Monday, 25 November 2013

Rosie and Radish's First Outing!

Yesterday morning my alarm went off at 5.45am. It was Sunday. It was illegally early. It was pitch black. And it was sub zero temperatures outside my duvet. BUT, it was the day of Rosie and Radish's first ever Christmas Fair! So I eagerly jumped out of bed, skipped in the shower and dashed out the house without even a hint of the early morning blues - for I had Rosie and Radish goodies to sell!!!

OK, so I may have have told a little white lie. I was very tired. And when I met Helen at Beamish Hall she looked equally as bleary eyed. Team Rosie and Radish were in desperate need of a caffeine and croissant fix. But we were soon pumped up and ready to get the show on the road. We had 2 hours to turn our 12ft stall into Rosie and Radish Winter Wonderland!

We had spent weeks illustrating, designing, cutting things out, gluing things together, packing up cards, mounting up prints and deciding what to put on our Rosie and Radish stall. Thankfully it all came together nicely and we managed to turn this ...

Into this ...

We were super proud of ourselves. We were just putting the final touches to our stall when the doors opened and the Christmas shoppers came flooding in.

Our pack of 4 Christmas Cards proved to be the biggest hit of the day. It seems the lovely folk that came to our stall couldn't resist our Christmas Angels!

We also had lots of interest in our personalised prints, with lots of customers wanting to buy them for Christmas, New baby and Christening gifts. Who could blame them? They obviously have very good taste!

Our lovely little stocking fillers also went down a treat. Our Paper Dolls stole the show centre stage in their cute little outfits!

As did Helen's genius inventions ... her fab 'Pretty up your Present' packs, which contain ribbons, paper flowers, stickers and a gorgeous Rosie and Radish gift tag. Fun, quirky, Christmas wrapping at its finest!

It was a wonderful day all round and it certainly got us into the Christmas spirit! It was lovely to introduce Rosie and Radish to the public and to see them smile and engage with our products. We got so many lovely comments and loads of positive feedback ... we hope it was a taste of good things to come in Rosie and Radish Land in 2014!

By 5pm we were all packed up and ready to go home for a well deserved rest. Needless to say my alarm will not be going off at 5.45am again in a hurry. This lack of sleep is making us a bit delirious! 

Amy Xx

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Well hello Dolly!

Amy has been very busy keeping this blog up to date whilst I have been a teeny bit busy with other matters - mainly getting married and drawing up lots of Rosie and Radish illustrations.

I thought it was time I brushed off my keyboard and gave Amy a break so that I can introduce two very special little characters and a brand new product that is perfect for Christmas (just over 6 weeks to go...eek!)

Firstly, let me introduce you to a rather dapper young chap. Sam is a mischievous little boy who has a big heart and a cheeky grin. Like Rosie, he has a special little partner in crime - Spud the Hedgehog. Spud can be a bit shy, often curling up into the potato-shaped ball which inspired his name. Look out Batman and Robin, there is a new dynamic duo in town...

And the other news I am very happy to share with you is that Amy and I have developed a wonderfully retro pair of Rosie and Sam paperdolls with a special festive twist.

There was much fun involved in coming up with the prototypes - I never thought I would devote such a large amount of time dwelling on such ponderings as the size of Rosie's neck or whether Sam's hair was just too curly to cut out!

They are perfect as stocking fillers for the little people in your life and trust me, they will definitely keep them occupied for a while. Amy was very quiet and well-behaved as she trial ran the first one. Of course every doll passes through the Ralph the Studio Dog inspection to check that it arrives to you in tip top condition too!

You can purchase them on our website here. Please note that Ralph the Dog is not included (although this is negotiable on how naughty he has been).


Thursday, 7 November 2013

The Ladder Club

So the wedding went off with a bang. Helen looked beautiful, and myself and the Graphics Girls helped the happy couple celebrate with a drunken knees up to remember. I think I've just about recovered!

Anyway, I'll let Helen fill you in about her big day. For whilst she was busy sunning herself on honeymoon in the sun drenched, picturesque hills of Sicily, I had important Rosie and Radish business to attend to … in Southend.

Yes, I know what you're thinking. To some that may seem like I got the bum deal. But what do you know? I bet you couldn't find 65 greeting card enthusiasts and industry experts with a burning passion for pretty bits of folded paper in Sicily. Nope. I knew where it was at. The Ladder Club Seminar! I was even greeted with some lovely Southend sun on my arrival :-)

The Ladder Club was held at The Cliffs Pavilion in Southend

The Ladder Club is an annual two day event held in Southend, designed to help designers and illustrators (like ourselves) learn everything they need to know about entering the world of greeting card publishing. The first day is dedicated to us newbies, and the second day is for those with a bit more industry experience. Set up by Lynn Tait of the Lynn Tait Gallery 14 years ago, The Ladder Club has grown from strength to strength and has helped many greeting card publishers on their road to success.

The day was jam packed with speakers and suppliers offering advice on all aspects of the industry. After a brief introduction from Sharon from the Greeting Card Association and Warren and Jakki from Progressive Greetings Magazine the fun and games began.

First up were Claire and Karen from Papersalad. They graduated from The Ladder Club nine years ago and have never looked back. As two friends who met at art college, and have now set up a successful business together their story really resonates with ours - They were truly inspirational. They told us of the highs and lows of running your own greeting card business and showed us how determination and hard work really can pay off.

Jeremy From Blue Eyed Sun was next. Jeremy was a great speaker and spent a lot of time talking about marketing, production and financial planning, before scaring the living daylights out of us all and warning us of 'The Valley of Death'. Yeah, thanks Jeremy! Joking aside, Jeremy gave a very honest insight into the world of publishing and provided us with some invaluable financial projections and models that we can use.

The Valley of Death

We heard about Litho (Simon and Nicky from Sherwood Press) and digital printing (Bob from The Imaging Centre) and we were also told how envelopes were made by the lovely Julie from Enveco.

Now I thought I was passionate about all things paper related. That was until Mark from GF Smith took to the stage and showed us what it was really like to have an obsession with the white stuff. This is a man who knows his Callisto Soft White from his Callisto Pearl. The world of paper really is our oyster with this guy as a contact.

Next up Simon, Operations Director from PG Live (a greeting card trade show) made us realise that taking our cards to a trade show is definitely the way the forward. It really is the best way to get our work out there and attract buyers and agents. Which brings me nicely onto our last speaker of the day, a sales agent Ian. Ian told us what to look out for when finding agents to sell our cards, and how getting the right agents can make or break your card sales.

My head was well and truly spinning by the time I boarded the train back up to Newcastle. Armed with my Ladder Club goodie bag (which can only be described as a bag of paper porn) my business partner in crime, fresh from her honeymoon, met me off the train and we retired to the pub. We spent the next few hours eating fish finger sandwiches and going through my pages and pages and pages of Ladder Club notes. With so much information to take in and digest I think I can safely say we both left the pub a bit shell shocked.


A few weeks on we have finally managed to get our head around it all. We are back on track, and more determined than ever to get our Rosie and Radish greeting cards into shops nationwide. The Ladder Club really has given us the push we needed. With lots of hard work ahead, we are aiming to exhibit at our first trade show next year so we had better get cracking. Not only did I thoroughly enjoy the seminar, but I made some lovely new friends and it clarified that greeting card publishing is definitely the friendly, creative industry that Rosie and Radish want to be part of. We love it!

Amy Xx