer each time. Plus you’ll get a discount code for 15% off your first order from my greeting card shop when you subscribe.
What do you think? Have I missed out your favourite drink? If so, let me know and you might soon see it added to the range. You can either use my contact form or send me a message on Instagram or Facebook. I’d really love to hear from you!