A couple of weeks ago I launched my new Christmas cards! This time I have two sets of four different designs.
When I started thinking about my designs for this year, I wanted to pay homage to my first Christmas designs from 2014 and give them a similar feel – the pastel coloured background in particular, which was the most praised feature at that time. The actual illustration on each design is different from the old ones but the style is similar, and better after three years of practice! The most similar design is the robin one, which I repainted because I felt it needs to be updated.
I didn’t plan to do two sets of cards originally, but one day I spontaneously painted abstract trees, which became my Christmas Forest design. I was focusing on green and blue colours and realised it would actually work well as a Christmas card so I carried on painting with more colours and created another three designs with an abstract theme.
I think I ended up preferring this second set in the end but I do still love my first set with more realistic paintings – so I printed both of them!
I also ordered special luxurious gift tags using elements of my abstract Christmas card set, which are available to buy as a pack of four. What makes them special are that they are folded gift tags with rounded corners. I added beautiful different colours on the back to go with each design. I also tied them with pretty green/white and red/white baker’s twines. All the Christmassy feels!
Which design do you like the best? I am loving Christmas Forest, or maybe Mistletoe most of all so far.
P.S. all my cards are also available in packs of 4 and 12 cards! Why not have a look at my Christmas shop?
Christmas time is coming! Every year I try to shop with small businesses for presents for my family and friends. Christmas is always a critical time of year for small businesses, so here are my tips on how to support them over Christmas, and all year round, of course!
Buy from them
The simplest and most direct way to support small businesses is to buy from them rather than from big businesses that mass produce their goods. When you buy from a small business, an actual person does a little happy dance.
Store their business cards
When you get their business cards via an order or stalls, remember to keep their business cards safe so you can look them up whenever you need to buy gifts. I keep and organise all of the business cards I’ve picked up all these years and go through them every time I needed a gift. It certainly helps me to shop small rather than relying on the high street shops you see every day.
Retweet their tweets, share their Facebook page, regram their Instagram pictures and bring them up in your blog or better yet, when you see your friends. Keep them in the know that you are supporting them by tagging them and using their dedicated hashtag if there is any.
Share your purchases
Take pictures of your purchases from small businesses and share on them on social media. Word of mouth exposure on social media helps small businesses a lot, helping to build their brand and creating sales. Don’t forget to tag appropriately!
Let them know
A person (or a team) behind a small business sometimes needs encouragment and a boost of confidence, so show them that they are being acknowledged and loved. It doesn’t take long to pop them a short email expressing your love for their creations. You can even send them a quick tweet too! Don’t be shy – they will truly appreciate it.
Engage with them
Especially on Instagram, where engagement matters. If you can, comment and engage. Tag your friends you think will like the certain products. It is easy to forget that (I am guilty of this!) but try to quote retweet instead of just retweet, or do both! Facebook makes it difficult for small businesses to reach their audience so make efforts to visit their page and comment on their posts.
Do you have more tips? Share in the comments! I’d like to know your favourite small businesses too :)
I had a little collection of art cards and prints to put up on my studio wall front of my desk but there wasn’t enough to fill out the space, so I bought originals and prints from three of my favourite artists – Mirta from Modern Botanics, Cathryn Worrell, and Lily Anya (click links below images to visit their shops). This is what my wall look like so far, but I will be sharing better pictures when I blog about my studio soon. It is really nice to see those special pieces every day, knowing that they were made by genuinely lovely people I admire.
Leaves and Pods Lino Print
Set of Two Hand Printed Botanical Postcards (similar)
Marmite Art Print
Original Hand Printed Feather Lino Print
Mushroom Original Lino Print
Have you bought from small businesses recently?
Christmas is only a month away!
Obviously, I am a huge supporter of small businesses and I try to buy from them as much as I can for gifts or something for myself. Being a small business owner, I wholly understand how a purchase, even just a card, means so much to every single small business because basically, it helps us to live. But it is not all about small business owners. It is also the products you buy that are very special, one-of-a-kind and made with heaps of love. It is a win-win situation!
I have compiled a mini list of handy links on why you should buy from small businesses and how to support them:
It truly makes us happy when we receive a new order email – I’d spend a good amount of time carefully packing an order and make sure that it would make my customers smile. I bet you that I am not an only one that really enjoy packing orders, it is actually one of my best bits in running a business and I am eternally grateful for this, as well as the fact that your purchases, small or big, are helping my business to grow.
When I had my stall with The London Artisan, I made time to look around and discovered so many fantastic businesses! I bought gorgeous clay earrings by Grayjay, fun greeting cards and notebook (with screenprinted cover) by Anna Beam. I think I was particularly loving the salmon pink shade on that very day!
Please check out these amazing businesses too –
Storm In A Teacup
Kat B London
Rebecca Gladstone Jewellery
The Elephant’s Journey
Charles Of Lloyd