Climate Change

Hopefully we all do as much as we can at home to preserve the environment – multiple kinds of recycling, donating things we’ve outgrown to the charity shop and repairing things instead of just binning them. This year I’ve started to think more about these issues and how they relate to my responsibility as a seller. Before I ramped up my Etsy this time last year, I always reused branded boxes for my orders as I didn’t need too many, but as demand became higher and I felt like I needed to up my game I bought some nice plain white ones for my shop, and as has as always been my business philosophy (until now) the cheaper the better – maximum profit is my goal otherwise what’s the point of having a business.

I closed my Illustration shop straight after EML for a wee while to rethink my overall strategy. Improving my shops environmental footprint and ethics is one of the key elements I want to address. My greetings cards have always been printed on white inkjet card bought in bulk cheaply, with non sustainable inks because vegetable ones are expensive, envelopes are not made of recycled paper and then they are put in non-biodegradable cellos and a board back envelope. That’s a huge amount of non-ethical things all going into the production of one tiny card. I have been toying about how to make my products more responsible and my timing couldn’t be better.

My studio buddy Lynne has started a Social Enterprise called Re:Craft. Re:Craft is an arts and crafts materials reuse and recycling shop based in our studio. Lynne accepts donations of second hand, part used arts and crafts materials. Re:Craft also takes dry recycling items such as wine corks, cardboard tubes, tin cans etc. they are then resold at reasonable prices. It’s a brilliant iniative that’s going so well and guess what Re:Craft also stocks? – used packaging materials. Re:Craft has made me think about my business, not only products which I’m working on but also how I wrap and present my orders.

It’s important that things from my vintage shop arrive unscathed but why can’t the packaging be reused. Can my customers begin to understand why things may not look so pretty, it’s not because I don’t care, it’s because I REALLY CARE. Surely I just have to let people know why I’m doing it and then they’ll understand. With that in mind I’ve designed some simple stickers to pop on my boxes letting people know why they are receiving an order in a reused box. Hopefully there will not be any reduction of satisfaction in the experience of buying from my shop and customers still feel their order is special and considered.

I’m not going to be able to totally ditch the packaging yet, we have a physical shop and things need some protection when displayed on the shelves but this year I’m going to work on not only order packing but also my actual products. I guess that’s happens when you grow up in business, money is not the sole thing that matters, being true to yourself is much more important. The caring aspect is a key thing that makes you different from all the big boys. Do things have to be more expensive, well yes unfortunately that is probably going to be true, but hopefully my customers will understand why and will support me in this transition.

Reusing old box rules

Find all old address labels, bar Codes etc on the box and use a permanent dark coloured marker to completely black out all bar codes and labels.

Check that the box is still solid and not torn or crumpled, check the packing tape is strong enough to hold.

Pack your items well and secure the box properly. Place your new shipping label over the old, blacked-out address.

Download the printable sticker sheet here to use on your own reused packages to let people know you are saving the earth by reusing a box.

Download to print sticker sheet here

And follow Re:Craft here to keep up to date 

Viva La Vida

It’s been pretty busy so far this year and although I started with good intentions to update my blog regularly, unfortunately due to me SEO’ing my Etsy shop into an uncontrollable monster, alongside mass redundancies and the General Election at my Real Work, 2017 has kind of run away with me once again. Blogging regularily, can be very difficult for me, I have no real control over my workload and to be honest there is no guaranteed routine in my life. I’ve decided to try not to beat myself up about it and in the future post whenever I can. Sometimes it will a brief review and other times a longer news catch up. I’m sure this irregularity goes against the golden rules of successful blogging, but it’s just the way my life is, and therefore the way it’s gotta be.

and now after that… THE WEEKS REAL NEWS

Last week I was a very lucky girl, as my best friend J took me to TRNSMT festival in Glasgow. I got to experience something truly worthy of being on anyone’s bucket list – being backstage and looking out on the crowd (whilst hiding behind a speaker so no-one could see me),

It must be truly humbling (and maybe a bit terrifying) to see such a huge sea of people gathered together to enjoy music that you are responsible for creating, and I was very proud of my friend R as he played the drums to thousands of fans, It was a great night and a well needed reminder to myself of how fun and exciting life can be, (if you let it).

We’re all so caught up in running around, being stressed up to the eyeballs, and making things as impossibly difficult for ourselves as we can. To add to this, I also like to regularly beat myself up about the fate of the environment, politics, the actions of others, the size of my washing mountain and the state of the hall carpet (but strangely, very rarely the state of my hair).

I need to fill my life with experiences, something i quite often forget when caught up in the general melee for existence. Life is worth so much more than worrying constantly about work, chores and inanimate objects and I really hope I can try and remember this in the future. This was a truly remarkable once in a lifetime experience, and something I will never forget. It’s inspired me to start making sure I create more memorable moments, (inbetween all the washing loads and the neverending cleaning of the bathroom).

Being at the festival and feeling so excited and moved by some outstanding band performances has been the kick up the butt I needed to remember myself and to try and reclaim some of the old me. I used to live for the record shop Monday treasure hunt, going to gigs and discovering the newest (or rather the obscurest ) bands I could . Thank goodness last Friday reminded me of who I was, and who I still am (somewhere in there).

Lets hope something in me has changed for the good and I start living my life with some real (or at least half) purpose.

Big thanks to J&R for having me in your entourage.