Tomorrow is Small Business Saturday, and whilst large companies go crazy over ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’, a campaign to support the small independent retailer or maker on your high street has been launched.
Just A Card is the brainchild of talented artist, designer and all-round lovely person, Sarah Hamilton, in collaboration with Mollie Makes and The Design Trust. The premise is that if everyone bought ‘just a card’ from their local independent retailer or maker it would boost a vital revenue stream that many indies depend upon for income.
Both myself and Mr K are in the habit of browsing through card racks wherever we go, and more often that not one of us will return home with at least a card or two to add to our emergency greetings card shoebox. I love sending cards as much as I love receiving them, and see greetings cards as an artistic object rather than just a throwaway piece of paper. The thought which goes into choosing a card to send to someone reflects your feelings for that person, it’s a token of your love and friendship – it’s often more than ‘just a card’.
I caught up with Sarah for a quick chat about the campaign…
RA. Can you tell us where the idea for Just a Card started?
SH. As an artist/designer I’ve taken part in numerous shows and supplied many independent shops and galleries. So many people work incredibly hard to make and sell beautiful things and it’s incredibly important to get the message across that sales, however small, really can make or break a small business. You see lots of campaigns encouraging people to buy from independents but I kept thinking how can we turn thought into action. Just a card is such a simple action but makes all the difference.
RA. What role do greetings cards play in the revenue stream for makers and retailers and what can we as consumers do to support the campaign?
SH. Many artists and makers make cards – buying them is such a simple way to show your support. They usually cost the same as mass produced ones from abroad sold through supermarkets and are a billion times nicer. Why not send the most beautiful card you can and also support talented artists, makers, shops and galleries at the same time? It’s win win! Whilst the campaign is called Just a Card it’s also about spreading the word that each and every purchase makes a difference.
RA. It’s brilliant to see you collaborating with Mollie Makes and The Design Trust on this project; Mollie Makes are well known for discovering and promoting small designers and independent makers, whilst The Design Trust offer incredible support and advice for new and established makers alike. How did you all come together on this project?
SH. Patricia at The Design Trust invited me to do a Webinar about running a creative business and when I mentioned the idea to her she was extremely enthusiastic and very kindly offered to support it. I then met Lara Watson, the editor of Mollie Makes and she too was most keen. Both are as passionate as I am about independent businesses thriving so I’m absolutely thrilled to have their amazing support.
RA. How can fellow artists, illustrators, photographers, designers, shops and galleries get involved?
SH. The response has been overwhelming. People can download our lovely poster from justacard.org and put it up at their shows and in the shops. Please follow me on Twitter @SarahHamiltonPS and retweet my tweets about it. Most importantly people can like and share my Facebook links to spread the word.
RA. And where would you like this campaign to be by Christmas 2015? Are there plans to roll it out at events throughout the year?
SH. Well the fabulous news is Mollie Makes are going to feature it for a year. They appreciate that it will take time to get the message across. I’d love the campaign to reach loads of people and our logo to be on blogs, websites and in shop windows so people will automatically think…. Ahhh Just a Card…. I’ll go in and do just that! Support and share so independent businesses THRIVE! It really can be that simple.
Thank you so much Sarah for taking time to have a chat in what I know has been a busy week for you and I wish you every success with the project.
For more information on the Just a Card campaign, visit the dedicated website where you can download a button for your blog and there are flyers and posters for retailers to promote the campaign. Please support your local independent retailers this Christmas or they may not be there when you want to go back next year.
All featured images © the artists and photographers as given in the caption to accompany their image and used here with permission.