FREE UK POSTAGE FOR ORDERS OVER £25.00

I need to talk to you about a bit of an elephant in the room - our range of glitter cards. The idea for the cards came from a very positive reaction to the glitter art prints, so after lots of customer demand, the card range launched. It has become one of Oh Squirrel’s most popular ranges, with them being shortlisted as a finalist by industry experts at the Henries (Greetings Card awards) in 2018.


I have always designed the glitter cards with the intention that like the prints, the cards were made to be kept and displayed in pride of place. Most have a positive or motivational message on them, rather than a simple ‘happy birthday’, so that they’re perfect for framing or popping up on a noticeboard to bring delight for years to come - more of a mini print than a disposable greetings card.

Now let’s not beat around the bush - glitter has been in the news recently due to environmental issues, which is why I want to talk to you about the cards, how they’re manufactured and the future of them within our range.



Making the cards
All the glitter cards are made to order in the studio, by my own hands. With the very occasional exception of having a bit of stock left over from events, even an order for a single card will be made to order. It does make production days at the studio quite hectic, but I’ve made this work! Managing waste reduction is really important, so I've chosen to grow the business in this way rather than ordering and sitting on boxes of stock.

All waste is managed with zero to landfill, and materials are recycled where possible. As these cards are handmade, there is the occasional wonky one, but these are kept and sold in sample sales. The card and envelopes are bought from British paper mills, and I am in the process of switching over to biodegradable cellophane bags for all card packaging, and will be offering a choice at the checkout of having cards shipped ‘naked’ to be introduced this Autumn.

It also means that within our range, there are options to personalise. We let stockists change colour combinations or order special messages of their choosing too, with very low minimums. Additionally, one of most popular ranges of cards we have is the age range, where you can choose any age at all, on a choice of 13 different backgrounds. Neither of these would be possible if we didn’t make the cards in house. 

The future of the glitter card range
At the moment, there isn’t a biodegradable glitter option for the process used in the studio, so the options are to pull them out with immediate effect, or manage moving over to a different way of production. A lot of thought and research has been going into this, and the aim is that by the end of 2020, we won’t be producing any greetings cards made from non-biodegradable glitter.

Unfortunately, at the moment the only way of making the cards with biodegradable glitter is to outsource production entirely - which does mean committing to buy very large quantities of stock. I am in the process of speaking with different manufacturers to find the best way of doing this - it’s not a quick solution and will involve a lot of investment for a micro business like Oh Squirrel.



The rest of the card range
From thinking about this in great depth, it’s helped me to remember why I started the business in the first place. Oh Squirrel was originally about using ‘squirrel-ed away’ finds and a love of vintage - when the business grew, I had to let go of a lot of this in order to scale, but it’s always been at the heart of what I do, so I’m really excited to revisit this for new work going forwards.

Remaining handmade and mostly 'made to order' is something I've always been passionate about. I know that one of the main reasons this range is so loved is that the messages on the cards really resonate, so this will be channelled into different designs too.

I realise that the quantities of cards I'm talking about here are small, but it's an important topic, and sustainability is something I've been addressing in all parts of the business.


Comments

Caroline Fletcher:

Great post. Very interesting.

I’ve wondered where the name “Oh Squirrel” came from and am fascinated by your explanation. Brilliant.

Sep 01, 2019

Leave a comment