A Summary of Recommended Resources
- Brexit Info
- Just a Card Campaign
- Facebook groups
- Sites & reports for industry information/market research
- Card & Gift Network on the web
- Getting started in the world of cards & gifts
- Intellectual property (IP) protection
- How-to guides
- Links to additional resource pages
Although things are very undecided on the Brexit front (as I write this) it is always good to be prepared. With this in mind, the Giftware Association (GA) has created a page of resources relating to Brexit. View the GA Resources.
Just a Card Campaign
Facebook groups are a great way to network with your peers and find resources and support at the touch of a button. They are lots of amazing groups out there, but for now, here are a few recommended groups.
Grow Your Card & Gift Business Online Community (Card & Gift Network’s brand new Facebook group)
This group focuses on helping people use the online world to grow their card & gift business.
Sell Like an Artist Community
Formerly the Indie Retail Academy Community, this group gives great advice and resources for designers and makers that want to sell wholesale to retailers.
GDPR for Online Entrepreneurs
This group is run by a lawyer and is perfect for breaking down all the rules and regulations concerned with GDPR.
Just a Card Digital Marketing Club
Run by the Just a Card campaign this group helps small businesses with digital marketing.
Industry Information/Market Research
Market research is essential for anyone hoping to start a business in the greetings and giftware industry. You can conduct this research yourself or you can look at “done-for-you” industry research.
While I’d say it’s vital that every business does some research for themselves I understand that you don’t always have the skills, access or time to conduct thorough market research.
This makes the information found in research reports incredibly valuable. These reports however can cost thousands of pounds, which makes them cost-prohibitive for many small businesses and solopreneurs.
There are a couple of instances of free research information, such as the research I conduct (details below) and the industry history/market information produced by the Greeting Card Association.
It’s also worth taking a look at the sales pages of the expensive research reports, even if you don’t buy, as they often give away small bits of information or list the contents of the entire report, which can give you good indications of where you should start your research.
Card & Gift Network’s Industry Research
The research I conduct focuses on how card & gift companies promote themselves online. It allows us to see exactly what is popular in marketing & eCommerce; as well as the opportunities for growth.
Greeting Card Association (GCA) Market Information
The UK GCA has a summary of market information that gives insight into the UK card industry.
Paid Market Research Reports
There are several market research companies, which sell specialist reports. Here are a few examples related to the greetings & giftware industries.
Market Research’s Giftware Industry Research & Market Reports
Global Data’s All Year Gifting Report
Research and Markets’ Greeting Cards – Market Analysis, Trends, and Forecasts
Global Data’s The UK Stationery Market 2016-2021
Card & Gift Network on the Web
A few of the places around the web that you can interact and socialise with Card & Gift Network.
- Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/cardandgiftnetwork
- Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/cardandgiftnetwork
- Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/cardgiftnetwork/
- Twitter – https://twitter.com/cardgiftnetwork
- Linkedin – https://www.linkedin.com/company/card-and-gift-network/
- My Linkedin Profile – https://www.linkedin.com/in/charlottebiggs/
Getting Started in the World of Cards & Gifts
If you’re looking to start a career in the greetings or giftware industries it’s worth doing a little homework and probably taking some classes to find out more.
The Ladder Club
Organised by the Max Publishing team, The Ladder Club is an annual seminar, which is an “in a nutshell” course on greetings card publishing.
The brainchild of Lynn Tait (of the Lynn Tait Gallery), the club is a non-profit making initiative which helps would-be greetings card publishers navigate the industry. Lynn sadly passed away in June 2017, her legacy lives on in The Ladder Club.
You can find out more about this year’s seminar on the Progressive Greetings website.
Make it in Design
Intellectual Property (IP) Protection
It’s a sad fact that there are some dishonourable people out there who may try to use your designs without your consent.
While you shouldn’t let this stop you showcasing your work it’s always good to know your rights and where to turn to for support.
Alongside the resources mentioned below, if you promote and sell your work via marketplaces like Etsy or Not on the High Street it’s worth reviewing where they stand on IP infringement and knowing exactly how you report IP theft on their platform.
Intellectual Property Office
The UK government’s Intellectual Property Office has information on all aspects of IP. Covering trade marks, patents, copyright, designs, law and practice and IP crime and infringement.
ACID is the UK’s leading design and intellectual property campaigning organisation.
UK Copyright Service
One of the principal goals of the UK Copyright Service is to educate, inform and raise awareness of intellectual property issues. They also manage a registration centre where you can ensure you have evidence of ownership to protect your work and your rights.
Briffa is a modern legal practice specialising in intellectual property (IP): the protection of copyright, designs, patents, trademarks, trade secrets and information technology.
GCA Range Name Register
The UK Greeting Card Association (GCA) manages a “Range Name Register”, although unofficial with no legal standing, the register has become the first port of call for publishers needing to check if a proposed new range name is already in use. Currently, the register has over 1500 entries and counting.
You can find out more about how to use the register on the GCA website.
The British Library
The British Library’s Business & IP Centre has information and databases to help protect your ideas (intellectual property). The information covers copyright, trade marks and automatic design rights.
You can find out more on The British Library website.
Ofcom is the independent regulator covering TV, radio, video on demand sectors, fixed line telecoms, postal services and the airwaves over which wireless devices operate.
You can find resources on your rights, annual reports and more on their website.
The Startups website has a number of ‘how-to’ guides that can give you a brief introduction to starting a business. Each guide looks at a particular niche, giving specialised content. This is helpful in addition to general start-up guides as it can cover many industry-specific issues.