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Amanda Davey writes books and produces greeting cards that celebrate the beauties and quirkiness of the world around us in all its richness. The underpinning idea is to help people to learn more about what they can see around them, without them fully realising they are learning! There is unpredictability in non-fiction and that’s where Amanda’s heart lies. 

EPISODE NOTES

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Today on the podcast I’m talking to Amanda Davey from Tilia Publishing. Amanda writes books and produces greeting cards that celebrate the beauties and quirkiness of the world around us in all its richness. The underpinning idea is to help people learn more about what they can see around them without fully realising they’re learning. There’s unpredictability and non-fiction, and that’s definitely where Amanda’s heart lies. 

Amanda and I discuss how her business has evolved from starting to sell greetings cards via local shops and retailers, to moving online and building a website. We discussed the challenges of getting stocked in shops, fast changing fashions and how the business has changed since the pandemic.

Listen in to hear Amanda share:

  • An introduction to herself and her business (01:20)
  • How she got started selling cards (02:00)
  • What she did before she started the business (03:56)
  • Identifying a gap in the market for local cards (06:09)
  • Where she initially sold her products (08:55)
  • Setting up a website (11:49)
  • Approaching and getting stocked in shops (19:09)
  • Developing and expanding her range, and exploring new markets (25:41)
  • Why she uses a local printers rather than somewhere abroad (30:29)
  • Changing fashions in the Greeting Card industry (35:40)
  • Her number one piece of advice for other product creators (38:08)

USEFUL RESOURCES:

Tilia Publishing Website

Tilia Publishing on Facebook

Tilia Publishing on Twitter

Amanda Davey LinkedIn

The Ladder Club

Podcast Episode 94: How to make your customer experience more inclusive (and make more sales) with Jodie Greer of Be People Smart

Just A Card Campaign

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Transcript
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Welcome to the, Bring Your Product Ideas To Life podcast, practical advice,

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and inspiration to help you create and sell your own physical products.

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Here's your host Vicki Weinberg.

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Hello so today, I'm talking to Amanda Davey from Tilia Publishing.

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So Amanda writes books and produces greeting cards, celebrates the

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beauties and quirkiness of the world around us in all its richness.

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The underpinning idea is to help people learn more about what they can see

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around them without fully realizing they're learning there's unpredictability

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and non-fiction, and that's definitely where Amanda's heart lies.

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So Amanda and I had a really interesting conversation about how she got started in

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photography and publishing her own books.

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Um, and we also spoke with her, spoke about what the changing nature

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of her business and bringing it online in the last couple of years.

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So I really hope as always, you enjoyed this conversation with Amanda,

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I'm going to start.

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Okay.

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Are you good to go?

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So, hi, Amanda.

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Thank you so much for being here.

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It's lovely to be here.

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Thank you.

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So can we start with you, please give an introduction to yourself,

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your business and what you sell.

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So I am Amanda Davey and I run a business called Tilia Publishing UK.

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Uh, we write our own books and, uh, produce our greeting cards

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that celebrate the beauty and quirkiness of the world around us.

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Um, the world around us, not just British world, but world world.

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And it's, it's a great, great thing to do.

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So how did you get started and what inspired you?

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Uh, well, I've always taken photographs since, uh, I was given a Kodak Instamatic,

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uh, the age of 10, but got frustrated with taking the tops of the heads of

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penguins rather than the full penguin.

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Um, and then really got going with it when, um, I got a single lens reflex

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where you can actually see through the viewfinder of what you're photographing.

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Um, but, uh, I've never really done it on a commercial basis properly.

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uh, twice he hit us and I got fairly crippling whiplash and that does sort

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of focus your, your mind about what your aims are, what you want to do,

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what you haven't yet started doing.

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And, um, we, uh, did some of the, some of the recuperation was, was

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going around the South Downs taking photographs and, and the shops that

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you go into, you know, in the South Downs, it's incredibly hard to find

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decent photographs of the South Downs.

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And so we started producing cards that related to, um, the beautiful places

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in the South Downs, or we call them the nooks and crannies of the south dance,

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because there are some lovely non iconic places, as well as the iconic places.

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And, um, I also started working on my grandfather's autobiography and

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that became our first published book.

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And that all came out of the mindset that was triggered by being rammed

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by a bus and then chronic pain.

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That was such a scary experience.

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I'm so sorry.

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You went free that, um, and what were you doing prior, prior to, to that experience?

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As in were you doing something completely different and was photography a hobby or,

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well, um, I, my I'm trained as a geographer and as a landscape

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architect and both of those embrace virtually everything.

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Um, it is incredibly hard to find something that is not relevant to either

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geography or landscape architecture.

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And, um, one of the jobs that I had.

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I used to do about 12 different things in the office.

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So I've always done a rich variety of different things.

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to landscape architects and people related to landscape architecture.

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So a lot of tree people, um, then, uh, that was also to keep that variety.

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And so the publishing is, is an extra client as part of the, um,

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rich variety of the landscape world.

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That's really nice to have such a variety of things.

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If you're the sort of person, which I know you are Amanda who enjoys having

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a variety in your days and your weeks, I think that's amazing to be able to

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do all these wonderful things that you enjoy and to do them all together.

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Yeah.

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Yeah.

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It's it's um, Yeah, a Gemini trait.

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Um, so yeah.

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Um, and it's, it's crucial actually is it's like people

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say you should have a project.

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Um, I need to have multiple projects because that's just how my mind works.

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Um, and, and it enriches everything that I do to have other things

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that are going on at the same time.

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And, uh, so it's it's yeah.

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It's, it's.

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Um, one thing that is lovely to share with other people as

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well, and they enjoy it too.

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Yeah, absolutely.

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And I mean, the photographs on your cards, just beautiful and you're right

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it is such a lovely part of the country.

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And it really surprised me when you said you were going to shops

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and they didn't already have cards depicts in the landscape.

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And because it seems to me sort of such an obvious thing.

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Well, there are obvious places.

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So the Long Man of Wilmington, well, we've got the Long Man of

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Wilmington we'll pick 10, but he tends to kick up in various places.

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It was a real gap.

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Um, there are art cards, um, that.

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There's, there's a difference between the real landscape.

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And the sort of filtered landscape.

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So I see what you mean.

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So the Photoshop version.

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Yeah.

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And what we're about is the real place that people walk.

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So we've got one about mud, um, and, uh, the reality is so much richer, so

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much better, so much more beautiful than the toned filtered idealized view

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of, of roses round the door, et cetera.

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It's um, yeah, it's hard to get to the truth of where you are, but the truth

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of where you are is why you're there.

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Yeah.

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And I also think there's something quite nice and I'm, I'm sure you probably hear

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this from customers, is that when you see a card and it's something that might

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be quite niche or unusual, so it might be out of the way, but you recognize it.

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You know, you don't, you have that little bit of joy where you're

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like, I know that puddle not good example, but you know what I mean?

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I know that whatever it is, you just get a little I know about

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it is, and that's really nice.

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Whereas, um, see, I mentioned I live in Tonbridge and we have a really beautiful

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castle and there's lots of pictures of the castle on posters or various

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things you can get with the castle on.

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But when you occasionally see something of a different landmark or different

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outlook, It's like, oh, I recognize that.

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And it exactly, yeah.

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In a way that's much more appealing than the really obvious thing.

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Well, that our mindset.

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Definitely.

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Um, and so we've got one of Reed's in the valley.

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Uh, the river is valley down below Lewes, and you can walk along various stretches

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of that and see that, that image.

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It doesn't have to be that particular spot.

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Yeah, absolutely.

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But it will take people to that spot in their mind.

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Yeah.

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Yeah.

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And, and having walked in, in that particular sorts of habitat, actually,

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it doesn't even have to be in Ouse.

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Um, you can get it on the Adur and the Arun as well.

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So when you started out and with your cards and you saw that, you know, there

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weren't shops selling was your goal to start selling your cards in these, local

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shops or was it always to sell that the cards yourself on your own site?

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Uh, in our heads, we were going to sell retail.

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There's a lovely organization called The Ladder Club, which

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is Greeting Card producters.

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A sort of it's like, um, it's like a training program for greeting

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card producers and support place.

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And, um, they, they do a lot of retail and you go to the trade shows and we

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were doing a lot of small fairs and, um, it's, um, small, fairs to just to see

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what people's reactions were to the cards and to, to learn about who are market

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were, um, to then give us the confidence when we went into the retailers and, and,

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um, we're promoting the cards to them.

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And, um, that, that was, that was interesting.

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Uh, it's, it's an inter interesting retail landscape though.

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The south downs it's.

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Not, not your idea.

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Somewhere up north is fantastic, but, and South Downs is a tougher

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gig because it's, it's very intense.

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There's a lot of people trying.

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And, uh, so we were selling in bookshops and tourist information points.

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Um, and, uh, at these small, fairs, um, we didn't flourish at the trade show that we

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went to because Theresa May had announced the general election the day before.

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So, um, there was risk aversion.

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So as a new publisher at a trade show, you need to have people very confident.

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And so if people are not confident in the slightest and they will

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only go to the people that they actually have dealt with before.

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So that, that was one of life's little lessons, I suppose,

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in, in coping strategy.

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Um, since the, um, pandemic, sadly, some of our retailers have gone.

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Um, and so the, the focus is much more on the website.

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And as you know, um, the, the pressure to open up on Amazon is building.

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Um, and, uh, yeah, so we're probably moving more towards our online

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presence as a result of all of that.

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Yeah.

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Thank you for explaining all of that.

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Um, so was it after COVID?

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um, we launched my grandfather's autobiography in the September and

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then oh whoops where are people actually going to be able to buy it?

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Because in, in the time of working on it, when I was first working on it, We

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had a publisher, but my grandfather was absolutely adamant that his, his guidance

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to me was to do short, pithy sentences and this lovely publisher who had agreed

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to take on this boat wanted his book, craved his book because of who he was.

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Um, he wanted to string the short, pithy sentences together into

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longer sentences, which seemed very odd in this more narrow way.

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You're supposed to do short pithy sentences.

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So, um, Because it was such a big deal and it was, um,

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obliterating the author's voice.

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Uh, we decided to self publish given the, the skills were in house anyway.

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And, uh, so launched it in the Institution of Civil Engineers library in September,

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mad panic oh whoops we need a website.

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And thanks to meeting, um, somebody at a networking event the next day,

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she met somebody else who worked for a business that actually did do

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the sort of website that we needed.

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Um, we were up and running in December.

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Because e-commerce websites, not as fun as I've got, I've worked on loads of

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websites, but an e-commerce website needs to sit on a totally different structure.

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To a bog standard leaflet type website.

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Of course And then there's all the added functionality as well that you need to

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have and the data protection and the ability to take payments and all of that.

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Yeah.

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Um, I'm not surprised actually, how popular sort of e-commerce website

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builders have become things like Shopify, because I imagine to create

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a website, all that functionality that looks good, that works from scratch.

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Isn't an easy thing to do.

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No, no, it's not, it's not easy to do.

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Even when you have actually been used to using HTML and building

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the leaflet type websites.

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Um, so our website provider is Create they're called Create they're based

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in Brighton and they are ethical.

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So, um, that that's, uh, an extra boon, um, it's a, uh, a nice price.

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They're incredibly responsive.

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So that was quite a few years now.

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It's a really long time.

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Uh, but it sounds like you were really focusing on the website as much initially.

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No, it was just a presence really.

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Um, and, uh, we, we, we had other options at that time, um, and the options

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are now much more online, so yeah.

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It's, that's the way the world has gone.

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Yeah.

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So remind me, when did you take this decision to say, okay, we're going to

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put our entire range onto the website I'm ready to start selling there.

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Uh, well, they've always been lurking there.

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Um, we thought, well, retailers can have a look, but the retailers

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don't go have a look, not that way.

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Um, they like to have the, they like to have to print it the printed matter.

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Um, well, certainly they did when we were really pushing them.

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Um, Oh, feedback from retailers, gratefully received.

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If I've, if I'm doing it wrong.

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Um, and, uh, so, but.

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They need, they need more words.

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So we've been putting more words and because Google likes words

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Oh in terms of the wordcount on the page.

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Yeah.

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Different words that aren't like rapid, repetitive stuff.

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I think with website something I'm certainly learning it

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there's always something to do.

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You know, you think you've cracked it and then either advice changes,

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or you just learn more or you learn something that you just didn't know.

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Um, I shared that she, it was on another podcast episode that.

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I didn't realize what Alt text was for an images.

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I had been given the impression that the Alt text was to aid with

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SEO, but of course that's not what it's for it's to help people

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who can't actually see the image.

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So that obviously resulted in quite a big job sort of, or my website updating

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the Altecs for every single, single image, which is really worthwhile

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and I'm pleased I've done it.

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However, I feel like.

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Something as soon there will be something else.

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I think a website is always evolving, isn't it.

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And even if you've got a fantastic website that looks good and works really well, um,

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is certainly not something you can just.

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Well, I think if you want to, if you've got a successful website

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that wherever your aims are, um, and obviously when I say successful, but

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you know, everyone that's different.

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I certainly thing you do need to work on it it's something else I've, I've learned,

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which I'm sure you've also aware is that Google likes it when you update your site.

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So you can't just set it up and leave it, which I was certainly guilty of.

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When I had my products business, I had a really lovely Shopify site and

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something I was definitely guilty of was going well, I've got really nice sites.

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I can leave that now.

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And that will take care of itself, actually.

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Not really the case.

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No, no, I I'm still trying to get my head around that Alt text thing.

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That was absolutely fascinating.

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That insight that she gave on that it's.

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Yeah.

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I thought Alt text was sort of, yeah, well, I'll do that someday.

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Um, so I'm now when I'm putting new things on much better are

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putting Alt texts in, not perfect.

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It's some work in progress, but

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I think most things for a lot of us are a work in progress.

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Are they?

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Cause we can't be perfect at everything.

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I think as long as we sort of consistently improve.

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Yeah, I think, and I think even on the podcast, I've said we're referencing,

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um, is one I did with Jodie about accessibility, which I'll link in the

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show notes and something she was really keen clear on is that, you know, you

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don't have to do everything and you don't have to do everything now, but as long

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as you have good intentions and you're trying to improve and you're making

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small steps, then that is progress.

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Um, yes.

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And nobody worry that you need to go.

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Do anything on your website right now to make it more accessible?

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I think as long as, you know, as you're saying, as you're adding more

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images, you're being conscious of that.

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I think that's great.

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I just wanted to come back to when you were selling, just in stores.

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Well, not just in stores.

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I know you were selling in markets as well, but how did you get

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your product stocked in those stores and information centers.

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Was it a case of walking in and saying, do you want to sell these?

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Or was it something more than that?

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And I know we're going back six years here and things may have changed,

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but I'm just, I'm always curious as to how you actually get, you

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know, get your stuff on the shelf.

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Yeah.

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Apparently what you're supposed to do is ring up and make appointments.

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Um, we didn't do that, um, because we thought that that.

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That would immediately get them saying no.

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Um, when, when you're very early doors, you don't have, you don't have that.

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We've been going for the last.

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Eight years.

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So, um, that gives you a bit more credibility.

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If you've got a bit of longevity when you're trying to make those calls.

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But in, in, in the early days, we were just sort of going

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in with a stack of cards.

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Um, And, and smiling nicely.

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And, um, one lady was absolutely horrendous.

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Um, she basically, she decided to stop having cards, which seems to me to

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be very odd because there is, uh, an initiative Just A Card where, if somebody

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goes into a retail outlet and buys just a card, just one card from that

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retailer, that could mean the difference between them succeeding or failing.

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So why people would stop stocking cards?

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I don't understand, but anyway, that was just old.

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Um, she was odd.

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She was very rude.

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Um, But, uh, some of them just went, oh, wow.

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Yes, please.

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That was nice.

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Uh, some of them said, leave them with us and we'll have a think.

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Um, there's again, there's different stages, different, layers that,

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that you go, that you go through.

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So, um, a lot of the big card producers have spinners that they put into shops.

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So, this is why you'll see so many of the spinners, and then they have an agent

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who will go in and check and make sure.

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And then there's invoices and stuff that go with that.

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But we've never been in that, in that league.

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We've been, um, small, smaller, um, numbers.

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And, um, so, uh, there's a, a lovely bookshop in Petworth who that, that sale

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came about as a result of buying a map and chatting about why I was buying a map.

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And, uh, so he said, oh, I'd love to see your cards.

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So I went out to the car, got them went back in.

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Um, and, uh, so we've had several years of, um, working with him,

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um, on the back of buying a map.

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Yeah.

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See, I, that's a really nice story and I don't know much about rights and wrongs

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wrongs of getting stocked in retailers and it was never a, route I went down myself.

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I'll be honest, but I do think there's a lot to be said for the personal touch.

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Um, and I am sure that walk, if you're in a position to walking in

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with your products and say, Hey, would you like to look at this?

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I imagine it's probably one of the best things you can do

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because they get to see you.

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They get to see what you're selling.

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Um, whereas you know, an email it's all about.

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Just hatched, isn't it.

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And I think there's a lot to be said from, hello, this is me and this is what I have.

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And do you want it?

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And I think it makes it a lot easier for someone to say yes

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or no, because there they are.

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They're there.

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They can see what you have.

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Yeah, I think the trouble is it's hit or miss.

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Sometimes if you get the wrong time of day or, or they're desperate for if they're

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desperate for a sale and you're in there, um, then, then that can make them panic.

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It, it really, it's been a very interesting ride.

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The dealing with the retailers ride because everybody has

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a different personality.

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And so how you deal with the different personalities can affect

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how successful you are with, with, with working with them.

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So some need very florid and some need just very businesslike.

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And, and that, that is that that's so unpredictable.

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Absolutely.

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And, and while I think there's, I personally like the idea of just been

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able to say, okay, here we are here I am.

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And this is what I have.

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But then of course you have to take into account that not everyone likes that

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not everyone wants to just be approach.

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It can feel a bit hostile or a bit too much can't it.

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And then also you just don't know someone's situation, or you say

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you don't want to turn up at their busiest time of the day all the time.

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When I don't know they've unboxing you stock or whatever it is,

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it is, it is really tricky.

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We had a lovely one, um, where there's been an event, um, in the greeting

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card industry, they sort of meet the dragons is what they call it.

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I think, um, where the big retailers were meeting the, um,

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newer publishers, I think, um, or certainly a range of the publishers.

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And we weren't able to go to that and, um, we've yet to go to it.

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Um, but it was running, I think it was running for five days.

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And on the first day we got a phone call from one of the, um, retailers

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that have been at that event.

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On the back of something that had been in one of the press things saying, could

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you take, take us some photographs?

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Cause we want some local views.

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Oh, wow.

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Because they haven't actually met anybody at that event.

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And they gone, they're looking for people who would do local views.

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So because they hadn't found them, they approached us.

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And that, that was really, really lovely.

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So that generated some rather nice, nice pictures I shared with them.

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That was fun to do.

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And are you expanding your range still?

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I'm imagining you are, from what I know of you, Amanda, I'm

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sure you've can't help yourself.

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So is the cards collection growing.

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Uh, well, we've, we've just launched, uh, this month or last month, last month.

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Um, flower cards,

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I saw that I didn't realize they were new.

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Um, so, and, uh, it was lovely.

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I was able to send one to my mother for Mother's Day.

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Um, she lives just outside Inverness and, um, it's of a peony and she always,

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always had peonies in the garden.

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And, um, so it meant a lot to us personally, but it was lovely

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also to be able to send it to her.

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Um, as sort of the first celebration card of, of that.

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So, okay.

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Thank you.

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And you've mentioned that now you're selling more sort of through, your

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website, so have things changed.

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So how have things changed?

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I think you touched on the fact they had and how have things changed

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in terms of how and where you're setting your cards and books.

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Uh, the plan to go on Amazon is hatching some little, little bean shoots.

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Um, I I've been very wary of Amazon because of some of the problems

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that relate to it, as well as the, the joys of its complexity.

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Um, But because so much more is done online now in terms of what people buy.

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So certainly our, our target market being, I would think almost, uh, predictably

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longer in the tooth then, um, th th the sort of average, average human day.

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So, um, the.

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Older generations of spending more time buying online than they used

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to as a result of the pandemic.

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So it's better for us to be more available online.

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Um, and they all being very loyal to the shops as well, but the shops aren't

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being so loyal to us, um, the, uh, so that's, that's a big thing that.

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Will happen, supposed to have happened in February, but it didn't.

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Um, and uh, so much more focused on, on the, on that side of things for us.

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Um, yeah, she says in a garble

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that's exciting.

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So, yeah.

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So maybe onto Amazon, so that's what your next one is.

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Now you're looking at any other online marketplaces as well.

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Or are you just thinking Amazon for now?

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I'm thinking Amazon for now because we don't, hand-make our stuff.

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We get slaps on a lot of the craft, make it.

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Side of things.

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And, and because of the books, Amazon is a bit of a no brainer, really?

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Yeah.

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With the cards, there's something you might find actually interesting as

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I was having an interview today, and I'm, I'm hoping everyone listening to

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this finds this interesting because the interview I'm referencing, won't be

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going out until July, um, with an Etsy expert who mentioned that now, Etsy

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accept applications from people who may not produce the product, their self,

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as long as it's their original work.

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So for example, cards where you take the image yourself.

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So it's, it's not handmade, but it's personalized.

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It's made by you.

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Are you and trying to think of a way of saying it?

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Um, now, um, I know I was unclear as to whether this was okay now or whether

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this was something in the pipeline.

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Um, but it's changing.

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She also referenced, you know, for example, textile products where maybe

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somebody designs the products, but the actual printing has to be done by somebody

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else because maybe that person doesn't have a printing press or whatever.

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And apparently it's moving more in that direction, which I thought was interesting

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and also maybe gives opportunity.

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So I thought I'd mentioned in case it helps you.

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And of course, everyone listening as well, because I was under the

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impression it was solely things you'd made with your own hands.

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And so I was really interested to hear that.

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And as I say, that interviews isn't going out for a while, this

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would definitely be out first.

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So hope that's helpful.

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Yeah.

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Yeah.

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That, that, that could be very helpful.

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Cause it's been very frustrating to take our own photos.

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Oh, we've also got my mother's paintings.

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Um, that does the only ones that we have and, and, um, But we, we used

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to print our own Christmas cards.

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We send a lot of Christmas cards every year and, um, we used to print them on a

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printer at home and just once a year, that was bad enough, but to have to do it all

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year round, I don't know how people do it.

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I really don't.

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So we have, uh, uh, uh, Print works in Kent who, um, do our printing for

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us they're Greeting Card specialists.

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They do a fabulous job, um, and, uh, uh, all our printing is done in the UK.

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And fairly local as you're in Sussex aren't you so Kent's not too far.

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Not that it really matters in the UK because nothing is that far is it,

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but it is nice that it's, you know,

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well, we've got the occasional thing is printed in Glasgow, but apart from

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that, it's all Sussex, Kent or London

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and that's really, that's really nice.

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It's nice when you are able to support other local businesses

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with things like that.

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Yeah, it is crucial.

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It's crucial.

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I.

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I couldn't send it to China, not with all the sea in between

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it, it just doesn't make sense.

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It's it's yes.

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The margins become extraordinary, but a, um, there's this.

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This is the planet to get involved with.

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I'm also not convinced that the margins would be that great.

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Once you take into the account into account the shipping and the import

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fees and everything else, I mean, yes, maybe slightly better, but when you

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sort of think it wouldn't be yeah.

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When you weigh up the impact on the planet on top of that, um,

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Yeah, I think for printed products, especially if you're able to print

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them somewhere, local to you.

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Um, because I think the cost of paper and ink, I ha I don't, I've never looked

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into printing something myself, but I would like to think that it can't be much

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different in the UK once you take it.

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Like I say, once you take everything else into account.

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I, I, I think, uh, a printer would probably, um, squirm with that question,

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but, um, what you get with printing in the UK also is flexibility because you don't

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have that huge, great timelines that you have to have going, going into toing and

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froing from China or, or, or anything.

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Um, candidates of

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and the excess stock as well.

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Cause that's the other thing, if you're printing in China, presumably to make

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it worth, you put them on a boat and shipping them over here, we'll put them

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on a plane or whatever it is, it would need to be a fairly substantial order.

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Um, whereas, and then of course, if these cards aren't sold immediately, they

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might be sitting in a box for a while.

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There's that sort of elements of it as well.

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Whereas I guess if you're printed in the UK and the turn around is pretty

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good, you can principle about chairs and just know that you're producing

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what you're reasonably go to sell.

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Also nice in terms of not just producing lots of, I don't want

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to waste isn't the right word.

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Um, so, you know, I hope, you know what I mean by that?

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I mean excess, cause there's nothing worse.

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Is that, and sorts of having boxes and boxes of something

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sat around that isn't moving.

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Um, that's not a nice feeling.

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It's a.

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Uh, no, no.

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It's um, yeah, I, I, um, I got over excited with one print run.

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I thought I thought that, um, that it would do better than it did.

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Um, so we do have boxes and boxes and boxes of that, but

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it'll shift, it does shift.

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So, I mean, I'm speaking of someone who's done exactly that my first put up.

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Was producing the first product I sold was manufactured in China and I, the

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first round I did, I ordered a lot and I got them all shipped over here.

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And then they did sell that they took longer than I wanted.

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And there were boxes sitting around for a long, long time.

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It is not a nice feeling.

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And then also sort of the waste element as a waste isn't the right word.

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Cause I mean, they weren't going to be sold, but I started to feel almost

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guilty thinking, well, I could have got half of this and you know, it started to

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feel a bit, a bit wasteful and I don't think pace is exactly the right word

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that, I mean, but it, it just felt like.

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Why, why did I get so many?

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Basically it was what it comes up, came down to, um, yeah.

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Having a nag, isn't it.

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It's just sort of going, at you.

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Yes.

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And it just, it just didn't feel, you know, Well, my products were all about

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this sustainability, you know, there were products that were designed to last

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cause of what needed to be sustainable, but it didn't feel very sustainable

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having lots of boxes sitting around, waiting to sell for some reason.

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I don't know.

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It didn't feel didn't sit quite right.

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No, no, no.

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I know exactly how you feel.

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Yeah.

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It's um, yeah, I mean, you also end up with fast fashion changes.

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I w we've we've um, We've pulled two cards off the website

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because they were, um, of Russia.

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Um, and what's very interesting is that one of them was a major,

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major seller at shows and events and, um, And not in shops.

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I know, I know it did sell in shops, so that's nice.

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events around the world meant that nobody wanted anything to do with Russia.

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Anyway, it was, it was absolutely fascinating that.

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Nosedive.

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It went from being pretty much top seller after the penguins, um, to not

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selling single a single thing, just because of the toxicity, even then of,

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of what, what he was building up to do.

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Um, uh, The fashion is, is absolutely fascinating.

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Even, even in the greeting card industry or particularly in the

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greeting card industry, you have color themes that people go for.

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Um, And we can have cards that don't shift, don't shift, don't

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shift and you think, oh, well, let's get rid of them then.

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And then suddenly whoosh off they go.

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I guess there's a seasonality aspect, as well as for example, your plant cards.

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Um, I imagine it going to sell really well throughout spring, because it's a

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time of all the plants and flowers are springing up in people's gardens and

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we're all gettting well, let's say we, I am getting very excited about seeing

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color and things popping out of the soil.

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And there's, I guess there's always going to be, imagine winter, wintery landscapes

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maybe sell better at that time of year.

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What's great.

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I think about your business model and the factor of your printing done

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locally, and you can control it is that presumably you can move cards in and out

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of your range as you need to, you can be adaptable and I think that's fantastic.

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So I have just one final question for you, Amanda, before

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we finish up, if that's okay.

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And that is what would your number one piece of advice be

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for other product creators?

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Uh, can I do two

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of course you can do two

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uh, advice we were given, um, was make your mistakes while you small.

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Um, but there's another bit of advice and that is be patient go for the long game.

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Not, not, not try and do that.

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The get rich quick models, because, they blow up.

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And then down, again, very often.

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Yeah, I completely agree.

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I love both of those pieces of advice, particularly what you said

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about making mistakes, because I think making mistakes is the best

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way to learn and you know, it's nice.

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You never going to get all of your mistakes out of the way,

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but I think you can get a good chunk of them out of the way.

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I mean, from my experience, I'd say the biggest mistakes I've made in my business.

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Right at the outset, you know, the, the big ones and, um, yeah, cause

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as soon as you made them, then you can learn from them and move on.

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So I'm going to move.

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Of course, I'm still making mistakes now.

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I'm sure that everyone's still making mistakes now, but I think there's

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nothing like the mistakes you make when you're first starting out.

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Yeah.

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It's cause your reputation isn't isn't there.

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So you can, you can make the reputation damaging ones when you're tiny.

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Um, but the, the thing, the thing is not to be scared of making mistakes.

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Yeah.

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That's a good point because I think a lot of us think that sort of all eyes

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are upon us and everyone's going to notice these things that we do, but

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actually very few people I think, notice or care even about some of the things.

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So everyone's wrapped up in their own thing aren't they, but sometimes

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a fear of what people or people think stops people from trying.

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But actually I think a lot of people aren't really watching

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what you're doing and I mean that in the nicest possible way.

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Um, and, um, close friends and family, you know, we're supporting,

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but I mean the general public, I don't think really notice

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yeah.

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That they've got other things on their minds most of the time.

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Yes.

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That's very reassuring.

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Thank you.

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Um, thank you so much for everything that you've shared and yeah.

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I mean, that's what this podcast is all about.

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It's sharing experiences of learnings, because I think that we can all

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learn from each other and hopefully avoid some of those mistakes.

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Yeah.

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Yeah.

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Learning from other people's mistakes is some, yeah, that underpins my

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grandfather's book by the way.

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Um, yeah.

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It's, it's, it's, it's, it's very healthy to learn from other people's mistakes.

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Yeah, absolutely.

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As I say, it's a whole, well, not the whole, but one of the aims of this podcast

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is for people to be able to listen to others' mistakes and learn from them.

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Because that's how we know when I started out my business, all I was

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doing was sharing the things I was doing wrong because it felt like at

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the beginning, everything was wrong until you get to a point where actually

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the curve goes up and you're making less mistakes, you do more things.

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Right.

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Um, but I think it's so invaluable.

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Isn't it for.

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It's a bit to know the pitfalls other people fell into, so you can

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avoid them yourself because we, none of us know what we don't know.

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Yeah.

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Yeah, no.

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And, and also I'm not to feel that it's just you, that

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everybody goes through this stuff.

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That's so that's the reassuring one, as well as.

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Oh, absolutely.

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It's so reassuring because you know, sometimes you can have a bit of

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imposter syndrome or feel like, you know, what you're doing is on full

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view of the world and you're just failing publicly, but you're not.

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And everyone else says, and no one even cares that much.

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I think knowing all of that, well, it sounds a bit harsh and

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I don't mean it that way too.

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I think it is quite comforting to know that actually no one really thinks

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it's as much of a big of a deal.

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Because what you do and no one's really watching and everyone else

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is doing the same and probably worrying about the same things.

Speaker:

I mean, we had the, um, story of the frogs climbing the Eiffel tower.

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Um, it there's, there's a whole lot of frogs were climbing the

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Eiffel tower, little hoppy frogs.

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Um, and, um, One by one, they fell back down the crowds down the bottom were

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jeering at them and going, you'll never reach the top of the Eiffel tower.

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You're far too small, bumpity bump bump bump.

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Um, and then eventually one of them got to the top and, uh,

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interviewed by the press afterwards they discovered that he was deaf.

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Wow makes you think doesn't it.

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So, yeah, just go for it.

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This, the underpinning thing in that.

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Yeah.

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Well, thank you.

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Thank you for ending that positivity as well.

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That's a really nice place to finish.

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Thank you so much for all you've shared.

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I've loved talking to about you, obviously I was aware of you and what

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you did, but it's really lovely to get, to actually ask you questions

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about your business and find out more.

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So thank you for sharing your time.

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Thank you for, for sharing it with me the podcast

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I know you mean thank you.

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Thank you so much for listening all the way to the end of this episode.

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If you've enjoyed it, please do leave member of you that really helps

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other people to find this podcast.

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Make sure you subscribe so you don't miss any future episodes.

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Tell your friends about it too.

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If you think that they also might enjoy it, can find me@vickyweinberg.com.

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There you'll find link to all of my social channels.

Speaker:

You'll find lots of more information all of the past podcast, episodes

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and lots of free resources too.

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So again, that's Vicki weinberg.com.

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Take care, have a good week and see you next time.